Counseling for Balance
Finding success with ADHD/ADD is a big process of tuning your life. Some of the things we can help with are mindfulness, nutrition, exercise, improved stress management tools, executive-skill development/support, sleep, and more. Although we do not prescribe medications, we have a list of medical providers and are happy to refer, when needed.
Personal experience combined with empirical research allow us to help others determine the optimal methods that will help them manage their challenges with executive functioning. We understand how ADHD affects people’s lives, relationships, and work experience. Through this understanding, our clinicians have developed a deep understanding of the gifts and frustrations of life with ADHD.
Just Mind takes a comprehensive approach that connects your therapist with your medical team. We collaborate with coaches, nutritionists, organizers and neurofeedback practitioners who specialize in the management of adult ADHD and adolescent ADHD.
There are three variations of ADHD, depending on which symptoms are strongest in an individual. These descriptions are taken from the CDC:
- Predominantly Inattentive Type: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.
- Combined Type: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.
ADHD is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a neurocognitive disorder affecting the brain’s executive functioning. Here is a link to a CDC overview of the diagnostic overview of ADHD: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is characterized by distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness or hyperactivity. Considered a neurological condition, it appears to be genetically transmissible. Symptoms are present from childhood; however, actual presentation may differ based on age and stage of development. Certain symptoms such as inattentiveness, may be more prominent in girls than in boys. The variety and intensity of symptoms falls on a spectrum. Symptoms may be influenced by hormonal changes or stress. Likewise, they can improve with regular fitness and adequate sleep.
ADHD is considered a disability primarily because of the impact the condition can have on executive functioning. Executive functioning includes all of the brain processes we use to complete tasks from start to finish. Due to the educational and work demands of our current society, our executive functioning is tested every day. People with ADHD can focus sometimes to a fault, and a fair number are not hyperactive.
Diagnosis is primarily based on a thorough interview, determining whether specific ADHD symptoms have been present throughout one’s history. In addition, individual testing, interviews with relatives or teachers, and work samples may be utilized when determining the appropriateness of an ADHD diagnosis. In establishing a proper diagnosis, it is also important to address whether other conditions may be present such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and learning disabilities as these conditions occur in greater frequency in this population. Sometimes a neuropsychological evaluation can be helpful as a tool to aid in the diagnosis of conditions.
While this is not a comprehensive list, a diagnostic evaluation may be helpful if you or your child are experiencing several of these symptoms:
- Difficulty getting organized.
- Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started.
- Many projects going simultaneously; trouble with follow through.
- Challenges with adhering to time demands.
- A tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark.
- A frequent need of high stimulation.
- An intolerance of boredom.
- Easy distractibility; trouble focusing attention, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or conversation, often coupled with an inability to focus at times.
- Impatient; low tolerance of frustration.
- Impulsive, either verbally or in action, as an impulsive spending of money.
- A tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly; a tendency to scan the horizon looking for something to worry about, alternating with attention to or disregard for actual dangers.
- A sense of insecurity.
- Mood swings, mood lability, especially when disengaged from a person or a project.
- Physical or cognitive restlessness.
- A tendency toward addictive behavior.
- Chronic problems with self-esteem, including the feeling of letting others down.
- Family history of ADHD or manic depressive illness or depression or substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood.
Approaches to managing ADHD symptoms vary based on the needs of the individual. Suggested intervention plans for ADHD may include::
- Obtaining an accurate diagnosis taking into account the likelihood of coexisting problems
- Education and self-awareness
- Achieving a healthy lifestyle
- Creating external structure
- Counseling and/or coaching
- Pharmaceutical intervention
ADHD is a neurological disorder and research indicates that it may be due to alterations in the brain and the way it functions. The causes of these differences are not entirely known, but family and twin studies reveal ADHD is genetic. Between 10 percent and 35 percent of children with ADHD have a close relative with ADHD, and nearly half of parents who had ADHD as a child also have a child with the disorder. Studies in families of children with ADHD show that relatives are at high risk for ADHD, other psychiatric disorders and learning disabilities.
ADHD affects 3 to 5 percent of American children (approximately two million). While typically diagnosed during childhood, adults can also have ADHD. Adults with ADHD may be unaware they have the disorder, yet know they have difficulty getting organized and staying focused. Everyday tasks such as waking up, getting dressed, organizing for the day’s work, getting to work on time or being productive on the job can be major challenges for the adults with ADHD.
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Below are some posts on ADHD that may be helpful to you in your quest to learn more for yourself or those you love.
By William Schroeder, LPC Curious about how to get over ADHD mistakes? Being a therapist who works with ADHD and has ADHD, I think it’s
By William Schroeder, LPC Many clients will come into therapy already on medications and very frequently they have questions. Lately I have had several clients
By William Schroeder, LPC The beginning of quarantine for me felt like an unexpected plunge on a roller coaster. Everything was changing so rapidly, you