Sticking it out and getting the work done can be a challenge, but for most people, it’s easily overcome with a clear plan, a quiet work environment, or a cup of coffee. For people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), focusing on a single task can be much more complicated.
ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that can impact a person’s attention, impulse regulation, concentration, and memory. In the United States, an estimated 4.4% of adults and 11.0% of children live with ADHD. You are not alone if you believe that you or someone you care about might be experiencing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Get in touch with New Directions Mental Health today at 724.374.7414 to learn more about our other mental health disorders treatment and how ADHD treatment can benefit you or your loved ones.
What Is ADHD?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder that is often identified by inattention and hyperactivity. Because symptoms like these are disruptive in a classroom setting, many people are diagnosed with ADHD when they reach school age. Although ADHD is often associated with school-aged children, the symptoms of ADHD can follow a person throughout their life.
ADHD is considered a neurodivergence. Like autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and giftedness, people with ADHD have different mental and neurological functioning than people in the “neurotypical” majority. This difference is crucial to recognize because it means that, although the symptoms of ADHD can be disruptive, the disorder itself is not a reflection of a person’s character or worth.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
As with any mental disorder, the signs or symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person. When diagnosing ADHD, mental health professionals will look for clusters of symptoms that fall into three distinct categories:
- Inattention – These symptoms have to do with concentration and organizational skills
- Impulsivity – These symptoms have to do with risk-taking behaviors and overly emotional responses
- Hyperactivity – These symptoms have to do with excess energy and movement
Many people experience some of these symptoms. People with ADHD struggle to complete daily tasks, such as cleaning their homes, finishing homework assignments, or completing work projects due to their symptoms.
ADHD can be categorized into three types based on what kind of symptoms a person has:
- Type I – Inattentive type
- Type II – Hyperactive-impulsive type
- Type III – Combined type
Symptoms of ADHD in children include:
- Making simple or obvious mistakes in schoolwork
- Rapidly switching between toys during playtime
- Disengaged when interacting with adults
- Difficulty organizing and keeping track of things
- Fidgeting, tapping, or otherwise struggling to stay still
- Extreme energy that never seems to run out
- Excessive talking or interrupting
For adults, ADHD can look slightly different. Symptoms of ADHD in adults include:
- Forgetting regular daily tasks, like watering the plants or turning off the faucet
- Struggling with or disliking tasks that require concentration or sitting still
- Intense but short-lived emotions
- Alternating between feeling extremely empathetic and extremely apathetic toward others
- Inability to focus, even on hobbies or interests
- Difficulty completing detailed projects at work or school
- Restlessness and fidgeting
- Difficulty taking turns
- Excessive talking or interrupting
- Poor executive function
- Anxiety or inability to relax
To be diagnosed with ADHD, five or more symptoms must be present for six months or longer.
How Can an ADHD Therapy Program Help?
ADHD affects people of all ages and can be challenging to manage. Fortunately, tailored therapy programs offer lasting relief and provide individuals with the skills they need to manage their ADHD symptoms effectively. These programs have been designed to empower people with this disorder by helping them focus on their strengths while implementing individualized strategies to address their challenges.
These therapies can help individuals control their anxieties and find greater productivity in daily life through cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques, psychoeducation, mindfulness exercises, and lifestyle adjustments. With the proper program, those struggling with ADHD can learn how to manage its symptoms better and lead happier, more successful lives.
What Causes ADHD?
ADHD is a complex mental health condition that can be affected by several genetic, biological, and environmental factors.
Like many other mental disorders, ADHD tends to run in families, which suggests a genetic risk factor. People with an immediate relative, like a sibling or parent, who have ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves. Boys and men are also more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than women. This difference could be because males and females present different symptoms of ADHD, and some signs of female ADHD can often be dismissed or difficult to detect.
People with ADHD may also show differences in brain structure versus people without ADHD. Some brain regions might be larger or smaller, and people with ADHD may have an imbalance in certain neurotransmitters. Research also suggests that maternal drug or alcohol use and premature birth can be risk factors for ADHD.
The environment can also play a role in whether or not a person ultimately develops ADHD. Environmental risk factors of ADHD include maternal depression, a disorganized home environment, unsupportive or abusive caregivers, poverty, inadequate sleep, and brain injury during the developmental years.
Understanding Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment
While there is no cure for ADHD, the disruptive symptoms of the disorder can be effectively managed with a combination of treatment strategies. ADHD treatment might include:
- Medication – Stimulants and some antidepressants can help manage ADHD symptoms.
- Therapy – Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other forms of therapy can give people with ADHD healthy strategies for building positive behaviors and overcoming the emotional impact of living with ADHD.
- Lifestyle changes – Maintaining healthy habits like establishing a routine that includes proper diet and exercise, an appropriate amount of sleep, and dedicated work time in a distraction-free environment can help people manage the symptoms of their ADHD.
At New Directions Mental Health, our team of mental health professionals is committed to helping you or your loved ones navigate the challenges of ADHD. We understand the difficulty of living with ADHD and strive to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for everyone who enters our door.
Benefits of an ADHD Treatment Program
Motivating children or adults with ADHD to participate in an organized treatment program is pivotal for better functioning and improved quality of life. These treatment programs offer safe and supportive environments to manage the symptoms associated with ADHD, such as:
- Improving time management, organization, and impulse control
- Managing emotions, such as stress or anger
- Developing coping skills to deal with the challenges of living with ADHD
- Increasing communication and social skills
- Learning positive habits that support mental health
Through personalized assessments and comprehensive interventions, individuals can receive essential tools for:
- Improving academic or work performance
- Improving interpersonal relationships
- Promoting daily functioning
- Managing immediate and long-term goals
- Increasing self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment
- Reducing disruptive behaviors
With the right support system launching your journey towards success, numerous benefits come with an ADHD treatment program. The great news is that the team of mental health professionals at New Directions Mental Health is here to help.
Contact New Directions Mental Health for ADHD Treatment in Pennsylvania
New Directions Mental Health is here to help those in Pennsylvania get the treatment they need for ADHD. We have highly collaborative teams of compassionate and experienced professionals who can provide personalized assessments and treatments, allowing you to take control of your condition. Our goal is to provide support and care that will result in long-term lifestyle changes.
We understand this is a challenging situation and strive to create a safe, comfortable environment for success. If you believe you are experiencing ADHD or displaying signs of ADHD, contact us at 724.374.7414 to learn what our compassionate care providers can do for you or a loved one.