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Therapy For Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a different way of thinking, it is a different brain style. To understand is to bloom. 
Traveler in Nature

Effects of ADHD

ADHD affects more than just "focus". It affects every aspect of life, sometimes in a positive way and sometimes not. ADHD often coexists with other diagnoses like anxiety and depression.

 

Here are a few of the negative effects ADHD can have on your life:

  • Negative self-talk about being "lazy" after being told this by teachers or others close to you

  • Others may think you do not care about them because you are forgetful, interrupt when they are talking, or something else

  • Losing money to the "ADHD tax" like paying late fees on things that need to be returned, late cancellation fees for appointments, food going bad before you can eat it, and more. 

  • Feeling constantly disorganized and frazzled which causes anxiety

  • Consistently feeling burnt out by keeping up with daily life so you do not have the energy for more enjoyable things

  • Mood swings that can be hard to cope with

  • Making impulsive choices that you later regret whether financially, interpersonal, or something else. 

  • and more...

 

On the flip side, ADHD can have a positive impact as well:

  • Intense focus can lead to creative ideas and producing high-quality things 

  • Ability to work well in a time crunch 

  • High energy that others appreciate and build off of 

  • Ability to connect seemingly unrelated things in a way that is meaningful and interesting 

  • Deep interpersonal connections that form quickly

  • and more...  

 

Understanding What ADHD Looks Like

Oftentimes when people think of ADHD, they imagine a 10 year old boy bouncing off the walls in a classroom. While this can be one presentation of ADHD, it does not encompass all the ways ADHD presents. 

ADHD is often underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed due to a lack of understanding of the various presentations. Like any other diagnosis, ADHD is the combination of many different symptoms and other diagnoses may show some symptoms of ADHD but for different underlying reasons.

Some examples of what ADHD may look like in daily life:

  • Not being able to keep your home clean

  • Pushing things off until the last minute 

  • Feeling irritable and on edge when there are a lot of background noises happening 

  • Constantly feeling overwhelmed by tasks that others seem to be able to keep track of 

  • Being able to focus intently when something is interesting to you, so much so you may forget to eat or drink water 

  • Eating one type of food for weeks or months at a time until all of a sudden it repulses you 

  • Walking into a room and forgetting what you were planning to do in there

  • Having to use "Find my iPhone" often due to misplacing it 

  • Feeling like you physically cannot start something you need to do, even when you know you need to do it 

  • Finding a new hobby, buying lots of new supplies for it, researching it day in and day out, trying it a couple of times, and then moving on to a new hobby with the same intense interest

This is not an exhaustive list by any means but are some examples of what ADHD may look like outside of the stereotyped presentation. 

 

Girl Hiking in Nature

What We Can Do About It 

Because ADHD has neurodevelopmental underpinnings, it is important to recognize the role of neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine) in ADHD as well as the social and psychological factors. I approach therapy for ADHD, or therapy for other reasons with a person with ADHD, with neurology and psychology in mind.

 

This means that we may focus on: 

  • Looking at your behaviors through a dopamine-seeking lens to help determine how to cope with behaviors you want to change and healthy ways to seek dopamine

  • Executive functioning strategies to help you manage your daily tasks and needs in a way that works for your brain style. I especially like to get creative with this because people with ADHD hear the same few strategies that do not work for them- it doesn't have to be this way. 

  • Self-compassion to change the way you talk to yourself as a result of having ADHD and receiving messages about yourself throughout the years 

  • Gaining a better understanding of the role of ADHD in your life specifically so you can better understand yourself and change how you view your behavior 

  • Coping with emotions in a way that you feel proud of rather than feeling directed by strong emotions 

  • Help mold your life around your brain style, rather than trying to fit yourself into a box you do not fit in (aka the neurotypical way of living)

Many therapists do not have an in depth understanding of the best way to help adults and teens with ADHD because ADHD is different from other conditions we treat. Due to being diagnosed late in life myself, I decided to dive into the research and better understand how to help those with ADHD because there is such a lack of understanding in the field. I combine my lived experiences with evidence-based practices to help you increase your quality of life with your brain style in mind. 

 

Fill out the form below to schedule a free 15-minute consultation call. 

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