Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment in Southlake
ADHD (“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”) is a disorder of the brain that is marked by ongoing patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or any combination of the three, that interferes with the person’s functioning or development. The National Institute of Mental Health provides a thorough discussion of what these three terms mean, clinically speaking. There is no one-size catch-all description for a disorder like ADHD, as this disorder often manifests uniquely for every individual; you’ll never see the same symptoms twice, but there are some over-arching points mental health professionals look at to make a diagnosis.
What are some common signs and symptoms of ADHD?
The three categories of symptoms (inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity) are natural behavioral patterns for every individual, including neuro-typical persons without this disorder. The difference is that people with ADHD these behaviors go beyond the normally accepted levels in everyday life. A person with ADHD will experience symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that are more severe and occur more frequently; these symptoms will also interfere with and reduce the quality of the person’s functions socially, at school, or in their career.
- Inattention means a person can wander off task, have difficulty sustaining focus, be disorganized, and lack persistence. People with this symptom may overlook or miss important details, have problems sustaining attention during conversations or lengthy reading, not follow through on instructions, get sidetracked from work or chores easily, have problems organizing tasks, be forgetful in daily tasks and activities, and lose necessary items.
- Hyperactivity is characterized by excessive fidgeting, tapping, or talking, including situations when it is not culturally or socially appropriate to do so. People with symptoms of hyperactivity may squirm while seated, be unable to play or engage in quiet activities, be constantly in motion, and overall seem to be hyper-energized and unable to stay still.
- Impulsivity causes a person to make hasty actions, without first thinking them through thoroughly, or suffer from an inability to delay gratification. People with impulsivity symptoms may blurt out answers before a question has been completed, finish other’s sentences, have trouble waiting for their turn in a game or activity, and interrupt or intrude on others in conversation, games, and other activities.
How is it determined that someone has ADHD?
Official diagnosis of ADHD, or any other mental health condition, can only occur after a comprehensive evaluation; this evaluation must be performed by a licensed clinician. A pediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatrist with expertise in diagnosing and treating ADHD is preferred. Generally, the symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, must
- Impair the individual’s functioning
- Be chronic
- Be long-lasting
- Cause the person to fall behind normal development levels or stages
Many persons with ADHD are diagnosed in their childhood years. For an adolescent or adult to receive a diagnosis of ADHD in later life, their symptoms must have been present prior to age 12. While the symptoms of ADHD can often be mistaken for emotional or disciplinary problems, it is important to recognize that there is a difference in severity and duration of these symptoms. If you are concerned that your child or another loved one may be showing symptoms of ADHD, contact a certified mental health professional today; it is important to refrain from self-diagnosis as much as possible, as the nuances of diagnosis are often very subtle and require careful attention to detail.
How is ADHD being handled and treated in today’s society?
While there is a no cure available for ADHD, there are treatments available to help reduce the impact of symptoms in everyday life and improve a person’s functioning. One of the most-prescribed options is medication-based treatments. There are both stimulant and non-stimulant prescription medications on the market, and both are considered safe when taken under medical supervision. There are always risks when using a prescription regimen; it is important to follow all of your prescriber’s recommendations and orders to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
There is also the option of psychotherapy, which involves visiting with and speaking to a therapist to modify behaviors and learn to function in everyday life with or without the use of additional medication therapies. Behavioral therapy is a specific branch of psychotherapy that aims to help a client change their behaviors and apply coping mechanisms to their life. Another option, especially for adults with ADHD, may be family and marital therapies. This option mainly strives to help the individual members of the family to cope with disruptive behaviors, improve interaction, and encourage behavioral changes.
Where there is not a single pathway for individuals with ADHD to take to better their lives and improve their functioning, there are options available. Mental health disorders like ADHD are highly individualized; everyone is different, and it may take some trial and error before the best treatment for a person with ADHD is found. With the help of doctors and therapists, individuals with ADHD are able to live full lives and find their place in a modern world.
For more information on ADHD symptoms and general treatment options, view the National Institute of Mental Health’s website. If you or a loved one needs more targeted mental health treatment, contact Prime Behavioral Health today for a consultation.