ADHD is common in children, and nearly 11% of school-age children receive a diagnosis. However, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not just present in millions of American children, but it also affects almost 4% of US adults. Unfortunately, many of these individuals don’t receive a diagnosis, and their symptoms may worsen over time.
Symptoms of ADHD
Typical symptoms of ADHD in adults include impulsivity, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating. ADHD affects an individual’s concentration and the ability to prioritize tasks. The symptoms of this disorder can also impair an individual to complete work promptly. These symptoms manifest in several ways, such as poor self-esteem, chronic procrastination, issues with time management. Naturally, they lead to problems at school, work, and relationships.
Children who don’t get diagnosed during childhood also exhibit these symptoms in adulthood.
Treatment of ADHD
We have strong evidence to believe that when children and adults don’t receive timely treatment, their mental health, work performance, and relationships are bound to suffer.
Although medication plays a crucial role in managing ADHD, patients may need to try several medicines before finding the best option. That’s because there are several types of medications for treatment, and every doctor may recommend something different.
In addition, these medications are quite expensive. Patients often enroll in patient savings programs to save money on prescriptions. Many individuals ask their healthcare provider if they provide any patient savings program cards. Using generic medications instead of brand names is another affordable way of treating ADHD through medication.
The Role of Counseling and Psychotherapy
Counseling and psychotherapy can help children and adults with ADHD address everyday life challenges. For example, with professional counseling sessions, patients can learn the strategies and mechanisms to learn organization/planning skills and time management. In addition, collaborating with a mental health professional can help adults and children adopt a customized strategy for managing the symptoms of adult ADHD.
Counseling of Children with ADHD
AAP or The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parent training in behavior management, as the first line of treatment, for kids six years and younger.
AAP recommends behavior therapy and medication together for children six years and older. Schools can also contribute to the students’ treatment plan through support and behavioral classroom interventions.
Professional treatment plans include monitoring how much the treatment is and how the therapy helps the patient’s behavior.
Let’s find out more about how counseling can help children and adults to overcome the challenges associated with ADHD.
Effects of Parent Training
When parents receive training in behavior therapy to help their young kids (who are six years or younger), they acquire the skills and techniques to help them succeed at home, school, and forming relationships. Although learning and implementing these strategies requires effort and time, the effects are long-term.
Since young children have more side effects from ADHD medications, parent training in behavior management is more effective in helping them overcome ADHD.
ADHD not only impacts a child’s ability to sit still or concentrate at school, but it also tarnishes their ability to form healthy relationships. Kids who have ADHD may exhibit disruptive behaviors. Through behavior therapy, they can successfully reduce the intensity and frequency of these behavioral patterns.
For that reason, starting behavior therapy soon after the diagnosis is critical to the success of the treatment plan. There are two primary goals of behavior therapy: eliminate the problem or unwanted behaviors and strengthen positive behaviors.
Parent Training in Behavior Management
Two approaches can train parents to help their children manage ADHD successfully. These are:
- Behavior therapy with children
- Behavioral interventions in the classroom
These programs are most effective when both schools and parents can collaborate to treat the affected child.
Counseling for School-age Kids and Adolescents
AAP recommends combining behavior therapy with medication treatment for six years of age or older kids. There are many effective types of behavioral treatments, including:
- Behavioral interventions in the classroom
- Parent training in behavior management
- Organizational skills training
- Peer interventions that focus on behavior
These approaches are most effective when counselors use them together, according to the needs of the family or individual child.
Counseling and Psychotherapy of Adults with ADHD
Adults with ADHD undergo various symptoms, like those experienced by children with ADHD. The most common of these symptoms include hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. Such adults also have a history of poor academic and work performance, poor mental or physical health, substance abuse, and unstable relationships.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Although these symptoms and issues may become less intense with age, they can vary for every individual.
Here are some more symptoms that indicate ADHD in adults.
- Inability to concentrate or focus
- Excessive activity or restlessness
- Mood swings
- Lack of organizational skills
- Trouble in planning ahead
- Quick temper
- Mediocre time management skills
- Losing things easily
- Excessive talking
Many times, adult ADHD co-exists with another health disorder. A professional psychologist or therapist will carefully evaluate the symptoms and condition of the patient to assess the presence of another disorder.
Some common disorders that co-exist with ADHD include depressions, anxiety, and addiction, etc.
Adults who have ADHD may have trouble developing and maintaining long-term relationships. But the sad part is that the disorder can impair an individual to perform simple tasks such as paying bills or controlling clutter.
A therapist or counselor can help patients take control of their life through different strategies. While adopting these strategies takes some time, they go a long way to benefit adults with ADHD.
For example, staying organized at home and work is a severe challenge for people with ADHD. A counselor will recommend a realistic organizational strategy to help the patient manage ADHD at home and work. Designing organized spaces reduce anxiety and strain because the patient has easy access to everything.
That’s just one example of how adults with ADHD can benefit from counseling. In addition, a trained and expert therapist or counselor will suggest more advanced strategies for helping individuals with ADHD live life to the fullest.
Treatment methods are the same as for children and include:
- Social skills training
- Problem-solving therapy
- Talk therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Family or marriage therapy
- Lifestyle changes
- Enrolling in support groups
- Nutritional counseling
Get Professional Counseling for Managing ADHD in Grand Rapids
Whether you are looking for professional counseling services for ADHD in Grand Rapids for your kids or yourself, our team of seasoned and qualified counselors can help. Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids has been providing counseling services to children and adults with ADHD to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Contact us today, and we will be happy to help you receive a diagnosis or recommend the best therapies and strategies for living a healthier and happier life.