It’s no secret that ADHD can be a difficult disorder to manage. Many people with ADHD struggle with everyday things, such as staying organised or focusing on a task. For some, these challenges can be debilitating. In recent years, psychologists have been working to develop new methods of treatment for ADHD. Some of these treatments include medication and therapy. Here’s more about the role that psychologists can play in helping people with ADHD manage their disorder.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder characterised by difficulty with concentration, paying attention, and controlling one’s impulses. ADHD affects people of all ages, including adults. People with ADHD often experience challenges in school or work, as well as difficulty staying organised and maintaining healthy relationships.
The number of people being diagnosed with ADHD has been increasing in recent years. This is because doctors are now better able to diagnose the disorder and because people are more aware of its symptoms. There is greater awareness that diagnosing children early on improves their outcomes. Adults who may never have had the opportunity to be diagnosed as children are now being diagnosed more frequently too.
Medication is one of the most common treatments for ADHD and typically involves stimulants such as methylphenidate, such as Ritalin, or amphetamines, such as Adderall. These medications help increase levels of focus and attention, reduce impulsivity, and improve overall functioning. Non-stimulant medications such as atomoxetine and Strattera may also be prescribed. There are also some over-the-counter medications that help people, such as herbal supplements and essential oils.
While medication is an important part of treating ADHD, psychology can also play a key role in helping people manage their disorders. Psychologists are trained to help individuals understand their disorder and learn coping skills to manage it. Here are some of the ways psychologists might be able to help people with ADHD.
First, psychologists are trained to diagnose people with ADHD. As previously mentioned, early diagnosis can have a significant impact on outcomes for people with ADHD. Psychologists are skilled at evaluating an individual’s symptoms and assessing whether they fit the criteria for ADHD. If you’re not sure if you have ADHD or not, it might be worth speaking to a psychologist to see what they think.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
Psychologists may use CBT to help people with ADHD better understand their thoughts and behaviours related to their disorder. CBT helps people recognise how their thoughts affect their behaviour and provides strategies for managing their symptoms. CBT has been used for many years for people with a range of issues. It has been found to be especially helpful for those with ADHD.
Behavioural therapy can help people with ADHD develop strategies for managing their symptoms. For example, setting goals and breaking them down into small, achievable steps It can also help people with ADHD learn how to self-monitor their behaviour, identify triggers for their symptoms, and develop strategies to manage those triggers.
Psychologists can also provide psychoeducation to help individuals and their families better understand the disorder. This includes information about how ADHD affects functioning, available therapies and treatments, and tips for managing the disorder.
Psychologists may also use talking therapies such as counselling or psychotherapy to help people with ADHD. Talking therapies can help individuals process their feelings and emotions related to the disorder. It can help people develop better coping strategies and self-care practices.
Supporting family members of ADHD sufferers
Psychologists can also provide support for family members of people with ADHD. This could include helping them to understand the disorder and how it affects their loved one, teaching them strategies for managing their family member’s symptoms, and providing guidance on how to create an environment that is supportive and nurturing.
Psychologists can help people with ADHD in a variety of ways. By combining medication, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and psychoeducation, people can develop the skills and strategies they need to better manage their disorder. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with ADHD, talk to a mental health professional about how they can help.
If you suspect you have ADHD but have never been diagnosed, here is a list of symptoms and behaviours you may be experiencing:
- Trouble focusing, whether it’s on tasks at work or even everyday things you need to get done at home
- Hyperactivity, where you find it difficult to sit still and may talk or move around excessively
- Impulsivity is when you struggle to think before acting and can make decisions or carry out actions without considering the consequences.
- Difficulty paying attention, which can cause problems with completing tasks and understanding instructions
- Difficulty remembering things or staying organized, which can lead to problems at work or school
- Often being overwhelmed by tasks or feeling like you’re not able to keep up
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s worth speaking to a psychologist to help you determine whether or not you have ADHD. A psychologist can also provide the support and guidance to help you manage your symptoms and lead a more fulfilling life.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.