What Is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — formerly called attention deficit disorder (ADD) — is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s ability to plan, focus and execute tasks. People with ADHD may be hyperactive, have trouble paying attention or struggle to control impulsive behaviors.
Types Of ADHD
You may be wondering, how many types of ADD/ADHD are there? There are three types of ADD / ADHD that may present themselves through different symptoms: inattentive, hyper-impulsive, and a combination of the two. Inattention can describe patients who are easily distracted during everyday activities; hyper-impulsivity can describe those who may struggle to pause or slow down during conversation, have difficulty remaining still, or often make impulsive choices regardless of consequences. It is not uncommon for those suffering from anyone of the 3 types of ADD/ADHD to be dealing with a combination of symptoms related to both inattention and hyper-impulsivity.
How is ADD/ADHD Diagnosed?
ADD/ADHD cannot be diagnosed just by looking at someone. Instead, qualified healthcare providers utilize criteria to provide that diagnosis. Some of that criteria comes directly from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V). In order for someone to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, they must present with the following:
- Symptoms must have occurred prior to 12 years old
- Symptoms are noticeable in various settings, such as at home and at school
- Symptoms must negatively impede upon an individual’s daily life
- Symptoms cannot be better explained by another mental health condition
When an individual meets those criteria, a healthcare provider will then attempt to gather more information to help make the proper ADD/ADHD diagnosis. They will consider symptoms directly related to the two types of ADD/ADHD to make this conclusion:
- Makes regular careless mistakes
- Forgets things often
- Distracted easily
- Cannot pay attention to one activity
- Does not follow through with instructions
- Has problems organizing
- Does not appear to listen when being talked to
- Difficulty waiting their turn
- Interrupts and/or intrudes in conversations
- Excessive talking
- Moves a lot during times when moving around is not appropriate
- Ignores instructions to stay in one place
- Squirms regularly
- Can’t engage in activities quietly
Healthcare professionals will talk with their patients and/or their parents to learn more about what kinds of symptoms are being displayed when at home, school, etc. They may also take note of the patient’s behavior while in the office to help get a better sense of what type of ADD/ADHD they may be experiencing.
How is ADD/ADHD Treated?
ADD/ADHD is one of the most treatable conditions there is. Since the vast majority of those who grapple with ADD/ADHD are children and adolescents, there are several different therapeutic treatments available. These therapies are often tried first prior to prescribing medication due to the young age of most patients.
Just like adults, all children have their own unique experiences with ADD/ADHD. Therefore, there are a number of Psychiatric treatments for ADD/ADHD that are able to be used so that all young individuals with this condition can learn how to better cope with it.
Some of the most common therapies utilized in the treatment of ADD/ADHD include the following:
- Behavioral therapy
- Play therapy
- Music therapy
- Support groups
- Family therapy
In many cases, therapy alone is not enough to treat ADD/ADHD in children (or adults). As a result, medications may be prescribed to help improve symptoms.
Prescription medications can make a world of difference for those with ADD/ADHD, as they can help balance out their unpredictable impulsive behaviors and improve their focus. The medications that have proven to be most effective in treating ADD/ADHD include, but are not limited to, the following:
In most cases, those with ADD / ADHD will be treated with a stimulant medication (including those listed above). Some with this mental health condition may be treated with cognition-enhancing medications like guanfacine or atomoxatine, while others may be treated with antihypertensive drugs like clonidine.
Our Mental Health Treatment for ADD/ADHD
If you or a loved one has ADHD, My Psychiatrist is here to help. Our board-certified psychiatrists and clinicians are highly trained and experienced in treating ADHD and can make a proper diagnosis.
When you get in touch with us for ADD/ADHD psychiatric treatment in South Florida, we’ll start by performing a mental health evaluation. This assessment involves asking questions about your thoughts, feelings, behaviors and mental health history to help us make a diagnosis. Once we understand your ADHD, we’ll develop a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs and goals.
You can choose between two types of ADHD psychiatric services.
ADHD Outpatient Treatment
We provide ADHD outpatient services that allow you to receive treatment from a provider at one of our South Florida offices. We have locations in South Miami, Boca Raton, Hollywood and Oakland Park, making it easy to find a facility near you.
When you choose our outpatient services, you can connect with your therapist face-to-face. Having your sessions in a doctor’s office provides a safe space free from the distractions of home, which can help you stay focused during your appointment.
ADHD Treatment Online
Gain access to ADHD treatment from the comforts of home. When you choose our telemedicine services, you’ll have live, online therapy appointments with one of our Florida-based providers.
Telemedicine services are a convenient option for many patients. You can schedule a session at a time that works best for you. Some patients also feel more at ease receiving online psychiatry for ADHD from the privacy of their homes.
Telemedicine is as effective as in-person therapy, ensuring you get the same great care you would in a traditional setting through ADHD psychiatry online.
My Psychiatrist gives you immediate access to ADHD psychiatric appointments online, so you can get the care you need as soon as possible.
Living With and Coping With ADD/ADHD
ADD/ADHD can be extremely frustrating to live with, regardless of if you are an adult or a child. That is because this particular condition can be both physically and mentally exhausting. When symptoms are not properly treated, individuals can experience uncontrollable impulsivity and hyperactivity, as well as constantly have difficulty in their lives due to misplacing their belongings, forgetting important things, struggling to stay organized, and so on. That is why getting the appropriate treatment for this condition is absolutely vital, especially for children and adolescents.
When treatment is obtained, those with ADD/ADHD can begin developing and incorporating coping skills into their lives. These coping skills can help to reduce both the presence and intensity of symptoms, helping to dramatically improve upon one’s quality of life. These skills can be learned in behavioral therapies, group therapy, support groups, and more. When combined with medication, those with ADD/ADHD can really begin to see improvement.
4 Tips for Managing Childhood ADHD
Raising a child with ADHD presents unique challenges. As a caregiver, you can help your child cope by finding them the right professional help and using various behavior strategies, such as:
- Developing routines: Work together to make a list of tasks that need to be done surrounding school, sports, chores and other responsibilities. Having a preset schedule can help them stay on task.
- Establish healthy habits: Ensure your child is getting enough sleep, eating a well-balanced diet and engaging in regular psychical activity to help them feel good and minimize their ADHD symptoms.
- Give clear directions: Give brief, short instructions that get right to the point, and try maintaining eye contact or gently touching their arm to gain their attention.
- Provide praise: Reinforce positive behaviors with praise, and focus on their strengths to boost their self-esteem.
How to Cope With Adult ADHD
If you’re an adult with ADHD, you may struggle with procrastination, have trouble meeting deadlines or behave impulsively. Try a few simple strategies to help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life:
- Stick to a schedule: Set deadlines and reminders for work assignments and personal tasks. Try using planners and calendars or making lists to help you stay on schedule.
- Keep money management simple: Set up straightforward money management and bill pay systems to avoid overspending and late payments.
- Prioritize self-care: Make sure you’re eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly.
- Practice mindfulness: Try meditating for short periods to help reduce stress, improve focus and lower your impulsivity.
How to Know When to See a Psychiatrist for ADD/ADHD
If you are concerned that you or your child is experiencing ADD/ADHD, the most important thing you can do is reach out for help. Your healthcare provider is going to want to know as much as possible about you or your child’s behaviors to help make the correct diagnosis. You should contact a psychiatrist if you or your child are displaying any or all of the following behaviors:
- Inability to sit still
- Problems staying focused
- Unable to pay attention
- Impulsive behaviors
- Constant forgetfulness
- Being regularly disorganized
- Problems waiting turns
- Interrupting constantly
When these symptoms present themselves and are difficult to control independently, seeing a psychiatrist should be a top priority. The sooner that treatment is obtained for ADD/ADHD, the better the overall outcome.