ADD/ADHD Treatment Options: Therapy and Counseling

What Is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)?

Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder. There are many ADD/ADHD treatment options available that will be examined and explained on this page.

Those with ADD/ADHD can exhibit hyperactivity, difficulty with attention and focus, and impulsive behavior.

These behaviors can cause challenges at school or work and often interfere with relationships and social development. According to the CDC, roughly 6-16% of all children ages 3-17 throughout the United States have received an ADD/ADHD diagnosis.

Although girls also have ADD/ADHD, boys are three times more likely to be diagnosed because they are more likely to exhibit hyperactivity symptoms. A 2016 national parent survey found that 64% of children with ADD/ADHD had at least one other mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder.

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Symptoms of ADD/ADHD

A man with lots of thoughts in his head. He is in need of ADD/ADHD treatment.

ADD/ADHD can have various symptoms depending on the individual and the type of ADD/ADHD they have. The symptoms of ADD/ADHD also overlap with other mental health conditions such as anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder.

It’s crucial to discover the underlying cause of the symptom(s) since treatment for each of these conditions is different. Symptoms of ADD/ADHD can include:

  • Distractibility – Individuals with ADD/ADHD tend to be more aware of their environment than others. This awareness makes them easily distracted by outside stimuli and causes them to become more easily distracted from a task.
  • Poor impulse control – An individual might speak before thinking, leading to inappropriateness or misunderstanding.
  • Short attention span for routine tasks – The need for stimulation or added excitement to stay engaged with monotonous tasks such as chores or homework.
  • Procrastination – Tasks or projects get done at the last minute or even after they are due. Doing well in school or at work can be difficult.
  • Difficulty staying committed to plans or goals – Many people with ADD/ADHD have issues with doing what they committed to, as they struggle with impulse control and sticking to a plan.
  • Disorganization – Most individuals with ADD/ADHD struggle with time management and organizing their physical spaces. They tend to arrive late, turn in work late, and struggle with the organization of time and space.

Causes of ADD/ADHD

Some potential genetic causes and unavoidable risk factors can cause ADD/ADHD. A child with a parent who has ADD/ADHD is 35% more likely to have this condition as well. Other possible causes include birth trauma, maternal smoking, maternal alcohol or drug use, low birth weight, brain infections, jaundice, or head injury.

While these risk factors can play a role in an individual developing ADD/ADHD symptoms, there is also the possibility of an increase in diagnoses because of many unhealthy influences in today’s modern world that can negatively affect brain function:

  • A diet filled with primarily processed food, preservatives, and artificial dyes
  • Spending too much time on screens and playing video games
  • Exposure to too many environmental toxins

Consequences of not treating ADD/ADHD

If not adequately treated, ADD/ADHD symptoms can persist throughout the individual’s life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 4.4% of adults have ADD/ADHD. While most symptoms of ADD/ADHD emerge during childhood, they can continue to affect someone well into adulthood.

This condition can often be overlooked in females because they are less likely to exhibit disruptive hyperactivity behavior than males with ADHD. Untreated ADD/ADHD can result in a higher likelihood of:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and self-harm
  • Substance abuse and misuse
  • Incarceration
  • Divorce and other relationship issues
  • Unemployment and work problems
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Obesity and overall poor physical/mental health
  • Dropping out of school
  • Poor financial decisions

The 7 Types of ADD/ADHD

Classic ADD (ADHD) is characterized by distracted thinking and being disorganized.

ADD/ADHD is not a one-size-fits-all diagnosis, as there are several types of ADD/ADHD, each requiring a different treatment. There are typically positive results seen when following an ADD/ADHD treatment plan, regardless of which type an individual has.

Dr. Daniel G. Amen is a well-known psychiatrist who has been studying ADD/ADHD for more than two decades. His newer research findings include the discovery of 7 different types of ADD/ADHD.

While this information can be helpful, It is essential to consult a mental health professional for an official diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan that will be most effective for the individual. According to Dr. Amen, the 7 types of ADD/ADHD are as follows:

Type 1: Classic ADD (ADHD)

General symptoms of Individuals with Classic ADD (ADHD):

  • Inattentive
  • Distractible
  • Disorganized
  • Hyperactive
  • Restless
  • Impulsive

Type 2: Inattentive ADD

General symptoms of individuals with Inattentive ADD:

  • Inattentive
  • Easily distracted
  • Disorganized
  • Often described as space cadets, daydreamers, and couch potatoes
  • Not hyperactive

Type 3: Overfocused ADD

General symptoms of individuals with Overfocused ADD:

  • Inattentive
  • Have trouble shifting attention
  • Frequently get stuck in loops of negative thoughts or behaviors
  • Obsessive
  • Worry excessively
  • Inflexible
  • Have frequent oppositional and argumentative behavior
  • May or may not be hyperactive

Type 4: Temporal Lobe ADD

General symptoms of individuals with Temporal Lobe ADD:

  • Inattentive
  • Easily distracted
  • Disorganized
  • Irritable
  • Have a short fuse
  • Struggle with dark thoughts and mood instability
  • Potential to struggle with learning disabilities
  • May or may not be hyperactive

Type 5: Limbic ADD

General symptoms of individuals with Limbic ADD:

  • Inattentive
  • Easily distracted
  • Disorganized
  • Have chronic low-grade sadness or negativity
  • Low energy
  • Tend to be more isolated socially
  • Have frequent feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
  • May or may not be hyperactive

Type 6: Ring of Fire ADD

General symptoms of individuals with Ring of Fire ADD:

  • Inattentive
  • Easily distracted
  • Irritable
  • Overly sensitive
  • Cyclic moodiness
  • Oppositional
  • May or may not be hyperactive

Type 7: Anxious ADD

General symptoms of individuals with Anxious ADD:

  • Inattentive
  • Easily distracted
  • Disorganized
  • Anxious
  • Tense
  • Nervous
  • Predicts the worst
  • Social anxiety
  • Gets anxious with timed tests
  • Often has physical stress symptoms, such as headaches and gastrointestinal symptoms
  • May or may not be hyperactive

ADD/ADHD Treatment

While there is no cure for ADD/ADHD, various treatments are available to help manage symptoms and improve one’s ability to function in daily life.

Treatment for ADD/ADHD typically involves medications, behavioral therapy, holistic methods such as diet and exercise, or a combination of several treatments. The treatment chosen depends on the individual’s symptoms and needs.

Medications for ADD/ADHD treatment

Medications such as psychostimulants, antidepressants, or non-stimulant drugs can help to treat ADD/ADHD. These medications can assist an individual with inattentive type ADD/ADHD to stay more easily focused and on task. As with any medication, there are common side effects such as dizziness, loss of appetite, upset stomach, and more. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you notice any usual symptoms.

Behavioral therapy for ADHD & ADD treatment

While medication can work at a neurological level to help regulate the brain, behavioral therapy addresses specific problem behaviors. Behavioral therapy typically involves structuring time, establishing predictable routines and expectations, and rewarding progress. A trained therapist can work with you through behavioral therapy for ADHD/ADD to help adjust your behavior and successfully manage symptoms.

Diet and physical exercise for ADD/ADHD treatment

A healthy, lower carb diet is often prescribed for patients who are recovering from ADD/ADHD

Nutrition and lifestyle changes can be an excellent supplement to medication and behavioral therapy in treating ADD/ADHD symptoms. Many individuals find that regular physical exercise can improve focus and emotional regulation. A nutritional diet with fewer artificial ingredients, added sugars, salt, and fried foods can also help to manage behaviors and improve focus. Maintaining adequate nutrition through healthy foods and eating regular meals can be a valuable tool in managing symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

ADD/ADHD Treatment & Counseling Options in Arizona

There are many options for ADD/ADHD treatment in Phoenix at Mental Health Center of America. Our therapists use evidence-based treatment options for ADD/ADHD to help you or your loved one feel better and create a plan to improve ADD/ADHD symptoms. Treatment options offered include:

  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Relational Therapy
  • EMDR
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Trauma-Focused Therapy
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions

Our therapists collaborate with each client to choose an approach to treatment based on your individual needs and goals and create a custom treatment plan with you. Treatment options for ADD/ADHD may incorporate individual counseling, medication, and neurofeedback.

ADD/ADHD treatment may also integrate self-care and wellness activities such as cold exposure, heat exposure, mindfulness, and physical activity. Individuals who commit to ADD/ADHD treatment learn how to manage their symptoms and enjoy daily life.

Find Counseling for ADD/ADHD Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona

You don’t have to deal with ADD/ADHD symptoms alone. At Mental Health Center of America, we provide specialized ADD/ADHD treatment shown to improve daily functioning and quality of life. We are proud to be a top provider of Arizona mental health services and have counselors in Phoenix ready to help you improve your ADD/ADHD symptoms today.

If you or your child struggle with poor impulse control, distraction, or any other symptoms of ADD/ADHD, you may want to consider discussing these concerns with ​a ​mental health professional. Schedule your appointment today to start your healing journey.

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Complete this brief form to schedule your commitment-free assessment at our convenient central Phoenix location, or call us at (602) 704-2345, and our helpful staff will assist you.