ADHD Counseling for Adults:Treatment for ADHD in Adults | Neurodiversity Affirming Therapist
When most people think of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the first thing that comes to mind is young children struggling in school, unable to sit still and learn. Adults struggle too. It may not be as immediately apparent in adults as it is in children, but it is there causing issues. Adults have been dealing with it longer and have at least some strategies and ways of flying under the radar to conceal the impact ADHD has on their life.
ADHD counseling for adults has become more common. The number of adults diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been on the rise for several years.
Research shows a 36% increase in the prevalence of ADHD. Requests for treatments for adult ADHD have also risen. Studies show that over half of all children diagnosed in childhood have symptoms that carry through to adulthood. It is not surprising that adults receive an ADHD diagnosis when they learn they are not functioning at their best and seek online treatment for ADHD.
Many people find that their symptoms were overlooked by their pediatrician when they were younger, especially if they didn't demonstrate hyperactivity. Currently, the diagnosis of ADHD requires the onset of symptoms in childhood before the age of twelve. However, there is also research looking into the possibility of adult-onset.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is currently known as a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder. Neurological differences lead to differences in brain function related to pleasure and reward. It's not really a blanket deficit in the ability to pay attention. It's better to describe it as an inability to discern where to focus attention and difficulty controlling where you direct your attention.
The hyperactivity piece can be confusing and doesn't require physical activity. Internal hyperactivity can also be a symptom. The brain differences associated with ADHD also impact executive functions essential in adult life. These are the higher thinking skills, such as planning, task management, cognitive inhibition, and working memory.
The latest thinking on classifying ADHD is that it would be better classified as a neurodivergent condition based on new evidence. Treatments for adult ADHD need to shift to account for this new understanding.
We need to implement neurodiversity affirming therapy to create an accepting therapy environment where people can make changes without being judged or forced to behave in a way that doesn't fit with how they think, process, and identify. Working with a licenced therapist for ADHD adult treatment can help you discretely get the support you need. Online treatment for adult ADHD adds another layer of privacy to counseling to help you avoid stigma.
Is ADHD Considered Neurodivergent?
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has been considered a neurodevelopmental disorder for many years. However, growing evidence suggests that ADHD may be described better as a neurodivergent condition. Neurodiversity is an emerging field of study that focuses on neurologically atypical individuals.
There are several key differences between neurodevelopmental and neurodivergent conditions. Neurodevelopmental disorders are typically diagnosed in childhood, whereas neurodivergent conditions can occur at any age. People diagnosed with ADHD usually receive their diagnosis in childhood, but it is not always clear whether the symptoms are due to a developmental delay or a lifelong condition.
Neurodevelopmental disorders are typically characterized by difficulties in social and communication skills, whereas differences in thinking and perception characterize neurodivergent conditions. While neurodivergent and neurodevelopmental conditions are not the same, they share some similarities. The overlap of symptoms leads many to ask, "is ADHD considered neurodivergent?" In some cases, people with neurodivergent conditions may experience symptoms similar to those associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism or ADHD.
Neurodiversity is a term that has been around since the 1990s, but it took a while for people to understand how neurodivergent conditions differ from neurodevelopmental disorders. The neurodiversity movement has grown in popularity and is now used to describe the differences between people with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurological conditions. The neurodiversity argument focuses on how neurodivergent people are just different from others rather than ill or defective. Neurodiversity affirming therapy embraces this concept.
Asking, "Are people with ADHD neurodivergent?" has recently become a more common question. There is growing evidence to suggest ADHD is better suited as a neurodivergent condition. The new studies show that it is not a disorder or a disease but rather a difference in how the brain functions.
Researchers have found that ADHD symptoms result from differences in prefrontal cortex function. The prefrontal cortex regulates your behavior, attention, and emotion. Your prefrontal cortex and how it functions and communicates to the rest of your brain may explain symptoms such as impulsivity, difficulty making plans and following through, distractibility, forgetfulness, and hyperactivity.
ADHD tends to run in families, which suggests that it has a genetic component. It is also more common in males than females, which may be due to hormonal differences.
Brain imaging studies have shown that people with ADHD have different brain structure and function than those without ADHD. These differences include smaller brain structures in areas that play an essential part in maintaining focus and attention, reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex, and reduced connectivity between other regions of the brain.
The biological differences support the use of neurodiversity affirming therapy with a neurodiversity affirming therapist as respectful and supportive treatments for adult ADHD. Online treatment for adult ADHD allows you to meet in your own environment so you can tend to your personal needs while receiving professional help.
Treatment for ADHD in adults: Therapist for ADHD adult
Living with ADHD
When you live with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you experience life differently. The world around you seems to move at a different pace, and it can be hard to keep up. You may feel like you're always running late or the only one who doesn't know what's happening.
ADHD can make it difficult to focus on one task at a time. You may start projects but have trouble finishing them before getting pulled to a different project. Lack of focus can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed with lots of things started but nothing finished. You may also have trouble following through on commitments or keeping promises.
ADHD can impact your relationships. Listening to others or having conversations can be tricky because your mind is always racing and bouncing from subject to subject. Someone says something may trigger a thought, and your mind runs with it. In the meantime, you miss part of the conversation. You may also seem disorganized or forgetful, which can frustrate your friends and family.
Online treatment for ADHD with neurodiversity affirming therapy can make it easier for you to get the help you need with all the distractions and time management issues that seem to get in the way of regularly scheduled appointments. With ADHD treatment for adults online, you don't have to think about traffic and parking, which adds time to the process of getting to your appointment. When you don't have to get to your appointment, it's easier to be successful logging in on time.
Therapy for ADHD adults in California is easily accessible online using a private and secure HIPAA compliant platform.
Treatment for ADHD in adults: The first line of treatment for ADHD
The first thing that generally comes to mind when thinking about treatments for adult ADHD is medication. The CDC first recommends parent training for children under six, followed by child behavior management. The third intervention recommended is medication. The standard recommendation for older children is to start parent training and therapy for the child simultaneously. The adult standards are a bit different. Many people are looking for adult ADHD help without medication.
Treatment for ADHD in adults typically begins right away with a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and education.Clients often tell me they have tried several different medications and found the side effects interfered with their life more than they helped. I've also had clients who are extremely happy with their medication and use it as a foundation for coping strategies. It is a very individual choice. Everyone reacts differently to medications. Finding one that works well with your body's chemistry and lifestyle can be a long process. Some practitioners don't like to provide adult ADHD help without medication, so be sure to ask when you are interviewing therapists.
Behavioral approaches to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder do not fit with the neurodivergent affirming view. Instead, we look at reasons for behaviors that cause difficulty in social situations. We find ways to honor your experience and pay attention to sensory issues, distractions, and barriers so we can find solutions that meet your needs. Therapy is not meant to "fix" or "cure." The purpose is to help you live more comfortably without conforming to ableist norms. It is possible to find adult ADHD help without medication.
Therapy for ADHD adults in California can help you deal with your challenges and symptoms and cope with society's challenges. You can figure out what works for you to deal with impulsivity, hyperactivity, and distraction. You can develop different organizational skills and time-management techniques to ease the burden of time issues and personal interactions.
ADHD treatment for adults online can provide support for dealing with the stress and anxiety that often accompany ADHD and fitting into a neurotypical world.
Changes you can make.
Your environment is an essential consideration for dealing with ADHD symptoms. You can manipulate your environment and how you interact with it to lessen its effect on your central nervous system. You can hone in on how different environments impact your ability to function at your best. Understanding the impact environments have can help you choose where to sit in various rooms and what to bring with you to ease uncomfortable environments you can't avoid.
You can create your own environment at home where you can relax and get away from external stimulation to rest and recharge. You can determine what you need for your school environment should so it is supportive, with accommodations and modifications as required. Your workplace environment should be flexible, accommodating the need for breaks and changes in routine as needed.
During sessions, we will avoid exhausting interventions like masking and those that increase stress or exacerbate emotional issues like depression or anxiety. Instead, we will explore your perspectives and improve your abilities to stand up for what you need so you can live as your authentic self.
You can create customized boundaries for personal interactions and relationships. Clear boundaries can help you avoid confrontations and keep you from getting overstimulated or checking out. Clear expectations can go a long way to preventing conflict.
Therapy can help you be more present in the moment and strengthen your relationships in a way that works for you. If you're constantly struggling to focus on the present, it can take a toll on your relationships. There's hope. Boundaries, personalized strategies, and changes to your environment can help you be more present in the moment.
Being more present in the moment can help you strengthen your relationships in several ways. It can help you be more engaged in conversations. When you focus on the person you're talking to, they'll feel heard and valued. Being present can help you be more attuned to your partner's needs. If you can pick up on cues, you could be able to meet their needs better. Finally, paying attention to the present moment can help prevent arguments before they start. If you're able to catch yourself getting worked up about something that's not worth arguing about, you can diffuse the situation before it escalates. You can find a way to improve your relationships that works for you.
You don't have to conform to societal pressures.
Neurodivergence comes with strengths and different perspectives that have value. The typical social view where anyone who veers from the "norm" experiences an “impairment” and should be steered as close to the "norm" as possible no matter the amount of stress it puts the neurodiverse person through. Neurodivergence is not an "impairment" or "reduced function." It is a neurological difference.
You don't have to transform yourself into what society wants you to be. Instead, you can focus your transformation on what you want for your life and the version of yourself you are comfortable being. Treatment for ADHD in adults can help you with your vision for transformation.
Trying to fit yourself into the "box" society created for you can lead to some pretty uncomfortable feelings. Working to be someone you're not can cause:
reduced overall well-being
low self-esteem and self-worth
A neurodiversity affirming therapist will never try to get you to conform to pressures that encourage you to be something other than yourself.
Neurodiversity affirming treatment for ADHD: Treatment for ADHD in Adults
The neurodiversity viewpoint is an alternative to the standard medical model. From a neurodiversity-affirming perspective, people with ADHD have value, deserve respect, and we celebrate their unique qualities and insights. Your ADHD brain is a natural variation rather than a disorder that needs to be treated or cured. You are not broken.
The neurodiversity-affirming approach to treatment for ADHD in adults is about learning to live a quality life with ADHD. It starts with the belief that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and that we all need to find our own way of coping with and succeeding in the world. People with ADHD are often very creative and intelligent, and neurodiversity-affirming treatment can help them learn to harness their unique strengths. Neurodiversity-affirming therapy can be beneficial for people who have tried traditional psychotherapy, and it fell short or they did not experience benefits.
As a member of the ADHD community, I know that each of us is unique in our diagnosis. Neurodiversity can impact the kind of attention and care needed in a therapy setting. Traditional therapy settings don't usually recognize special needs that come with neurological differences. They may see you and your differences as something to fix rather than something to accommodate.
You may find that certain environments, situations, and tasks are more difficult to handle. Some challenges you may experience are:
- issues with executive functioning
- limited social skills
- difficulty focusing
- lack of self-discipline
- struggling to organize tasks
- not being flexible with plans and thought processes
- low self-esteem
ADHD treatment for adults online can support you through your challenges and help you find solutions that work for you and maintain your sense of self. Googling therapy for ADHD adults in California can help you find a therapist therapist specializing in adult ADHD and well versed in the neurodiversity affirming approach.
Finding a neurodiversity-affirming therapist
Working with neurodiverse brains is a specialty.
It can be challenging for those who don't live with neurodiversity to understand all the nuances it introduces into life. Most professionals think about medications and medication management when they think about neurodiversity. Working with a therapist specializing in adult ADHD can make a big difference in your treatment.
As a neurodiversity affirming therapist, I work differently. While I don't ignore the benefits of ADHD medications, I don't require clients to start using them to begin therapy. You can get adult ADHD help without medication.
No matter what your goals for therapy are, I will work to understand your unique neurodiversity and how it may impact your daily life. We can focus on your relationships, issues at work or school, self-care, and how you see yourself or find strategies to improve your life. Anything goes. Therapy can be highly beneficial in becoming the best version of yourself and living happily with your neurodiverse brain.
Working with a neurodiversity-affirming therapist: What to expect
We will begin by discussing what you want to get out of therapy. You can tell me why you decided therapy would be a good idea. When we know your best hopes, we can focus on the specific things you want to address. You can let me know what kind of relationship will work best for you and what you expect from me.
I find that neurodiversity lends itself well to finding solutions by looking at different perspectives, ideas, and options. Together we can find solutions to challenging problems. You can "try on" several solutions to see what fits you best and helps you manage difficult situations. I always work from a trauma-informed stance.
It isn't easy to decide to reach out for professional help. It might be helpful to know you can get treatment for ADHD online. Many people find meeting online more comfortable than meeting in an office setting. When you meet online, you choose the environment, not your counselor. Online ADHD treatment for adults gives you options that are not available in a counseling office.
Before we begin, I want to ensure I'm the right therapist for you. That's why I offer a free 15-minute consultation for us to meet before you decide. You will have a chance to ask me anything that will help you be comfortable working with me. Studies show that the therapeutic relationship is the most critical component of successful psychotherapy. For this to work for you, you must be comfortable.
Online ADHD treatment California: ADHD treatment for adults online
There are many options for treating ADHD in adults, but not all are convenient or accessible. Online therapy is an excellent option for people who want to get help for their ADHD but can't make it to traditional therapy sessions. Here are some things to know about online therapy for ADHD.
Online therapy is a convenient option for busy people. You can schedule sessions around your work and other commitments, and you don't have to worry about getting to and from appointments. You can set up a time that works best for you to talk on the phone or schedule online video sessions. Online therapy is ideal if you travel throughout California frequently, if your work hours are crazy or if you just don't have the time to make it to regular therapy appointments.
Choosing ADHD treatment for adults online also helps you find a therapist experienced in treating ADHD in adults by giving you a wider search area. It may feel natural to begin your search with "therapist for adhd adult," but that may not yield the best results. It will most likely show results from many different states. When you search for "online adhd treatment california" your chances of finding a therapist specializing in adult ADHD increases.
If you are in California, you can work with anyone licensed in the state of California. State licensing rules prohibit licensed mental health professionals from practicing across state lines without obtaining a license in another state. There is no federal licensing for mental health professionals.
ADHD treatment for adults online can be just as effective as in-person therapy. One study found that people who received treatment for their ADHD online had better outcomes than those in the control group who didn't receive treatment interventions.