Improving ADHD symptoms with the help of an ADHD therapist

Therapy isn’t just for those who are having personal problems in their lives or relationships with friends and family. It’s also a helpful way for many people with mental health problems to understand the root cause of their issues and begin to develop healthier ways of managing their symptoms. Some first symptoms include aggressive behavior.

ADHD is one example of mental health disorders which can be greatly improved by seeing a therapist. Whether you’re suffering from ADHD or your child has begun to display symptoms, here’s everything you need to know about the disorder and how therapy can help.

What is ADHD?

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a mental health disorder which results in higher than average levels of hyperactive and impulsive behavior. It’s one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders and is usually first diagnosed with the help of a therapist in childhood. However, ADHD can be missed in childhood and not diagnosed until adulthood. 

Read more about what ADHD is exactly >>

The three types of ADHD

There are three distinct types of ADHD, each of which is defined by its own set of symptoms.

Predominantly Inattentive Presentation

This variant of ADHD is diagnosed when an individual finds it difficult to organize or complete a task, concentrate on details, follow directions, or pay attention during conversations. Someone with this type of ADHD gets easily distracted and often forgets basic daily routines.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation

This type of ADHD is characterized by feelings of restlessness and impulsivity. Someone with this kind of ADHD may frequently interrupt others, grab things from people and speak during inappropriate times. It’s often hard for them to wait their turn and they may have more accidents and injuries than others.

Combined Presentation

Combined presentation is diagnosed in an individual who shows symptoms for both Predominantly Inattentive Presentation and Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation. 

Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD symptoms vary extensively and can look very different in children compared to adults. While it’s common for both children and adults to have troubles focusing on tasks from time-to-time or acting impulsively, if these behaviors begin to affect everyday life, they could be symptoms of ADHD.

Here are the key symptoms of ADHD to look for: 

In children

  • Being detached when interacting with adults
  • Never playing with a toy for very long
  • Unable to keep track of things
  • Avoiding tasks which require focus
  • Endless talking
  • Frequent interrupting
  • Boundless energy levels
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Never staying still when asked

In adults

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Very limited attention spain
  • Forgetting about everyday activities
  • Disliking anything that requires focus
  • Continuous fidgeting
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive talking
  • Inability to relax

For ADHD to be diagnosed, children need to display at least six of the above symptoms for a minimum of six months. For a diagnosis to be made in adults, at least five of the symptoms must be present for a minimum of six months.

Cause of ADHD

Scientists are continuously studying possible causes and risk factors that make an individual likely to develop ADHD. By understanding what causes the disorder, professionals can find better ways to manage symptoms and reduce the chances of someone developing ADHD. 

At this current time, the definitive causes and risk factors associated with ADHD are unknown, but the latest research suggests that genetics play a very important role. In addition to genetics, scientist are studying the following as possible risk factors and causes of ADHD:

  • Low birth weight
  • Premature delivery
  • Alcohol and tobacco use while pregnant
  • Exposure to dangerous environment (e.g. lead) during pregnancy or while young
  • Brain injury

Research doesn’t indicate that ADHD is caused by excessive sugar consumption, watching too much TV, poor parenting, or social and environmental factors such as family chaos and poverty. While these factors may make ADHD symptoms worse for some individuals, they’re not the causes of the disorder.

Essential oils for ADHD

There hasn’t been enough research conducted into how essential oils affect ADHD. However, many individuals swear by them and use them daily to manage their symptoms. 

As an adult, it’s crucial to talk to your doctor before you begin using essential oils to improve your disorder. They can have some major side effects, especially if used incorrectly or used in conjunction with select medication such as quillivant xr.

It’s not advisable to use essential oils to treat ADHD in children. Very little research has been done on the impact of essential oils on children’s ADHD symptoms. Younger people may be more sensitive to the oils, resulting in more severe side effects.

Some people believe that essential oils help ADHD because they have calming, relaxing effects. These benefits may help the individual modify some of their behavioral symptoms. One study shows that some essential oil aromas affect people with ADHD through the central nervous system or endocrine system.

Here are some essential oils which may help improve ADHD symptoms:

  • Vetiver
  • Cedarwood
  • Lavender
  • Orange
  • Chamomile and ylang-ylang
  • Sandalwood
  • Frankincense
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary

Essential oils can be used in a number of different ways. They can be diluted with a carrier oil and applied topically on the skin through a massage, added to bath water, or diffused to become a fragrance. It’s vital to remember that essential oils must never be taken internally, as many of them are toxic.

When using essential oils for ADHD, most people add a few drops into a diffuser and gradually breathe in the oils. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can still use essential oils for aromatherapy. Simply place a few drops on your pillow or another absorbent material close to your nose and it will have the same effect as a diffuser.

Medication for ADHD

ADHD can also be treated using medicine, however the best results are often experienced by combining a treatment program with ADHD therapy. Medication is most commonly arranged by an ADHD specialist, such as a psychiatrist or paediatrician. However, some family doctors are also able to prescribe helpful medication.

There are five main types of medication used to treat ADHD:

  • Amphetamine
  • Methylphenidate
  • Lisdexamfetamine
  • Dexamfetamine
  • Atomoxetine

It’s important to remember that prescription medication is not a permanent cure for ADHD. Instead, it will help you or your child be less impulsive, concentrate better, feel calmer and develop new coping skills.

Some ADHD medications need to be taken every day, while others are only necessary when attending school or work. Treatment breaks are recommended to discern the effectiveness of the treatment and assess if it’s still needed.

When beginning treatment, small doses of medication are given to begin with, followed by increases over time. While building an ADHD treatment, it’s important to continue visiting your doctor or psychiatrist so they can continuously monitor your or your child’s progress.

Amphetamine, methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine and dexamfetamine all work in similar ways. They’re types of stimulants which increase brain activity, particularly in the areas which control behavior and attention. These medicines are all safe for children and adults aged 6+ to consume.

Atomoxetine works in a different way from other ADHD medicines. This medication is a selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) which increases the chemical noradrenaline in the brain, aiding concentration and helping control impulses.

Finding an ADHD psychiatrist near me

If you’ve tried various ADHD treatments and none of them have worked for you, it’s likely you’ve typed “ADHD psychiatrist near me” into a search engine at least once recently. Because ADHD is so common (it affects 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults) it’s easy for most people to find an ADHD psychiatrist nearby.

Behavioral therapy is an effective solution for many children and adults with ADHD. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can help people with ADHD develop skills to control their symptoms and manage everyday tasks. It works by teaching effective strategies to improve particular problem areas, such as impulse control, concentration, and organization.

It’s important to understand that finding a local ADHD psychiatrist won’t actually stop your or your child’s ADHD symptoms. However, it will teach you or your child skills that make it much easier to succeed at home, school, work and in relationships. Keep in mind that some therapists prefer DBT for ADHD over CBT.

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How to find an ADHD therapist near me

The first step to finding a local ADHD therapist for you or your child is to talk to your family doctor or primary care provider. They can carry out the assessment needed to make an ADHD diagnosis and advise you on your next steps.

After diagnosis, your doctor may make a referral to a specific ADHD therapist or they may give you the option to choose yourself. Here are some avenues you can explore if you get to select yourself:

  • Choose a Cyti Psychological therapist
    Online therapy is a wonderful solution for people who’ve never previously experienced therapy or those who find it uncomfortable visiting a therapist’s office. We have several psychiatrists who specialize in treating people with ADHD, both in-person from their California offices and remotely through Zoom. As the therapy sessions can be completed online, you’re not limited by being forced to choose an ADHD counselor who is close to your home or place of work/school.
  • Ask your therapist
    If you’re currently having or have ever had therapy, your therapist may be able to make you a recommendation for a suitable ADHD psychiatrist. This is particularly true if you’re the one in need of therapy, as they’ll already be familiar with your needs and requirements. One of the benefits of asking your current/previous therapist is that they’ll likely be familiar with an ADHD therapist in your local area.
  • Search online
    One of the easiest and quickest ways to find a local ADHD counselor is to search online. Try typing “ADHD therapist” and your state or city into a search engine. This will give you a great selection of local counselors, from which you can create a shortlist of the ones you think are the best fits.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. If you are in a crisis or any other person may be in danger,  these resources can provide you with immediate help:
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988
24 Hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.8255
Crisis Text Line Text TALK to 741741