Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder.ADHD is characterized by the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring infrequently alone and symptoms starting before seven years of age.
ADHD affects about four percent of children globally and diagnosed in about eight percent of school aged children. ADHD is a chronic disorder with forty percent of those individuals diagnosed in childhood continuing to have symptoms into adulthood. Adolescents and adults with ADHD tend to develop coping mechanisms to compensate for some or all of their impairments. It is estimated that five percent of American adults live with ADHD.
ADHD is diagnosed three times more frequently in boys than in girls. ADHD management usually involves some combination of medications, behavior modifications, lifestyle changes, and counseling. Its symptoms can be difficult to differentiate from other disorders, increasing the likelihood that the diagnosis of ADHD will be missed.
Children diagnosed with ADHD have significant difficulties in adolescence. In the United States, thirty-seven percent of those with ADHD do not get a high school diploma. Also in the US, less than five percent of individuals with ADHD get a college degree compared to twenty-eight percent of the general population. Those with ADHD as children are at increased risk of a number of adverse life outcomes once they become teenagers. These include a greater risk of auto crashes, injury and higher medical expenses, earlier sexual activity, and teen pregnancy. The proportion of children meeting the diagnostic criteria for ADHD drops by about fifty percent over three years after the diagnosis. This occurs regardless of the treatments used and also occurs in untreated children with ADHD. ADHD persists into adulthood in about 30 to 50 percent of cases. Those affected are likely to develop coping mechanisms as they mature, thus compensating for their previous ADHD.
Researchers found that 60 percent of the children diagnosed with ADHD continue having symptoms well into adulthood. Many adults, however, remain untreated. Untreated adults with ADHD often have chaotic lifestyles, may appear to be disorganized and may rely on non-prescribed drugs and alcohol to get by. They often have such associated psychiatric co-morbidities as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, or a learning disability. A diagnosis of ADHD may offer adults insight into their behaviors and allow patients to become more aware and seek help with coping and treatment strategies. Obstacles that clinicians face when assessing adults who may have ADHD include developmentally inappropriate diagnostic criteria, age-related changes, comorbidities and the possibility that high intelligence or situational factors can mask ADHD.
Children and adults with ADHD often benefit from ADHD counseling. Some children and adults with ADHD may also have other conditions such as anxiety disorder or depression. In these cases, counseling may help both ADHD and the coexisting problem.
ADHD Counseling Types include:
- Behavior therapy. Teachers and parents can learn behavior-changing strategies for dealing with difficult situations. These strategies may include token reward systems and timeouts.
- Psychotherapy. This allows older children and adults with ADHD to talk about issues that bother them, explore negative behavioral patterns and learn ways to deal with their symptoms.
- Parenting skills training. This can help parents develop ways to understand and guide their child’s behavior
- Family therapy. Family therapy can help parents and siblings deal with the stress of living with someone who has ADHD.
- Social skills training. This can help children and adults learn appropriate social behaviors.
- Support groups. Support groups can offer children and adults with ADHD a network of social support, information and education.
ADHD counseling is basically a collaborative effort between you and your counselor. Our goal is to provide an open, supportive, and confidential environment for you to address the issues that are concerning you. To schedule a free email consultation, simply contact us.
When to seek ADHD Counseling
If you believe, or those around you believe, that your symptoms may be impairing your life in troubling ways, then it may be time to seek help. There are treatments available to assist you in managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life.