ADHD symptoms probably provided a huge advantage when knights would fight for the honor of their king in epic battles using only their gleaming armor and trusty sword. But, battles are no longer fought one on one with a sword and ‘honor’ is too often given through high grades, prestigious awards and the amount of work a person can get done in a day. This type of “honor” is not very conducive to some individuals with ADHD. However, ADHD wires the brain to work differently than non-attention deficit people, which can lead to a huge advantage in certain situations. Management of ADHD symptoms is important, however, it’s also important to work to prevent the onset of anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses that sometimes accompany ADHD. Support will also help to ease the apparent disconnect between an ADHD mind and the world we live in. The counselors at Colorado Springs Thriveworks are here to bridge that gap.
What is ADHD?
Technically speaking it is ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’. Besides being a mouthful that probably raises more questions than it answers, the name barely touches on what ADHD is and what symptoms can occur. There are many stereotypical symptoms that people think of when thinking of ADHD:
- Frequently on the move
- Making decisions quickly, being impulsive
- Short attention span
Although these stereotypes have some truth, it doesn’t give us a full understanding. ADHD can actually be split into three subcategories:
- Primarily Inattentive
- Primarily Hyperactive-Impulsive
Primarily Hyperactive-Impulsive is often times the easiest to diagnose and is most commonly found in males. Primarily Inattentive type typically doesn’t have the hyperactive or impulsive behaviors. People with this type may struggle with focus, forgetfulness and listening. Interestingly, women are more likely to have this type of ADHD, and since it is harder to diagnose, many females will not receive the support and treatment needed. Finally, the combined type of ADHD is simply the symptoms of both versions brought together yielding both the downsides and the gifts that come with having ADHD. Whichever type a person has, it’s important to acknowledge the symptoms and struggles and find strategies and support. This will help to prevent any adverse symptoms of ADHD, such as low self-worth or shame which can accompany symptoms of ADHD. The good news is that the symptoms of ADHD can be managed, revealing the inner strengths and abilities of a person who has ADHD. The team at Colorado Springs Thriveworks will work with you to meet this goal.
ADHD can affect anyone- children, adults, males and females. Each person will have different symptoms, so this is not an all-inclusive list. The best way to find out if you or a loved one has ADHD is to have a professional evaluation.
ADHD Symptoms (includes symptoms from all three types):
- Easily distracted by outside stimuli (sounds, conversations, movement)
- Has difficulty organizing and prioritizing
- Is reluctant to engage in problems that require sustained mental work
- Does not seem to pay attention when being talked to
- Isn’t able to sustain attention for long periods of time
- Fails to pay close attention to detail
- Fidgets and squirms when forced to sit
- Has difficulty remaining quiet when engaging in a leisure activity
- Interrupts others
- Has a hard time waiting for their turn
The biggest discretion comes between adults and children. ADHD in adults can manifest itself in harder to distinguish symptoms such has time management difficulties and impulsivity – such as your credit card bill is less representative of the groceries bought and more telling of the many boots you have stacked in your closet that are rarely worn. Also, intense mood swings may mask ADHD with other symptoms like feeling depressed, lacking of motivation and even being hyper focused. Hyper focus is when an ADHD mind swings 180 on a person and they become so enthralled in the task at hand that the rest of the world doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Differences between males and females exist too. There is clearly much complexity in an ADHD diagnosis and treatment. With each case being unique, Colorado Springs Thriveworks strives to create a personal connection with individuals and work with their symptoms directly.
It’s a common misconception that too much screen time, sugar or bad parenting can lead to ADHD. This is simply not true. There is strong evidence for it being genetic, but we aren’t positive. Limiting screen time and eating a healthy diet can be good steps in preventing strong ADHD symptoms. Our counselors at Thriveworks will coach you in these changes and others – finding strategies that will work for you or your loved one. Other, more nerdy approaches, include behavioral therapy (teaches children to reign in their impulses and train the parent to act in a way that will benefit the parent-child relationship) or skills-based intervention (such as alternative learning techniques). Also, positive feedback is essential for children who too often receive criticisms and punishments for their behavior.
Colorado Springs Thriveworks will also help you navigate the school system and can advise your child’s teacher on how best to interact with him or her. (Daily report cards- where good behavior at school is rewarded at home- often times work).
When ADHD symptoms aren’t recognized, there can be negative results on an individual’s life, including their emotional and mental states. When the symptoms are properly treated, people with ADHD can thrive with their uniquely wired brain. Their brain can ‘see’ things others can’t. For example, many pro mountain bikers have ADHD. They find that it helps them to quickly react to stimuli and adjust their course. They can quickly notice different paths to get around an obstacle, which may remain unnoticed by their competitors.
Colorado Springs Thriveworks ADHD counseling can help you on your path to living a happier and more fulfilling life. Call us today: 719-266-3919