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Does ADHD Make It Hard For You To Stay On Track?

Do you suspect you or your child may be struggling with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Is it hard to keep focus on challenging projects at work or school? And do relationships suffer because inattention is mistaken for a lack of caring?

It may seem like no matter how hard your child works to get good grades or avoid getting in trouble at school, they continue to encounter difficulties. Or perhaps you’re a young adult who, despite reaching maturity and gaining independence, continues to be challenged by impulsive behavior, a short attention span, and a tendency to be easily distracted. Consequently, you may have trouble with work performance, reaching goals, or finishing what you started.

Having ADHD Could Have An Impact On Relationships

Sadly, your tendency to get distracted in the middle of conversations or frequently interrupt people might be interpreted by friends and family as tuning them out or not caring about what they have to say. As your loved ones grow increasingly frustrated while you feel misunderstood, your relationships may be stretched thin.

You may feel ashamed of your impulsive behavior, especially when it causes you to say or do something you regret later. And if you have trouble remembering your “to-do” list or tend to lose things often, life may seem unmanageable. And as the parent of a child with ADHD, you might feel frustrated and wish you could do more to help.

Fortunately, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) therapy offers children, teens, and adults the resources and treatment they need to thrive. Understanding and accepting your neurodivergence can help you harness your strengths and improve your life. 

ADHD Is Common In Children And Adults Alike

According to the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), “Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) occurs in approximately 3-8 percent of the childhood population and 4-5 percent of adults.” [1] It is thought that genetics account for 65-75 percent of all clinical cases of ADHD. [2]

While each human brain develops and functions uniquely—meaning there isn’t one “normal” roadmap it follows—in general, most of us fall into the neurotypical category. At the same time, a smaller percentage of us are neurodivergent. For those with ADHD, the neurodivergent brain can be both a blessing and a curse. While we often struggle with impulsivity, inattention, and forgetfulness, we often make up for these deficits with above-average intelligence and innate artistic talents.

Traditional School Environments Are Seldom Neurodivergent-Friendly

With its expectation of sitting still at stationary desks and paying attention to one person in the room, the institutional environment of school and higher learning was not designed with the neurodivergent brain in mind. Unfortunately, the surroundings and expectations inherent in many workplaces are no different. Sadly, children and adults with ADHD are often set up to fail in these spaces. 

If your self-esteem has been shattered due to not keeping up at school or work, you may be convinced there’s something wrong with you. But there isn’t—your brain is just hard-wired differently. While medication is the first line of treatment for ADHD, to better function in a neurotypical world, you or your child could benefit from learning behavioral skills and strategies to improve attention and help reduce impulsive behavior.

ADHD Therapy Offers The Skills You Need To Achieve Your Goals

For the neurodivergent brain, resisting urges that take you off task is more challenging. You might find that you or your child give into impulses automatically unless a huge effort is involved to delay or stop them. What’s more, making choices that benefit you in the long term, such as studying for a test or preparing for an interview, may take determination that seems elusive. 

ADHD therapy is a safe environment to learn skills and strategies that help counter the impulses that lead to adverse outcomes. We offer ADD and ADHD counseling starting with pre-teens through adults. In therapy, you will learn how to pay closer attention to the present moment, make choices about what you want to attend to and cultivate your willingness to tackle challenging tasks. Working closely with a therapist who specializes in ADHD, you can experiment without judgment, identify where your limits are, and set realistic expectations for yourself. Ultimately, you can gain insight and acceptance into your urges and behaviors in order to work on changing them. 

What To Expect In ADHD Counseling

Initially, we will help you understand your current emotions, thoughts, urges, behaviors, and physical experiences so you can better discern the most effective and beneficial choices to make. ADHD therapy is a collaborative process that identifies your goals for treatment, as well as your long-term goals and values. We will then teach you the skills that allow you to meet these goals so you can craft a life worth living. 

Mindfulness For ADHD 

With ADHD, it’s hard to focus on the present moment and sustain attention without becoming distracted, especially tuning out external stimuli when working on something that requires a lot of focus. Mindfulness helps you nonjudgmentally observe the present moment. Being able to notice what’s happening around you and how your mind is reacting to it is the first step to meeting your treatment goals. 

Mindfulness helps you choose what you want to attend to, catch your mind when it wanders—as all minds do—and then make the conscious choice to return your attention to whatever your task is. With time and practice in and out of sessions, this becomes easier to do.

Additionally, Attention Deficit Disorder counselingmay also incorporate other modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). While CBT helps you identify and challenge the common “thinking mistakes” that can get you stuck, DBT offers a variety of beneficial life skills for ADHD. For example, choosing to take the opposite action to what you feel compelled to do can help you break free from procrastination and distraction. DBT can also build up your distress tolerance so you can accept difficult situations you can’t change.

What makes the neurodivergent brain so unique is that you have been bestowed superpowers to compensate for whatever you struggle with, whether it’s impulsivity or becoming easily distracted. We feel confident that by practicing the skills learned in ADHD therapy and drawing upon your inherent strengths, you or your child can accomplish anything.

But You May Wonder Whether ADHD Therapy Is Right For You…

I’ve tried ADHD therapy before and it didn’t help me. 

Many of our clients have tried other forms of therapy and determined they weren’t well-suited for meeting their goals. We tailor ADHD treatment to your needs and meet you where you are.  CBT and DBT are skills-based therapies that can be taught at your own pace. We can also discuss what did and did not work in previous ADHD therapy to help improve your experience.

I don’t want to be in adult ADHD therapy forever.

We don’t want you to be in ADHD counseling forever, either. Our therapy for ADHD is designed to be short-term and to focus on meeting your goals by learning skills and supporting you in taking important steps in your life. Once your goals have been met, we will collaboratively agree on ending ADHD treatment.

What if it’s hard for me to stay focused throughout sessions?

Understandably, you or your child may find paying attention for stretches of time difficult. Although we offer both in-person and virtual sessions, we’ve found that in-person ADHD treatment works best, particularly for kids. We can also break up your sessions and allow you to stretch, take walks, do a quick activity, or talk about something you’d prefer for a few minutes to help you refocus. We will go at your pace to ensure you take in the information.

Neurodiversity Can Be Your Superpower

Harnessing your strengths can help you get impulsivity and inattention under control. To find out more about ADHD therapy with MindWell NYC, you can call 646-809-5440 ext. 1 or visit our consultation page to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.

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