ADHD and Counseling – Sugar Land
Our team and clinic at ICW has worked to help individuals struggling with ADHD among many other mental and emotional health problems for more than a decade. We use evidence-based approaches to treat ADHD with a focus on helping both children and adults learn effective coping strategies and develop tailored behavioral management plans. These approaches often include self-regulation, organizational skills, stress management, mindfulness, medication management, biofeedback among other strategies to manage ADHD. We are here to help you, no matter what stage of life you might be in.
I have experienced incredible growth with the help of my counselor here. Best counseling I have ever had!
I look forward to each appointment and know that I will be treated with the utmost care, respect, and professionalism. I highly recommend this facility to others.
I've seen a dramatic change in my life since beginning my treatment at Integrated Counseling, and I will be forever grateful for my time there.
ADHD-What is it?
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a syndrome or illness that has been shown to have genetic (family) predisposition. Meaning if you have a first degree relative with ADHD, you are much more likely to have the illness yourself (40-60% of children of parents with ADHD will have the disorder). This condition affects primarily “executive functioning skills” including attention, memory, motivation, effort, impulsivity, social skills among others. Although there has been a lot of recent attention to ADHD in the media and schools, it is the most studied and diagnosed mental disorder in children and adolescents and among the first psychological conditions ever studied or described in the psychiatric literature. Some estimates put the prevalence of ADHD around 5% or around 11 million people in the US. Despite being a condition that typically remains throughout life, most can live with ADHD and lead normal productive lives.
It is not uncommon for people to confuse ADHD and ADD as different illnesses; these are however the same. Just a different way of describing the primary symptoms or complaints. An individual may suffer from primarily hyperactive/impulsivity or inattention symptoms or both. Long story short, the condition has gone by different names since the late 1700s as scientific understanding has improved and treatments have been optimized.
WHAT CAUSES ADHD?
The current literature supports genetics as the primary cause of ADHD (genes like dopamine receptor genes DRD4 and D2 and a dopamine receptor transport gene – DAT1 have been implicated) and like many other conditions, is strongly impacted or affected by our environment. Contrary to what some might say or lore on the Internet, it has not been shown in the research literature to be caused by bad parenting, video games, food additives or sugary foods. That said, these things can certainly make problems worse with ADD/ADHD so attention to parenting, diet, behavioral programs, etc. is worth attending to.
ADHD – What are the symptoms?
Taking the time to work with a qualified mental health professional to assess and diagnose ADHD is critical as it is often misdiagnosed, especially among gifted children. (Hartnett, Nelson, et al. 2004).
There are three main categories of symptoms to be aware of. These include: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Individuals suffering from this condition can miss details and make careless mistakes, have difficulty paying attention, not listen when spoken to directly, have problems with organization, loose things, and become easily distracted. Some other symptoms like fidgeting, non-stop talking, being in constant motion, blurting out answers before a question has been finished and constant interrupting are also common symptoms that can cause significant distress and impairment in functioning at home, school, or work.
Again, it is important to work with a professional as many people can have a few symptoms of any number of disorders or conditions but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the disorder or merit a diagnosis. Formal assessment usually involves getting information from multiple sources (parents, teachers, care-givers). It is also very important to have a thorough medical/neurological evaluation to rule out other medical causes, medications, or conditions that may contribute to some of the same symptoms. If you are concerned or have any questions, please reach out to one of our qualified mental health professionals for help.
What are the options for ADHD treatment?
Like many chronic physical and mental health conditions, there is no “cure” for ADHD; however, education, training, and therapy have been shown to be effective ways to treat it. According to Dr. Michelle Frank, a mixture of “cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based practices have been found to be the most effective therapeutic interventions” that are non-pharmacologic (drug based). These therapies can help to build coping skills to deal with the stress and anxiety people living with ADHD often feel. Medication, prescribed by a competent medical professional with training in treatment of psychiatric/mental health conditions is often indicated and has been shown to be very effective, especially in the initial phase of treatment as the individual is learning new coping and behavioral skills. Another promising treatment emerging in the scientific literature is the use of EEG neurofeedback for ADHD (see http://www.eeginfo.com for more information and research articles. This is a form of biofeedback that helps retrain and focus the brain to better executive functioning (focus, problem solving, critical thinking, etc.).
If you have questions or would like to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with one of our licensed therapists at ICW, please call today! We look forward to meeting with you and discussing what treatment options might be best for you and your family.