ADHD Treatment

Young frustrated man solving his mental problems while having therapy session with psychologist

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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So many of us are familiar with the terminology ADHD – short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. And yet so few actually know what ADHD encompasses. But if you have been diagnosed with or know someone diagnosed with ADHD, you understand just how disruptive this neurological disorder can be. Despite the prevalence of myths, ADHD is a serious mental disorder. Yet it is one that can often be improved and/or alleviated through psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

ADHD – also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (or ADD) in some instances – can cause a wide range of behavioral and emotional problems – several of which can negatively affect your academic, career, and personal life. However, many of these symptoms can also be present in other neurological disorders, and patients may also have ADHD on top of other neurological disorders. Therefore, proper and meaningful ADHD treatment requires a thorough and experienced evaluation by a mental health care professional.

As with any mental health issue, it is important for you to know that ADHD is not a sign of weakness or failure. It is a very real condition that could require medical help to control, and it is a condition that is becoming more and more prevalent. In fact, ADHD has become a national health crisis that continues to grow – with more than 3 million diagnosed cases in the United States each year.

Child dazed while looking at screen

How ADHD Works

When a healthy person concentrates, their body automatically increases blood flow to certain areas of the brain, led by the prefrontal cortex – a region that aids in concentration, planning, and determination. Those who suffer from ADHD see a decrease of blood flow to those areas of the brain when trying to concentrate. ADHD also decreases blood flow to other areas of the brain that can help control stable emotions, such as the basal ganglia.

The results are a wide range of symptoms that can have a detrimental effect on several aspects of one’s life. There are, in fact, seven recognized types of ADHD that are distinct. However, almost all ADHD sufferers experience these basic symptoms:

  • Short attention span
  • Easily distracted
  • Procrastination
  • Organization problems
  • Lack of persistence
  • Impulsive (sometimes dangerously so)

That said, there are some distinct differences between each type of ADHD, and you should be aware of how they work and their effects on the individual.

7 Types of ADHD

Classic ADHD

This type of ADHD also may be evident at an early age – even as a baby. In children it shows up in a restless, noisy, talkative, impulsive, and demanding nature. Symptoms of classic ADHD include inattentiveness, easy distraction, disorganization, impulsiveness, poor listening, carelessness, forgetfulness, restlessness (constant fidgeting), noisiness, constant talking.

Inattentive ADHD

The second most common type of ADHD, this version seems almost an inverse of classic ADHD, as sufferers are usually quiet, introverted, and daydream. However, it is often missed in diagnoses because the children that have it do not require constant attention. Symptoms of inattentive ADHD include trouble focusing, easy distraction, disorganization, poor listening, tendency to lose things, carelessness, forgetfulness, excessive daydreaming, boredom, apathy.

Overfocused ADD

Instead of jumping around and being unable to focus on one thing, people with overfocused ADHD can only focus on one thing – at the expense of everything else in their lives. This includes focusing exclusively on negative thought patterns and behaviors. This type of ADHD is common amongst substance abusers and symptoms include most of the core symptoms of classic ADHD – although they may or not may not be hyperactive. Other signs include excessive or senseless worrying, argumentativeness, compulsive behavior, inflexibility, tendency to hold grudges, and a need for control.

Temporal Lobe ADHD

As this effects the brain’s temporal lobe, people with this type of ADHD have classic ADHD symptoms, along with problems in learning, memory, mood instability, aggression, and temper (even violence). It can even result from head injuries. Aside from classic symptoms, signs of temporal lobe ADHD include memory problems, auditory processing issues, irritability, quick temper, spaciness or confusion, baseless panic and/or fear, visual changes (seeing shadows or objects changing shape), déjà vu, sensitivity or mild paranoia, headaches or abdominal pain of uncertain origin, dark thoughts (even suicidal or homicidal) and learning disabilities.

Limbic ADHD

The limbic area of the brain/brain stem controls your emotions. Therefore, those with limbic ADHD may experience continued and intense emotional sensations – including depression, so it must be thoroughly explored to determine if depression is caused by ADHD or is a separate issue. Apart from the classic symptoms of ADHD, limbic ADHD includes moodiness, negativity, low energy, frequent irritability, tendency for social isolation, hopelessness and helplessness, feelings of guilt, sleep changes, and low self-esteem.

Ring of Fire ADHD

This type of ADHD sees high activity occurring throughout the brain. This can lead to the sufferer feeling overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions that never end. Ring of fire ADHD may sometimes be the result of an allergic reaction, infection, or inflammation in the brain. It can also be related to bipolar disorder and studies show that many who suffer from ring of fire ADHD also suffer from bipolar disorder. Symptoms of ring of fire ADHD include classic attention deficit symptoms, as well as sensitivity to noise, light, or touch, patterned moodiness, inflexibility, hostility, selfishness, unpredictable behavior, periods of impulsiveness, fast talking, racing thoughts, and irritability.

Anxious ADHD

This particular mental disorder means that the part of your brain (the basal ganglia, located right at the center of the brain, near the base) that determines your resting emotional/physical state is overstimulated. This generally results in an anxious or nervous disposition. Along with core symptoms of ADHD, sufferers of anxious ADHD may also display physical stress symptoms (headaches, stomach pain, jaw pain), not know how to react in social settings, be excessively nervous about public speaking, be an eternal pessimist, avoid conflict, and have an irrational fear of being judged.

kids participating in group therapy

How Traditional Psychiatry Works to Treat ADHD

There are a whole range of reasons as to why someone may suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, including genetics, birth trauma, jaundice, brain infections, or head trauma. In fact, scientists believe that alcohol or drug use during pregnancy may produce a higher likelihood of ADHD. However, the alarming surge of ADHD diagnoses in the United States – for instance, 2003-2011 saw an increase of 2 million known cases amongst this nation’s children – leads scientists to believe that other modern factors also play a role in the development ADHD, specifically in children.

Some of those factors may include a lack of physical exertion during the school day, mass media consumption and the constant presence of screen time. Modern diets of processed foods and environmental toxins (the presence of pesticides and increased metals and plastics in the environment) may also be triggers.

Whatever the reason, ADHD is very real and very prevalent – and simply ignoring the problem or hoping that your child will grow out of it or that you can overcome it on your own will not help the sufferer. In fact, statistics show that children with ADHD are much more likely to drop out of high school (three times more likely than non-ADHD sufferers), and that more than half of ADHD sufferers will also abuse drugs or alcohol. ADHD can also lead to depression as well as negatively affect your job or personal life.

However, it is also quite possible to live a happy, healthy life with ADHD. That is why psychiatry has developed several treatment methods, so that you may find the therapy path that works best for your situation. That may include psychotherapy, anger management counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, applied behavioral analysis, and/or a support group. There are also prescription medications that have proven invaluable for some patients, including stimulants, cognition-enhancers, and antihypertensives, and a qualified and experienced psychiatrist can help you arrive at the treatment plan that makes the most sense for your situation.

How Bridgepoint Works to Help You

It is important to seek professional medical help to counter the effects of ADHD. And Bridgepoint clinicians have years of experience in diagnosing and treating the entire spectrum of ADHD, producing lasting and meaningful results for sufferers of all ages and from all walks of life.

We understand how this mental health affliction can take control of you or your loved one’s life, but we also understand how to help you counter it and make you feel at ease during the treatment process.

For years, there has been an unfair stigma attached to mental health concerns, including ADHD. That is why we want you to know that we are here for you and that you are not any less of a person because you or a loved one suffers from ADHD. The most important thing is for you to seek treatment.

Get Help Today for ADHD and Change Your Life

ADHD does not fix itself, and you do not grow out of it. Therefore, you need someone with experience and training to help you or your loved one assess the situation and determine how to best respond and gain control.

If you are concerned about ADHD, please do not hesitate to call our offices today and schedule an appointment with our caring professionals. We will ensure that you get the assistance and mental health support that you need. We can set up an in-office appointment or talk with you over a tele-health visit to get started.

Contact us at our offices in Smyrna between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 770-858-5377.

Visit Our Resources Page

Bridgepoint encourages clinicians, patients, and their loved ones to research new methodologies and techniques to improve mental health and wellbeing. To assist with your own learning, we’ve put together a variety of resources on a variety of topics – including genomics – to help you on your mental health journey.

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