Have you been diagnosed with ADHD… or think maybe you should be? Wondering where to start with treatment? There can be a lot of misconceptions out there about what exactly ADHD is. So, I want to break down some of that information to make it a bit easier to understand. I also want to touch on what therapy can do to help you manage your symptoms.
You don’t have to be diagnosed as a child, to be diagnosed as an adult. In fact, I talk to more and more people every day who are curious about whether they have ADHD as an adult, even though this went undetected throughout their life. ADHD can be developed by different biopsychosocial factors. In short form… this means a genetic predisposition that interacts with your social environment where symptoms begin to develop. ADHD can affect males and females differently, which can be one of the contributors to why women are under or misdiagnosed. Women generally portray less hyperactive symptoms and more inattentive ones (although this isn’t always the case). Symptoms can change throughout your lifespan, as well. ADHD can even look a bit like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder at first glance. Confusing… I know.
Treating ADHD Symptoms in Therapy:
Are you struggling with time-management, ability to focus, difficulty starting tasks, irritability, emotion dysregulation, relationship conflict, lack of motivation, organization, anxiety, or stress? Then it may be time to tailor psychotherapy a bit. When someone comes to me curious about whether they have ADHD… I assume they probably do. I don’t have to see a diagnosis to start working with you as though you have ADHD. All this means to me is you have an instinct you want to follow, and I will follow that instinct with you. Outside of pharmacotherapy (medication) we can start treatment in psychotherapy.
Internal guilt and shame are two big emotions I often discuss with clients. They can feel so big because they affect every part of our functioning. And when you have a predisposition to being dysregulated, big emotions can really throw you off balance. In my work, I like to start with targeting the parts of you that are really affected by shame and guilt. Then you can start to free yourself of these emotions and align yourself with your ADHD strengths. Through focusing on your strengths, providing you some education and alternative tools to work with your gift… you can begin to understand yourself in a compassionate way.
I think it’s important to talk about the good parts of ADHD. Because it isn’t all bad, I promise. You have a superpower. If I were to guess I would say you’re probably incredibly dedicated, passionate, creative, inspiring and have a gift of “thinking outside the box”. You have made it this far even though you may have been struggling more than others around you. You have likely had to work harder, adapt your learning, fit into social norms without being detected and learned to regulate yourself daily. That takes a lot of work and you are a very strong person with the ability to do all that!
If you want to know more about how psychotherapy can help treat your ADHD symptoms send me an email or give me a call. I am happy to direct you to other resources and treatments that can work for you, even outside of counselling!