What You Need To Know About Telehealth And Occupational Therapy For ADHD

There are many ways to deliver therapy services based on sound scientific research and methodologies. In particular, telehealth makes treatments and other forms of therapy, like occupational therapy, accessible.

Telehealth, or telemedicine, is not a new field of practice. In fact, it has been around since the early 20th century. And with the help of advancements in science and technology, it continues to grow. The role of telehealth became more relevant nowadays as we continue to face COVID-19. But how does telehealth practice benefit people diagnosed with ADHD specifically? Read on to learn more!

Source: pexels.com

Telehealth Connects Therapy And Technology

Think about how technology and the internet have changed our lives. An unimaginable wealth of information is literally at our fingertips. We can use messaging applications to connect with people who are thousands of miles away. We’re also able to purchase our favorite products and services within the comforts of our homes. And the benefits of technology don’t stop here. With it, we can now access reliable healthcare much more conveniently.

Telehealth is a prime example of this. For example, you can use the internet to schedule an online video consultation with your doctor. After your consultation, they might give you an online prescription of the medication you need to take. And since you’re already on the internet, you can also buy your prescribed meds online. 

Furthermore, technology can help us monitor and learn more about our health. If you need to keep track of your weight and diet, there’s an app for that. If you need to set reminders for your next appointment, you can use an online calendar. And if you want to learn more about ADHD or other health concerns, you can know more by reading about them on reliable websites.

Nearly all branches of healthcare can make use of telehealth. Currently, it is a more convenient and safer alternative to an in-person consultation. Therapy services for people with ADHD are no exception. But how do these therapy services work?

Source: pexels.com

Occupational Therapy Through Telemedicine

Occupational therapy (OT) helps individuals with ADHD conduct their daily activities efficiently and effectively. Occupational therapists use different strategies to support patients in fulfilling their physical, social, and psychological functioning.

Occupational therapists are known for their creativity and resourcefulness. So, there is no doubt telemedicine can be maximized as a platform for OT. Furthermore, those who avail of this service can explore and use what is most effective for them.

OT can be conducted online through live video conferencing using different platforms. Patients directly interact with their therapists through these platforms. In some cases, such as with little kids with ADHD, a parent or guardian will be present in the therapy session. With parent coaching, an adult will implement the activities planned by the therapist while receiving direct feedback.

OT For ADHD

The main goal of OT is to develop skills you need in everyday life. And OT for ADHD can come in different forms, depending on the areas that the patient is struggling with. With this in mind, a therapist will design programs and activities that address the following:

Sensory Regulation 

People with ADHD have a harder time obtaining and understanding information from their surroundings. They can get distracted easily by bright colors and loud sounds. Some move around and fidget a lot. An occupational therapist can design a sensory regulation program to manage these senses. They’ll even structure it into fun and engaging obstacle courses for parents to try on their kids.

Focus, Attention, Impulsivity, Frustration Tolerance, and Following Instructions

Being able to focus, wait, and follow instructions are essential foundation skills for higher learning. When a person gets easily distracted or cannot remain still, these work behaviors will affect their participation in daily tasks. Several techniques help target these difficulties—from modifying the environment to managing behavior.

Self-Monitoring and Cognitive Skills

As we grow older, tasks become more complex and challenging. We need to develop skills like controlling emotions, initiating and completing tasks, prioritizing and organizing time for work, and more. OT can help teach skills and strategies to control and monitor behavior. For example, occupational therapists can help people with ADHD make their schedules and priority lists.

Motor Skills

Because they lack focus, some people with ADHD may have deficits in some motor skills. How could they get better in writing or in feeding themselves if they can’t sit still? An occupational therapist will teach patients to do these tasks effectively.

Social Skills

We use our social skills to communicate and interact with other people around us. However, people with ADHD may find it hard to pay attention to others. It may be more difficult as well because of the virtual distance in telehealth. Luckily, occupational therapists can find opportunities to improve social skills through online group therapy sessions and social skills training.

Source: pexels.com

An occupational therapist may also make recommendations for your tasks and activities. For example, they may coordinate with your school to adapt activities for a child or teen with ADHD. 

Modifications in the environment can also be beneficial for people with ADHD. Many OT techniques focus on minimizing distractions and keeping the home organized. Checklists and routines are helpful as well for anyone having difficulty with planning and organizing. These can be monitored by your therapist remotely.

The Final Verdict

Every kind of therapy has its pros and cons. Telehealth may require the need for a suitable gadget and reliable internet connection. But why do families and people with ADHD still prefer telehealth? The following are just some reasons why:

  • Telehealth allows for social distancing in the time of a pandemic.
  • Sessions can be more convenient and comfortable at home.
  • Real-life situations can be managed in the home setting.
  • Parents become more involved during the session.
  • Other people may interact better over a screen, such as teens or young adults.
  • It can cut travel time and expenses and may lead to a more consistent follow-through.

No ADHD case is the same. Each person will experience a different set of difficulties and challenges. And so, an individualized therapy program with a multi-modal approach is helpful for anyone struggling with ADHD. 

Meanwhile, times like this call for innovative ways to make therapy more accessible and efficient for anyone who needs help and rehabilitation. Studies supporting the effectiveness of teletherapy for ADHD continue to grow through the years. And through teletherapy, different methods of therapy, like OT, can be utilized and accessed more easily by more people. 

Practicing Mindful Therapy For Adults With ADHD

For many long years, ADHD was thought of as a condition that only affected younger children. It wasn’t common to diagnose adults with the same disorder since the symptoms are often mistaken for laziness or a lack of motivation. Adults with ADHD struggle to balance their work and personal lives.

However, not all is lost. Many studies suggest that mindful meditation is proven to aid adults with ADHD. Mindful therapy seeks to develop a healthy approach to sustaining focus and attention more consciously.

What Is Mindful Therapy?

Mindful therapy helps you gain control of your attention using meditative techniques. Meditation allows you to practice your ability to focus and concentrate in the present. Through meditation, you can be more aware of your focus and listen to your inner voice.

Mindful therapy is a great natural remedy that can help relieve symptoms of ADHD. You do not need to buy specific medications or drive to your therapist’s office, as you can practice mindfulness by yourself. But mindful therapy is not all about relaxation and de-stressing. It helps us exercise our minds to shift attention to the present moment. Many people practice mindfulness in their everyday lives, as it helps them maintain their concentration on activities.

Understanding Adult ADHD

Most adults with ADHD are only diagnosed later on in life. Around 4% of American adults are often diagnosed later. Unsurprisingly, it is because they have mildly visible symptoms. However, adult ADHD can severely debilitate their work, life, and relationships. Many symptoms of ADHD can also be found with other conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety. This makes it difficult to diagnose ADHD among adults.

Source: pexels.com

While ADHD can affect people of all backgrounds, individuals of marginalized communities have a higher diagnosis rate. Many people from socioeconomically disadvantaged statuses are more likely to have ADHD due to factors that can negatively affect their upbringings, such as poverty and housing.

ADHD can be hard enough for many, as it can go undetected for years past adolescence. 

Some signs and symptoms of untreated adult ADHD include: 

  • impulse control
  • poor time management
  • a short temper
  • inability to cope with stress, and
  • hyperactivity.

Adults with ADHD may also struggle with multitasking and managing their time. This can strain their relationships with other people, as many don’t see this behavior as a brain disorder. Many adults with ADHD are often called lazy or childish, and it can negatively impact their feelings.

Many therapists would recommend meditation on top of prescribed medication. When your muscles are weak, you want to train to be stronger. The brain is a muscle that needs strength training. This is how mindful activities can work to improve your brain functions. 

Applying Mindful Therapy 

Using mindful therapy plans will help you practice shifting your attention to your inner thoughts. Mindful therapy activities include thinking in the present moment and accepting wandering thoughts with no judgment. 

Source: pexels.com

Therapy works by paying attention to how your mind wanders and lingers on a specific thought or topic. Tracing back your thoughts is like a guided meditation. Mindful therapy is all about introspection and self-reflection with a state of awareness.

This kind of therapy can also help improve your relationship with stress. Adults with ADHD are prone to procrastinating and putting off work due to an executive function problem or an attention problem. Because of that, many can feel negatively about their work habits and, in turn, feel incompetent and lacking.

Studies have shown that mindful therapy is linked to helping patients with ADHD self-regulate and have emotional control. This means that it could improve your attention span and impulses, a common problem that most adults with ADHD struggle with. Below are some activities that your therapist may include in your treatment plan.

Common Mindful Therapy Techniques 

Taking a walk is a common solution to regulating your ADHD through light exercise. Even a light jog can do wonders for your brain, as it can ease stress and improve executive function. Other benefits of regular exercise include reducing your risk of diabetes and maintaining a healthy weight.

Source: pexels.com

Yoga is also proven to be effective in treatment. This helps patients with ADHD by focusing inward and concentrating on their position and breathing. It helps you stay present at the moment. Other health benefits to practicing yoga include improved sleep, flexibility, and cardiovascular function.

Another technique is to use guided imagery exercises. This exercise can improve your self-awareness by using your imagination. Color breathing is a guided imagery exercise where you visualize the color and assign it a positive feeling. This exercise is known to improve stress levels and emotional well-being.

Mindful therapy also makes use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT.  It is rooted in eastern meditative practices that center on mindfulness and emotional regulation. DBT is mainly used to treat patients with borderline personality disorder, anxiety, or PTSD. 

Conclusion

Proper mental health care means basic accessibility for everyone of all backgrounds. Since mindful therapy does not really cost a single cent, many adults coming from marginalized communities can effectively practice mindfulness. 

Practicing mindful therapy can be a great strategy to add on top of your other treatment plans. It includes exercising your attention and control over your thoughts to help you self-regulate. It also allows you to understand better yourself and how your ADHD can affect your lifestyle.

While more disadvantaged groups are prone to ADHD, it’s important to recognize that everyone needs basic access to proper mental health care. Many therapists recommend mindful therapy on top of medications, as it is a natural remedy that anyone can practice anytime, anywhere.

There are plenty of ways to practice mindfulness. Making a conscious effort to succeed in life compounds over time. Discuss the best possible treatment plans for you with your therapist. Mindful therapy may not be for everyone, but many studies support this therapeutic plan, as it positively impacts many people.

How Counseling Can Help Address Impulsive Behavior

Experiencing impulsivity might be overwhelming. Some people would shift their attention from one stimulus to another without addressing the other. And this is a result of the continuous stimulation of the brain. Responding without much forethought, you might also find yourself in this situation.

Engaging in unexpected and risky behavior is a characteristic of impulsivity. Often, a triggering event or an uncontrollable urge may cause this behavior. The lack of thought about the consequences of these actions can lead to long-term adverse effects.

Source: pexels.com

People with chronic impulsivity can experience significant social and psychological problems. This is particularly observable in people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They may be unable to concentrate at work leading to financial incapacity. Some may also have difficulties in building stable relationships. 

Seeking a counselor can address symptoms of impulsivity in ADHD, including: 

  • Having extreme impatience
  • Showing signs of dangerous recklessness
  • Exhibiting temper outbursts
  • Uncontrollable blurting of phrases
  • Unnecessary interrupting of conversations

Counseling can help you in the differential diagnosis and planning for effective therapy. A counselor may provide you various coping strategies to address your impulsive behavior.

Determining A Diagnosis

Attending a counseling session can determine an underlying mental health disorder. As mentioned earlier, impulsive behaviors are primarily associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

A counselor can evaluate signs of shifting of interests of a person with ADHD. They can also identify the lack of control and concentration problems.

Impulsive behaviors are also common in people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). People with BPD exhibit significant impairment of personality and interpersonal functioning. They also have a poor self-image and lack of empathy due to hypersensitivity.

A counselor can also provide differential diagnoses for impulsive behaviors, including:

  • Bipolar mania
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Binge-eating behaviors 

Often, the lack of control over impulsive behavior can affect different aspects of a person’s life. 

For instance, it might affect professional life, be it work or school. In some cases, ADHD makes someone distracted and forgetful. So, eventually, this condition can lead to missed deadlines for either school or work.

Impulsive behavior may also lead to impulsive spending. If you are unable to control your buying tendencies, you might end up with a wiped bank account. In worst cases, you might even have debt or insufficient credit due to uncontrollable spending. Without proper help and support, it might lead to serious financial problems. 

Those with impulsive behavior are also prone to emotional outbursts. ADHD can make it difficult for the brain to control reactions to different situations. In situations of annoyance, anger, or frustration, it can lead to unwanted outbursts. Eventually, it may lead to further conflicts and damaged relationships.

But note that people with ADHD may have an emotional fit in any situation and with other people. It is not exclusive to family and friends. 

Source: pexels.com

Consulting a counselor with clinical expertise can help prevent misdiagnosis of these disorders. 

Familiarizing And Planning For Triggers

A counselor can help in managing impulsive behavior by identifying triggers. Understanding the behavioral, biological, and cognitive determinants is crucial for your treatment plan.

First, your counselor will help you identify your triggers and familiarize yourself with them. Your counselor will then conduct a psychological assessment to determine your stressors. 

Secondly, your counselor will plan an approach involving your treatment. Your counselor may use cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). 

In CBT, the main focus will be determining your behavioral triggers. Your counselor will also help you learn healthy coping mechanisms. Meanwhile, in DBT, your counselor will emphasize improving your cognitive process. In this case, reflection may help you acknowledge the consequences of your actions.

 During sessions, your counselor will teach you methods of avoiding impulsive thoughts. This can help you to function better throughout your day.

Additionally, your counselor can also offer you pharmacological options for treating your impulsivity. However, using psychotropic medication to control impulsive behavior requires extensive research. Moreover, it needs further studies to explore its benefits and risks better.

Providing Coping Strategies

Seeing a counselor or a therapist can help you cope better with your impulsive behaviors. As mentioned earlier, your counselor can help you identify and address your triggers.

Some coping strategies include conducting a chain analysis. During the session, your counselor will check your thought process and emotions. It involves before and after impulsive behavior. 

Your counselor will help you reflect on the harmful consequences of your actions. In this process, you will replace impulsive behavior with healthy habits. This behavior modification can cause a long-term positive effect in your life.

Your counselor may also encourage you to join support groups for battling impulsivity. A supportive group may boost your confidence and may further develop your self-awareness.

Lastly, counseling may provide you alternative meditation techniques for controlling your impulsive behaviors. Meditation can regulate your mood and distract you from your impulsive thoughts.

Conclusion

Source: pexels.com

Taming your impulses is difficult, especially when you struggle with a mental disorder. Impulsive behavior is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. And it may have self-destructive consequences. 

Visiting a counselor can help you in identifying your symptoms. They can also diagnose conditions such as bipolar personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and others. Moreover, your counselor can conduct a clinical assessment to help you acknowledge your triggers.

Continuous counseling sessions may also help you in mitigating your stressors. Consult a  counselor with the appropriate expertise on managing your impulsive behavior.

Your counselor may offer you CBT or DBT as your therapy. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, you can focus on assessing your triggers. While in DTB, you can focus on behavioral modification. So, your counselor can also track your progress and setbacks.

Finally, a counseling session may also provide alternative coping strategies. This is essential to help you further manage your impulsive behavior. Other treatments may include oral medication, meditation, and joining social support groups.

Seeking professional help is essential. If you or someone you know shows signs of impulsivity, we encourage you to seek help from a mental health professional.

Medication And Meditation: Which Form Of Counseling Is Best For ADHD

Have you ever been around a child or teenager who couldn’t focus and settle down? That no matter when or where they are, they seem to be full of energy? These children may be among many who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Their interesting quirks become apparent in schools with a lot of rules to follow. To help them fit in, we need to find the best ways to manage their symptoms through medication or meditation.

ADHD As A Behavioral Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common condition diagnosed in 8.4% of children in the U.S. Adults can be affected by this condition, and boys are more likely than girls to develop it. ADHD is a mental condition that manifests as a behavioral disorder.

Source: pexels.com

Its cause has remained unknown to this day. It usually manifests in one of the three types: inattentive, impulsive/ hyperactive, and combined type.

With these symptoms, treatment for ADHD ranges from prescription medication to behavioral intervention, meditation, or counseling. ADHD is a neurobiological disorder, usually not managed with medication alone.

For holistic care and well-being, counseling and other therapeutic techniques are proven effective in managing symptoms of ADHD.

Medications For People With ADHD 

Consultation with a psychiatrist is essential for proper diagnosis and prescription medication. Psychiatrists may provide counseling through the prescription of effective drugs.

It is necessary to find a suitable type of medication depending on ADHD symptoms and severity. Through medication and counseling, people with ADHD may better cope with their condition.

Opting for medications to manage ADHD is not an easy decision to make. Talking to your psychiatrist will help you make the best choice. Some people only need to take their medicines during parts of the day, at a specific dosage.

For example, some children with ADHD only need medication during school hours, on weekdays. There are two general types of medications for ADHD: stimulants and non-stimulants.

      Stimulants

These drugs are the most common and initial prescription for the management of ADHD. Stimulants target the levels of brain chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine.

These chemicals, when increased, can improve concentration or focus. Some of the most common Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulants are amphetamine-based stimulants, dextromethamphetamine, dextromethylphenidate, and methylphenidate.

      Non-stimulants

When stimulants are ineffective or causing undesirable side effects, your doctor may prescribe non-stimulants. These drugs work through a different method or pathway in the brain. They also increase the level of essential chemicals such as norepinephrine. Examples are atomoxetine, antidepressants, guanfacine, and clonidine.

One of the most significant advantages of taking prescription medication is its relatively immediate effect and steady supply. But like any other drug, the pitfalls of ADHD medications are their side effects.

The most common side effects are headache, upset stomach, trouble sleeping, nervousness, irritability, dry mouth, and weight loss. Talking to a counselor may also help in coping with the challenges of taking prescription drugs. 

Source: pixabay.com

Psychotherapy and Counseling For People With ADHD  

One of the mainstay treatments for ADHD is psychotherapy and counseling. Since ADHD has no known cure, it is best to find ways to cope with the condition.

Different aspects of life can be impaired by ADHD, from school to family. Through counseling, people with ADHD may fully engage in their daily activities and improve their quality of life.

Counseling is beneficial for both people with ADHD and their caregivers or loved ones. Psychotherapy and other similar strategies are not just a tool for prevention. Counseling and meditation techniques also serve as a guide when bouts of impulsivity or inattention take place.

      Behavioral Therapy

Behavior therapy is a common intervention for children. To help manage their behavior, adults at home or in the school determine triggers and develop strategies.

The child can monitor their behaviors and responses to certain situations. Then, they can learn more suitable answers and receive rewards for good behavior. Counseling is geared towards the parents as well as teachers, if possible.

      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) And Other Forms Of Psychotherapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on changing the person’s thoughts affecting their behavior. Psychotherapy usually works on a person’s perspective when faced with a challenging situation.

This form of counseling is beneficial when ADHD has comorbidities of anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. It can promote well-being by targeting thought and behavior patterns.

      Support And Group Counseling

Child-rearing alone is hard, and most parents will find it extra challenging to raise a child with ADHD. Connecting with others going through the same ordeal, while facilitated by a counselor, can ease the burden of any caregiver.

Besides emotional support, group counseling creates a safe space for sharing experiences, concerns, and ideas. Parents do not only support but also learn from each other.

      Mindfulness-Based Therapy

At the heart of meditation is mindfulness, such as yoga, tai chi, and other mindfulness-based strategies. With training and practice, people with ADHD can apply this technique, especially during stressful situations.

It allows anyone to be more aware of their inner self and regulate their emotions. At first, a counselor may guide you until you learn to practice mindfulness on your own. 

The good thing about counseling and meditation is their flexibility to be used in various situations. It helps parents and children prepare for the future, no matter what awaits them.

Because they have gained the ability to cope, people with ADHD can adapt better as they grow. Though results are not instant, dependence on drugs is minimized together with its side effects.

Source: pexels.com

Which Is Better For ADHD: Medications Or Meditations?

There is no one size fits all intervention for ADHD. We must remember, each child is different. Our bodies respond differently to every stimulus, so what works for one may not be effective for another. The key is to be open to new knowledge and to keep on trying.

We cannot expect a perfect solution right away. A child grows, and we must always flow with change. The path to healing is a continuous process, especially for a lifelong condition like ADHD.

Upon trying these different techniques, you may also realize there is no one “best” treatment for ADHD. It would be up to the parents to find out what is best for their child. It can be a combination of different strategies.

These treatments are to complement and not compete with each other. Counselors can work together on different strategies to help your child.

Anxiety And ADHD: Frequently Asked Questions

 

Source: rawpixel.com

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and anxiety are two distinct conditions, but they come as one package for many parents. About 50% of individuals with ADHD also suffer from an anxiety disorder. Are you one of them? If you are, then the appropriate treatment can alleviate your ADHD symptoms and improve your anxious emotions, too.

Anxiety And ADHD

When you are diagnosed with anxiety with ADHD, it might make your ADHD symptoms really worse, like feeling helpless or having difficulty focusing. However, anxiety disorder is also accompanied by its own gamut of symptoms, such as fatigue, nervousness, permanent worries about various things, difficulty sleeping, and constant stress. Anxiety disorder is simply not only being anxious at times. It’s a mental condition that can tremendously impact your work, home, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Sometimes, anxiety emerges due to ADHD. When this happens, your concerns are often about how little or how much you can get done. You are overwhelmed or anxious by your ADHD. When you have existing anxiety on top of your hyperactivity disorder, your concerns are typically about many things and not merely connected to your ADHD battles.

Consult with your doctor so that both of you can find solutions as to where your anxieties are coming from. Some queries that may arise are:

  • Do you have difficulty controlling your anxieties?
  • Are you worried about things that are not logical at all?
  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Is there an upcoming situation or event that you’re expecting?
  • Do you have a family history of anxiety?

Source: rawpixel.com

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do ADHD and anxiety go together? 

Anxiety disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder recurrently happen together. These problems can merely present together, or ADHD may cause the development of anxiety. People who have ADHD frequently have other mental health illnesses. 

Can ADHD cause depression and anxiety? 

People with ADHD have a higher likelihood of having anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, or other co-existing psychiatric disorders. About half of those with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder. 

Can anxiety symptoms mimic ADHD? 

The best action to take to ensure a proper diagnosis is a complete evaluation done by a neuropsychologist. Anxiety can present as ADHD for many kids, so it is vital to have your kid assessed to identify the best treatment plan. 

What is the best medication for ADHD and anxiety? 

Though you are taking these meds for your anxiety, they may also work effectively for your ADHD. Doctors may also prescribe these antidepressants:

  • Imipramine
  • Bupropion
  • Nortriptyline
  • Desipramine
  • Venlafaxine 

How a person with ADHD thinks?

When individuals with ADHD feel like they’re undependable, they start to doubt their skills and are ashamed of being unaccountable. Energy and mood levels also fluctuate with discrepancies of challenge and interest. 

Can treating ADHD help with anxiety? 

If ADHD is causing anxiety, managing the ADHD may decrease the anxiety. HOWEVER, if ADHD does not cause anxiety, your doctor will identify the accurate medications for you. A health professional may opt to manage the anxiety initially, while another may manage both problems altogether. 

Can ADHD make you suicidal?

Young individuals with ADHD are at a higher risk of suicide because of their being more impulsive, which is actually a common symptom of ADHD. This can cause these individuals to move quickly from having suicidal thoughts to having suicidal behaviors during periods of distress. 

What happens when ADHD goes untreated? 

Individuals with untreated ADHD have a higher likelihood of going through a divorce. You’re also more inclined to be insecure or depressed. These risky behaviors, which can hurt teens with unmanaged ADHD, also impact adults going through the same experience. 

Can ADHD make anxiety worse? 

When you experience anxiety and ADHD, it may worsen some symptoms of ADHD, like trouble focusing and restlessness. However, anxiety disorders also come with their own range of constant tension and worry about many things. 

Is playing with your hair a sign of anxiety? 

If you play with your hair when you feel tense or deal with anxious invasive thoughts, this habit may indicate an anxiety disorder.

What can ADHD be mistaken for? 

Conditions that appear to be ADHD include autism, bipolar disorder, hearing disabilities, sensory processing disorders, sleep disorders, and decreased blood sugar. 

What ADHD looks like in adults?

In adult individuals, the primary qualities of ADHD may include trouble paying attention, restlessness, and impulsiveness. Symptoms can present as mild to severe. A lot of adults with ADHD do not know that they have it. They know that daily activity can be challenging for them. 

Does ADHD medication change your personality? 

So long as the medication dose is correctly administered, it should not affect the person’s personality. But what it does is control his hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. An extremely high dosage could briefly modify personality, which may cause the person to be unusually withdrawn or silent.

What is the best antidepressant for ADHD?

Tofranil, Pamelor, and Norpramin are tricyclic antidepressants proven beneficial in kids and adults diagnosed with ADHD. However, they may cause some negative side effects like constipation, urinary issues, and dry mouth.

Does caffeine help ADHD?

A few studies have proven that caffeine can increase concentrations for individuals with ADHD. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it mimics several stronger stimulants used to manage ADHD, like amphetamine medicines. Nevertheless, caffeine alone is not as effective as prescription medicines.

Source: rawpixel.com

Treatment

Dealing with anxiety and ADHD together may be daunting because some medicines for ADHD can aggravate anxiety symptoms. Both these disorders require treatment, though. Your doctor or mental health provider may opt to concentrate first on the disorder that gravely affects the quality of your life. He may also give recommendations for methods to deal with the other disorder.

Your doctor or mental health provider’s treatments could recommend anxiety and ADHD relaxation techniques, prescription medications, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

You must be honest and open with your mental health provider about all the symptoms you are experiencing. This is particularly true if you believe that you have two disorders simultaneously. Your doctor should know if there are one or more treatments that worsen one or both of your disorders. This will definitely help them customize your treatment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Fidget Toys For Anxiety

Fidgeting or making small movements, especially among hands and feet, can represent an entirely uncomfortable feeling. Though at some point, fidgeting is not that all bad. Sometimes, it simply means that some kids’ minds are wandering during a task. Often, people recognize it as a behavior that allows the physical aspects to stay with reality despite daydreaming.

Source: pixabay.com

There are many reasons why children fidget. Usually, parents can conclude that it is all because of boredom. However, fidgeting can be a sign of stress, anxiety, nervousness, impatience, attention problems, and hyperactivity in kids in relation to mental health. In some unfortunate cases, serious fidgeting can be a symptom of ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

But what does fidgeting have to do with a mental illness? Let’s try and unravel some information about the relationship of fidgeting to mental health through these frequently asked questions.

Do fidget toys help anxiety?

Yes. Fidget toys help reduce stress and anxiety. The toys also help improve learning skills, enhance agility, improve motor skills, improve body and mind coordination, and help develop small hands muscles. Fidget toys are appropriately recommended for all ages and genders.

But as a reminder, fidget toys should be at the use of your kids when they are at home. It would be nice not to bring it to school as it can cause a distraction and annoyance to the class. Be mindful that even if fidgeting toys help with your kids’ ADHD, you still need to encourage them not to stick with it and work on daily mind and body exercises instead.

 Do squishies help with anxiety? 

Squishies are popular among children and some teens. But despite being on the trendy list, they do not intend to burn off nervous energy, severe stress, and anxiety. Usually, squishies are more likely to ease the sense of loneliness and emptiness in a touch-deprived era.

But on the lighter note, squishies help with anxiety as it provides children with an external focus and interest on things with shape, texture, color, and sounds. It draws attention that helps take away a huge portion of children’s stress and anxiety to go back to a relaxed state easily.

 What are good things to fidget with? 

Some of the things you can fidget with are bumpy shells, sponges, pencil grips, unfilled balloons, silly putty, and play dough. You can also use bull or alligator clips, chair rubber bands, kneaded erasers, origami packing away toys, and sand-filled stress balls.

What are the best fidget toys for anxiety?

Some of the best fidget toys for anxiety that your children might enjoy are Toysmith Deluxe Sand Garden, SPOLEY Desk Sculpture, COFFLED Newton’s Cradle, Coogan Mini Rubik’s Cube, JOEYANK Infinity Cube, Möbii Fidget Ball, Tom’s Fidgets Flippy Chain, and Toysmith Euler’s Disk.

 Do fidget toys help with ADHD? 

Fidgets are commonly known as specific toys for kids with ADHD. However, these toys are can also be useful for those children with sensory disorders or those on the autism spectrum. But the hat is not all. Fidgets are also a stress reliever that many adults and people without disabilities often use. That is because it helps with focus, concentration, and learning.

Source: pixabay.com

 Why do ADHD patients fidget? 

Patients with ADHD fidget their hands or use fidgeting toys to increase the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine levels. The specially-designed toys play a key role in sharpening focus, increasing attention, and increase interest and challenge.

 Is fidgeting a sign of ADHD? 

Hyper-activeness combined may produce the following behaviors: excessive talking, interrupting others often, experiencing difficulty with quiet activities, and squirming and fidgeting. Though that does not entirely cause many problems, some people find it unbearable and hard to control.

Apparently, fidgeting is what most children with ADHD do to maintain attention and do better with their tasks.

 How a person with ADHD thinks? 

Usually, people with ADHD often believe that they are undependable. That explains why they often doubt their talents and abilities. They see themselves as incapable of providing help to others since they think they can’t help themselves. Sadly, they feel the shame of being unreliable.

Sometimes, they tend to be chaotic and out of control. The kids often seem careless, selfish, and impulsive. They always experience an overwhelming feeling that hinders them from expressing themselves, needing someone, and taking care of their health.

 Is fidgeting a sign of anxiety? 

Some behavioral manifestation of anxiety includes irritability. In physical aspects, it shows symptoms such as trembling and shaking. On the other hand, fidgeting may be more obvious to observe since it can also mean something unrelated to anxiety, particularly boredom. However, often, fidgeting is a behavior that helps lower levels of stress hormones and prepares muscles for a sudden exertion.

 Is ADHD a form of anxiety? 

The symptoms of mild to severe cases of anxiety are slightly different from those of ADHD. That is because ADHD symptoms primarily involve issues with hyperactivity, concentration, and focus. Anxiety symptoms, on the other hand, have a lot to do with unwarranted fear and nervousness. But it is also necessary to realize that even though each mental health condition has unique symptoms, sometimes both of them mirror each other.

Source: pixabay.com

Takeaway

Fidgeting is part of human nature. Even before a couple of years back then, it was seen as an implication of boredom. At some point, the behavior is not generally related to ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or any mental health conditions. In fact, science already considers it as a way to keep the brain focused and active. When the brain is stressed, people do not pay attention to things resulting in less learning. That explains the cognitive load theory, where the brain tends to shut down when there is too much going on in it. If you think your children’s fidgeting might have been related to mental health issues, it would be best to consult a medical expert as soon as possible. Never assume things and always rely on professional diagnosis to help your kids.

 

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Around one in every five people is going through a psychological problem.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

cognitive behavior
Source: pixabay.com

The most common mental illnesses today include ADHD, anxiety, and depression. These are medical conditions that diminish an individual’s psychological functions, which affect their daily lives. 

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is common among children. It normally manifests as an above-average level of hyperactivity and brings about impulsive behaviors. Children with ADHD have a much harder time focusing on a single task. If it persists, it can, later on, affect school performance and relationships.

But thanks to medical science and technology, mental health care and treatment have immensely improved over the years. Many victims and sufferers can now function normally, live their lives more freely, and cope with daily stress.

Among the many measures in treating mental disorders, psychotherapy has played a significant role in improving people’s state of mind.

Psychotherapy is an umbrella term for different types of psychological therapies. These therapies include the guidance and advice of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental healthcare providers.

Also called talk therapy, people learn to “talk” with their chosen physician in psychotherapy. As they open up to their psychiatrist, it helps them understand their feelings and thoughts better.

In the early days, psychotherapies’ methods come in two categories: cognitive and behavioral. Cognitive focused more on an individual’s memories, decision-making, and ability to respond to situations or things. On the other hand, behavioral aims to understand behavior and the consequences that come with it. 

Now, there is a type of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is an abbreviation for cognitive-behavioral therapy. Basically, it is a blend of the two methods in the past. A short-term psychological treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy looks at an individual’s cognitions, emotions, and behavioral patterns and the connection between these three.

For more information about Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, read our FAQs below:

How do I find a CBT therapist?

You can find a cognitive-behavioral therapist by asking for recommendations from people you trust, like your friends and family. It would also help to ask for a referral from your physician. You can also try calling your local community clinic for mental health and ask for a cognitive behavior therapist.

How much does CBT cost?

It typically costs $100 or more for one CBT session, which means you have to shell out $1,200 for 12 sessions. Ask your insurance provider if therapy is covered under your policy. But you can also consider federal-funded health centers that offer CBT on a pay-what-you-can basis.

How long does it take for CBT to work?

Like all therapy methods, CBT’s success largely depends on your willingness to commit to the treatment process. A typical CBT treatment spans 12-20 weekly sessions lasting about 30-60 minutes each.

If you want quick results, you may consider intensive CBT, which compresses those appointments into a week-long or even a one-day session.

What does CBT involve?

As a talk therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy involves several discussions with your therapist to help you respond to a problem that may appear overwhelming at the onset. Your therapist will start by helping you analyze the thoughts and feelings behind your behaviors.

The therapist will also guide you to form healthier coping mechanisms that you are expected to practice daily. You may also be asked to complete assignments so that you maintain the habit even after treatment.

Can I do CBT on my own?

For individuals with mild to moderate depression and anxiety, it may be possible to do self-CBT. If barriers prevent you from working with a therapist, you can try journaling to break down your thoughts and emotions into identifiable components.

From then, you may be able to recognize and reframe cognitive distortions. You can also enroll in online courses complete with worksheets for a more structured CBT experience.

What is an example of CBT?

Cognitive restructuring is one CBT technique that can equip just about anyone with the skills to respond to a stressful situation. If you experience overwhelming negative feelings, a CBT therapist may advise you to take a step back, analyze your mood, and recognize the thoughts that automatically cross your mind before making a snap judgment.

You may then look for evidence to support or challenge those thoughts until you’ve calmed down enough to assess the situation from a clearer headspace.

cognitive behavioral therapy patient
Source: pixabay.com

What is CBT for anxiety?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is particularly useful in treating anxiety. It helps stop a negative thought loop by breaking a problem into distinct components (thoughts, emotions, actions) to make it seem more manageable. Your therapist will help you identify and replace cognitive distortions with more compassionate ways of thinking.

Over time, these positive affirmations will hopefully improve how you feel and inform the way you act.

Can CB Therapy make anxiety worse?

Some patients may feel vulnerable or uncomfortable during a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy session due to the heavy introspection and reflection. In some cases, you might feel frustration or anger, but that’s often part of the treatment process. As the saying goes, it usually gets worse before it gets better.

Are therapists worth it?

There are some thoughts or beliefs that we pick up through life, not knowing that they may not be useful anymore, and a therapist has the clinical expertise to bring those to the surface. You don’t need to have anxiety or depression to consider therapy. CBT is useful for individuals who are seeking healthier ways to respond to life’s problems.

What is the success rate of CB Therapy?

According to a study, CBT is 50-75% effective in helping individuals with depression and anxiety provided they commit to 5-15 sessions. Although it can help treat a wide range of mental disorders, CBT is often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include medications.

Does CB Therapy really work?

Research shows that CBT can work as well as or even slightly better than antidepressants in treating patients with depression and anxiety. However, it’s not for everyone, nor is it a one-size-fits-all solution. As mentioned, the treatment’s success depends on your commitment to change, and change often takes time.

What is the difference between cognitive therapy and CBT?

By treading the line between cognitive and behavioral therapy, CBT analyzes the interaction between a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. CBT proponents would argue that cognitive distortions may result in not just emotional consequences but also self-destructive behaviors.

cognitive behavioral therapy
Source: pixabay.com

Cognitive and behavioral methods have given way to the most prevalent psychological treatment approach—cognitive-behavioral therapy. There have been countless studies on CBT’s effectiveness regarding a variety of psychological disorders, including ADHD.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helped many individuals address emotional and behavioral challenges brought upon by their mental illnesses. The therapy’s different attributes include problem-solving, coping mechanisms, and self-control, among many others.

CBT identifies and alters every maladaptive thought and negative emotion. People start developing a better sense of themselves and their environment.

Psychiatrists and psychologists recommend a minimum of 12 weeks or 12 sessions in CB therapy. Each session lasts about an hour or two. It is a relatively short treatment approach in comparison with other psychotherapy types.

But the length of the process still depends on the patient’s case. Some commit to it in a shorter amount of time, while others take longer, even up to 20 weeks. 

Despite the impressive help of CBT in the field of mental health, it is without any risk. As many doctors and medical researchers have said, psychotherapy is not harmless.

It comes with side effects, disadvantages, and risks like any other treatment. For CBT, there were signs of relapse, commitment issues, and emotional distraught during sessions.

Nonetheless, CB Therapy has brought many patients a tremendous positive impact on their lives. If you have been struggling with a mental disorder, you may want to talk to the nearest therapy in your area regarding CBT’s influence.

Top Online Games Good For The Mental Health Of Children With ADHD

Admit or not, many parents get pissed when their kid glues to a video game for hours. However, you don’t have to fret anymore. With the help of the top online games good for their mental health, you can now maximize this time for your child with ADHD. Read the list below for the best ones. 

Captain’s LogAhoy! 

Do you want your kid to be a captain of his own? This game will enable their distractions and impulses to take over their lives. Through this game, it can help them better manage these impulses. 

Are you aware that therapists maximized Captain’s LogAhoy! to guide children with ADHD to overcome their behavioral challenges since 1985? What’s good about this app is it’s pretty accessible. It’s downloadable in 50 states in the USA as well as in other 50 countries. 

Basically, this online game is a computerized mental game. They work with whatever medium, whether it is a keyboard, mouse, game controller, or joystick. So, how does this work?

Source: unsplash.com

All your child has to do is to come up with the activity that answers his basic needs. You may explore the options of addressing the control in impulsive tendencies and improving the attention span.

There will be several specific games that will pop on the screen, and it is your job as the user to choose the best game that will satisfy your child’s needs. Keep in mind that the games here are designed for those with ADHD through cognitive challenges. 

Some games available include a memory game that requires the user to match the cards based on its facing. It gives extra difficulty since your child won’t be able to advance to the next level without finishing the previous one.  

Amazing Alex

Amazing Alex has gameplay, which incorporates the concept of physics into the challenges. The game prompts the users to maximize the objects they can find in a particular room (e.g., pencils, balls, bookshelves, etc.) to innovate a chain reaction.

The chain reaction per level has a different goal. It may be to send a ball to the other side or close the door without having to walk over there. 

This activity is perfect for those with ADHD. For one, it gives them a mental boost since they have to think critically to achieve the desired domino effect. However, this cause must be supported by planning skills, awareness, and organization – primary skills that most individuals with ADHD struggle with. 

SmartDriver 3

Source: unsplash.com

Most people with ADHD find it challenging to drive a car. Aside from that, it’s also dangerous for them to control one given the inattentive and impulsive behavior. It is why parents need to train their kids at a young age to address focus and concentration. SmartDriver 3 is a helpful tool in doing this. 

So, how does the game work? Primarily, there will be a USB steering wheel and pedal that you must plug into your gaming computer. This game is an effective practice since they get to drive in a pretend environment. 

Keep in mind that this activity is not a driving simulator. Instead of driving the car from the inside perspective, they will do this outside of the vehicle.

Part of the mechanics of the game includes the need to follow the rules of the road. For instance, they have to be aware of the traffic lights, heed speed limits, and follow the road signs around them. 

Tap Tap Revenge Tour

Source: flickr.com

Memory skills are an excellent aspect for a parent with ADHD to explore. It is a challenging area for them since kids with ADHD respond instantly and too readily to an outside stimulus. Therefore, committing and retaining material in their memories may be hard for them. Tap Tap Revenge Tour is an activity that will help develop this skill. 

In the game, the users should follow visual cues on their screens. They have to tap these in sync with the beats of their chosen songs. Keep in mind that there are also tapping patterns that they have to follow. Therefore, the kids have to internalize fully to keep up with the requirements of the game. 

This game is not only useful in terms of addressing memory skills, but it’s also an effective way to improve motor skills. It also enhances an individual’s focus and concentration on a singular task. 

Gardens Of Time

Gardens of Time is a puzzle Facebook adventure where the users must time travel to the past to restore order in the present. The way to do this is to navigate several different worlds while looking for necessary items hidden there.

They must look for one object at a time. Players must also ensure that they won’t lose focus as they explore the various locations they are in. 

As mentioned, most children with ADHD struggle with focus and concentration, which is the game’s goal. The producers aim for their users to develop these abilities, which they can use in their everyday lives.

Aside from this, the game also promotes problem-solving skills. At each level, they encounter new puzzles and different game goals to achieve. 

There are various ways to address the shortcomings of a person with ADHD. However, one exciting way to do it for children is to gamify everything so you can pique their interest. It would be more effective for them if their hearts and minds are into what they are doing. 

 

Fun Indoor Family Activities For Children With ADHD

Source: wallpaperflare.com

Children with ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have qualities that make it difficult for them to concentrate. As a result, it becomes challenging for them to participate in activities that require focus and following directions.

The key is to come up with an action that will not trigger their symptoms. With that said, parents have to make an effort to tailor family activities to their children.

Depending on the ADHD type your child has, it’s crucial to provide a suitable extracurricular. For instance, a hyperactive or impulsive child may find it hard to handle activities that involve a lot of waiting time. On the other hand, for an inattentive child, chaotic team activities and indoor sports may come off overwhelming.

With that, here are some ideas for fun indoor family activities that you can introduce to children with ADHD:

Aerobic Activities

Physical exercise and burning off energy can improve the mental focus of children with ADHD. One of the best activities for this is aerobic exercise. What it does is to boost the executive function of the brain, which then improves mental concentration. 

Dancing is a great and fun aerobic exercise for the whole family. Not only is it an enjoyable family bonding activity, but it helps you burn excess energy. If an hour or so of a dancing period is too much to handle, you break it into short sessions throughout the day.

Karaoke And Musical Instruments

Aside from dancing, singing also offers a lot of benefits for children with ADHD. During your karaoke session, you can let them choose the list of the songs they want to sing. It boosts focus and concentration while enhancing the cognitive development of younger children.

Meanwhile, playing instruments, such as guitar, piano, drums, and other instruments, fosters confidence and enhances focus. Many research suggests that music can lessen the impulsiveness symptom of children with ADHD.

Storytelling

Storytelling is an excellent way to help your child broaden their perspective about the world. Sharing stories boosts the imagination and focus of children with ADHD. It would allow them to understand characters better and their actions.

Also, It would also enable them to come up with unique plots when it’s their turn to share a story. Afterward, you can discuss the scenarios you shared and the motive behind the actions of the characters.

Board Games

Source: wikimedia.org

Board games remain to be one of the best family indoor activities for children with ADHD. The rules are typically simple and easy to understand for all ages.

It’s ideal for impulsive children and those with short attention spans as they can learn how to take turns. It also allows them to strategize by themselves, which enhances their cognitive and problem-solving skills.

Twister

Another excellent physical activity to get the whole family moving is the classic Twister game. For children with ADHD, it can boost their motor skills and practice their social skills. It’s also a fun way to burn excess energy while enhancing concentration and flexibility.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunt and treasure hunt activities are great for keeping ADHD children’s body and brain working. What you will do is hide things around the house and come up with a list and give it to them.

As much as possible, make sure to come up with a quest that matches the age and abilities of your child. If you have small kids at home, make sure to supervise them. 

Jump Rope And Hula Hoop

If your home has a big space for these activities, these can be a strong candidate for you. You can come up with competitions among the family on who can do the most jump for jumping rope.

For hula hooping, it can be who lasts the longest in making the motion. Or you can also set up obstacle courses around the house that they need to tackle.

Jump rope and hula hoop is a great core workout for the whole family. Moreover, the entire family can participate in it. It doesn’t only burn off energy, but it also enhances coordination.

Art Projects

Source: needpix.com

Art therapy encourages a child to work on structured art projects. It helps them build essential skills and be creative. It is also straightforward since you only need arts and crafts materials, which you can quickly get at stationery stores. Or you can head towards the DIY path and get extra creative with the projects you will be doing.  

Creative activities encourage children with ADHD  to express their emotions and imagination. They can also learn problem-solving skills and develop mental flexibility.

You can do this together as a family during the weekends or after school. It’s essential to create a motivating and encouraging environment that fosters positive social interactions.

It’s important to know that in art therapy, the benefits emerge from the process and not the final output. So you have to make sure that you’re focusing on your child’s effort throughout. Try to create a workspace that is not distracting as for them not to lose their focus while doing the activity.

Bubble Wrap

People of all ages love bubble wraps, and it can rouse all sorts of indoor family activities. You can use it as an art material for bubble print paintings. Or use it as a learning tool for young children by writing letters or numbers on each bubble. Or you can pass the time together while popping bubble wraps and having fun.

Incorporate Fun Activities In Your Routine

Providing children with ADHD a space to learn and have fun at the same time is very important. Especially now that we are spending more time at home, the situation can be a massive struggle for kids with ADHD.

However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t pick up these fun indoor activities together with the family. As much as possible, be consistent with incorporating it into your daily or weekly routine. Of course, have fun!

 

Lockdown Issues: How To Cope With My ADHD Son

Source: pexels.com

The question remains in the minds of parents with ADHD kids – how are we going to handle him/her during this lockdown? I have a mommy friend who called me because she was terrified. Yes, terrified. “I don’t know how to handle Mickey! He is so irritable, and always running around, Mila. How do you do it? How do you cope with Angelo always jumping and screaming? I love my son, but he is making me go nuts!!!”

Continue reading “Lockdown Issues: How To Cope With My ADHD Son”