Attention deficit disorder is commonly diagnosed in children. Parents may notice the condition if kids have a hard time focusing during class. In children, ADD often manifests as disruptive behavior. However, some people grow into adults before realizing they have ADD.
You may have mixed feelings about your diagnosis. Many people experience relief knowing there's an explanation for difficulties they've had all their lives. You may also be wondering what help is available. Counselors who specialize in treating patients with ADD can help you manage your condition. Here are four types of ADD help a counselor can provide.
1. Time Management Techniques
Time management is an important life skill for everyone, but it may be more difficult to attain for people with ADD. Time management allows people to prioritize their tasks in order of importance so they can complete them in a timely manner. People with ADD may have trouble identifying the most important tasks. They may feel overwhelmed and neglect to finish key tasks due to feelings of helplessness. Your counselor can teach you time management techniques to help you cope with the way your brain works. Setting timers can keep you on task, and creating checklists can keep you from forgetting important errands.
2. Doctor Referrals
Counselors may be psychologists, but they aren't typically medical doctors, which means they cannot prescribe medication. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in medicine as it affects the brain and mental health. Medication can be a useful tool in managing ADD. Stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin are commonly used to regulate the levels of dopamine in the brains of people with ADD. If your counselor thinks you would benefit from medication, they can refer you to an appropriate doctor.
Most people with ADD develop their own methods of accomplishing tasks. Some of these may be less beneficial than others. For instance, people with ADD usually have a hard time multitasking, since the split focus required for multitasking can lead to distraction. Your counselor will ask you to describe your typical day in detail. Based on your report, they can suggest adjustments that may serve you better.
4. Calming Strategies
People with ADD often experience a torrent of thoughts that can feel overwhelming and uncomfortable. Too much excess stimulation can exacerbate this. Your counselor can teach you strategies to keep yourself calm, such as taking breaks from loud, intense situations. Keeping a soothing object in your hands, such as a stress ball or fidget spinner, can also help.