ADHD

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What is ADHD?

ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is a mental health condition in which a person has a hard time focusing their attention and controlling restless or impulsive behavior. Though ADHD is most common in children, it affects many adults as well, and some people are not diagnosed with ADHD until they reach adulthood. Additionally, symptoms can look very different in adults compared to children.

Everyone has trouble paying attention at times, and it’s normal to be restless in some situations. But if your challenges related to attention and focus regularly interfere with your work or personal life, you may have ADHD.

How common is ADHD?

ADHD is a common disorder in the United States, especially for children.

In children, boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls. Adult men are also more likely to have ADHD than adult women.

What are some symptoms of ADHD?

Not everyone with ADHD will experience the same symptoms. However, some symptoms are especially common. These fall into two different categories:

Symptoms of Inattention:

Symptoms of Hyperactivity/Impulsivity:

Some people will have more of one kind of symptom than the other, while other people may have both kinds of symptoms equally.

For adults, symptoms may be less outwardly visible, since adults with ADHD have often learned to meet external expectations while still having internal difficulties.

For example, a child with ADHD may move around in class instead of staying seated, while an adult might stay seated but feel very restless.

What to do if you’re experiencing ADHD

If you have symptoms of ADHD, consider one or more of the following options:

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Best therapy types for ADHD

For ADHD, psychotherapy is often used either on its own or in combination with medication. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is generally thought to be the most effective therapy type for ADHD.

Additionally, the following types of psychotherapy may also work well for people with ADHD:

What should I look for in a therapist for ADHD?

You’ll want to make sure that your therapist is qualified to treat ADHD. This will usually involve:

Finally, as with any therapy, it’s important to make sure that your therapist is a good fit for your unique needs. Be sure to evaluate the following in your initial calls with therapists:

Most importantly, do you feel comfortable talking to this therapist and sense that you have the potential to develop a therapeutic alliance?

Find therapists specializing in ADHD treatment near you

Find therapists who treat addiction on Zencare, below. Search by insurance, fees, and location; watch therapist introductory videos; and book free initial calls to find the right therapist for you!

New to therapy? Learn about how to find a therapist here.