Adults and Attention Deficit Problems

For the past ten years or more, I have worked with children and adolescents who have presented for counseling with symptoms of ADHD. Recently, though, most of the people who see my listed specialty in ADHD and have called seeking counseling have been adults, who have concerns about how this condition may be interfering with their lives now.

As a couple of points of quick clarification, I am a therapist, not a physician, so I cannot prescribe medication for ADHD. Most of the kids I worked with were getting medication from a pediatrician or family physician, or else they had seen (or I referred them to) a psychiatrist for medication evaluation. I am not qualified to say whether I think someone would benefit from medication or not. That’s why I prefer to refer people to a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation, especially if they have other health issues or may be on medication for some other condition already.

Second, people often express confusion over the difference between ADD and ADHD. Mental health clinicians follow the American Psychiatric Association DSM-IV guidelines, which refer to one disorder (Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder), which can have three subtypes: Primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive-impulsive, or combined type. It is categorized as a disorder that usually arises in childhood, and in fact one of the diagnostic criteria is that some symptoms need to have been present during childhood.Continue Reading Adults and Attention Deficit Problems