Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often considered a disorder of childhood, but the symptoms of this disorder can stay with you into your adult years. Additionally, some people aren’t even diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood. If you are struggling with symptoms of ADHD, seeking help from an adult ADHD psychiatrist can be a good step to take.
What Is ADHD
As the name of this disorder suggests, the common issues with ADHD include both inattention and hyperactivity, as well as impulsivity. Of course, most children to some extent or another do have short attention spans and tend to display elements of hyperactivity and impulsivity at times.
When a person has ADHD, however, these issues are chronic and interfere with daily life. For children, it can interfere with learning and disrupt relationships with peers and family members. For adults, we usually see a lessening of hyperactivity, but problems with inattention and impulsive behavior often persist.
With adults, typical symptoms of ADHD include:
Not all people with ADHD, adult or otherwise, will experience all of these symptoms. For instance, with females, ADHD symptoms often tend to present more as inattention rather than hyperactivity and impulsiveness. In some cases, the examples of hyperactivity might include interrupting others and talking excessively, rather than acting out physically.
The perceived “mildness” of symptoms in females often results in these individuals being undiagnosed and receiving little support even though they need help as much as their male counterparts. At any rate, whether you are an adult or a child, ADHD can make life difficult to navigate, and it’s wise to seek help from a professional.
How An Adult ADHD Psychiatrist Can Help
An adult ADHD psychiatrist can help with the disorder, both with diagnosis and medication management, if needed. Psychiatrists, unlike psychologists and therapists, are medical doctors. Their main focus is on diagnosis and the creation of the treatment plan.
Too often, an ADHD psychiatrist won’t provide patients with a thorough enough diagnosis. Many people with ADHD have co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression or even bipolar disorder. This is why it is important to find a psychiatrist that truly focuses on the diagnostic process.
A psychiatrist must spend enough time evaluating a patient to ensure that all mental health and physical health issues are addressed. In some cases, there could be underlying physical conditions or certain medications or substances that are causing ADHD symptoms or the symptoms could be caused by another mental health disorder.
Treatment plans vary on the severity of symptoms and sometimes include the use of medication. Medication can be a very beneficial tool for treating ADHD, but it only serves as one component of a treatment plan. Behavioral therapy and counseling also can be very beneficial, and I typically recommend that my patients seek out the services of a psychologist or therapist rather than simply using medication alone with no other mechanism of support.
How Psychologists & Therapists Can Help
While psychologists and therapists cannot prescribe medication, they can provide other types of treatment options. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, you can learn how to improve your time management skills and become more organized and how to create a daily schedule that can make life easier and less stressful. This type of therapy also teaches you how to respond to stressful or difficult situations.
Many people with ADHD also benefit from talk therapy. ADHD can take a toll on your self-esteem and can inhibit your ability to build strong relationships with others. Talk therapy can help you work through these issues and provide you with strategies to improve your communication and listening skills.
Sometimes with adults, couples therapy can be helpful, providing each partner with a safe space to discuss their concerns and emotions as well as gain a deeper understanding of each other.
Meditation & ADHD
While behavioral therapy and medication have long been helpful tools for those diagnosed with ADHD, studies have shown that daily meditation can help alleviate symptoms and improve focus and concentration. Meditation also can improve your mood and reduce your stress levels.
When it comes to ADHD, meditation is part of a treatment known as mindfulness-based intervention or MBI. In addition to meditation, a person with ADHD could consider taking yoga or tai chi classes and learning breathing exercises. Often meditation and breathing will be taught during a yoga or tai chi class.
When To Seek Help
Often, adults with symptoms of ADHD are reluctant to seek treatment. But whether you were diagnosed as a child or you are an adult that has not yet been diagnosed, seeking help can be the best way to improve your quality of life.
If symptoms of ADHD are interfering with your ability to lead a fulfilling, successful life, it’s time to seek treatment. Finding the best psychiatrist for your needs can be tricky, but these days with telepsychiatry it’s easier than ever before to find a doctor with whom you feel comfortable.
Many people simply search for a “psychiatrist near me,” and while I serve as a psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks and a psychiatrist in Westlake Village, I also provide services as a virtual psychiatrist.
Telepsychiatry can be an excellent option for many patients. Not only does it allow you to select a psychiatrist that truly meets your needs, but it’s also much more convenient. You can meet in the comfort of your home and avoid issues such as traffic or taking off extra time from work or other commitments to drive to and from appointments.
Contact My Office Today
Whether you want to meet in person and need an adult ADHD psychiatrist in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks or prefer to meet virtually, I am here to help. In addition to treating patients with ADHD, I also offer services as an anxiety psychiatrist, bipolar psychiatrist as well as offering treatment for depression and even substance abuse. Give me a call and let’s set up an appointment and get you on the path to a happier, healthier life.
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Dr Jesalva is a psychiatrist. He is in private practice in Thousand Oaks, CA since 1989. He successfully treats very challenging patients with varying co-occurring disorders with medications.