ADHD Therapist Chicago: Assessment, Treatment and Therapy

ADHD Therapist Chicago
Source: Adam Scott

 ADHD Therapist Chicago

By: John D. Moore, PhD

Need an ADHD therapist in Chicago? ADHD is the acronym for Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder. Many people also refer to this condition simply as “Attention Deficit Disorder” or “ADD”. It is currently estimated that 6.4 million children currently live with some form of ADHD in the United States. Many adults in Chicago live with ADHD/ADD as well. Getting an accurate number on the true number of cases is difficult because many who have ADHD go undiagnosed.

One of the common myths people make when searching for an ADHD therapist Chicago is that this disorder only impacts young people. It’s simply not true. The reality is that ADHD also occurs in adulthood and is quite common. In fact, many of our clients visit our Chicago counseling offices for guidance and treatment ADD related matters.  

This brief article will provide some of the clinical features of ADHD and explore how talk-therapy can help you to better manage a condition that is widely misunderstood and often not discussed. Are you ready?

Let’s jump right in!

What is ADHD?

ADHD is neurodevelopmental disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood and can last well into adulthood. Some of the more common symptoms of ADHD can include:

Clinical Symptoms of ADHD

  • Frequent daydreaming
  • Forgetfulness and a history of losing things
  • Restlessness
  • Hyper-verbal features (talking too much)
  • Careless mistakes and risk taking
  • Difficulty resisting temptation
  • Problems with establishing/maintaining personal relationships
  • Difficulties with concentration and focus
  • Mood issues, including depression and/or anxiety

adhd closer look

 

Types of ADHD

We encourage clients seeking a ADHD therapist in Chicago to think of ADHD as part of a larger clinical spectrum. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) there are three specific types of ADHD. What follows is a basic rundown of each type that includes key behavioral features.

Inattentive Type

If you have this form of ADHD, you may have difficulty focusing on a given task, paying attention to details or completing a project. You may also find it difficult to hold your focus during conversations and notice that you are easily distracted.

Hyperactive/Impulsive Type

If you have this type of ADHD, you may notice that you are frequently restless and tend to fidget. Friends may describe you as “having a lot of energy”. Hyperactive types often jump from topic to topic or from task to task. Simply put, this means you start one project but never complete it. Finally, you may find it difficult to follow along in a conversation. Many people with this kind of ADHD have described their situation as problematic because others view them as “uninterested” and even “narcissistic”.  

Combination Type

The third type of ADHD is a combination or hybrid type. Here, you may have behavioral symptoms from the previously two mentioned areas. Bear in mind that these ADHD symptoms can change over the course of time, meaning that some behaviors may be more predominant than others. It just depends on the person and their developmental process.

adhd info
ADHD and the Mind

What causes ADHD?

The exact causes of ADHD remain a mystery however, behavioral and medical scientists routinely study this condition on a regular basis. Experts who research ADHD believe genetics may play a role in the development of this disorder.

Some scientists believe that certain risk factors exist that may act as genesis points for the onset of ADHD. These include but are not limited to:

  • Maternal alcohol use during pregnancy
  • Tobacco use during pregnancy
  • Premature delivery
  • Brain injury
  • Low birth weight

ADHD Myths

There are a number of myths that currently exist regarding ADHD. Much of the misinformation comes from a place of ignorance about the disorder.

These ADHD myths include:

  • Only children have ADHD (not true)
  • Eating too many sweets causes ADHD (not true)
  • Over-stimulation causes ADHD (not true)
  • Social environments causes ADHD (not true)
  • ADHD can be “cured” by diet (not true)

While some of the above mentioned may exacerbate ADHD symptoms, engaging in these does not cause the onset of ADHD. Remember, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. This means it was present at the time of birth and is not “activated” by external events.

In this way, ADHD is similar to other brain disorders which cause behavioral and mood challenges, including certain anxiety disorders and forms of depression.

ADHD Diagnosis
ADHD Diagnosis

Diagnosis of ADHD

Diagnosis of ADHD usually occurs during childhood but many cases go undiagnosed until adulthood. We are including a link to the CDC website at the bottom of this page that offers an extensive list of clinical features that are considered by healthcare professionals when diagnosing ADHD.

What is important that you know is that arriving at a diagnosis of ADHD is a multi-prong process, involving a medical exam and a review of your behavioral history. If you were to visit us for an ADHD therapist Chicago, we would likely refer you to a specialist for a medical exam and ADHD assessment. FYI: the medical exam is used to rule out other causes for ADHD symptoms, such as a pre-existing medication condition.

Treatment for ADHD

There are a number of treatment options available for ADHD. These include medications and certain types of therapy. Let’s walk through some of these together.

Medications

Medications for ADHD are prescribed by your physician or psychiatrist and are designed to reduce symptoms. It is important to carefully consider the potential side effects of any medications before taking them so be sure to ask questions.

Some meds act as stimulants, which paradoxically offer a calming effect. If you have a history of substance abuse or addiction involving amphetamines, be sure to let your doctor know.

Common ADHD medications include:

  • Adderall
  • Concerta
  • Ritalin
  • Metadate

There are also non-stimulate medications available by prescription that are fairly new to the marketplace. These include:

  • Strattera
  • Clonidine
  • Certain anti-depressants

Therapy and Counseling

Research has shown that certain types of therapy can be helpful for people living with ADHD. These ADHD focused therapies include:

Many people find that combining therapy with ADHD medications helpful as part of an overall treatment strategy. This is certainly true of clients seeking an ADHD therapist Chicago who contact our offices. One of the benefits of counseling is that you can learn new and healthy ways of coping with various challenges, including difficulty concentrating and completing tasks.

Other benefits include learning to talk about ADHD openly without shame while learning to mindfully integrate ADHD into your life. If you are in a relationship with someone, couples counseling can be useful with setting boundaries and establishing healthy routines.

We highly encourage anyone contemplating marriage to think about counseling around managing ADHD before tying the knot. Premarital counseling can act as an excellent conduit for communications in this area.

ADHD Video

Below is a short video that provides useful insight on how ADHD impacts the brain. If you have ever wondered about the dynamic between Attention Deficit Disorder and your mind, you will want to take a few minutes to check out this presentation offered by Answered TV.

Famous People and Celebrities with ADHD

There are a number of famous people, including Hollywood celebrities and major sports players, who live with ADHD. These include folks like:

  • Channing Tatum
  • Ryan Gosling
  • Paris Hilton
  • Michele Rodriguez
  • Howie Mandel
  • Matt Morgan
  • Woody Harrelson
  • Jim Carrey
  • Terry Bradshaw
  • Richard Branson
  • Andre Brown
  • Adam Levine
  • Pete Rose
  • Michael Phelps
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Will Smith

ADHD Poll

 


 

About the ADHD Poll

The poll offered here is not scientific in nature but does provide an opportunity for you to compare how your case of ADHD stacks up against others who also report having this disorder.

ADHD Book for Adults

If you are looking for effective strategies to deal with ADHD as an adult, an excellent book to consider is Your Life Can Be Better: Effective Strategies for Adult ADD/ADHD by Dr. Douglas Puryear. We recommend this publication to many seeking an ADHD therapist Chicago.


 

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for an ADHD therapist Chicago, we hope you will consider us. You can call us at 773.528.1777 or send us a confidential email using our secure online contact form. Please recognize there is no need to be ashamed. Millions of people around the world live with this condition. When properly managed, you may find that ADHD offers many advantages, including unique creative skills and the ability to think in the abstract.

ADHD Resources

CDC Webpage on ADHD NIMH Webpage on ADHD Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) Royal College of Psychiatrists ADHD