Life is hard with an ADHD-style nervous system. If you are over-aroused and disorganized most of the time, you may not always enjoy neurotypical people in a neurotypical world. Symptom treatment is hard work that’s best started early — before bad habits and low self-esteem set in. The earlier we recognize attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) symptoms and respond accordingly, the better for everyone.
Treating ADHD is far from impossible. It is more than a little difficult, though, to undo the years of harsh and unhelpful feedback that too many people with ADHD endure. It is equally hard to undo adjustments and habits that a person has built up over a lifetime to compensate for a nervous system that plays by different rules.
So here is a treatment plan based on how people with ADHD think, feel, and live. Also important to know: ADHD treatment may be most successful when a trusted significant other is involved — and stays involved — from the beginning.
ADHD Is Not a Character Flaw
Why is it that some people with ADHD and co-existing conditions grow up to become wild successes? They excel professionally and have strong relationships. They raise healthy, resilient children (half of whom also have ADHD-style nervous systems). What is it about them and their upbringing that helped them become happy, loving adults?
The most important factor is hearing and believing that you are a good person. A young child needs someone to tell her that she is hardworking, intelligent, and loving: a parent, brother or sister, a grandparent, a neighbor, or a teacher. This cheerleader distinguishes between the child’s worth and her achievements — to say, “I know you. I know that if anyone could have been successful through hard work and perseverance, you would have been. Something we haven’t yet identified must be getting in your way. I want you to know that I will stick with you until we figure out what is getting in your way and fix it.”
ADHD Treatment Is a Group Effort
ADHD therapy must start with understanding what ADHD is, what is possible for the person to achieve, and what is not. Accountability and responsibility are good things, but only if they lead to success. Such judgment calls are among the most difficult that a parent, spouse, or loved one has to make. Sometimes it is not clear what is possible and what is not. What is not possible now may be possible later.
Do not hold people accountable for things that are impossible for them to accomplish. This has been the basis of many therapeutic methods that have never shown lasting benefits. Their only outcome is a serial failure. The more the ADHD person loves the authority figure and wants to please him, the greater the pain and frustration of failure.
Mainstream Solutions Aren’t Helpful
Pills do not give skills. If patients normalize their symptoms with medication but continue to approach the tasks of life with neurotypical techniques that will never work for them, nothing changes. Developing confidence that they can access their abilities on demand is a two-step process.
First, they must finally and irrevocably abandon the notion that the old techniques work. Second, they must replace the failed techniques with new ones. This process takes time, after years of effort and emotion invested in old techniques. Your life will change when you truly understand the workings of your nervous system and why the techniques that work so well for neurotypical friends and family members don’t work for you.
Change the Way You Approach Tasks
People with ADHD find it hard to demonstrate what they know to someone else. Many children who know the material aren’t able to show it on a test. They struggle with the ways they are required to demonstrate that knowledge. To tap into their strengths, people with ADHD should look for ways to access their abilities.
A young man with ADHD struggled with writing assignments in his junior year of high school. He had to read books that he would have never chosen himself, and he couldn’t get excited about analyzing these boring books. Each assignment was torture. After encouragement from his parents, he talked with the teacher about another way he could demonstrate his knowledge. He could write parodies of the books he read rather than analyze each one.
This student demonstrated a better grasp of the style, language, and structure of the assigned reading than anyone else in the class. At the end of the year, he was awarded the English department’s prize for best student.
Most of these techniques work well for people with ADHD at work and at home. Combining healthy or productive lifestyles with other things, like neurofeedback training, can make a difference in your life sooner rather than later.
Neurofeedback Training at NHA
Here at Neurohealth Associates, we specialize in Neurofeedback training. Neurofeedback may be helpful for training your mind, especially if you are unsure about putting yourself or your child on medication. This easy, noninvasive training can painlessly improve your mental health condition and outlook on life. Schedule a consultation with NeuroHealth Associates today and find out how we can help you.
Original article published by ADDitude Mag.Tags: add, adhd, attention deficit, brain health, mental health, neurofeedback