ADD Treatment in Los Angeles

Attention Deficit Disorder

Living with ADHD can be challenging, causing difficulty at work, school, or home. At Elevation Behavioral Health, our expert care team can help you overcome symptoms related to ADHD and get back on track.

Table of Contents

Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Priya Chaudhri

CEO / Owner

Elevation Behavioral Health is licensed with the Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Social Services.

Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

When hearing the term attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), most people immediately think about kids who can’t stay on task and disrupt the classroom and who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adults can also struggle with ADD without the hyperactivity feature but may have acquired various coping mechanisms through life to help manage the disorder. Some adults with ADHD had the disorder in childhood, but others may have developed the symptoms of ADHD in adulthood.

Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by difficulties with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While often associated with childhood, ADHD can persist into adulthood, presenting unique challenges in various aspects of life. At Elevation Behavioral Health, we recognize the complexities of adult ADHD and provide comprehensive support to help individuals thrive despite their condition. Contact our mental health treatment centers today to learn more.

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Understanding Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD is more than just a childhood disorder that fades with age. It’s a lifelong condition that affects individuals’ cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning. While symptoms may vary from person to person, common manifestations include difficulty focusing or sustaining attention, impulsivity, restlessness, disorganization, forgetfulness, and difficulty with time management. These symptoms can significantly impact various aspects of adult life, including work, relationships, academic pursuits, and overall well-being.

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Signs Of Adult ADHD

For adults with non-hyperactive ADD, there can be many challenges. Generally, these individuals struggle throughout the day to stay on task and follow the task through to completion. They may appear to need to be more organized and flighty daydreamers, which can result in career limitations. Some of the signs of adult ADHD include:

  • Difficulty sustaining attention at work, school, or social events
  • Struggles to organize tasks or chores, feeling overwhelmed and confused
  • Easily distracted by external stimuli while attempting to complete tasks
  • Forgetting important events or dates, not fulfilling daily responsibilities due to forgetfulness.
  • Avoids tasks that require sustained attention
  • Prone to angry outbursts, easily frustrated
  • Makes careless mistakes no attention to detail
  • Tendency to being late for appointments or work
  • Poor listening skills
  • Makes errors due to being unable to pay attention to instructions
  • Fails to complete assignments at work or school
  • Misplaces or loses essential papers or items, “scatterbrained”

Adults who have undiagnosed ADHD often gravitate toward tools that will assist them in work-related challenges. These may include day planners, cell phone lists, calendars, planners, sticky notes, to-do lists, smartphone apps that assist with organization, and white boards.

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Challenges And Impacts

Adults with ADHD often face numerous challenges in daily life, ranging from difficulties at work or in academic settings to strained relationships and emotional distress. In the workplace, individuals with ADHD may struggle with time management, organization, prioritization, and maintaining focus on tasks. This can lead to underperformance, missed deadlines, and increased stress levels. In relationships, impulsivity, forgetfulness, and inattentiveness may strain interpersonal dynamics, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts. Additionally, untreated ADHD can contribute to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and feelings of inadequacy.

What Causes ADHD?

This neurological disorder is still a mystery, however, brain imaging has shed some light on this disorder. In brain scans, researchers have found that neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, and GABA) are less active in the brain region that controls executive functions. This may be due to genetics, as ADHD can run in families. Other possible causes are environmental factors, nutrition, poor self-discipline, brain injuries, high exposure to lead or other environmental toxins, or a mother’s smoking or alcohol consumption while the child is in utero.

Diagnosing ADHD

Diagnosing ADHD in adults can be complex, as symptoms may overlap with other mental health conditions or be mistaken for typical stress-related challenges. A thorough assessment by a qualified healthcare professional is essential for accurate diagnosis. This typically involves a comprehensive evaluation of the individual’s medical history, symptoms, and functional impairments. The diagnostic criteria for adult ADHD include persistent and impairing symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that significantly interfere with daily functioning across multiple settings.

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Treatment For Adult ADHD

Effective treatment for adult ADHD often involves a multimodal approach that addresses both symptom management and functional impairment. This may include:

Stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin) and amphetamines (e.g., Adderall) are commonly prescribed to help improve attention, focus, and impulse control in adults with ADHD. Non-stimulant medications like atomoxetine (Strattera) and certain antidepressants may also be used as alternatives or adjuncts to stimulants.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and coaching can help individuals develop coping strategies, organizational skills, time management techniques, and problem-solving abilities to manage ADHD symptoms better and improve daily functioning.

Psychoeducation about ADHD, its impact, and strategies for managing symptoms is crucial for individuals and their families. Skill-building programs focusing on executive functioning, social skills, and emotional regulation can also be beneficial.

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, nutritious diet, stress management techniques, and mindfulness practices can complement other treatment approaches and support overall well-being.

Connecting with peers who share similar experiences can provide validation, encouragement, and practical tips for navigating the challenges of living with ADHD. Support groups offer a sense of community and understanding that can be invaluable in coping with the condition.

Managing Adult ADHD

While there is no cure for ADHD, proactive management strategies can help individuals effectively cope with their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Some tips for managing adult ADHD include:

Creating structured daily routines and sticking to them can help individuals stay organized, manage time effectively, and reduce impulsivity.

Breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps can make them feel less overwhelming and increase the likelihood of completion.

Leveraging tools such as calendars, planners, task lists, reminder apps, and organizational apps can help individuals keep track of appointments, deadlines, and responsibilities.

Setting specific, achievable goals and prioritizing tasks can provide direction and motivation, helping individuals stay focused and productive.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for support from healthcare professionals, therapists, coaches, and support groups. Building a strong support network can provide valuable guidance, encouragement, and understanding.

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how to diagnose

Diagnoses

To diagnose the ADHD, the clinician will use an interview and some assessment tools to determine how many of the behavioral features of ADHD the individual might be exhibiting, and then diagnose it according to three main types:

This type must have six of the following symptoms present:

    • Failing to pay attention or stay on task
    • Not listening carefully
    • Being distracted, daydreaming
    • Being forgetful
    • Making careless mistakes
    • Losing things needed for tasks
    • Unable to follow or understand instructions
    • Not paying attention to detail
    • Avoiding complex tasks

This type must have six of the following symptoms present:

    • Squirming, constant moving
    • Fidgeting, biting nails, playing with hair
    • Talking excessively
    • Interrupting others
    • Constantly on the go
    • Disruptive at meetings, talking out of turn
    • Difficulty remaining seated

This is a blend of the above two types and is the most common form of ADHD

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Attention Deficit Disorder Treatment In Los Angeles

At Elevation Behavioral Health, we understand the complexities of adult ADHD and are dedicated to providing comprehensive support to help individuals effectively manage their symptoms and thrive in all aspects of life. Through personalized treatment plans, evidence-based interventions, and ongoing support, we empower individuals to overcome the challenges of ADHD and embrace their potential for success. If you or a loved one are struggling with adult ADHD, reach out to us today to learn more about our specialized programs and how we can help.

Treatment for adult ADHD will likely be an integrated approach using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as well as teaching the client coping skills, helping the client to access tools that help with organization and prioritizing, using role playing, and teaching interpersonal skills. Medications, such as Adderall, Concerta, or Vyvanse, which are stimulants, can help the client with concentration, memory, stamina, and focus.