Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder affects both children and adults and adversely impacts learning ability, social functioning, and other areas of life. In children, undiagnosed ADHD can lead to disciplinary problems, poor grades, and even a lower chance of graduating high school. In adults, ADD and/or ADHD can lead to trouble at work or in relationships. Besides the attention deficit symptoms themselves, some adults also develop guilt or shame about not being able to control the symptoms without help.
How can therapy help?
Contrary to popular perception, medication alone is not the only way to deal with ADD or ADHD. These disorders have been known to professionals for long enough that a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been developed just to treat the attention-deficit disorders. Besides learning new strategies to filter and organize information, CBT for attention-deficit may involve practicing practical behavioral skills like planning ahead and breaking down big tasks into smaller ones. Another reason therapy can be important is that more than half of ADD or ADHD sufferers have co-occurring anxiety and/or depression. A therapist will diagnose these conditions, if applicable, and work relevant coping skills and cognitive strategies into the overall treatment plan.