The Stone House
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Brian Douville, LCSW, SEP
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Virginia
For more information, call Brian Douville, LCSW, SEP at 703.550.4048 or email at BrianDouvilleSEP@gmail.com.
If you answered yes to some of the above questions, you may have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), also known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), once thought of as a childhood disorder, is now known to affect millions of adults as well. Although most commonly associated with hyperactivity, the real impact of ADHD is much greater. In order to appreciate this impact, it is important to understand what happens differently in the ADHD brain.
In the non-ADHD brain there is a mechanism that allows one to pause before responding to a given situation. When faced with a problem or task, this pause allows for thinking about different options, evaluating them, choosing the most effective option and then responding. In the ADHD brain, this capacity for pausing before reacting is greatly reduced. This often leads to difficulty with planning ahead, time management problems, organizational difficulties, problems with keeping emotions private (particularly in situations where it would be advantageous to do so), difficulties with anger management, interpersonal problems, blurting out ones thoughts and interrupting others.
Another way to understand ADHD is to think of it as a stimulation deficiency syndrome. The ADHD brain is constantly searching for more stimulation, which leads to distractibility and hyper-focusing on things that are enjoyable (video games, TV), while having difficulty staying focused on tasks that are less interesting (homework, chores). People with ADHD may have problems paying attention in conversation and may suffer from motivational impairment.
I have attended trainings and workshops with numerous leaders in the field of ADHD research and treatment including Edward Hallowell, MD, Russell Barkley, PhD, Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, Arthur Robin, PhD, Kevin Murphy, PhD, Barbara Ingersoll, PhD, J. Russell Ramsey, PhD and Anthony Rostain, MD.
My treatment approach to ADHD includes:
Psycho-education - Understanding how ADHD causes the impact that it does and how one’s struggles are related to ADHD
Skills Building – Working collaboratively with the client to develop and implement specific strategies to compensate for areas of difficulty
Psychotherapy – Addressing issues that often accompany ADHD such as low self esteem, relationship issues, anxiety and depression
Family Support – Helping family members better understand ADHD and how they can best be supportive
Psychotherapy and Psychiatry