My thoughts just keep racing. She’s just lazy. He bounces off the walls but then you can’t tear him away from gaming. Why can’t I pay attention? These teens are constantly on their phones (tablets, computers, apps, videos, movies, music, shows, screens…) when they should be doing homework. My desk is a mess. He always waits until the last minute – and then if he gets it done, he might not submit it. Sorry, I forgot. Where are my keys? Squirrel!!!! It’s too overwhelming…
Certainly, most everyone has identified with or experienced all of these complaints. But there are people in your life (or in yourself!) who live in this world of attention, organization, or motivation challenges. People who despite being bright, gifted, and talented, struggle with accomplishing even the simplest or most obvious tasks. These children, adolescents, and adults are those who can wear the attention deficit or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) tee-shirt.
I am not going to battle the medical community over the label assigned to these ways of operating outside the box, but I believe that if approached differently, ADD/ADHD can become an asset once you rewrite your rules in order to better function your way in a traditional world. The diagnosis suggests that there is something “wrong” or a deficit; instead of there being a shortage of attention, it is more like being able to pay focused attention to lots of things at the same time. But because the concentration is targeted at so many things simultaneously and inconsistently, it can make it difficult to choose only one chore to attack.
Make your attention challenges work for you.
By partnering with a licensed psychotherapist like me, you will learn how an ADD/ADHD brain operates differently from a “neurotypical” nervous system. With this understanding, you can begin to become more aware of what allows you to function at your best and how to apply that style to other areas of your life. By discovering and implementing your own systems, it becomes a matter of tweaking them to mesh with the expectations of a world that works in a time progression, prioritized, and externally rewarded fashion.
By using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies, you will begin to evaluate then interrupt your thinking so that you can adjust your actions or reactions when needed. Depending on your personal obstacles, we can explore organization, motivation, time management, procrastination, structure, importance, anxiety, and the tools you’ll need to make the most of your life and your future.
When a child or teen is confronted by these roadblocks, I work closely with the parents to ensure that the situation is better understood and that the family has what it needs to support and direct the young person toward success. You might even be surprised to discover that a flexible structure with clear expectations and consequences works magic for all the family members!
If ADD/ADHD, impulse control, focus, or organizational issues are interfering with personal success for you or a family member, please contact me at 770.883.9728 or email me to schedule an appointment. When channeled in a productive direction, you can make your attention challenges work FOR you!