adhd Articles

ADHD Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments: What Every Christian Should Know

What is ADHD?

The fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5) lists Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) / Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a “Neuro-developmental Disorder” and refers to it as a neurological disease. It notes that it is not only found in children, but in adolescents and adults.

The DSM-5 states that “individuals with ADHD may present with both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, or one symptom pattern may predominate … Three presentations of ADHD are commonly referred to: combined-type, inattentive-type and hyperactive/impulsive-type … the appropriate presentation of ADHD should be indicated based on the predominant symptom pattern for the last six months.”

Summarizing the DSM-5’s description of ADHD, the ADHD Institute defines it as “a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, has symptoms presenting in two or more settings (e.g. at home, school, or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities), and negatively impacts directly on social, academic, or occupational functioning. Several symptoms must have been present before age 12 years.”

The National Institute of Men...

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Is Adult ADHD Real? Most Common Misunderstandings About ADHD Explained

ADHD, or ‘Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder’, is a relatively controversial mental health condition. While it has traditionally been thought of as something that made it difficult for children to sit still or pay attention in school or at home, new research is painting a different picture of what ADHD is. Many people debate about whether ADHD is a diagnosis that’s overused (or even legitimate at all), about what the best way of treating ADHD is, as well as about whether you can have ADHD as an adult. While there is still a lot about ADHD that we don’t understand, it is clear now that ADHD is not just a condition for children.

As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I’ve had many adults ask me if they suffer from ADHD. They come with complaints of difficulty focusing at work, staying on task with challenging projects, ‘spacing out’ while someone is talking to them, or any number of other problems related to focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While, at times, there is something else going on that better explains these concerns, many adults are surprised to find that, despite being 30, 50, or even 70, they have ADHD!

ADHD is a chronic psychiatric condition which, despite often first being seen in childhood, can manifest at any age. Research now suggests t...

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A Christian Counselor Discusses ADHD Across the Lifespan: Its Impact on Relationships, School, and Work

By Julie Stroemel, PsyD, Mill Creek Counseling Center

Part 4 of a 4-Part Series

This is the fourth article in a series on Adult ADHD. The first article explored symptoms people may have with ADHD. The second article discussed the evaluation process and who should conduct the evaluations. The third article explored the importance of “executive function” and what can be done if it is not working well. In this final article in the series, I look at how ADHD affects adult relationships and at what steps one can take to overcome the problems that it causes.

The Impact of ADHD Across a Lifespan

ADHD is thought of as a developmental condition. At least sixty percent of those affected by ADHD in childhood will continue to have symptoms into adulthood. At the same time, symptoms do not appear later in life if they were not present in childhood. For those who have faced the challenges of ADHD since childhood, they have most likely experienced the frustration of parents and teachers. They have known the embarrassment and shame of being told that they are choosing to not try harder at their work, or are just looking for an excuse for their struggles. It is hardly surprising to lear...

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A Christian Counselor’s ADHD Series: What is “Executive Function?”

By Julie Stroemel, PsyD, Mill Creek Counseling Center

Part 3 of a 4-Part Series on ADHD
(Link to Part 1 & Part 2)

What is “Executive Function,” how is it related to ADHD, and why is it important?

So far in this series, we have explored symptoms people may have with ADHD, the evaluation process, and who should conduct the evaluations. In this third article in the series on Adult ADHD, we will explore what “executive function” is, why it is important, and what can be done if it is not working as well as we would like.

The same areas of the brain that are involved in self-regulation and ADHD are involved in Executive Function, and are called the pre-frontal cortical networks, which are in the front areas of the brain. [Barkley, R. (2010). “The Nature of ADHD: The Executive Functions and Self Regulation.”]

A person with ADHD, may experience problems with executive function, which in turn can result in problems with living life effectively.

Executive Function is Involved In:

  • Inhibition (holding back an impulse to act or say...
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Adult ADHD – Do I Have It? A Christian Counselor on ADHD

By Julie Stroemel, PsyD, Mill Creek Counseling Center

Part 2 of a 4-Part Series on Adult ADHD

This is the second article in a four-part series on Adult ADHD. In my previous article, Adult ADHD – Fact versus Fiction,” I looked at some basic questions that people frequently ask about ADHD. This article continues that discussion by looking at the importance of an evaluation, what to expect, and what it should and should not include.

What Does an ADHD Evaluation Involve?

When an adult feels that there is a possibility that they may have ADHD, the next step is often to have an evaluation for the condition.  A typical evaluation will involve an office visit with their medical doctor, or psychiatrist, as well as with a trained mental health provider, such as a clinical psychologist. The doctor or mental health provider should have specialized training regarding how the brain works, as well as training in how to identify different conditions, such as ADHD.  Mental health providers may include clinical psychologists, who may have specialized experience in health psychology and/or neuropsychology. During the evaluation, the patient and the specialist wil...

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Adult ADHD – Fact versus Fiction: A Christian Counselor on ADHD

By Julie Stroemel, PsyD, Mill Creek Counseling Center

Part 1 of a 4-Part Series

This is the first article in a series on Adult ADHD in which I discuss common questions and answers regarding the condition. Over recent years, there has been increased awareness and understanding of ADHD as a developmental condition in children, with better diagnostics and individualized options for intervention and treatment. Many adults with ADHD become aware that they may need an evaluation when their own son or daughter is diagnosed with ADHD, and they become aware that they also experience some of the same challenges. While evaluation is an important step in the right direction, it should be conducted by a trained doctor or mental health provider. This is because adults who seek evaluation and treatment for ADHD can be more complex than children are. The qualified evaluator knows that adults with ADHD have some differences in how symptoms are expressed compared to children with ADHD. Therefore, in order to develop the most effective treatment plan, the evaluation will need to first rule out possible medical causes for symptoms, such as problems of maintaining focus and attention, problems with short term memory, restlessness, and impulsivity.

It is encouraging to know we are learning more about how the human brain works every...

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