Categories
Adolescence Bullying Depression Mental Health

Depression and Bullying

Everyone goes through trying times, and it’s only natural for us to say we feel depressed because of money, relationship or family issues. The problem with depression comes when we’re feeling sad, isolated and hopeless all of the time. Depression is a mental health condition that we see if over 60% percent of our population, and it’s not simply adults that are affected by this but children and teens are the most affected by depression.

Symptoms of Depression:

  • Feeling disconnected
  • Social withdrawal
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Loss of concentration
  • Agitation
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of interest

At Visions Adolescent Treatment Center, we see teens in addiction recovery that deal with depression as part of their daily lives. Depression gets worse when these kids suffer from bullying in school, which can sometimes lead to suicide. These kids move through life in a fog of sadness every single day; addiction for them is the only way they know how to get out of that. Our job is to remove that fog from their lives and show them there are so many beautiful things that can keep them happy, healthy and willing to explore all the world has to offer.

Pushed to the Edge Because of Bullying

Bullying isn’t something new, but it’s become increasingly worse as time passes with the availability of things like technology. Technology has created a web of bullying tactics that make the impact worse because of embarrassing videos or photos that circulate to thousands and live online for years. The web, social media and news stories bring awareness to the issue of bullying as well. People don’t realize how pranks that may seem small affect people that already have issues with depression.

Schools are a battlefield when it comes to being the most popular kid, the best dressed, or the coolest. Add this to issues at home that no kid wants to talk about at school, such as abuse, death or loss of a loved one, conflict, and we get a lethal combination of issues that can push someone over the edge. Many people that suffer from depression don’t know that it’s a chemical imbalance that’s made significantly worse when external factors blend with their own personal feelings. Early diagnosis of depression can help with managing depression; the child that has access to a counselor and already working to manage their condition are less likely to look to self-harm.

Don’t Let Bullying Continue—Be Better

We ask that bullying is taken seriously and that if you see or become an accomplice regarding bullying, please stand up for that person and say something. You never know what someone is dealing with internally, and it is our job as human beings to stop someone from hurting others unnecessarily. Whether it is children picking on each other or anyone treating someone rudely, we must rise as one and fight against this treatment and behavior. We would all hope that our children have someone there to lend a helping hand and stand up for them.

What can you do if you experience bullying?

If you’re the victim in a bullying situation, it’s important that you talk to someone about it. Teachers, counselors, friends and family are a great place to start. There are also hotlines you can call and speak to a counselor in just a few seconds. At Visions Adolescent Treatment Center, we have staff ready to offer advice over the phone at any time. You’re not alone in this and being afraid isn’t the answer. Often people don’t realize the negative effects they have on others lives, but we should never feel that it is our fault that they treat us this way.

Suicide Isn’t the Answer

Again, you are not alone in this. Others are experiencing the same things at school or home. At the end of the day, you have options to look to in these situations. Suicide is permanent, and it helps no one; suicide effects more than just the person who elects to end their life. Your friends, family and anyone else you care for will be burdened with more than you can imagine. Sharing your feelings with these people is the best option, they would much rather have had you sit with them and talk then to take these serious actions to end the problem.

Think about this for a moment—if every person that went through bullying said nothing and simply ended their life, there would be no one to stand up for what’s right and stop bullying. There would be no one to share their experience and feelings about bullying, and no one would understand that the things they do have consequences. Become an advocate and get involved. At Visions, we encourage our clients to go out there and have a voice.

If you suffer from depression and experience bullying, please call Visions Adolescent Treatment Center at (818) 889-3665 today and share your story with us.

Categories
Adolescence Anxiety Mental Health Stress

Living With Anxiety

Life can be challenging enough without being affected by something that throws off your emotions, disrupts time with friends and everything about your internal universe. Living with anxiety is one of those conditions that affects nearly 18% of the population; that’s a large percentage that deals with acute stress from anxiety on a daily basis. It may not seem that serious to people who never experienced it before, but for those of us that have it, anxiety can change everything.

Understanding Anxiety

Think about that 18%, and think about who is a part of that number—your friends, daughters, sons, mothers, brothers, wives, boyfriends, sisters, etc. To understand what people living with this disorder go through it’s a good idea to know what anxiety is, so that when they experience an event you can be there for support. Anxiety is a stress-related disorder that is considered a mental health condition caused by intense feelings of worry and fear about a variety of things like health related concerns, social situations and more.

One small thing like a pain in your left arm, to someone with acute anxiety, can feel like a heart attack when it’s just a nerve. These little things escalate quickly because our minds, and in that moment, it’s all real. Can you imagine feeling like that all of the time? People that live with anxiety, often don’t have any idea when an event will happen or what the intensity of the event will be. So you can imagine how difficult it is to prepare for, constantly in a state of worry about a future anxiety or panic attack.

We say the event because they are considered disrupting to our daily activities and can make it difficult to engage in anything else other than what’s happening in our heads. Some people will experience similar symptoms that tell them an episode is coming that allows them to be prepared for the experience; others have no idea or are not entirely sure what they’re experiencing until it’s happened enough times to see a physician and be correctly diagnosed.

Common symptoms of an anxiety attack:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Numbness
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Clammy palms and sweating
  • Irritation
  • Restlessness
  • Racing thoughts
  • Nausea

Anxiety is Managed, Not Cured

The problem with anxiety is that the feeling of nervousness and paranoia cannot be avoided, you just learn to work through them or manage them differently. Unfortunately, those with anxiety have to experience an attack multiple times before they understand something is wrong. Medications have been used to tone down symptoms or calm the mind, but counseling is the best method and to figure out what works best for you when you experience an attack. There is no cure, but it’s manageable.

Famous People Suffering from Anxiety

Whether you realize it or not, many famous people suffer from anxiety every day. These celebrities deal with bouts of nervous feelings and fear as they’re performing, presenting or walking around the city. Some of the names you may be familiar with are Emma Stone, Kristen Stewart, Adele, John Mayer, Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron! These people are A-lister’s and are in the public eye every day, no matter what they’re doing. It is possible to live with anxiety and do amazing things, but it takes strength and mindfulness to know yourself and how you react. Be inspired to share your story!

At Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers, our clients come to us with a variety of preexisting conditions in addition to their addiction, and we’re here for them every step of the way. Call Visions today to learn more about our addiction recovery and dual diagnosis programs at (866)889-3665.

Categories
Adolescence

Characteristics of Adolescent Resiliency

Adolescents encounter many challenges as they navigate their journey into adulthood. The Internet and other forms of digital media have only increased the intensity of these challenges. In addition to that, the adolescent brain often does not finish developing until the age of 25. This means that adolescents lack the ability to engage in healthy decision-making. Despite all these obstacles, most adolescents make the successful transition from childhood to adulthood. What helps contribute to this success?

The answer is resiliency, an adolescent’s ability to overcome adversity. In working with adolescents and their family members over the years, I have found 3 main characteristics that help increase resiliency in adolescents.

Healthy Identity

The first characteristic is for an adolescent to have a healthy personal identity. Adolescents who have a healthy identity seem to have the ability to overcome obstacles more quickly. Some teenagers who develop challenges during adolescence do so because they have allowed their “struggle” to become their identity. It is important for adolescents to create new narratives for themselves, and to believe that they are victors over any adversity that they have experienced.

Emotional Regulation Skills

The second characteristic is an adolescent’s ability to regulate his/her emotions. Teenagers who do not have strong emotional regulation skills will usually present with some form of unhealthy behavior (opposition, defiance, angry outbursts, drug and alcohol use). Adolescents who develop healthy coping skills to deal with emotional fluctuations have a greater chance of surviving adversity. The key is to encourage adolescents to engage their pre-frontal cortex, the executive part of the brain that is responsible for higher levels of cognition. Cognitive behavioral techniques such as “thought stopping and replacement”, and mindfulness skills, help increase adolescent awareness while reducing emotional dysregulation.

Support System

The last factor that contributes to resiliency is for an adolescent to have positive role models and a healthy interpersonal support system. Adolescents who socialize with peers who are engaging in healthy behavior seem to be more likely to engage in similar behavior. Parents can also help teenagers develop a healthy support system by encouraging their adolescent child to spend more time with healthy peers. Adolescents who feel supported are more likely to take to healthy risks and express emotional vulnerability that, in turn, solidifies a healthy personal identity.

So, it can be seen how the 3 factors of: a healthy identity, emotional regulations skills and a strong support system can help an adolescent persevere during challenging times. As the saying goes, “Calm seas, a good sailor never made”. The more emotional skills adolescents have at their disposal, the greater their chances of developing the resilience to weather the storm.

Categories
Addiction Adolescence Alcohol Mental Health

What is “Normal”? Signs of Mental Illness in Teens

The teen years are filled with emotional ups and downs and sudden mood swings. How can you tell whether your teen’s behavior is normal or an indication something might be wrong? Parents of teens may worry that their teen is exhibiting symptoms of a mental illness, but they may not be sure how to identify the condition or talk to their teen about what they are seeing. The staff at Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers has some of the early signs of mental illness to watch for and what to do if you see those signs in your own child.

The Prevalence of Mental Illness

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), around 20 percent of youth between the ages of 13 and 18 suffer from a mental health condition. Some of those teens will turn to drugs or alcohol to “self-medicate” their symptoms, creating a substance abuse disorder in addition to a mental illness. A significant portion of those youth also drop out of high school or end up in the juvenile justice system. Common mental illnesses that develop during the teen years include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Behavior disorders
  • Eating disorders

Half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14. Another 25 percent occur by the age of 27. The earlier these illnesses are identified and treated, the better prognosis both during the teen years and into adulthood.

Signs of Mental Illness

There are a number of possible signs your teen may be suffering from a mental illness:

  • Mood shifts out of character from your teen’s usual mood fluctuations
  • Withdrawal from family, friends and activities
  • Difficulty in school or relationship problems with friends
  • Behavioral changes that make your child seem like a different person
  • Weight loss without any clear cause
  • Risk-taking behavior completely out of character for your teen
  • Signs of drug or alcohol use that could indicate your teen is self-medicating
  • Symptoms of sadness that last more than a week or two
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideations

Any one of these signs alone may not necessarily be a problem, but if you begin to see a pattern that is different from what your teen usually displays, don’t wait to seek guidance and assistance. Talk to your teen about what you have observed – you may be met with resistance, but at least your child will see that you care and you are willing to get the necessary help. The sooner you get your teen the medical support needed, the less likely your child will be to turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of dealing with their illness. If drug or alcohol use is already present, Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers can help. Contact us today at 866-889-3665.

Categories
Addiction Adolescence Recovery

Predicting Adolescent Recovery

A new study has identified a factor that can help to predict the success of adolescent recovery after substance addiction. Researchers have discovered that mastery of one’s thinking could help to predict reduced use of substances like marijuana and cocaine over time. This new study could shed light on how brain function might impact addiction treatment and recovery. It might also provide clues in how utilizing a reward system could improve the outcome of the recovery process for some teens and adults.

Measuring Inhibitory Control
Taking control over one’s thinking processes is guided by areas of the frontal lobe of the brain. While the activation of these areas can be measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), it cannot be accurately measured by behavioral testing. Instead, scientists used a cognitive test, known as antisaccadic test evaluation, which provided a more thorough assessment of inhibition control. Researchers were also able to add another factor to this evaluation – financial reward – to determine the effect these types of rewards had on impulse control.

The study, which was published in the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, found that adolescents with greater inhibition control were less likely to have a substance use disorder or SUD. However, adolescents were also able to increase their inhibition control through a positive reward system that was based on their performance. This was the case regardless of other factors like the amount of alcohol consumed or the symptoms of SUD.

Young Males Subject of Study
A total of 14 teens were included in this study, with subjects averaging 17 years of age. The large majority (93 percent) were Caucasian and nearly three-fourths were male. All of the test subjects had average IQ levels, 29 percent met the criteria for ADHD, 43 percent for conduct disorder and 21 percent for major depressive disorder. Study outcomes were based on frequency and total days of substance use, as well as substance use six months after baseline.

Takeaways from this study include the fact that adolescents with greater activation of the area of the brain guiding inhibition control tended to see better results in their efforts to overcome their SUDs. Those the received performance-based rewards could improve their inhibition control to help them overcome an SUD. Overall, this study may help those working in addiction recovery to better understand the workings of the adolescent brain and their ability to succeed in SUD intervention. This knowledge can ensure the proper tools are employed during treatment to ensure a higher quality success rate in the recovery process overall.

Categories
Addiction Adolescence Marijuana

What is “Dabbing”?

Dabbing, a new way of getting “high” from the active ingredient in marijuana, is quickly gaining popularity today, particularly with the younger crowd of marijuana users. The highly concentrated oil is nearly as dangerous to make as it is to smoke, raising serious concerns about the rising fad. For those concerned about the marijuana use of friends or loved ones, there are some facts about dabbing you need to know.

What are “Dabs”?
Dabs, also known as butane hash oil or BHO, are waxy concentrates created by extracting THC – the active ingredient in marijuana. Extraction is done using butane, which is a highly flammable gas. The extract left from the process is up to four times more potent than standard marijuana, producing a more powerful high with a very small amount of the substance.

Dabbing has actually been around for a number of decades, but only recently has it come into popularity with regular drug users. Now, those interested in dabbing can find information on social media and YouTube videos, presenting a serious danger for DIY dabbers that try to make the substance at home.

Dangerous Extraction
Because the process of extraction is done using highly flammable materials, there have been numerous reports of explosions and fires involving those that have tried to make the substance in their homes. In addition, the extraction process is far from an exact science, which leaves the user unsure of the additional ingredients that might make their way into the dabs. These substances might include dangerous chemicals and gases, including residual butane and benzene.

Powerful Drug
THC concentrations found in dabbing can be as much as 90 percent, while concentrations of THC in standard marijuana are closer to 10-15 percent. This potent mix has led to hallucinations, unconsciousness and hospital visits for some users. Because the high is so strong, most that begin dabbing will be unable to go back to herbal marijuana and get a satisfactory high. This may lead some dabbers to move to other types of drugs in an effort to mimic the effects.

There are also concerns that the potency of dabbing can lead to tolerance of the drug, which means more of the substance will be needed to achieve the same effects. Tolerance to drugs can also lead to abuse and dependency over time.

As concerns about dabbing continue to grow, legalization of marijuana in many states for both medicinal and recreational purposes only serves to feed the worry. If you are struggling with marijuana abuse of any kind, we can help. Contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers today at 866-889-3665.

Categories
Addiction ADHD Adolescence Anxiety Bipolar Disorder Depression Mental Health Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Personality Disorder Recovery Social Anxiety Stress

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Mental illness is a frequent partner of substance abuse and addiction, although the cause-and-effect between the two isn’t always clear. However, the issue is a prevalent one that needs to be considered anytime treatment is sought for substance abuse, because diagnosing both correctly is a key component to a healthy recovery process. There are a number of different types of mental illnesses that are often seen in combination with substance abuse and addiction.

Depression
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses associated with substance abuse. In some cases, substances may be used to mask the symptoms of depression. Other times, substance abuse may bring on the depression symptoms or make them worse. Symptoms of depression might include:

  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or guilt
  • Loss of interest in or ability to enjoy activities
  • Diminished energy levels and fatigue
  • Difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating
  • Changes to sleep or appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideations

Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are also a frequent problem for those struggling with substance abuse. There are different types of anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety and panic attacks. Substances may be used to lessen the symptoms at first, which often only serves to make the symptoms more intense over time. Symptoms of these conditions might include:

  • Feelings of restlessness or nervousness
  • Excessive and ongoing worry and tension
  • Irritability and fearfulness
  • Sweaty palms, racing heart, shortness of breath
  • Headaches, dizziness or nausea

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD is a disorder often diagnosed in adolescents and frequently associated with substance abuse. This disorder is characterized by three basic components:

  • Hyperactivity – difficulty sitting still, excessive talking, always seems to be “on the go”
  • Inattention – disorganization, lack of focus, forgetfulness, distraction
  • Impulsivity – impatience, blurting out answers, guessing instead of solving problems

Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental disorder characterized by extreme swings of mood and energy levels. During the manic phase, the individual exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Excessive irritability
  • Bursts of energy, requiring little sleep
  • Distracted easily
  • Engage in impulsive, high-risk behaviors

Manic phases are typically followed by depressed states, which may include the following symptoms:

  • Extended periods of sadness or hopelessness
  • Low energy, excessive fatigue
  • Significant changes to appetite and sleep patterns
  • Thoughts and ideations of suicide

When mental illness accompanies a substance abuse disorder, it is imperative to address both disorders simultaneously to give the patient the best odds for a successful recovery. At Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers, we are experienced in treating both of these conditions at the same time, a situation known as dual diagnosis. Our team of healthcare professionals is equipped to work through both disorders and give our patients the best odds of successful sobriety and improved mental health. To learn more about dual diagnosis or our treatment programs, contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers at 866-889-3665.

Categories
Addiction Adolescence Alcohol Alcoholism Bullying Communication Depression Family Feelings Mental Health Prevention School Substance Abuse Treatment

Risk Factors for Substance Abuse for Teens


While there is no way to definitively predict which teens might develop a substance abuse disorder, there are a number of risk factors that considerably increase the likelihood an abuse problem will occur. By understanding these risk factors, parents and others involved in a child’s life can employ effective protective actions to minimize the risk. Below are a few of the common factors that raise the chances substance abuse could become a problem by the time a child becomes a teenager.

Genetics
Family history of substance abuse is one of the biggest risk factors for children develop a substance abuse disorder by the time they hit the teen years. Prenatal exposure to alcohol may also make a person more vulnerable to substance abuse later in life.

Environment
Children that are around substance use, either by parents, friends or members of their community, may regard drugs and alcohol as a normal part of life. They may not recognize the dangers of using these substances, which puts them at increased risk of addiction.

Behavior
Children who are impulsive or aggressive in the early years of life may also be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Aggressive behavior could lead to anti-social tendencies, while impulsivity is an individual risk factor that involves the inability to set limits on one’s behavior.

Mental Health
The connection between a substance abuse disorder and a mental illness is very high. In some cases, the person may use substances to cope with the painful symptoms of the mental illness. Other times, regular substance use may trigger the symptoms of a mental disorder.

Family Life
Children with parents that abuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to use the substances themselves. In addition, a home life that is stressful due to conflict or other difficult situations can also make a teen more likely to use substances as a way of dealing with the stress.

Social Life
Children that do not socialize well with their peers are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their loneliness. By the same token, teens who choose friends that use are more likely to use themselves as well.

Academics
Struggles in school, whether academically or socially, can also lead to substance abuse. The earlier the school problems begin, the more likely it is that substance abuse will become an obstacle over time.

At Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers, we have seen teens turn to drugs and alcohol for a wide range of reasons. While prevention should always be the primary focus in keeping this age group safe and healthy, sometimes prevention efforts are simply not enough to keep a potential addiction at bay. The good news is there are also effective methods of treating substance abuse that help teens move away from their abusive behaviors and into a healthier, sober way of life. To learn more about our treatment programs, contact Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers at 866-889-3665.

Categories
Adolescence Communication Mindfulness Recovery Self-Care

I’m Sorry but I’m Not Sorry

“I’m sorry.” “No, really, I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry. Can you help me?” “I’m sorry. I really appreciate it.”

Is “I’m sorry,” the unconscious mantra you use when you engage with the world? For years, I said, “I’m sorry” for some of the most banal reasons:

  • To a server who brought me the wrong order;
  • To someone who had issues pronouncing my name;
  • To a person who didn’t know an answer to my question;
  • To someone for a mistake that they made;
  • For asking a question, and better yet, for asking a “stupid” question.

The list can go on and on, but the truth is, many of us have said this or continue to say this day in and day out. It’s become a conversation filler, a verbal crutch for times when we might feel uncomfortable asking for what we need…and deserve.

Perhaps this is the real issue: fear around owning our own voices and honoring our needs. Punctuating a request for help with “I’m sorry” devalues the very thing you are asking for. Are you really sorry because you need help with your homework? Are you really sorry because you need a ride to school? Maybe there is embarrassment or concern that you are being demanding or needy. And maybe someone has hammered that negative message into your subconscious enough times that it’s become part of your internal dialogue. Time to turn that tape off: It’s time to take your power back and honor your voice.

These days, I very rarely punctuate my statements with “I’m sorry,” but this shift took time.

  • First, I had to become aware that I was saying it in the first place. In early recovery, I had several people point it out to me over and over and over again. I finally heard it.
  • Second: Once I was aware of my language, I had to shift my awareness to notice when I was about to say I’m sorry. This is the time when the real internal work begins. Because every time you may want to say “I’m sorry,” you are now aware, conscious of your words and methods of communication. This is where you can stop and pause in order to truncate your phrase and remove “I’m sorry.”

This is a habit. Sure, it’s not a habit that will cause you great physical harm, but it is a negative habit nonetheless. The positive shift that occurs once this habit is broken is one of quiet empowerment. Self-esteem perks up, self-worth perks up, self-love perks up. The need for an apology should be been remanded to a time when there is really something to be sorry for: stealing, lying, cheating, hurting someone’s feelings, et cetera. It no longer has a place as the perpetual grammatical prefix in your sentence structure.

Categories
ADHD Adolescence Mental Health

Does Your Child Have ADHD?

ADHD is a common disorder that mental health professionals encounter. It has become a go-to diagnosis for physicians, whose first line of treatment is typically Adderal or Ritalin. However, ADHD diagnoses are often determined using elementary questionnaires, the answers to which are relative and rely on a patient’s (i.e., parent’s) willingness to be transparent rather than psychological clarification.

 

It’s important to recognize that there are many psychological issues that have similar traits to ADHD.  Often times, someone will present with ADHD traits when their actual diagnosis is depression, anxiety, or PTSD.  Using drugs like Adderal or Ritalin isn’t always a wise course of action. These drugs are both stimulants and highly addictive. While these drugs will certainly increase focus and attention, they will also mask the relevant and underlying issues that may be present. Additionally, they have severe side effects: paranoia, irregular heartbeat, and an increase in blood pressure, tremors, restlessness, hallucinations, and muscle twitches.

 

Finding a skilled mental-health professional will shift the course of your teen’s treatment; a qualified clinician can skillfully diagnose disorders that are similar in symptoms but which may require different treatment.  Diagnosing ADHD requires investigation into several areas. Doctors look at the following to determine if there is an issue of hyperactivity and impulsivity. This is often the more obvious form of ADHD and more easily recognizable because of the negative social constructs that occur. Note, a child or teen has to experience 6 or more of these symptoms for a minimum of 6 months to qualify for this diagnosis. ADHD is diagnosed by looking at the following issues (following info via PsychCentral):

 

Inattention

  • Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
  • Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
  • Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
  • Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities–even those the person performs regularly (e.g., a routine appointment)

  

Hyperactivity

  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • Often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
  • Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
  • Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  • Is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”
  • Often talks excessively

 

Impulsivity

  • Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • Often has difficulty awaiting turn
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)

 

Note, the DSM-5 lists three subcategories for ADHD, which are:

  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation — Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity but not symptoms of inattention have been shown for at least 6 months.
  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation — Symptoms of inattention but not symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been shown for at least 6 months.
  • Combined Presentation — Symptoms of both hyperactive-impulsivity and inattentiveness have been shown for at least 6 months.

 

Regardless of where your child lands in the ADHD field, it’s important to have the appropriate clinical support, the willingness to accept the diagnosis, and the courage to do the work to support and care for your child. Creating schedules that your child can adhere to, having a therapist that your child relates to, and building an infrastructure of support can make managing ADHD and other similarly related issues easier for families. While it’s no walk in the park, it’s better to know than not know. It’s better to ask for help than to watch your child needlessly suffer.