How is cognitive behavioral therapy applied to ADHD cases?

ADHD, an acronym that refers to the term “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”, is a psychological phenomenon that often leads to controversy. In fact, few people today believe that this is a mere invention of the pharmaceutical industry, created to sell stimulant-type drugs like methylphenidate.

however, the truth is ADHD is a realityAnd in fact, its existence is not as tied to the dynamics of large pharmaceuticals as one might think. It is true that this is probably an overdiagnosed disorder (that is, people without ADHD are tended to be assumed to have developed this disorder), and it is also true that the use of drugs in their treatment is often recommended.

But the truth is, there is evidence for the existence of ADHD in both clinical psychology and neuroscience, and having received this diagnosis does not imply the need to use mind-altering drugs. Usually cognitive behavioral psychotherapy works best, And often enough with it. Let’s see what it is and how it applies to this disorder.

    What is ADHD?

    Let’s start with the basics: what is ADHD? This is a neurodevelopmental disorder often detected in childhood in some children, And that gives rise to three main types of symptoms:

    • Problems maintaining focus on a specific task or stimulus
    • Impulse control problems and impatience
    • Hyperactivity, restlessness and constant search for stimuli in the environment

    One of the main consequences of ADHD is that if not treated properly it tends to significantly limit children’s academic progress, leading to academic failure and all that that implies in adolescence and in adult life. In addition, it also poses problems of coexistence and family dynamics.

    From what is currently known, ADHD symptoms usually do not go away completely in adulthoodWhile it’s true that after adolescence we have better tools to get both our thoughts and priorities in order. While it is true that those who developed ADHD as a child do not continue to maintain the classic childish behavior based on impulsivity and high activity, they are statistically more likely to develop addictions and other related problems. difficulty suppressing impulses.

    How is ADHD treated in cognitive behavioral therapy?

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychological intervention that, as the name suggests, aims to help the support-seeking person change their behavioral and cognitive patterns. That is to say their way of behaving from an objective point of view and observable by all (moving, talking to others and interacting with what surrounds them in general), and their way of thinking, feeling and living. ‘have beliefs.

    This double plan of action, which is not as parallel as it seems, because observable behavior and cognitive processes constantly influence each other, is very effective in providing psychological assistance to a wide range of people. I don’t even have to do with psychological disorders.

    How is cognitive behavioral therapy applied in ADHD? In summary, the main forms of intervention in this class of cases are as follows.

    1. Training in emotion recognition

    From the cognitive-behavioral model, people with ADHD are helped to correctly identify the emotions they are feeling at any given time.

    In this way, for example, avoiding using forms of “relief” from emotional distress which can lead to recurring habits, Or even addictions, actions which lead to cover this discomfort with specific moments of well-being which “cover” anxiety, sadness, frustration, etc. This makes the person more likely to intervene properly in the real source of the problem that is causing them to feel this way.

    2. Structuring of behavior models

    Psychologists who work with the cognitive-behavioral model we train people with attention and impulsivity issues in adopting action sequencing strategies.

    This makes it less likely to start a task and leave it in the middle, or shift attention to other stimuli, as the focus is on those thought and action paths that cause us to finish what we are doing. started and move on to the next task.

    3. Anxiety management techniques

    Anxiety is one of the most predisposing psychological phenomena to disorganization and the search for outside distractions.. Therefore, from cognitive behavioral therapy, people learn to manage it better without falling into their traps.

    4. Communication guidelines

    It should be remembered that many symptoms of ADHD facilitate the emergence of conflicts and problems with coexistence. Therefore, in psychology guidelines are given to avoid this type of problem and to provide them with a constructive solution once they have occurred.

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      Bibliographical references:

      • Pharaoh, SV; Rostain, AL; Blader, J .; Busch, B .; Childress, AC, Connor, DF, Newcorn, JH (2019). Professional Review: Emotional Deregulation in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Implications for Clinical Recognition and Intervention. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines. 60 (2): pages 133 to 150.
      • Knife, LE; Safren, SA (2010). Current state of cognitive behavioral therapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults. Psychiatric clinics in North America. 33 (3): pages 497 to 509.
      • Lange, KW; Reichl, S .; Lange, KM; Tucha, L .; Tucha, O. (2010). History of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 2 (4): pages 241 to 255.
      • Sroubek, A .; Kelly, M .; Li, X. (2013). Inattention in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Neuroscience Bulletin. 29 (1): pages 103 to 110.
      • Verkuijl, N .; Perkins, M .; Fazel, M. (2015). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. [Trastorno por déficit de atención con hiperactividad en la infancia]. BMJ (BMJ Publishing Group Ltd) 350: h2168.
      • Wolraich, ML; Hagan, JF; Allan, C .; Chan, E .; Davison, D .; Earls, M .; Evans, SW; Flinn, SK; Froehlich, T .; Frost, J .; Holbrook, JR; Lehmann, CU; Lessin, RH; Okechukwu, K .; Pierce, KL; Winner, JD; Zurhellen, W .; Subcommittee on Children and Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Disorder. (2019). Clinical practice guide for the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Pediatrics. 144 (4): e20192528.

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