Christian Counseling for ADHD: Helping People of All Ages
What words do people often use to describe you? Forgetful? Hyperactive? Spontaneous”? Do you have a hard time focusing on one task for more than a few minutes? Do you frequently fail to bring your plans to fruition?
If any of this sounds familiar to you, it’s possible that you may have ADHD. Both children and adults can be affected by this disorder, and it can make school or work very difficult.
At Culver City Christian Counseling, we can offer you practical solutions to succeed in your everyday life. We want you to thrive in spite of the difficulties caused by ADHD, and we believe that Christian ADHD counseling can help you do just that.
A Christian Counseling Success Story
Part 1: Meet Aidan
Aidan is a seven-year-old boy who’s known for being full of energy and enthusiasm. He’s also creative, imaginative, and funny. Aidan doesn’t have many behavior problems, but he struggles academically, mainly because of his sloppy work and excessive talking. He has trouble sitting still in church.
Aidan’s parents are loving and want to discipline him correctly, but they don’t exactly know the best method. No matter what they try, Aidan’s behavior doesn’t seem to change, and he will probably need to take summer school for the second year in a row. Both he and his parents need help to figure out how to tackle his particular challenges.
As you probably know, ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and it’s a condition characterized by symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsive behavior. People with ADHD have varying types and degrees of symptoms.
If you are a Christian teen or adult with ADHD, you may be aware of the stigma surrounding a lack of self-discipline. You might feel like a failure because you struggle to have a consistent devotional routine of Bible reading and prayer.
God created you for a purpose, and even the condition of ADHD is a part of his plan for your life. In Christian counseling for ADHD, you’ll not only learn how to manage your symptoms, but you’ll be encouraged to find hope and healing in Christ.
ADHD vs. ADD: What’s the Difference?
You’ve probably heard the terms ADD and ADHD used interchangeably. The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V changed the diagnostic criteria for ADD in 2013. Since then, the disorder is usually known as ADHD.
In the United States, over 6 million children have been diagnosed with this condition. Many of them will eventually grow out of it, but about 60% still experience the disorder into adulthood. About 5% of American adults have ADHD.
I Think I Have ADHD: ADHD Symptoms
Whether it’s you or your child who has ADHD, you know this disorder makes everyday life difficult. Simple tasks can seem monumental when you struggle with focus. You might easily forget things and continuously get distracted. Each person’s symptoms are different, but most of them can be described as one of three categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Inattention is one of the three significant struggles for someone with ADHD. Procrastination and task-switching can make accomplishing anything difficult or impossible. School-age children might struggle academically even while being innately intelligent, and adults might have issues at work or in social settings and relationships.
In adults, inattentive symptoms of ADHD include:
- Not remembering one’s daily activities.
- Having trouble sticking to a given topic.
- Difficulty focusing.
- Getting distracted often.
- Not following social norms or rules.
- Making seemingly careless mistakes.
- Having trouble staying organized.
Symptoms for children struggling with attention are similar and include:
- Struggling with boredom.
- Having trouble completing tasks.
- Seeming not to listen when they’re spoken to.
- Losing items frequently, even important things like homework.
- Having difficulty following directions.
- Not being detail-oriented.
Children with ADHD tend to struggle the most with hyperactivity. Teenagers or adults with ADHD tend to experience this category of symptoms more as a sense of restlessness or being soothed by stimulating activities. In toddlers or preschoolers, hyperactivity usually presents as constant movement, difficulty playing in groups, and difficulty sitting still.
The following are common symptoms of hyperactivity in adults:
- Being calmed by stimulating substances, such as caffeine.
- Frequent task-switching.
- Feeling restless in a calm or quiet situation.
Children with hyperactivity may exhibit behaviors such as:
- Excessive talking.
- Running or climbing in inappropriate settings.
- Squirming or fidgeting while seated.
- Having trouble staying seated.
- Having a quick temper.
- Having trouble playing quietly.
Being impulsive means taking risks or misbehaving without regard for possible consequences. Impulsivity affects people of all ages with ADHD.
In adults, symptoms of impulsivity often look like:
- Making impulse purchases.
- Interrupting to answer a question before the other person has finished asking it.
- Being impatient.
- Making quick and thoughtless decisions.
- Starting conversations at inappropriate times.
- Talking out of turn, which can lead to problems in relationships or at work.
In children, impulsivity may present as:
- Intruding on games other children are playing.
- Experiencing emotional overreactions.
- Invading other people’s space or asking overly personal questions.
- Throwing out guesses instead of working to solve a problem.
- Interrupting frequently.
- Finding it unusually challenging to wait patiently.
- Acting without thinking.
If you’re struggling with ADHD, you know how overwhelming these symptoms can feel in your everyday life. Things can seem chaotic and stressful, and you might wonder if you’ll overcome your challenges or reach your dreams. Christian counseling for ADHD helps you overcome these difficulties and reach your God-given potential.
How Is ADHD Diagnosed?
Part 2: Meet Ryan – Aidan’s father
After his parents sought help, Aidan was tested for ADHD and received a diagnosis. His parents began to learn more about the condition, leading his dad Ryan to wonder if he might have ADHD too. As a child, Ryan often got in trouble for hyperactivity or lack of focus. He dismissed these problems as an adult, not realizing that adult ADHD usually presents differently than in children.
As he learned more about ADHD, Ryan realized why he had so much trouble with focus and follow-through at work, and why he was so distracted by the Internet. He also understood why he felt restless in a quiet environment and felt calmed when he had coffee.
But he didn’t know what step to take next. Should he seek a diagnosis? Would he or Aidan have to take medicine? After praying with his wife about it, they decided that both Ryan and Aidan would seek Christian counseling for ADHD.
As you can see, getting educated about ADHD is vital if you think you might have it. Whether it’s you or your child facing a diagnosis, you can help the doctor to be well-informed about all of the symptoms. It’s good to learn as much as possible, especially if you’re worried that people get diagnosed too often. The more doubts or questions you have, the more critical it is that you learn as much as possible so you can be your own (or your child’s) best advocate.
ADHD does tend to run in families, so if your child has a diagnosis and you have some similar symptoms, it might be helpful to explore whether you too have the condition.
Is it ADHD… or Something Else?
Symptoms that are common in an ADHD child or adult can also be due to other disorders, or even a high-stress lifestyle. ADHD isn’t a foregone conclusion even if your child is hyperactive, impulsive, or has trouble focusing. There are a lot of factors to consider.
Before making a diagnosis, a mental health professional will rule out other possibilities, including:
- Psychological disorders: mood or behavior disorders, anxiety, depression, etc.
- Learning disabilities.
- Medical conditions: epilepsy, sleep disorders, thyroid disease, etc.
- Stress caused by significant life changes or events such as moving or the death of a loved one, etc.
For adults, in particular, a doctor should rule out issues such as autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, sensory processing disorder, or a sleep disorder.
How Is a Diagnosis Made?
ADHD isn’t diagnosed by one standardized test or procedure. Instead, all of the relevant factors are taken into consideration, including current symptoms, patient history, and the possibility of other conditions. Here are some of the most common standards used in ADHD diagnosis:
- Several of the most common symptoms occurring before age 12.
- A recurring 6+month pattern of symptoms from any or all of the three major categories (inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity) causing detrimental effects to one’s school, work, or social life.
- Symptoms that don’t have an explanation that fits better with another possible cause.
At Culver City Christian Counseling, our skilled and compassionate professionals will make sure that you receive the best Christian counseling for ADHD. We offer a safe place where you can be evaluated for other possible issues, be treated for ADHD, and address all of the concerns you may have. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help for you or your child. We’re here to help.
Effective ADHD Treatment from a Christian Perspective
Part 3: Prayers Answered
Both Ryan and Aidan found Christian counseling for ADHD to be very helpful. Aidan’s parents felt peaceful knowing that their son was receiving support to overcome his challenges. After getting an ADHD diagnosis himself and beginning treatment, Ryan was accomplishing more at work and found that his anxiety had decreased. He and Aidan were able to connect on a new level.
In ADHD counseling, Ryan and his wife were given treatment options for Aidan and found that their son started to flourish in school. Aidan kept his enthusiasm for life but developed an ability to focus and channel his creativity more productively.
Again, ADHD treatment isn’t a one-size fits all approach. There are a variety of counseling techniques and medications that may help in your (or your child’s) treatment. Christian counseling for ADHD can be one of the most effective ways to manage ADHD symptoms for children and adults. The counselors at Culver City Christian Counseling can work with your physician to develop an individualized treatment plan for you or your child.
Medications for ADHD
If you want to explore the options available for you or your child regarding Christian psychiatry, please visit our Counseling for Children page.
When treating ADHD with medication, it’s imperative to find a trusted health care professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating ADHD. Misdiagnosis can happen, and so can misuse of medicines intended to treat this disorder.
It’s also vital that you educate yourself about the benefits and risks of any medication you’re considering for yourself or your child. Do the potential benefits of this medication outweigh any risks or possible side effects? Particularly for children, overuse of drugs can be a concern, and dependence or abuse issues to consider for anyone.
There are two classes of medications used to treat ADHD:
Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD treatment. These include Adderall, Dexedrine, and Ritalin. These medications work by reducing hyperactivity and helping to improve focus and concentration.
Adults with ADHD tend to benefit from non-stimulants such as Catapres and Strattera. Antidepressants such as Effexor can also be useful for the treatment of adult ADHD. There’s also a non-stimulant drug called Intuniv that’s been proven to be useful for children ages 6-17.
Psychological Therapy for ADHD
In the past 20 years, we in the counseling community have seen great strides made in the treatment of ADHD, especially in the area of psychosocial interventions. These interventions can include cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavior modification therapy, parent counseling, etc. Medication its own is not the only solution!
When you receive Christian counseling for ADHD, these are some of the options that will be available to you.
Behavior modification therapy for children with ADHD is the most commonly used method, and the counselors at Culver City Christian Counseling usually see great success with it. This technique utilizes a cooperative effort among the counselor, parents, and child to change the child’s behavior by rewarding the positive and discouraging the negative. Your child will also learn to manage his or her inattentiveness or impulsivity.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for ADHD can be useful for both adults and children. CBT helps you to understand yourself and your surroundings better by assessing your thoughts and how they influence your behavior. The goal is to increase your focus and organization and help you manage your emotions more effectively.
Counseling for parents of children with ADHD can give you tools and solutions for dealing with your child’s ADHD-related behavior and help them succeed academically and socially. ADHD is not a result of bad parenting. Counseling for parents helps provide strategies to encourage your child’s creativity and enthusiasm while managing behavior problems.
Why Culver City Christian Counseling?
Finding reliable help for ADHD can get you started on the path to a more satisfying and productive life. Whether you’re looking for counseling for yourself or your child, Culver City Christian Counseling can help. We can provide:
- A faith-based approach: We know that Scripture offers hope in the ADHD recovery process. There is healing to be found in Christ, not just in traditional therapy methods. Our approach goes above and beyond science-based therapy.
- Trusted treatment options: Culver City Christian Counseling offers a variety of resources for ADHD treatment to help you or your child control your symptoms and overcome your daily challenges. We provide group counseling and family counselingas well as individual ADHD counseling.
- Christian psychiatry: We will help you stay true to your faith while working through your individual needs and options. The treatment process often includes medication, but this doesn’t mean it’s the first or only option.
- Reliable ADHD testing: It’s paramount to get accurate testing results from a trusted professional so you can receive the right treatment. Our skilled professionals at Culver City Christian Counseling make use of the most up-to-date technology and techniques for psychological testing.
At Culver City Christian Counseling, we believe that God created you in his image and that you have valuable qualities to cultivate throughout the treatment process. We work with you to find solutions for living a more fulfilling life in Christ.
FAQ About Christian ADHD Counseling in Culver City
The answer could be yes or no, depending on your situation. Children must receive testing before beginning treatment, but testing isn’t always necessary for adults. Anyone who wants to get tested can consult our Licensed Clinical Psychologist or our ANRP to receive an evaluation for ADHD before beginning treatment. After your assessment, you’ll find out whether your symptoms are caused by ADHD and what treatment options you have, including medication.
ADHD treatment isn’t static. Sometimes individuals’ symptoms decrease as they get older, allowing them to manage their symptoms through psychological methods. This approach may enable them to reduce or eliminate their medication. Other individuals may be able to control their symptoms without medication altogether. However, in most cases, therapy and medication provide the best combination of ADHD treatment.
Culver City Christian Counseling provides a trusted resource for ADHD counseling for adults. Childhood ADHD often goes undiagnosed and lingers into adulthood. One-third of people with adult ADHD didn’t have symptoms of impulsivity or hyperactivity in childhood, making the condition more difficult to diagnose.
Therapy and medication needs can change over time, so it’s essential to have an ongoing knowledge of your symptoms so your treatment plan can be adjusted as needed. Often, ADHD is a chronic condition that requires consistent treatment. Sometimes children do outgrow the disorder.
Contact Us Today for More Information About Christian ADHD Counseling in Culver City
The compassionate professionals at Culver City Christian Counseling offer hope and help for ADHD, whether it’s you or your child struggling with symptoms. To find out more about the counseling process or to schedule your risk-free initial session, contact us online or call us at (949) 386-7179.