ADHD stands for attention- deficit hyperactivity disorder. As the name suggests a person suffering from ADHD have a very limited attention span or are inattentive in general, are hyperactive and are very impulsive that they do not give thought before doing anything. ADHD is more common amongst children specially school attending children than in adults. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder and quite common these days. There are several medications available these days but not everyone prefers to take medicines so a talk therapy was developed to ease ADHD.
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is a talk therapy which focuses on present thoughts that are thoughts and behaviours that are taking place now. CBT is different from other psychodynamic therapies as it is goal oriented and can be measured for each individual. Also, it looks into an individual’s present rather than their childhood trauma that might be affecting their present. CBT works from the idea that most of the problems are caused by irrational thoughts such as: all or nothing thought process, only paying attention to negative events, catastrophizing or always thinking that they are responsible for any negative event. So, CBT deals with such thoughts and tries to remove or change the thought process through some activities and talk therapy.
HOW DOES CBT HELP PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM ADHD OR ADD?
A person suffering from ADHD finds it difficult to regulate their emotions and behaviours. A person who has been suffering from ADHD since childhood might suffer a lot of setbacks in their adulthood in relation to their lack of attention in workplaces, procrastination, impulsive thoughts or lack of emotional regulation which in return leads them to become more pessimistic, under confident or self critical. A person with ADHD might always feel that they are the reason for something negative or if anything doesn’t go well. They will always feel that the other person thinks something negative about them and this leads to self criticism.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people with ADHD to perform daily activities more efficiently. It will help them with procrastination, help regulate emotional balance , time management , inconsistent motivation, disorganisation, etc. CBT mostly uses encounters and challenges from the individual’s life and tries to re-create them. CBT professionals use very simple coping mechanisms like to maintain a journal or have a daily planner etc. CBT is the best kind of treatment for people who have already faced challenges due to ADHD for a long time and medications couldn’t fix it or people who might have medical contradictions or simply have side effects.
CBT helps adults suffering from ADHD in two ways : firstly, it helps them to overcome the daily obstacles such as poor time management or not being able to plan out their day properly. Secondly, it focuses on emotional regulation or balance , hyperactivity and impulse control and also stress management. ADHD also may give rise to other mental health issues such as depression or anxiety in adults. CBT though is not a replacement for medication in any way as medications help with the core neurological problems and CBT is more effective at addressing executive dysfunction and increasing habits and skills for better self management.