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ADHD in Teens (cont.)

ADHD in Teens: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Another kind of psychotherapy used to treat ADHD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This form of therapy seeks to help those with this condition identify and decrease the irrational thoughts and behaviors that reinforce maladaptive behaviors and can be administered either individually or in group therapy. CBT that seeks to help the ADHD sufferer decrease the tendency to pay excessive attention to potential threats has also been found to be helpful, particularly for teens who have anxiety or depression in addition to ADHD.

ADHD in Teens: Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral techniques that are often used to decrease ADHD involve the parents, teachers, and other adult caretakers understanding the circumstances surrounding both positive and negative behaviors and how each kind of behavior is encouraged and discouraged. Specifically, learning when and where specific behaviors occur can go a long way toward understanding how to encourage the behavior happening again if it's positive or extinguishing it if the behavior is negative. Being aware of how the reactions of others contribute to a behavior's continuing or not continuing tend to help the teen with ADHD shape their behaviors more positively. Also, developing a fair and effective repertoire of ways to encourage positive behaviors and provide consequences for negative behaviors is a key component of any behavior management plan and therefore in parenting adolescents with ADHD.

Often, a combination of medication and nonmedication interventions produces good results. Depending on the course of treatment deemed most appropriate, improvement may be noticed in a fairly short period of time, from two to three weeks to two to three months. Thus, appropriate treatment for ADHD can relieve symptoms or at least substantially reduce their severity and frequency, bringing significant relief to many people with this condition. There are also things that people with ADHD can do to help make treatment more effective. Since substances like alcohol and illicit drugs can worsen ADHD, they should be avoided. Other tips to manage ADHD symptoms include getting adequate sleep, using visual techniques, as well as seeking reminders from parents or teachers to remember tasks and assignments, respectively.

People with an ADHD may also need treatment for other emotional problems. Depression and anxiety have often been associated with ADHD, as have alcohol and drug abuse. Recent research also suggests that suicide attempts are more frequent in people with ADHD. Fortunately, these problems associated with ADHD can be overcome effectively, just like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder itself. Sadly, many teens with ADHD do not seek or receive treatment.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/26/2014

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