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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the frequency of ADHD diagnosis is rising. There are many possible reasons for the apparent increase in ADHD. One explanation is that increased awareness has led more people to seek diagnosis and treatment. Another is that the world has gotten more distracting and overstimulating due to technology, social media, and other societal changes. People with mild to moderate symptoms may not have been bothered by them  in a calmer environment but are starting to notice challenges, particularly in remote work or school environments, or when trying to balance work and other responsibilities. 

Symptoms of ADHD in adults include:

  • Difficulty paying attention in meetings or classes
  • Disorganization 
  • Difficulty prioritizing
  • Poor time management skills
  • Problems focusing on a task or listening in conversation
  • Unproductive multitasking
  • Excessive activity or restlessness
  • Poor planning
  • Impulsiveness
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Impatience and irritability
  • Procrastination
  • Problems following through and completing tasks

On the positive side, people with ADHD often have the following strengths: 

  • Ability to focus intensely on topics that interest them
  • High energy
  • Spontaneity
  • Creativity
  • Willingness to take risks
  • Nonconformity
  • Direct communication style

If you think you may have adult ADHD and want to learn strategies for managing your symptoms and tapping into your strengths, the first step is evaluation and diagnosis. I offer evaluations consistent with current expert guidelines for diagnosing ADHD in adults. The gold standard for evaluation of ADHD is a thorough clinical interview collecting developmental history, current symptoms, functional impairments, and academic and medical history. Whenever possible, I review academic and medical records to improve diagnostic accuracy. In some cases, I may do some additional objective testing, but the key to accurate diagnosis is hearing your story and asking lots of questions to unearth all the diagnostic clues.  

If the evaluation suggests you have ADHD,  you will likely want to consider medication. As a psychologist, I do not prescribe medications, but I can provide a report to help you communicate with a primary care physician or psychiatric prescriber to determine whether medication is the right choice for you. With your consent, I can also communicate directly with your other providers to offer a team approach to care. 


Skill-focused psychotherapy can increase the effectiveness of ADHD medication and be effective for patients who prefer not to take medications. Some patients find medications give them the clarity they need to learn effective skills, and they can eventually discontinue medications once they have established strategies and routines for managing attention. Psychotherapy for ADHD includes training in how to break down overwhelming projects into manageable tasks, how to develop an organization system that actually keeps your organized, how to reduce unnecessary distractions, and how to manage emotions and impulses effectively. 


Image by Ann H from Pexels

Image by Monstera Production from Pexels

 Change and Maintain Psychological Services provides in-person appointments in Lexington, MA, and online appointments to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire

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