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TMS for Teenage ADHD
Is your teen struggling with
- Attention and concentration in school or in other situations?
- Acting impulsively, on a regular basis
- Inability to properly manage time or unable to be organized
- Lacking focus for almost anything else but video games, phone activities, or TV/movies?
While the above issues have become almost ‘normal’ with teenagers, today, for many teens these issues are debilitating and prevent them from succeeding in many areas of daily living, which negatively affect them, now, and in the future. Our San Diego Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Center provides TMS Therapy for Teen ADHD.
What Is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD] is a neurological disorder of attention and inhibition, which is commonly diagnosed in children and adolescents (teenagers). ADHD symptoms typically manifest at the time children start school; however, many of the negative effects of ADHD are not fully recognized until middle or even high school.
Common Signs of ADHD in Teens
ADHD is a mental disorder of attention and inhibition.
Attention is defined as the capacity to hold and direct awareness toward a variety of internal (thoughts; feelings) or external events that are considered worthy of one’s attention. ADHD impairs one’s ability to exert voluntary control over his/her attention. ADHD does not signify that one is unable to focus, rather it means it is difficult for one to control his/her attentional and focusing capacities. Thus, teens with ADHD dither between periods of poor focus contrasted with periods of strong or even ‘hyper’-focus.
Inhibition impedes the ADHD sufferer’s ability to voluntarily select, control, and move between a variety of competing processes, including thoughts, behaviors, impulses, emotions, etc. For teens with ADHD, the difficulty they have controlling and inhibiting certain behaviors often leads to inappropriate behaviors, such as blurting out thoughts that are inappropriate, acting on impulses, and engaging in behaviors that get them into trouble.
Conversely, difficulty with voluntary behavior control in a teen can also lead to a deficit of certain behaviors that are beneficial, including initiating tasks at home and/or school, employing organizational strategies, or avoiding activities that require sustained mental effort.
ADHD is classified into three main categories or types:
- Inattentive Type (Difficulty controlling attention)
- Hyperactive-impulsive Type (Difficulty controlling behavior)
- Combined Type (Symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity).
ADHD symptoms are manifested as challenges in a Teen’s executive functioning and/or motor drive. Executive functioning concerns the brain’s ability to organize thoughts, plan ahead, and integrate perceptual information. Executive functioning deficits are most easily identified by poor attention control and poor organizational skills.
Motor drive describes the body’s level of agitation or motivation to move and be active, which is most often observed in Teenagers who engage in highly-stimulating activities, such as video games, sports, experimentation with drugs or alcohol, sex, or other risky behaviors.
Does My Teenager Have ADHD?
Although ADHD is primarily diagnosed in childhood (ages 5-12), teenagers may also be diagnosed with ADHD. The symptoms of ADHD are fairly common in today’s generation, which makes an accurate diagnosis difficult for most healthcare professionals (see Harold et al, 2015). An inaccurate diagnosis of ADHD can have severe consequences on a child’s functioning and health for two reasons.
First, the symptoms of other mental health issues are often confused for ADHD, such as depression (irritability, low motivation), anxiety (rapid speech, racing thoughts, distractedness), and bipolar disorder (high energy, euphoria, irritability). Second, the improper prescription of ADHD medication can significantly affect the health and development of a teenager (see Setik et al, 2009).
This is why parents should always seek services from a licensed psychologist who is trained to do ADHD assessments. Clinical psychologists (such as those employed at OC Psychology Center) are trained and licensed to accurately assess ADHD and rule out the presence of other mental health issues.
Our team of mental health professionals is determined to help you and your teenager find answers. If your teen struggles with focus, organizational skills, or motivation, let us help. Contact OC Psychology Center for Assessment and Therapy today to schedule your first appointment.
What Are The Treatment Options For My Teen With ADHD?
The first step for anyone who struggles with ADHD or a similar mental health issue involves an accurate diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, treatment for ADHD may look different than treatment for anxiety or depression.
Although many of the issues related to having ADHD can be resolved through psychotherapy services, a combination of medication and therapy tends to be the most effective (National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Report, 2000). Medication use for teens has become far safer with recent improvements in the way prescribers provide ADHD medication, although there can be some risks.
We help teens learn to:
- Manage their schedules efficiently
- Study effectively
- Minimize or avoid risky behavior
- Take medication as prescribed
- Cope with the unique stressors of being a teen with ADHD
- Plan ahead and set life goals
Our mission is to help teens and their families find answers and solutions through assessment (testing and diagnosis) and psychotherapy (treatment) services. To read more about our assessment services, check out our other pages on psychological testing and diagnosis. To learn more about what assessment looks like here in our clinic, read on!
What does testing for teens with ADHD look like at OC Psychology Center?
Our ADHD assessment services are entirely confidential and scheduled based on you and your teen’s availability. Your teen will typically meet one-on-one with one of our psychologists to complete a testing battery that is designed based on their needs. ADHD testing typically involves behavioral, executive functioning, cognitive, and academic assessments.
Assessment may require scheduling multiple blocks of time (2-6 hours) depending on the testing, along with a final feedback session where we provide you with the results and our recommendations. A copy of the report will also be given to you to use and can be sent to your teen’s school if requested.
TMS benefits include:
- High Success Rate – considerably higher success rate than any other treatments
- Enables sufferers to entirely stop or significantly reduce ADHD medications
- Non-Invasive – the treatment is entirely external to the body
- Non-Sedative – it requires no sedation and is relatively painless
- Minimal to No Side Effects – it has no side effects in the vast majority of patients
If you’d like to learn more about the treatment process at our TMS Center, please visit our TMS Procedure page.
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Scholarly Research and Publications