Recommendations for Adapting to Attention and Concentration Problems
What follows are a list of tips and methods for improving success for adolescents and adults who struggle with attention deficit disorders. Not all suggestions will work for every person. It is important to experiment with each for a reasonable amount of time and see if it makes a difference. Remember that with practice these skills become more familiar and comfortable. Over time most people begin to use these skills without having to actively work at it and begin to demonstrate improvements in sustained attention, impulse control, and organization. Be patient and diligent and you should see improved results in time. Be sure to modify each one to be age-appropriate in nature.
- Mountains into Mole Hills: One trick that can be helpful is to break tasks in smaller individual steps. Rather than telling yourself to clean your room, you might consider breaking into small tasks like pick the clothes first, put away the personal items, make the bed, and then vacuum the floor. It might be important to allow for short breaks between tasks.
- Explicit Directions: Make sure you seek out directives that are as clear as possible and give plenty of detail. For example, if someone asks you to get that project done, that will likely be too vague. Instead,
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder consists of cyclical changes from depressive states to manic states and is more than the usual ups and downs or mood swings that people experience. These recurring episodes of depression and mania cause extreme shifts in mood, energy, and behavior that interfere with normal functioning. These shifts in mood are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain as opposed to environmental events.
What are the Symptoms?
A thorough mental health diagnostic evaluation should be sought immediately if you suspect you are cycling between depression and mania. Depressive symptoms include: 1) depressed (sad or empty) mood most of the day, 2) loss of interest or pleasure in usually enjoyable activities, 3) appetite/weight gain or loss, 4) disturbed sleep (insomnia or excess sleep), 5) lowered energy level/fatigue, 6) Restlessness or feeling slowed down 7) feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, 8) indecisiveness or lack of concentration, 9) suicidal thoughts or feelings. Manic symptoms include: 1) inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, 2) decreased need for sleep (ability to go with little or no sleep for days without tiring), 3) pressured speech or being very talkative, 4) racing thoughts, 5) distractibility, 6) increased goal-directed activity (being very productive), 7) engaging in risky behavior or excessive plea read more
- Remember that although your feelings and symptoms are frightening, they are neither dangerous nor harmful.
- Understand that what you are experiencing is merely an exaggeration of your normal reactions to stress.3. Do not fight your feelings or try to wish them away. The more willing you are to face them, the less intense they will become. 4. Don’t add to your panic by thinking about what “might happen.” If you find yourself asking, “What if?” tell yourself “So what!” 5. Stay in the present. Be aware of what is happening to you rather than concern yourself with how much worse it might get. 6. Label your fear level from 0 to 10 and watch it go up and down. Notice that it doesn’t stay at a very high level for more than a few seconds. 7. When you find yourself thinking about fear, change your “what if” thinking. Focus on and perform some simple, manageable task. 8. Notice that when you stop thinking frightening thoughts your anxiety fades. 9. When fear comes, accept it, don’t fight it. Wait and give it time to pass. Don’t try to escape from it, and remember to breathe. 10. Be proud of the progress you’ve made. Think about how good you will feel when the anxiety has passed and you are in total control and at peace.
To learn other effective strategies for dealing with panic attacks, make an appointment today to meet with one of our therapists. To get more read more
Coping Skills Development
Everyone attempts to cope with life’s stressors. Most people utilize a mixed bag of strategies, which could probably be put somewhere on a spectrum. Toward one end are healthier coping skills, and toward the other end are unhealthy coping skills. To be more effective in life and cope better, we encourage you to work on using coping skills that are on the healthier side of the spectrum, but provide you common strategies on both sides of the spectrum so you can see what you might be doing. Circle the ones you use routinely.
Healthier Coping Skills
I confront the situation head on I distance myself from the situation I control myself I use relaxation techniques I act to take care of things myself I learn or develop special skills I call a friend I call a supportive family member I keep on trying and trying I become very tolerant I try to get all the facts I debate things within myself I learn more about what happened I involve myself in daily tasks I try to see the situation as positive I accept responsibility when appropriate I set healthy boundaries with others I sleep or nap to build up my reserves I do something creative I pray and rely on my higher power I dream I make do with what I have I do art work I write in a journal I work at a hobby I find a mission I seek out social situations I talk with others about the event I find som read more
Over the past 10-15 years, people have been hearing more and more about cognitive behavioral therapy and its effectiveness for treating anxiety in particular, but also depression; the two most common mental health issues. In reality, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been around since the 1950s when its two biggest founders brought it to life: Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck. Over the decades’ countless studies and experiments have been conducted which is what has proven to be one of the most effective forms of therapy. So what is it? Perhaps you recall the old saying; seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. This, of course, means the tendency of someone to filter things through a bright and optimistic perception or lens. What we know is that many people, especially those with depression and anxiety, are not seeing things through rose-colored glasses. In fact, their perceptual lens is rather warped and distorted when it comes to how they see themselves, others, or even the world. This is not to say they are paranoid or out of touch with reality, but that they have a lot of irrational thoughts and beliefs that are unfounded, yet nonetheless negatively impact their lives. CBT would suggest that these negative and distorted thoughts are often what is driving all sorts of negative feelings such as sadness, worry, anger, guilt, and shame.
What is Cognitive Behavioral The read more
Many children are misdiagnosed with ADHD and there is an increasing number of adults seeking ADHD medications to help with focus, energy, and concentration. But do they really have it? First let’s cover some facts. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a well-known childhood disorder that affects 5-7% of children and presents with problems with attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. What is less well known is that 30-70% of children with ADHD continue to exhibit symptoms into adulthood. In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, there must be a childhood onset with persistent and continued symptoms. Symptoms do not come and go. ADHD is also not something acquired in middle age. If a person has it, they have always had it. Men are 4 times more likely to have this disorder. There are three different types of ADHD: an inattentive type, hyperactive type, and combined type. In children the combined type is most common. As children age into young adulthood many notice their hyperactive symptoms improve, but tend to see the inattentive symptoms persist. Inattentive symptoms include: 1) fails to pay close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes, 2) has difficulty sustaining attention for long periods of time, 3) does not seem to listen when spoken to, 4) often fails to follow through with projects, 5) has trouble organizing activities or tasks, 6) read more