Finding Your Focus: Adult ADHD Therapy in Nashville

By David Pearl, LCSW

Tailored Treatment Provides Better Results for Adult ADHD

This article will help you:

  • Understand What Adult ADHD Is: Learn about the symptoms of ADHD in adults and how they can impact one’s life
  • Learn About the Subtypes of ADHD: Some may miss out on treatment because they don’t think they meet the diagnosis 
  • Discover the Benefits of ADHD Therapy for Adults: Explore how therapy can help manage symptoms, improve focus, reduce negative thoughts and behaviors, and enhance organizational skills
  • Implement Tips for Managing Adult ADHD: Gain practical advice on supplementing therapy with strategies that help maintain focus and organization in daily activities while providing positive outlets 
  • Find an ADHD Therapist: Get the help you deserve from a knowledgeable and caring Adult ADHD therapist in Nashville who is committed to your success

For adults struggling with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), navigating daily life can be a significant challenge. This condition carries on from childhood into adulthood, and while symptoms may evolve, key obstacles such as inattention and impulsivity remain. Many find that ADHD is affecting their work, relationships, and personal growth. 

Sometimes, people go through childhood without realizing they have ADHD. Perhaps they recognize that something is wrong when they struggle to manage the responsibilities of adulthood or see their own difficulties when their child is diagnosed.  If staying on top of day-to-day tasks feels overwhelming, or if keeping focus on school or work seems impossible, you may want to talk to a professional. A therapist can identify ADHD and work with you to come up with the most appropriate treatment.

If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, it’s important to know that you are not alone and that help is available. Adult ADHD is a well-understood disorder with effective treatments that can lead to significant improvement.

At Music City Psych in Nashville, we provide expert adult ADHD therapy that helps people harness their potential to lead more structured and focused lives. Our approach is based on evidence-based techniques and feedback, allowing us to tailor treatment for each individual and maximize their results.

In this post, we explore Adult ADHD, its impacts on individuals and families, ways to cope, and the therapeutic solutions available. If you’re seeking qualified ADHD therapy for adults in Nashville, keep reading to find out how therapy can transform the challenges of ADHD into strategies for success.

What is Adult ADHD? Understanding the Symptoms and Impacts

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults is a neurological and behavioral disorder that continues from childhood through to adulthood. Those who struggle with ADHD may find that it affects more than just their ability to focus and stay on task. It can also affect social interactions, hinder professional success, complicate emotional regulation, and even lead to other significant challenges like substance abuse.

Adult ADHD is prevalent, and as many as 8 million Americans may have it. Unfortunately, up to 20% don’t realize it.

The Symptoms of Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD symptoms vary widely but generally fall into two categories of behavioral difficulties: inattentiveness, and hyperactivity and impulsivity. Here’s a look at what these symptoms might look like in adults:

  • Inattentiveness:
    • Frequently making simple or careless mistakes in work and other activities
    • Having difficulty maintaining attention to tasks or duties
    • Not hearing or not registering conversation when spoken to directly
    • Struggling to follow through on instructions or failing to finish tasks
    • Having difficulty organizing tasks and activities
    • Frequently switching tasks
    • Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort
    • Losing things or mindlessly placing objects where they don’t belong
    • Getting easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
    • Being forgetful in daily activities
  • Hyperactivity and Impulsivity:
    • Excessive physical movement such as fidgeting or tapping hands or feet
    • Often “on the go” or acting as if they are “driven by a motor”
    • Blurting out a response or interrupting a conversation
    • Appearing irritable or having mood swings
    • Having trouble coping with stress
    • Being impatient
    • Taking risks such as driving dangerously

As people with ADHD mature, some of the hyperactive behaviors they exhibited when they were younger may wane, but it is not a sign that they have outgrown their condition. Identifying with some of the symptoms listed above can still indicate that ADHD is present. In fact, studies suggest that ADHD doesn’t go away, with as many as 90% of children with ADHD still exhibiting symptoms as adults.

The Impacts of Adult ADHD

For many, the effects of Adult ADHD extend beyond annoyance or inconvenience. ADHD can negatively affect a person’s professional standing and their relationships with friends and family, often limiting success and personal fulfillment. In some cases, it can lead to dangerous and destructive behaviors. Here are some of the impacts a person with Adult ADHD may face:

  • Workplace Challenges: Difficulty focusing and staying organized can lead to inconsistent performance and underachievement
  • Social and Relationship Difficulties: ADHD can strain relationships with friends and family. Someone with ADHD might miss social cues or struggle with effective communication. They may seem distant or inattentive when overwhelmed, unintentionally offending or hurting others emotionally.
  • Emotional Regulation Challenges: Adults with ADHD can experience strong emotions that escalate quickly and are difficult to manage. These mood swings can frustrate those who struggle to manage ADHD, leading to feelings of low self-esteem.
  • Health and Lifestyle Difficulties: Staying on top of daily routines and following best practices for health can be more challenging for people struggling with Adult ADHD. There is also an increased risk of substance abuse and other impulsive or dangerous behaviors.

Some may find that ADHD is affecting their life in other ways, such as limiting their ability to pursue something they are passionate about or pervasive feelings of overall discomfort and agitation. Regardless of how Adult ADHD is affecting someone, there are options to significantly improve their functioning and quality of life.

If you’re ready to get support from a qualified therapist for Adult ADHD, the team at Music City Psych in Nashville is here to help. Reach out to us today to get started.

ADD vs. ADHD: What’s the Difference?

In conversation, people may use the terms “ADD” (Attention Deficit Disorder) and “ADHD” (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) interchangeably, but there are important distinctions. Most notably, ADD is no longer a diagnosis; it’s classified under the umbrella of ADHD, which has different subtypes.

For those who exhibit some symptoms consistent with ADHD but not others, they may think that they don’t have the disorder but still wonder if there’s something they can do about the issues they are experiencing. Understanding the subtypes of ADHD may provide some answers and a potential path forward.

Subtypes of ADHD

ADHD is divided into three subtypes. Identifying which type a person has helps therapists and other providers to understand the client’s situation and tailor treatment based on their individual needs. Here are the three subtypes of ADHD:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation (formerly ADD): Individuals with this form of ADHD have significant difficulties maintaining focus, following detailed instructions, and organizing tasks, but they do not display significant hyperactive or impulsive behaviors.
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The relative opposite of predominantly inattentive presentation, people with this subtype mainly exhibit hyperactive and impulsive behavior.
  • Combined Presentation: This is the most common subtype and involves a mix of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.

Adult ADHD presents differently from person to person, but help is always available. Reach out to Music City Psych today to get the treatment that you deserve.

What Can You Do About Adult ADHD? How to Mitigate Symptoms and Refocus Yourself

Adults struggling with the symptoms and impacts of Adult ADHD have a variety of options they can take advantage of to manage the condition and channel their mental and emotional energy in positive ways. 

The first step is to verify that you have ADHD. If you haven’t been diagnosed, a qualified mental health professional can determine if you have ADHD, ruling out other potential conditions.

Once a positive diagnosis is made, the professional who identified the condition may provide a prescription or refer you to someone who can prescribe ADHD medication. These medications are designed to help reduce the severity of ADHD symptoms. 

Do I have to take ADHD Medication?

No, there are other ways to manage ADHD. While medications can be helpful in managing symptoms, they are not required to bring about the change that those who struggle with Adult ADHD desire. These goals can be achieved through other forms of treatment such as ADHD therapy.

If you’re not comfortable taking medication for ADHD, talk with your provider and let them know how you feel.  

How Does Therapy Help with Adult ADHD?

Therapy for Adult ADHD is additionally supportive in treating the condition by helping to retrain thoughts and develop new and productive skills. ADHD therapy is not just about managing symptoms but also about understanding and utilizing an individual’s strengths to help them lead a more balanced and productive life. 

In many cases, people who go through life without treating ADHD until adulthood have developed their own coping mechanisms. While these may have helped at one time, they could be holding someone back from realizing their full potential. Perhaps its avoidance of tasks that take more concentration or a negative self-image that makes lowered expectations more palatable.

A qualified therapist for Adult ADHD helps people work through negative past experiences and the effects ADHD has had on their self-esteem and beliefs about themselves. They also help develop improved coping and functioning skills. By focusing on these areas, people with ADHD can realize better performance in work and school as well as improved relationships.  

Let’s look at some of these strategies.

Therapeutic Strategies for Adult ADHD

At Music City Psych in Nashville, Adult ADHD therapy includes various evidence-based techniques tailored to the needs of adults, such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT helps adults with ADHD develop coping strategies for their symptoms, focusing on challenging negative patterns of thinking and behavior to reduce or stop them
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT teaches adults with ADHD to recognize impulsiveness and other symptoms as they arise, giving them the opportunity to make more positive choices or rechannel their thoughts
  • Skills Training: Therapists often work on skills like time management, organization, and effective communication to help adults with ADHD navigate daily challenges

These and other strategies like mindfulness therapy and relaxation techniques can all contribute to making Adult ADHD more manageable. A qualified therapist for Adult ADHD will work with you to identify the proper strategies, monitor your progress, listen to your feedback, and refine their approach to help you maximize outcomes.

If you’re ready to do something about your Adult ADHD, contact Music City Psych to get started.

Managing Adult ADHD with Practical Strategies

Beyond medical treatment and therapy, it’s possible to further manage Adult ADHD in your daily life. Implementing a few changes can enhance focus, increase your productivity, and build self-esteem to create more positivity in yourself and your relationships. Here are a few strategies for managing ADHD on a daily basis:

  • Build a Routine: Establishing a structured daily routine can help reduce distractions and increase efficiency
  • Organizational Tools: Utilizing planners, apps, and task lists can help keep responsibilities like work, bills, and shopping manageable and organized
  • Physical Activity: Regular exercise can improve concentration, mood, and energy levels, all of which can be helpful in managing ADHD
  • Accountability Partners: Work with a friend or loved one to report completed tasks. This could even be another person with Adult ADHD, so long as both are committed to progress.
  • Allow for Some Spontaneity: Adults with ADHD find stimulation in novelty and spontaneous experiences. Set aside some unstructured free time throughout the week to do whatever positive activity feels good at the moment.

Talk these tips over with your therapist. They may have some to add, or they might want to incorporate discussing your progress using these strategies into your sessions to help you succeed with them. As you keep realizing incremental amounts of progress, you are likely to find your ADHD more manageable and your self-esteem improved.

Why Choose Music City Psych for Adult ADHD Therapy?

The team at Music City Psych in Nashville is committed to our clients’ success. Our passion lies in helping people find real results and lasting, positive change. We rely on our expertise in evidence-based techniques and our ability to listen and adapt, ensuring that each client is heard and that each approach is tailored to finding the best possible outcomes. You can leverage Adult ADHD to your advantage, and we are here to help you find your path to greater success and happiness. 

Music City Psych is located near Belle Meade and Green Hills, with convenient access to downtown Nashville, Music Row, The Gulch, Hillsboro Village, Brentwood, and more. We also provide online therapy to residents throughout Tennessee, Florida, and New York.Let’s work together to help you overcome Adult ADHD. Contact Music City Psych today to discuss your therapy options and schedule your initial consultation.

Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

Article written by:

David Pearl

LCSW, Psychotherapist and founder

I am a psychotherapist, executive coach, and organizational consultant helping athletes, performers, professionals, and businesses in Nashville, Tennessee, New York, and online via telehealth.

I obtained my Master’s degree from The Silver School of Social Work at NYU and my Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am formally trained in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), and have certifications in Imago Relationship Therapy and Prepare/Enrich Premarital and Marital Counseling.

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