6 Tips for Surviving the Quarantine With Your Partner

If you live with a partner coronavirus quarantine isn’t just about managing your own needs and anxieties. It’s about finding a way to coexist with someone and all of their needs and anxieties, every minute of every day in a confined space for an undisclosed amount of time. If you think that should be easy because you already live together and love one another, you’re wrong, and you know it.

For some couples, being stuck inside together in their own little bubble for a few weeks sounds like a dream come true. But for other couples, this could be their worst nightmare. If you’re feeling stressed out about the impact of coronavirus on your relationship, know that you’re not alone, and your nervous reaction to being quarantined with your partner is normal.  Even for the strongest couples, spending every waking minute of the day together (and night times too) can really throw any incompatibilities into sharp focus.

Here are some tips to help your union survive and thrive during the quarantine.


Communication is essential for a happy relationship on a good day, and all the more so during times of distress.

Venting about life and the current circumstances in the world is a great way to de-stress and connect with your partner. You will no doubt feel comforted by their love and support while you express yourself.

Just remember that dwelling on negative subjects can bring down morale and may cause your partner unnecessary stress, so don’t forget to communicate about the positives in your life as well. And when talking, be aware that listening is just as important. Take this time to learn how to really hear each other.


Most of us rely on schedules for a sense of stability and even to combat things like anxiety and depression. So, without our normal 9-to-5 routines, tempers might already be a little frayed.

Try minimizing conflicts by creating a rough schedule to add some structure to your days together. Create new routines to give life meaning and purpose beyond the mundane. It can be helpful to assign roles for each day: who cooks, who cleans, who is on diaper duty, and so on. Depending on both of your work styles and requirements, understanding what each other’s days look like can help foresee any issues and areas where you can compromise.


It’s tempting to barge into your partner’s office when you have an interesting thought and know for a fact he or she is in there but do so respectfully. Knock on the door, check if they are busy, and ask if they have time to talk for a minute.

You and your partner may not always be on the same page during this quarantine and that’s okay Remember to show some respect to your partner’s work, personal space, and indulgences before invading.

We are all trying to figure out this “new normal”, and our daily habits and priorities are bound to change as we adjust. Be patient with your partner.


One of the biggest strains on your relationship is going to be boredom, stuck in the same place with little outside distraction.

If you’re in lockdown, you’re probably seeing a lot more of your partner than ever before – so it’s important to find new things to do together. Share in each other’s passions, cook a new cuisine together, start a DIY project together, enjoy the extra time in bed to try something new, write a list of all the things you’re going to do as a couple when this uncertainty eventually ends. There are tons of ways to make some happy memories and keep your spirits high while you’re safe at home. Look at this as an opportunity to grow closer. Making memories now could be stories you share forever.


Part of a healthy relationship is being able to spend time by yourself. Couples don’t have to be together 24/7 – even during a lockdown! Take time to do the things you want to do. Practice your own hobbies, keep in contact with friends and family, journal, exercise alone and practice solo self-care.

When you feel a little suffocated and want some peace and quiet to binge a show or nap without judgement, calmly give your partner a smile and say, “I’m going to head to the bedroom for some quiet time. Could you give me an hour or two alone?” A smile lets them know that this is for your sanity, not because of them, and adding a clear time frame lets them know you are serious and helps you both create boundaries during your time in separate corners.

This will help you to feel connected with yourself which, in turn, will make you a better person for your partner to be around. It’s healthy to take your me-time, even if you’re isolating together.


Give yourself, and your partner, some grace during this unknown and anxious time. When anxiety and stress are heightened, our cortisol levels skyrocket and we can easily ‘snap’ at our spouse. When arguments occur, always follow through with repair work together. Own your emotions and your actions and leave room for grace with each other.

We have the ability to create a narrative of this chapter in our life. When you look back in a few years at this time in your life, how do you want to tell this story? How do you want to say this chapter in your life formed you individually and in your relationship?

We can choose to view this time as challenging or suffocating; or, we can choose to view this time as a time for internal reflection, relational building and learning, and intimate connection. This time in our world is new and unknown. We are all figuring this out together. We need the ongoing support from those around us to make it through.

We have couples therapists available to you if you and your partner wan to talk to a professional and make sure any issues don’t get worse. Feel free to reach out to us today.


How to Make Sure Social Distancing and Self-Isolation Don’t Hurt Your Mental Health

Across the country, people are being asked to work from home, universities are switching to virtual classes and large gatherings are being canceled. These are key strategies to prevent transmission of the coronavirus, but they can come at a social and mental-health cost: furthering our sense of isolation from one another and making us forget that we’re in this together.

As humans we are wired to be social creatures, coming together is often how we cope when a big disaster happens. Now, we’re being told to cope with this… by staying away from each other. Because social contact is such a fundamental human need, we can suffer both mentally and physically without it.

The goal of social distancing these days is to be separated, but not lonely. Here are some ways to remain social and combat loneliness during social distancing.

Make your social life a virtual one 

Investing in our relationships is one of the most important things we can do for our physical and emotional health—especially right now. Having close connections boosts our immune system, protects us from chronic health conditions, elevates our mood and helps us cope with stress…the very benefits so many of us are searching for as we shelter ourselves at home.

Instead of rapidly scrolling through though Facebook superficially commenting on posts, make a point to have meaningful interactions with just a few people. Be creative. Download an app you can play with friends, set up a virtual lunch date or ‘happy hour’ with friends or coworkers, even Netflix has an option to watch movies simultaneously with friends. As we are all working to be responsible and keep others at a safe distance, it’s equally important that we find ways to stay connected.

Do Something Comforting

Comfort is useful in coping with depression because it is a form of relief from the symptoms of depression. Feeling comforted means that you feel less of a negative feeling. Finding ways to give yourself comfort even when you are feeling lonely or depressed can help to improve your mental health. Below are some ideas of “comfort measures” that you can take even if you are alone.

  • Take some time for self-care. Put on a face mask, take a long bath, do what makes you feel pampered
  • Put on your headphones and listen to music that makes you feel good
  • Cook healthy comfort food
  • Revel in the joys of escapism. Give yourself permission to dive into your favorite shows on Netflix that make you smile
  • Have a cup of herbal tea and give yourself permission to relax even for just a few minutes
  • Light candles and cuddle up with a pet
  • Download a mediation app or follow a virtual mediation session

Give yourself permission to take care of yourself. Even amidst a pandemic, it’s okay to put things aside. Taking time to invest in you is important.

Keep your sense of humor 

Humor can help you cope. We’re all dealing with a difficult situation that none of us have ever faced before. It can be very challenging trying to adjust to this ‘new normal’ we are currently living in, but a little bit of laughter can make your days not quite so dreary. Life is more pleasurable when you keep positive and enjoy yourself despite the odds.

Keep sending memes to your friends. Don’t stop watching really silly movies. It’s okay to laugh at some parts of your situation, which is unprecedented. It is very easy to be very serious about everything right now. Of course, this is serious. There are people who are sick and people who are dying. But if you look throughout history, the worst situations, the people who get through it feeling best from a mental health standpoint are those who keep their humor.

Distract Yourself

Another way to boost your mental health is to find healthy distractions. This might come in the form of art, watching shows, listening to ebooks, or finding other activities that interest you. Below are some ideas to help.

  • Take a virtual exercise class
  • Listen to audiobooks or podcasts on topics you like
  • Watch TED talks on Youtube about things that interest you
  • Watch documentaries on topics you’ve wanted to catch up on
  • Use this time to learn a new language or computer program- there are many free courses available online
  • Play games that engage your mind such as Sudoku, crossword puzzles, solitaire, or online chess
  • Organize. A very good way to distract yourself productively is to do something to better organize your life. Cleaning your house can be an incredibly empowering thing to do, especially when you are feeling bad

Stay positive

When the news is mostly doom and gloom—as it has been since the outbreak of the coronavirus— it’s hard for even the most optimistic among us to stay positive.

Although it may seem frivolous to prioritize happiness during a crisis, we will still experience positive moments in our day-to-day lives, and there are several reasons why we should consider embracing those experiences. A positive attitude can go a long way in managing chaotic situations and display some sort of resolve against the odds. Accentuate the positives and focus on what you are able to do during this time.

In times of constant negative messaging, you need an antidote so that you can keep your positive attitude and march forward with determination and hope. Be deliberate in activities that are positive, heartwarming, stress-reducing and laughter-inducing! It’s going to be difficult at times, but we’ll get through this.


How To Shift Your Mindset In A Time Of Crisis

How to Shift Your Mindset in Times of Crisis 

As the spread and far-reaching impacts of Covid-19 dominate the world news, we have all been witnessing and experiencing the parallel spread of worry, anxiety, and instability. While we little control over what is happening in the world, it is important to remember we have complete control over how we respond to it. The one thing we can do no matter the circumstances is take charge and change our mindset.


Often, an over-focus on a stressor like the coronavirus can result in the narrowing of your perspective. Your lens gets smaller as you think about the immediate term, yourself and your closest relationships. It has been shown that helping others and volunteering contribute to happiness. While we can’t physically be around others there are many ways we can attend to the needs of others. Explore new ways to connect and volunteer virtually or research ways you can help your community while still staying safe. In times of uncertainty, pulling together to help is crucial to our overall health and well-being. The more you contribute in this fashion, the less you’ll need to worry about your own situation. You’ll become a source of confidence and begin to shift your mindset.


Fear is a powerful emotion, it tells us something is amiss. Yet it is also a lower functioning part of our brain and can lead to uninspired action. So, take a minute to honor the fear, write about it if so inspired, and question it. Ask yourself what you are really afraid of, look at what the fear is telling you. Feel it in every sense of your body. Be friendly with it. See where it resides. Honor it. Thank it for informing you. Yet then release it. Don’t let it take hold of you. Feel it exit. Wish it well on its way out. And get yourself back to a positive emotional state.

Things may not be as easy as they were. Fear is normal and it is okay to feel. What is important to realize is that these new difficulties will either defeat you or reveal new strengths. Your physical muscles always get stronger from working against resistance. The same is true for the muscles in your mind, your spirit, and your character. Treat this whole period of challenge as a time when you can make your greatest progress as a human being.


This can be really challenging especially at a time like now. It can be difficult to not focus on what we’ve lost. In addition to the tragic losses of life and health and jobs are the losses experienced by people of all ages: missed graduations and proms, canceled sports seasons and performances, postponed weddings and vacations, separation from family and friends when we need them most. But even during lockdown, you still have many small moments to savor. The smell of coffee, the feel of the warm shower on your back and so on. When you stop to take in these moments, rather than let them rush by on automatic pilot, you are giving your brain a chance to process the pleasure, which boosts your serotonin – the feel good neurotransmitter that helps elevate your mood and make you feel calm.


Stay present. We are freaking out about the virus because we are worried about the future, and possibly regretting the past. Yet we know this doesn’t keep us stay hopeful. Watch your mind wandering, exposure to news, and keep track of who you connect with and how you are feeling in that connection. Engage your senses to stay grounded. When you find your anxiety increasing, take a deep, slow inhale and notice what you smell. Get out in nature (if possible) and feel your feet on the earth. When we get in our head, we are generally unhappy and definitely not hopeful (hope requires positive feelings and inspired actions). Know what you can control, and what you can’t, and leave the rest behind.

That control part is key. Stressful situations are often beyond our control, and we create anxiety and worry when we try to control what we can’t. Focusing on what can be controlled, on the other hand, can decrease these feelings of anxiety.


To cope with the uncertainty, many of us use worrying as a tool for trying to predict the future and avoid nasty surprises. Worrying can make it seem like you have some control over uncertain circumstances. You may believe that it will help you find a solution to your problems or prepare you for the worst. Maybe if you just agonize over a problem long enough, just think through every possibility, or read every opinion online, you’ll find a solution and be able to control the outcome. Unfortunately, none of this works. Chronic worrying can’t give you more control over uncontrollable events; it just robs you of enjoyment in the present, saps your energy, and keeps you up at night. These steps can help you become more tolerant and accepting of uncertainty.

  • Identify your uncertainty triggers. A lot of uncertainty tends to be self-generated, through excessive worrying or a pessimistic outlook. Some uncertainty can be generated by external sources, especially at times like this. Reading media stories that focus on worst-case scenarios, spending time on social mediaamid rumors and half-truths, or simply communicating with anxious friends can all fuel your own fears and uncertainties. By recognizing your triggers, you can take action to avoid or reduce your exposure to them.
  • Recognize when you feel the need for certainty. Notice when you start to feel anxious and fearful about a situation, begin to worry about what-ifs, or feel like a situation is far worse than it actually is. Look for the physical cues that you’re feeling anxious. You might notice the tension in your neck or shoulders, shortness of breath, the onset of a headache, or an empty feeling in your stomach. Take a moment to pause and recognize that you’re craving reassurance or a guarantee.
  • Allow yourself to feel the uncertainty. Instead of engaging in futile efforts to gain control over the uncontrollable, let yourself experience the discomfort of uncertainty. Like all emotions, if you allow yourself to feel fear and uncertainty, they will eventually pass.
  • Let go. Respond to the what-ifs running through your head by acknowledging that you’re not a fortune teller; you don’t know what will happen. All you can do is let go and accept the uncertainty as part of life.
  • Shift your attention. Focus on solvable worries, taking action on those aspects of a problem that you can control, or simply go back to what you were doing. When your mind wanders back to worrying or the feelings of uncertainty return, refocus your mind on the present moment and your own breathing.


When you’re feeling anxious, tell yourself it’s a normal part of being human. It’s important to understand that we are not our thoughts. Thoughts may come into your head for a whole bunch of reasons. By accepting that they are not facts, thoughts lose some of their power to upset us.

Try writing down the words that are going through your head, especially when you’re in a tough situation. Then read them back as if someone else had written them. This can help you to realize that your thoughts aren’t you, and to accept them for what they are: just thoughts.


This is scary. I know some of you are worried about your family’s income. Some of you are worried about losing your home or your cars. Some of you are scared you’re going to lose your businesses or that you won’t be able to put food on the table. These are all very natural and fair things to worry about. Shifting your mindset won’t change your circumstances, but it can help you get through the day. Do the best you can. Remind yourself that some days are going to be harder than others, and don’t dwell on the things you could have gotten done or should have done differently. Instead, try to focus on the more positive moments throughout your day.


How to Look After Your Mental Health When the News Feels Overwhelming

Do you have a smartphone? Regularly access news on the internet? Check-in often on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.?

If you do, you are probably getting ample exposure to the news and media. If you grew up in the age before social media and internet you will remember that your sources for news were from newspapers, radio, and television. Don’t get me wrong, access to media has its benefits. But considering recent tragedies, it’s timely to talk about how to care for yourself during times of national and international tragedy, disaster or crisis.

The next time those horrific headlines have you feeling overwhelmed, consider these seven coping strategies.

Look at the bigger picture

Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle and social media, we’re constantly inundated with horrific headlines, painting vivid pictures of pandemics, death and destruction. But aside from offering “thoughts and prayers” and feeling helpless, what can we do?

If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed with bad news, try putting the story you’ve just read or the footage you’ve just watched into some form of context. Look for statistics and historical perspectives that help establish the big picture instead of focusing on the gruesome details of the moment.

In other words, there is often comfort to be found in establishing context. The goal is to find the balance between feeling informed and educated on the situation at hand while not becoming totally overwhelmed by it.

Identify ways you can help

Getting upset by reading the news will not change the world around us; change requires action. Use your strong emotional response to those headlines as motivation to explore means by which you can make a difference to those affected by catastrophe. Can you make a donation in the form of time, money, or resources? What kind of aid is needed—not just in the immediate response to the crisis, but in the long-term as well?

Keep in mind, helping can only be healthy once you realize you can’t rescue everyone who’s suffering. Even the most effective activists achieving the greatest change only do so by focusing on a specific issue. We can feel great relief and fortitude when we align our actions with our values in ways both big and small.

Identify ways you can help yourself

Developing and practicing compassionate emotional first-aid is an important part of self-care. When you have heard, watched or read distressing news, it’s easy to fall into a rabbit hole, follow the related links, read the incendiary comments and allow that distress to snowball until you feel physically sick. Alternatively, you could acknowledge this pattern, take a breath and invest your attention elsewhere. Try to lose yourself in a good book or call up that friend who always makes you feel warm and comfortable. Develop a habit of regular meditation, physical activity and journaling—documenting your feelings by putting pen to paper. It’s a valuable practice that allows us to see the structure of our thoughts and ultimately, edit our thinking—an integral part of shifting our perspectives. According to Buddha, “If your compassion doesn’t include yourself, it is incomplete.”

Check the facts

When we read a horrific news story online, we all too rarely stop to ask ourselves who’s doing the reporting. Is it a reputable and reliable news source? Can you fact-check it against other credible sources? We often have a knee-jerk reaction to share news that reaffirms our own hopes, fears and belief systems without cross-referencing them for accuracy. For the sake of your own mental health (not to mention the well-being those around you), it’s important to develop a critical eye when it comes to evaluating news sources—especially before you decide to contribute to their reach by sharing them on your social media channels. Remember: Truth is the story that emerges from joining the facts. The more facts you have, the closer you are to the truth of the matter.


It’s hard, but sometimes you’ve just got to step away from the smartphone. An important strategy in coping with bad news is to limit your exposure—and that often means disconnecting. It doesn’t mean you don’t care; it’s more about ensuring balance and giving yourself the opportunity to recharge. With the world in a state of uncertainty, gathering information is one way to feel in control. But overconsuming the news—especially bad news—may not be doing your mental state any favors. There’s still a great deal of kindness in the world, and you’re more likely to experience it in a meaningful way firsthand than you are through a screen.

Understand the difference between sympathy and empathy

While the two words are often incorrectly used interchangeably, the difference in their emotional impact is important. Empathy, as the ability to actually feel what another person is feeling — literally “walk a mile in their shoes” — goes beyond sympathy, a simple expression of concern for another person’s misfortune.

Caring for others in times of need is one of the unique and beautiful acts of being human. There are a variety of ways in which we can achieve this, and the ways we do this have a huge impact on the degree of social connection we experience. By understanding differences between empathy vs sympathy, we can more effectively respond to the struggles of others.

Look for the positive

When it feels as though a barrage of bad news can reach us all too easily, we sometimes need to make an effort to find positive news. This can help counteract news-related anxiety. While we may feel that it is our responsibility to understand what is going wrong in the world so that we can find a way to fix it, it is also very important to find out what is going well so that we feel motivated, hopeful, and uplifted.

Gratitude is a powerful way of finding balance in the midst of our own personal storms and of the bad news storms we often find ourselves in the midst of in recent days. By focusing our attention on feeling thankful for good news, it not only changes our perspective but also expands what we feel grateful for.

Taking steps to minimize stress during these difficult times is essential for both your physical and mental health. While watching the news can provide you with critical information about protecting yourself and others, taking in too much information can be overwhelming and detrimental to your mental health. Unfortunately, we can’t control what goes on in the world around us, but we can have some control over the way we react to it.


How To Make The Most Out Of Teletherapy

Talking with a mental health professional is beneficial for a countless number of reasons. Not only does it help with very real issues like depression, trauma, and anxiety, but it can be extremely useful in periods of acute stress ― which many are experiencing right now given the current events.

With social distancing and self-isolation, therapists all over the country have had to cloe their office doors and find new ways to serve their clients. That’s why teletherapy is becoming more crucial than ever.

Research suggests that teletherapy is just as effective as in-person therapy and will allow you to get support while following any social distancing guidelines or quarantine restrictions.

If there was ever a time for online therapy, we’re living in it right now. Whether you’re a regular client or just trying therapy for the first time here are some tips on how to use teletherapy to your advantage and get ready for your first session.

Know that it’ll be an adjustment

If you’re used to going to your therapist’s office, suddenly opening up to them on your bed or in your kitchen might be a little strange. If this is your first time, you may not know how to share your feelings with a new face over video chat. All of this is completely normal. A positive perspective is that you may be able to feel even more comfortable to dig deep during your sessions, given you will likely be in your own home or space.

Get dressed and treat it like you’re going to a normal appointment

The best results will come if you treat teletherapy like any other appointment.

This might mean going to a different room or area of your house or putting on certain clothes that would make it feel more like a typical appointment to you. This will allow you to get in a head space that is different, especially if you are in your house right now a lot more than you usually are.

Treat it like regular therapy if possible ― even if this was not the intended or preferred method of communication ― means working with your therapists on goals, figuring out if any of those goals need to be changed or altered given the current stressors, and continuing to make progress towards them.

Prepare your environment and equipment 

Before your appointment check that laptop, tablet, or phone are charged with a good webcam and audio connection. If you can, have your device plugged in and charging during your session. Earphones or headphones can help to prevent sound echoing and to allow you to fully focus on the conversation with your therapist.

Set up your space. Check your internet connection, and make sure your space is set up comfortably 15 minutes or so before your appointment. You might sit on a chair in front of a desk or table, or if you’re seated on the ground, a meditation cushion can be a grounding option. As you’re setting up, take this time to start quieting your mind and shift your attention from work, kids, or other commitments to therapy and healing. Try to minimize distractions as much as possible.

Use your first session to establish what you want to accomplish.

For those who typically go to therapy in person, your first teletherapy appointment is a good time to check in on your goals and progress. If you’re new to therapy entirely, expect your first session to lay out what you want to achieve with the process.

Getting started can often be the hardest part, but it may provide some comfort if you can know what to expect going into your first session. Therapists will start each session by making sure you feel comfortable, before working collaboratively with you to formulate a treatment plan and review different methods to help you address your needs.

Issues You May Want to Address

If you’re meeting with a therapist online because you’re social distancing, you may have coronavirus-related issues to address.

Here are some examples:

  • How can I manage my mental health when I’ve reduced my social contact?
  • What can I do about my anxiety surrounding the coronavirus?
  • Now that I’m spending more time at home, what steps do I need to take to stay as mentally healthy as possible?
  • Are there specific exercises or strategies I can use to build mental strength?
  • How should I talk to my kids about the coronavirus?
  • What can I do about my financial stress during this time?

Look at teletherapy as a way to help with socializing while social distancing.

Think of online therapy as a way to get some connection and understanding in an environment that otherwise feels isolating right now.

Humans are social beings. People need people. Feelings of anxiety, fear, and isolation are extremely common in this type of situation, and teletherapy is an optimal solution to help individuals manage their mental health and stay connected with the care you might need. Online therapy can also help you nurture your current relationships from a distance.

Our significant relationships with others and our emotional connections with others will help get us through this very difficult time. Social connections are vital during periods of intense stress like this one, and a therapist can help you keep your relationships strong when you’re physically apart.

Remind yourself that therapy is extremely beneficial right now

We’re dealing with something none of us imagined. It’s okay to feel a range of emotions. Therapy can help you navigate that.

These are uncertain and unusual times, and the situation is unprecedented. A significant number of us are stressed, anxious or just unsettled given the current situation. It’s important to know that these feelings are normal and to be expected. Understand that this situation will pass eventually, but in the meantime, focus on being kind to yourself. If you need additional support or personal connection, it’s there.

Online therapy can be an empowering and accessible way to take care of your mental health, especially during times when it’s not feasible to make a trip to your therapist’s office. And just like in-person therapy, if you are committed to making the most of your therapy time, it can be a rewarding experience with long-term benefits.

If you are interested in getting started with teletherapy with one of our clinicains, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Diagnosing ADHD in Adults

ADHD isn’t just a problem for children. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood and adolescence, often persists into adulthood. Several studies have found that most adults diagnosed with ADHD as children still meet the criteria for the disorder. Recent research has shown that many adults who have ADHD did not have the condition as children. In adulthood, ADHD is associated with significant occupational, academic, and social functioning impairments.

The symptoms of ADHD go beyond simply not paying attention. In particular, it can make it difficult to plan, organize, and focus on daily tasks. It is also possible for ADHD to have a negative effect on your relationships. Furthermore, people with ADHD can experience difficulties with alcohol, substances, and drugs, as well as ongoing emotional and lifestyle problems.

The good news is that ADHD can be managed. You can manage adult ADHD by learning ways to turn challenges into strengths by receiving education and support. Many people find great relief in getting a diagnosis and understanding that there is a reason for their difficulties.

Symptoms of ADHD

A person with ADHD may:

  • Have mood swings that are unpredictable
  • Work carelessly and make mistakes
  • Have a difficult time maintaining attention
  • Be unable to listen when directly addressed
  • Fail to follow instructions or complete tasks
  • Have trouble organizing tasks and activities
  • Avoid prolonged mental effort at work
  • Often lose keys, paperwork, and task-related items
  • Be distracted easily by other stimuli
  • Be forgetful in daily activities
  • Squirm in their seats or fidget with their hands or feet
  • Be continually on the go
  • Become impatient
  • Say things without thinking
  • Butt into conversations or other activities
  • Have sleep difficulties

Causes of ADHD

As of now, it is unclear exactly what causes ADHD. Heredity and genetics may play a large role in who develops ADHD. Scientists are still determining whether certain genes, especially those linked to dopamine, play a role in ADHD development. It has also been suggested that exposure to certain chemicals may increase a child’s risk of ADHD.

ADHD is not caused by bad parenting, too much sugar, or too many video games. This disorder is based on a biological process in the brain. According to brain imaging studies and other research, the brains of individuals with ADHD show many physiological differences.

Risks of Untreated ADHD in Adults

As mentioned above, untreated ADHD is connected to impairments in key living areas, such as work and school, relationships, and quality of life. A few risks of untreated ADHD in adults include:

  • Low self-esteem: Adults with ADHD often experience negative attitudes due to their difficulties functioning. According to studies, the effects of ADHD on self-esteem in adulthood can be improved with treatment.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety disorders affect about 50% of adults with ADHD. It is possible to improve ADHD and anxiety symptoms with medications and psychotherapy.
  • Relationship issues: Studies indicate that adults with ADHD have poor emotional regulation (a lack of ability to manage emotions). Untreated ADHD makes it difficult to manage emotions, frustration, impatience, and anger. Relationships are negatively impacted by emotional reactivity. Medication and therapy can help treat ADHD and improve communication and relationship skills.
  • Job stress: Adults with ADHD face a variety of workplace challenges, including poor communication skills, distractibility, procrastination, and managing challenging projects. It is possible to gain skills to manage ADHD in the workplace through psychotherapy. Additionally, finding a career path that plays to ADHD’s strengths, such as those in fast-paced environments, is important.
  • Substance use: Studies have shown that people with ADHD are three times more likely to be nicotine dependent. People with ADHD were 50% more likely to develop a drug or alcohol use disorder. Substance abuse can be reduced with ADHD medication treatment.

Diagnosis of ADHD

An accurate diagnosis of ADHD is crucial. ADHD symptoms can be similar to anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses. There is no biological test to see whether or not a person has ADHD. A diagnosis is currently made by subjectively rating a person’s behavior at home, work, or school. The American Psychiatric Association provides clinical guidelines for diagnosing ADHD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is widely accepted that these guidelines are used in both research and clinical practice. During an evaluation, one of our SF Stress clinicians will attempt to determine whether these symptoms currently apply to the adult and if they have been present since childhood. Adults should have at least five of the symptoms to make a diagnosis. Symptoms may change over time, so adults may present differently than children. Diagnosis may also include:

  • Ruling out other psychological conditions with similar symptoms
  • Making sure that alcohol or drug abuse is not the cause of the symptoms
  • Assessing the person’s current lifestyle and behavior
  • Seeing if the person showed ADHD symptoms as a child
  • Interviewing their partner, family, friends, and others about the person’s behavior

Treatment Options for ADHD in Adults

The good news is that all types of ADHD in adults can be managed once they have been diagnosed. When treating ADHD symptoms in adults, a combination of the following methods is ideal:

  • Education – assisting the person in understanding and managing their condition
  • Lifestyle improvement – taking up regular exercise, cutting back on drugs and alcohol, and quitting smoking
  • Medication – The use of stimulants and non-stimulants is common
  • Psychotherapy – for problems with self-esteem or substance abuse
  • Therapy – behavioral and cognitive behavior therapy to teach anger management, organization, and social skills according to the individual’s needs.
  • Vocational counseling – increasing a person’s chance of success and satisfaction in the workplace
  • Family therapy – support is needed for the whole family when one member has ADHD
  • Getting involved in a support group.

The Good News

While ADHD can affect people in different ways, once you understand why it is you have been struggling, you can start to explore the many different approaches to managing it and living with ADHD successfully. For adults who discover late in life that they have ADHD, it can be both a source of relief and sadness as they reflect on how different their lives might have been if they had known earlier. Criticizing yourself or others and blaming others for not understanding your struggle won’t help. What matters is what you know now. Learn how to take control of your ADHD and become responsible for managing it so that you can get back to living, working, and pursuing your interests and goals.

Living with ADHD can be difficult, but the good news is that when you implement these strategies and lifestyle changes, you will start to notice how much better you are feeling, and you will grow in confidence about your ability to manage your day-to-day life. A positive solution-focused attitude is something that you learn – and it takes time. Be patient with yourself, be kind to yourself, cultivate a sense of humor, and appreciate the people and things in your life that mean something to you. If you think you might have ADHD schedule your free consultation with one of our highly-trained therapists today.  We offer both in-person and virtual ADHD evaluations.

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What Can Therapy Do? Help you accept yourself, others, and the world.

“I’m my own worst critic.”

The negativity bias in our brains makes it easy to see our own faults and difficult to value aspects of ourselves that others admire.  Maybe the way that familiarity breeds contempt starts with the way we see ourselves?  And yet it feels true to say that loving yourself is the key to loving others.  Perhaps accepting yourself is the pathway toward accepting others, and maybe even building a sense of acceptance for the world.

The “radical” part of Radical Acceptance

Walt Whitman wrote, “To know today or any day I am sufficient as I am.”  Not perfect, but sufficient.  Can I really accept this flawed body, this imperfect mind with all its faults, this man who has hurt others feelings and has made poor decisions?  It may feel impossible to accept all of yourself for exactly who you are.  And yet a conscious effort to do this can be profoundly helpful and grounding.

What on earth is acceptance, anyway?

Radical Acceptance is not a lounge chair.  It is not a way to stop trying and acquiesce to your current condition or lower your standards.  Instead Radical Acceptance provides you with a way to be practical, embracing who you are today.  You can bring awareness to both strengths and areas of growth and then move consciously into construction of your garden.

Your garden includes weeds you may have to pull.  Okay, there are patterns to recognize and change.  Accepting that this is true gives you a clearer idea of what to work through or refine.  No time to meditate?  Wake up five minutes earlier, twice a week and meditate before coffee.  Frustrated with your lack of progress on guitar?  Accept that you feel stuck and sign up for lessons once a month.  Accepting yourself gives you a starting point for moving toward your goals.

Radically accepting others

As above, radical acceptance of others does not mean that you are content with what others have done nor that you will not hold them accountable.  Instead it posits a frank admission of how things stand.  Again, the focus is on a practical acceptance of where others are coming from that provides for a fresh start or engagement.  From there you can start moving toward common ground, taking perspective, and entering into constructive dialog and exploration.

Radically accepting the world

The Negativity Bias of the brain makes it hard for all of us to see the world and its potential in a clear way.  Radical acceptance can mitigate our implicit bias just enough to explore possibilities we otherwise wouldn’t see.   Can you see the desert not as a fixed state but as fertile enough to be a starting point to plant trees and combat climate change?  So it is that we can look out at the world and accept where it is today, maybe the way we see a clock, something that feels endless but always moving into the next, future state.

Your therapist can help you to overcome barriers to self-acceptance.  Your therapist can help you to accept and recognize the patterns others have going, and help you consider how to relate and engage.  Your therapist can help you consider the larger world and refine how you contribute to making change.

Consider employing the experts at SF Stress & Anxiety Center.  Clear the fog.  Find and expand your center. Improve how you relate to yourself, others and the world.  Click the button below to schedule a time to speak to a Care Coordinator.