Why We Use a Multimodal Approach to Treating ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can make it difficult or even impossible to pay attention, manage your time, and remember ordinary responsibilities. It can also make you feel restless when you should be calm, talkative when you should be quiet, or impulsive when you should be cautious. 

ADHD symptoms emerge early in life (often before adolescence) and change over time. While kids are more likely to deal with impulsive/hyperactive symptoms, adults tend to struggle most with inattentive-type symptoms. Even so, plenty of children, teens, and adults alike experience combined ADHD, or a mixed bag of ADHD symptom types. 

Given that no two people share the exact same set of ADHD symptoms, it makes sense that there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for this common problem. Here at EXIS Recovery in West Los Angeles, California, we take a multimodal treatment approach to ADHD that’s designed to meet you precisely where you are — and help you get to where you want to be. 

How ADHD changes your brain

Most mental health conditions involve some degree of disrupted brain activity, usually in the form of discordant, dysfunctional, or imbalanced brainwave patterns. ADHD is no different. As a neurobehavioral disorder, ADHD undermines your brain’s ability to implement important executive function operations and self-regulation skills. 

When your brain’s “management system” is inefficient or ineffective, your working memory may be less reliable, your thinking patterns may be less flexible, and your self-control may not be a simple matter of willpower.      

These fundamental brain activities play a major role in your ability to focus, stay on task, wait your turn, control urges and impulses, interpret social cues, and even learn from your mistakes.  

Researchers believe that ADHD is a product of chemical, structural, and connectivity deviations in the brain that are precipitated by genetic predisposition. This helps explain why ADHD tends to run in families. 

Why take a multimodal approach?

A multimodal approach to ADHD uses various methods, therapies, and interventions to create a thoughtful and targeted blend of treatment “ingredients” with one overriding goal in mind — to help you manage your symptoms well enough that they no longer interfere with your life. 

The multimodal approach is a lot like baking: With the right ingredients, techniques, and timing, you can transform several simple and separate elements into one delicious confection. 

 In much the same way, a multimodal treatment approach combines individual therapies and interventions — each of which enhances the effectiveness of the other — to help you maintain control over your symptoms. 

Your specific needs help determine which combination of ADHD treatments, therapies, and interventions are best for you:

One-on-one psychotherapy 

“Talk therapy” is a collaborative technique that aims to help you recognize and understand the specific ADHD thoughts and behaviors that affect you the most, so you can learn how to control or reserve those patterns. Psychotherapy can also help you cope with the negative emotions that often arise from ADHD.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

As one of the most goal-oriented forms of psychotherapy, CBT is a mindfulness-based practice that helps you quickly identify the ADHD behaviors that make your life more challenging. CBT also gives you the tools you need to change the thought patterns that drive those behaviors. 

Personal skills training 

As you develop useful coping strategies, you can build a better arsenal of personal skills to help you control your ADHD symptoms in the moment and maintain a positive approach to change. You may learn how to establish a routine, minimize distractions, or make big tasks more manageable, among other skills.   

Pharmaceutical therapy

Medication can help normalize the imbalanced brainwave patterns brought on by ADHD to provide immediate relief for your worst symptoms. By taking the proverbial edge off, the right ADHD medication enhances the benefits you receive from other interventions and therapies and helps support your continued progress. 

Partner and familial support

ADHD doesn’t exist in a vacuum, meaning it doesn’t just affect you. It also affects those you’re closest to. Couples therapy, family therapy, or something as simple as psychoeducation can help your loved ones understand what living with ADHD is like, and how they can support you as you learn, grow, and improve.  

Your multimodal ADHD solution

Our mental health experts at EXIS Recovery understand that ADHD is a complex disorder that affects each patient in a very personal way. If you’re ready to find the therapies, strategies, and interventions that fit your life today — and adapt to your changing needs as you progress and improve — we can help. Call our West Los Angeles office to schedule a visit today.

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