With the ever-increasing stream of information, it has become hard for everyone to pay attention.If your teen is routinely struggling to pay attention and stay focused, they might have inattentive type Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). It's essential to note that a confirmed diagnosis can be provided by an RCI registered clinical psychologist, clinical psychologist (associate), or psychiatrist.
This condition has become quite common and with the correct treatment plan, your teen can manage the symptoms effectively and lead a fulfilling life. In this blog, we delve into the symptoms of inattentive type ADHD and explore a holistic treatment plan.
Let’s kick off by understanding the difference between different types of ADHD:
Inattentive type ADHD: This type makes it difficult for teens to pay attention to the point where it interferes with their day-to-day functioning.
Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD: Teens with this condition have trouble staying in one place, and their bodies are always in motion, exhibiting impulsivity as well. Think of it as being driven by a motor.
Combined ADHD: Teens who have symptoms of both inattentive type and hyperactive-impulsive type.
Symptoms of inattentive ADHD in Teens and Diagnosis
When a psychologist or psychiatrist is trying to diagnose if a teen has an "inattentive" type of ADHD, they look for at least six of these nine signs:
- Daydreaming and making careless mistakes in tasks
- Difficulty maintaining focus on activities
- Shows a lack of engagement when spoken to
- Struggles to complete tasks as instructed
- Difficulty organising tasks and managing time
- Dislikes tasks requiring extended periods of thinking
- Regularly misplaces essential items
- Easily distracted by surroundings
- Forgets to perform daily tasks and attend appointments
For someone who is 17 years or older, a doctor can make an ADHD diagnosis if they exhibit five of the symptoms mentioned earlier. However, it's important to note that these signs need to be demonstrated consistently over six months to meet the doctor's criteria.
ADHD Inattentive Type Treatment for Teens
There is no single cure for inattentive type ADHD but a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and positive lifestyle adjustments can greatly improve your teen's quality of life.
Psychotherapy for ADHD
1. Behavioural Therapy: This helps pinpoint and change behaviours that might not be helpful or could be causing problems for the person or those around them. For example, if someone with ADHD struggles with impulsivity, behavioural therapy can teach them strategies to think before acting.
2. Parental Training and Guidance: When a teen has ADHD, it often affects the whole family. Trained professionals can give parents helpful tips and support. For example, they might suggest setting up a structured routine to make mornings smoother.
3. Family Therapy: This involves everyone in the family sitting down with a therapist to talk and share their thoughts. It's a way to give collective support to a teen with ADHD. For instance, if a sibling feels left out because of the attention given to the teen with ADHD, family therapy can address this and find solutions.
4. Social Skills Training: This is like a set of tools to help someone with inattentive ADHD feel more comfortable in social situations. For example, if starting conversations is hard, social skills training can offer strategies to make it easier.
The above-mentioned therapies and interventions are like toolkits to help teens and families navigate the challenges of ADHD and find ways to thrive!
Best Medication for Inattentive ADHD in Teens
When it comes to treating inattentive ADHD, several types of medicines can help:
Atomoxetine: This medication helps manage a hormone called noradrenaline. This ensures smooth cognitive processes for clear thinking and focus.
Stimulants: These are like boosters for certain parts of the brain. They increase levels of important chemicals. They help in intensifying the capacity for focus and attention.
Antidepressants: These are usually used to help with feelings of sadness or anxiety, but they can also be helpful for ADHD.
Guanfacine: This is a non-stimulant medicine that's prescribed to help with ADHD.
Clonidine: This is a medicine that doctors sometimes use for high blood pressure and anxiety but it can also be helpful for ADHD.
Stimulants are the most commonly used medicines for ADHD, and they can make a difference. About 70 to 80 percent of teens with ADHD find that their symptoms improve when they take stimulants.
Disclaimer: Medication for ADHD comes with a host of side-effects and each individual might react to a dosage differently. It is important to discuss the medication schedule with a doctor to uncover what is best for your teen. Additionally, do not stop any medication without consulting with them first.
Supportive Strategies for Parents and Caregivers
- Use To-Do Lists: Create clear lists for tasks like homework and chores, and place them where your teen can see.
- Break Tasks into Manageable Segments: Instead of issuing broad directives like "Complete your homework," consider breaking tasks down. For instance, you could instruct your teen to finish their maths assignment, followed by reading one chapter of their English book and concluding by composing a summary of the material.
- Maintain Order: Ensure belongings and school materials have designated spots for accessibility.
- Provide Clear and Concise Instructions: Keep directions straightforward and easy to comprehend. For example, you might say, "Put away your toys and then start your reading assignment," ensuring your teen understands the immediate expectations.
- Set a Consistent Routine: Create a regular schedule with set tasks like getting dressed, brushing your teeth, having breakfast, and getting ready to go out. Put it up in a noticeable spot, like the kitchen or hallway. This helps keep things organised and aids in staying focused.
- Offer positive feedback and rewards for your teen's achievements: Recognizing their efforts, like finishing assignments on time or keeping their room tidy, can be motivating. For instance, you could plan a fun outing to a park or a movie night at home to celebrate their accomplishments.
- Cut down on distractions: Use electronics like TVs, computers, and video games less at home. Also, talk to your teen's teacher about where they sit in class to help them focus better.
In navigating the complexities of inattentive type ADHD, parents, guardians and teachers are true pillars of strength and support. We understand the journey can be overwhelming, and your dedication is commendable. Remember, you're not alone. Our team of experienced doctors in India is here to guide you towards a tailored treatment plan, all from the comfort of your own space.
Arrange a consultation with our expert below to develop a personalised treatment plan that suits your teen's needs best.