Range of treatments: ADD/ADHD
Global stars like Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith and Tom Cruise have it, top athletes like Michael Jordan and Serena Williams also publicly acknowledge it, and even great minds such as Albert Einstein or Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe are said to have suffered from it. What is it? ADHD or ADD, a mental disorder that begins in childhood and adolescence, but can often persist into adulthood. Aside from some positive effects, ADD/ADHD-related deficits can also lead to a variety of obstacles and problems in everyday life, relationships and professional life. The actual potential of often highly gifted personalities tends to be massively reduced as a result. For those affected, this often creates a great deal of suffering.
ADHD: What is it?
The acronym ADHD stands for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. This is considered a pathological disturbance of attention and concentration that appears together with excessive physical restlessness and impulsiveness. Children with ADHD are unable to sit still, while adults tap their foot or fingers. ADHD is commonly known as “Fidgety Philip Syndrome” in German.
ADD: What is the difference between ADD and ADHD?
If there is a lack of impulsivity and motor restlessness – i.e. the hyperkinetic component of the syndrome – one speaks of ADD – the attention deficit syndrome (without the H). Those affected also have strong problems concentrating and getting things done, but tend to be dreamy rather than fidgety, restless and impulsive. ADHD and ADD are some of the most common mental illnesses found in children and adolescents. They affect around 5 percent of all children and adolescents worldwide, with boys about four times more likely to be affected than girls.
ADD/ADHD in adults
The symptoms of these illnesses usually change over the years. In some of those affected, they subside significantly after their 18th birthday, but in around 50 percent of all those affected, ADD or ADHD persists into adulthood, going on to affect the entire life span. The inability to focus and concentrate on one thing to a sufficient extent often leads to deadlines not being agreed or kept, assignments being missed and promises not being kept. ADD/ADHD patients often get bogged down. Complex tasks cannot be mastered successfully as a result. Since the brain is also permanently under-challenged, it constantly needs new stimuli. This sometimes encourages high-risk behaviour. In addition, those affected usually have a reduced tolerance for frustration, low self-esteem and pronounced impulsiveness. These are characteristics and behaviours that – even in highly gifted personalities – can often have a massive impact on career opportunities, partnerships, social life and everyday life as a whole.
ADD/ADHD: Important indications
– Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
– Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADD/ADHD: Symptoms change in adulthood
Previously, it was believed that ADD/ADHD only affected adolescents and children. Today, we know that unfortunately, people do not automatically grow out of the attention disorder. The typical symptoms of ADD/ADHD in childhood persist into adulthood in around every second person, albeit mostly in a somewhat milder form. More than anything, the fidgety and motor restlessness typically seen in children with ADHD mostly take a back seat in adults. Meanwhile, the lack of emotional control, attention problems and concentration disorders are usually more evident and cause corresponding problems. Even in adulthood, the more dreamy or more impulsively aggressive type of ADD/ADHD can be found. Often, however, there are mixed forms. The following signs may indicate an ADD/ADHD disorder in adulthood:
Symptoms of ADD/ADHD in adulthood
- Severe concentration problems
- Very easily distracted
- Little stamina
- Lack of planning and organisation
- Frequent lateness
- Notorious lack of order
- Increased risk of accidents due to poor concentration
- Risk of injury due to risky behaviour (e.g. in traffic, sex, sports, etc.)
- Rapid overstrain when stressed
- Excessive impulsiveness
- Aggressive behaviour
- Internal unrest
- Lack of patience
- Easy irritability
- Inappropriate, exaggeratedly strong reactions
- Little ability to work in a team
- Strong mood swings
- Rash actions
- Tendency to burst into anger
- Increased emotional sensitivity
- Strong urge to talk, interfere with and interrupt others
- Inventiveness, high level of creativity
Causes of ADD/ADHD in adulthood
ADD/ADHD always starts in childhood – even if the disease is sometimes only diagnosed in adulthood. As with many other mental illnesses, there is no one single cause that leads to the development of ADD/ADHD, but many different factors play a role here. The most important causes of ADD/ADHD include:
- Genetic causes
Twin studies and family clusters show that heredity plays an important role in the development of ADD/ADHD. In the case of identical twins, both twins are affected by the disorder in 60 to 80 percent of all cases. In the case of dizygotic twins, the rate is still around 35 percent. Close relatives too, such as mothers, fathers or children of people with ADD/ADHD, are also much more likely to suffer from the disorder themselves.
- Neuropsychological causes
Studies using imaging methods also found that ADD/ADHD patients have reduced activity in certain regions of the brain that are responsible, among other things, for attention, motivation, movement behaviour and planning actions. It has also been shown that the control loop of important messenger substances, which are responsible for information processing in the brain, is partially disrupted. The neurotransmitters adrenaline and dopamine in particular play an important role here. If they are imbalanced, the stimuli constantly flowing into the brain can no longer be filtered to a sufficient extent. In ADD/ADHD patients, there is therefore a constant overload of stimuli.
- Environmental influences
In addition, external influences can also contribute to the development of ADD/ADHD. Risk factors include the consumption of nicotine, alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy, premature birth and birth complications, as well as infections and injuries to the brain.
- Psychosocial causes
Even unfavourable living conditions can at least promote the development of ADD/ADHD. These include a lack of emotional affection and neglect by parents, arguments and problems within the family, cramped living conditions and lack of exercise, high media and television consumption as well as a lack of structures and comprehensible rules in everyday life.
ADD/ADHD: Impact on quality of life
The inability to concentrate over a longer period of time, coupled with a low tolerance for frustration and often highly impulsive and aggressive behaviour, can lead to disadvantages, problems and conflicts in many areas of life. Those affected can feel the effects in almost all areas of life:
- Economic success
- Friendships/social contacts
Common comorbidities of ADD/ADHD in adulthood
Without external support, ADD/ADHD patients often remain well below their actual potential. Lack of success or only short-term success, lack of recognition, lack of social acceptance and bullying often lead to feelings of inferiority and frustration. Self-esteem is often very low. This in turn favours the development of other mental illnesses. The most common diseases associated with ADD/ADHD include:
Strengths and resources of ADD/ADHD in adulthood
ADD/ADHD has by far not only negative effects on those affected. There are also many opportunities, strengths and resources behind the supposed weaknesses of hyperkinetic disorder. ADD/ADHD patients often have a lot of creativity, imagination and ingenuity. They are usually very sensitive and show strong empathy. They are also able to grasp complex content quickly, are very flexible, enthusiastic and spontaneous. In addition, they have a strong sense of justice, are honest and helpful. They can achieve top performance under optimal conditions, something shown by the many examples of prominent personalities who have achieved great success despite being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.
Which therapies exist for ADD/ADHD in adulthood?
ADD/ADHD is still very treatable in adulthood. If symptoms of ADD/ADHD therefore occur in adulthood, causing the affected person to suffer greatly, it is a great idea to undergo a special therapy. However, many adults who were never diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as a child often do not even think of hyperkinetic disorder when their problems arise. They have often lived with the attention deficit for so long that they perceive it as a personal characteristic rather than a treatable disease. It is not uncommon for adults to seek medical advice only because of problems caused by an accompanying illness, such as alcohol/drug addiction or depression. ADD/ADHD is therefore often discovered by chance in adulthood.
When treating ADD/ADHD in adulthood, conventional medicine primarily prescribes psychotherapy and drug treatment with the active ingredients methylphenidate or atomoxetine. These substances influence the release of messenger substances in the brain, increasing the ability to concentrate. Along with this desired effect, they can also lead to a number of undesirable side effects, such as insomnia, erectile dysfunction, etc., which can then cause other problems. Considering that ADD/ADHD patients in adulthood almost always experience the disorder together with other concomitant psychological diseases, the administration of ADHD medication is not always without problems.
That’s why we do it differently!
The CALDA Concept: Let us help you!
As a client of the CALDA Clinic, you will receive a very individual 1:1 therapy tailored to your needs based on the CALDA Concept. This is a tailor-made and highly effective precision therapy that is holistically oriented: Scientifically-based methods from classical medicine are combined with specially tested treatment methods from complementary medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and orthomolecular medicine.
Your advantage: Treatment with the CALDA Concept works very effectively on different levels of the organism and is extremely solution-oriented. As a result, amazing results can be achieved within a short time – and usually without the use of psychiatric drugs!
The CALDA Concept
Our motto and our promise to you:
We treat the causes, not the symptoms!
Wherever possible, we work without the use of psychiatric drugs!
We dedicate our time and our extensive expertise exclusively to one single client.
The CALDA Concept: Every therapy starts with the correct diagnosis
Every treatment according to the CALDA Concept is based on a comprehensive and extremely detailed diagnosis. This is the only way to meticulously uncover and specifically treat the underlying causes and disease contexts, which otherwise unfortunately often remain hidden.
The CALDA Concept: Our expertise for your health!
You can read about all the advantages, content and processes of the CALDA Concept here.
You can also find out more about the contents of the various programmes of the CALDA Concept here in detail.
For ADD/ADHD in adulthood, we recommend that you participate in the CALDA Full Program.