How to Treat Your Mental Health if You Have Co-Occurring Autism and ADHD
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Seeking treatment for your mental health is not an easy decision. However, whether you are considering participating in treatment or are currently involved in a treatment program, know that you are doing the right thing. Without being properly treated for your mental health concerns, you face the possibility of your condition or disorder worsening. This is especially true if you have co-occurring autism and ADHD.
Undeniably so, autism can be a challenging mental health disorder to deal with. Likewise, ADHD can cause debilitating symptoms in everyday life. Meanwhile, if you are experiencing both, you may know that getting help from licensed medical professionals plays an important role in your treatment and recovery.
Some clinics, such as Alter Wellness, offer comprehensive outpatient programs that may work well for you. Making informed decisions for your health isn’t always easy. Therefore, you can benefit from researching the facility and or treatment program and talking to your doctor before moving forward.
There are always questions when looking for proper treatment for autism and ADHD. Do not feel that you cannot ask questions, as there are never any stupid, right, or wrong questions to ask. Take your time and tell your doctors what you need most from them. Relay your symptoms to help them understand the scope of your situation.
What Is Autism?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is both a neurological and developmental disorder. It affects the way you communicate with others, learn, and behave. Symptoms for this condition typically surface during the first two years of a child’s life. However, symptoms can also appear at any age and stage your life.
If you have autism, you likely experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty communicating and integrating with other people
- Repeating behaviors and restricted interests
- Symptoms that affect their ability to work, go to school, or participate in daily activities
Autism is a lifelong disorder, and the severity of your symptoms directly impacts the form of treatment you will need to help you live a fulfilling life. While the information above only specifies general symptoms of this disorder, understanding autism takes time.
Whether you are recently diagnosed lived with autism all your life, researching the ins and outs of your condition is necessary. For example, it can be helpful to know that autism can lead to the development of unique abilities, such as remembering information for extended periods of time. Autism can also cause you to learn things in great detail and excel in math, science, and the visual and performing arts. Still, like any mental health disorder, symptoms will vary on a case-by-case basis.
What Is ADHD?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a recurring pattern of inattention or hyperactivity/impulsivity that can interfere with functioning and development. If you have ADHD, you likely experience some of the following symptoms:
- Inattention: Including symptoms such as difficulties with staying on task, keeping concentration and focus, and staying organized. These symptoms are not due to defiance or a lack of comprehension.
- Hyperactivity: Including symptoms of restlessness or constant moving around, including in situations where it is inappropriate to do so. Excessive fidgeting, tapping, or talking can also be common.
- Impulsivity: Including difficulties with self-control or acting without thinking things through. Impulsive behavior can be an attempt to receive instant gratification, and such impulsiveness often interrupts others.
Nevertheless, a person who does not experience ADHD can have these symptoms from time to time. The difference is that those with ADHD experience these symptoms more often and more severely. Such symptoms likely affect your ability to function within normal parameters during activities such as work, school, and social.
Managing Co-Occurring Autism and ADHD
Autism and ADHD are both neurodevelopment disorders that usually begin at an early age. However, both conditions are unique in their own way. There is currently no way to scientifically test someone for both disorders. Therefore, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health doctors implement tests and questionnaires alongside reported signs and symptoms to help them establish an accurate diagnosis.
When co-occurring autism and ADHD occur, it is important to be treated as soon as possible. This can prevent symptoms from getting worse over time. Some overlapping symptoms of co-occurring autism and ADHD include restlessness, the inability to function without difficulty in social and daily activities, and the inability to pick up verbal cues from others.
Coping with and managing symptoms of co-occurring autism and ADHD can be tricky. Talking to a licensed mental health counselor is the first step to getting proper treatment. They may suggest or refer you to a psychiatrist who can diagnose your symptoms properly. The psychiatrist can also prescribe medication to ease your worse symptoms.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Co-Occurring Autism and ADHD
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to effectively treat autism. It can also help a person experiencing ADHD find some relief from their symptoms. CBT is a type of behavioral treatment that can help you identify certain beliefs and emotions that could lead to unwanted behaviors. Being treated with CBT means you may discover how to challenge faulty thinking and problem-solve without letting your extreme emotions or thoughts that can get in the way.
If you are currently experiencing co-occurring autism and ADHD, this kind of treatment approach can be extremely beneficial. It may help you, whether you are on medication or not, cope with and effectively manage your symptoms.
Outpatient programs can help place you on the right path. The team at Alter Wellness Care can help you get started through diagnosis to treatment plans. You are never alone in the battle of mental health. Seek treatment when necessary and never give up.
If you suspect that autism or ADHD may affect you, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Alter Wellness Care. We treat a variety of mental health disorders through outpatient programs that can help ease your symptoms. Our goal is to get adults back on track and manage their simples in a healthier manner. This way they can live a happier life. Our therapists and medical professionals are willing to take with you to create a treatment plan that works for you no matter your mental health needs. Please call Alter Wellness Care at (866) 311-3510 to work with us. You are not alone in this fight. We are here to help you live a better life.
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