Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often a puzzling condition for young people and their families. On the one hand, those who have this disease may focus intently on one issue or task to the exclusion of all others. By contrast, they can find concentration difficult and sitting still to be impossible, so they jump from one thing to another, always in motion and seemingly never satisfied. Many young people with ADHD do grow into creative, energetic, and successful adults, given the proper support and right environment. However, life can also present frustrating challenges for these individuals, contributing to learning disabilities and difficulty “fitting in” to a society that moves at a different pace and expects different behaviors.
ADHD can result from a variety of causes, including the brain’s processing speed. For example, some of those with ADHD may process information more slowly than other people, a situation that would explain the tendency for some to shut everything out and focus on one subject, “working it into the ground.”
At Red Mountain, we understand the complexities of ADHD and the three different types, which include:
The Red Mountain Response to ADHD
Recognizing that each individual’s experience of ADHD is unique, we approach treatment with a customized plan for each of our students. Many of them have been “made wrong” because of the ways in which their ADHD affects their behavior, whether it is “dreaminess” or “being hyper.” This kind of negative response can lead to reduced self-esteem and may increase their anxiety about social situations. We help our students to see that they are not “bad kids,” and that they can develop skills to work effectively with their ADHD issues in a safe environment. The Red Mountain milieu is emotionally protected, and our students are held to a high standard of supporting one another. It is a comforting place for those who have not felt understood in the past.
Using the key Red Mountain modalities of mindfulness, meditation, yoga and martial arts, our students have increased focus, heightened self-esteem, improved social relationships, physical and emotional health, and higher levels of self-efficacy. Individual and group therapy reinforce the positive impact of these methods.
Mindfulness has proven to be especially effective in treating ADHD. When our students see themselves as struggling with motivation and apathy, and label themselves as less intelligent than they actually are, we point out that these are symptoms associated with processing difficulties. This is an issue that is important for them to understand and appreciate rather than a reason for negative self-statements. Over time, we can help them to modulate the ADHD symptoms and patterns of negative self-talk through our clinical program and mindfulness training.
Clients also address their issues through nutritional education from our full-time nutrition coach, as well as regular exercise, since both exercise and diet are widely considered to be key components of recovery from ADHD.
Launching Into Life With ADHD
ADHD is a condition, not a curse. When our students learn to see it in that way, it begins to lose its hold on them, even though it may never go away. Individuals living with ADHD often are creative, energetic, intuitive, and possess excellent problem-solving skills. When our students begin to understand that they can manage the symptoms of the condition and bring out their true talents, it dramatically improves their chances for success in a world that is now open to them and ready to appreciate all that they have to offer.
Red Mountain Sedona is a premier young adult transition program, built on the shoulders of some of the most experienced and well-respected individuals in the field of young adult treatment. Most of our core staff has worked together for years, in some cases for decades, and collectively our team possesses over 150 years of professional clinical experience.