5 transdiagnostic ADHD intervention strategies
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often complicated by comorbid conditions—additional diagnoses—like anxiety, depression, or autism spectrum disorder. The effects of ADHD and co-occurring disorders can impact students’ progress in pursuing their academic and career goals. Transdiagnostic interventions are strategies designed to address multiple disorders.
Strategies for ADHD & comorbid conditions
A tailored combination of interventions can be effective at minimizing multiple challenges. For example, if you have ADHD and anxiety, these treatments will address symptoms of both. List your co-morbid struggles and assess how the following strategies might work for all of them.
- Nutritional intervention. There’s evidence that deficiencies of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) could be related to ADHD. Supplementing your diet with a combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids could help improve your ADHD symptoms. Although better results have been observed with children and teenagers, this treatment also holds promise for adults.
- Cognitive retraining. Cognitive retraining programs focus on building specific skills like attention, problem-solving, or reading comprehension through games and exercises. Many modern brain training programs use video or computer game formats, while in-person programs use physical games or worksheets. You can find self-guided cognitive retraining apps online, or consult a professional.
- Brain stimulation interventions. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of ADHD. Transcranial direct current stimulation is another non-invasive, painless treatment in which direct electrical currents are used to stimulate specific parts of the brain. These treatments must be prescribed and administered by a trained professional.
- Psychotherapeutic interventions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to have significant benefits for ADHD. CBT exercises for ADHD help to improve time management, prioritization, organization, problem-solving, motivation, and emotional regulation. You’ll need to work with a certified cognitive-behavioral therapist to get the most out of this intervention.
- Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation. These interventions had a statistically significant effect on the outcomes of ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity and inattention, as well as executive functioning and on-task behavior. Look for yoga and meditation classes locally, or find online classes to get started.
Commit to a strategy for 30 days
Integrating these strategies into your daily or weekly routines can boost your healthy habits and assist in your ADHD treatment plan. The key to fully integrating these suggestions into your daily life is to commit to a timeline before drawing any conclusions.
Create a baseline before you start by documenting your feelings and behavior. At the end of 30 days, compare how you feel to that baseline. Use a rating system to analyze which single activities or combinations of activities impacted your overall wellbeing the most.
Be determined to achieve your goals and not let ADHD hold you back! Prove to yourself that you can be committed to changing your habits by sticking to a new strategy for 30 days.
M.Ed., BCC, CSS and Co-founder of Thrivister
As co-founder of Thrivister, my purpose and passion is to help young adults with executive function challenges to thrive: manage, organize and be successful in their academics, careers and life. My successful EFS Coaching Method and journey as an ADHD coach, career service specialist, author, blogger, podcaster and board-certified coach for over a decade, has laid the foundation for our platform.
We believe opportunities are plentiful for someone with executive function challenges when they have the support and resources behind them. It is our mission through Thrivister to help as many people as possible be successful academically and into their future careers and life.
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