What is ADD in teens? How does ADD affect a teen’s behavior and school performance?
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in teens is a diagnosis that can frustrate parents and teachers since these students are typically very intelligent. Parents become very upset when their teen’s grades are dropping, the behavior is becoming belligerent (usually as ODD sets in) and the family conflict starts climbing.
- Underachieving in school (typically not turning in homework, but can score well on tests)
- Defiant behavior and attitude
- Rage, anger, rebellious – especially towards parents
- Sometimes even explosive – especially towards parents
- Withdrawing from family functions
- Depression, anxiety
- Experimentation with substance abuse, smoking pot, vaping (self-medicating)
Understanding ADD and ADHD
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
-Inattention means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized; and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
-Hyperactivity means a person seems to move about constantly, including in situations in which it is not appropriate; or excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with constant activity.
-Impulsivity means a person makes hasty actions that occur in the moment without first thinking about them and that may have a high potential for harm, or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences.
In many situations when a teen is prescribed medication for their ADD/ADHD they will either stop taking it or start abusing it. This can cause more problems for your family and especially your teenager.
Seeking local therapy should always be your first avenue and possible out-patient treatment. Sometimes this is not successful, so don’t be discouraged.
This is why therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment has been very successful for ADD/ADHD/ODD teens. These choices are after you have exhausted your local resources.
Read more about the symptoms of ADHD.
For more information on residential therapy options that specialize with oppositional defiance disorder, ADD/ADHD please contact us.