Understanding Adolescents with ADHD: A Guide for Parents

Navigating adolescence with a teenager diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) presents unique challenges. ADHD manifests as heightened inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, hindering the development of essential skills in controlling attention, behaviour, emotions and activity. Initially, these behaviours may be misunderstood as defiance or misbehaviour, leading to stress and frustration. However, recognising ADHD as a neurodevelopmental condition is crucial, where skills controlling attention, behaviour and activity don’t come naturally. 

Learning about ADHD and effective parenting approaches is vital for supporting adolescents with ADHD. Parental involvement is a key part of treatment, influencing the teen’s condition significantly. Actively engaging in your teen’s treatment, understanding how ADHD specifically affects them and collaborating with therapists to tailor interventions to their needs are essential steps. 

Working closely with your child’s school is also vital, fostering a supportive learning environment and ensuring academic success. During adolescence, while core ADHD symptoms persist, the pattern of difficulties may evolve, with subtle changes in hyperactivity and intensified challenges in school performance due to increased demands for independent functioning. 

Addressing emotional responses and self-esteem issues through open communication and engaging in confidence-building activities are essential. However, heightened supervision and support needs may lead to increased parent-teen conflict. Clear communication, consistent rewards and consequences are crucial for managing conflicts effectively during this transitional period. 

PrimaHealth offers exceptional assessments and ongoing care for ADHD. If you’d like to discuss any challenges you or your adolescent might be facing, request a call back today. Our service offering does not presently include the prescribing of medication for ADHD diagnoses. However, we are presently in talks regarding the implementation of psychiatry consultations and ASD assessments, with plans to offer these services in the imminent future.

Seeking Professional Help: 

Remember, for adolescent mental health issues, seeking professional help is important. In an emergency, call 999, reach out to your GP, or a clinical psychologist for professional support.  

Helplines like Pieta House (1800 247 247) and Samaritans Ireland (116 123) offer public support nationwide in Ireland.  

Jigsaw are a public adolescent mental healthcare provider in Ireland for less severe cases (primary care), and CAMHS are the public adolescent mental healthcare provider in Ireland for more severe cases (secondary care). However, waiting lists are an ongoing issues for both of these public organisations. Adolescent mental health issues have risen dramatically over recent years. For example, studies suggest that the amount of adolescents experiencing severe anxiety has risen a staggering 300% in the past decade alone. This significant increase has left public services stretched and months long waiting lists are a publicly documented fact for the aforementioned public adolescent services, leaving concerned parents searching for private alternatives. 

If you are seeking immediate highly qualified private help for your child’s difficulties, request a callback to speak with one of PrimaHealth’s client service professionals about your situation and to discuss the best course of action for your child. 

For more information about the difference between these professionals, or to discuss your childs difficulties, request a callback for a complimentary conversation with one of our professionals.

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An Occupational Therapist and Phd researcher, Joy has worked in paediatric disability settings, as well as community crisis intervention and inpatient mental health teams.

As a Counsellor and Psychotherapist, with a master’s degree in CBT, Melissa specialises in offering tailored mental health services to meet each client’s unique needs;  fostering a comprehensive and personalised therapeutic experience.

Managing Director of PrimaHealth, with a master’s degree in Applied Psychology from UCC, Danny is one of the team which liaises with parents to offer them empathetic support and guidance; finding the right mental health professional for their child’s particular needs.

Kelly Ann employs evidence-based techniques like CBT and mindfulness in her counselling to address adolescent issues such as anxiety and stress, emphasising strong therapeutic relationships and collaboration with parents for growth and emotional well-being.

Passionate about providing empathetic support, Breda, a psychotherapist with extensive experience, offers evidence-based techniques like CBT, DBT, REBT, and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy to help navigate her clients through stress, anxiety and other mental health challenges they may face.

With over twenty years of therapeutic experience with young people and families, Rosaleen specialises in adolescent psychotherapy, holding qualifications including a BA in Applied Social Studies, a Certificate in Addiction Studies and a Diploma in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Adolescent Psychotherapy.

Having had years of experience working in Child and Adolescent community mental health teams and inpatient settings as an Occupational Therapist, Fidelma has developed a clinical expertise in using therapeutic approaches to support young adults manage and overcome their difficulties. 

Marianne, an Occupational Therapist, specialises in pediatric and adolescent mental health, providing compassionate therapy focused on fostering self-compassion and safeness. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, enhanced by her continuous pursuit of alternative therapy courses and passion for wellness.