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What can I do if my teen has ADHD symptoms?

Updated: Jul 9

Nowadays, ADHD symptoms among teenagers appear to be on the rise.

Before wanting to help your teen and wanting to reduce these symptoms without using medication, it is important to understand what can be triggering the symptoms to appear in the first place. 

adhd teens

The complex interplay of societal, environmental, and biological factors are very often having to be looked at. 

With the development of digital technologies and the constant flow of information, teens are frequently exposed to stimuli that demand their attention, creating an environment conducive to distractibility and impulsivity. The allure of social media and online gaming further compounds the issue by providing highly stimulating environments that can be difficult for teens with ADHD to disengage from. As a result, excessive screen time can exacerbate symptoms such as distractibility, impulsivity, and difficulty sustaining attention in teens predisposed to or already diagnosed with ADHD.

The pressure to excel academically and socially adds another layer of stress, exacerbating symptoms such as difficulty focusing, restlessness, and impulsiveness. 

ADHD symptoms can be triggered by decision-making overload, particularly in environments where individuals are bombarded with numerous choices and tasks. The cognitive demands of decision-making can overwhelm their executive functioning abilities, leading to difficulties in prioritising tasks and making effective choices. When faced with a multitude of options or responsibilities, teens may experience heightened anxiety and indecisiveness, further exacerbating their symptoms. 

This decision-making overload can manifest as impulsivity, as teens may opt for quick, instinctive choices rather than engaging in thoughtful deliberation.

Finally, a triggered nervous system can significantly influence the manifestation of ADHD symptoms in individuals, particularly teens. When the nervous system becomes overstimulated or dysregulated due to factors like stress, lack of sleep, or sensory overload, it can exacerbate the core symptoms of ADHD. Heightened arousal levels can impair attention regulation, leading to increased distractibility and difficulty focusing on tasks. Moreover, an activated stress response can amplify impulsivity and hyperactivity, making it challenging for teens to inhibit impulsive behaviours and regulate their energy levels appropriately. The interaction between a dysregulated nervous system and ADHD symptoms underscores the importance of implementing strategies to manage stress and promote relaxation in teens with ADHD, thereby fostering better attentional control and behavioural regulation.

Knowing this, here are three different strategies that can be put in place to help teens deal with ADHD symptoms. 

First, reducing decision-making demands and providing guidance and support in future and present decisions can help alleviate the impact of decision-making overload, creating ADHD symptoms in teens.

Second, allowing your teen to find hobbies and enjoyable activities that is enjoyable, fun and creating attachment with healthy attachment figures is key.

Third and lastly, teaching your teen how to deactivate their sympathetic nervous system on a day to day basis is key is deleting ADHD symptoms. 

You are welcome to take a look at my video regarding exercises to deactivate the sympathetic nervous system, by triggering the vagus nerve.

This video is available through the FREE subscription.

Further browse the website for more information. 

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