ADHD + PTSD therapists…
– Looking for first hand insight from people who’ve tackled both these issues. There’s a lot of overlap in “symptoms” with the two issues for me. What certifications do I look for in a therapist to know they can adequately handle both issues?
– And which TYPES of therapies you’ve found beneficial? Medicine is a different question I’ll save for another day. Thanks in advance!
ADHD + PTSD therapists…
I think it depends on what some of your PTSD specific symptoms are. Treatments for PTSD can be very specific, and you can do those in conjunction with other treatment for the symptoms of the ADHD. For example, if you’re having nightmares or flashbacks, something like prolonged exposure or CBT can be useful. If your PTSD symptoms are more on the mood regulation and inattention side, treatment to address both can be more general or cognitively based.
It may be worthwhile to write down what symptoms you have of each diagnosis and which ones you’d like to address first overall. If you find a good therapist they should be able to integrate treatments well. That being said, even trauma experienced or informed therapists may not be as familiar with ADHD despite the significant overlap of the two diagnoses. If you’re screening a therapist, I’d be very direct and up front and ask about their experience working with both diagnoses individually as well as when they’re comorbid or co-occurring. If they can’t give a believable answer then move on.
Thank you for your response. Making a list for each is a great idea. That’s usually my go-to move.
I’ve got significant memory issues, sensory issues and a hyper startle response. Over stimulation from my environment makes socializing a great source of anxiety. I’mActually seeing an ENT doctor today regarding my sensitive hearing. I can disguise my hearing discomfort with Bluetooth ear buds. My kids never know when I’m actually listening to something or just using them as buffers. LOL
But the memory issues are very debilitating to my daily life and that of those around me. Fixing that will help me, help myself a little better. I rarely dream so nightmares aren’t an issue and flashbacks aren’t intrusive either. I’m lucky that way.
Sounds like maybe a combination of supportive therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy might be good.
I am someone with a form of complex PTSD. Yes there are more different types of PTSD. And the PTSD specifically has made my life a hell. I realized after 18, almost 19 years that I’ve never been truly happy. Also not as a child. I’m getting there though now, and I’m very happy about that. I have this theme therapy and EMDR therapy which is both for PTSD. EMDR works amazing on me. What basically happens with that specific therapy is that you have to follow the fingers of your therapist with your eyes while the therapist basically sways them. While you’re doing that, you have to think of the memory that triggers your PTSD. In the moment itself it can become quite overwhelming and hectic. But after you’ve had a session, you’ll start to feel much better. At first it seems kinda worse. But usually it’ll get better. A lot of people only need 1 or 2 sessions. Since I have complex PTSD I need more. But I feel a huge difference after just 2 or 3 sessions. I’m really really happy about that. So maybe that’s something for you. With the theme therapy, you’re basically gonna break habits that triggers PTSD or other bad habits. But me and my therapist usually mainly talk.
That’s the therapy I’ve had. And it has an amazing effect on me. I’ve never felt happier before, and I’m not even there yet.
So maybe that’s something to look in to.
Thanks! I’ve read up on EMDR. It’s fascinating how it works. Several years ago I started seeing a counselor who was going to do that with me and then she moved after our very first visit. Then the counselor she referred me to also moved after about 2 or 3 sessions but that one didn’t seem to know anything about EMDR. I found out that place has a high turn over of counselors so I just never went back. I guess that’s why I’m looking for advice on how to pick a therapist. Of course they’re gonna say yes that they can treat _____(fill in the blank). But I’m getting older and more assertive these days. I don’t have a problem interviewing doctors and the like. AtThis point, I’m ready to get down to the root of everything but it’s exhausting to have to stop and start over with someone new. So I wanna take my time and choose wisely. I’m just feeling over whelmed with all the choices and dreading the process.
What do you mean by supportive therapy? Like talk therapy?
I went to my doctor for therapy first. I just Told him I wanted therapy, and he searched for the therapy place thingy that was best for me. After that we had an intake to see what therapist would fit best. That was over a year ago now. I still have that therapist, and she came with EDMR. For that I have a different therapist who knows how to deal with complex PTSD. My own therapist was gonna do it first, but she Told me she wasn’t good enough for complex PTSD, and she wanted to make sure that I got someone good enough. Today might actually be my last session if everything Goes well
Yep. Supportive therapy is traditional individual therapy. It’s more about meeting you where you’re at rather than having you do one specific type of treatment like CBT or DBT. A lot of supportive therapy can incorporate those treatments. The benefits of supportive therapy is that it can be ongoing, whereas some of the other treatments are time-limited. It really depends on what your needs are and also what your insurance will provide.
Sounds like things are going well for you. That’s encouraging to hear. thanks.
They are. I was right. It was the last session last friday. I’m free from PTSD now
I too have a hyper startle response. Its vocal and physical. Arms flailing, jumping back (etc.) sometimes striking a nearby object. If my wife sets it off because I don’t notice her walk up behind me . . . it will happen. Sometimes my reaction scares her, but generally she’ll just calmly say : “It’s just me . . . your wife!” or “Remember me? I live here too!” We’ve been together 46 years . . .
When my son was a teen he’d purposely sneak up behind me, say “Boo” and laugh at my reaction. When this happened at work [retired now] I’d get embarrassed and try to explain it away.
I think I’m hard-wired this way . . . ADHD brain? Some other cause? Multi-causal?
It has not changed with meds, meditation, exercise . . . you name it.
Could you share some of your experiences and thoughts on your startle response?
Would be most appreciative.