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What You Should Know About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for ADHD

It’s estimated that 10 million adults in the United States have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the majority of whom are undiagnosed. Finding out you have ADHD as an adult can be a staggering revelation, as you look back over your life and see how it may have affected you. 

At 2nd Chance Treatment Center, with locations in Phoenix, Glendale, and Gilbert, Arizona, our team of trained professionals can help you understand the effects of ADHD and how to mitigate them with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for a happier, more well-adjusted life.

Signs of adult ADHD 

The symptoms of adult ADHD often manifest differently than they do in children. Furthermore, signs can be difficult to spot since adults often learn to mask their symptoms and aren’t watched as closely as children are. Common symptoms of adult ADHD include: 

Focus issues

Two primary symptoms of ADHD are hyperfocus and lack of focus. You can either concentrate on something so single-mindedly that it blocks out everything else, or you can have trouble focusing on anything, jumping from one thing to the next.

Zoning out

If you have ADHD, you may have an intricate fantasy life and prefer to spend time in your own head, worldbuilding and storytelling, rather than in the real world. You might even get “lost” in your daydreams to the point that you forget to eat or sleep.  


If your friends affectionately refer to you as a ditz or a slob, it could be due to ADHD. One of the most visible signs is a tendency to procrastinate, which can make you seem absentminded, messy, and even lazy. If you put your glasses on top of your head and then spend time looking for them, that might be a sign of ADHD.  

Treating adult ADHD with CBT

Undiagnosed or untreated ADHD can make you have trouble staying on top of your daily or long-term tasks. You may have a negative view of yourself and feel like you just can't “get it together.” This can damage your career, relationships, and sense of self-worth.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help treat ADHD by teaching you how to identify and change your thinking patterns. When you learn how to recognize ADHD symptoms, you can make clear, conscious choices to act appropriately and get better results in life.

The foundations of CBT

Over time, CBT can completely change how you participate in relationships and improve your performance at work or school. There are five parts involved in using CBT to treat ADHD:

  1. Psychoeducation and organizing/planning
  2. Coping with distractibility
  3. Adaptive thinking
  4. Addressing procrastination 
  5. Involvement of a partner or spouse (optional)  

Cognitive behavioral therapy can take the form of role play, teaching you to handle life situations so you can have tools to turn your life around. 

If you’re ready to take control of your life, book an appointment online or over the phone with 2nd Chance Treatment Center today.

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