ADD/ADHD Treatment

How do we Approach Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Many women can be treated effectively for ADHD without seeking residential treatment.

Often, however, there is much more to a woman’s story that needs to be understood to help her overcome her disorder and enjoy a full life.

Sometimes, her ADHD may not have been addressed effectively, or may not have been diagnosed at all. This may result in poor school or work performance that can damage her self-esteem and lead to feelings of shame or guilt. She may attempt to lessen these feelings by using alcohol, abusing prescription drugs or other illicit substances, or other addictions. Some women, particularly those with a certain genetic predisposition, develop anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or other eating disorders in attempts to seek a greater sense of control.

Our experience tells us that women suffering from an eating disorder or addiction who also have co-occurring ADHD are likely to struggle in recovery more than others, and face a much higher risk of repeated relapse. Like other addictive disorders, ADHD can be a lifelong challenge, but one from which you or your loved one can recover.

We Know That Every Woman is Unique

The expert treatment staff at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center looks at every woman as an individual. We give careful consideration to the role that ADHD may play in her struggle with an eating disorder, drug addiction, alcoholism, or other co-occurring disorders. The therapeutic approach at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment center is integrated and holistic. Our staff focuses on a woman’s entire being, which includes her spirit, mind, emotions, social relationships, and physical health. Healing in each of these areas is crucial for long-term recovery from addictions, and ADHD alike.

We also look carefully at how co-occurring mood disorders, anxiety disorders, or personality disorders make it more difficult for her to manage the symptoms of ADHD. We emphasize awareness of how ADHD symptoms may trigger other feelings or destructive behaviors. We actively help our residents develop skill and confidence in using her recovery tools.

Our integrated focus on awareness of emotions helps women to let go of the toxic shame that they feel about having ADHD- the shame that keeps them stuck.

How do you Address the Educational Challenges of ADHD in School-Age Women?

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center has a unique ability to help women struggling with chemical dependency or an eating disorder along with co-occurring disorders, like ADHD, that may disrupt her academic progress. We offer a fully accredited, state approved educational program that allows women to develop their academic skills and experience newfound enjoyment from learning.

Timberline Knolls Academy offers a supportive, therapeutic setting staffed by educators who are also licensed as social workers or behavioral specialists. By contrast, many other eating disorder treatment centers or drug rehab facilities provide tutoring, without the same structured, integrated support in a school setting that is so important for adolescent girls recovering from ADHD.

How Do Treatment Plans Address ADHD and other Co-Occurring Disorders?

Similar to the treatment of eating disorders and substance abuse, treatment planning for ADHD considers all accumulated knowledge about a resident, and leverages the experience of our entire staff to customize her care. This collaborative approach is one of the distinguishing elements of treatment for ADD, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders at a leading rehab facility like Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.

Before Admission

Consideration of the resident’s treatment needs begins during the admissions process, when both the woman and her family provide information about her challenges, symptoms and past behavior patterns. After obtaining consent, we speak to her past treatment providers to gather additional information about her medical history, educational progress and stumbling blocks to achieving or maintaining recovery from other addictions or eating disorders. We coordinate closely with her school to understand the academic roadblocks ADHD may have created, and to best support her in progressing towards graduation during residential treatment.

Post-Intake Assessment

Once she is admitted, each resident undergoes a comprehensive assessment by one of our psychiatrists. She is then assigned a treatment team with three core members, whom she will meet in the coming days:

  • A Primary Therapist
  • A Family Therapist
  • A Psychiatrist

A woman who exhibits symptoms of unaddressed ADHD or other co-occurring psychiatric disorders may undergo additional testing to confirm that her residential treatment program is comprehensive. Each treatment team member also completes a thorough written assessment within the woman’s first days at Timberline Knolls. The findings from these assessments are shared with our entire clinical and academic staff, who collaborate and agree on the elements of treatment.

Her primary therapist will share these recommendations with the woman, who will have input into the goals for her treatment and will choose several elective elements of her program. Each school-age resident will also have input on her academic coursework. She will be asked to sign off on her treatment objectives and the ongoing progression of her treatment plan, giving her ownership of her recovery from the outset.

Ongoing Collaboration

The treatment team will meet weekly throughout the resident’s stay, and members consult each other informally as often as needed to remain abreast of her progress. If additional information is necessary or new symptoms appear, a resident may also undergo additional psychological testing to ensure that treatment considers all aspects of her mental health.

Additionally, women with medical symptoms or other complications from anorexia or bulimia may be referred to consulting healthcare providers such as a cardiologist, gynecologist, dentist or nephrologist.

What Will You Experience At Our Treatment Center?

A woman’s experience at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center may differ significantly from other drug rehab facilities or eating disorder treatment programs she has attended in the past. That is by design.

Comprehensive, Integrated Treatment and Recovery

Every woman recovering from ADHD, addictive disorders and eating disorders must develop tools she can trust when she begins to experience symptoms. We work with our residents to help them identify the conscious choices they are making throughout their day. Our caring staff provides consistent support as women learn to use new tools in situations where they would have previously turned to self-destructive choices and actions. As they gain confidence in their ability to make positive, healthy choices, women experience improved self-esteem, body acceptance, reduced stress and anxiety, healing of trauma, and increased self-awareness.

Comprehensive and individualized treatment plans use approaches proven to help women learn to experience their emotions and develop the tools to recover from their disorder. Specific examples include:

  • one-on-one therapy sessions
  • expressive and recreational therapy
  • education about disease processes and recovery
  • group sessions to teach and practice behavior modification and emotion management
  • family therapy (including family participation, if appropriate)
  • twelve-step facilitation,
  • twelve-step participation, including onsite and offsite meetings
  • weekly psychiatric consultation
  • trauma awareness and recovery
  • educational services for school-age women

Expressive Therapy Provides A Productive Outlet for Complex Emotions

Expressive therapy has been clinically proven to promote healing and recovery, in addition to providing a needed creative outlet for women during their treatment and beyond. For women who may have suffered academically or in the workplace because of unaddressed ADHD, creative arts may be especially therapeutic and empowering. Our expressive therapy program includes a variety of outlets a woman can select based on her personal interests:

  • art therapy in a historical art studio that supports painting, sculpture and other media
  • dance/movement therapy
  • empowerment group (experiential trauma recovery)
  • outdoor recreation such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, badminton or gardening on our 43 acre campus

The Timberline Knolls admissions team is here to help you.

If you feel that you are in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

How Do We Treat Co-Existing Conditions With Mood Disorders or Personality Disorders?

When treating women and girls for ADHD with mood disorders, anorexia, bulimia, or other addictive disorders, our specialized treatment team at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center never assumes we are treating an isolated disease. Frequently, substance abuse or an eating disorder develops in attempts by a woman to either:

  • Reduce feelings of anxiety or shame worsened by underlying psychiatric conditions that we refer to as co-occurring disorders; or,
  • Control intense emotions related to unresolved traumatic experiences in her past.

Co-occurring disorders are recognized frequently in women with mood disorders, but not always addressed appropriately by medical and behavioral health professionals who are primarily concerned with addressing a chemical dependency or eating disorder. Medical researchers have found that a large percentage of those who have an addiction or chemical dependency also have at least one other mental illness and/or personality disorder. Co-occurring disorders describe a situation when an addictive disorder persists along with at least one other psychiatric illness that is active and negatively impacts the process of recovery. Women with co-occurring disorders tend to have more severe symptoms of each illness and higher potential for relapse. Examples of psychiatric conditions that frequently co-exist with substance abuse, eating disorders, and other addictions are:

  • ADHD
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • panic and anxiety disorders
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • personality disorders
  • schizophrenia
  • various phobias and compulsions

For a woman with co-occurring disorders, an attempt to address only the chemical dependency or eating disorder in isolation is at best incomplete, and at worst counterproductive. Life-long recovery requires an in depth understanding of each disease and the complex interactions between them.

Call Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center today to learn more about how our treatment specialists may help you or your loved one overcome ADHD, eating disorders, substance abuse, or other co-occurring disorders. We accept women and girls (ages 12 and up) for admission seven days a week.

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