ADHD Treatment for Teens in Phoenix, AZ

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ADHD Treatment for Teens

ADHD can be treated through a range of therapies and medications, allowing those suffering from this condition to better manage their symptoms and live healthier, more productive lives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 6 million teens in the United States have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This condition can affect their development and academic performance, leading to difficulties as adults. Zenith Behavioral Health offers effective ADHD treatment for teens.

adhd treatment for teens

What Is ADHD?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopment disorder that is most commonly diagnosed in childhood and can last well into adulthood. It is a chronic and debilitating disorder that can make daily functioning difficult for children and teens.

The causes of ADHD are not clear, but there is a growing consensus that genetics plays a role. Many teens with ADHD have a slightly different brain anatomy than those without this condition, including reduced gray and white matter volume.

There are three main types of ADHD in teens:

  • Inattentive
  • Hyperactive and impulsive
  • Combined

Each one presents with its own symptoms.

It is important to note that while ADHD in teens often includes an inability to stay focused on one activity, teenagers sometimes have certain activities that are exempt from this. For example, they may be able to play video games or engage in a creative act like art or music for an extended period of time.

Inattentive Type

The inattentive type of ADHD involves difficulty staying focused and on task. The inattentive presentation of ADHD symptoms are:

  • Makes careless mistakes at school
  • Has trouble staying focused on tasks or activities
  • Does not complete work
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to
  • Has organizational problems
  • Is easily distracted
  • Avoids tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • Often loses things
  • Forgets daily tasks

To receive a diagnosis of inattentive ADHD, the teen has to meet at least six of the symptoms.

Hyperactive and Impulsive Type

Hyperactivity in this type of ADHD refers to excessive movement, including not staying still, having a lot of energy, and talking nonstop. The symptoms that occur most commonly with this ADHD type are:

  • Inability to remain seated
  • Squirms in their seat, taps hands, or fidgets
  • Talks too much
  • Always ready to leave
  • Inability to play quietly
  • Interrupts during conversations
  • Runs around when inappropriate
  • Has difficulty waiting for their turn
  • Intrudes on others

To receive a diagnosis of hyperactive and impulsive ADHD, the teen has to have at least six of these nine ADHD symptoms.

Combined Type

A teen with combined ADHD has six or more symptoms of inattentive ADHD and six or more symptoms of hyperactive and impulsive ADHD.

Diagnosing Teen and Childhood ADHD

The diagnosis has to come from health professionals after a psychological evaluation. This evaluation will show what symptoms are prevalent. In many instances, teens with ADHD also have other mental disorders. These can include anxiety, depression, and autism spectrum disorder.

Because of the complex nature of this mental health disorder, ADHD in teens requires treatment by professionals who understand the condition and how to help adolescents who suffer from it. At Zenith Behavioral Health, we offer behavior therapy and other programs that can help teens with ADHD.

Treatment of ADHD in Teens

Treatment for ADHD in teens requires a multi-level approach that includes both therapy and medication. At Zenith Behavioral Health, we offer ADHD treatment for teens that can allow them to manage symptoms and make changes to their behavioral patterns.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is one of the most effective types of talk therapy for treating ADHD. This type of therapy strives to help people understand how their thought patterns can affect their moods and behaviors.

At Zenith Behavioral Health, we rely on cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help teens manage their beliefs and behaviors by helping them identify negative thought patterns and make changes to them. Spontaneous and automatic negative thoughts can impact mood, so it is essential for teens with ADHD to learn how to address those thoughts.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy with a mental health professional at Zenith Behavioral Health allows teens to also set goals and self-monitor their progress.

Dialectical behavior therapy is a kind of talk therapy that can help teens who do not know how to regulate their emotions. It emphasizes validation, social skills, and stress management techniques but also encourages teens to accept uncomfortable emotions before trying to change them.


Different types of medications can offer relief from ADHD symptoms. At Zenith Behavioral Health, we can offer ADHD medicine along with therapy to help teens manage the condition in a healthier manner.

  • Stimulant Medicine:

    Stimulant medications are the most common drugs prescribed for the treatment of ADHD. Stimulants work by increasing the levels of certain brain chemicals, including dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals play a big role in increasing a teen’s attention span and motivation.

  • Non-Stimulant Medications:

    Although non-stimulant medications take longer to offer results, they can also help with focus and motivation without the worry of using a controlled substance like a stimulant. For teens who have a substance abuse problem or for whom stimulants are not effective, non-stimulant ADHD medications can be the right choice.

  • Antidepressants:

    Antidepressants can work well as an ADHD treatment for teens, especially when combined with stimulants. It can be helpful for those who face other mental health conditions as well. The most effective antidepressants for teens with ADHD are norepinephrine-dopamine re-uptake inhibitors and tricyclics.

Get Help for ADHD

Dealing with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can be difficult for teens. It is a condition that can impact schoolwork, relationships, and every other aspect of their lives. There is help available, however.

At Zenith Behavioral Health, we offer behavioral therapy as well as medications as part of our ADHD treatment for teens. Contact Zenith Behavioral Health today to learn more about our treatment options.

Frequently Asked Questions About ADHD in Teens

Get the answers to the teen ADHD questions you have.

Teens with ADHD who do not receive the treatment they need can start falling behind on schoolwork and develop problems with relationships. Untreated ADHD can put a strain on the entire family, making communication between family members difficult. In some instances, ADHD can lead to other mental health concerns like depression.

In the mid-90s, ADD changed to ADHD. Even if the teen does not experience hyperactivity symptoms, the disorder they would be diagnosed with is still ADHD.

Some children do outgrow the condition, but it can be more complex in teens. Teens with ADHD who do not receive the right level of care can carry the condition into adulthood. By participating in treatment, a teen can learn how to manage symptoms and make the necessary behavioral changes.

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Has your life become ruled by the symptoms of ADHD, and you feel ready to take back the reins? Our adolescent mental health treatment center in Phoenix, AZ, can help you. Call (602) 847-9887, or fill out the confidential callback form below.