The Whole View with Stacy Toth, Season 3, Episode 114: Women’s Mental Health Alphabet Soup, CBT, DBT, ADHD w/ Drs. David & Ayla Sitt

Psychologists and spouses Drs. Ayla and David Sitt join Stacy to discuss navigating relationships and wellness through ADHD and beyond. By using different therapies like Cognitive & Dialectical behavioral therapies, focusing on mindset, and through a lot of practice and patience, not only do they believe in what I do, they use the tools they teach. Dr. Ayla Sitt brings her experience in women’s mental health to help us understand the oft misdiagnosed symptoms of ADHD in women.

Find Drs Ayla & David Sitt

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Key Takeaways 

Introductions

  • Drs. Ayla and David Sitt are licensed clinical psychologists in New York City, residing in Brooklyn with their 4 children!
  • Dr. Ayla Sitt often works with clients who struggle with anxiety disorders, low self-esteem, and women’s health issues.  Afs.
  • Furthermore, she is a clinical psychologist who specializes in CBT and DBT to help individuals build more satisfying and rewarding lives.
  • Dr. David Sitt is a tenured professor at Baruch College (CUNY), teaching both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • With his own experience being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, Dr. Sitt now specializes in treating adults with ADHD, anxiety, and mood disorders, employing validated modalities and innovative techniques.

Women’s Mental Health Alphabet Soup, CBT, DBT, ADHD

  • It’s important to consider the variables that affect presentation of ADHD symptoms.
  • When your brain isn’t working the way you want it to work, that is extremely frustrating. And it’s not for a lack of intelligence, and it’s not for a lack of potential vision. It’s almost too much vision and difficulty figuring out how to make that vision come to fruition.
  • What happens to people, especially women who were not diagnosed with ADHD? Not only were they not diagnosed, it did have an impact. This impact can lead not feeling smart or like your brain functions differently that others, and this impacts your belief systems about yourself. It may turn into believing “I’m not a school person” or “I can’t get jobs in this area because I’m just not good at these things”. A lot of folks do learn tools and end up in job that pull from their strengths.
  • Diagnosis of ADHD often comes with counterbalance of perfectionism in women. Dr. Ayla’s experience is that it’s hard to help them with perfectionism, as it’s tool that it helps them the other effects. She will bring it to their attention, acknowledge the components fighting with each other, and help create systems and find flexibility.

Supporting Partnerships

Regardless of what you’re struggling with, it doesn’t give you a free pass on behaving in certain ways. It’s extra difficult for you, AND you need to figure out how to handle those behaviors. – Dr. Ayla Sitt

  • Being in partnership with someone with ADHD is all about methods and mindset. Drs. Ayla and David do their best to provide flexibility in the process of the mindset. It’s a long game and ongoing process.
  • Anxiety, impulsivity, ejection sensitivity, and other symptoms of ADHD can lead to issues in partnerships.
  • Dr. Ayla says it’s really important how the partner responds to issues that arise. Responding with compassion can make all of the difference. So timing is crucial when responding to the issues that come up, frustrations, etc. It’s important to have conversations at a time, in a place, and in a way that the person with ADHD can truly hear and listen.

CBT & DBT

  • Generally, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a modality that says our thoughts affect the way that we feel and the way we behave. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) uses components of CBT plus other philosophies that give people skill and tools to use in different situations, to regulate emotions, help communicate effectively, stay present, and more.
  • Dr. Ayla gives an example of a client that came to her who would struggle with crying in meetings when receiving feedback. They worked out skills to regulate emotions in real time. It didn’t mean she couldn’t process the emotions after. She wanted to be able to communicate effectively and feel self-respect.

Next Steps

  • In their work, Drs Sitt like to teach people the tools and the methods to have at their disposal. But that will only be as effective as developing and harnessing the apparatus of self-awareness.
  • Think about the areas that you struggle in the most and think about how you want to build up and work on those specific areas.
  • Decrease “vulnerability”. For women, they may not be able to control the effects of their hormones during their menstrual cycle, but can be prepared by making sure they are eating, sleeping well and exercising to help. Mindfulness is such a huge component of our mental health
    Notice where you are
  • Find community and a support system, for ADHD and generally.
  • You can find a psychologist, read David’s book, or find a care and support through Agave Health

Studies, References & Products

Sponsors

 

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Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes only. It is NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.

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