ADHD Specialist

Holistic Psychiatry

Meredith Sagan, MD

Psychiatrist located in Santa Monica, CA

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects more than 9% of children in the United States, according to a survey done in 2016. But it’s not just a childhood diagnosis because ADHD also affects 4% of adults. At Holistic Psychiatry in Santa Monica, California, Meredith Sagan, MD, understands the complexities of ADHD and helps her patients better manage the disease to lead happy and productive lives. To learn more about treating ADHD, call the office or use the online scheduling tool.


What is ADHD?

ADHD is a complex disorder that typically begins in children between the ages of three and six, but many adults continue to experience challenges resulting from the effects of ADHD. This neurodevelopmental disorder is accompanied by three major characteristics:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

Some people may display only attention deficit, in which case the condition is labeled attention-deficit disorder (ADD), while others also have the hyperactivity component, which falls under ADHD.

There is still much to be learned about ADHD, but medical researchers believe that genetics and environment play key roles, as well as:

  • Exposure to toxins
  • Brain injuries
  • Low birth weights
  • Smoking or substance use during pregnancy

Since there’s no definitive cause of ADHD, there’s no magic bullet when it comes to a cure. But there are effective ways to better manage the condition, especially through the movement-based psychosomatic therapy at Holistic Psychiatry.

What are the primary signs of ADHD?

Recognizing and diagnosing ADHD can be difficult because of the numerous ways the disorder presents itself. Because there’s no single test to determine whether ADHD is present, Dr. Sagan relies on a set of criteria under both inattention and hyperactivity. These criteria include:


Under inattention, these are some of the most common signs a person may display:

  • Pays little attention to detail
  • Forgets easily
  • Appears not to listen
  • Has trouble with follow-through
  • Has difficulty with organization
  • Is easily distracted
  • Loses things frequently

While everyone experiences these symptoms from time to time, displaying six or more for long periods is a clear sign that ADHD may be present.


Under this second component of ADHD, you should be on the lookout for:

  • Fidgety behavior
  • The inability to sit still
  • Incessant talking
  • Impatience 
  • Speaking at inappropriate times
  • Excessive energy

Here again, many kids and adults display these behaviors from time to time, but ongoing problems with five or more of these symptoms may point toward ADHD.

How is ADHD treated?

Treating ADHD can be like shooting at a moving target, and may require a combination of medications, behavioral therapies, and coping strategies. Through a movement-based psychotherapeutic approach, Dr. Sagan emphasizes mindfulness and self-awareness, two important keys to the ADHD puzzle.

Dr. Sagan is also highly experienced in medicine management, so she works with her patients to find the right combination of medications and therapy to manage ADHD, allowing her patients to lead happy, productive lives. 

For experienced ADHD care, call Holistic Psychiatry or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.