Treatment Options for ADHD
If you’ve been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you finally have an answer to the symptoms that have likely been plaguing you. But now, it’s time to take the next step: treating ADHD. While ADHD is typically a childhood condition that can disappear in about two-thirds of all cases, as many as one-third of ADHD patients continue dealing with the condition into adulthood. If you search online, you can discover treatment options for individuals of any age who are living with ADHD.
There are treatment options for ADHD, but treating this condition typically requires a combination of different approaches. While some symptoms can be handled with one method of treatment, others may require a different treatment style. Search online to learn more about the different ways ADHD can be treated.
The following are the most common treatment options for ADHD.
Prescription medication is often the first step taken to treat ADHD, particularly in children. However, there are different types of ADHD medications, and they can affect individuals differently.
There are two primary types of ADHD medications: stimulants and nonstimulants.
Stimulants, which are also called central nervous system stimulants, are the most commonly prescribed ADHD medications. These types of medications increase the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which in turn helps improve concentration and focus. There are different types of stimulants available, including amphetamine-based medications, dextromethamphetamine, dextromethylphenidate, and methylphenidate.
Nonstimulants are typically prescribed after stimulants have been tried. They’re a great option if stimulants aren’t working for you, or if you’re experiencing side effects. Nonstimulant ADHD medications increase norepinephrine in the brain, which helps improve attention and memory. There are two types of stimulants: atomoxetine and antidepressants like nortriptyline.
Other nonstimulant medications may also be able to help with ADHD and its symptoms. Nonstimulants like guanfacine and clonidine may be an option, as they contain certain chemicals that may help attention and memory. However, the effects of these medications on ADHD aren’t fully known just yet, so keep in mind that they aren’t commonly prescribed.
Remember, medication alone may not solve all ADHD difficulties or symptoms. Fortunately, there are other kinds of treatments you can try.
Therapeutic treatment options can also help combat ADHD symptoms and effects. Whether your doctor recommends one type of therapy or a combination of different therapies, there can be benefits to working with a therapist to adapt to your “new normal” with ADHD.
Psychotherapy is one therapeutic treatment option. You can undergo psychotherapy to cope with the feelings of living with ADHD. It can help you deal with potential problems with peers and authority figures, and it can teach you how to better handle relationships in your life. Psychotherapy also offers an opportunity to explore ADHD behaviors and learn how to work with them to make better choices. Family psychotherapy can help you and everyone in your life work together through ADHD’s disruptive behaviors.
Behavior therapy is another option. During behavior therapy, you’ll learn how to monitor your own behaviors and change them as needed. You can work independently with a therapist, or you can work with others in your life. Behavior therapy helps you develop strategies to manage your response in certain situations, with feedback, rewards, and other options that support positive behavior.
Support groups can be another therapeutic option. Whether you’re the parent of a child with ADHD or have ADHD yourself, support groups can help you meet others with similar experiences, concerns, and struggles. It’s a great way to build a support network and find new resources and strategies to help cope with ADHD. Doctors can typically recommend support groups in your local area.
Behavioral interventions are a type of treatment that’s similar to behavior therapy, but it’s more like coaching than traditional therapy. Instead of working with a therapist, you’ll work with an ADHD coach – someone who specializes in problem-solving and behavior changes in those with ADHD.
Both adults and children can benefit from ADHD coaching through behavioral intervention. It helps them work with the emotional and psychological aspects of ADHD, and it’s possible to specifically target symptoms and issues caused by ADHD. You can work on exercises that can help attention issues, low motivation, poor organizational skills, emotional control, and impulsivity. It’s been found that getting ADHD coaching for eight weeks can give individuals better organizational abilities and reduced anger that lasts for a year or more.
Do keep in mind that behavioral interventions typically utilize coaches instead of medical experts or therapists. You’ll want to make sure you’re working with someone who specializes in ADHD and vet their experience before beginning this type of treatment.