Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD
ADHD, is a neurological condition that affects how your brain processes and pays attention to information. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is considered a developmental disorder.
People with ADHD have difficulty staying focused on specific tasks or activities, are easily distracted by other stimuli, and are often hyperactive.
Some people with ADHD may seem hung up on certain ideas or thoughts because they have difficulty shifting their focus and regulating emotions.
Adults with ADHD
Adults tend to struggle the most with: finishing tasks, staying on task (focused), remembering details, being attentive, and lack of drive or enthusiasm.
The reason for this is that adults are often distracted by other things. For example, it's easy for them to be tempted away from their tasks by social media or television.
Continue reading to learn what we believe is the best treatment combination for adults with ADHD.
Children with ADHD
Children with ADHD usually have similar symptoms as adults. Sadly, if left undiagnosed, they may be labelled as 'not interested in school' or 'the class clown'.
Education settings can pick up ADHD
More and more schools and teachers are aware of ADHD and often recognise children who may have this disorder.
Children with undiagnosed ADHD are frequently bullied in school because of their focus or attention problems, which then leads to low self-esteem and depression.
This is an important detail that we'll address in more depth later, but if you think you or someone close to you has ADHD, please seek a treatment evaluation. The correct treatment can be life changing for individuals and families.
You've heard of ADHD
Do you have a friend with ADHD?
We all know a person with ADHD. They might be our best friend, family member or co-worker. They may have been diagnosed at an early age or only recently in adulthood.
It's not always easy to figure out what treatment is best for someone with ADHD but there are many options available today that can offer relief and hope.
In this post we'll explore the different treatment options available and how each might work to help manage symptoms of ADHD. We'll also discuss some of the pros and cons associated with those treatments so you can make better decisions about your own life and future based on reliable information!
ADHD treatment option diagnosis
There are different treatments for ADHD in adults. You'll first need to get a diagnosis from a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist who assesses your symptoms against the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
Treatment for ADHD mostly involves medication, education, skills training, support groups and counselling from a health professional. Sometimes a combination of these is the best treatment.
These treatment options can help manage many symptoms of ADHD. But they do not cure it. You may have to try a few things before you find what works best for you.
Talk with your doctor about whether you should take medications for ADHD. He or she will tell you about the benefits and risks of each medicine.
Some ADHD medication is addictive and can have side effects, which is why regular follow ups with your doctor are vital.
How does ADHD medication work?
ADHD medications help the neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, work better in people with ADHD. Medicines called stimulants improve these brain chemicals. Stimulants are thought to function by boosting dopamine levels in the brain.
Dopamine the 'feel good' hormone & neurotransmitter
Dopamine also known as the 'feel good' hormone. It's an important part of your brain's reward system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that promotes motivation, pleasure, attention, and movement. Stimulant medications enhance focus and concentration while reducing impulsive and hyperactive behaviours for many people with ADHD.
Sometimes people need stimulant medicines like methylphenidate or amphetamine, but other medicines may be prescribed too. The stimulants help balance chemicals in the brain which make a person feel better.
Long and short acting simulant medication
There is a variety of medication options including long acting options such a Lisdexamfetamine, sold under the brand name Vyvanse or Ritalin LA Methylphenidate hydrochloride which can help control ADHD symptoms throughout the day.
Some people also use non-stimulant medicine like Atomoxetine Hydrochloride, sold under the brand name Strattera to help with symptoms of inattention and impulsivity.
Are there side effects to ADHD medication?
Some people will experience side effects from stimulant ADHD medication, which is why your doctor will monitor how you respond to the medication and adjust the dose accordingly.
An holistic approach, which includes medication, talk therapy, peer mentoring, nutrition, exercise, and education on how to handle symptoms is better than relying on one strategy. An holistic approach also provides someone with ADHD with a wide range of important life skills.
Some people do better on a combination of psycho-stimulant medication, which is why you doctor may recommend this approach. Taking long acting medication and short acting medication for example.
Consult with you doctor regularly about you ADHD treatment
You doctor will carefully consider the pros and cons of combining these medications, including how these medicines might affect your health over time. However, it's important to understand that there is no one-size fits all treatment plan.
You and your doctor should discuss all the options and choose a treatment strategy that works for you.
There is no one medication that's been proven to be more effective than another. So if you've tried one medicine and it didn't work it's possible a different one might.
Treatment outcomes for ADHD
It is not simple to treat ADHD. Remember to keep your doctor updated on your progress so they can assist you in managing the problem effectively.
Your doctor may also recommend other treatments, such as behavioural therapy or a support group to help you improve your quality of life.
Alternatives to tradition ADHD treatment options
Adults who have not been successful in reducing their symptoms using traditional methods should consider an alternative strategy to manage their symptoms, such as diet, exercise, brain training neurofeedback, and occasionally supplements.
Research on treatment outcomes for ADHD
A systematic review of 351 studies were done on children with ADHD. Some of the outcomes measured were: an academic outcome, antisocial behaviour, driving outcomes, obesity rates, occupation outcome, services use outcome and self-esteem.
Long term treatment outcomes for those with a diagnosis of ADHD
The following was found: (1) without treatment people with ADHD had poorer long-term outcomes in all categories compared to people without ADHD
The researchers found: (2) that psychotherapy, combined with medication for ADHD (ADHD + therapy), resulted in improved long-term results when compared to untreated ADHD. However, these improvements did not cure the person of ADHD symptoms.
Adult ADHD counselling includes:
Cognitive behavioural therapy
This is a type of counselling that teaches you skills to help you manage your behaviour and change negative thinking patterns into positive ones. It can help you deal with life challenges, such as school, work or relationship problems, and it can also help address other mental health conditions such as depression or substance abuse.
Are you struggling to focus in your work or daily life?
It may seem daunting at first, but this course will provide you with insight into what your specific needs are as an individual who has been diagnosed with ADHD.
The course will teach you about different tools and strategies that are just right for improving your focus and attention span- all while managing other responsibilities such as taking care of kids or working full time.
Take action to succeed
This course will help you learn to manage symptoms, set goals, and make changes that will keep your focus where it belongs - on the things most important to you. If this sounds like something worth investing in then click on the link below and enrol today.
ADHD Symptoms and struggles
Inattention: Can be defined as the lack of attention to a task or action. This is often displayed in symptoms such as forgetting things, losing items, and not listening when spoken too directly. People who have this condition tend to make careless mistakes during work or other areas of life.
Hyperactive or Impulsivity: There are many symptoms that could lead to a hyperactive or impulsive person. Some of the common ones include:
It's scary, most people never know they have ADHD
ADHD support in an online format
Now it's your turn
By applying these techniques daily, you can transform your relationships, career, mental health and overall happiness...all while living a more fulfilling life than ever before.
The ADHD Ambition course is a powerful resource for anyone who needs help getting their priorities straight so they can stop procrastinating and start taking action toward their big goals.
Shannon Bowman is the Director of SJB Clinical Consulting Pty Ltd,
and Create Balance Psychotherapy & Counselling VIEW HERE.
Shannon has a clinical interest in treating trauma, PTSD and ADHD.
He has a lived experience of ADHD and is a passionate advocate for those affected by it.
He is accredited as an Mental Health Social Worker AMHSW,
psychotherapist and registered EMDR practitioner.
Australian Association of Social Workers
EMDR Association of Australia .
Psychology Today Profile