What Should You do If You Have Adult ADHD?
After a diagnosis of adult ADHD is made, medication therapy is usually prescribed to the patient. Most people respond well to this strategy. However, a number non-pharmacological option may help the condition too. To manage the problem, physicians prescribe the most effective therapy. After the condition is relieved, alternative treatments are explored to further benefit the client.
Medication Therapy for ADHD
Drugs used to treat ADHD in children are also known to produce the same effects with adults. These medications include the following:
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Back in the previous times, adult ADHD was treated first with stimulant medications. About two-thirds of the patients showed improvement in their symptoms. But this form of treatment faced certain controversies as stimulants are controlled substances and someone taking it regularly might resort to substance abuse. Multiple daily dosing of these drugs poses problems as it is short-acting and the person takes it by himself which he/she might take it more often ‘to relax’ when slight problems arise.
The only non stimulant drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in treating adult ADHD is Stratterra. It is first in its kind to receive FDA indication to treat ADHD. This medication is not addictive and may be taken without special prescription. It is prescribed to children, adolescents and adults as well.
One of the foundation behavioral management for adults with ADHD is enhancing their self-esteem. This is successfully done by an individual cognitive therapy. Thorough assessment is required to meet such goals in addition to treatment planning, drug administration, education and identification of support systems. A person cannot function well when his or her self-esteem is not reinforced. Ideally, behavioral management of ADHD may include the following:
- Relaxation therapy and stress management to lower anxiety level and stress
- Teaching the person to organize day-to-day activities at home and at work through behavioral coaching
- Family education
Psychosocial behavioral management strategies include the following:
- Adhere to medication regimen. Missed drug doses could pose negative effects on a person with ADHD. Adverse effects should be reported to the physician immediately.
- Get organized. To reduce stress from last-minute preparations, an individual should use a daily planner. Leaving notes as a personal remind is also helpful to become more organized. A list of daily tasks and goals is a good way to keep things neat and systematic.
- Think about relationships. Family members and friends of the person with ADHD should get educated about the condition. More importantly, the romantic partner should get some education about the condition to better understand their lover. Patients with ADHD need to undergo a counseling or therapy to successfully relate to people. Social skill training, marriage counseling and family therapy may be done to greatly improve the person’s relational ability.
- Think before you act. Adults with ADHD are struggling with impulsive behavior. It is advisable to think first before overreacting emotionally. For instance, before getting angry at others it is good to count to 10 first mwhile breathing slowing. The impulse will usually pass quickly after time.
- Reduce distractions. People with ADHD are easily distracted by loud noises. It is best to move in a noise-free or quieter area. Asking others to use earplugs or turn the music off can also reduce distractions.
- Find an outlet for hyperactivity. People with ADHD seem to be more active and energetic than others. This hyperactivity needs a constructive outlet in a form of a hobby or pastime.
- Seek counseling and ask help if needed. It is important to ask for help when the need arises.
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