ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition with symptoms such as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The symptoms differ from person to person. ADHD was formerly called ADD, or attention deficit disorder. Both children and adults can have ADHD, but the symptoms always begin in childhood.
It may take some trial and error to determine the best treatment for ADHD, but most treatments typically include medication, counseling, training, and education.
Counseling And Behavioral Therapy
Counseling and behavioral therapy are often used in conjunction with other treatments. Behavioral therapy teaches individuals how to deal with stressful situations related to their ADHD, whereas family therapy is used to help everyone in the household deal with the individual who has ADHD. Psychotherapy enables an individual to discover and remedy any negative behavioral patterns they may have, and social skills training allows an individual to learn the appropriate behaviors in social settings.
Alternative treatments that may help individuals with ADHD include following a special diet, taking supplements, proprietary formulations, practicing yoga and meditation, neurofeedback training, and taking a daily dose of essential fatty acids to stimulate the brain. Foods that contain copious amounts of sugar and food coloring, as well as milk, wheat, and eggs, may heighten the symptoms of ADHD an individual may experience. When these specific foods are eliminated from the patient's diet, it has proven to be highly effective in helping manage common symptoms. Herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements may treat ADHD symptoms in some patients, while others may benefit from proprietary formulas that contain ingredients such as micronutrients and vitamins.
Alternative Treatments Continued
Yoga and meditation can be used for relaxation measures that can reduce ADHD symptoms, and it can also instill discipline in children and teenagers. Neurofeedback training teaches an individual about brain activity while performing certain tasks to stimulate their frontal lobe activity, and researchers have found that taking essential fatty acids that contain omega-3 oils can assist in ADHD treatment. Other treatments that do not have enough evidence that proves their effectiveness, but could help some individuals, include interactive metronome training and sensory integration therapy.
Medication For ADHD
Stimulant medications such as methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, and dextroamphetamine are the first drugs typically used to treat ADHD. These types of medications balance and heighten neurotransmitters in the brain to treat hyperactivity and focus issues. Dosages vary depending on the child, and these drugs come in both short and long-acting forms. Antidepressants such as bupropion, desipramine, and atomoxetine work slower than stimulants but are used when an individual is unable to take stimulants.
Medication For ADHD Continued
If an individual has a heart condition, it may not be wise to take stimulants. While the studies are not conclusive, there have been heart-related deaths in children and teenagers who have taken these stimulants. There is also a hypothesis that the side effects of antidepressants may be connected to depression and suicidal thoughts. Children and teenagers should not be allowed to take their own medication, and it should be kept in a locked container to prevent an overdose. School staff should also not be allowed to administer medication.