Treatment options for ADHD

Since the causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be both psychological and physiological, the treatments will also focus on the attendant causes.

The treatment options include:

  • Parental education
  • ADHD awareness
  • Educational support
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Counseling
  • Skill development
  • Medication

The best approach for most patients will most likely involve a combination of therapy and some medication, with a preferable bias towards the former.

While most parents would not like their children to be popping pills, for a lot of children the first step is to stabilise symptoms because the symptoms can be debilitating enough to make therapy or any other treatment impossible.

The five types of medications the National Health Service recommends are:

  • Guanfacine
  • Atomoxetine
  • Dexamfetamine
  • Methylphenidate
  • Lisdexamfetamine

Taking these medications under the supervision of a qualified doctor who knows the patient’s medical history can help by bringing some sense of easing of symptoms for the patient. This moment of clarity can be a window for future treatments. The medications can help the patient feel calmer, less impulsive, more focused, able to learn better, and more socially comfortable.

Therapy can be used to treat specific ADHD symptoms and any associated mental health issues. Some of the most common forms of therapy are:

  • Behavior therapy: This approach re-wires the patient’s reward associations to change behavioral patterns. Behavioral therapy helps the patient, in conjunction with the parents and teachers, to deal with daily situations better.
  • Psychoeducation: This is a form of talk therapy that is specifically adapted for children and ADHD patients. It tries to make the core causes of ADHD conscious and thereby attempt to replace negative associations with newer and positive ones.
  • Social skills training: This approach targets the inability of children suffering from ADHD to socialize due to an excessive self-absorption and inability to empathize. Successful treatment makes it much easier for children and other ADHD patients to relate to other people and their points of view, making social situations easier to navigate.

Considering that ADHD is a complex of symptoms and does not have a singular marker which must be dealt with, over a period, medicinally backed treatments can help patients recover to a close to normal state of daily functioning.