November 12, 2018
ADHD and ADD Treatment: Traditional and Additional Options for Children and Adults
Written by Rachel Eddins
Are you or your child struggling with attention deficit issues? Which ADHD or ADD treatment is a good course of action? Who can help you take the best next steps? There are several treatment options that are possible for these conditions. They include both traditional methods as well as additional steps that you can take.
Consider the following:
Sports have always been easy for Danny.
School, on the other hand, has always been challenging. Danny often felt bursts of interest in his coursework and wanted to do well, but no matter how hard Danny worked he couldn’t stay on top of his grades.
After high school, Danny was admitted to a local college on a basketball scholarship. His parents were thrilled; it’s important to them that Danny get a college degree.
At college, Danny feels overwhelmed. He thinks he isn’t smart enough for college course material. He’s embarrassed.
Danny starts to wonder why he should even bother attending classes. His school papers pile up out of sight where he won’t have to think about them.
He spends most days at the gym playing basketball with a friend. Danny feels bored and angry; why is everything so hard for him?
ADHD is commonly treated in children; but in adults, ADHD can go unnoticed. Living with ADHD as an adult can be painful.
You want to do better—you care about being a good employee or keeping track of your finances—but you simply can’t manage it all. Unaware of strategies for living with adult ADHD, your anger and frustration might turn inward.
How can adult ADHD be treated?
Adult ADHD is often treated with the same medication used to address ADHD in children. Medication can be helpful and effective but often comes with side effects.
The aim of a prescription isn’t necessary to keep you on medication forever. Instead, medication should be used to help you maintain the positive changes on your own that are affected during treatment.
In the presence of medication, the emotional aftermath of adult ADHD can still persist.
Living with ADHD as an adult often means you could be experiencing depression, anxiety, and substance abuse as well.
When you have ADHD, it can feel like you’re putting in much more effort than the people around you and still come up short. The signs of ADHD are often misunderstood—maybe you’ve been told you’re lazy or incompetent.
After awhile, you might start telling those things to yourself.
It can include:
One traditional ADHD or ADD treatment method is behavioral therapy. This can be useful for both children and adults.
Traditional ADHD and ADD Treatment
- Having something to fidget with to redirect energy, such as a pencil
- Staying organized and on-task
- Ensuring projects are done on time
- Learning how to cope with impulsivity
It is important to note that you need to talk to a therapist about your emotions surrounding ADD/ADHD. Most likely, you or your child have had situations arise that created negative emotions.
For example, being made fun of in school for being forgetful or reprimanded at work for not staying on task are common. These experiences can leave emotional wounds that need to be addressed.
Another option typical for ADHD/ ADD treatment is medication. Medication can help by allowing you or your child to better focus and maintain attention. Typical medications include stimulants, which act quickly but dissipate quickly as well. Non-stimulant medications are also an option. They require more time to take effect but lasts longer in the bloodstream.
Some examples of stimulant medications include:
Strattera and Intuniv are non-stimulant medications. Consult with a physician, as these are all drugs that require a prescription.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, their school will be able to provide accommodations.
For instance, your child’s school may allow them to have extra time for taking tests or let them take the test in a different, distraction-free room. There may also be various other learning support resources available for your child to be successful at school.
For adults, some accommodation is possible at the college level. At work, the situation is more confusing. While ADD/ADHD is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), state laws will vary. Employers are expected to provide reasonable accommodations. However, these cannot be burdensome to the business.
Additional Treatments for ADD/ADHD
Besides the traditional treatments for ADD/ADHD, there are additional things that you can do as well.
One area to focus on is your diet. Your brain needs energy. The kind of fuel you are putting into your body matters. Include protein with your meals, even breakfast. Protein is used by your brain to create neurotransmitters. These allow the cells in your brain to communicate. Also, make sure that you are getting enough vitamins and minerals. If necessary, consider high-quality supplements. However, do consult first with your physician or nutritionist.
Another ADHD treatment to consider is exercise. Working out is beneficial for the brain on the whole. Some areas where exercise has a significant impact include:
- Working memory
- Executive functioning
One reason this is possible is that when you exercise, your brain releases endorphins. This is a hormone that affects our mood. Exercise also releases a chemical called Dopamine which helps with maintaining attention.
Getting these benefits is actually very simple. All you need to do is walk four days a week for thirty minutes. With children, encourage and support them to pursue athletic interests, either through organized team sports or on their own. It will help boost their self-confidence, too.
Manage ADHD/ADD with Help from a Therapist
Clearly, ADD/ADHD can cause a lot of problems, yet, there are solutions. You can combine both traditional methods such as medication, behavior therapy, and therapy with lifestyle choices. Together they can allow you to cope and even thrive. At Eddins Counseling Group, located in Houston, we have therapists that specialize in ADHD/ADD management. We also offer child and family therapy that can help manage many issues related to ADHD/ADD. Contact us at 832-559-2622 or book an appointment online. Remember, it is possible to live a successful and productive life, even if you have ADD/ADHD.
Combining medication with therapy or life coaching can help you make great strides toward feeling good about yourself.
In cognitive-behavioral therapy you’ll develop useful tools for staying organized and on top of things.
You can learn how to plan more efficiently and better manage your time. The bad feelings that often accompany adult ADHD can be addressed in therapy too.
Once you stop believing that the painful things brought about by ADHD are your fault, you can regain self-esteem. Spending some time thinking about what your strengths allow you to draw on those strengths when you’re having a hard time.
Treatment for adult ADHD might also focus on strategies for relaxing and reducing stress.
Living with ADHD can be harder sometimes than others, so learning how to deal with anxious feelings can help you stay afloat when things get tough.
Living with ADHD is often overwhelming and can cause problems at work or in your relationships. By working with a therapist or coach, you develop goals that are specific to you.
When you talk with someone else about what you’re going through, you’re better able to develop plans and ideas for the future. Perhaps a Houston therapist will nudge you to find constructive outlets or help you to control impulsive reactions like anger.
If you’re perpetually frustrated by your inability to meet deadlines or focus on important work projects, seeking out a course of treatment that’s right for you will allow you to rely on and trust yourself in time.
Read more about managing adult adhd and recognizing signs and symptoms of adult adhd.
Contact us in Houston to find out more about life coaching to cope with adult adhd. Our therapist are available for face to face sessions as online therapy sessions in limited area. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.
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