Adult ADHD: While we often associate Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with children, it’s a common issue for adults, It can quite a debilitating issue, and often leaves us feeling less focused and less organised on a daily basis. It makes us feel like we are never quite fully organised, which can make day-to-day activities far more stressful for the sufferer and those around them.
It’s normal for someone to feel confused about feeling this way, but it can be alleviated and minimised. Treatment options do exist, and should be considered if you would like to try and overcome the problems that you face at present.
Adult ADHD Medication.
One of the most common forms of treatment for adult ADHD is to turn to medication. Medication such as methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin) can help to minimise the problems in your behaviour, reducing hyperactivity and minimising feelings of distraction, improving focus.
This also offers a better sense of mental concentration as well as a better sense of focus, improving academic and professional output. It’s a safe solution to ADHD when used in the right kind of dosage and treatment. However, it can produce side-effects such as:
- An increase in heart rate and/or blood pressure.
- Weight loss and loss of appetite generally.
- Emotional alteration, such as mood swings.
When used in the right kind of environment and in the right dosage, it can be a highly effective form of adult ADHD treatment. It is not always enough, though; some people also need to utilise techniques such as psychotherapy if they wish to truly overcome the symptoms that they are dealing with. As ever, medication should be discussed at length to understand the pros and cons of using any particular substance. This can help to reduce uncertainty over what is being taken, and make it easier for the effects and side-effects to be understood.
However, it’s also important that many of the most common treatments – Ritalin included – may not always be truly effective. Some of the more common forms of treatment out there when the “big hitters” fail to work include Tenex, Catapress, Pamelor and Wellbutrin.
Of course, treatment can alter entirely in terms of the duration of treatment. It’s not like treating a cold; this is a chronic condition, and could last for your entire life.
However, it’s important to note that the risks and benefits of medication change over time, so it’s important to keep re-evaluating the effectiveness of the treatments on a regular basis to help avoid side-effects.
Whilst treatments like the above are broadly recommended, we also recommend looking at psychotherapy. Research shows that when “front line” medication does not work, then psychotherapy can produce the perfect response.
It’s a form of therapy that is used often to help treat conditions such as ADHD, with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) provided as the main form of psychotherapy suggested. Usually time-specific, this is all about helping you to engage with new skills and to find strategies to help improve your day-to-day experiences.
Most of the time, you will find that you are being treated for symptoms to help reduce the disorder, with treatment sometimes lasting for a year – though, in more extreme cases, it can last longer.
While we recommend psychotherapy, there are some treatments that you might be best avoiding, including:
- Supplemental diets and restrictive eating.
- Allergy treatment plans and herbal remedies.
- Supplements and multivitamins.
- Chiropractic adjustment and/or motor training.
- Eye training and coloured glasses.
None of these are proven to have a positive effect on you; working with an experienced psychotherapist will often be much more profitable. Usually, this is a fine first choice for those who want to help combine medication with ADHD treatment via psychotherapy. A psychologist is often a good place to start if you want to find a definitive treatment plan.
A combination of medication and psychotherapy is often the best place to start.
Adult ADHD prognosis and prevention
Since there is no agreed upon, factual and clinical reasoning for ADHD as of yet, it’s hard to say what we can do to prevent the condition. At the moment, the best opportunity that you have is to get a diagnosis and work towards control and management instead.
Prognosis, though, is often positive. While you might never ‘escape’ your ADHD, you will find that the right set of treatment as above can help you to live in perfect harmony. Many will find that the disorder’ behavioural changes, though hard to deal with alone, can provide a certain creative edge not quite there in other people.
There is no reason why adult ADHD has to limit your professional pursuit. Many people live in massively successful careers as ADHD sufferers. Don’t allow the diagnosis of ADHD to put you off doing more in life; there is no limit to what you can achieve.