Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms adults children Evaluation Treatment drugs antidepressants atomoxetine stimulants lifestyle strategies questions for doctor specialist Home Care taking control warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause

ADHD Treatment

The most effective treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder involves a combination of mental health counseling and medication. Stimulant medications are used most frequently, but antidepressants may be helpful in those who do not respond to stimulant medications. Counselling sessions provide direction on coping and managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Counseling for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may include:

  • Psychotherapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:
    • Allows older children and adults to explore and understand symptoms
  • Behavior therapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Family therapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Social skills training for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Support groups for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Parental skills training

Drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include:

ADHD Drugs

Drug therapy with stimulant medicines has become one of the most popular methods of treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The drug therapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be divided into three main groups:

ADHD Antidepressants

ADHD Atomoxetine

Atomoxetine (Strattera) regulates chemicals in the brain that help maintain attention in those who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Unlike stimulant medications, this medication is not habit-forming: thus, it is not likely to be abused.

ADHD Stimulants

Stimulant medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:

ADHD Lifestyle Strategies

Lifestyle strategies for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include:

  • Educational programs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Avoid foods that contain sugar.
  • Avoid foods that contain food dye.
  • Ask the child to perform only one task at a time.
  • Develop clear rules for behavior.
  • Involve the child in structured activities.
  • Keep tasks simple.
  • Reinforce good behavior.
  • Teach new lessons in short sessions.
  • Use time-outs for problem behavior.

Lifestyle strategies for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include:
  • Attach deadlines to each task.
  • Break down tasks into a series of smaller ones.
  • Educate coworkers and family members that you have a health problem that is responsible for your behavior.
  • Prepare your daily schedule a day early.
  • Try to set-up a work environment that allows you to concentrate.
  • Use lists and reminders.
  • Use scheduling tools, such as a date book or personal digital assistant.

ADHD Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

ADHD Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:

Continue to ADHD Home Care

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed ADHD References
  1. Brassett-Harknett A, Butler N. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: An overview of the etiology and a review of the literature relating to the correlates and lifecourse outcomes for men and women. Clin Psychol Rev. 2005 Aug 2. [16081194]
  2. Dunn DW, Kronenberger WG. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Neurol Clin. 2003 Nov;21(4):933-40. [14743657]
  3. McClellan JM, Werry JS. Evidence-based treatments in child and adolescent psychiatry: an inventory. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003 Dec;42(12):1388-400. [14627873]
  4. Pelham WE Jr, Fabiano GA, Massetti GM. Evidence-based assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2005 Sep;34(3):449-76. [16026214]
  5. Pritchard D. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Clin Evid. 2005 Jun;(13):266-79. [16135263]
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