Without psychiatric help, the effects of ADHD can disrupt everyday tasks that must be completed. This can include procrastinating on important tasks, such as paying bills and organizing the home. For children, it may mean difficulty keeping up in school or maintaining relationships with other students. Whether a patient is an adult or child diagnosed…
A Guide to Psychiatric ADHD Treatments
Whether it is an adult or a child living with ADHD, treatment can drastically improve quality of life. There are several ways individuals can manage ADHD and alleviate the symptoms, the most popular of which include the use of medications and psychiatry. Oftentimes, a psychiatrist recommends that a patient both take ADHD medication and undergo behavioral therapy for the best results.
Medication as a viable treatment for ADHD
Though medication alone does not cure ADHD, it can help manage and reduce common symptoms of the condition including inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity. However, drugs for ADHD do come with side effects and risks such as feelings of jitteriness, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and mood swings. Some common types of ADHD medications include the following:
- Short-acting stimulants
- Long-acting stimulants
Before any person agrees to take or give medication for ADHD, it is important to understand the facts to make the best decision for themselves or their child.
Behavioral therapy for ADHD
Even if a medication proves effective, a person might still struggle with emotional and relationship issues, forgetfulness, disorganization and social awkwardness due to this condition. For this reason, many mental health professionals recommend pairing medication with behavioral therapy. These are three of most common types of therapies.
Talk therapy, otherwise known as psychotherapy, entails precisely what its name implies: talking. During a psychotherapy session for ADHD, the behavioral management professional may explore issues that stem from enduring patterns of failure, job turnover, academic difficulties, relationship issues and an overall sense of underachievement. The goal of talk therapy is to help individuals identify and move on from feelings of low self-esteem, emotional baggage and feelings of shame and embarrassment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is two-fold. On the one hand, it aims to help individuals recognize negative behaviors and beliefs that tend to cause problems in their lives. By helping patients realize that negative thought patterns and destructive behaviors are a result of unmet expectations and years of struggle, psychiatrists can possibly change patients' outlook and provide a more realistic point of view.
On the other hand, CBT focuses on the practical aspects of living with ADHD. These include finding solutions for organizational issues, poor time management and low work performance.
ADHD has the potential to destroy relationships, which is why psychiatrists often recommend that patients and family undergo marriage or family therapy. Both these types of therapy address the problems sometimes created in relationships and family units. For instance, it is not uncommon for those who live with the condition to constantly forget to pay the bills, slack on responsibilities at home, forget commitments or act on impulsive thoughts. Family therapy forces individuals and their loved ones to focus on these issues and explore ways in which the family as a whole can constructively deal with them.
Managing ADHD can be a difficult and frustrating endeavor. For this reason, it is important that a person work with a qualified mental health professional who can devise an individualized treatment plan that incorporates appropriate medication and behavioral therapy.
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