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All you need to know about ADHD treatment

Attention Deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) the most common mental disorder to affect children.  Not only does ADHD affect children and adolescents but also individuals well into their adulthood. As per studies conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 11 percent of children in the country, especially boys between the age of 4 and 17, show this disorder. Children with ADHD show many symptoms such as the inability to control their impulses, hyperactivity, and having trouble paying attention, while adults may have trouble in setting goals, managing time, being organized, and focusing on the job. Adults with ADHD may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addictions.

Causes of ADHD
Some studies state that ADHD may be caused by the interactions between genes, and environmental or other non-genetic factors. Numerous factors, including chemical and structural differences in the brain, as well as genetic reasons, may contribute to ADHD. Factors contributing to ADHD are

  • smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance use during pregnancy,
  • low birth weight,
  • brain injuries,
  • exposure to environmental toxins, such as lead, at a young age, and
  • poor nutrition.

Symptoms of ADHD in children
Some of the most prominent symptoms of ADHD in children include inattentiveness to the task at hand, accompanied by many mistakes, easy distraction, incomplete tasks, forgetful about daily activities, and organizing issues. They also have issues with being seated in one place and playing quietly. Other symptoms include a short temper, trouble in waiting for turns, and interrupting others.

Symptoms of ADHD in adults
For adults, ADHD symptoms can range from anxiety, forgetfulness, low self-esteem, and a short temper to impulsiveness, mood swings, depression, problems at work, and relationship issues.

Treatment of ADHD
Although ADHD cannot be completely cured, it can be treated well with medication and therapy, along with education and training.

It is believed that medication helps to manage brain-based functions and symptoms, while therapy works with daily thoughts, behaviors, social skills and coping tactics.

Medications for treating ADHD

  • Stimulants
    They increase the brain chemical dopamine, which plays vital roles in thinking and attention. Some of the stimulants are Concerta, Adderall, Vyvanse, and Focalin XR.
  • Non-stimulants
    These medications are known to improve focus, attention, and impulsiveness in a person with ADHD; but they take a little longer to start working as compared to stimulants. It may be prescribed by the doctor in case, a person had worrying side effects with stimulants. Non-stimulant medications include Strattera and Kapvay.
  • Antidepressants
    They are sometimes used to treat adults with ADHD like tricyclics because they, like stimulants, affect the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, but are given at the discretion of the physician.

Therapy for ADHD
Therapy alone cannot treat ADHD symptoms, however, medication along with the therapy helps the patients to cope with the daily challenges. Cognitive behavior therapy along with mind-based practices have given effective therapeutic results. To process the emotional and interpersonal effects of ADHD, therapies have worked wonders to the patients who experience feelings of guilt, shame, and failure apart from chronic stress and overwhelming. Group therapies and peer support groups are greatly useful in this respect.

It is worth noting that the medications need to be taken only with the proper consultation of a doctor.

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