ADHD cannot be cured. Early diagnosis and management with a good treatment plan can help a person manage their symptoms. The treatment of ADHD depends on several factors such as:
- Severity of symptoms
- Predominant symptoms (predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, inattentive, or both)
The treatment of ADHD involves the combined use of behavioral therapy and medications.
- For children under six years of age, ADHD is managed with behavior therapy. This includes training the parents to deal with the potential issues the child may face. Medications may not be needed at this stage and behavioral therapy and parental counseling are all that is needed.
- For children six years and above, medications are given along with behavior therapy and training the parents. ADHD affects the child’s relationships with family and other children besides affecting their ability to pay attention or sit still at school. Hence, caregivers at school should be trained in dealing with the behavioral problems in the child. The caregivers, schoolteachers, parents must work out an option that is best for the child.
- Adequate management plans for ADHD include close monitoring, follow-up, and necessary treatment modifications by the doctor.
Behavioral therapy includes:
- Training parents in behavior management
- Behavioral interventions in the classroom
- Peer interventions that focus on behavior
- Organizational skills training
Stimulants: Stimulants are the best-known medications for ADHD. They are the most widely used ADHD medications. These are fast-acting medications and have shown to manage symptoms in about 70-80% of children with ADHD. The stimulant medications include:
- Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)
- Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine)
- Adderall, Adderall XR (Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine)
- Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)
- Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate, Methylin, Ritalin, Quillivant XR (Methylphenidate)
- Nonstimulants: These medications do not work as quickly as stimulants, but their effect can last up to 24 hours.
- Atomoxetine (Strattera)
- Guanfacine (Intuniv)
- Clonidine (Kapvay)
Dietary supplements: Certain dietary supplements with omega-3 fatty acids have shown some benefit in ADHD.
Certain daily activities may help in managing ADHD symptoms on a day-to-day basis:
- Take medications as directed. Never Skip medications.
- Make a daily planner or a timetable to be followed. Set an alarm when a particular task is to be done.
- Practicing breathing exercises will help in calming down the mind and focusing better. This includes breathing in and out, deep breathing activity for 10 minutes daily.
- Cutting down on distractions, maintaining a clean worktable will help in being more productive at work.
- Nurturing hobbies like gardening, painting, games will help siphon off the excess energy and reduce hyperactivity in kids and adults.
What does ADHD mean?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a medical condition that affects a person’s behavior leading to the following symptoms:
- Lack of attention (inability to keep focus)
- Hyperactivity (excessive movement that is not fitting to the setting)
- Impulsiveness (acting hastily in the moment without thinking)
It is one of the commonest neurodevelopmental (related to the growth and development of the brain) disorders seen in children. Although ADHD is first seen and diagnosed in children, it may continue into adulthood. The symptoms become more obvious when the child’s surroundings or routine changes, for instance when they start going to school or when they change their city or school.
Parents of children with ADHD commonly report their child being inattentive, acting without thinking (impulsiveness) or being very active or restless. The symptoms may get better with age although many patients report experiencing the symptoms of ADHD such as anxiety, inability to concentrate, and problems in sleeping into adulthood as well.
Does watching too much TV cause ADHD?
According to research studies, ADHD is not caused by watching too much television. Factors like eating excess sugar, certain kinds of parenting techniques, or social factors like poverty, family disputes, and chaos are not implicated in causing ADHD. These factors may worsen ADHD symptoms in certain people. But there is no evidence strong enough to conclude that they are the main causes of ADHD.
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