It may take some time to determine what works best for you. Medications Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of any medications.
Stimulants, such as products that include methylphenidate or amphetamine, are typically the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD, but other drugs may be prescribed. Stimulants appear to boost and balance levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Other medications used to treat ADHD include the nonstimulant atomoxetine Strattera and certain antidepressants such as bupropion Wellbutrin, others.
Atomoxetine and antidepressants work slower than stimulants do, but these may be good options if you can't take stimulants because of health problems or a history of substance abuse or if stimulants cause severe side effects.
The right medication and the right dose vary among individuals, so it may take time to find out what's right for you. Tell your doctor about any side effects. Psychological counseling Counseling for adult ADHD generally includes psychological counseling psychotherapy , education about the disorder and learning skills to help you be successful. Psychotherapy may help you: Improve your time management and organizational skills Learn how to reduce your impulsive behavior Develop better problem-solving skills Cope with past academic, work or social failures Improve your self-esteem Learn ways to improve relationships with your family, co-workers and friends Develop strategies for controlling your temper Common types of psychotherapy for ADHD include: This structured type of counseling teaches specific skills to manage your behavior and change negative thinking patterns into positive ones.
It can help you deal with life challenges, such as school, work or relationship problems, and help address other mental health conditions, such as depression or substance abuse.
Marital counseling and family therapy. This type of therapy can help loved ones cope with the stress of living with someone who has ADHD and learn what they can do to help. Such counseling can improve communication and problem-solving skills. Working on relationships If you're like many adults with ADHD, you may be unpredictable and forget appointments, miss deadlines, and make impulsive or irrational decisions.
These behaviors can strain the patience of the most forgiving co-worker, friend or partner. Therapy that focuses on these issues and ways to better monitor your behavior can be very helpful. So can classes to improve communication and develop conflict resolution and problem-solving skills. Couples therapy and classes in which family members learn more about ADHD may significantly improve your relationships.
But some of these suggestions may help: This syndrome is associated with obesity [ 34 ], and common in ADHD [ 22 ]. The DRD4 gene has been associated with "novelty seeking" traits, said to be greater in substance abusers [ 30 ], and individuals with both DRD2 and DRD4 genetic variations may be especially prone to multiple difficulties e.
A recent study showed the availability of striatal DRD2 receptors was decreased as a function of increasing BMI [ 35 ], supporting the idea that reward-seeking behavior plays a role in the onset or continuation of obesity. In other studies, administration of D2 agonists resulted in decreases in hyperinsulinemia associated with obesity [ 36 ], and it is known that the brain is richly supplied with insulin receptors, including the cortex and striatal areas [ 37 ], suggesting an intriguing link between insulin resistance, characteristic of obesity, and dopamine-mediated psychiatric symptoms, including ADHD.
No doubt, this hypothesis and many far more refined hypotheses will be studied in coming years and will elucidate the complex neurophysiological connections hinted at by the above. Considering the differing methods and populations, the reported prevalences are difficult to compare, yet are fairly consistent with one another for the most part.
The uniformity of the Inattentive subtype of ADHD in this adult population was not unusual or unexpected, considering the well-known attenuation of hyperactive and impulsive symptoms observed as children with ADHD grow into adolescence and adulthood, compared to the much stronger retention of inattentive symptoms [ 14 ].
It would be expected that this difference would persist into adulthood, augmenting the likelihood that Inattentive symptoms would predominate the clinical presentation. In a sample in which most patients are female and middle-aged, predominance of the Inattentive subtype is predictable. Inevitably, there are numerous caveats and limitations that apply to this preliminary work. Many adolescents with ADHD also struggle with relationships and antisocial behaviors. Inattention, restlessness, and impulsivity tend to persist into adulthood.
Like many other illnesses, a number of factors can contribute to ADHD, such as: Genes Cigarette smoking, alcohol use, or drug use during pregnancy Exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy Exposure to environmental toxins, such as high levels of lead, at a young age Low birth weight Brain injuries ADHD is more common in males than females, and females with ADHD are more likely to have problems primarily with inattention.
Other conditions, such as learning disabilities, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, depression, and substance abuse, are common in people with ADHD. Treatment and Therapies While there is no cure for ADHD, currently available treatments can help reduce symptoms and improve functioning.
Treatments include medication, psychotherapy, education or training, or a combination of treatments. Medication For many people, ADHD medications reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve their ability to focus, work, and learn. Medication also may improve physical coordination.
Sometimes several different medications or dosages must be tried before finding the right one that works for a particular person. Anyone taking medications must be monitored closely and carefully by their prescribing doctor.
Under medical supervision, stimulant medications are considered safe. However, there are risks and side effects, especially when misused or taken in excess of the prescribed dose.
For example, stimulants can raise blood pressure and heart rate and increase anxiety. Therefore, a person with other health problems, including high blood pressure, seizures, heart disease, glaucoma, liver or kidney disease, or an anxiety disorder should tell their doctor before taking a stimulant. Talk with a doctor if you see any of these side effects while taking stimulants: A few other ADHD medications are non-stimulants. These medications take longer to start working than stimulants, but can also improve focus, attention, and impulsivity in a person with ADHD.
ADHD includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Children with ADHD also may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school.
Symptoms sometimes lessen with age. However, some people never completely outgrow their ADHD symptoms. But they can learn strategies to be successful. While treatment won't cure ADHD, it can help a great deal with symptoms. Treatment typically involves medications and behavioral interventions. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in outcome. ADHD symptoms start before age 12, and in some children, they're noticeable as early as 3 years of age. ADHD has been linked to: Poor school or work performance Unemployment Alcohol or other substance abuse Frequent car accidents or other accidents Unstable relationships Poor physical and mental health Poor self-image Suicide attempts Coexisting conditions Although ADHD doesn't cause other psychological or developmental problems, other disorders often occur along with ADHD and make treatment more challenging.
Many adults with ADHD also have depression, bipolar disorder or another mood disorder. Anxiety disorders occur fairly often in adults with ADHD.
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