Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often diagnosed in children. But the condition also affects adults, impacting the way a person pays attention and controls their behavior. Thankfully, treatment options are available to help adults manage symptoms of ADHD to improve their quality of life. Let’s look at some of the treatments available for adult ADHD.
Stimulant medications are commonly prescribed to treat the symptoms of adult ADHD. These medications work by increasing dopamine levels, which helps improve focus and reduce impulsivity.
Commonly prescribed stimulants include Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, Concerta, and Dexedrine. Non-stimulant medications such as bupropion (Wellbutrin), clonidine (Kapvay), atomoxetine (Strattera), or tricyclic antidepressants may also be what a doctor prescribes to treat adult ADHD.
In addition to medication, psychotherapy can be part of a treatment plan for adult ADHD. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one form of psychotherapy that can help adults manage their symptoms by helping them identify maladaptive behaviors and replace them with healthier behaviors. CBT can also help an individual learn how to manage stress and feelings of depression or anxiety that may be associated with their ADHD diagnosis.
Other types of psychotherapy include interpersonal therapy, family therapy, parent management training, and behavior modification techniques. Therapeutic options also include social skills training, organizational skills training, problem-solving skills training, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness meditation.
Making lifestyle changes can also help people manage their symptoms of adult ADHD more effectively. For example, regular exercise has been found to improve mood while reducing anxiety and irritability in individuals with ADHD. Eating a healthy diet during meals throughout the day instead of eating several large meals can also help regulate blood sugar levels which can benefit those with ADHD.
Getting enough sleep each night—about 7-8 hours for most people—can help improve concentration during the day too! Other lifestyle changes include setting realistic goals for yourself daily, taking regular breaks throughout the day, setting up an organized workspace, and utilizing organizational tools like calendars and lists.
Try breaking down big tasks into smaller tasks, too. Limiting distractions like social media, avoiding multitasking, and planning for stressful events or activities to prepare accordingly can all be helpful measures too.
Tips for recognizing signs of ADHD
If you think someone might have ADHD, it’s important to observe their behavior over an extended period in different environments. Ultimately, a mental health professional or primary care provider is trained to provide an accurate diagnosis. Here are a few tips for recognizing common signs of the disorder:
- Talk to family members and friends – Ask family members and friends if they’ve noticed any changes in behavior recently that could be indicative of ADHD; they might have insights into how someone is behaving differently than usual
- Observe closely – Pay close attention to how someone behaves when they’re bored or frustrated; these behaviors can indicate symptoms of the disorder
- Take notes – If you notice changes in behavior over an extended time, consider taking notes so you can track them more accurately
- Seek professional help – If you suspect someone has symptoms that could be indicative of ADHD, seek professional help from a doctor or therapist who specializes in diagnosing mental health disorders
Summary: Adult ADHD treatment options
In conclusion, there are many different treatment options available for adults living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stimulant medications such as Adderall or Ritalin are most commonly prescribed to treat the symptoms associated with adult ADHD.
Still, on-stimulant medications, such as bupropion or clonidine, may also be used if stimulants are ineffective or have uncomfortable side effects. Only take what is prescribed to you by a doctor, in the suggested dosage.
Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is another option for treating adult ADHD, in addition to lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and setting realistic goals for yourself each day. Also, take regular breaks throughout the day and limit distractions, such as social media, whenever possible.
Knowing all these treatment options can empower you on your journey towards better managing your adult ADHD!
This article is intended for information purposes only. It is not medical advice and should not take the place of a medical professional. Please see a mental health professional or primary care provider to get the treatment that is right for you.