ADHD, also known as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appears as one of the most common childhood disorders. Children affected by ADHD inevitably grow into ADHD adults when no treatment measures are taken.
Data gathered by the National Institute of Mental Health show as much as 4.1 percent of the adult population in the U.S. suffers from adult ADHD. ADHD symptoms can greatly affect a person’s quality of life when left untreated. Fortunately, those affected have treatment options available to help improve their overall ability to live and function in everyday life.
Adult ADHD – A Manageable Condition
Adult ADHD sufferers are well aware of the difficulties they face, though many may not know the cause of these difficulties. Having lived a lifetime of trying to pay attention, trying to think things through, trying not to be so fidgety all the time, those affected by ADHD fight an ongoing struggle to manage their own lives. Finally knowing the reason for these problems offers a sense of relief and hope. Unfortunately, many people with adult ADHD fail to recognize their symptoms and get the help they need.
Adult ADHD is one of the few conditions that become quite manageable once a person gets needed treatment. For most people, medication treatment can work wonders with controlling ADHD symptoms. Since adult ADHD sufferers have been living with ADHD symptoms their whole lives, it’s likely they’ve developed more than a few unhealthy coping skills to make up for the disorder. This means, most if not all affected adults will also require psychotherapy to unlearn unhealthy coping skills and replace them with new ones.
Prescription stimulant medications offer an effective treatment option for adult ADHD symptoms. Some of the more commonly used medications include:
Ritalin, another medication used to treat ADHD in children, has not yet received official FDA approval as an adult ADHD treatment though doctors can still prescribe it as an off-label prescription in some cases.
As of 2002, the FDA granted approval for a non-stimulant medication known as Strattera. Considering the addiction potential inherent with stimulant medications, Strattera may work better for someone who has a history of substance abuse. As many adults may have to remain on ADHD medication for a long time, a non-stimulant option can also reduce the risk of developing an addiction.
After living through years of underachievement, criticism and embarrassment, many adult ADHD individuals develop other problem issues, such as problems in relationships, low self-esteem and depression. These long-standing issues can lead a person to develop poor coping skills when it comes to interacting with others as well as how a person treats and/or views him or herself.
Talk therapy enables a person to address problem issues and develop more effective coping skills. Cognitive-behavioral therapy in particular helps to uncover and identify underlying problem issues that drive faulty belief systems regarding self and others. Therapy can also help a person better manage impulsive tendencies, stress, anger as well as help improve organizational and time management skills.
National Institute of Mental Health