ADHD Treatment Options
You can treat ADHD with medication and therapy. Sometimes all these treatments run together. I’ll explain each treatment type below.
Note that most research for treating ADHD focuses on children. But whether you are a child or an adult, you can find a treatment that meets your needs.
These medications increase the amount of dopamine in your brain. The more dopamine you have, the easier it is to focus, be happy, and sustain attention.
Medication is by far the most effective and simple way to treat ADHD. Expect a few test runs to see what dosage and which medication works best for you.
Common side effects of stimulant medications include:
- Increased irritability
- Weight loss
- Upset stomach
- A headache
- Trouble sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Higher blood pressure
Rare side effects of stimulant medications include:
- Seeing or hearing things
- Allergic reaction
- Suicidal thoughts
If you choose to use medication, remember that pills don’t teach skills.
Behavior therapy aims to turn bad behavior into good behavior. It also helps develop good behaviors you may be lacking.
Behavior therapy helps you set measurable goals and create routines. It works wonders when you use it alongside medication.
Eat and be Healthy
Having a healthy diet reduces ADHD symptoms and improves your life.
Eat fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Also, drink at least 8 cups of water per day and make sure you go to sleep on time.
Be sure to avoid:
- Processed food
- Fast food
- Food coloring
Support groups are a great way for you to connect with others who are facing similar issues.
At a support group, you exchange ideas and solutions. In the process, you can make new friends and receive emotional support. It’s like therapy, but free. You can find support groups online or in your community.
Pets Therapy for ADHD
Whether you’re a child or an adult ADHDer, a pet can give you priceless emotional and mental support. And if you’re not a pet person, that’s too bad because the mental benefits of having a pet are indisputable.
Studies show having a pet results in:
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased levels of stress
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Overall improvement in mental health.
Cats and dogs are good. Although most dogs are not as smart as cats, they tend to love harder. Dogs and cats don’t criticize, judge or voice their opinions. And best of all they will cuddle up next to you even if you haven’t taken a shower for a while.
Is ADHD a Disability?
Not in most cases.
An ADHD diagnosis alone will not qualify someone for disability benefits.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) an individual with ADHD may be considered disabled if they meet certain criteria.
The ADHD Disability Criteria:
You have to prove you have all three of the following symptoms:
- Marked inattention
- Marked impulsiveness
- Marked hyperactivity
You also have to prove you have at least two of the following conditions because of ADHD:
- Impaired cognitive/communication function
- Impaired social functioning
- Impaired personal functioning
You will most likely need documentation from your physician, employer, and/or school teacher to meet the criteria.