What is adhd?
ADHD is a common mental health disorder that affects about 4.2% of children and adults in the United States. It can cause difficulties with concentration, attention and impulse control. These symptoms can affect a person’s ability to complete everyday tasks, which can negatively impact their life and relationships.
A doctor can diagnose your child with ADHD if they meet certain criteria. For example, they must have symptoms for more than 6 months and they need to be affecting their school or social life.
The diagnosis will be made after a thorough assessment by the doctor and a psychologist or psychiatrist. The evaluation may involve interviews, a physical exam and psychological tests.
Medication and other therapies can help manage the condition.
Your doctor might recommend a combination of treatments to address all the different aspects of your ADHD, and will work with you to find the right medication for you.
Medicines can help you focus, remember things and reduce your impulsivity and irritability. They can also improve your sleep and ease headaches.
Stimulants are the most commonly used medications to treat ADHD. These medicines increase the amount of a brain chemical called dopamine in your body, which helps you focus and concentrate.
Non-stimulants can also be effective in treating ADHD, but they take longer to start working. They are usually prescribed as low doses.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is another type of treatment that can help you learn new ways to respond to situations and change the way you think about them. It can be helpful for both children and adults with ADHD.
Other treatments include exercise, stress reduction strategies, positive parenting skills and a balanced diet. All of these strategies can help you and your child manage their symptoms without sacrificing the natural energy, playfulness and sense of wonder that children and teenagers naturally have.
Your doctor may also suggest a referral to a counselor or psychologist. A therapist can help you and your family understand your ADHD better, cope with the challenges it brings and develop effective behavioral strategies to manage the symptoms.
A good therapist will encourage you to talk about your symptoms and concerns. They can help you and your parents come up with a plan for treatment that works best for your needs.
If your doctor recommends medication, you’ll need to follow up regularly with the care team. They might see you every week or month for a while to make sure the medicine is working and if there are any side effects.
In some cases, a doctor might prescribe a combination of stimulant and non-stimulant medicines. This can help you feel more in control and prevent you from having to take too much of the stimulant medicine.
The most important thing is to get help as soon as you can and start taking the medicine that works best for you. Your doctor will adjust the dosage and how often you take it based on your response and any side effects.