Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is ADHD?

ADHD, which stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition that affects a person’s ability to concentrate and focus on tasks. It mostly affects children and adolescents, but can continue into adulthood for some people. As many as one in every 20 children are affected by it.1

Symptoms

You or your child may have some or all of the following symptoms, and experience them to different degrees:
  • Trouble concentrating or paying attention
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Moving and talking excessively, can’t sit still, restless
  • Easily bored
  • Impulsive behavior

Treatment

There are many ways to treat ADHD. Use the information below as a guide to help you understand your treatment options. Always speak with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.

Psychological Counseling

Counseling or talk therapy can be an effective way to treat ADHD. It involves regular visits with a behavioral health professional who will help you or your child learn to cope with stress, manage excess energy and focus on tasks.
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ADHD Medication

Medication can be an effective tool in helping to treat ADHD. It works by balancing chemicals in the brain, which can help you to manage symptoms.

Tips about ADHD Medication
  • It is important to take ADHD medication as prescribed. Most side effects are minor and temporary. Discuss any side effects with your doctor so you can decide together if the treatment is right for you or your child.
  • ADHD medication may take time to work. You or your child may not notice a difference at first, so it is important to give them time.2
  • It is important to follow up regularly with the doctor. Schedule a follow-up appointment within 30 days of starting the medication so the doctor can make sure it is working correctly. Once you and your doctor have found the right medication plan, follow up every three months to make sure it continues to work for you or your child.
  • ADHD medications are most effective when taken at the same time each day.3 Try setting an alarm, using a pill box or taking the medication with regular activities to help make it a part of your daily routine.

1 Farone, Stephen. The worldwide prevalence of ADHD: Is it an American condition? The World Journal of Psychiatry. (2003)
2 Mental Health Medications. National Alliance on Mental Illness.
3 General Medication Guidelines. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. (2014)

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