Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Treatment

Tess Thompson



The inattentive type of adult attention disorder is the second most common amongst the six commonly known types of ADD. The irony is that these symptoms of adult attention deficit disorder often go unnoticed and are the most difficult to diagnose. We often refuse to associate symptoms like difficulty with time or money management, organization, or communication skills with ADD and tend to, either consciously or inadvertently, avoid or delay adult ADD medication.

Moreover, in some ADD patients, positive traits like creativity, liveliness, flexibility, hyper focus, and intelligence are so accentuated that association of the symptoms with ADD becomes all the more difficult.

Whatever the claims of the manufacturers selling prescription or over the counter drugs, ADD does not have a cure and one has to live with it for a lifetime. The drugs that are used to treat ADD carry warnings of side effects of these drugs that range from liver disorder to suicidal tendencies.

The aspect of the treatment of the symptoms of adult attention deficit disorder which is often underplayed is that adults who recognize that the challenges they face are related to ADD can learn to manage their lives with the aid coaching, professional organizing and other resources. It is only after this option has been tried that the aid of adult ADD medication should be sought.

The symptoms of adult deficit disorder in adults are very subtle and subjective and the absence of any standard criteria for confirming the diagnosis makes the treatment and evaluation of ADD all the more difficult. Psychiatric conditions similar to ADD include depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, substance abuse and personality disorders need to be first eliminated before evaluating symptoms of adult attention deficit disorder.

As such, if consistent self reports result in a positive diagnosis, either or both the following two options should be considered:

  • Manage ADD with professional help and aid from a strong support system (if available) and conviction that it is a neurobiological condition and not a weakness of will
  • Adult ADD medication.

Pharmacotherapy of adult ADD medication mainly includes stimulants and antidepressants. Stimulants are used to correct the imbalance of dopamine and norepinephrine caused by catecholamine metabolism in the cerebral cortex. The stimulants currently available, though well tolerated can cause the symptoms of adult deficit disorder to aggravate. It is thus advisable to observe the already disturbed sleep and diet patterns after administration of stimulants. Also, due the fact that the effects of stimulants on blood pressure can vary, hypertension in adults too has to be monitored.

Antidepressants can be helpful in adults to control instability and mood disturbances. Although stimulants and antidepressants act differently, in some cases the use of both can prove beneficial.

Adult ADD medications, such as Ritalin, Strattera, and some others drugs have been endorsed for use by adults but all drugs should be approached with caution. It is also advisable to keep track of any new side effects that are often added, after studies indicate new difficulties, to the already known side effects.

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