Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD was once thought to be a childhood behavioral condition controlled by discipline. As they matured, the child would grow out of it. Characterized by bouts of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, these children had difficulty at school, at home, and everywhere in between. Managing ADHD is difficult, even as adults.
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History of ADHD
The name ADHD is a relatively new term. Contrary to what mainstream America thought, these “immature” children were actually suffering from a condition that had been identified hundreds of years ago. As far back as the late 1700s in Germany, physicians labeled these children with “attention disorders.” Over the years, other names came up for the symptoms of ADHD, such as “Fidgety kids” or “Mental Restlessness.”
Despite what we may call the condition, in the 1990s and early 2000s, there was an explosion of newer, more effective medications for treating ADHD. The oldest known treatment, Benzedrine, was first approved by the FDA in 1936. Still, it wasn’t until the ‘50s when Ritalin came on the market and suddenly became the gold standard for treatment that another viable option was available. With such huge gaps in the release of medications, it is no surprise that when newer, more effective treatments became available in the 90s that this condition became so well-known.
Today, after many years of research, we now know that ADHD doesn’t just affect kids. Many adults who are inattentive or impulsive are shocked to be diagnosed. Although people once thought that children “grew out” of ADHD, we now know that is not the case. As children matured, they became better equipped to handle their symptoms and often sought careers where the disorder helped rather than hurt them, hiding the symptoms. In contrast, adults who thought they never had symptoms as a child are now finding that they were better able than others to mask the disorder’s symptoms growing up. Sometimes it isn’t until adulthood and demanding jobs or lifestyles makes it harder for them, and the once hidden symptoms begin to emerge.
Treatment Options for ADHD
Unfortunately, there is no cure for ADHD, and you can’t prevent the disease from occurring. Researchers can’t even find the exact cause of the disorder though many believe that there are factors that may influence your chances of being afflicted.
- Chemical imbalances
- Changes in the brain
- Smoking, drinking, or substance abuse during pregnancy
- Exposure to toxins
- Brain injury or disorder
Though we may never know how to prevent ADHD, we know some very effective ways to treat it in both children and adults, therapy, and medications. Therapy is a useful place for patients to learn how to address the symptoms of their disorder, how to deal with the emotions associated with it, and coping techniques. Some individuals, especially adults, tend to shy away from any counseling but learning how to deal with the confusion and other emotions is the best way to prevent additional conditions such as anxiety or depression resulting from the frustration.
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Stimulant and Non-stimulant Medication
Since the first medication was prescribed for ADHD in the ’30s, modern pharmaceuticals have come a long way. The most popular treatment options are stimulants. This may sound odd, considering hyperactivity is one of the symptoms of the disorder. However, these medications work because they increase the availability of a necessary neurotransmitter in the brain. Stimulants decrease the symptoms of ADHD by 70% to 80%. Though there are several, a few examples of stimulant medications for ADHD are Adderall, Vyvanse, Ritalin, and Focalin.
Several non-stimulant medications are also used to treat ADHD, such as antidepressants or ADHD -specific non-stimulants. While these medications are not as popular as stimulants, they don’t cause agitation, sleeplessness, or lack of appetite, nor are they addictive. Non-stimulant medicines also tend to last longer than stimulants, which can wear off abruptly. Examples of non-stimulants include Strattera, Clonidine, and Guanfacine.
After the diagnosis, most practitioners will determine the type of treatment necessary. Often this will include therapy. Adults with ADHD who have both medication and counseling treatment, control their symptoms better and learn to live happier lives.
ADHD Treatment at EZCare, SF
Individuals who live in the San Francisco area can turn to EZCare Clinic for all their ADHD treatment. Our qualified doctors provide diagnosis, therapy and continuous support. They also distinguish it from other conditions whose symptoms can mimic those of ADHD and provide medications. Counseling services are also available for individuals who need help coping with the emotions of ADHD. Therapy teaches different techniques that can help control their symptoms.
We offer counseling and effective medications for ADHD management!
Open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. Call today at (415) 966-0848 or make your appointment online.