Managing Your ADHD in San Francisco Bay Area
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD was once thought to be a childhood behavioral condition that could be controlled by discipline, and 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 can be difficult.
History of ADHD
Contrary to what mainstream America thought, these “immature” children were actually suffering from a condition that had been identified hundreds of years ago, although the name ADHD is a relatively new term. As far back as the late 1700s in Germany, physicians labeled these children with “attention disorders.” Over the years, other names have been attached to the symptoms of ADHD such as “Fidgety kids,” or “Mental Restlessness.”
Despite what we may call the condition, in the 1990s and early 2000s, an explosion of newer, more effective medications were developed. The oldest known treatment, Benzedrine, was first approved by the FDA in 1936, but 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 it was 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 symptoms of the disorder 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. In fact, 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 do 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 that can result from the frustration.
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, which may sound odd, considering hyperactivity is one of the symptoms of the disorder. However, these medications work because they increase the availability of certain chemical in the brain to make it work more effectively. Stimulants are estimated to lessen 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.
There are also several non-stimulant medications that can be 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.
Once a diagnosis has been made, most practitioners will determine the type of treatment necessary. Often this will include therapy. Typically, adults with ADHD who have both medication and counseling treatment are better prepared to control their symptoms and learn to live fuller, happier lives.
ADHD Treatment in SF
Individuals who live in the San Francisco area can turn to EZCare Clinic for all their ADHD treatment. On staff, doctors are qualified to determine if a patient has the condition as well as distinguishing 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 and who can teach different techniques that can help control symptoms.
Open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. Call today at (415) 966-0848 or make your appointment online.