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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults

How Is Adult ADHD Treated? continued...

Together these things can help you find new ways to do things that can make day-to-day life easier. That can make you feel better in general and feel better about yourself.

Making sure you get fully checked by a doctor is important. That’s because people with ADHD often face other conditions, too. You may also have a learning disability, anxiety or another mood disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or a dependence on drugs or alcohol. Knowing the whole picture can make sure you get the best plan for you.

Medications to Treat Adult ADHD

Stimulant Medications. Adults with ADHD are often offered stimulant medications. Studies show that about two-thirds of adults with ADHD who take these medications have big improvements in their symptoms.

Examples of stimulant medications include:

But stimulants are not always ideal. Why? They can be:

  • Addictive. Stimulants are controlled substances. That means you may get hooked on them. Some adults with ADHD have substance abuse problems or had them in the past.
  • Hard to remember to take. Short-acting types of stimulants (versus long-acting) may wear off quickly. Since people with ADHD can have trouble with forgetfulness, remembering to take them several times a day can be a challenge.
  • Hard to time. If people choose to stop taking them in the evening, they can have a hard time focusing to do housework, pay bills, help children with homework, or drive. But if they do take them later in the day, they may be tempted to use alcohol or other things "to relax."

Non-Stimulant Medications. Doctors may also recommend a non-stimulant medication for you to take, either on its own or with a stimulant. They are:

Therapy and Other Behavioral Treatments

You may want to ask about making these part of your treatment plan, too:

  • Cognitive and behavioral therapy. It can help with self-esteem.
  • Relaxation training and stress management. These can lower anxiety and stress.
  • Life coaching. It may help you set goals. Plus, it can help you learn new ways to stay organized at home and work.
  • Job coaching or mentoring. This can help support you at work. It can help you have better working relationships and improve on-the-job performance.
  • Family education and therapy. This can help you and loved ones understand ADHD better. It can also help you all find ways to lessen how much it affects everyone’s life.

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