Adult ADHD – Treatments

Can someone please explain to me why the zodiac signs have recently been changed?  First, I find out that poor Pluto isn’t a planet and now, I think I may no longer be a Gemini.  Who are these chronically bored experts who are seeing fit to re-align the universe?  I don’t adhere to astrology, but I will use it as an excuse now and then.  For instance, wicked mood swing – that’s because I am a Gemini.  Forgetfulness – sorry, I am such a Gemini.  Inability to follow a project through to the end – yup, you guessed it – not my fault.  I’m a Gemini – except … I may not be one anymore.  I may have been born under the sign of Cancer.  I don’t think I need to tell you how I feel about that.   I would turn to ADHD as my new excuse, but after the previous entry, I am certain I don’t meet the criteria.  I am left with no valid explanation for my disorganized life, and, as you know, no diagnosis – no treatment.  I’m screwed.

There are treatments for adult ADHD.  Many are aimed at controlling or limiting the negative social and behavioral side effects of ADHD.

1.  Cognitive and behavioral therapy help patients with confidence and self-esteem.

2.  Stress reduction techniques are used to provide patients with tools to manage the associated anxiety and to handle life’s pressures.

3. Life and relationship coaching teaches patients essential interpersonal skills.  This type of therapy goes both ways.  It is crucial for the family members to be involved so they can learn ways to help the patient navigate his or her life.

So far, sign me up.  I’d love a little extra help with all of the above.  Especially the one where the people around me develop skills to make my life easier.  But, patients with ADHD have very real, very crippling symptoms and in addition to the treatments above, they may also benefit from medication.

4.  Medications – The same types of medications that are used to treat children have been shown to be successful when used in the adult population.  The downside is that these medications are stimulants and it is often unwise to give them to a patient who is already prone to substance abuse.  There is one FDA approved non-stimulant medication for use in adults with ADHD – Strattera.

5.  Often ADHD co-exists with other psychiatric diagnoses such as learning disabilities, OCD and depression.  It is very important that all conditions are addressed and treated.

For many of you, I have taken away ADHD as an excuse for your self-perceived shortcomings.  My new excuse is simply that life is CRAZY.  Tomorrow, in an entirely selfless exercise, I will research tips to make life a little easier and less hectic.  This will save me … uhhh, I mean you from constantly feeling like you are coming down with a severe case of senility.

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