ADHD / ADD Treatment
Hi, I’m Dr. Pam Parsons, but my patients just call me Dr. P. I’m the chief medical officer here at PTI and today I’m here to talk to you about ADHD, or what we commonly know as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
A lot of patients come to us here asking for treatment for ADHD, but what is ADHD? It’s our job to determine if your symptoms are related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or, more common disorders such as anxiety, depression, or a reaction to everyday stress. It’s easy to receive a diagnosis of ADHD because there are a lot of checklists available online or at primary care offices that are meant to be a screening tool for diagnosing ADHD. However, we recommend that you see a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or other licensed mental health professional who is an expert in diagnosing this complex disorder.
So how do we determine the difference? It starts by us sitting down and having a good talk. It’s important for us to know what your background is. Your family history, your medical history, medications you may already be taking, and how your symptoms are affecting you in everyday life.
A lot of people think they have ADHD when what they’re actually dealing with are symptoms of anxiety, depression, or everyday stress. So how do we know if they’re dealing with ADHD?
Symptoms can include trouble concentrating, trouble focusing, trouble completing tasks, or being very disorganized.
So what is the treatment for ADHD? First line of treatment is to use non-medication management skills. Those can include things like learning how to best study, how to best break up your work day, and how to set definable, achievable small goals so that everything is more organized.
If you’re still struggling with symptoms of ADHD, we do have medication options that can help. Medication options can include both stimulant and non-stimulant treatment. Stimulant medication options include things easily recognized as Ritalin, Adderall, or Vyvanse. There are many other treatment options, too. Non-stimulant options include medications more commonly known as Intuniv, Strattera, and Quinidine. There are many other non-stimulant medications as well.
In fact, some non-stimulant medications are often used in conjunction with stimulant medications to achieve a more well rounded treatment result.
Proper management of ADHD medication is critical because there can be serious side effects. These can include serious heart side effects such as chest pain or heart attack.
Also, people have experienced stroke-like symptoms or seizures because of taking ADHD medications.
In young children, appetite and sleep are often disturbed.
Close observation under the supervision of a psychiatrist is important to minimize these side effects and improve the treatment outcomes for ADHD.
If you’re at work and you know you’re capable but you keep getting feedback from supervisors that your work product isn’t what you know it can be, you may want to get help.
If you and your child are breaking down into tears every night at homework time, you may want to get help.
At PTI, we’re just a call away. Call us. We can help.