Treatment of ADHD

Treating ADHD often requires medical, educational, behavioral and psychological intervention. This comprehensive approach to treatment is sometimes called “multimodal” and, depending on the age of the individual with ADHD, may include:

  • parent training
  • medication
  • skills training
  • counseling
  • behavioral therapy
  • educational supports
  • education regarding ADHD

Working closely with health care providers and other professionals, treatment should be tailored to the unique needs of each individual and family to help the patient control symptoms, cope with the disorder, improve overall psychological well-being and manage social relationships.


Recovery and ADHD

While there is no cure for ADHD, individuals with ADHD can experience mental health recovery. For these individuals, recovery can best be understood as the ongoing management of ADHD symptoms. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), the two main hallmarks of mental health recovery are living a “meaningful life” and growing toward one’s “full potential.” For those with ADHD, these goals can be attainable. Despite the many challenges they face, resources exist that can help individuals with ADHD attain a level of well-being marked by independence, healthy interdependence, hope and personal satisfaction.

Treatment Research

The bulk of treatment research on ADHD has focused on the condition in children, and the options for them have a strong evidence-base for symptom reduction. For many, the need for intervention persists over the long-term. Research from the landmark National Institute of Mental Health Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD showed significant improvement in behavior at home and school in children with ADHD who received carefully monitored medication in combination with behavioral treatment. These children also showed better relationships with their classmates and family than did not children receiving this combination of treatment. Further research confirms that combining behavioral and stimulant treatments are more effective than either treatment alone.

Although ADHD has been less thoroughly researched in adults than in children, adults who have been correctly diagnosed with the disorder can still take advantage of whatever treatments best meet their needs. Working with one or several health and mental health care practitioners, adults with ADHD can learn to manage symptoms as they are expressed in their lives.

ADHD is a condition that affects individuals “across the lifespan.” This means that ADHD symptoms are usually experienced from one phase of life to the next, and that they extend to the various spheres of life during any particular life phase.


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