- ADHD treatment can take on many forms, but the three primary methods of treatment for ADHD include therapy, medication, and lifestyle adjustments.
- All three treatment modalities target different facets of ADHD and the way it can affect a client’s quality of life.
- Despite the fact that ADHD is not curable, treatment can reduce the negative effects of ADHD symptoms and help people with ADHD lead successful lives.
- Online therapy and psychiatric care for ADHD may be covered by insurance, but each Thriveworks provider accepts varying insurances—you’ll have to verify that they accept your insurance before scheduling.
- Online ADHD tests are growing in popularity but aren’t a replacement for a licensed mental health professional’s evaluation. However, they can be a helpful tool in pinpointing whether or not you’re presenting symptoms of ADHD.
After someone has been diagnosed with ADHD, the next course of action is to proceed with a form of ADHD treatment that can help them manage their symptoms and utilize their strengths. ADHD treatment can vary considerably, depending on the individuals’ preferences, as well as the nature and severity of their symptoms. However, with the right provider and form of ADHD treatment, people from all walks of life can enjoy a renewed quality of life and better manage their ADHD symptoms.
But regardless of whether you’ve been diagnosed, or simply suspect you may have ADHD, it’s helpful to know what treatment options are available for you to access.
ADHD Treatment: What Are 3 Ways to Treat ADHD?
ADHD treatments include:
- Therapy: A therapist or counselor’s approach to ADHD treatment focuses on helping the client to become better aware of how ADHD can affect their thoughts, behavior, and the effectiveness of their communication. The unique way in which ADHD can impact someone’s thoughts makes this mental health condition highly treatable through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT is one of the most effective, therapeutic methods of ADHD treatment. Emily Simonian, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LFMT) and the Head of Clinical Learning at Thriveworks, indicates that “this might look like challenging thoughts that keep people from staying on track with tasks, or creating new behavioral habits to improve focus.”
- Other dominant forms of therapy for ADHD treatment include couples counseling for adults with ADHD who are in relationships, and family therapy, for ADHD clients of all ages. Both of these therapeutic approaches help clients with ADHD to improve their interpersonal relationships and communication styles. But importantly, they also assist family members and partners in understanding how to cope and empathize with their loved one’s ADHD diagnosis, too.
- Medication: Psychiatrists and nurse practitioners are able to assist people with ADHD through medication. However, according to Dr. Scott Gordon, Chief Medical Officer at Thriveworks, “it’s crucial to perform a comprehensive assessment, including subjective evaluations from those close to the patient prior to prescribing a medication. The more three-dimensional the picture, the better the outcome.”
- The most commonly prescribed medication for ADHD are stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, Focalin, and Dexedrine. These medications are carefully regulated by a client’s provider, can be prescribed in varying dosages, and may offer extended or quick-release effects. There are also non-stimulant prescription medications used to treat ADHD, which include Atomoxetine and Viloxazine. People with ADHD may try a few different prescription medications with assistance from their provider before finding one that works best for them. Note: Thriveworks providers are unable to prescribe stimulant medications.
- Lifestyle adjustments: It’s still only a myth that “too much sugar” causes ADHD, but significant improvements can be made through moderating the diet, amount of exercise, and lifestyles of people with ADHD. Concerning diet, fatty acids are essential for proper neurotransmitter function, which can help those with ADHD to focus and enjoy greater impulse control. Foods high in fatty acids include nuts, fish, legumes, and avocados. Exercise can also help the brain to improve connections between neurons in the brain, leading to increased concentration and the ability to relax.
- Daily lifestyle changes are even more personalized—and may involve structural adjustments such as a “wind-down” period before bed for kids with ADHD, and a focus on improving organizational skills in adults with ADHD. Those with ADHD are more prone to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and other mental health concerns or conditions that can detrimentally affect their image of themselves and throw them off course. Creating more structured routines and home environments can help eliminate some of the daily overwhelm that may seem daunting without a provider’s assistance in mapping out the path forward.
What Is the Most Common Treatment for ADHD?
The most common ADHD treatment is actually a personalized combination of therapy and prescription medication (which, at Thriveworks, is commonly Atomoxetine or Viloxazine). Though some children and adults with ADHD can manage their symptoms with therapy and lifestyle changes alone, this isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, most of the time, therapy by itself is effective only for individuals who are presenting ADHD symptoms that make it hard to pay attention, rather than hyperactive traits.
Can ADHD Be Cured or Treated?
ADHD is not curable—but it’s also not entirely debilitating, either. In fact, the ADHD brain is highly creative, and many people with ADHD are able to hyperfocus on what interests them. The issue is that the subjects or topics they choose to hone in on can be very niche; this means that a talented artist, photographer, or researcher with ADHD may be able to focus for hours on what they’re passionate about, while being unable to keep track of their belongings or remember to pay bills on time. This means that people with ADHD strive for consistency in different ways than those with neurotypical brains, but ADHD treatment helps them do just that.
And as mentioned above, ADHD is entirely treatable throughout the lifespan. Even though ADHD treatment may be altered and adjusted as needed during the course of an individual’s life, mental health professionals are able to help their clients with ADHD to cope and thrive, despite the minor or major setbacks that some ADHD symptoms can cause.
Can You Get Treated for ADHD Online?
ADHD treatment be accessed online, through online counseling and therapy, or with online psychiatric care. Either service creates a convenient way for people with ADHD to receive the care they need, from a professional who understands how to offer comprehensive ADHD treatment.
Is ADHD Online Treatment Covered by Insurance?
It depends on the provider that you’re matched with, and the insurance company you’re using, but often, ADHD treatment is covered by insurance at Thriveworks, whether the sessions are virtual or in person. There’s a growing number of insurance providers who are beginning to cover online ADHD treatment—by asking your provider, or calling the Thriveworks location near you, you’ll be able to determine whether your insurance company will cover online ADHD treatment.
Are Online ADHD Tests Reliable?
The only way to be accurately diagnosed with ADHD is to have a licensed mental health professional evaluate you. This is a long and thorough process that includes multiple screenings, family or partner interviews, a comprehensive questionnaire to pinpoint your symptoms, and more. Online ADHD tests can help point you toward professional help; but they’re never a replacement for a professional’s diagnosis. Sometimes, these tests are spun by prescription-only companies funneling their clients into a psychiatric treatment process. In these cases, it seems as though getting a diagnosis and a resulting prescription is almost inevitable.
If you’re concerned that you have ADHD, or you’ve already been diagnosed in the past and are seeking ADHD treatment, the best place to start is with a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor that you feel comfortable with. They’ll be able to offer their support and guidance as you discover how to manage your ADHD symptoms, re-structure your daily life, and learn to thrive with your condition.