How common is ADHD
There is no cure for ADHD. However, there are various therapy options that can be used to treat ADHD well. Which ADHD therapy is suitable - or a combination of different (multimodal treatment concept) - always depends on how the ADHD expresses itself, how severe the symptoms are and whether there are accompanying disorders. In any case, the treatment must always be individual and also include the environment.
For example, parenting training is recommended for ADHD, as offered, for example, by specialist clinics, psychotherapeutic practices or (online) health insurance companies. Siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, etc. should also know what the disorder means and how they deal with an ADHD patient. Because only then can you help him cope with his everyday life, support and encourage him - without taking away his independence.
Therapy of ADHD with medication
In ADHD, drug treatment usually takes place either in addition to other therapeutic measures or in order to make other measures possible in the first place. The guidelines of the professional associations recommend them for children from the age of six with ADHD only after thorough consultation and with severe symptoms that greatly impair the child’s everyday life or that behavioral therapy cannot sufficiently improve the symptoms.
Adult ADHD patients are given medication when other strategies do not work (sufficiently) to cope better with the disorder in everyday life. The doctor regularly checks whether the medication is causing the desired improvement and whether the dosage is optimal for the patient in question.
Most patients are given drugs containing the active ingredient methylphenidate to treat ADHD (e.g. Ritalin, one of the best-known ADHD drugs that has also been approved for adults for several years). The active ingredient, which the patient takes in the form of tablets in ADHD, ensures that the brain can better filter external stimuli by increasing the concentration of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which are important for memory function. So it regulates the imbalance of the messenger substances in the brain. The patient becomes more balanced and can better process external influences.
The doctor can also prescribe agents containing the active ingredient atomoxetine. This has a different mechanism of action than methylphenidate (not classified as an anesthetic, no potential for dependence), but it also increases the concentration of norepinephrine in the brain.
Note: As with all medications, ADHD medication can also have side effects, such as insomnia or loss of appetite. Ritalin can also cause stunted growth in children if they take it for a long time.
Therapy for ADHD without medication
For those affected with less pronounced symptoms as well as for emotional or psychological problems, (supplementary) psychotherapy can be useful. There are special group therapies for young childrenthat aim to improve concentration and social skills and that help children better manage their hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Older children and adolescents are given behavioral therapy without a group for ADHD. The individual therapy should support them in approaching and solving tasks in a structured manner (self-instruction training). If there are interpersonal problems in the family, family therapy can be an option.
Psychotherapy can help adult ADHD patients if they do not want to take medication or if it does not work. Or even if they are only diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood and would like to learn through therapy to understand the disorder and how to deal with it. There are also numerous regional ADHD self-help groups (directory, for example, at http://www.adhs-deutschland.de, where those affected can exchange ideas and information, receive tips and, above all, get the feeling: "You are not alone."
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