ADHD affects children, teens, and adults alike, causing problems at school, work, and in relationships. It can be hard for others to understand what’s going on with a person who’s dealing with untreated ADHD and can’t quite keep up with the way non-ADHD brains work. While there’s no “cure” for ADHD, there are various ways that it can be managed. Medication combined with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a top treatment choice.
Most prescribers choose a stimulant like Adderall or Ritalin to treat ADHD. The effects of these stimulants on ADHD is paradoxical; while neurotypical folks use these drugs for the euphoric high they may provide (inappropriately, due to their extremely addictive nature), hyperactive brains with ADHD actually level out, allowing for more focus on an everyday basis.
On the other hand, CBT is used to help create better habits and choices that people with ADHD make. CBT is usually a time-bound course of therapy (say, 12 sessions) where the counselor collaboratively guides the client toward achieving behavioral goals and overcoming problematic thought patterns. Procrastination, disorganization, and not knowing where to start because of distorted thinking all compound ADHD.
Are there any positives to having ADHD? Sure—that ability to hyperfocus on one single passion can drive one toward success. This neuroatypicality can give way to creativity, or new ways of conceptualizing things. It can also illuminate’s one’s inner resources and resilience, which wouldn’t have been tapped into without having the disorder. And people with ADHD are often characterized as fun, exciting, and spontaneous.
When it comes to dealing with the adverse effects of ADHD, taking medication and seeking therapy are like PB&J; they complement each other really well. But that doesn’t mean you must be on medication or in therapy forever. Healthy habits such as getting adequate sleep, regular exercise, and mindfulness meditation can help mitigate the effects of ADHD in a natural way, if you’re not sure about taking the medical route. Remember, always consult with your provider about dosage rather than trying to medicate yourself with addictive substances. (Joey, Doge, and Pikachu will be glad you did!)
ADHD memes courtesy of Instagram page @ADHDMemeTherapy *
*Note: Memes are fun and relatable but not actual therapy—that’s what your counselor is here for! ;)