Penn Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program
Because ADHD affects each person differently, what works best for most patients is a combination of treatments custom tailored to individual needs, including the following:
- Education - An individual diagnosed with ADHD should become knowledgeable about its effects. We answer patients' questions and direct them to publications and websites with scientifically sound information. Part of treatment involves developing a personalized understanding of the effects of ADHD on one's day-to-day life.
- Medications - Many individuals experience improvements in their symptoms from medications, particularly stimulants. We may prescribe other medications if the stimulants are inappropriate, ineffective, or if there are additional problems that could respond to a combination of medications. Of course, the decision of whether to pursue medications, ruling out any contraindications, and then deciding on an appropriate treatment regimen is a collaborative decision between the physician and patient.
- Psychosocial treatment - Although ADHD is a neurobiological disorder, it creates many accompanying problems, such as depressed mood, anxiety, or drug abuse. While medications may improve ADHD symptoms, many persons have problems changing chronic behavior patterns such as those related to procrastination and poor time management. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focused on changing specific thinking and behavior patterns may be an important part of treatment for those with ADHD. Periodic couples or family sessions may also be helpful to improve communication and reduce conflict.
- Other treatments - Depending on a person's unique circumstances, we will provide outside referrals for support services such as academic support services, vocational counseling, coaching, and/or participation in a support group.
Treatment at the Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program is conducted by senior clinical staff or by advanced clinicians-in-training closely supervised by senior clinical staff.