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 can create many accompanying problems, such as depressed mood, anxiety, or substance 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. Individual executive skills coaching and the Mindful Self-Management® group coaching program provide a specific focus on many of the essential coping strategies that are also emphasized in individual CBT, with the group program offering the benefit of being in a community of adults seeking the same skills. (See the Coaching and Group Programs sections of this site.)
- 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.
Drs. Rostain and Ramsay have published widely on their treatment approach in books, professional articles, and case studies, and articles written for lay publications. Refer to the Who We Are section of this site for some articles and videos by Drs. Rostain and Ramsay.
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