Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a condition, which greatly hampers the normal personality development of a child. This issue persists throughout the life of the ones afflicted, but it can, nonetheless, be controlled and kept at bay. ADHD can be treated through two different methods, although the best results are often found when the two are merged together.
The first form of treatment involves medicating the patient. Generally, doctors prescribe certain forms of stimulant to the child suffering from the disease. These medicines may include amphetamines and methylphenidate. These medications alone are effective in improving the symptoms in almost 70% of the children suffering from ADHD.
The other form of treatment involves behavioral therapy. In such a case, parents and children both undergo specialized classes to handle and control the effects of ADHD. Parents are taught the importance of positive reinforcement for a child suffering from hyperactivity disorder. Other important strategies are also imparted to them, so that they are able to cope with the symptoms of the disease and also reduce the same in their children.
The children are also taught vital skills such as better communications and problem solving. These behavioral modifications greatly help in alleviating the symptoms of ADHD.
A better portion of the treatment for ADHD can be done at home without the need for medications. There are certain guidelines that parents need to follow in order to treat a child with ADHD at home. Firstly, parents need to take care of their own physical and mental health for such a treatment to work. Parents should also get educated properly on the disorder, so that they are better prepared for what their child may be facing.
Parents must also ensure that their child develop a good self-esteem. Additionally, it is quite helpful if parents can guide the child to succeed at school, as this builds confidence.
Medication along with behavioral treatment is the best way to proceed in case of ADHD. Doctors may prescribe a wide variety of drugs to your child in order to alleviate the symptoms. For instance, stimulants such as amphetamines and methylphenidates may be prescribed to the kid to reduce the hyperactivity.
Non-stimulants such as Atomoxetine, clonidine, and Guanfacine are also prescribed to the children. These are known to reduce the aggressive behavior commonly associated with ADHD. Physicians may sometimes also prescribe antidepressants to the patients.
Children who show signs and symptoms associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are eligible for the treatment. However, before starting the treatment, parents are highly advised to seek out medical opinion just to be sure that their child does suffer from the same.
Children who have not been diagnosed by a child psychologist to be suffering from ADHD are not qualified for this treatment. Although there are no adverse effects of the behavioral modifications in case of a normal child, the medications prescribed to ADHD patients should not be consumed by children not suffering from the disorder.
The behavioral treatment does not have any side effects. However, there is some debate whether the medications prescribed are safe in the long run. Several studies have been conducted on the subject, but nothing conclusive has come to light. There are reports that the medication, especially the stimulants, can cause some adverse effects. Decreased appetite, headache, loss of sleep, and stomach pain are some of the most commonly reported side effects from the drugs.
Since ADHD cannot be cured completely, there is no post-treatment guideline as such. The condition can be kept at bay through medication and therapy. However, some form of treatment needs to be continued throughout the individual’s life.
There is no recovery period as such for the treatment of ADHD, as it is a continuous process. Medication needs to be continued throughout life in order to keep the symptoms at bay.
Amphetamines cost around Rs 60 per 1000 mg, while 5 mg of methylphenidate costs around Rs. 45. Along with the cost incurred for physicians, treatment for ADHD in India can easily cross several Lacs of Rupees in a patient’s lifetime.
If an individual suffering from ADHD follows the medications and therapy prescribed to him/her, there is very little chance of the symptoms worsening. However, the patients must remain on the medications for the rest of their life to avoid relapsing.
There are a number of alternative forms of treatment for ADHD. The most popular among these include elimination diet, supplementing the food with omega 3s, training the memory of the one afflicted, neurofeedback, and parental training. However, there is some debate as to whether these procedures are as effective as medication and therapy.