Mental health disorders

ADHD

(Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

  • Also known as
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • ADD

About ADHD

Is it hard for your child to sit still? Does your child act without thinking first? Does your child start but not finish things? If so, your child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nearly everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, but ADHD lasts more than 6 months and causes problems in school, at home and in social situations.

ADHD is more common in boys than girls. It affects 3-5 percent of all American children.

The main features of ADHD are

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

No one knows exactly what causes ADHD. It sometimes runs in families, so genetics may be a factor. There may also be environmental factors.

A complete evaluation by a trained professional is the only way to know for sure if your child has ADHD. Treatment may include medicine to control symptoms, therapy, or both. Structure at home and at school is important. Parent training may also help.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Symptoms of ADHD
  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

Top Medications for ADHD according to our users

Button Group. All currently active

All Medications for ADHD

Stimulant

  • Antihypertensive > Alpha agonist

    • Kapvay
      (Clonidine)
      Prescription only

      Clonidine is a non-stimulant option to manage ADHD symptoms and behaviors, but it can lower your blood pressure.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Extended release
    • Catapres
      (Clonidine)
      Prescription only

      Catapres (Clonidine) is a good addition if you need more than one medicine to control your blood pressure, but it has a lot of side effects. You can't miss doses.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
      • Patch
    • Tenex
      (Guanfacine)
      Prescription only

      Tenex (Guanfacine) can be used to treat both blood pressure and ADHD, but it's not recommended as a first-line treatment for either problem.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release

Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)

  • Antidepressant > Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)

    • Effexor
      (Venlafaxine)
      Prescription only

      Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. May work when other antidepressants haven't, it's but more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.Will Effexor work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
  • Antidepressant > Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)

    • Pamelor
      (Nortriptyline)
      Prescription only

      Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Liquid

Medication side effects for ADHD

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for dizziness.

  • Ritalin: 5%
  • Vyvanse: 15%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have dizziness

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have dizziness

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for ADHD

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • I recommend to adults "You, me, or Adult ADD" it is tough and compassionate and it made me more comfortable with taking medication for ADHD, and convincing my partner to consider treating with medication. The way I put it was "Are you going to try harder, harder this time to stay on top of things, or are you going to try a stimulant medication and see if using a stimulant medication works as well for you as it does for me?" The book gave me the vocabulary to better describe my diagnosis, and to better separate symptoms from personality.
  • Be sure to drink lots of water, and eat calorie-rich foods like peanut butter, meats, and milk, because stimulants can have profound effects on the metabolism! I lost a lot of weight quite by accident and if you're still young, that might be dangerous.
  • You will get a sense of clarity in the beginning but it will level off because you've adjusted to it. It may feel like it doesn't work anymore - but it is. Don't quit it.
  • Your diet will get weird at first but don't let that stop you from taking it it really helps
  • I was diagnosed with combined type Adhd as a Child but my parents believed in discipline instead of medication. After age 24 I had a 4 years old and it hit me. How can I take care of my baby she needs stability and security in her life and let me tell you what it felt like a light build was plugged in for the first time and the world made sense. I went to college had a 3..87 gpa met my husband we bought a house? I have never committed to anything because I would get bored and walk away it really opens your eyes and is the best thing I have ever done for my baby and our family
  • ADHD Medicines may work for other conditions, if ADHD-like symptoms are a major part of the condition. For instance, ADHD-like behavior is sometimes obsetved in individuals with Aspergers.
  • Yes research all you can, and like the first tipper, get a doc who 'gets' ADHD/ADD.
  • Find a good doctor who "gets" ADHD
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Staying focused using a timer for each allotted task
  • Besides meds and other chemical treatments (like coffee), I find that having somebody check up on me to keep me on-task is helpful.
  • Having that one person by my side to help me stay focused.
  • keeping a running task checky box on me
  • Consistency
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Counselling
  • Having a great support system
  • Paychotherapy
  • scheduled outdoor activities
  • Sleep, exercise, healthy eating
  • Scheduling events in an hour to hour format planner!
  • mindfulness training