ADHD: Managed through Medications and Behavioral Therapy

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disability that cannot be cured but can be managed through treatments such as medications, which have been used for decades, and behavioral therapy, which can be used to manage the disorder. In some instances, behavioral therapy has been recommended by medical professionals to enhance the effectiveness of the medications. Behavioral therapy could be just as effective without the prescriptions and safer. Along with weekly appointments to see a therapist as a treatment, it would require family involvement, which would encourage a day to day lifestyle change and include a structured support system. Though medications are a solution, in time tolerances can build and leave the patient with the initial problem requiring more doctors’ visits, more trials of dosage for medications, and additional therapy. Treating ADHD with behavioral therapy should be an option considered over medications. ADHD is a disability common and mainly treated in children but also affects adults. ADHD is a disorder caused when a part of the brain is not functioning properly causing the person to be over-active and unable to control themselves in situations that require focus and patience. Around 2 million children are diagnosed with ADHD, a chronic disorder, in the U.S. (Doheny, 2007). Paying attention or sitting still in school can be difficult for children with ADHD; it also can affect their grades, their peer relationships (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011), and their ability to respond to authority figures such as teachers or principals. The inability to sit still for long periods of time or to concentrate on schoolwork, especially tests, supports the thought of the child needing extra help in school to eliminate the challenges. Many, but not all children with ADHD are being or can be classified as having learning disabilities which would qualify them for special education services in their school (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). Since the child is unable to perform as a normal child in the classroom setting, the teachers usually recommend to the parents that the child be seen by a doctor and put on a treatment plan for ADHD. The most common treatment plan used for ADHD is medications and behavioral therapy. The effectiveness of structured and supportive behavioral therapy could possibly render the need for medication void and prove to be a lasting solution to managing and handling ADHD without adding the possible risks of side effects that tend to follow medication use. Doctors and other professionals have over-backed the use of medication to treat ADHD, and most parents are not aware that behavioral therapy is a reputable alternative as well (Contrada, 2004). Behavioral therapy can be a solution on its own if the option was given to the patient, which in most cases, it is not. Research has allowed that half the children diagnosed would not need medication to treat ADHD if they sought behavioral therapy, and the children that still needed to take the medications were on lower dosage compared to those who didn’t use therapy (Contrada, 2004). Medications may help the child concentrate or contain themselves better, but there is little indication that their performance or conduct improve after years of use. Even after just short term use of the medication, it shows to be just a tool to settle the child down but doesn’t eliminate the symptoms (Block & Smith, 2012). Medications only work to stimulate the part of the brain that causes ADHD to help control behavior, but behavioral therapy teaches and focuses on specific details for structuring daily routines and relationships (Sprinkle, 2004). Since there isn’t a cure for ADHD, it would be more plausible to adjust life to embrace and overcome the different challenges that people face by the disorder.

The medications used to treat ADHD have many side-effects and can cause emotional and physical problems, now and...
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