Medications Used to Treat ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or more commonly known as ADHD impacts over six million children in the United States. The number of those diagnoses continues to climb. While many people try to help their children through support groups, therapies, and applied behavior analysis, for some, ADHD seems too much to handle. This is where the pharmaceutical companies come in.

Medications Used to Treat ADHD

Medications can be prescribed to help tame the symptoms in those suffering from ADHD. While some believe medications aren’t the answer, those suffering from attention deficit hyperactive disorder may disagree. There is a broad spectrum of ADHD and while some individuals can be helped through therapies, others may need medication to help them lead a normal life.

The way ADHD medications work is simple. They are all stimulants. Adderall, Focalin, Concerta, and Ritalin are all very commonly used stimulants to help with symptoms of ADHD. Stimulants work well with those who suffer from ADHD as it controls the levels of dopamine in one’s brain. Dopamine helps to regulate an individuals’ emotional response. An example of this would be someone’s emotional feeling of reward.

Medications Used to Treat ADHD

Dopamine Levels

While most individuals can view a task at hand and then persevere for the feeling of accomplishment and reward, those who suffer from ADHD, cannot do it as well. This is due to the fact that their dopamine levels are proven to be lower. When a stimulant is taken, it raises the level of dopamine in the brain, making it easier to stay alert and focus on the task at hand.

This helps students across the nation concentrate in classroom resulting in them building a better future for themselves. However, with most medications, while one ailment is being masked, another comes to light. While stimulants have proven to be highly effective for those suffering from ADHD, they come with cons as well. Many individuals who take these common medications have shown many side effects such as sleep problems, a decrease in appetite, chronic headaches, and mood swings.  Here is a closer look at the potential side effects.

Side Effects

There is no formative answer. There is simply no way to know if symptoms of ADHD medication is worse than the actual symptoms of ADHD itself. However, sometimes after trying all other resources, it becomes apparent that one has to take a leap of faith and try something new. You’re not forced to continue with the medications but who knows! ADHD is a chronic condition that doesn’t just effect children but goes well into adulthood easily impacting one’s life. Maybe these tiny pills can forever change your life or the life of a loved one.

How to Spot ADHD in Children

You may have noticed some children to come across as a little more talkative, impatient or emotional than the others causing them to occasionally stand out. It could also be that you’ve felt this way about your own child. While these things are pretty common in children, they also are signs of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

How to Spot ADHD in Children

ADHD or ADD, as it was called earlier, can adversely affect your child’s performance at school or make it difficult for your child to get along with other children or adults.

Symptoms of ADHD in children can be primarily characterized as below:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsiveness
  • Inattention

A child with ADHD may exhibit one, two or all of these characteristics.  According to the ADHD Naturally website, here is how that behavior manifests.

Squirminess or fidgetiness

Children with hyperactivity, when asked to sit at a place, will try to get up, squirm, tap their feet, shake legs in a back and forth motion or get fidgety. They find it hard to sit still and will often be found running around or climbing things, sometimes inappropriately.

Nonstop talking

Once they start talking about something, they won’t stop until they’re almost exhausted. Due to lack of attention and impulsivity, they may also switch to different topics while at this.

Half finished tasks

Children exhibiting both hyperactivity and inattention would often want to take up several tasks almost simultaneously or one after the other quickly while finishing none of them.

Emotional mess

Impulsive children face a great deal of difficulty in keeping their emotions in check which often results in outbursts like crying, yelling, anger or throwing tantrums.

Self-centric behavior

Another common sign of impulsiveness is the inability or the seeming lack of will to understand the other’s needs. They may also be seen interrupting others while talking or be less willing to wait for their turn while playing other kids.

Less thought before speech or actions

If you ask an impulsive child for an answer to a certain math problem, they’d be more prone to taking a guess rather than solving it to find the correct answer. These children may also often say things they know they shouldn’t be saying.

Focus lack, mistakes and day dreaming

Inattention in children causes them to make mistakes while performing simple yet repetitive tasks or paying attention even when being spoken directly to. Please remember that this is not to be confused for lack of intelligence or laziness.

Daydreaming and loss of things

They may also be found spaced out or daydreaming and almost completely ignorant of their surroundings, in some cases, sometimes causing them to lose their belongings and not remembering where they kept them.

Because the common signs of ADHD to look out for are very close to the normal ‘childish behavior’, it becomes difficult to correctly diagnose ADHD in children. But these signs can definitely serve as an indicator of when you need to consult a mental health professional which is highly advisable.