What Happens After an ADHD Diagnosis?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, is a psychological condition that impairs concentration and communication abilities. One of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in the modern world, an ADHD diagnosis is often only the first step on a long road to proper management and maintenance of the condition. Understanding the possible steps after an ADHD diagnosis is an important part of treatment, although it can become quite frustrating at times.

People with ADHD typically have trouble concentrating.
People with ADHD typically have trouble concentrating.

Diagnosis is typically given after a series of tests and observations made by a qualified mental health professional. After evaluating a patient, the diagnosing therapist or doctor will likely have several possible treatment plans to discuss with the patient and patient's family. There are many different forms of treatment following an ADHD diagnosis, making the steps to improvement often filled with trial and error. It is important to understand that each frustrating failed treatment is actually a step closer to gaining improvement; treatments that do not work can provide significant information about the specifics of a patient's condition, leading to more informed and educated choices for the next strategy.

Following an ADHD diagnosis, continued therapy is likely to be a major part of any treatment plan. Therapy may be provided on an individual or group basis, and can be tailored to fit the needs and lifestyles of ADHD patients. Therapists may also recommend training programs and family therapy for other family members greatly affected by an ADHD diagnosis. By teaching those around and ADHD patient about helpful techniques as well as providing them with their own outlet for related stress or frustration, a mental health professional can help to create a positive environment for the patient.

In addition to therapy sessions, some doctors may recommend drug treatment for patients with an ADHD diagnosis. Treating ADHD with drugs is common, but also highly controversial. Many experts argue that unless brain chemistry can be clinically proved to be malfunctioning, prescribing drugs is irresponsible or unethical. Some also fear that busy or inexperienced parents may choose to give children with ADHD drugs rather than providing them with proper care. Nevertheless, drugs may be recommended in severe cases and may be the last resort of some patients in a search for a manageable strategy.

An ADHD diagnosis may be a shameful or embarrassing experience for some people. It is quite easy to become frustrated and experience loss of self-worth when strategies and therapies are not yet revealing improvement. Yet by monitoring the condition carefully and being willing to try different strategies and tactics, a patient can play the most vital part in his or her own treatment. According to some experts, an ADHD patient must remain as committed and involved as possible in his or her treatment in order to see the best results.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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