When you or your child is diagnosed with ADHD it can be a relief but can also create a great deal of consternation about finding the right treatments. Dr. Paul Poulakos is a kind and compassionate psychiatrist who will work with you to find the best treatments for you and your child based on your needs. You can take comfort in knowing you are working with a professional who really cares about you and your child.
ADHD is a lifelong condition that impacts all areas of your and your child’s life. There is no one “cure” for ADHD, but there are treatments that can help mitigate the symptoms and improve functioning. Successful management involves medical and psychological therapies.
What are the treatment options for ADHD?
There are several treatment options available for ADHD, but the most effective approach depends on the patient’s and their family’s unique circumstances.
Common treatments for children with ADHD include medication, behavior therapy, and educational interventions. Educational interventions can help children with ADHD learn how to better organize their thoughts and create systems to help them stay organized.
Common treatments for adults with ADHD typically involve a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. Medication can help improve symptoms like focus and concentration, impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Behavioral therapy can help you learn skills to better manage your emotions and impulses. Adopting lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet, can also help to lessen symptoms.
Medication is often the first line of treatment for ADHD, and there are several different types that can be effective. When medications are used as part of a total treatment program, they can improve the ability to focus, learn and work. Dr. Poulakos will work with you to find the right balance between benefits and side effects. It is important to tell Dr. Poulakos about any side effects.
- Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD. Amphetamines, and methylphenidate are first line drugs that stimulate the central nervous system They work quickly to increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain which play essential roles in thinking and attention. Most children who take these medications have fewer symptoms. Stimulants are fast acting, safe and effective when used under medical supervision. However, some children may have unwanted side effects and some parents may hesitate to “drug'” their child. Speak with Dr. Poulakos about your options.
- Non-stimulant medications include antidepressants and Atomoxetine (Stratteraâ) that can also be helpful for some people with ADHD.
- Guanfacine extended-release tablets (Intunivâ) is a non-stimulant treatment that may be offered as part of a treatment program to control ADHD symptoms such as focusing and remaining still in school aged children.
- Lifestyle changes include regulating foods and age-appropriate physical exercise
Counseling can provide support and guidance for people with ADHD and their families. It can help people learn new ways to cope with symptoms, manage stress, and set goals.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is helpful for teaching people with ADHD specific skills to manage their symptoms, change their behaviors, alter negative thinking patterns, teach mindfulness, and better manage life’s challenges to improve their functioning.
- School aged children will benefit from guidance and understanding from their teachers, parents, and families to help them achieve their full potential. Children will benefit from positive behavior support and interventions in the classroom such as establishing routines and help with organization skills.
- Learning stress management skills is helpful for children and adults.
- An FDA approved digital therapy is available to treat ADHD by using sensory stimuli and motor skills that target areas of the brain that control attention.
- Special education is very important when the child also has learning disabilities.
- Parenting skills training is important to teach parents the skills they will need to encourage and reward positive behaviors, and how to structure situations to support desirable behaviors.
- Support groups are helpful for parents and families to exchange information and share concerns, frustrations, and tips to support for people with ADHD and their families.
- Adults and families living with a person with ADHD may benefit from marital and family therapy to improve communications and problem solving.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating ADHD. The most effective treatment plan will be tailored to the individual’s unique needs and circumstances. If you think you or your child may have ADHD, schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Poulakos at his New York City office to discuss the treatment options best for you and for your child.
At a Glance
Dr. Paul Poulakos
- Attending Psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center
- Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Past Clinical Assistant Professor of NYU Langone Medical Center
- Learn more