For an individual struggling with ADHD, maintaining focus and motivation can be incredibly exhausting. We want to use this space to discuss the myriad of options, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological, available to help!
- Several studies conducted on mindfulness, yoga, and meditation as a treatment for children struggling with ADHD, found significant decreases in hyperactivity and anxiety in addition to increases in attentional focus and executive functioning (Chimiklis et al., 2018).
- Significant research suggests that these benefits in function were maintained when done with
- In a systematic review of 613 studies on ADHD and exercise, researchers found that moderate to intense aerobic exercise was effective at treating cognitive, behavioral, and physical symptoms of ADHD (Ng, Ho, Chan, Yong, & Yeo, 2017).
- Stimulants such as adderall, ritalin, focalin, and vyvanse are a class of drug designed to temporarily increase the activity in the brain and spinal cord
- These drugs are often used t treat conditions like ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity
- These drugs can work in several different ways to increase the release of dopamine and norepinephrine in the nervous system. These neurotransmitters (signals released by nerves) cause increased attentional awareness, focus, and frontal lobe activity (which is helpful for executive function) (Khashayar Farzam, Faizy, & Abdolreza Saadabadi, 2020; Brown, Samuel, & Patel, 2018).
- These are a newer variety of pharmacological treatment designed to reduce some of the side-effects seen in traditional stimulants
- Drugs like Strattera, are designed to increase norepinephrine and dopamine in more targeted areas (such as the prefrontal cortex) rather than stimulating the whole central nervous system.
- While drugs like this are promising, they take longer to take effect and have less efficacy than traditional stimulants (Briars & Todd, 2016)
As you can see, there are a lot of options to help reduce the hardships of those struggling ADHD. The best treatments are ones that combine both non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions to enhance focus and reduce hyperactivity!