What does a comprehensive treatment plan for adults with ADHD look like/include?

ADHD is a neurological condition that makes it harder for some people to stay focused, manage time, and get things done. This can affect how they interact with others and how they feel about themselves. Therefore, a comprehensive treatment program begins with effective medication to help the person with ADHD better manage the demands of life at work/school and home. Extended release stimulants are very effective and safe. It is also really important that the adult with ADHD (and also their romantic partner) educate themselves about ADHD, to better understand why they have had the struggles that they do and also to learn new strategies to get organized, prioritize tasks, pay attention, and manage time. These ADHD-friendly strategies tend to work better than the general good advice that they have been given all their lives.

infographic Treatment Plan for adults with ADHD

ADHD is not caused by psychological problems or bad parenting, and talking to a therapist won’t change the brain wiring that causes ADHD. But living with the additional struggles that come with ADHD, especially if it wasn’t diagnosed until adulthood, can affect how someone sees themselves, interacts with others, and handles the demands in their life. This is why it can be helpful to work with a therapist or coach who can help you understand your past struggles in a different way and help you manage your life better today. Therapy can also be helpful in addressing the anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and relationship problems that untreated ADHD can cause. Managing ADHD takes effort, but a comprehensive treatment program can reduce many of the symptoms and make your life much happier.

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About the Author

Ari Tuckman

Ari Tuckman, PsyD, CST is a psychologist, author, and international speaker specializing in ADHD, particularly how it impacts relationships.

Further Reading

Safren SA. Cognitive-behavioral approaches to ADHD treatment in adulthood. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2006 ;67 Suppl 8:46-50.(https://europepmc.org/article/med/16961430)

Wilens, T, et al. ADHD Treatment With Once-Daily OROS Methylphenidate: Interim 12-Month Results From a Long-Term Open-Label Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Volume 42, Issue 4, April 2003, Pages 424-433 )

Weiss, M., Murray, C., Wasdell, M. et al. A randomized controlled trial of CBT therapy for adults with ADHD with and without medication. BMC Psychiatry 12, 30 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-12-30

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1471-244X-12-30