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How is ADHD Treated?: ADHD Treatment & Therapy Options

How is ADHD Treated?: ADHD Treatment & Therapy Options

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What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is one of the most prevalent pediatric psychiatric conditions. This neurological illness causes focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity issues. In the United States, 4% of adults and 9% of children have ADHD, and many live with symptoms all their lives.1 ADHD can affect adults and children, though it is commonly diagnosed in childhood and can last well into adulthood.

It’s common for kids to have trouble paying attention and acting appropriately. Children with ADHD do not, however, automatically outgrow these habits. People with ADHD may struggle to manage their impulsive behavior, pay attention, or control their activity level.2

The three types of ADHD are as follows:3

  • Predominantly Inattentive: People with this type of ADHD struggle to focus, complete work, and follow instructions.
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive: This kind is characterized by hyperactive-impulsive conduct, such as fidgeting, interrupting others, and being unable to wait for one’s turn
  • Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive: This form of ADHD is the most typical kind. It manifests as a combination of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive characteristics. This could involve a lack of concentration, a tendency toward impulsivity, and excessive amounts of energy and activity.

Below are some additional signs and symptoms of ADHD:

  • Frequent daydreaming
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Easily losing things
  • Squirming or fidgeting
  • Talking too much
  • Taking unnecessary risks
  • Making careless decisions
  • Hard time resisting temptation
  • Difficulty taking turns
  • Difficulty getting along with others

Types of ADHD Treatment

ADHD treatment can consist of a combination of therapies, counseling, and medications.

Insurance may be able to help cover the cost of ADHD therapy. Find out if your insurance provider can help with the costs by filling in our confidential insurance verification form below.

Therapy & Counseling

Behavioral Therapy: People with ADHD can develop coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms through behavioral therapy. Positive behaviors are intended to take the place of harmful ones with this type of therapy for ADHD. Behavioral therapy achieves this by educating patients on techniques to strengthen problematic skills like organization, focus, and impulse control.4

Parents or other legal representatives are involved in the process when children receive behavioral therapy for ADHD. Families will create goals with a therapist, and therapists will assist families in implementing behavioral therapy strategies at home and school.

Children with ADHD can benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and behavioral therapy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some patients discover that behavioral treatment effectively manages their symptoms of ADHD without the use of medication. Others combine medication with behavioral therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):Adults with ADHD typically receive this type of behavioral treatment. Those who use CBT may learn to realize how their ideas influence their actions. In addition, CBT works to reframe the beliefs of adults with ADHD, giving them more control over their symptoms and more positive behaviors.

CBT can also assist with ADHD in the following ways:

  • Controlling unpleasant feelings
  • Adjusting unfavorable expectations
  • Identifying any behavioral trends
  • Dealing with distressing duties while navigating changes throughout the day
  • Scheduling self-care and satisfaction activities
  • Modifying destructive habits

ADHD Medications

Finding the right medicine is essential to treating ADHD effectively. The appropriate medication management will reduce negative side effects while they resolve issues caused by your or your child’s ADHD.

With the proper medical care, you can minimize your symptoms and lead a regular, balanced life. ADHD counseling that includes medications and behavioral treatment can be very beneficial when the prescribed meds are altered in response to your or your child’s health and reaction.

Medicines used to treat ADHD include:

  • Stimulants: Although hyperactivity is one of the signs of ADHD, this does not necessarily mean that the person is overstimulated. Not all people with ADHD show signs of hyperactivity. Those who fit the profile of being hyperactive but not overstimulated are frequently advised to take stimulants. Stimulants increase blood flow to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which strengthens the neural channel for better communication. Reasoning, organizing, and planning are all functions of the prefrontal cortex. Additionally, stimulants increase vigor, alertness, and concentration.5 Dopamine is a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure, movement, and attention. It is the primary neurotransmitter that all stimulants increase in the brain. Similar to how dopamine is naturally produced in the brain, stimulants act therapeutically by continuously and gradually boosting dopamine levels.6
    • Common stimulants include:
      • Adderall
      • Ritalin
      • Concerta
      • Focalin XR
  • Non-Stimulants: Non-stimulant drugs are typically referred to as SNRIs (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). By increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, they affect a patient’s behavior. Agitation, sleeplessness, or decreased appetite are not common side effects of non-stimulants. They also don’t pose the same abuse or addiction risks as stimulants. Furthermore, compared to many stimulants, they also have a more persistent and progressive effect.7 If the adverse effects of stimulants are excessively severe or offer no benefit, non-stimulants should be used. Additionally, non-stimulants are advantageous for people with bipolar disorder, cardiac disease, or drug use history.8
    • Common stimulants include:
      • Strattera
      • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
      • Wellbutrin
      • Effexor
      • Clonidine (Kapvay)
      • Guanfacine (Intuniv)
      • Viloxazine (Qelbree)

Other Types of Treatment Options

Other types of ADHD treatments and therapy types include:

  • Support or Social Skills Groups: support groups can be an excellent source for coping mechanisms and methods for managing ADHD. It might be challenging for some people with ADHD to interact with others. People may talk nonstop or speak without thinking. They can acquire and practice critical social skills in a social skills group led by a professional.9
  • Parent Training in Behavior Management: When parents receive behavior therapy skills training, they gain knowledge and abilities to support their child with ADHD in achieving success at school, at home, and in interpersonal connections. Although it takes time and effort to learn and put behavior therapy into practice, it has long-term advantages for the child and the family.
  • Behavioral Interventions in the Classroom: Through reward systems or a daily report card, this method promotes a student’s good classroom behavior while discouraging their bad behavior. It has been demonstrated that using a teacher-led strategy can positively affect students’ conduct and raise academic engagement. Although behavioral classroom management has primarily been evaluated in elementary schools, it is effective for all ages.10
  • Organizational Training: Children who receive organizational training learn time management techniques, how to plan, and how to keep their school supplies organized to maximize learning and minimize disruptions. These management techniques call for professional personnel, such as teachers, counselors, or school psychologists, to adhere to a predetermined schedule to teach and encourage positive conduct.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that any ADHD therapy plan consider the school setting, curriculum, or placement. For school-aged children with ADHD, the AAP also suggests behavior therapy provided by teachers. In addition, you can discuss collaborating with your child’s teachers and healthcare professionals for further support.

Find Mental & Behavioral Health Treatment Centers Near Me

Athena Care offers a full-spectrum of mental and behavioral health services to those in Tennessee.

We have qualified therapists and accept many of the big name insurance providers. Our locations are open Monday-Friday from 7am to 6pm. Learn more below:

ADHD Treatment Costs & Insurance Coverage

A typical adult with ADHD spends roughly $1,493 annually on medical professionals. Medication costs an additional $735. There can also be other out-of-pocket expenses. Even with health insurance coverage for therapy, you may still have to pay for all or part of your medical expenses.11

In Tennessee, a portion of the cost of therapy for ADHD is covered by most insurance plans. In some cases, a prescription from a psychiatrist is necessary for medication. In others, a pre-authorization with a conclusive diagnosis from a primary care doctor is also needed.

With Athena Care’s multiple ADHD testing clinics in Tennessee, a list of qualified therapists organized by city, and information about their backgrounds and specialties, ADHD therapy is just a phone call away. A care coordinator can assist you with any questions or concerns regarding ADHD therapy or insurance Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

ADHD Treatment Success & Outlook

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parent training in behavior management as the first line of treatment for children with ADHD under the age of six before medication is considered. The recommendations for children aged six and older include medication in conjunction with behavior treatment, parent training in behavior management for kids up to age 12, and additional forms of behavior therapy and training for adolescents.12

In the United States, adult diagnoses of ADHD are increasing four times faster than childhood diagnoses (26.4% versus 123.3%). However, in contrast to children, scientists still believe adults are underdiagnosed with ADHD.13

Regarding medication, stimulants remain the best-known and most used ADHD therapy medications. When using these drugs, 70 to 80% of children with ADHD experience reduced symptoms. Medication can take three to seven days to start working and four to six weeks for it to kick in fully.

When ADHD therapy works well, typical ADHD issues will be less challenging to manage. Below are five ways to tell if your or your child’s ADHD counseling is working:14

  • Less impulsive
  • Better focus
  • Sleeping well
  • Improved memory
  • Increased attention to detail

Unfortunately, there is no cure for ADHD. Although a person’s symptoms of ADHD may become milder as they mature, the condition does not go away. However, many individuals who have received treatment for ADHD live without symptoms and can function at their best. Proper care and assistance make it possible to manage ADHD well. Those with the illness can have regular, productive lives with the help of the appropriate medicine, education, and support.


  1. “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).” National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd. Accessed 31 Aug. 2022.
  2. “What is ADHD?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html
  3. The Healthline Editorial Team. “ADHD Treatment Options: Therapy, Medication, and More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 13 Dec. 2021, www.healthline.com/health/adhd/treatment-overview#3.
  4. Behring, S. “Does Behavioral Therapy for ADHD Help?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 16 Apr. 2021, www.healthline.com/health/adhd/behavioral-therapy-for-adhd#definition.
  5. “Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 Mar. 2022, nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants.
  6. “Stimulant ADHD Medications: Methylphenidate and Amphetamines.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Jan. 2014, https://nida.nih.gov/sites/default/files/drugfacts_stimulantadhd_1.pdf.
  7. “Nonstimulants and Other ADHD Drugs.” WebMD, WebMD LLC., 1 July 2004, www.webmd.com/add-adhd/adhd-nonstimulant-drugs-therapy.
  8. Low, Keath. “Non-Stimulant Medications to Treat ADHD That Have Less Side Effects.” Verywell Mind, Dotdash Media, Inc., 19 May 2022, www.verywellmind.com/non-stimulant-adhd-medication-20884.
  9. Belsky, Gail. “ADHD Treatment Options.” Understood.Org, Understood for All Inc., 18 Oct. 2021, www.understood.org/en/articles/treatment-for-kids-with-adhd.
  10. “ADHD in the Classroom | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 19 Apr. 2022, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/school-success.html.
  11. “The Costs of ADHD.” WebMD, WebMD LLC, 25 Mar. 2021, www.webmd.com/add-adhd/costs-of-adhd.
  12. “Treatment of ADHD | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 21 Sept. 2020, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/treatment.html.
  13. Chung, Winston, et al. “Trends in the Prevalence and Incidence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Adults and Children of Different Racial and Ethnic Groups.” JAMA Network Open, vol. 2, no. 11, 2019, p. e1914344. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.14344.
  14. Day, Nicole. “How To Tell If Your Child’s ADHD Treatment Is Working.” Raising An Extraordinary Person, Raising An Extraordinary Person, 26 Feb. 2021, hes-extraordinary.com/is-adhd-treatment-working.

If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from mental health disorders, contact Athena Care today.

One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control. 

(615) 320-1155