If you choose to take medication for ADHD, that doesn't mean you have to stay on it forever. Although it isn't safe to bounce off and on any drug repeatedly, you can safely decide to stop treating your ADHD with medication if things aren't going well.
You might be able to stop taking your ADHD medication if the circumstances of your life change. For example, if managing your job plus managing your children's' schedules was the trigger for you to seek ADHD treatment, you may be able to discontinue your stimulant medication when your children are older.
For other adults with ADHD, side effects like appetite suppression or sleeplessness are what prompt them to stop their medication. Some say the drugs make them less fun and spontaneous.
ADHD symptoms likely are never outgrown, although hyperactivity symptoms often decrease as a child gets older. Some children, depending on the severity of their ADHD symptoms, may be able to manage without medication.
Despite the widespread belief that medications for ADHD are relatively safe, the research says otherwise. The research demonstrates that your child will likely have a side effect from the medication. Side effects range from reduced eating and growth, irritability, rage, and personality changes to psychotic behaviors.
Most adults with ADHD will need to keep taking medications, but some will be able to stop. Your doctor may suggest: Going off the meds once a year to see if you still need them. Taking a drug holiday so your body doesn't get too used to it.
Many children (perhaps as many as half) will outgrow their symptoms but others do not, so ADHD can affect a person into adulthood.
As long as the dosage is correct, the medication should not affect your personality or sense of humor. What it will do is curb your hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. An excessively high dose could temporarily “flatten” your personality, causing you to seem unusually quiet or withdrawn.
Adults with ADHD may find it difficult to focus and prioritize, leading to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans. The inability to control impulses can range from impatience waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and outbursts of anger.
People with ADHD live in a permanent present and have a hard time learning from the past or looking into the future to see the inescapable consequences of their actions. “Acting without thinking” is the definition of impulsivity, and one of the reasons that individuals with ADHD have trouble learning from experience.
Yet the few studies that have explored ADHD during adulthood, especially those that have looked at midlife and beyond, clearly indicate that for those individuals whose ADHD persists into middle adulthood and beyond, significant impairments tend to remain and sometimes worsen.
How long will I have ADHD? ADHD does not go away but many people learn to manage it successfully in their adult lives. ADHD is a lifelong condition, and behaviors are often successfully managed with medicine and behavioral treatment.
The symptoms may peak in severity when the child is seven to eight years of age, after which they often begin to decline. By the adolescent years, the hyperactive symptoms may be less noticeable, although ADHD can continue to be present.
Standard treatments for ADHD in adults typically involve medication, education, skills training and psychological counseling. A combination of these is often the most effective treatment. These treatments can help manage many symptoms of ADHD , but they don't cure it.
Methylphenidate is the most commonly used medicine for ADHD. It belongs to a group of medicines called stimulants, which work by increasing activity in the brain, particularly in areas that play a part in controlling attention and behaviour.
The nonstimulants atomoxetine, guanfacine, and bupropion are considered best choices for individuals in substance abuse treatment programs. Nonstimulants are also a desirable choice for people who have had adverse effects on stimulant medications.
Medication is the first-line treatment for older children and adults, but therapy, natural remedies, and even lifestyle changes can all help manage symptoms associated with ADHD.
However, there are plenty of other treatment options available for those who do not want their child to use ADHD drugs. Therapy on its own is shown to be highly effective at treating ADHD. Types of therapy used for ADHD include behavior therapy, talk therapy, and family therapy.
Implications for Adults
The serious impact of failing to treat ADHD continues throughout adulthood. Adults with unmedicated ADHD are 78% more likely to be addicted to tobacco and 58% more likely to use illegal drugs than those without ADHD.
Genetics. ADHD tends to run in families and, in most cases, it's thought the genes you inherit from your parents are a significant factor in developing the condition. Research shows that parents and siblings of someone with ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves.
People with bipolar disorder appear to display ADHD symptoms during manic episodes, such as restlessness, trouble sleeping, and hyperactivity. During depressive episodes, symptoms such as lack of focus, lethargy, and inattention can also mirror those of ADHD.
People with untreated ADHD have higher rates of divorce. You're also more likely to be depressed or have low self-esteem. The same risky behaviors that can harm teens with untreated ADHD can also impact adults in the same situation.