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Can ADHD Go Away? ADHD Testing & Treatment in Philadelphia


Experienced ADHD doctors in Philadelphia offering comprehensive clinical evaluations for proper diagnosis in women, men, kids and teens.


Can ADHD Go Away? Renewing Mindsets as a Path Forward in Philadelphia & The Main Line

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that can significantly impact daily functioning. The core symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that are inappropriate for the person’s age. While there is no “cure” for ADHD, the good news is that the symptoms can be managed successfully with comprehensive treatment. Beyond traditional approaches like therapy and medication, renewing mindsets offers new hope that ADHD symptoms can substantially improve or even fade away over time.


Can ADHD Go Away?


ADHD Symptoms and Prevalence in Philadelphia


ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, estimated to affect around 9.4% of children and 2.5% of adults in the United States. The pattern of symptoms can persist into adulthood for the majority of individuals diagnosed as children. ADHD does not discriminate - it occurs in people of all backgrounds, ages, and intellectual capacities.

The core features of ADHD include:

  • Inattention - difficulty staying focused and organized

  • Hyperactivity - excessive movement and fidgeting

  • Impulsivity - difficulty controlling impulses


ADHD symptoms must be present before age 12, persist for at least 6 months, and negatively impact school, work, or relationships to meet diagnostic criteria.

While hyperactivity tends to decline with age, symptoms of inattention often persist into adulthood. Adults with ADHD frequently struggle with staying focused at work, remembering appointments, keeping up with tasks, and procrastination.

For women, symptoms of ADHD often present differently than stereotypical hyperactive boys. Women with ADHD are more likely to be predominantly inattentive and may exhibit feelings of anxiety, depression, disorganization, forgetfulness, and restlessness.


Seeking ADHD Testing and Treatment in Philadelphia


If you suspect you or your child may have ADHD, the first step is to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with a specialist. Though general physicians can diagnose ADHD, seeing a psychiatrist or neuropsychologist that specializes in ADHD and other mental health conditions is ideal.

Here are some signs and symptoms that could indicate ADHD:

  • Difficulty paying attention and staying organized

  • Forgetfulness around tasks, obligations, and items

  • Fidgeting, excessive talking, always “on the go”

  • Difficulty sitting still and waiting your turn

  • Acting impulsively without thinking

  • Interrupting conversations or activities

  • Problems following instructions and finishing tasks

  • Losing things frequently

  • Feeling overly restless and restless


In Philadelphia and the surrounding Main Line suburbs, there are many excellent options for ADHD testing, diagnosis, and treatment.


The ADHD evaluation process will likely include:


  • Medical history review – The doctor will inquire about current symptoms, childhood behaviors, family history of ADHD, co-existing conditions, and more.

  • Psychiatric assessment – The psychiatrist or neuropsychologist will evaluate your symptoms against the diagnostic criteria.

  • Standardized behavior rating scales – You’ll fill out questionnaires rating the severity of symptoms. Others who know you well may be asked to complete rating scales too.

  • Neuropsychological testing – These in-depth tests measure attention span, executive functioning, memory and more.

  • Check for co-existing conditions – Around 2/3 of those with ADHD have at least one other psychiatric disorder like anxiety, depression or learning disabilities. Your provider will screen for these too.

Based on the results of a comprehensive evaluation, your psychiatrist will determine if you meet the criteria for an ADHD diagnosis.


ADHD Treatment Options in Philadelphia & Main Line Suburbs

If diagnosed with ADHD, the most effective approach involves multiple treatment components individualized to your needs, lifestyle and symptoms. Options may include:


Medication

Stimulant medications like Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse and Concerta are commonly prescribed to help manage ADHD symptoms. Non-stimulants like Strattera, Intuniv, and Clonidine are alternatives. Medication can be highly effective for many people with ADHD, but it’s not a “quick fix”. Finding the optimal dose and medication regimen requires careful monitoring under a psychiatrist’s supervision. Make sure you have a thorough medication evaluation before starting any new prescription.


Psychotherapy

Seeing a therapist for issues like managing ADHD symptoms, workflow, organization and time management, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for any co-existing anxiety or depression can be extremely beneficial. Many find a combination of medication and therapy most effective.


ADHD Coaching

Coaches specializing in ADHD can be tremendously helpful for organization, productivity, achieving goals, and enhancing self-esteem. They help clients develop practical coping skills and strategies tailored to personal needs.


Lifestyle Adjustments

Getting adequate sleep, regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress management, and organization systems (planners, apps, timers, etc.) are essential for managing ADHD. Making certain lifestyle adjustments alleviates symptoms for many adults with ADHD.


Mindfulness & Meditation

Research shows mindfulness and meditation practices help improve focus and concentration, decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity, and provide calming, centering effects that are hugely beneficial for ADHD patients.

No matter your age or background, the most important thing is to find a comprehensive ADHD treatment plan that works for your unique needs. With consistent management, ADHD does not have to define nor limit your potential for success!


The Impact of Mindset on ADHD Symptoms


While the right treatment plan is crucial, fully realizing your potential also requires adopting an empowering mindset about ADHD. The way you think about ADHD has an immense impact on outcomes.


From Limitation to Superpower

Rather than viewing ADHD as an inherent limitation or disadvantage, you can perceive your differences as strengths. People with ADHD often excel in creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, spontaneity, expressiveness, and out-of-the-box thinking.

Lead with your strengths, get creative about managing weaknesses. Reframing ADHD as your superpower, not kryptonite, is an instrumental first step.


Growth Mindset

Individuals with growth mindsets believe they can get smarter through hard work and dedication. On the opposite end, fixed mindsets believe intelligence is static. Those with growth mindsets achieve more positive ADHD outcomes, are better equipped to handle challenges, and have greater persistence. Developing a growth mindset takes mindfulness, but creates a profound difference.


From Patient to Agent of Change

Look at yourself not as a passive patient, but an empowered agent actively managing your ADHD symptoms. You have the capacity to implement an arsenal of lifestyle adaptations, therapy techniques, and medication to minimize negative impacts. Becoming an expert in your own self-care leads to confidence.


Meditation for Mindset Shift

Studies demonstrate that mindfulness meditation literally alters neural pathways by increasing grey matter density and connectivity in areas like the prefrontal cortex associated with executive functioning. Beyond tangible brain changes, meditation facilitates a perceptual shift. Mindfulness allows you to observe thoughts and external stimuli with greater objectivity. Getting caught up in an unhelpful narrative about ADHD diminishes your power. Through meditation, you gain the ability to calmly note thoughts, label them, and let them go.


Can You Outgrow ADHD?


While the exact mechanisms are still being investigated, emerging research hints that ADHD symptoms may dissipate or weaken over time for some individuals, especially those with strong environmental and internal resources.


External Factors

Certain lifestyle factors are associated with reduction of ADHD impairment over the lifespan:

  • Education – Higher levels of education correlate to improved outcomes.

  • Engagement – Staying cognitively, socially and physically engaged protects against worsening symptoms.

  • Work – Having a career that provides sufficient challenge, variety and stimulation lessens symptoms.

  • Relationships – Supportive personal and professional relationships are helpful.

  • Treatment – Ongoing therapy, coaching, medication, and lifestyle adaptation all enable positive change.


Internal Factors

In addition to external conditions, internal resources play a significant role in better long-term ADHD outcomes:

  • Resilience – The ability to handle stress and bounce back from challenges stays strong.

  • Self-Efficacy – Retaining high confidence in your own abilities is protective.

  • Cognitive Capacity – Certain cognitive strengths can counterbalance weaknesses.


While ADHD itself does not “go away”, the right combination of external conditions and internal strengths allows individuals to manage symptoms successfully over the lifespan. Medication, therapy, coaching, and lifestyle changes coupled with shifting mindsets from limitation to empowerment cultivate an environment for symptoms to improve and even remit in some adults.


Signs Your ADHD Symptoms Are Improving


For adults with ADHD, it is possible to reach a point where symptoms become much less impairing, noticeable or problematic in daily life. Here are some signs that your ADHD symptoms are fading:

  • Staying focused - You can pay attention in meetings, talks, church or while reading without distraction.

  • Controlling impulses - You think before responding and avoid impulsive words or decisions.

  • Remembering obligations - Appointments, deadlines, tasks, and meetings don't slip your mind as frequently.

  • Completing projects - You can successfully start and finish work projects in a timely manner.

  • Organized home and office - You don't lose important items and your spaces stay orderly.

  • Relationships improve - You have an easier time communicating with friends, partners, and colleagues.

  • Reduced hyperactivity - You have less urge to fidget constantly and talk excessively.

  • Emotional regulation - You experience appropriate emotional reactions and have control over your moods.


While managing ADHD requires continued diligence, with the right treatment approach symptoms can dramatically improve over the long-term. Remission is possible.


Finding Empowerment Through Renewing Your Mindset Around ADHD

Though ADHD is a lifelong condition, the symptoms do not have to control your life. Start from a point of empowerment. Surround yourself with the right external resources from medication to therapy to lifestyle changes. Cultivate the internal strengths of resilience, self-efficacy and cognitive capacity. Allow confidence in your ability to adapt and thrive to guide you. Shift perspective from limitation to opportunity.

Progress begins from within. The more you can believe in your ability to manage ADHD challenges, the more possibility opens up. Renewing your mindset around ADHD is the first step to unlocking your full potential. With an empowering mindset, improving symptoms, and the right comprehensive treatment plan, you can move towards profound personal growth. The future is bright for Philadelphia adults ready to tap into the power within.


References:

[1] Faraone, S. V., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Biederman, J., Buitelaar, J. K., Ramos-Quiroga, J. A., Rohde, L. A., Sonuga-Barke, E. J., Tannock, R., & Franke, B. (2015). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Nature reviews Disease primers, 1, 15020.

[2] Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (2022, February 24). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html

[3] What is ADHD? (2022, August 24). CHADD. Retrieved December 21, 2022, from https://chadd.org/about-adhd/what-is-adhd/

[4] ADHD Tests & Diagnosis. (n.d.). ADDitude. Retrieved December 22, 2022, from https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-testing-diagnosis/

[5] Adult ADHD Treatment Options. (n.d.) WebMD. Retrieved December 22, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/adult-adhd-treatment-overview

[6] Mitchell, J. T., Zylowska, L., & Kollins, S. H. (2015). Mindfulness Meditation Training for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adulthood: Current Empirical Support, Treatment Overview, and Future Directions. Cognitive and behavioral practice, 22(2), 172–191.

[7] Bogdan R. et al. Mindset of Adult Patients With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Frontiers in psychiatry vol. 9 527. 1 Oct. 2018

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