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ADD and ADHD Treatment

Our Award-Winning Doctors Specialize in the Treatment of ADD and ADHD

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At Fifth Avenue Psychiatry, we take a unique approach to the diagnosis and treatment of ADD and ADHD. Proper evaluation is given first priority. ADD and ADHD symptoms can surface at various stages of one’s life, and just because a person copes successfully to a certain point in their life does not mean that they do not have ADD.

Many adults go through life struggling with ADD without it being recognized or adequately treated, leading to poor self-esteem, difficulties in work, and problems in relationships.

Conversely, ADD and ADHD are often misdiagnosed in both adolescents and adults alike. We have seen many adults and adolescents where a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, mood disorder or even substance abuse disorder is overlooked and that person is misdiagnosed as “ADHD”.

After our therapists perform an appropriate evaluation, a personalized treatment plan is constructed. Medication is often beneficial but is not always the correct answer. In adolescents, in particular, medications are very often overprescribed, with potentially dangerous and lifelong consequences. We work with each patient individually and personalize a treatment approach that can include coaching, life skills, psychotherapy, and medication.

Adult ADD and ADHD

Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) were initially described as neurobehavioral conditions affecting only children and adolescents. It is now widely recognized that many people go through life with these conditions. Newly developed or diagnosed Adult ADD is simply the result of a person who may be coping with ADD for much of their life without consequences, and then it hits them when they are challenged in a higher level of school or at a more demanding job.

Adult ADD affects the brain’s executive function–the brain functions that activate, organize, and manage other functions. They cause problems with attention, impulsivity, and overactivity. A diagnosis depends on the specific syndromes (inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, combined). Predominant symptoms include difficulty focusing on a task, being easily distracted or bored, struggling to follow instructions, fidgeting, and impatience.

Diagnostic Evaluation of ADD/ADHD

At Fifth Avenue Psychiatry, Diagnostic Evaluation by a well-trained psychiatrist is a prerequisite for the treatment of ADD and ADHD, along with neuropsychological testing. Evaluations are personalized based on the patient’s age, presenting symptoms, and previous history. Methods of treatment include Psychotherapy, Behavior Modification and coaching, and Medication.

In adolescents, misdiagnosis can be stigmatizing, and medications carry severe side effects and potential long-term risks. Sometimes, anxiety disorders or even mood disorders are missed, and without proper treatment, these conditions persist and or worsen. Meanwhile, more medications are added due to the frustration of both doctor and patient. We feel that careful diagnosis, along with treatment based on psychotherapy and judicious use of medication, provides the most effective long-term success. Effective treatment can make huge differences in the self-esteem and performance of an adolescent and, through adulthood, enhance productivity and even improve one’s ability to sustain relationships.

In adults, ADD and ADHD can be uncovered as a result of psychological testing and psychiatric evaluation. Many people with addiction and also other psychiatric disorders have underlying, untreated, and undiagnosed Adult ADD. Methods of treatment include some combination of psychotherapy, behavior modification, and medication.

How is ADHD Treated?

Treatment for ADHD may include medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of these treatments. Medications, such as antidepressants, are sometimes used in treatment, even though they are not FDA-approved for ADHD treatment.

Antidepressants, or tricyclics, like stimulants, affect the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine. Effexor may be prescribed for its effect on norepinephrine. In recent studies, Wellbutrin, which affects the brain chemical dopamine, has demonstrated benefits for ADD/ADHD. Strattera is a newer, non-stimulant medication indicated for ADD.

Stimulants and other medications require special consideration, especially if the patient takes other medications for physical problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, or depression. Some of these medications may interact poorly. An individual with ADD/ADHD should discuss potential complications with their doctor.

A counselor or therapist can help patients learn organization and handle large tasks so that they are more manageable. This will provide a sense of accomplishment. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can raise one’s self-image by examining the causes. The therapist encourages the patient with ADD/ADHD to adjust to treatment, have them think before they act, and resist the urge to take unnecessary risks.

What Is The Most Common Treatment For ADD And ADHD?

ADD and ADHD are most commonly treated with prescription medication, primarily stimulants with key ingredients like methylphenidate and amphetamine. Stimulants have been shown to aid in enhancing and balancing neurotransmitters in the brain to improve focus and memory. Along with medication, individuals with either of these disorders may benefit from behavioral therapies or support groups that teach valuable skills in focus and control of hyperactivity.


Yes, ADD may come with unique challenges, but individuals with the condition are more than capable of leading independent, full lives. The key is symptom management through life skills, therapies, and proper medication.

While ADD is a lifelong condition, studies have shown that more than half of adults with the condition show a reduction in symptoms over time.

Some studies suggest that moderate caffeine use may improve certain symptoms of ADHD, including focus, alertness, and motivation. That said, evidence isn’t strong enough for caffeine to be a recommended treatment approach.

The two forms of ADD/ADHD include inattentive type ADHD and combined type ADHD. The inattentive type describes individuals who have at least five symptoms of inattention for over six months without meeting hyperactive or impulsive behavior diagnostic criteria. The combined type describes individuals with at least five hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms and at least five inattention symptoms for over six months.

While ADD individuals may exhibit a variety of behaviors related to the condition, the primary symptoms include Inattention, hyperactivity, and poor working memory.

Mental conditions can intertwine with shared symptoms, sometimes leading to mistaken diagnoses. Conditions that are commonly mistaken for ADHD in children include autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, and other forms of learning disabilities. In adults, anxiety disorders and personality disorders are often mislabeled as ADD.

Untreated ADHD can begin to increasingly interfere with a person’s daily life, causing problems in their personal and professional experiences, as well as relationships. Likewise, other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, may develop as a result of struggles with day-to-day living.

Research points to ADHD as being a genetic disorder that runs in families. Similarly, studies suggest that parents and siblings of someone with ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves.