Dr. Darvin Hege, MD is an Atlanta board certified psychiatrist and board certified addictions specialist who specializes in treating adult attention deficit disorder(AADD) and ADHD with FDA approved medications. This Atlanta doctor has treated more than 1000 patients in the last five years with adult attention deficit disorder. He reads and studies at least 50 or more hours per year in the field of psychiatry, addiction, and adhd diagnosis and treatments. He searches the adult attention deficit disorder literature weekly in particular for any concerns about any possible neurotoxicity of psychostimulant medications used for adult attention deficit disorder.
Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) affects 4.4 % of adults. Hallmark Adult ADHD symptoms are inattention, distractibility, and impulsivity. If you have adult ADHD, the symptoms were present in childhood but may not have become a prominent problem until adulthood. As adults, we accumulate an increasing burden of responsibilities. These responsibilities include marriage, family, job, and finances. Our brain’s ability to filter and prioritize the multitude of demands placed upon it may be overwhelmed. Expectations of us as mature, responsible adults include modulating our anger and fears, listening to and hearing our spouses and bosses explicit and implied instructions, and to be able to focus and concentrate to read required reports and instructions. If we have the drag of ADHD present, we may become “stressed out”, depressed, overly anxious, or turn to alcohol, drug, or medication abuse. If the patient presents for help at this point, the overlying problem of depression, anxiety, or substance abuse may be diagnosed and treated. However, the foundational problem of ADHD may be missed. Unless the ADHD is successfully treated, the person may improve temporarily but still struggle unnecessarily and be more prone to relapsing to another bout of depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.
Dr. Hege treats a significant number of adult ADHD patients, which is an advantage to those who are seeking treatment from someone who specializes in ADHD.
The following is the official diagnostic criteria from the American Psychiatric Association manual. American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM-IV) criteria for Attention Deficit (ADHD) This file contains American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM-IV) criteria for Attention Deficit (ADHD), which will now be broken into three distinct categories. This is provided for information purposes only. An accurate diagnosis is the important first step in addressing any needs; such a diagnosis can only be performed by a qualified professional who’s familiar with the individual’s history. Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder A. Either (1) or (2):
1. Inattention: at least *6* of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
2. Hyperactivity-Impulsivity: at least *4* of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:
Hyperactivity: Impulsivity: Code based on type:
If a child has the inattentive symptoms without hyperactivity, they are much less apt to be detected as having the disorder. Since a higher proportion of girls than boys have the inattentive symptoms without the hyperactivity, they are much less likely to be diagnosed. Those who have hyperactivity in childhood tend to lose some or much of the hyperactivity as they mature into adulthood. Hence, the diagnosis is more often missed in adults. However, the inattention symptoms do not tend to diminish from childhood to adulthood as hyperactivity symptoms do.
Our medicines often help inattentiveness somewhat more than hyperactivity. Since the adult form of ADHD is predominantly inattention, our medicines are usually quite helpful. Psychotherapy of different forms is usually non-effective in improving the core inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Psychotherapy may be quite helpful in resolving psychological and social consequences of the disorder, especially if medications have first reduced the core symptoms of inattention, impulsiveness, and distractibility. Know that there are long acting ADHD medications as well as short acting. Being aware of how each type of medication works will help you make the best decision for your treatment. Some of the most popular ADHD medications are:
What are the adult ADD medications? There are 3 groups of medications, group I , group II, and group III. Group I are the psychostimulants. There are two psychostimulants. The generic names are methylphenidate and amphetamine. Methylphenidate is marketed under brand names Ritalin, Metadate, Methylin, Focalin, Focalin XR, Concerta, and Daytrana (patch). Amphetamine is marketed under the brand names Vyvanse, Adderall, Adderall XR, Dexedrine, Dextrostat, and Dexedrine spanules. Read more about the new Vyvanse on my blog. The pros of group I:
The cons of group I:
Group II are the nonstimulant ADHD medications. They include Wellbutrin, Strattera, Provigil, and Aricept. The pros of group II:
The cons of group II: You have to wait 2-4 weeks for this group of medications to have much benefit. You may have to wait 2-3 months to get a 100% of the benefits of these medications. Only 50-70% of people may respond to medications in this group Group III are alpha adrenergic agonists, clonidine and guanfacine. These are medications that help some ADHD patients and have also been used for high blood pressure treatment. Intuniv is a long-acting preparation of guanfacine that is approved by the FDA for use in children and adolescents. The manufacturer of a long-acting clonidine is seeking FDA approval. The pros of group III: 1. These medications are not controlled or abusable substances. 2. They may have calming and sleep enhancing activity. The cons of group III: 1. A lower percentage of patients respond to these medications and they tend to help more with hyperactivity and impulsivity than with inattention. 2. They may cause faintness upon standing quickly, sedation, or tiredness.
Studies have found that people with ADHD have more motor vehicle accidents than those who have ADHD but are on medications for treatment of symptoms. If you take the medication every day, then you are always ready to read, study or work if the need arises–even when you were not expecting to need to perform well. There is an increasing body of knowledge and consensus in the field that relationships are enhanced by the medication. If you are paying attention to your partner, children, boss, and customers, you are much more apt to grasp the explicit and implicit feelings and requests from the other person.
Diagnosing the condition may be a challenge for many reasons. One of the common reasons is that the symptoms of ADHD frequently overlap other disorders such as bipolar disorder. ADHD and bipolar occur together 30% of the time. As a well-known ADHD specialist, Dr. Darvin Hege sees 10 patients each day for new patient evaluations or follow-up for ADHD. They have ADHD as the primary diagnosis or secondary diagnosis. This volume of experience hones his skills for diagnosing the condition, treating it with the best choice of medication, and being familiar with side effects. Every day Dr. Hege learns more about the nuances of adult ADHD’s effects on patients’ lives. He sees the deepening satisfaction in patient relationships and careers when the correct medicine, optimal dose, and best timing of dosing are discovered.