Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Caring for Someone with ADHD

This post is part of a paid sponsorship by Shire Pharmaceuticals. All opinions are my own

At an early age my brother and I moved out of our family home. In high school, I worked full-time so that I could afford an apartment for my brother and I. We had a difficult childhood to say the very least, but we had each other to lean on. While my younger brother became my responsibility, he never called me “Mom,” but in a lot of ways I was very much like one. I took care of him, helped him with homework, drove him to practices and provided for him.

You never want to think there might be something "up" with someone you love. Growing up, my brother struggled in school while I excelled. It was hard for him to focus in class and listen to his teachers without getting frustrated. As his guardian, I worked with his teachers to find ways to help him. However, it wasn’t until we sought the help of a trained healthcare professional, that he was officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We realized that a lot of his challenges were due to not being able to focus, not because he wasn’t smart enough to do the work.

ADHD is a chronic condition which includes symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. An estimated 10.5 million adults and 6.4 million children in the U.S. are currently living with ADHD, so it is pretty likely that it impacts someone you know!

It is important to note that only a trained healthcare professional can diagnose ADHD. I am a huge advocate for trusting in health professionals! If you find a good one, they become almost an extension of your family. While we were waiting to receive the verdict of the diagnosis, we spoke with our doctors. Some provided great insight into possible management options for my brother, including behavioral intervention, counseling and medication. One example of medication that is approved for patients 13 years and older is MYDAYIS® (mixed salts of a single-entity amphetamine product). Mydayis is not for children 12 and younger.

Remember, Mydayis and other stimulant medicines have a high chance for abuse and dependence. Your doctor should check you or your child for signs of abuse and dependence before and during treatment with Mydayis. It is also important to know that Mydayis is a federally controlled substance because it contains amphetamine. You’ll find more important safety info below. 

To learn more about Mydayis, visit mydayis.com

Medication may not be appropriate for all patients with ADHD and it is not something to take lightly. You should talk to your doctor to determine what potential management option(s) is best for you or your loved one. Being diligent in this process is so vital because some patients are not good candidates for medication while others are.

I found so many parents whose children were struggling with ADHD through this process. I can say there is hope. Finding the most appropriate management plan for you or your child is the key. My brother would be the first to tell you that it makes a world of difference. While there is no cure for ADHD, his ADHD symptoms improved, which was reflected in his improved attention and his attitude towards school. My brother enlisted in the Marines, despite all the obstacles his ADHD symptoms posed. I hope sharing his story with you will help. I believe it is worth talking to your doctor about treatment options if you or your child is diagnosed with ADHD.
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