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Is there a cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

There is no cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Even with medicine and therapy, and trying really hard, kids with ADHD still have rough days where they might seem annoying, or like they're not paying attention, but it's never on purpose. It’s hard, and it can make kids with ADHD feel sad and alone.

Dr. Diana K. Blythe, MD
Pediatrician
There is no cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but there is help.  Possible treatments include stimulant medication, non-stimulant medication and therapy. Treatment can be tailored to the patient, depending on which symptoms of ADHD are most bothersome. Stimulant medications are usually the most effective, but not for everyone. Talk to your primary doctor about which treatment to try.

There is no cure for ADHD. Symptoms can be managed with medication, counseling, and behavioral therapy. Talk to you or your child's doctor to discuss the best treatment options.

Dr. Lara Honos-Webb, PhD
Psychology Specialist

There is no cure for ADHD, but there is good news for the ADD child now an adult.

If you have ADHD, when you were a child, your life may have revolved around identifying your weaknesses and patching them up. As an adult, it's a whole different ball game. As an adult, not only can you situate yourself in an environment that matches your strengths, you can also choose to focus on finding and growing your strengths rather than your weaknesses.

Of course you will still have to address weaknesses, but in the right measure. Constantly analyzing weaknesses, where they came from and how you can cover them up may lead to more problems like low self-esteem.

Another throw back to your school days is the idea that you have to be good at everything. In school, you had to make a good showing in every class, whether it be math or social studies. In the real world, you can avoid what doesn't interest you by choosing a profession in which these subjects or skills are either irrelevant or can be delegated. As an adult, you don't have to be good at everything, you just have to be really good at something.

Dr. John Preston, PsyD
Psychology Specialist

There is no cure, but for many people, the disorder subsides in early adulthood.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a genetically transmitted disorder that involves abnormal neurochemical action primarily in the frontal lobes. The most widely held theory is that ADHD is caused by decreased availability of the neurotransmitter dopamine. ADHD is not caused by any kind of psychological stress and this is important for all parents of ADHD kids to know because many parents blame themselves for the significant behavioral problems. Most people that experience ADHD have had a history of noticeable behaviors as infants (e.g. restlessness, unstable patterns of sleeping, and with crying, these children are difficult to soothe). More pronounced symptoms emerge during young childhood (most commonly, this is seen as children enter pre-school or kindergarten).

Treatment with stimulants can yield very positive changes in behavior in properly diagnosed children. However, it is important to note that medical treatment does not cure this disorder. It has been found that during adolescence the hyperactivity symptoms (restlessness; unable to sit still) typically subside for most teens with ADHD, however, for most teenagers other ADHD symptoms (e.g. difficulty staying on task when doing school work, impulsivity, e.g. poor judgment, great difficulty managing tasks that require sustained attention, etc.) persist into adolescence and beyond. The good news is that between 30-40% of people experiencing ADHD in a real sense, out-grow ADHD in late adolescence or early adulthood. This is felt to be primarily due to the ongoing maturation of the frontal lobes (on-going frontal lobe development may extend into the late 20s).

Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict which people will actually out-grow this condition.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.