ADHD Treatments at Our Montreal Clinic

Navigating Attention Deficit Disorder Treatment Options

While some with an ADHD diagnostic present with significant difficulties, others who only possess mild symptoms are more or less able to function daily without a treatment: humans learn, develop and adapt to the point where some manage to put compensatory strategies in place that help minimize their difficulties. However, when symptoms are more severe, efficiency and overall functionality may very well be affected: these individuals then find themselves unable to cope with, and overtaken by ADHD symptoms.

While ADHD is considered a developmental disorder and symptoms must be present from childhood in order for a diagnosis to be valid, many individuals only seek help well into their careers, when they need some additional support to thrive in their increasingly complex adult environments.

Is treatment always necessary? Is the recommended treatment always pharmacological? Read on to find out nuanced answers or book a consultation with a neuropsychologist.

Types of Therapy and When to Consider Treatment

While many treatments exist and new ones are explored every day in innovative research, the two types of treatment that have stood the test of time are Psychological Treatments (in particular, cognitive-behavioural therapy – CBT) and Pharmacological Treatments. Both of these have been shown to improve attention, behaviour, and overall functionality and efficiency in everyday life.

When ADHD symptoms are manageable, as in the examples of those many individuals that have lived their lives undiagnosed, treatment is not always necessary: humans learn, develop and adapt to the point where some manage to put compensatory strategies in place that help significantly minimize their difficulties.

Other individuals – be they children or adults in new, more difficult life situations – can become overwhelmed by an increasing severity in their symptoms. Depending on the intensity of these symptoms, the ways to help can be numerous.

For example, if a school-age child is presenting with mild symptoms, it is possible that by simply providing help through tutoring and remedial services, they will gather sufficient tools to navigate their academic life successfully.

If the symptoms present as very severe, however, we might try a combination of pharmacological help with CBT or other cognitive therapies.

What is important to keep in mind is that every person who suffers from ADHD has their unique cognitive profile, with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. This profile is what is uncovered during a neuropsychological assessment and why undergoing such an evaluation can be a critical step in being presented with a treatment plan that truly works with and for you as a person.

The choice between medication and CBT depends on individual preferences, needs, and circumstances. Medication is often recommended for severe symptoms that impair daily functioning, while CBT may be preferable for those seeking non-pharmacological approaches or wanting to learn practical skills to manage their symptoms. In many cases, a combination of medication and CBT yields the best results, addressing both immediate symptom relief and long-term skill-building. Let’s explore each of these two modalities in more detail below:

Therapy or ADHD Medication?

CBT focuses on teaching practical skills and strategies to manage ADHD symptoms, such as organization, time management, and coping techniques. It offers long-lasting benefits beyond the duration of therapy and can be used alongside medication or as an alternative for those who prefer non-pharmacological interventions. On a small negative note, CBT does require time and commitment, and its effectiveness may vary from person to person. Here are some examples of skills and techniques that therapy can be useful for in ADHD:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Adjunct Therapies for ADHD

Psychoeducation

This involves educating individuals about ADHD, its symptoms, and how it impacts their daily life. Understanding ADHD can help individuals develop insight into their challenges and recognize patterns of behavior.

Behavioral Strategies

Behavioral techniques focus on modifying specific behaviors associated with ADHD symptoms. This may include strategies such as implementing routines and schedules, breaking tasks into smaller steps, using visual aids or reminders, and setting up external cues for behavior regulation.

Cognitive Restructuring

This technique involves identifying and challenging negative or unhelpful thought patterns related to ADHD symptoms. By recognizing and reframing negative thoughts, individuals can develop more adaptive ways of thinking and improve their self-esteem and confidence.

Skill Building

CBT for ADHD teaches practical skills to address specific challenges related to organization, time management, task prioritization, and problem-solving. Skills training may include techniques such as goal setting, planning, and implementing strategies to improve efficiency and productivity.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness practices and relaxation exercises help individuals develop greater awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. These techniques can enhance self-regulation, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve attention and focus.

Social Skills Training

For individuals with ADHD who struggle with social interactions, social skills training can be beneficial. This may involve teaching communication skills, assertiveness, conflict resolution, and perspective-taking to improve interpersonal relationships and social functioning.

Parent Training

CBT for ADHD often includes parent training sessions to educate parents about ADHD and teach them effective strategies for managing their child’s symptoms. Parent training focuses on implementing consistent routines, providing positive reinforcement, and using effective discipline techniques.

Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving techniques help individuals identify obstacles, generate alternative solutions, and implement effective strategies to overcome challenges related to ADHD symptoms. This approach promotes adaptive coping and resilience in managing everyday difficulties.

Medication for ADHD

Stimulant vs. Non-Stimulant ADHD Medications: Understanding Your Choices

When you’re struggling with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), medication might become part of your treatment plan if your symptoms are making it hard to handle everyday tasks like school, work, and relationships. Your doctor may suggest medication after trying other options like therapy and lifestyle changes, especially if those haven’t provided enough relief. The goal is to help you manage your symptoms better so you can feel more in control and focused on what matters most to you.

Medications for ADHD, such as stimulants (e.g., methylphenidate, amphetamine derivatives) or non-stimulants (e.g., atomoxetine, guanfacine), work by targeting neurotransmitters in the brain to improve attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity. Read on to learn more around the various kinds of medication currently available in Canada for the treatment of ADHD:

Stimulant Medication

Non-Stimulant Medication

Non-stimulant medications work by targeting different neurotransmitters or receptors in the brain, such as norepinephrine or alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, to help improve attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity in individuals with ADHD.

Strattera: Very long-acting medication (24 hours). A little less effective in improving attention when compared to stimulants, but has the benefit of also addressing anxiety. More difficult to administer than stimulants because its effects will not be noticeable before 2 to 4 weeks, and because halting the medication requires a gradual decrease of its dosage over a few weeks’ time.

Intuniv: Very long-acting medication (24 hours). Used mainly to minimize behavioural symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, impulsivity, anger or opposition. Sometimes used as a supplement to other ADHD treatments, or other difficulties altogether. Like Strattera, it requires more diligence because of its delayed onset and the need to gradually reduce the dose before its withdrawal.

* For more information on available ADHD treatments, please refer to the CADDRA Guide of pharmacological treatments for ADHD in Quebec.

Why NeuroSolution?

With so many treatment options available, it becomes imperative to choose the right clinicians to accompany you during your ADHD treatment journey. Trusting NeuroSolution means choosing a compassionate and professional team dedicated to guiding you every step of the way. Our comprehensive approach allows us to tailor interventions to your unique needs, whether it’s offering remedial support and expert tutoring, providing the best therapies to help you obtain more control over your circumstances, or prescribing medication when necessary.

At NeuroSolution, you’ll find a caring environment where your concerns are heard, and your well-being is our top priority. Trust us to support you in finding the solutions that work best for you, empowering you to thrive and succeed in managing your ADHD symptoms.

We’ve been trying to find a bilingual neuropsychologist for some time now to help our son, who’s in a French program. NeuroSolution was the bridge we were looking for.

Regions We Serve

Due to our commitment to provide exceptional care to everyone who walks through our doors, we are proud to serve a diverse group of patients from many areas within Montreal and its surrounding cities:

Montreal: Ahuntsic, Côte-des-Neiges, Mont-Royal, Outremont, Petite-Italie, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Rosemont, Ville-Marie, Westmount

Laval: Auteuil, Duvernay, Fabreville, Laval-des-rapides, Pont-Viau, Vimont

South Shore of Montreal: Brossard, Longueuil, Saint-Lambert

West-Island: Dorval, Pointe-Claire, Vaudreuil-Dorion

Regions We Serve