ADHD treatment



In the last few years, likely with the advent and implementation of social media I have more patients coming to me with self diagnosed autism. I hear my patients say,”I think I am autistic. People say I am autistic, I’ve thought this for a long time.” I feel like people are often right, and they do know. The issues that people with autism most often want treatment for are related to an overactive nervous system that operates differently than “normal” nervous systems. Issues with focusing, avoidance, and task completion top the list.   I also hear sensitivity to a multitude of stimuli, like noise and certains kinds of touching, or feeling that too much is on their plate can be complete overwhelming and can lead to what historically has been called “a melt down” but I would call a mini burnout. Needing to extricate themselves from the stressor, sometime requiring hours of isolation to calm their nervous systems. Food sensitivities both in regards to allergies and textures often prevent them from having good nutrition and make sensory issues worse. A constant hum of anxiety is present in their lives and often they aren’t aware of it until it improves with medicine.

”Autistic burnout is a state of physical and mental fatigue, heightened stress, and diminished capacity to manage life skills, sensory input, and/or social interactions, which comes from years of being severely overtaxed by the strain of trying to live up to demands that are out of sync with our needs. ”- National Autistic Society

There is no specific treatment designated for ASD. Psychiatric treatment for ASD involves targeting the symptoms of a nervous system wired differently:  issues with poor focus and inattention, social anxiety, and mood instability and the agitation that can come with being overwhelmed.  In regards to behavioral change I encourage my AD patients to advocate for themselves, to be outspoken for what their needs are, and to focus on the advantages of having an ASD brain, not the presumed weaknesses of neurodivergence. Neurodivergent people have what “normal” brains do not- different capabilities and ways of looking at things.

Most people on the spectrum are very sensitive to medications. I am aware of this and prescribe “low and slow” and if they have side effects I believe them without question.


With work, relearning how to interact with noxious stimuli, reframing how you look at things, symptom relief is completely possible.



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