A new study offers good news about the cumulative benefits of ADHD medications taken over time:
Results showed that adult ADHD patients who received drug treatment for more than two years had fewer symptoms and less psychological distress compared to those treated for two years or less.
Just yesterday, a consulting client asked me, “How long will it take after starting medication for my ADHD to start seeing the benefit?” My answer was the same as given in my book:
- Symptoms tend to get better within weeks.
- Functioning gets better within months.
- Perhaps most important, careful observation may identify changes in development taking place over years. For example, the individual who never had a friend now makes and keeps them. Another who could not keep a job has now kept one for a year.
In other words, this study seems to confirm that the “higher-order” functioning does not happen immediately after starting medication, even if you miraculously happen upon the best type of medication for you in the early days of treatment. Rather, it happens more gradually over time. Of course, some symptoms can be alleviated immediately — suddenly, you “see” that sock lying on the floor or how to clear that garage of longstanding clutter. But the more complex Executive Functions? Those connections might take longer to develop. Read the rest of this entry »