The medications used to treat ADHD reduce the symptoms of the disorder and many functional outcomes: delinquency, substance abuse, criminality and suicidality. They can cause unwanted side effects but, for most patients, these side effects can be controlled by reducing the dose or changing medications.
In most people having the diagnosis, ADHD is likely to be the result of their genetic make-up (i.e. their DNA) and events that happen to them throughout life. Together, these may cause slight differences in the development of the brain, as we see them in people with ADHD.
The biggest concerns for adolescents and young adults with ADHD during COVID-19 are social isolation, motivation problems, and difficulties engaging in online work or schooling. These risk factors create a perfect storm for the onset of depression, school dropout, or work underperformance.
Medication, psychotherapy or coaching are often important first steps to reduce stress with ADHD by lowering core ADHD symptoms, changing unhelpful habits, and achieving goals. At the same time, a healthy lifestyle (regular daily routine, adequate sleep, healthy diet, exercise, time in nature), mindfulness practice, and effective communication create the foundation for stress resilience.
ADHD is currently understood as a problem of the brain’s self-management system which affects not just little kids, but also many teenagers and adults.