MDC ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment Discussion

Case Discussion on ADHD

Thomas Deliver, a 36-year-old male patient, enters your office for his initial appointment. According to the intake paperwork, Mr. Deliver is a computer programmer who is complaining of problems with concentration, completing tasks, and being terrible at listening during company meetings and even at home. He explains that he has difficulty starting and completing work projects and trouble being on time or keeping appointments and commitments. He has divorced 3 months ago and has joint custody of two daughters ages 6 and 10 years old. On most days, he sleeps late and he has trouble keeping a regular schedule and getting his children to their lessons and extracurricular appointments on time.

Mr. Deliver believes the lack of concentration and poor communication with his wife led to the divorce, and Mr. Deliver worries that his trouble with organization and attention may affect his custody agreement and prevent him from keeping his job.

Mr. Deliver’s employer and his family and friends have suggested to him that he should get evaluated for ADHD, but he has resisted because of concerns about the stigma of a psychiatric diagnosis and the risks of taking a psychotropic medication.

Mr. Deliver is 5’11” and his weight is 165 lb. He takes a men’s multivitamin daily, HCTZ at 25 mg for hypertension, fish oil 1,000 mg at bedtime for hyperlipidemia, and a rescue inhaler that he keeps with him although he hasn’t had to use it for many years.

  • What screening tools can be used to affirm your initial diagnosis that Mr. Deliver meets the criteria for ADHD?AdultSelf-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1)/  ConnersAdult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS)
  • Further assessment determines that Mr. Deliver does meet the criteria for ADHD, inattentive type. What is the current recommendation for pharmacological treatment for Mr. Deliver? Stimulants/Non-stimulant/Non-pharmacological interventions, such as behavioral therapy,
  • Assume that instead of Mr. Deliver being 36-years-old, Thomas is a 13-year-old male that also meets the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, hyperactive type (Thomas is not on any medications at this age). How will your pharmacological treatment change? 
  • OTHER STUDENT ANSWER/ Methylphenidate and amphetamines are first-line treatments for ADHD as they are considered the most effective pharmaceutical treatments while stimulants are generally beneficial and safe for up to two years for children and adolescents (Kaiser et al., 2022). Regular monitoring such as monthly evaluation by the psychiatrist has been recommended for long-term treatment. There are indicators suggesting that stimulant therapy for children and adolescents should be stopped periodically to assess the continuing need for medication, decrease possible growth delay, and reduce tolerance. Based on the evidenced research of (Pipe et al., 2022) revealed that non-stimulants such as clonidine, atomoxetine, and lisdexamfetamine have fewer side effects and no addiction liability.  Even though methylphenidate and amphetamines are potentially addictive at high doses, stimulants used to treat ADHD have a low potential for abuse. Modafinil has shown some efficacy in reducing the severity of ADHD in children and adolescents which can be prescribed off-label to treat ADHD (Kaiser et al., 2022). Non-pharmacological therapy is encouraged such as cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy are adjunct treatments with pharmacological management. 

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