Treating ADHD concomitants

In addition to the core symptoms (attention deficit, hyperactivity, impulsiveness), many people with ADHD develop other concomitants. Among the widespread secondary symptoms are, for example, irritability, tantrums, emotional lability, disorganisation and learning difficulties in school. Moreover, so-called comorbid disorders may also occur – such as depressions, autism or anxiety disorders. These are not to be considered as secondary ADHD symptoms but rather as independent conditions. If they remain untreated, they may have a negative impact on the prognosis. It is thus all the more important that treatment respectively follows the needs of each child separately and that therapy modules are always individually combined.

Treatment of concomitants

Depending on the secondary symptoms and other disorders being present, different therapy measures may be required. Examples:

  • Oppositional-aggressive behaviour: Behavioural therapy, social competence training
  • Dyslexia or dyscalculia: Appropriate therapy measures and compensation for disadvantages in school
  • Disorders in body perception and coordination: Occupational therapy
  • Anxiety disorders, depressions: Psychotherapy; if necessary, medication treatment
  • Domestic problems: Parent training, family counselling, psychotherapy
Good to know: Within the scope of medication therapy for ADHD core symptoms, the manifestation of secondary symptoms and comorbid disorders is frequently also favourably influenced.

Secondary symptoms existing in the individual case may also influence the selection of a suitable medication for the treatment of core symptoms. Thus, for example, in case of conduct disorder, methylphenidate therapy is frequently recommended.