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Opinion/Commentary

Treatment guidelines for ADHD have been revealed

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Earlier this year, the ADHD Professional Association came under fire for recommending ADHD medication under six as a first resort.

This went against the Therepeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA warned against using medication as a first resort for children under six.

Well, treatment guidelines for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have come out.

ADHD treatment guidelines are implemented

According to the ABC, the first official guidelines for treating ADHD have been approved.

It’s hoped that these guidelines will help improve the lives of approximately 1 million Australians that live with the condition. It also offers a uniform treatment for those who have ADHD.

So, what are the guidelines? Was AADPA’s initial controversial proposal approved?

Guidelines

According to the guidelines, diagnosis and treatment are extensive and conplex. Both psychological and medicinal treatments are discussed.

Here are some of the recommendations:

  • Clinicians (General Practitioners or psychiatrists) conduct a “comprehensive assessment” to determine ADHD diagnosis
  • If the patient has a cardiac condition, GP must contact the patient’s cardiologist for an opinion on treatment
  • The ADHD symptoms must cause “significant impairment” before medication is prescribed
  • If close monitoring is required, clinicians are advised to offer short – acting stimulants (i.e. immediate release methylphenidate or dexamfetamine)

Medications that clinicians canQQ prescribe include:

If a certain medication isn’t working, clinicians are advised to try out other medications. If all else fails, psychological interventions are advised.

People with ADHD should have access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Trigger warning: mental illness and suicide

Another recommendation suggests that people diagnosed with ADHD should have access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Since we’re talking about severe ADHD, in theory, I agree. However, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has badly let people with mental illnesses down.

There have been a number of reports of people with mental illnesses waiting too long to have their NDIS plans (funding) to be approved.

Unfortunately, the result has been tragic. There have been reports of people taking their own lives while waiting for plans to be approved.

Again, people with psychosocial disabilities —including ADHD — should be supported. But the NDIS needs to be fixed so people with mental illnesses can be aporoved.

What else can be done? Make mental health free under Medicare

First, for non – Australians. Medicare is meant to make medical care in public doctors/ public hospitals more affordable. If you go to a GP, for example, you are bulk billed.

Australians with a Medicare card can go in a doctor’s office or public hospital and not get slugged with a multi – thousand dollar bill.

However, mental health care isn’t properly covered. Under the Better Access Scheme, only ten therapy sessions a year are given half price annually. This includes people who are diagnosed with serious mental illnesses.

I think this should change. I believe if you are diagnosed with a serious mental illness, all therapy should be government funded and completely free for patients. I know sone people won’t agree, but it’s how I feel.

Question to readers: I looked up medications I listed while writing this post. Lamotragine is an anti – seizure medication. Aripiprazole is an antipsychotic. How are these supposed to help with ADHD?

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By Sara Harnetty

I'm a student. Interested in current events, music and various issues.

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