Therapy of ADHD

Synonyms in a broader sense

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome, Fidget - Philipp Syndrome, Fidgety Philipp, Psycho-Organic Syndrome (POS), Hyperactivity Syndrome, Hyperkinetic Syndrome (HKS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, Attention - Deficit - Hyperactivity - Disorder (ADHD), minimal brain syndrome, behavioral disorder with attention and concentration disorder, Fidgety Phil, ADS.


There are three different forms of attention deficit syndrome. These are:

  • The attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity: ADD
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: ADHD
  • a hybrid of the first two forms of attention deficit disorder

The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome includes a pronounced inattentive, impulsive behavior that manifests itself over a longer period of time (around six months) in several areas of life (kindergarten / school, at home, leisure time).
Due to the very changeable and sometimes below average ability to build attention, other areas (German and / or mathematics) are often also affected by school problems. Many ADHD children develop one Reading and writing difficulties LRS and or Arithmetic weakness. In addition, ADHD children can also have one Giftedness exhibit.

As individual as the symptoms of ADHD can be, so must the therapy. There are different therapeutic approaches that can be used in the case of a clearly diagnosed attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity.

Therapeutic approaches

There are different forms of therapy that can be used with regard to ADHD. As already mentioned several times, it varies from person to person which therapy is to be aimed for in each individual case. A multimodal therapy has proven itself in many ways, i.e. a therapy based on a number of different factors and based on the individual case.

In principle, there are three different forms of therapy:

  • Drug therapy
  • Psychotherapeutic and curative education therapy with their different possibilities
  • Nutritional therapy with its different possibilities.


Therapy can never be a matter of “two hour therapy twice a week” or something like that. The therapy sessions, which are organized and carried out by specialists, are only “supports”. What is newly “learned” and discussed must be continued and developed at home. Thus, in each of the three forms of therapy mentioned, the Promotion of the ADHD child in the home environment to add. Therapy can only succeed in a community and cooperation between the ADHD child, their parents (family) and the therapist. It is also important to inform the school environment (class teacher, teacher, ...) of the individual therapy steps so that the approach can be as holistic as possible.
The description of possible ADHD therapies is intended on the one hand to provide insight into the diversity and on the other hand to provide information about the individual options so that the right therapeutic path can be found in the interests of your child. The list does not claim to be complete.

Drug therapy

ADHD medication

Probably the most controversial form of therapy in relation to ADHD is drug therapy, although with the help of certain drugs many ADHD patients achieve good results. This critical attitude is often justified in the fact that the ADHD drugs are psychotropic drugs, usually stimulants that influence psychological functions. Accordingly, they have an effect on mood, affectivity and emotionality and thus also on the ability to pay attention, impulsivity and (inner) drive.

Find out more about drug therapy for ADHD here: ADHD medication.


Ritalin is one of the most common drugs in ADHD therapy. Its active ingredient is the so-called Methylphenidate, a amphetamine-like substance that belongs to the group of stimulants. It is therefore a substance that the Stimulate nerve cells in the brain, that is to say stimulate, to increase mental performance. In the majority of patients, Ritalin can improve symptoms.
As with any drug, kick occasional side effects on. At Ritalin these are very diverse and unfortunately also quite common. However, in most cases it is a matter of mild psychological complaints that disappear after a while. Typical are e.g. Loss of appetite, sleep disorders, depressive mood, feelings of fear, restlessness, nervousness etc. It is not always easy to distinguish these side effects from the actual ADHD symptoms. The doctor must therefore draw attention to these undesirable effects at the beginning of the medication so that the patient can recognize them as such and observe whether they disappear again. If Ritalin is not tolerated, there are numerous other drugs with a similar mechanism of action and different side effect profile.


Antidepressants are drugs that mood lifting Act. Since they develop their effect regardless of the cause of the upset, they are used not only for depression, but also for many psychiatric illnesses. They are also occasionally used in ADHD because these drugs also improve signal transmission in the brain through other mechanisms of action.
Due to the numerous side effects and the more tolerable and more effective alternatives such as Methylphenidate are the most antidepressants though not the drug of choice in ADHD therapy.
However, if the patients also suffer from depression, which occurs more than average in ADHD, antidepressants can still be indicated. However, due to the problematic properties of the drugs, strict monitoring of therapy by a doctor is necessary. So don't just kick frequent side effects The effect also occurs at different speeds and strengths in each patient. Long-term medication with these drugs must therefore be carefully considered.

Read more on the subject at: ADHD and antidepressants

What therapeutic approaches are there without medication?

  • Education and behavioral therapy for those affected
    To understand the disease, how to deal with the symptoms correctly and how to increase awareness

  • psychotherapy
    To strengthen self-esteem and self-competence, to compensate for weaknesses independently, and to treat accompanying psychological problems

  • Diet and lifestyle, physical activity
    Clear structures and regularity to make everyday life easier, physical health to increase mental performance, movement to compensate for hyperactivity

  • Promote talent
    Use of creativity and other skills to promote concentration and enable successful participation in school and work life

  • homeopathy
    Soothing and performance-enhancing substances such as Bach flowers to support the other therapeutic approaches

  • Many more new approachese.g. Occupational therapy, neurofeedback, meditation ...

Psychotherapy and curative education for ADHD

Psychotherapeutic forms of therapy for ADHD are intended to help the child to understand themselves better through various approaches and to be able to better influence their own actions. Child behavior is often influenced indirectly and unnoticed. Read more about ADHD and psychotherapy here.

On our subpage you will find important information about the following forms of psychotherapeutic therapy:

  • Behavior therapy
  • Self-management training
  • Depth psychological treatment
  • systemic forms of therapy
  • Family therapy

There are also various relaxation techniques, such as:

  • yoga
  • autogenic training
  • Progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson

are used, which are explained in more detail by clicking on the respective link.

Therapeutic forms of therapy aim to have a positive influence on upbringing, which can only take place with difficulty due to various causes. Curative education thus represents a sub-area of ​​education and tries with its various methods and approaches, problem-oriented and thus individually to address the individual problem areas and to improve them step by step.

Further details can be found here: ADHD and curative education as well as under Psychotherapy for ADHD

Nutritional therapy

Nutritional therapy

Some therapeutic approaches see a connection between allergies, diet and the development of typical ADHD symptoms.
We explain these approaches in more detail on our subpage: ADHD diet.
Often these are alternative forms of treatment, the effectiveness of which has either not yet been adequately checked or is classified as questionable.


With neurofeedback, the patient own brainwaves displayed on a screen using EEG electrodesthat show, among other things, the current attention and concentration.
For a better understanding, the patient does not see the signals as EEG waves, but e.g. as forms and figures that can be changed and moved through concentration. Such training can thus be set up as a game and represent a carefree form of attention training, especially for children.

Occupational therapy

In the Occupational therapy the general mobility is not increased as in physiotherapy, but completely concrete courses of action are trained. In the case of ADHD patients, these are activities from everyday life and creative tasks that increase the general ability to act and make it easier to cope with everyday demands. By carrying out targeted actions, the organized and planned action can be learned.


In some cases, homeopathic substances can achieve similar therapeutic successes as the usual drugs without triggering the undesired side effects. However, the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies is complex and not always proven. In addition, these are also active ingredients that can have serious side effects just like conventional medical substances. In the event of an intolerance of e.g. Ritalin make them but a good alternative if used responsibly represent.

Sport as therapy

Especially with pronounced hyperactivity in the context of attention deficit disorder Exercise can effectively reduce symptoms and increase well-being. In addition, exercise not only increases mental performance, but also increases self-esteem, which in many patients is reduced by the accompanying problems of ADHD. Many doctors therefore recommend regular exercise. However, some patients run the risk of over-exerting themselves and exercise becomes an addiction. Physical activity is therefore not suitable as the sole therapy.

Therapy with animals

If animals are included in the therapy, they have a relaxing effect on the patient and increase his or her motivation. Working with a dog or horse, for example, as part of concentration training should be fun and make it easier to cope with the tasks.
Keeping a small animal can also be especially important Helping children take responsibility and training your pet increases your ability to pay attention without being forced. However, not every animal is suitable and has its own requirements, which is why the purchase should not be made lightly.

Promotion in the home environment

Support in the home environment is an essential part of the actual therapy for ADHD. All therapeutic measures come together here. They have to be integrated into daily upbringing and thus into everyday life, because this is the only way to sustainably influence newly learned behavior. It is conceivable that this can degenerate into an enormous burden for parents and the entire family.

You might also be interested in these topics: ADHD and Family and Parenting Aid - What is it?

What are the chances of therapeutic success?

With the right treatment, the chances of therapeutic success are very high. Due to the many different therapy options, there is a method for almost every patient that helps them deal with the symptoms and improves the prognosis. If a therapy is unsuccessful, another type of treatment should be tried until the appearance improves. A single doctor cannot be a specialist in all available therapeutic approaches, which is why treatment by one Team of different professionals achieved better results.
The optimal treatment, individually tailored to the person concerned, is complex and must be adapted regularly. Unfortunately, there are still many patients who take medication despite massive side effects or who complete training sessions without sufficient effect. But also that Cooperation of the patient and his environment are extremely important for the therapy. Not every training is fun and has an immediate effect, which is why implementing long-term behavior changes is not easy. The right treatment approach and the patient's motivation are crucial for the success of a therapy.

Who pays for the therapy?

Most The health insurance pays for therapies by a licensed doctor or psychotherapist. Some forms of treatment, such as various behavioral training, must be discussed in advance with the health insurance company in order to ensure that the costs are covered. However, depending on the health insurance fund, experimental approaches and some homeopathic measures are not accepted and have to be paid for yourself.

Other ADHD issues

  • ADHD
  • Causes of ADHD
  • ADHD symptoms
  • ADHD diagnosis
  • ADHD therapy
    • ADHD curative education
      • ADHD psychotherapy
      • Depth psychology
      • Behavior therapy
      • yoga
      • Autogenic training
    • ADHD medication
      • Methylphenidate
      • Ritalin
      • Antidepressants
    • ADHD diet
    • ADHD and the family
    • Educational games