Parents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) face many challenges that make parenting much more difficult for them than for those without the condition. This is particularly true for mothers who have numerous family responsibilities while also engaging in other social and professional activities. They may sometimes confuse certain symptoms of ADHD for being a normal part of being a mother. For example, moms with ADHD tend to forget important things like paying regular bills, completing a school form that needs to be submitted, and making appointments. They may also find it difficult to concentrate on tasks and experience restlessness (see footnote 1). While most mothers experience these symptoms, a mom with ADHD may feel them more frequently and to a greater degree.
Benefits of Getting ADHD Treatment
Stay-at-home moms who get treatment for ADHD could benefit in several ways. For example, treatments could help enhance their focus and mental clarity. This way, they can focus more on tasks, complete them on time, and achieve optimal results. Certain treatments for ADHD could also help boost their self-esteem. Symptoms and side effects associated with ADHD often overshadow an individual's talents and strengths. Fortunately, treatment interventions like psychotherapy can help avert these effects by helping the individual to capitalize on their strengths. Doing so would significantly boost self-esteem in mothers struggling with ADHD symptoms.ScreeningIndividuals displaying signs or suspected to have ADHD can confirm whether they actually have it by going for screening. A certified mental health professional with the proper diagnostic tools can help determine the disorder they are dealing with and educate them about appropriate strategies to overcome the associated challenges. The best hassle-free way to get screened for ADHD is to find a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, who can provide appropriate guidance through the process.
Treatment Options and Alternatives
There is currently no cure for ADHD, and treatments mainly focus on reducing symptoms and improving functioning. Treatment approaches are primarily medications and behavioral therapy. ADHD medications are considered “pregnancy category C.” This means that it is unclear how they may affect pregnancy, birth, and early parent-child interactions. Currently, available information suggests that the impact of these drugs on a developing fetus is minimal and minimal amounts are excreted in breast milk. Hence, these medications should only be administered if the potential benefits justify the associated risks. Other than medications, healthcare professionals often use behavior therapy to help patients live with the condition. Behavioral therapy aims to help individuals monitor their behaviors, eliminate unwanted traits, and strengthen positive ones.
Adults can determine if they are affected by ADHD by looking for the signs and going for screening to determine the kind of disorder they are dealing with. If the screening results confirm that they indeed have ADHD, they can find appropriate support from certified healthcare professionals. Besides, they can also ask those around them to provide an accommodating environment, such as by eliminating distractions. Overall, the most critical steps toward managing ADHD symptoms are screening, seeking treatment, and identifying other effective ways to manage the condition.
Kittel-Schneider, S., Quednow, B. B., Leutritz, A. L., McNeill, R. V., & Reif, A. (2021). Parental ADHD in pregnancy and the postpartum period–A systematic review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 124, 63-77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.01.002
NIH. (n.d.). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd
Ornoy, A. (2018). Pharmacological treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder during pregnancy and lactation. Pharmaceutical Research, 35(3), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11095-017-2323-z
Park, J. L., & Johnston, C. (2019). Mothers’ attributions for positive and negative child behavior: Associations with mothers’ ADHD symptoms. Journal of Attention Disorders, 23(5), 475-486. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054716669590