David Earl Johnson, LICSW

2 minute read

[A recent study][1] has found medication combined with behavior therapy works best for children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). When behavior therapy is combined with a new patch administering the active ingredient in Ritalin and Concerta, “the study showed that the amount of medication required to achieve the same results as use of medication alone can be reduced by two-thirds.” This is tremendous news for children and parents dealing with ADHD. A lower dose very likely means fewer and less serious side effects. And this study continues to affirm my contention of many years, medication and therapy together work best in treating any mental health difficulty and that therapy may have the effecting of lowering the required medication dose. Many years ago I started to see a pattern in people who were treated for schizophrenia with neuroleptics would show greater adjustment to live over years of learning skills of stress management and independent living skills. Even without therapy, people mature and become wiser with age. Therapy and skills training seems to allow people to adjust to life’s challenges with a mental illness much more quickly. Since then, I’ve seen the same effect with those people who take anti-depressants. Many were encouraged by their psychiatrist to lower their dose over time. A few even were able to stop their medication at least for significant periods of time once they understood what their illness did to them, and how they could cope without medication. These folks often chose to restart a low dose during extreme stress. As always, never adjust your medication without consulting your physician. If you are taking multiple psychotropic or other medications, it’s best to consult a psychiatrist or qualified nurse clinician.

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