Cerebral vs Done Online ADHD Treatments
With the restrictions of the pandemic putting a quick stop to many routine visits and follow-ups to a primary care physician or mental health provider, the demand for teletherapy and telemedicine increased exponentially. Among those who found themselves seeking care for symptoms that were exacerbated by the pandemic and the stress of lockdown were those with undiagnosed or unmedicated ADHD
Because of this, the Ryan Haight Act was lifted during the public health emergency. The Ryan Haight Act was created to regulate internet prescriptions and states that for practitioners to prescribe controlled substances, an in-person evaluation must be conducted. However, during the pandemic while under a state of emergency, the act was lifted which allowed those seeking a prescription for ADHD to have access to one over the internet.
With these regulations lifted, teletherapy subscription platforms began offering medication management to their repertoires. Two of the most common providers of prescriptions to treat ADHD are Cerebral and Done Online. However, as of May 2022, pending an investigation by the DEA, Cerebral will no longer issue prescriptions of controlled substances for new patients and will halt all existing prescriptions by October.
What is ADHD?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD or attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a condition in adults and children that can cause inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
The condition often begins in childhood and can continue into the adult years. For some people who are managing ADHD, their symptoms did not cause problems until they were older and their diagnosis was never made official. To have an official ADHD diagnosis, symptoms must have started in childhood, even if they are worse as an adult.
Some cases of ADHD become so difficult to manage that those who suffer from its turn to medication for reprieve. Prescribing medications to treat ADHD symptoms will interact with the brain chemistry, allowing better management of behaviors and impulses. There are multiple medications available to treat ADHD and they are grouped into stimulants and non-stimulants.
Stimulants work by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain, allowing for increased focus. Some types of stimulant medications include:
Non-stimulants are used less frequently to treat symptoms of ADHD but are a favorable substitute if the patient struggles with the unwanted side effects of stimulants. Some non-stimulants behave similarly to stimulants by increasing norepinephrine availability in the brain, helping to improve attention span and focus. Some types of non-stimulants and antidepressants used to treat ADHD and other mental health conditions include:
When it comes to medication for ADHD, no one solution will fit every person who is seeking medical treatment. Each individual may respond differently to medication so patients are encouraged to allow a fair period for trial and error to adjust dosages and refills and medications until the appropriate combination is found for the specific patient.
Consistent communication with a healthcare provider is always recommended when starting, stopping, or adjusting the dosage of new meds.
Alternatives to ADHD Medication
ADHD can impact everyone differently and symptoms can vary widely among individuals. There are many medications available to treat the symptoms of ADHD and there are options available for medication management online. This allows more people to have timely and quality mental health care.
Cerebral is an online monthly-fee subscription platform that provides patients with access to a mental health provider and assists in medication management for conditions such as depression, anxiety, or insomnia. Cerebral offers talk therapy and treatment plans for patients who may or may not have medical coverage from their insurance company. They are relatively affordable and offer the first month starting at $30. You may also need to pay a co-pay.
However, as of earlier this year, Cerebral has announced that it’s providers (including nurse practitioners) will halt prescriptions of controlled substances used to treat mental illnesses, such as Adderall or Xanax. With the pandemic on the decline and many areas of the United States returning to life as normal, office therapy settings are becoming more available again where patients can seek medication management from a local psychiatrist as opposed to those provided via telehealth services.
Cerebral can still assist with talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) modes of treatment for those who are struggling with ADHD. While they can not initiate prescriptions for new patients, they can still offer psychiatry and prescriptions for other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
According to The Wall Street Journal, as of June 2022, the FTC is investigating Cerebral for deceptive or unfair marketing practices.
Done online treatments
Done Online is a young tech startup company that specializes in medication management for ADHD and charges a monthly subscription fee for its services. Patients can take the assessment provided by the platform that helps identify if or where its users are falling on the ADHD spectrum without a referral. After the questionnaire is completed, it will be reviewed by a doctoral-level psychologist who will confirm or deny an official diagnosis of ADHD. The questionnaire may help rule out other possible causes of the demonstrated symptoms, such as anxiety disorders, autism, asd, oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders based on their medical history.
The services don’t stop there, but continue to set up patients with a clinician to discuss the individual’s symptoms of ADHD, as well as develop personalized, long-term treatment plans, including medication if necessary. The company also offers 24/7 support for those who struggle with ADHD.
Done’s care counselor will work with the patient to determine which medication is the best option based on the prevalence of symptoms. While prescription medication is the most common treatment for ADHD, there are cases where it is not preferred. For instance, patients with a history of addiction, heart disease, or other health issues are cautioned against using stimulants or controlled substances to treat ADHD.
Natural remedies for ADHD
While medication is the most common and effective treatment for ADHD, there are some alternatives out there for those who do not wish to be medicated. Many alternative treatment options have been party to studies over several years and have been shown to be effective in managing symptoms of ADHD.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a goal-oriented form of talk therapy that focuses on changing negative thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs to discuss how their feelings impact their behavior.
Mental health clinicians will work with their patients through this mode of therapy to help them understand how to adjust their thoughts to change their behavior. This process is also known as “Brain Training” because the patient is training their brain to think differently.
Many studies have confirmed that exercise has a direct impact on brain chemistry. Chemicals released in the brain during exercise include serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine which are the same neurotransmitters that many ADHD drugs increase.
30 minutes of exercise daily is enough to show significant improvement in ADHD symptoms.
Omega 3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish oils, can help increase brain health and cerebral activity. Increased brain health allows for better communication between neurons in the brain.
When synapses can communicate and relay information more readily, differences are noticed in increased focus and attention span.
Food allergens can have many underlying causes, one of which is the exacerbation of ADHD symptoms.
Removing common allergens, such as gluten, dairy, and soy, from their diet for three weeks allow ADHD sufferers to identify if a specific allergen causes their symptoms to be more pronounced.
Along with major allergens, there have been cases of improvement of ADHD symptoms from diets that eliminated other allergens such as preservatives, MSG, refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and red dye #40.
Lower social media use
Although not scientifically proven, social media use can interfere with daily activities and relationships.
For anyone who is learning to manage their ADHD symptoms, speechify can be a useful tool. Speechify is the number one text-to-speech reader that allows its users to have their reading materials read aloud to them.
Common symptoms of ADHD include lack of focus and forgetfulness which can make reading a difficult task. Speechify can help alleviate some of these symptoms and make reading easier for those who are managing their ADHD. Speechify highlights the words on the page as it reads them aloud so that the listener may follow along. This enables the reader to have increased retention and focus on the material.
The act of sitting still to read becomes quite the challenging prospect for those who are suffering from hyperactivity and restlessness symptoms of ADHD. For those who just need to get up and move, but still need to get their reading in, Speechify is here to help. While Speechify reads the materials out loud, its users can run errands, work out, complete house chores and so much more. Speechify makes it easy to multitask while listening to reading materials and is compatible with Chrome, iOS, and Android, allowing for seamless integration with almost any device.
Speechify also allows photos of pages that need to be read. The app will read the material straight from the photo to allow its subscriber to take their material on the go, especially if that material happens to be not so easy to transport.
Another useful tool for those who are learning to manage their ADHD is audible learning. Audible learning breaks down the barriers that may come from trying to read words on the page, allowing the listener to better visualize the story in their minds and make connections with the information they may already know. Additionally, audible learning assists in understanding tone and voice infection in the text where these attributes may be overlooked if the words are just being read internally.
Speechify can help those who struggle with ADHD on their audible learning journey. The act of listening to the words as they are highlighted on the page gives the reader the advantage of increased retention because they are consuming the materials both visually and audibly.
The AI voices used by Speechify aid in audible learning because they are the closest to human-like as possible. This makes the listening experience flow better and feel more natural which has been shown to increase retention and focus.
Can you be treated for ADHD online?
Virtual assessments are available through multiple teletherapy apps. With or without a diagnosis, talk therapy is always an option for those who feel that they are struggling with a condition. Once a diagnosis has been officially reached by a medical professional, some applications can assist with medication management. Some can no longer write new prescriptions for controlled substances, which are some of the more common treatments for ADHD.
What is the difference between cerebral and done?
The most notable difference as of late between Cerebral and Done is that Cerebral will no longer issue prescriptions to new patients beginning in May 2022 and will terminate existing prescriptions in October. Done is still able to prescribe controlled substances which is the more common treatment for ADHD. Both are platforms that offer high-quality online therapy services in conjunction with medication management.
Is it safe to treat ADHD online?
The safety of treating ADHD online is left greatly to opinion. The rise of the pandemic and the institution of the public health emergency opened the door to allow ADHD medications to be available online where they hadn’t been in the past.
There are undeniable benefits to health professionals seeing their patients in person before making a diagnosis or calling in a prescription, but with telehealth on the rise, many people prefer to have their treatments conducted remotely to reduce their wait time.