Dr. Gleeson has been practicing medicine for 10 years. He always knew that he wanted to be a doctor. Knowing now what he did not then was his struggles with ADHD, anxiety and oppositionality. He was told by teachers and school advisors he’d be lucky to make it through high school. He knew 2 things true about himself and others like him was an innate ability to hyper-focus on what they want to achieve. The second was if you tell them not to do or that they can’t do something, they’re going to.
After struggling through high school and discovering you don’t have to take the SAT or ACT to go to a 2-year college Dr. Gleeson started his learning at Jackson Community College, after two years he transferred to Michigan State University where he completed his Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a grade point average of 3.9. He stayed at Michigan State for the next ten years where he completed medical school, a residency in Adult psychiatry, and lastly a fellowship to specialize in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
At Neurodiversity we address the biological basis of ADHD, harnessing the power of nature, while also recognizing the influence of environments and learning to use or avoid its many cues or distractions.
In addition to medications, there are also other ways of strengthening these essential brain functions. Exercise, time outdoors, and mindful meditation, if optimized, may reduce the need for medication.
Our evaluations typically integrate information from numerous sources including clinical interviews, school and medical records, behavioral observations, family history, and cognitive test results. Evaluations are tailored to meet the needs of the client.
We may ask you to fill out a number of rating scales that help determine what is going on with you. For children we generally ask parents and teachers, in addition to the child, to fill out the rating scales.
After listening to and evaluating all of this background information, the clinician may, in some instances, be able to provide a preliminary assessment right away and recommend a customized treatment plan. In other instances, the clinician may determine that additional testing is required in order to complete the evaluation process.
The most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD are stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, Metadate, and Dexedrine. Non-stimulants, such as Amantadine, Wellbutrin, and Strattera, can also be prescribed. These medications are all safe and effective when used properly and work for 80% of the people who try them, helping increase mental focus.
In order to ensure the correct medication, dose, and treatment plan, our doctor follows patients very closely. Therefore, follow up typically occur on a monthly basis in the beginning. Once you and your doctor have established a treatment plan that is effective and you are comfortable with, routine follow up visits will occur every three months.
All medications have associated risks and benefits, so our physician will work closely with you to evaluate whether or not these factors add up favorably for you. The most common side effect of stimulant medication is appetite suppression, although there are sometimes instances of headache, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, feelings of jitteriness and anxiety, and insomnia.
All these side effects can be reversed by lowering the dose, changing the medication, or stopping the medication altogether, and your clinician will work closely with you to adjust dosage as needed.
A 2016 analysis of Medicaid data for 150,000 young people with ADHD, found that those who took medication were 7.3% less likely to develop a substance-use disorder than their peers with ADHD who didn’t take medication. In other words, treating ADHD effectively may help protect against substance abuse.
Kids with ADHD commonly have additional mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and oppositional defiant disorder. Having another disorder further increases substance abuse risk.
It’s common for kids with ADHD to struggle academically or with fitting in, and they may gravitate to other kids (with or without ADHD) who share these struggles. “What happens is they tend to find themselves among the risk-takers in the school where substances are more available for experimentation.