The person, the problems, medications & interventions
Footbone connected to the leg bone.
A person calls for an appointment with a problem. Who are you treating, the person or the problem? Too often the primary focus is the problem and yet, as the old song goes, "everything is connected". When I agree to see a perspective patient for a problem, I try to evaluate the whole person. In the spirit of that approach, I have a group of people I can consult that include social workers, sports psychologists, academic tutors, dieticians, language pathologists, occupational therapists and other medical specialists. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is an example of a medical condition that requires a multi-disciplinary approach. For example, in my research, eighty percent of all people with the ADD diagnose are organizationally impaired and motor/sensory delayed. Fifty percent are sleep impaired. Forty percent have development language delays. Thirty percent have anxiety and/or depression. Twenty-Five percent over the age of nineteen have unstable blood pressures. Clearly, just prescribing a stimulant medication is inadequate. Medication alone will not facilitate the emotional and physical well being needed for life success. Medication can deal with the brain, neurotransmitter difficulties causing the symptoms of ADD, but it doesn't address all of other often unrecognized associated problems. Medication essentially opens the door for and allows for the possibility of life success with the help of other interventions.
One must consider the impact of this condition on self image, self esteem and interpersonal relationships. Personality development and maturity are also negatively impacted. Thus the need for a multi disciplinary approach. One of the many people I work closely with is Benjamin Foodman of Heartwood Performance. Benjamin is a LCSW social worker and Sports Performance Consultant. With his involvement I can help my patients address their self image, self esteem, interpersonal difficulties and emotional immaturity. Benjamin can also address motivational difficulties and exercise needs.
Thus utilization of other disciplines allows us to take advantage of the beneficial actions of medication.
In future blog posts I will address the role of other consultants.
Dr. Allan Foodman