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Attention Deficit is often a misunderstood, “multifactorial” problem. In other words, it is not a single disease but a symptom of more than several underlying conditions, and everyone who has it, experiences it slightly differently. The most common and usually but not always the most effective medications for these conditions are a particular class of medicines governed by complex rules and laws. Some are very expensive. They can have side effects. So many practitioners are hesitant to use these medications or give them out in small quantities that you have to come back for every month. Filling that kind of prescription is inconvenient. The patient who uses these medications often feels “interrogated.” It’s an uncomfortable situation for the patient and the health care practitioner. I understand the problem because I am a Family and Emergency Physician who has treated many patients with this condition. And because I have Attention Deficit Disorder as well. Why would I reveal that here? Because if you have an attention deficit or suspect you do, you need someone who understands the condition, the stigma associated with it, and the complex social issues surrounding it. I do. I live it every day.

Arriving at a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder is only part of the issue – a crucial role. But once diagnosed, treatment options are numerous and need to be approached with patience and even creativity. In other words, this is a “spectrum disorder.” Each of us has a slightly different presentation. The patient and the doctor need to slowly work through the diagnosis and the many treatment options, trying more than a “one size fits all” approach. The treating physician needs to monitor progress and help and encourage you to self-optimize. Your treatment is unique. Some do better on extended-release medications; some do better on intermittent, short-term medications. Some need relief from hyperactivity, while others need help with their attention deficit. Some need both. The drug is not an end-all solution. And frankly, while many think of the attention deficit as just that, a “deficit,” it can also be our greatest strength. I am an English Professor, Physician, former Army Captain, and Cabinet Maker. I speak three languages fluently because of my ADHD, not despite it.

If you suspect you have an Attention Deficit Disorder or have been previously diagnosed with an attention deficit and want to optimize your treatment or consider alternative therapies, I would be happy to work with you and share my own experience. Some medications might change your life. Many proven non-pharmacological approaches can help too! Of course, I cannot guarantee I have the solution for you. However, I can guarantee that I will listen respectfully, that we will talk honestly and frankly, and that we will work together earnestly to get you the chance you deserve.

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Joshua B. Kretchmar

Dr. Kretchmar’s interest and belief in the whole patient extends beyond the boundaries of Rejuvenation Medical. He keeps active and trained in both Family and Emergency medicine and volunteers in underserved/rural areas and disasters worldwide. He believes all people, everywhere, have a right to medical care. Significant amounts of the proceeds from Rejuvenation will be set aside every year for medical mission trips to disaster zones.

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