What is ADHD and What are Symptoms of ADHD and ADD? Learn About
Diagnosis and Natural and Medication Treatments and Their Risks
What is ADHD and the associated disorder, known as ADD?
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is not as simple as visiting the doctor for a broken limb, or dealing with a simple physical illness such as an ear infection. ADHD doesn’t have clear physical signs and symptoms such as can be easily tested by a doctor with a simple lab test or with x-ray. These disorders are detected through careful observation of a series of behaviorial characteristics and will vary from one individual to another. Here are some important questions to ask:
- How is ADD – ADHD diagnosed?
- What are the symptoms of ADD?
- What are the treatment options for parents with children who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder?
The following article will give parents, teachers, friends, and adult caregivers important information about Attention Deficit Disorder.
ADD or ADHD are acronyms for Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
ADHD and ADD Symptoms
This disorder can be diagnosed in both children and adults of all ages, and usually is characterized by extreme
behavioral problems such as severe symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity. For the most
part, there are no simple causes for these extremes in behavior which can affect the quality of life of both
the person afflicted with this disorder and those around them.
Everyone has days when they may feel inattentive, bored, hyperactive or impulsive, but usually one does not
have these characteristic traits consistently and persistently on a day-in day-out basis. The key words here
are severe, persistent, excessive, long term, and consistent symptoms which are disruptive to normal daily
Inattention refers to the inability of the mind to deliberately focus or concentrate
upon either an active task or a passive listening situation. Often times learning new information or completing
a designated task is difficult, frustrating, impossible, or nearly impossible.
Hyperactivity refers to being in constant physical motion, the inability to sit
still, being fidgety, restless, and squirming in one’s seat. It is the need to be doing something all of
the time with the inability to sit quietly, to listen, or to relax, or to be motionless.
Impulsivity refers to the inability to control one’s behavior. It is acting out
without thinking the situation through, blurting or acting out inappropriately, cutting someone off, butting
or charging in where they don’t belong, or setting oneself in a situation which may bring danger to self
or others around them.
In children, these behaviors must occur and be present before the age of seven, to be classified as ADHD,
and be present for at least six months duration. An additional criteria is that these severe, persistent
symptoms of ADHD must be present in at least two areas of an individual’s life: at school, at home, at work
or in social situations. This helps to isolate those people who need special attention from those who have
behaviors that are not impairing life functionality. Careful attention must be made to distinguish stress
reaction behaviors and special needs from ADHD classification.
Children and people who are reacting to situational stressors in their lives, such as a death, divorce, abusive
situations, financial and money woes, drug and alcohol useage, or other such situations should not be diagnosed
as ADHD. A learning disability manifesting as underachievement in school can also be confused with ADHD,
as can anxiety, depression and physical disorders such as inner ear infections
or hearing problems. Sometimes, anxiety and depression can co-exist together with ADHD, as can other emotional
problems be seen with this disorder classification.
Medication Treatment for ADHD
The most common form of treatment for ADHD has conventionally been the widespread and overuse of the drug
Ritalin or methylphenidate, and also the drugs Dexedrine or Dextrostate known as dextroamphetamine.
These are serious psychiatric drugs with far-reaching, negative and damaging side effects with risks.
All too often, they are prescribed as an easy quick fix and overused when more gentler, effective solutions
such as behavioral therapy, emotional counseling, the newer thought field therapies, dietary and allergy
evaluation and controls, nutritional support, state-of-the art Nutraceutical supplementation, and peer or
human support can have a life-changing effect upon the person. A few of the side effects of these drugs include
weight loss, loss of appetite, interference with the growth cycle and delayed development in children, and
Differential diagnoses used in the search for causes of ADHD can include heavy metal toxicities, allergies,
poor diet and inadequate nutrition, poor assimilation, malnutrition, and situational stressors and these
causes should be explored in detail before resorting to drugs to control disruptive behavior in children.
ADHD and ADD Treatment Plan
Natural therapies which may be beneficial in treatment of ADHD and ADD can include: homeopathic and herbal
medicines, biofeedback, acupressure, thought field therapies such as EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique,
allergy testing and treatment, vitamin and mineral balancing, supplementations such as essential fatty acids
and fish oil capsules containing EPA and DHA, chiropractic adjustments, and other naturopathic therapies.
Top-Recommended Holistic Health Formulas for ADD/ ADHD
Natural, herbal, and/or homeopathic remedies for ADHD and ADD offer a far gentler and safer approach, and should be considered the first line of intervention before considering stronger medications such as chemical prescription psychiatric drugs, which could have more serious debilitating side effects. Since chemical drugs rarely address the cause of the problem in the first place, it is best to give supportive, nutritive therapy, and to seek to correct the cause rather than to mask or to medicate or drug the symptoms.
The combination of these natural remedies coupled with healthier dietary habits and restrictions, and the required emotional counseling to support a healthy lifestyle, have been found to be effective time-proven safer alternatives for alleviating symptoms of ADHD and ADD.
More information on this can be found in our free online health magazine.
Read Additional HealthyNewAge Articles