Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, affects 3-5% of all children, though it is also a condition that also affects adults. You may run across numerous controversies on ADHD, mainly stemming from the fact that ADHD is commonly misdiagnosed, and because treatment plans are not always effective. One of the reasons why treatment is ineffective is because the role of medication is greatly exaggerated. No qualified doctor should ever tell you that ADHD medication would fix a child's problem. Not only is there no cure for ADHD, but too, medication should not be viewed as a means to control the symptoms. Rather, medication-if it is necessary-should be seen as a way to stimulate the child to respond to other forms of therapy. The common doctor-approved prescription upon diagnosis is that the family use medication while also starting ADHD therapy, and implement certain lifestyle and dieting changes.
Though this is the best approach to textbook ADHD, there are many authorities that object to the common ADHD diagnosis and treatment plan. Some say that diagnosing ADHD can actually have a detrimental effect on a child's self esteem and that its classification as a mental disorder may be premature. Many have gone on record as stating that some elevated episodes of impulsive behavior, inattention or even motor activity could still be classified as "normal" childhood traits. You also have to figure in the effect of a heavy sugar diet, as well as the prevalence of short-attention span entertainment in TV, movies and Internet.
No wonder many families have decided to stay away from stimulant or depressive medications in the favor of ADHD alternative therapy. Not only do they dislike the idea of prescribing strong drugs for relatively minor effects-they may also be intimidated by some of the more extreme side effects that have been reported with traditional stimulant medications. These side effects could include anything from psychosis to mood swings or irritability. Since the goal of ADHD treatment is to minimize these antisocial behaviors, obviously those side effects would be counterproductive to recovery.
ADHD Alternative Therapy Could Help Your Child
What about the option of ADHD alternative therapy? ADHD alternative therapy usually refers to holistic treatment, or perhaps another form of therapy besides medicinal or herbal treatment. Holistic therapies, like medication, are designed to stimulate a child's mind into responding to positive therapy and lifestyle change. Herbal supplements may be in the form of a multivitamin as well as an omega-3 or fish oil supplement. Diet changes would require a reduction in sugar, artificial colors, preservatives and other ingredients. There may also be other solutions in ADHD alternative therapy in the form of herbs and botanical extracts. Some of these might include Hyoscyamus, which can help reduce restlessness and over-excitability, Tuberculinum, for those who required constant stimulation as well as for children who are irritable, Arsen iod, which promotes balance and reduces temper tantrums, and Verta alb, which helps soothe the nerves.
When you are looking for herbal treatments, make it a point to find a Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia and to buy these herbs from a reliable manufacturer. Although herbal supplements are not as powerful as stimulant medication, they can still have effects on the mind and body and should be administered carefully. Talking to a doctor before starting a new ADHD alternative therapy may also be a shrewd idea.
Remember that it can never hurt to start a child on an herbal diet and monitor the results before pursuing stimulant medication. The goal in ADHD therapy is to help the child relax and take steps towards progressive lifestyle change. A prescription is never a recipe for overnight success.
by Einar Eskeland