ADHD Medications, ADHD Diet, and Alternative Treatments
ADHD : What is "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" ?
ADHD is a neuro-biological disorder that impacts nearly10% of children and teens today. ADHD is not the result of bad parenting, or too much T.V., or a lack of either discipline or love by parents. While any or all of these may be problems, "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" is a genetically based condition.. "ADHD" has neurological and biological roots. There are very strong genetic factors that influence both brain function and development. There are also other potential contributing factors that might cause one to acquire ADHD problems, such as brain injuries received either in utero, or after birth, or high fevers from infections, and so on.
ADHD impacts individuals in four main areas of their life:
Inattention - ADHD causes people to have problems paying attention to routine or boring tasks, or to stay focused on a task long enough to finish the task, especially if the task is not very interesting. The person might be able to focus on interesting projects or entertainment such as video games for long periods of time, but it is the boring tasks of life that are very difficult.
Impulsivity - Often ADHD causes a lack of self-control. Impulsive behaviors or choices can cause havoc in relationships, work, school, or life. Saying things, or doing things without thinking first is a pretty classic symptom of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in both children and adults.
Hyperactivity - About half of those with ADHD are "bouncy" like Tigger, hyperactive, always "on the go," and restless. The standard line is that they act as if they are "driven by a motor." Another good description is "excessive, non-goal directed, motor activity."
Easily Bored - Unless the task is very stimulating, like a video game or TV program or outside playing, those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are often easily bored by a task - especially bored by homework, math tests, balancing checkbooks, or doing taxes, and many of these tasks just never get done.
So many people are just walking around in a daze - feeling like there is a black cloud over them every waking hour. They don’t like it, and they are looking for a way out, but the thoughts of rejection or sadness, anger or depression, are just too much for them. They search for hope, but hopelessness torments them. They feel lonely, but they are certainly not alone in their journey. Read more about Pain or Prozac : Depression and Sadness Today
It is New Year's Eve day - the end of 2014, and the beginning of 2015 - and a good morning of reflection on life, relationships, and work stuff. "What do I really want to do with my life?" is always a good question to think about. For me, I guess the answer is that I want to help people - and somehow in that I need to get paid so that I can take care of my family. So I look at what all I do: I'm a pastor of a church of about 50 people, and I'm a counselor meeting with people to try to help them through some hard time in their lives, and I try to send out a free newsletter on ADHD to about 9600 people every week or so, and from time to time I help clients with their internet marketing so that they can be more successful. I also do a weekly radio program with about 2000 listeners on a Sunday night.
Today Susie and I will spend time talking about what to keep doing, and what to stop doing. What matters? What doesn't? What matters for generating income to pay the bills? And what matters for eternity in people's lives? Good questions all. I have written some thoughts on the past 25 years of living and counseling in Tehachapi, CA at my blog here. http://douglascowan.me if you're interested.
There is a lively discussion within "ADHD circles" on whether or not what we eat or drink impacts ADHD symptoms. Does eating sugar make a child "hyperactive"? or does drinking a soda make a child "impulsive"?
Of course, after helping children, teens, and adults with ADHD to be more successful at school, at home, and in relationships for over 25 years, I have no doubt that "Yes" - what someone eats does effect their mood, their health, their cognitive abilities, and their ADHD. Some people are impacted A LOT, and others only to a lesser degree. But what we eat impacts all of us, whether ADHD or not. We either are working toward optimizing our mental and physical health, or we are working toward making things worse. And what we eat, or don't, plays a big part in that journey.
An article of interest has been published at http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/12/07/how-does-diet-influence-ad... entitled, "How does diet influence ADHD symptoms" by Dr Hector Perera in London. He really focuses on the impact of food colorings, so this is a worthwhile article to add more knowledge and insight to your already existing tool kit when it comes to making good choices about what your ADHD child or teen will be eating today.
I recently read an article about ADHD kids and the treatments that they receive, or don't receive. The point of the article was that even though most kids diagnosed with ADHD will receive appropriate medical treatment such as Ritalin or Adderall, the common stimulant medications for ADHD, but that the majority of kids with ADHD who would benefit from talking therapy will never receive it. Of course, being a therapist I love this article - or at least the topic that is raised. But there still remains a question, "Why would therapy be worth it for a child or teen with ADHD?" Read more about 5 Great Reasons to Take Your ADHD Child or Teen to Counseling - But 93% Chance You Won't
The question is asked how many adults take ADHD drugs from coast-to-coast across the United States?
Well first let's put this in the context that somewhere between 3% and 5% of all adults in the United States would meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. It is part of their life and one of the problems that they have to deal with on a daily basis. That number is about double when we look at children or teenagers in the United States. It's estimated that somewhere between 6% and 11% of children and teenagers with me at the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Read more about Rate of Stimulant Use on the Rise Among Adults?