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.
ADHD impacts somewhere between 6% and 9% of children in the USA and the symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and often hyperactivity can get in the way of learning, making friends, and getting homework done quickly and accurately. Often faliures, small and large, come with having ADHD in a school environment, and these events can impact a child's self-esteem in significant ways and for years to come. So we all want to do what we can to help our children and teens with ADHD be more successful at school, at home, and with friends. Read more about 6 Quick Resources for ADHD as the New School Year Begins
Research published in the British Medical Journal warns that the treatment for ADHD has surged in recent years, leading us to wonder if the rush to diagnose and prescribe medications for ADHD has surpassed our wisdom as health care professionals. We are at the place now where voices from the USA to Europe are warning that many children are being diagnosed with ADHD, and are prescribed medications for the disorder without need.
For example, see our article on the Over-Diagnosis of ADHD in Germany. It reported that ADHD was over-diagnosed because medical doctors don't necessarily go through the process of interviews, testing, rating scales, and more - but sometimes just skip to "I know what ADHD looks like, and it looks just like Johnny." But doctors and other medical professionals simply cannot skip the steps involved in making proper diagnoses. These are children involved here. But to compound the problem, stimulant medications like Ritalin can improve the school performance of most people, whether they need it or not. Improvement in performance at school is not confirmation of an ADHD diagnosis. Stimulants help almost anyone focus better, concentrate better, remember things better. That's why people drink so much coffee around the world. Read more about Europe Sees Surge in ADHD Meds Too
What do you do when your three-year-old's preschool teacher calls for the fifth time complaining that your child is impulsive, can't stay in his seat, won't take naps with the other kids, and is just really, really active? Do you take your child to the pediatrician, as the preschool teacher suggests, or do you just change preschools?