ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are complex and controversial, with no clear scientific consensus. Doctors and scientists have differences of opinions on ADHD. The signs of ADHD and ADD are similar to many other conditions. ADHD is easy to misdiagnose, and it is real, but whether ADHD is a disorder is really a matter of opinion. And we with ADHD should have an opinion on this subject.
The latest edition of the DSM diagnostic handbook, the DSM-5, will lead to an epidemic of adult ADHD diagnoses. In an attempt to avoid false positives the American Psychiatric Association is making it easier for adults to have this “disorder.” They have reduced the criteria to be diagnosed with adult ADHD from six out of nine, to only five out of nine. Now those false positives can be called positively positive and be prescribed ADHD drugs.
Maybe it is time to rename the DSM-5 from:
Only one in five adults with ADHD are satisfied and feel they have succeeded in life. This is sad and unnecessary for the other 80%. It has been suggested that being labelled as having a disorder and feeling “broken” prevents people with ADHD from taking control of their lives. We need to get away from an attitude of disorder that needs fixing, to developing our strengths and take control of our lives.
There are positive sides to the ADHD personality, enthusiasm, intuitive thinking, intuitive insights and an ability to hyperfocus being only a few. The negative sides, the attention deficit, impulsivity, distractibility, bad sense of time, etc. can be either treated with natural remedies, trained away or dealt with by strategies, without diminishing the positive aspects.
We who have ADHD think differently. There are different learning styles, different personality types, and different thinking styles. There is intuitive thinking and cognitive thinking. ADHD is a part of the natural diversity in the human race. We are not broken, merely different. We are not victims unless we accept the “broken” label.
Since it is so controversial, and with doctors and scientists holding different opinions on opposite sides of the divide, it is up to us who have ADD or ADHD, or have children with it, to take responsibility for our own health. An open-minded doctor is a good guide to make sensible decisions. A doctor who assures with clichés from pharmaceutical brochures should be treated with scepticism. 17,000 doctors in the United Stated received money directly from pharmaceutical companies for writing prescriptions during 2009.
There are many options and alternative strategies and treatments to solve the problems that come with ADHD.
We can all agree that stimulant drugs do help some, but not all children, to focus at school and dampen hyperactive behavior.
We can also all agree that the drugs are short lived and when the drug effect wears off, the hyperactivity and attention problems are back unchanged.
There are also side effects, which are specific to an individual, and which side effect, if any, an individual will experience is not predictable either. That again is only discovered with hindsight.
Can we then agree that although the meds do help for a time, a matter of hours, they do nothing to cure the underlying cause of the ADHD behavior?
Conventional treatment in the United States is stimulant medication, but in other regions like Europe and Australia, recommendations are for alternative interventions before medication is tried.
The positive side of ADHD medicine is that stimulant medication dampens or controls ADHD symptoms in many, but not all cases. There is an increased ability to focus on tasks that are otherwise boring. ADHD is boredom intolerance. Hyperactivity is also often reduced, as this is often a response to boredom intolerance.
On the negative side, ADHD medicines are short lived, lasting a few hours. The treatment is controlling symptoms, not curing a condition. Drugs for ADHD also dampen the positive sides of the attention deficit personality; enthusiasm and the ability to hyperfocus. The children become compliant and able to tolerate boring classroom activities, rather than learn coping skills and become better behaved by themselves.
There are natural treatments which are as effective as these ADHD drugs, but without side effects or upsetting the body’s biochemistry. The best of these, a natural medicine for adhd is the ADHD homeopathic and supplement formula Attend.
There are a number of herbal remedies on the market, some of which have been tested in clinical trials. Of these, the one with the most holistically complete formulation is the ADHD homeopathic formula Attend. Other formulations do work for many, but what we are treating is complex biochemical processes, and to find the best result we need to try a treatment to see if it works. This is the same procedure as is done with conventional ADHD stimulant drugs.
If we are doing a trial by testing we might as well try as a first choice the formula that is most comprehensive and therefore most likely to work. Attend Formula is also half the price of conventional stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin and Strattera, for a daily dosage.
The advantage with this herbal and homeopathic formulation is that the body can restore the biochemical balance, heal itself and dampen negative symptoms, while leaving the positive sides of the ADHD personality intact and enable good sleep.
There are natural products that are as effective as the conventional stimulant drugs. The best among these products are:
These products have been scientifically tested and proved as effective as the stimulants, but without side effects, they work 24/7, and do not disturb sleep.
The question of what ADHD is, has unfortunately becomes more of a political, economic and philosophical issue, rather than pure science. That is why there is a topic called ADHD Philosophy on this site. Most of the confusion and misinformation comes from economics and politics, with some scientists and the pharmaceutical industry trying to push onto us the idea of one condition with one obvious solution, stimulant medication.
The conventional view has been changing over the last 100 odd years since it was first mentioned scientifically. A new definition or diagnostic criteria is due out in May 2012. Then the conventional crowd will follow the new criteria, and say, “Now this is ADHD.” ADHD does not change with opinions and votes in committee rooms. For each of us, whether we have ADD/ADHD, or our child has it, the responsibility of choosing how to treat it is up to us.
The symptoms of ADHD and ADD, which is only a list of behaviors, is found in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Revision). It specifically does not define the word disorder (Introduction page xxxi).
Further, regarding a medical diagnosis for ADHD the DSM-IV states:
(DSM-IV page 88)
So what is ADHD? This is a good question, especially as there are over 101 causes or conditions that have symptoms, which overlap, or mimic Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms.
Confused by the claims and counterclaims by the learned doctors out there? Attention deficit is not that difficult to understand if we have an open mind.
On this site we cut through the hype and present the truth, the facts, and what are myths and assumptions. This includes translating some of the scientific gobbledygook into intelligible English.
What is confusing in the ADHD controversy is that assumptions are driving ADHD research, not facts. The facts are interpreted to fit the assumptions. The assumption is that this is one condition with one treatment. The consensus idea is the assumption that a set of symptoms is a disorder and this disorder is best treated one way, by medication, as these symptoms disappear during the few hours while the medication is working.
A symptom is not, by definition, a disorder, disease, illness or sickness.
The cause of the ADHD symptoms is the disorder or illness.
There are five basic causes of ADHD like symptoms:
The first four categories are not ADHD and should not be treated as such. For the person with an ADHD personality, natural and alternative cures should be tried first as these are of lasting benefit, while ADHD medication lasts only a few hours and often has side effects.