Understanding your difference
Background to ADHD Health
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is generally accepted as a disorder, and therefore has the label ‘something wrong’ attached to it. Is this fair? I used to think so, from what I read in the mainstream press. Then I started working with orphans in northern Poland. Some of these children have clear attention deficit and/or hyperactive type behavior.
I was at the time ignorant about ADHD. So ignorant, I didn’t know I had it myself.
Ignorance is a good place to start if one is going to think outside the box.
There are many disorders that cause the same ADHD behavior as those described in the ADHD criteria.
If one is not preconditioned to think in a certain way, there is a freedom to look at the subject with a fresh perspective. So as I watched these children interact, I had difficulty seeing a physiological, or biochemical disorder, but rather saw hurt children misbehaving. What stuck out was the ADHD behavior was clearly situational, at least with these children.
This set me on a search to find out what ADHD actually is. On this road I discovered that I have adult ADD, and in my childhood definitely had this thing called Attention Deficit Disorder. I was not hyperactive, or hyperkinetic, so I was not a problem child and the ‘disorder’ was not noticed. Any hyperactivity was in my mind, not my body. I was boredom intolerant and had a mind that left the here-and-now classroom and floated into more stimulating mental environments.
Some of these children I met were on powerful drugs. Being a chemist I was appalled. Then I read a scientific article suggesting that semi-retarded children with disturbing behavior do well on certain antipsychotic medication drugs.
These children were not semi-retarded. Firstly even Einstein and Bill Gates did not do well at school. Secondly their behavior at school had a cause separate from the children. The majority of these children come from unstimulating backgrounds and are therefore emotionally and socially underdeveloped for their age. That is not semi-retarded. Most of these children were not by nature disturbing, it was their social/emotional situation, which caused their frustration in class and therefore their disturbing behavior.
Articles like that one above, suggesting antipsychotic medication, give the authorities an excuse to medicate these children into complaint behavior.
There are natural products that are more effective than those medications and without side effects; products such as:
- Attend (for attention difficulties),
- Memorex (for memory and clear thinking) and
- Extress (for natural stress relief)
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 and help children focus.
The most serious error in the Attention Deficit debate is the diagnosis being anchored in a set of subjective symptoms in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) without any physiological test or neurological criteria. This is not science. The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ADHD are guidelines and not hard rules. The criteria highlight the problem, but give no clue as to the cause and therefore the optimum solution.
One of the DSM-IV age criteria (occurs before the age of 7 years old) which should be met, is an example of irrational reasoning. That children should be diagnosable with Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms before the age of 7, is arbitrary and has no scientific base. In fact from a scientific perspective it confuses the issue. There are more adults with Attention Deficit than there are children with it. In the United States there is an estimated 8 million ADD adults with Attention Deficit. Most of these people were not diagnosed as children or adolescents, let alone before the age seven.
I was diagnosed when I was 58 years old. I remember ADD symptoms in my teen years, but have no recollections of my ADD behavior before the age of seven. It is usual not to notice the ADHD Inattentive type until many years after after 7 years old.
There is a hysteria in some areas of the United States, where children are forced to take medication by schools. The same schools who pride themselves with being “drug free zones.” Parents are even being threatened by the child welfare authorities in some areas, if their children do not get medication.
This same medication, if sold in the local park or school corridor, would lead to a jail sentence for narcotics possession. When I was a teen this was one of the popular illegal drugs of choice. Surely there must be a healthier way to deal with the problem, especially with the side effects many experience.
There is a place for ADHD medication, but the medication used for ADHD are powerful drugs which do not cure at all. They merely suppress symptoms for some hours; the symptoms are back unchanged as soon as the medication wears off. This treatment is useful if the ADHD is so intense that it is not possible to benefit from coaching, therapy or brain gym. The medication can then legitimately and ethically be use to quieten the mind, so that the real treatment can be given. The lasting cure is through diet with supplements, which is food, coaching, therapy and brain exercises.
The long-term effect of these drugs are unknown. Clinical trials last a few months. There is nobody who knows the result of continuous use over a lifetime for a particular individual. Surely the answer sought should be a permanent solution.
Being ignorant of my condition, yet understanding that I was not like others, I learned coping skills. My self-medication was strong coffee and green tea. My experiments with amphetamines did not impress me. I did not know they were supposed to help me feel “normal.”
It might be a disorder of western society if a recently published research paper is anything to go by. Researchers studied a population in northern Kenya. There were two groups, both belonging to the same tribe. The one lived a settled semi urban lifestyle and the second group continued the traditional nomadic lifestyle of the tribe. The attention deficit individuals in the sedentary group had emotional problems and a shorter life span than their nomadic relatives. The conclusion was that a nomadic lifestyle suits the ADHD personality.
ADHD was not a known problem until the Industrial Revolution.
Solution: Educate, Empower and Energize
ADHD need not be a curse. For many it can be a gift. To bring out the full potential of the gift, three steps are needed, to educate, to empower and to energize.
Understanding ADHD, what causes it and how it can be cured are the educational pillars on which our ADHD programs should stand.
There are many disorders that cause the same ADHD behavior as described in the DSM-IV.
As we learn about our individual ADHD, we begin to identify our symptoms and how we respond with behavior and attitudes. As we learn to manage our ADHD symptoms we are empowered. Learning to use strategies, tools and coping skills, taking advantage of our strengths and compensating for our weaknesses are all part of the empowering process.
As these tools and skills become second nature, confidence and self esteem develop to energize us to improve even more.
ADHD is very individual. The combination of symptoms vary as does the intensity of each symptoms. What is an ideal solution for one person is not necessarily right for another person. For a lifelong solution some form of lifestyle choice, ADHD coaching, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or Brain Exercise Therapy is required. Natural ADHD treatments bring out the positive potential within people with ADHD.
If your young child is showing some signs and symptoms of ADHD, then take action according to the behavior. A six to eight year old child is difficult to diagnose with ADHD. There are reliable strategies, tools and coping skills, which should be the first steps to reduce family stress. Then methods and strategies to develop and strengthen the child's mind can be put into place.
A serious and responsible ADHD coach will be a good guide to choosing the correct therapy, both for children and adults. Most ADHD coaches have ADHD themselves. They were helped so much by being coached, that they have gone through coaching training, to make a career of helping others.
True ADHD is a personality type and not a disorder. The positive sides of this personality are an innate creativity, energy, ingenuity, intuitiveness and a hyper focused attention when active with something stimulating. These are the characteristics that have made many people with ADHD successes in their after school lives.
Many leading entrepreneurs, such as Sir Richard Branson, are successful, not despite, but because of their ADHD. It is very likely that Aristotle had ADHD. Other famous people with behavior that indicate ADHD were Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Picasso and the actors Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg. A long list of people with ADHD have benefited humanity and brought us to where we are today in fields as varied as science, technology, economics, mathematics and the arts.
Vic Magnet (Chemist)
The History of ADHD
New ADHD Treatment
Is ADHD a Disorder?
ADD-ADHD Two Disorders?
ADHD Diagnosis Disorder
ADHD Differential Diagnosis
ADHD DSM-5 Diagnosis
ADHD DSM-IV Diagnosis
The ADHD Gene
ADHD & Comorbidity
Why is ADHD a Disorder?
ADHD & Homosexuality
Non Stimulant Medication