While ADHD is diagnosed according to common symptoms, how individuals and families cope with the disorder varies quite a bit. Some individuals use medication only; others use a combination of medication and therapy; still others shun medication altogether. Here is a brief discussion of some of the common treatments for ADHD.
It may seem ironic, but the medications given to people with ADHD are stimulants. This is because the brains of those with ADHD tend to have slow brain wave patterns. The stimulants compensate for and “speed up” this slow activity, normalizing symptoms. Common medications include:
Some medical professionals may also prescribe anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication.
Lifestyle changes are a viable and growing means of treating ADHD. Here are some of the common adjustments families may choose to make in order to manage family members’ ADHD.
The role of diet in ADHD is becoming more and more understood. Many families have had success by switching to whole, organic foods. Generally, dietary changes that may be of benefit include:
* Eating whole foods that are locally and/or organically grown
* Including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet
* Cutting out all gluten
* Eating healthy fats (in supplement and/or food form)
* Removing trans fats from the diet
* Removing artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives from the diet
* Using natural leavening in baked goods
* Limiting white sugar
Like the popular drugs for ADHD, exercise is said to boost the production of “good” brain chemicals, chemicals that are often lacking or malfunctioning in ADHD individuals. Also, exercise burns off some of that restless energy. Regular exercise is an important aspect of health for everyone, so this is a good lifestyle change that the whole family can adopt.
Some families and individuals find that the implementation of a regular routine helps relieve ADHD symptoms. People with ADHD tend not to cope with change well, so a predictable routine may help them feel more secure and calmer.
Establishing regular bedtimes that allow for adequate sleep may help. Children with ADHD are notoriously difficult sleepers, but regularity and a bedtime routine may help.
Therapy and counseling have benefitted both children and adults with ADHD. Depending on the type of therapy, patients are generally taught coping mechanisms, behavioral skills, and self-esteem. Biofeedback is another treatment option that teaches patients to recognize their own brain waves and anticipate (and curtail) upcoming behavior.
4. Back to Nature
Some studies have shown convincing evidence that time outdoors helps alleviate ADHD symptoms. Apparently, the greener the better, as studies show that outdoor settings like parking lots do not seem to have the same positive effect as outdoor environments that included trees, grass, and other natural elements.
Did you know? Fidget toys are not only designed to satisfy people’s urge to fidget. They can also be used with children who have sensory or anxiety disorders as fidget toys help promote deep breathing and other meditation techniques, such as focusing and calming anxieties.