For centuries ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, has been treated with medication prescribed by doctors and psychiatrists. However, are there alternative ADHD treatments? Is there a more holistic approach? Should I be treating my child with medication?
In this blog, we will discuss what ADHD is, the history, as well as alternative options when it comes to treatment.
What is ADHD
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on, and execute tasks. Although it can be seen in both children and adults, ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children, specifically young boys. This disorder affects the way a person thinks, processes emotions, and responds to the environment.
The most common signs of ADHD are impulsiveness, hyperactivity, lack of concentration, and restlessness. Oftentimes, these overwhelming feelings can result in a child acting out through anger and frustration.
History of ADHD
The first recorded description of ADHD is credited to Sir Alexander Crichton, physician to George III of England. He published an article in 1798 detailing the symptoms of what he called “mental restlessness.”
A few years later, French pediatrician J.M. Dussault began studying children who seemed unable to focus on anything for long periods of time. He published his findings in 1812.
In 1902, British pediatrician Sir George Frederic Still identified that some children have trouble focusing and controlling their behavior. He found that this disorder affected the children’s moral control and was not associated with a lack of intelligence.
Once called hyperkinetic impulse disorder, it wouldn’t be until the 1960s that the APA formally recognized ADHD as a mental disorder.
Alternative ADHD Treatments and Remidies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the average age of ADHD diagnosis is 7 years old. While there is no cure, early detection and treatment can help improve symptoms. Many people with ADHD try alternative treatments such as herbal remedies or dietary changes to help control their symptoms without medications.
Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control and The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children under 6 utilize behavior therapy. Specifically, parent training is the first step in the treatment of ADHD.
Five holistic practices to help with ADHD include:
Green space play: this meaning children getting outside and playing. Studies show a milder presentation of symptoms for children with ADHD for those playing in green outdoor spaces as opposed to indoor spaces.
Yoga: this helps one focus on the mind and body. This type of exercise can help with getting better control of thoughts and actions. Studies show the benefit of mindfulness and physical practices such as yoga for improving ADHD symptoms in children.
Tai Chi: is a form of martial arts that focuses on embracing the mind, body, and spirit. Research portrays the progress of managing ADHD symptoms for adolescents with the regular practice of Tai Chi.
Supplements: lacking or having a deficiency of vital nutrients can lead to problems in children’s behavior, focusing, hyperactivity, concentration, and attentiveness. This can worsen symptoms of ADHD, so choosing to add supplements into a nutritious diet can help lower these symptoms.
Restriction on screen time/technology use: limiting screen time and having your children play outside and get fresh air can help to decrease ADHD symptoms tremendously. Especially in this day in age, we see fewer and fewer children playing outside and more of their noses in their screens.
Benefits of Home Remedies for ADHD
Besides the benefit of ADHD remedies being all-natural and better for the body, they also help increase your child’s energy. Natural remedies can promote overall wellbeing for individuals including physical, mental, and emotional health for individuals struggling with ADHD.
Exercise, healthy eating, outdoor activities, and mindfulness practice can be essential components for treating many mental health disorders including ADHD. This is due to the release of neurotransmitters in the brain essential for focus and attentiveness.
Mental health is something you do not have to face alone. If you are struggling and looking for somewhere to turn, contact Harm Reduction Center in South Florida. We offer many options to help our clients struggling with mental health take back their life one step at a time.