How can I treat the symptoms of ADD and ADHD without medication?
People with ADD can have a variety of symptoms. They can be distractible, impulsive, and inattentive However, ADD is not laziness or a psychological problem – it’s a brain problem. Doctors know ADD is not laziness; that’s why they prescribe medications.
Unfortunately, medications do not each a person to cope long-term, and medications are accompanied by side effects such as loss of appetite, sleep difficulties, potential cardiac risks, and even changes in personality. Moreover, some children with more significant ADD or ADHD may not gain much benefit from medications or behavioral interventions. Over time, people can develop a tolerance to the original medication, resulting in the need to increase dosage or add additional medications to the regimen, which can then increase the chance of more side effects.
Long-term effects of ADD medications are largely unknown. Ritalin, very often prescribed for the treatment of ADD, has been used to treat ADHD and ADD since the 1960s but still has not been studied for long-term effects. In fact, the Canadian Medical Association asserts:
[W]hile research has conclusively proven Ritalin’s short-term effectiveness; little is known about the long-term efficacy and safety of a drug that some children take for many years. In fact, the average duration of randomized trials of the drug is 3.3 weeks…. There aren’t long-term studies, and that’s of some concern because we don’t know whether the initial positive effects… might diminish over time. Moreover, we don’t know what happens to the side-effects… whether those got worse or maybe they diminish too – we don’t really know.
Unlike medication, neurofeedback trains the brain, resulting in significant improvement in ADHD/ADD symptoms, With neurofeedback, people can increase self-control and attention. According to health professionals who use neurofeedback in their practices, over 85% of clients with ADD/ADHD learn to increase focus, reduce impulsivity, and manage their behavior when they train with neurofeedback on a consistent basis.
Neurofeedback appeals to children – it seems just like a computer game! Instead of controlling the game with a mouse, the child “plays” the game with his or her brain.
Why is neurofeedback more effective than stimulants to treat ADHD in the long term?
Training the brain with neurofeedback helps overcome the problem.
If a stimulant literally speeds someone up, why is it prescribed for someone with hyperactivity problems? Why do stimulants seem to help someone with ADHD slow down and focus?
In someone with ADHD, the areas of the brain that control attention and focus may have too much slow activity. This slow activity can also lead to feeling depressed, worried, and unmotivated. Unconsciously, people with ADHD increase body movements to stimulate and “wake” their brains. Therefore, stimulants are prescribed to increase brain activity without increasing body movement.
However, people with ADHD may already be experiencing too much fast activity in some regions of the brain, which can lead to other problems, such as acting aggressively, impulsively, or feeling anxious. Someone’s brain can race so fast it makes it hard for them to sit still or listen. In fact, because people with ADD are often quite intelligent, they understand concepts quickly. However, their fast mental pace may cause them to move ahead before all the instructions are given, causing them to miss crucial details.
Research shows that neurofeedback is a successful alternative to treating ADHD and ADD.
ADD and ADHD are brain problems. Neurofeedback allows people to work directly on the problem by training the brain. With neurofeedback the brain learns how to become calmer, more focused, and increase self-control. With neurofeedback, you learn to take control – reducing the too-fast and too-slow brain waves that occur in the brains of those with ADD and ADHD.