Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a condition that becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. It is hard for these children to control their behavior and/or pay attention. ADHD and ADD symptoms include hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness.
ADHD in Adults
ADHD symptoms persist in adulthood for about 60% of children with ADHD. Adults with ADHD may have difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks, or completing work within time limits.
ADD and ADHD – CAUSE
Most substantiated causes appear to fall in the realm of neurobiology and genetics. This is not to say that environmental factors may not influence the severity of the disorder, but such factors do not seem to give rise to the condition by themselves.
ADD and ADHD – SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The principal characteristics of ADD and ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These symptoms appear early in a child’s life. When the child’s hyperactivity, distractibility, poor concentration, or impulsivity begin to affect performance in school, social relationships with other children, or behavior at home, ADHD may be suspected. But because the symptoms vary so much across settings, ADHD is not easy to diagnose. This is especially true when inattentiveness is the primary symptom.
There are three subtypes of ADHD recognized by professionals. These are the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type (that does not show significant inattention); the predominantly inattentive type (that does not show significant hyperactive-impulsive behavior) sometimes called ADD—an outdated term for this entire disorder; and the combined type (that displays both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms).
ADHD Diagnoses and Tests
Because everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, the diagnosis requires that such behavior be demonstrated to a degree that is inappropriate for the person’s age. The diagnostic guidelines also contain specific requirements for determining when the symptoms indicate ADHD. The behaviors must appear early in life, before age 7, and continue for at least 6 months. Above all, the behaviors must create a real handicap in at least two areas of a person’s life such as in the schoolroom, on the playground, at home, in the community, or in social settings. So someone who shows some symptoms but whose schoolwork or friendships are not impaired by these behaviors would not be diagnosed with ADHD. Nor would a child who seems overly active on the playground but functions well elsewhere receive an ADHD diagnosis.
To assess whether a child has ADHD, specialists consider several critical questions: Are these behaviors excessive, long-term, and pervasive? That is, do they occur more often than in other children the same age? Are they a continuous problem, not just a response to a temporary situation? Do the behaviors occur in several settings or only in one specific place like the playground or in the schoolroom? The person’s pattern of behavior is compared against a set of criteria and characteristics of the disorder as listed in the DSM-IV-TR.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT for ADHD and ADD
Homeopathic medicines are known to have deep effect on human psychology and have been found effective in various mental and psychological disorders. The focus of homeopathy is not to treat the isolated symptoms of ADHD but to treat the child as a whole. Not only the symptoms of ADHD but also the general physical and mental constitution of the patient, past medical history, medical history of parents, information about pregnancy and vaccination – all are used to find the probable cause in a given case and based on the final analysis a remedy is chosen for a patient. The following medicines may help in the treatment of ADHD –
Anacardium, Aranea, Argentum-nit, Aurum-met, Baryta carb, Baryta-ioid, Bismuth, Bufo, Calcarea brom, Calcarea carb, Cannabis indica, Capsicum, Carcinocin, Chamomilla, Cina, Cornus, Ferrum met, Gallic acid, Helleborus, Hyoscyamus, Kali brom, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Lyssin, Mancinella, Medorrhinum, Natrum mur, Natrum sulph, Nux mosch, Opium, Phosphorus, Platina, Scorpion, Stramonium, Sulphur, Tarentula, Tuberculinum, Verat-alb.
ADHD – CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT
The conventional treatment primarily uses a class of drugs known as stimulants (amphetamines).
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
You can join various support groups. Behavioural therapy, Social-skills training, Parenting skills training, Psychotherapy can be useful for the patient and the family.
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 14th ed, McGraw-Hill
Davidson’s Principles and Practise of Medicine, 17th ed, 1996, Churchill Livingstone
New Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica & Repertory, William Boericke, 2nd revised ed., 2001, B. Jain