By: Sylvia Anderson
"Just try harder."
"You obviously don't care."
"What's the matter with you?"
The level of misunderstanding of the condition is vast, and it's truly unfortunate.
The truth is that ADD and ADHD is a real, biological problem. Withholding treatment is like withholding glasses from someone who can't see.
And, all ADD cases are not the same. Ritalin is not the answer for everyone. Some people who are given a stimulant just become more worried and agitated.
Neuropsychiatrist Daniel G. Amen, MD, was one of the first to identify that there are multiple types beyond just purely hyperactive or inattentive ADD, each requiring a different treatment.
For instance, there's a version of ADD which Dr. Amen refers to as the "ring of fire." In this case, your brain is not underactive; it's working way too hard, like a jammed freeway, with too many thoughts running through your brain. Treatments for this type may include 5HTP and GABA.
Another form of ADD can be temporal lobe ADD, typically due to a head injury. At the time of the injury, the effects may have seemed innocuous. But, if you're experiencing traditional symptoms of ADD (short attention span, easily distracted, poor concentration, poor impulse control), as well as those of a brain injury (unstable mood, anger easily), that may be the cause. Dr. Amen often uses anti-seizure medication and ADD medication, or for a more natural approach, he utilizes the ketogenic diet.
Other natural remedies include regular exercise, incorporating a high-protein/low-carb diet, and fish oil supplementation (with a high concentration of EPA)
Why does it seem there are far more cases of ADD now than ever before? Are individuals just being diagnosed properly? Or, has there been an increase?
Dr. Amen says it is a combination of both. Doctors are recognizing it more readily, but, there are certain societal and lifestyle factors that have bumped up the numbers.
For instance, kids aren't exercising as much as they used to; they're watching more TV and getting hooked on video games. And, the low-fat diets that became the rage in the 1980s are associated with more emotional problems, including ADD and ADHD.
Finally, people who have ADD have more kids than those who don't, which produces a natural shift in the population.
With Dr. Amen's research, treatment options are morphing and changing so that those who suffer can finally find validation in their condition, as well as relief.
In the accompanying audio segment, Dr. Daniel G. Amen joins Naturally Savvy hosts, Andrea Donsky and Lisa Davis, to discuss the inter-workings of the ADD/ADHD brain, as well as treatment options that have had amazing success for his patients.