Homeopathy Treats Attention Deficit Disorder

by on August 7, 2003

A natural, effective alternative for children and adults suffering from ADD and ADHD.

Children are a large part of my practice. They each have their unique personality and I delight in their individuality. They sit in the chair across from me, or on the floor with the toys and say the most profound, insightful statements. I gain from there experience with the world. Many of them come to me for their recent diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder. Parents are often told to medicate these children. Some of their behavior and symptoms may be erratic, but do we want to squelch their positive attributes as well? For those parents who are looking for an alternative to medicating their children, there is a solution.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD) is being diagnosed in epidemic proportions. At least 2 million children in the United States are prescribed stimulant medications for ADD. The number has quadrupled in eight years and is doubling every two years. Compared to other countries around the world, the United States prescribes five times the quantity of stimulants for children including Ritalin, Dexedrine and Cylert.(1)   A recent report by the United Nations revealed that 3 to 5 percent of all U.S. schoolchildren are taking Ritalin.(2)  This drug is derived from the same family as cocaine. In some schools, 30 percent of the children are on the drug. Few patients ever outgrow their need for drug therapy. Many stop because of side effects, including: appetite loss, anxiety, insomnia, tics, headaches and stomach aches. The Food and Drug Administration just released a study showing that high doses of Ritilan given to mice may cause hepatoblastoma, a rare form of liver cancer although the FDA still regards the drug as safe and effective.(3)

Life has become stressful and our nervous systems are becoming overwhelmed. Kids don’t have the time and space to be kids. Expectations at school and home are enormous. Each of us has our own unique way of dealing with life’s ups and downs, coping and managing from day to day.

People with ADD and ADHD display their stress in different ways depending on their unique make-up. With some children or adults, we will see distraction, spaceyness, boredom. Others may show compulsive tendencies, depression or aggression and lack of self confidence. As you see the picture can be very diverse, however the conventional approach labels each child or adult under one diagnosis. The symptoms are somewhat controlled as long as medication is continued. What happens when the underlying causes are never dealt with as the child goes into adulthood? The anger and/or depression have come about for a reason and will not magically disappear unless they are addressed.

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D, in his controversial book, The Myth of the ADD Child, insists that ADD is a diagnosis aimed at forcing children to behave in a particular, narrowly defined manner.(4)  He claims that children have different learning styles, respond to stress in various ways and that the condition has been radically over diagnosed and over treated. He encourages a wide variety of non-drug interventions including adjustment of the classroom setup, more kinesthetic learning, project-based learning, martial arts classes, visualization and meditation.

A similar viewpoint is held by Peter Breggin, M.D., author of Toxic Psychiatry and The War Against Children. Dr. Breggin, a psychiatrist who refuses to prescribe Ritalin for his patients diagnosed with ADD, holds a strong belief that there is no evidence that symptoms associated with ADD constitute a diagnosis or a mental disorder. He voices strong concerns about the possibly damaging long-term effects of Ritalin.(5)

Homeopathy is an effective alternative to stimulant medication. Instead of suppressing the symptoms of restlessness, difficulty focusing, lack of behavioral control, Homeopathy gets to the root of the problem and works to heal the system into a state of balance. Each child is unique and because Homeopathy is treating the person rather than the disease, the individual is addressed for his / her special qualities and symptoms. The underlying causes of distress are many, including: anxiety, depression, fear, genetics ,grief, low self- esteem and anger. Homeopathy takes these things into consideration rather than labeling the children under one general diagnosis. Children with symptoms of ADD can also have very wonderful qualities. They are often curious, communicative, passionate and lively. We do not want to diminish these qualities. Homeopathy works only to address the symptoms that are out of balance. In addition, Homeopathy treats the same symptoms in adults suffering from ADD.

Homeopathic remedies will still work while the child is on his or her medication. Once they begin to respond, the medication can slowly be reduced under your doctors’ recommendation and care. It is important to understand that homeopathic remedies do not have a quick fix drug like effect. The patients system will gradually improve often with dramatic results after six months of treatment, possibly sooner. Patience is necessary. However, six months is not long when you consider years into the child’s future.

Finally, this article is not meant to criticize anyone who has chosen medication. In some cases, this route is effective and necessary. Remember, it is your own or your child’s health that you are considering and you need to be comfortable about the choices of treatment that you take whether you choose a stimulant, Homeopathy or other methods. Do not let anyone pressure you into a decision. Educate yourself.

Recommended reading: Ritilan Free Kids, Reichenberg-Ullman and Ullman

Excerpts from Ritilan Free Kids, Reichenberg-Ullman and Ullman,
1. The Merrow Report:Add-A Dubious Diagnosis.Public Broadcasting System. October 20, 1994
2. “Misuse of Ritalin by Schoolchildren Prompts Warning”, Seattle Times, March 27, 1996
3. “Mother’s Little Helper,”Newsweek, March 18, 1996,56.
4. Thomas Armstrong, PhD., The Myth of the ADD Child(NewYork:Dutton, 1995)
5. The Merrow Report,op.cit.

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