Category: ADHD

ADHD 6 Types: Overfocused and Limbic ADD

this page is a continuation of six ADHD types Overfocused ADD and Limbic ADD.

One ADHD researcher, Dr. Daniel Amen at the Amen Clinic has used SPECT brain imaging (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) to study attention deficit and has found six different types of ADHD. His research indicates that there are six types of ADHD. Daniel Amen’s six types of ADHD make more sense than the conventional model with three types, as his model reflects real-life ADHD. Determining the type of ADHD is a great help in finding the best treatment for the individual person with attention deficit and/or hyperactivity problems.

Please remember that ADD/ADHD is dimensional and not categorical. There are overlaps between the different types as well as variations as to which symptoms a person has and the severity of the specific symptoms.

Type 3: Overfocussed ADD – Not “real” or true ADHD – Oppositional

Symptoms:

  • Inattentive.
  • Short attention span.
  • Easily distracted.
  • Disorganized loses or misplaces things.
  • Hyperactive.
  • Stuck in negative thoughts or behavior.
  • Worries excessively even over things that are not important.
  • Holds grudges.
  • Inflexible cognitive thinking.
  • Obsessively compulsive about the way things ought to be done.
  • Argumentative and oppositional towards parents. May even seem to enjoy arguing.
  • has to have his/her own way.
  • Task oriented, has trouble shifting attention or from one activity to another.
  • Needs things to remain the same.
  • Often is in families with addiction problems or obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Anterior Cingulate Gyrus

SPECT Pattern: Usually high anterior cingulate activity plus low prefrontal cortex with concentration.

Natural Treatment:

  • Stimulant medication and L-Tyrosine supplements are likely to make a person with this type of ADD worse.
  • Supplement formulations that help the over focussed type are:
    • Deprex, for the worry and depression.
    • Extress, for anxiety, irritability and restlessness.
    • Attend, for attention deficit symptoms, inattention and distractibility.
  • A helpful resources for you to get over anxiety is the EasyCalm Video Coaching Series. This is the leading anxiety and panic attack coaching series in downloadable video.
  • Behavior programs for oppositional behavior. There are different strategies for the two age groups:
    • in 2 to 12 year olds
      or
    • oppositional behavior in teens.

ADHD Health comments: This is not the true positive attention deficit hyper focusing personality (ADD/ADHD). This is Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder (CO). The argumentativeness, the different brain areas affected and the different response to treatment indicates that this is a different condition and not what is normally referred to as ADHD. This type is often seen in dysfunctional families where there is alcohol or other addiction problems.

The Anterior Cingular Gyrus overactivity is crucial in showing that this is not conventional ADHD. This part of the brain functions as the gatekeeper between the brain’s emotional limbic region and the cognitive frontal cortex. In this ADD or rather an ODD type of person, there is no control switch allowing negative emotion to flood the thinking area. It is here in the Cingular Gyrus that shifting attention from one task to another takes place. The overactivity in the Cingular Gyrus explains the cognitive and behavioral inflexibility with shifting tasks and the compulsive thinking as to how things ought to be.

Type 5: Limbic ADD

| Limbic System:

  • Includes the thalamus and hypothalamus
  • Regulates emotions
  • Emotional memories
  • Influences the hormone system
  • has a relay and gating function for sensory information
  • Control of motivation and drives

Symptoms:

  • Inattentive.
  • Have a chronic mild depression with negative thoughts.
  • Easily give up, opposite of the resilient Inattentive and Hyperactive types
  • Apathetic with low energy.
  • Low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness.
  • Often feel helpless or hopeless.
  • Poor sleep patterns.

SPECT Pattern: Usually high deep limbic activity plus low prefrontal cortex at rest and while concentrating.

Natural Treatment:

  • Diet. ADD people have a different metabolism to average people and so do depressed people.
  • Omega-3 fish oil.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and/or biofeedback training.
  • Aerobic exercise daily for 30-45 minutes, preferably outside.
  • Supplement formulations specially formulated for the ADD metabolism and depression:
    • Attend, for attention deficit symptoms, inattention and distractibility.
    • Deprex, for the worry and depression.
    • Extress, for restlessness and anxiety.

ADHD Health comments: This is another form of attention deficit, but with the added complication of the brain locked into a negative thought pattern. The other forms of real or true ADHD the inattentive and classic types are resilient and can take knocks, bouncing back. However, this type tends to give up easily and is more likely, for that reason to fail in life. Therapy to reset the brain or calm the limbic system, such as some forms of meditation might work well. Stimulant medication is likely to make the condition worse in this ADD type.

ADD ADHD types four and six continue on Temporal Lobe ADD and Ring of Fire ADD.

ADHD Hunter versus Farmer Theory

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) have been with mankind since Adam. Why is it only recently that it has become a problem? This is the question former psychotherapist Thom Hartmann asked. He then drew a logical conclusion, that ADD and ADHD are a result of natural adaptive behavior.

Thom Hartmann then proposed the hunter vs. farmer theory as a theory explaining ADHD and AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder).

This ADHD theory answers many of the questions about ADHD and accepting this theory explains the behaviors and difficulties some individuals with ADD/ADHD experience. It does not give all the answers, as there are over 100 causes of ADHD like behavior.

Like some other alternative ADHD theories, this originated from a child getting the ADHD diagnosis and the parent thinking, “My child does not have a disorder.” Thom Hartmann’s son was diagnosed and that got him to look at the ADHD controversy seriously. His conclusion was, “It’s not hard science, and was never intended to be.” ADHD is only a list of symptoms, with no criteria directly connected to any cause or disorder.

According to this theory, humans were nomadic hunter-gatherers for thousands of years, but as people started farming and living settled lives other personality traits, more suitable to a sedentary life, developed. The ADHD person is then someone who has retained some of the older hunter-gatherer characteristics. So-called “normal” people are the “farmers.”

This theory has been validated by a number of studies of people living traditional tribal and nomadic lifestyles. Those tribes’ people who continued their traditional lifestyles had no problems with their ADD and ADHD, but members of the same tribe living in towns had ADHD problems like those in western society.

The people that are covered by this theory have an ADD or ADHD personality. They do not have a disorder but need to find their niche in our modern western society. A part of this adaptation is finding a career that suits their personalities and does not, as is so often the case, fit themselves into a career considered a “good career” for the average individual.

An important talent ADHD people have is the ability to hyperfocus. Hyperfocus is an intense form of mental concentration or visualization that focuses consciousness on something. It is like tunnel vision where the rest of the world is cut off, blocking out potential distractions. It is in this state that the ADD personality’s creative imagination is at work. Hyper focusing can either be while thinking or while engaged in some activity.

It is connected with a vivid and creative and imaginative mind. However, if they are distracted it becomes hard to hyperfocus again. Hyper focusing is part of the explanation why people with an ADHD personality have a distorted or lacking sense of time. Hyper focusing makes it easier to meditate and relax if one accepts this gift and not be worried that one is not like everyone else.

These people can also rapidly shift their focus and attention. Their minds work in parallel processes so they can hold multiple thoughts. This ability causes problems at school when they are presented with specific tasks to do. They think in a more intuitive way than the school teaches. They do not do well when told what to think and how to think.

The hunter has to be aware of signs of their prey, dangers, and make quick decisions. This is a stimulating experience, where impulsivity and hyperactivity, two symptoms of ADHD, are beneficial. For such a child, sitting in a classroom and being forced to do some boring or repetitive work, will heighten every distraction from the classroom and even from outside. This is the reason for their distractibility.

Hyper focusing is a mental ability that is a natural expression of personality. It is not an ability, which can be switched on or off at will and it is situational. This has led to many erroneous conclusions by ADHD researchers, who assume all children are the same, and those who are not average have a disorder. It is the child’s own interest, which triggers it, not when told to do something.

The errors many leading ADHD researchers make is to assume that only one way of thinking or learning is “normal” and a child thinking or learning another way is a “disorder.” There are many learning styles, which are personality traits. These academics have arbitrarily defined “normal” behavior as behavior most suitable in the conventional classroom.

The average school classroom environment is not a natural environment for a young child. Children are not designed to sit still for hours doing tasks that may be perceived as boring. This is not normal, and the reactions of ADD and ADHD children through various hyperactive or daydreaming behaviors are their coping strategies.

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The History of ADHD

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) also called Hyperkinetic Disorder and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) are conditions increasingly diagnosed in the industrial western world during the last two decades. In spite of the authoritative style in which this subject is often presented in the media, ADHD research is still in the area of hypotheses and not fact.

It is the most diagnosed childhood psychiatric condition, yet it is also the most misdiagnosed and misunderstood childhood behavioral condition.

ADHD history as a documented disorder is now a little over 200 years old. In 1798, the Scottish physician Alexander Crichton described quite accurately the behavior pattern now called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

In his book, with the dreadful title, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Mental Derangement,” Crichton described it as a “mental restlessness” and wrote that his patients call it “The Fidgets.” Interestingly he was way ahead of his time, noting that people were either born with it or that it was the effect or result of the accidental disease. Illnesses such as hypothyroidism and early-onset diabetes are some of the 100 odd causes of attention deficit and hyperactivity. He also noticed that as the person got older the symptoms diminished. This is due to maturity and intuitively learning coping strategies.

He even touched on one of the most important causes of attention deficit in school, an intolerance of boredom, when he wrote, “Every public teacher must have observed that there are many to whom the dryness and difficulties of the Latin and Greek grammars are so disgusting that neither the terrors of the rod nor the indulgence of any kind entreaty can cause them to give their attention to them.”

Crichton recommended special educational intervention for these children and noted that it was obvious that they had a problem with keeping attention no matter how hard they tried. What was commendable with Crichton’s observations was that he did not show the bigoted moralizing arrogance with which George Still, a hundred years later, set the tone of authority’s attitudes towards children with ADHD. This arrogant attitude can still be found in some of the foremost figures in ADHD research today.

In 1904, about a hundred years after Crichton’s observations, the British pediatrician, George Still, published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, a description of a set of behaviors he called, “a morbid defect of moral control” which he believed to be “volitional inhibition” disorder. We do not know what these children had. They could have been emotionally disturbed or had Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder (CO) and not what is today considered as ADHD, although they still have the symptoms of attention deficit, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

George Still’s basic error of calling a pattern of behaviors a disorder is still with us today. This condition we now call Attention Deficit Disorder is complex, individual, and difficult to generalize, so we categorize it and give it a label to solve the problem. Basically, researchers are searching for some kind of easy formula to explain a condition that is very complex. A brief review of the literature would show any open-minded scientist with common sense, and with a basic understanding of the difference between cause and effect, that we are dealing with many varied conditions with a limited set of symptoms in common.

Correlation does not imply causation. A relationship between two variables does not imply there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the two.

A symptom is not a disorder; the cause of the symptom is the disorder.

George Still had only twenty patients, unlike today’s almost epidemic number of ADHD diagnoses. Looking at the range of causes of ADD/ADHD behavior it is most likely that his twenty patients had the more difficult and extreme ADHD behaviors. This means they probably were antisocial. They were not the hyperactive-child-next-door variety of ADHD children. They stuck out in that society that was more tolerant of hyperactive children. This would mean that his patient was likely to have Opposition Defiance Disorder, Conduct Disorder or an extreme form of autism. Autism was still an unknown condition in 1904.

Note on autism: Autism is a spectrum disorder defined by a problem with social contact and most autistic people would not be in Still’s patient group. Autistic people have contributed greatly to humanity’s development in science, philosophy, literature, etc. We would not have computers today if it were not for some autistic mathematical geniuses who made computing possible.

Hippocrates (460 to 370 BC) made the first mention of attention deficit, as he described an ADHD-like behavior. Aristotle probably had ADHD, as did Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Newton, Einstein, Picasso, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Branson, and a long list of people who have benefited humanity and brought us to where we are today in fields as varied as science, technology, economics, mathematics, and the arts. ADHD personalities have innate creativity, enthusiasm, and intuitiveness if it is not suppressed by misguided education.

There is a paradox with attention deficit and that is that attention-deficit people have the ability to hyperfocus. However, this is difficult to study because the act of observation in a study tends to put the person into attention deficit. The school has the same effect of inducing boredom intolerance and attention deficit. This is a complex subject for which there is no magic recipe.

Shakespeare also mentioned adult attention deficit in Henry VIII, calling it a “malady of attention.”

In the 19th Century, hyperactivity was again mentioned in literature. Dr Heinrich Hoffman, a German doctor, and author, wrote a collection of poems for children called “Der Struwwelpeter” in 1844. The poems, with entertaining illustrations on each page, were about some nasty little children and some sad stories. Hoffman’s humor was like an ornery Roald Dahl. One of the poems was “Die Geschichte vom Zappel-Philipp” or “The Story of Fidgety Philip.”

The Story of Fidgety Philip

“Let me see if Philip can

Be a little gentleman;

Let me see if he is able

To sit still for once at the table.”

Thus Papa bade Phil behave;

And Mama looked very grave.

But Fidgety Phil,

He won’t sit still;

He wriggles, And giggles,

And then, I declare,

Swings backward and forwards,

And tilts up his chair,

Just like any rocking horse.

“Philip! I am getting cross!”

See the naughty, restless child,

Growing still more rude and wild,

Till his chair falls over quite.

Philip screams with all his might,

Catches at the cloth, but then

That makes matters worse again.

Down upon the ground they fall,

Glasses, plates, knives, forks and all.

How Mama did fret and frown,

When she saw them tumbling down!

And Papa made such a face!

Philip is in sad disgrace.

Where is Philip, where is he?

Fairly covered up you see!

Cloth and all are lying on him;

He has pulled down all upon him.

What a terrible to-do!

Dishes, glasses, snapped in two!

Here a knife, and there a fork!

Philip, this is cruel work.

Table all so bare, and ah!

Poor Papa, and poor Mamma

Look quite cross, and wonder how

They shall make their dinner now.

In the aftermath of the encephalitis epidemic in North America in 1917-1918, many survivors showed ADHD-like behavior. This resulted in the condition being upgraded from a “Morbid Moral Defect” to “Minimal Brain Damage” and then later to “Minimal Brain Dysfunction.” The assumption was the survivors had suffered some brain damage. It had been observed that head injury, disease, and congenital defects affected behavior.

In 1937 it was discovered by chance that stimulants, like amphetamines, resulted in calming restless children. The Second World War probably caused these researchers to lose their focus, as the practice of drugging children with Schedule II drugs was not at first implemented. It was not until the late 1950s before giving stimulant drugs to young children became routine. By the mid-1960s this was a usual treatment for what was then still called “Minimal Brain Damage.”

In the 1960s Minimal Brain Dysfunction was relabelled as “Hyperactive Child Syndrome.” The researcher who coined this phrase, Stella Chase, thought her syndrome had a biological cause. There was no consensus on this, as many other researchers believed the cause to be environmental. There is a long list of conditions, which result in ADHD behavior.

Then in 1980, the American Psychiatric Association, by a vote of hands in a committee meeting, added Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to the diagnostic list. From this point on the epidemic started, fuelled by big pharma’s marketing campaigns. Many researchers who today are considered leading authorities on the subject of attention-deficit are funded, directly or indirectly, by the pharmaceutical industry. This has led to the schism between authoritative researchers and doctors who, on the one hand, are focused treating the cause of attention deficit, and on the other hand those fixated on masking symptoms by medication.

This can be summed up as follows:

  • Find the cause and fix it, or
  • Suppress the symptom and the problem is solved.

As our knowledge stands today, no researchers fully understand ADHD themselves. Some aspects of ADHD and ADD are outside modern science and in the sphere of philosophy. Many researchers are so busy digging their hole in their particular niche, that they have lost sight of the hugely complex subject they are referring to.

In 1987, ADHD was voted in by a similar informal vote, and placed into the DSM-IV (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta have all been marketed with an aura of scientific exactitude and responsibility behind them. Too many physicians accept what the pharmaceutical industry says without question. It is after all much simpler to medicate than to treat the patient with natural remedies for ADHD. Their consciences are stilled by the advertising mantras churned out by big pharma.

In 1998 this situation with no consensus between the pharmaceutical companies and their doctors on one side, and doctors who focussed on treating their patients on the other. The National Institute of Health (NIH) held a “Consensus Development Conference.” This defined the “consensus” attitude which we still have today.

Quotations from the “Consensus Developmental Conference” report:

“Despite progress in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of ADHD, this disorder and its treatment have remained controversial, especially the use of psycho stimulants for both short- and long-term treatment. Although an independent diagnostic test for ADHD does not exist, there is evidence supporting the validity of the disorder. Further research is needed on the dimensional aspects of ADHD, as well as the coexisting conditions present in both childhood and adult forms.”

“We do not have an independent, valid test for ADD/ADHD and there are no data to indicate that ADD/ADHD is due to a brain malfunction.”

“Finally, after years of clinical research and experience with ADHD, our knowledge about the cause or causes of ADHD remains largely speculative. Consequently, we have no documented strategies for the prevention of ADHD.”

In spite of that, this set the tone and direction of ADHD research for the next decade. The research is so focused on a neurological disorder (one cause) that there is a lack of research on multiple causes. This ignores the possibility of a hundred children with ADHD behaviors could have these symptoms from a hundred different causes or combinations of causes. Causes can be anxiety, frustration due to learning difficulties, or frustration from boredom due to under-stimulation in the classroom, allergies, and many many more.

In 1998 they said ADHD was controversial.

They did not have an independent validated test, such as a biological or blood test.

They admitted they had no proof that ADHD was a disease, as there was no a proven biological basis for ADHD.

That was in 1998, and neither do they have any test or proof in 2010.

A doctor diagnosing ADHD in a child today, uses subjective reports on perceived behavior of that child, from teachers and parents. Then they look into the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition) and base their diagnosis and decision to medicate, with powerful and addictive drugs, on this subjective base.

What are the DSM-IV criteria based on? The committee of the DSM-IV meets in a committee room and by a show of hands, vote into existence the disorder of the day, and give it a code number in the DSM. That is how we get so many psychiatric disorders. No ADHD or ADD physiological tests or criteria are considered today, which means little has changed in 100 years, except that we are more confused now. ADHD as a disorder is an opinion, not a fact.

ADHD is real! The error is in calling it a disease. The main problem in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the last term, “disorder.” If we called it dysregulation instead, then we could have Attention Deficit Hyperfocussing Personalities. Even the “Attention Deficit” part is misleading. So-called attention-deficit people can be hyper focussed if they are interested and stimulated. The problem is that they cannot regulate when they are in attention deficit or hyper-focus. This is situational. An adult can create an environment where s/he can get into the hyperfocus mode, but a schoolchild cannot, unfortunately, create an ADHD-friendly classroom.

Do we have difficulties with attention deficit? Sure we do, but having a disorder makes us victims, being enthusiastic, creative, and able to focus makes us conquerors.

On a personal note; I have an attention deficit and experienced a nervous breakdown trying to be “average.” Now I am modifying my lifestyle around my Attention Deficit Hyperfocussing Personality. I take certain supplements, which definitely help me focus, but I have little sense of time, am still forgetful, sort of scatterbrained, and avoid boring tasks. So I concentrate on what I can do well and delegate what I cannot do. My wife tells me 15 minutes before when it is time to get ready to go out. I go early to appointments, sometimes getting there half an hour early.

It is about time the history of ADHD started to focus on the positive sides of the attention deficit hyper focusing subject.

Vitamin B6 ADHD and Calm Minds

Vitamin B6 calms the nervous system, helps the body to produce neurotransmitters and so balance the neurotransmitter systems transmitting messages through it. No wonder then that numerous studies have connected this vitamin with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

ADD/ADHD is generally considered a neurological disorder where a person is easily distracted, unable to focus on a specific task, daydream in ADD and fidget and feel restless in ADHD.

Saying something is a neurological disorder is not helpful unless one also says, what has caused this neurological problem. Treating symptoms, but not whatever it is that causes the symptoms is not a cure, but an excuse to sell medicine.

ADHD medication calms children according to one view, but dampens their spark and makes them compliant according to the alternative view, by describing the same effect from different viewpoints. If ADD/ADHD people have a deficiency in the neurotransmitter dopamine, then the logical question a doctor should ask is: “Why?”

The cause of the deficiency should be addressed as naturally as possible and not artificially boosted for a few hours with potent synthetic drugs. If ADHD is caused by a dopamine deficiency, get the body to produce the dopamine by itself. ADHD is not a Ritalin deficiency. ADHD is a complex set of conditions that are still not well understood, but share a common set of symptoms. The individual’s metabolism of vitamins and minerals is one link in this story. One study found that vitamin B6 was as or a little more effective than methylphenidate, one of the stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD. The products containing methylphenidate are Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, and the Daytrana patch.

People who are hyperactive and/or have attention deficit have a different metabolism than the majority of the population and therefore need supplements to help compensate for this deficit. It is not so much a disorder, but more like being different. The link between metabolism and ADHD has largely been ignored in research, but the fact remains that with the right amount of magnesium and B6 in the body, people with ADHD can think clearer and concentrate better.

Children with ADHD (that’s the age group mostly studied) generally have lower vitamin B6 and magnesium levels than the average child. These two nutrients are linked, and for best effect, with ADD/ADHD both should be taken. Taking these two supplements eases hyperactive behavior and increases focus and attention, being able to think clearer and concentrate better.

ADHD medication as directed on the dopamine neurotransmitter system as a lack of dopamine causes ADHD-like symptoms. Vitamin B6 is needed for the formation of dopamine. If there is a vitamin B6 deficiency, then the body’s dopamine production suffers. ADHD stimulant drugs will mask this deficiency artificially, while a vitamin B6 supplement will help the brain produce dopamine naturally.

Dopamine is formed when the enzymes in the brain react with L-DOPA, but this process is first activated by a co-enzyme, which is vitamin B6.

For ADD and ADHD, magnesium should be taken together with vitamin B-6. This vitamin improves the absorption of minerals including magnesium into cells. Zinc is also usually low in attention deficit and hyperactive people, and a supplement like the product ZMA from NOW is ideal as it contains these elements and vitamins in the right proportions for ADHD and is designed to maximize absorption. It is a synergistic combination of zinc and magnesium with vitamin B6 without sugar, yeast, gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish, or preservatives. For treating ADD and ADHD the recommended doses vary but is in the region of:

Magnesium: 3 mg to 6 mg per pound bodyweight and day.

Vitamin B-6: 0.3 mg per pound bodyweight and day.

>>>>> Get magnesium and B6 from NOW <<<<<

You can experiment, starting with these dosages, as your need is very individual depending on your metabolism. There is no risk of overdosing on vitamin B6 at this level of dosage in healthy people. (See !!! NOTE below on magnesium overdosage.)

If you do get a benefit from this, then you need to keep taking this supplement. I do and I treat my B6-magnesium supplements as food. We all have our personal metabolism, that is why there is no universal weight loss diet, in spite of what the adverts try to make us believe.

Vitamin B6 plays an essential role for normal brain development and is essential in the synthesis of brain chemicals, converting amino acids into neurotransmitters in the brain. It also is necessary keep a healthy balance between the neurotransmitter systems. Vitamin B6 helps to produce: acetylcholine, dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), norepinephrine and serotonin as well as and the allergy regulator histamine. This vitamin is also an important antioxidant.

!!! NOTE on magnesium overdosage:

For most healthy people large doses of magnesium appear safe, so magnesium from food and a reasonable addition of supplement will not lead to an overdose. The first sign of taking too much magnesium is the laxative effect. Many laxative products contain magnesium compounds for this effect.

Stimulant medication taken for ADHD increases the absorption of magnesium, therefore if you do take this medication be aware of this effect.

A deficiency in magnesium is less pleasant, it results in nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, irritability, depression, loss of appetite, cramps, abnormal heart rhythm, and in women an increased premenstrual stress.

!!! NOTE If you have kidney problems: You should not take magnesium supplements. Your doctor should prescribe medication to counter magnesium deficiency. Although people with kidney disorders may have low magnesium levels, they risk complications from a high magnesium intake and should use medication instead of supplements.

ADHD Social Construct Theory

In the ADHD Social Construct Theory, the idea is that ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are generally speaking, not biological or psychiatric disorders, but can be better explained by environmental causes or even the personality type of the person. For example, an ADD person can be an introvert, while a hyperactive person is an extrovert.

This theory suggests that the observed behaviors are not abnormal, but normal behavior for a part of the human race. However, extreme overreactions are caused by environmental factors. Among these factors are cramped living conditions with inadequate play space, the United States’ classroom environment together with the increased educational burden being expected from children today, and the stress parents are under, making it more difficult to be in tune with their children like parents are in Africa are able to do.

As an example: a young child sitting quiet and still for three-quarters of an hour at a time, listening to something they are told to learn, but which they do not find interesting, is unnatural behavior. This is a new phenomenon in human history.

ADHD was not a problem of note until after the Industrial Revolution. The social changes in western society created environments and situations where this behavior became problematic. Certain children who are boredom intolerant are likely to react against this unnatural environment by either “tuning out” (ADD) or becoming restless and a disturbance (ADHD). Learn more about the history of ADHD at http://adhd-health.com/the-history-of-adhd/

Different cultures have different expectations of behavior and are more or less tolerant of active children. In United States’ schools, an attitude of intolerance towards children behaving in a manner similar to that described as ADHD has developed.

In other cultures that are more tolerant see the same behavior as just an “active child.” Some may even perceive the behavior as healthy. This is especially so where these people do not live in high rise apartments, but in smaller communities in more natural environments, where the children can run free.

Parenting styles vary, even within the Western cultural sphere. The parenting styles in Northern Europe are generally more child-centered than in the United States. Dutch parents, for example, are generally more aware of their children’s arousal and self-regulation, than the average parent in the United States, and they take care of their children get sufficient sleep, and are not overstimulated.

Schools in different countries have different attitudes, which facilitate the accommodation of different children or restrict all children into the same regimen. Canada is ahead of the United States in this regard, having a more flexible attitude. Many European schools have alternative seating styles and even allow for movement in class, with the spread of COVID-19 many schools are closed, and when they open they maintain social distance, and teachers are encouraged to go for RAT Tests.

There are studies that show that the rate of ADHD-like behavior is fairly consistent in children all over the world. However, the rate children are diagnosed varies greatly. In some cultures that behavior is not considered impairing the children. In the United States parents, especially when pressured from schools, are encouraged to look for medical treatment, usually stimulant drugs.

Within western society, there are definite differences even in the diagnosis. In Europe, the ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision) is used instead of the United States’ DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition). The ICD-10 has a different level of diagnosis of ADD and ADHD, resulting in 3 to 4 times fewer diagnoses than in the United States with the DSM-IV.

The proponents of the ADHD Social Construct Theory argue that while biological factors do play a large role in difficulties sitting still or concentrating on schoolwork in some children, the real problem is that the school systems, have failed to integrate these children with the social expectations that the schools have on them.

Some theories will explain some aspects of ADHD, while other theories show other sides of the condition. There is no single explanation. ADHD is complex. Trying to simplify it is not science, but wishful thinking. ADHD is very individual, in both cause, symptoms, and treatment. One theory might explain one individual’s ADHD, while another theory explains another person’s ADD, and a third person may find their explanation in parts from three theories. in this context the ADHD Social Construct Theory should be given more consideration than it is at present.

Non-Stimulant ADHD Medications List

An ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) medications list can be divided into 4 basic types:

  • Stimulant medication, e.g. Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse.
  • Non-stimulant medication, e.g. Strattera and Intuniv.
  • Antidepressants, e.g. Wellbutrin and Tofranil.
  • Natural ADHD treatments, e.g. AttendExtress and Memorin.

Only the last group, the natural supplements are free from side effects and do not cause sleep or appetite problems.

ADHD non-stimulant medication is an inexact science. We still do not know for sure how these powerful drugs work in the brain and in the body. Doctors use a trial and error method to find the optimal dosage. This can never be accurately predicted. Prescribing information given to doctors state the following, regarding how these drugs work:

“The precise mechanism by which atomoxetine produces its therapeutic effects in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is unknown, but is thought to be related to selective inhibition of the pre-synaptic norepinephrine transporter, as determined in ex vivo uptake and neurotransmitter depletion studies.”

This example is taken from Eli Lilly’s Strattera Prescribing Information. It is similar to Intuniv, Wellbutrin, Tofranil, etc. under the headings “Pharmacodynamics,” or “Mechanism of Action.”

ADHD Non-Stimulant Medication: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • They do help mask symptoms of inattention, or attention deficit, and hyperactivity for a few hours at a time for many patients, but not all.
  • Children and adolescents with temper or anger problems, such as Opposition Defiance Disorder or Conduct Disorder do better on these drugs than on the stimulant drugs which make them more irritable and aggressive.
  • If you are taking this and you do not have side effects and feel positive about taking them, then they might be just the answer for you.

Cons:

  • Most people who take these drugs do feel some side effects. Which side effects are felt depends on the drug’s interaction with your own metabolism.
  • Because we have different biochemical profiles, it is impossible to know beforehand if these drugs will improve your condition and which, if any side effects you will experience.
  • Long-term non-drug solutions are difficult to put in place if a person develops a psychological dependence to their prescribed drug.
  • Strattera and Intuiv have not been on the market long enough for us to know the long-term effects.

Non-Stimulant ADHD Medication

Active IngredientProductSide Effects
AtomoxetineStratteraSleep problemsAnxietyFatigueUpset stomachSuicidal thoughtsSevere liver injuryAnorexia and Weight LossStuffy noseHeadachesDizzinessSudden death and stroke
GuanfacineIntunivSleepinessNausea and/or vomitingDizzinessWeight gainIrritabilityDecreased appetite fatigue and drowsinessStomach painHeart rhythm changesHeadaches
BupropionA norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitorWellbutrinSeizuresSleep problemsDrowzinessAgitation, nervousness and restlessnessWeight lossChanges in appetiteNausea or vomitingBlurred visionIrregular heart rhythmsRapid heart rateConfusionDizzinessIncreased sweatingTremorsConstipation

Natural Remedies for ADHD

ADHD SymptomsHomeopathic FormulasTreatment benefit
Inattentive ADDInattentiveShort attention spansEasily distracted easily boredDaydreamsOften mislays things bad short term memory difficulty staying on taskAttendMemorin
Improved focus improved concentration promotes mental alertness keep attention improved short-term memory maintains healthy brain and cognitive function
Hyperactive ADHDInattentionDisorganizationIs easily distractedRestless, cannot sit still very long, fidgetyHyperactive, energeticImpulsive, does not think before acting hyperactive talk a lot and can be loud as trouble waiting for a turn in line, or in gamesAttendMemorinExtress
Improved focus improve concentration promotes mental alertness keeps attention improved short-term memory maintains healthy brain and cognitive function reduces impulsivityCalms temper and aggressionCalms restlessness
ADD with DepressionAttention deficit symptoms
Together with: Dysthymia (chronic low-grade depression)Low self-esteem.Feelings of hopelessness and/or helplessness
AttendExtressDeprex
Improved focus improved concentration promotes mental alertness keep attention maintains healthy brain and cognitive function promotes a balanced moodEases depressionEases feelings of nervousness
Overfocused ADDInattentionDisorganizationIs easily started nervous, worried or anxiousRigid thinking, difficulty shifting attention to new activityFidgetyOften stuck in negative thoughtsAttendExtressDeprexEasyCalm (The leading anxiety relief and panic attack coaching program in a downloadable video series.)
Improved focus improve concentration and can keep attention promotes mental alertnessMaintains healthy brain and cognitive function promotes a balanced moodEases anxiety and nervousnessEases feelings of irritabilityCalms restlessness
Temporal Lobe ADHDVery easily irritated and frustratedbehaviorsBig mood swingsImpulsivityFrequently breaks rulesAggressive starts fight easily difficult getting along with other Santa-social and trouble stirringDefiant towards parents and authority often has terrible handwriting learning problemsAttendNeuranand behavior Program for aggressive teenagers
Improved focus improved concentration promotes mental alertnessMaintains healthy brain and cognitive function promotes a balanced moodDecrease mental nervousness and uncontrolled agitation decreases impulsive or unpredictable thoughts helps slow comprehension and clears a foggy mind maintains healthy nerve function helps neural messages within the CNS (central nervous system)Eases feelings of nervousness

Natural homeopathic remedies do exist as viable alternatives to conventional stimulant and non-stimulant antidepressant-type medications. They vary in formulations, but are natural products and so have no side effects.

A person with ADHD symptoms generally has a different metabolism than the average person. We are all different without having disorders. Many studies show the positive benefits in treating attention deficit disorder symptoms with supplements, mainly omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and B vitamins. Some people are naturally slim while others are naturally stouter. A metabolism requiring more nutrients more frequently is not a disorder. If taking supplements eases the symptoms, that shows that those nutrients are needed.

These non-stimulant drugs take at least a week before any effect is felt, and between one and two months before feeling the full effect. Natural supplements are similar, products like Attend, Memory, Express, and omega-3 fatty acids take 4 to 6 weeks before the full effect is felt. It is worth the wait because the body’s biochemical balance is being restored.

Of the various formulations, the one with the most value for your money is also the one with the most all-around ADHD-specific formulation. this is Attend for inattentive type attention deficit disorder symptoms. This supplement formula is as efficient in treating attention deficit as the best stimulant and non-stimulant medication but without side effects or risk of overdose.

Two other homeopathic treatments for ADHD supplements that fit well with Attend are:

  • Memorin which helps build the short-term memory which is the cause of the scatterbrained effect often accompanying ADHD and
  • Extress which calms the hyperactivity.

While stimulant medication helps the ADHD child to focus and sit calmly, there is an element of becoming compliant. The supplements Attend, Memory and Express do the same for focus and calming hyperactivity, but without taking the edge off the child’s vitality. Medications have their place and are helpful for many people, however, I would always give a child a natural product before trying any prescription medications.

As a chemist and an adult with ADHD and having spent a lifetime without drugs, my advice is to try Attend, Memory, Stress, an ADHD diet, and a regular exercise program as the first options. If there are serious behavioral problems, not hyperactivity, but with rebellion and/or aggression, I would try the following:

  • Talking to Toddlers an excellent empathic guide for parents with toddler troubles.
  • Behavior problems in children from 2 to 12 years old.
  • Teenagers with serious oppositional and defiant behavior.

With aggression, stimulant medication, such as Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin make the condition worse. Here non-stimulant medication and natural ADHD remedies or homeopathic treatment for ADHD together with behavioral interventions are the way to go.