Men and boys are affected by ADHD more often than women and girls. The symptoms of ADHD can be both positive and negative. The key to living successfully with ADHD is to minimize the negative symptoms while celebrating the positives.
ADHD: A Syndrome, Not a Disease
According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, because there is no objective test for ADHD, diagnosis can be hard. Diagnosis can also be hampered because ADHD is not a disease, it is a syndrome. If a person exhibits enough symptoms, he can be classified as ADHD. The causes of ADHD are unknown, so it is not easy to say how to prevent ADHD. Adult ADHD needs to have first appeared in childhood in order to be diagnosed as Adult ADHD, so it can be even more challenging to diagnose.
ADHD Symptoms: Positive and Negative
Symptoms of ADHD can mask other disorders, and can sometimes seem overwhelmingly negative. If ADHD is suspected, a professional diagnosis is necessary. Noticing symptoms in more than one setting is one important aspect of a true diagnosis of ADHD. Often, anxiety or depression share symptoms with ADHD. ADHD sufferers have trouble focusing, may be irritable, prone to mood swings, and impulsive. However, these symptoms can also contribute to greater flexibility, creativity and adaptability. Their hyper focus can make them extremely ambitious and attain the kind of creative breakthroughs that people without ADHD are unable to imagine.
Managing Negative Symptoms
One of the most important aspects of managing ADHD is awareness. Sometimes simply knowing which situations will be most stressful and staying away from them can be a huge help. Learning yoga, breathing techniques, meditation, or other stress management techniques is important. ADHD support groups can help talk through times when stressful situations become overwhelming. Negative symptoms will be less severe with good quality sleep, eating healthy food and remembering to exercise every day.
Lifestyle Changes to Support ADHD
Ways to treat ADHD include lifestyle changes. For example, parents are taught ways to interact with their children which will help their children’s behavior. Rules need to be clear and consequences not unduly harsh, for example. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s article on ADHD, other methods include pharmaceutical drugs, and alternative therapies including dietary changes, massage, homeopathy, and herbal remedies.
Herbs to Help Support ADHD
Herbal remedies for ADHD include lemon balm, passion flower, valerian and chamomile. Other herbal remedies are ginko and American ginseng. Lemon balm may be effective because it eases anxiety and aids in calming muscle tension, but also helps the brain to focus. According to GlobalHerbalSupply.com, it “helps to sharpen memory and understanding.” A good adult dose for lemon balm tea is 3 to 4 teaspoons of crushed leaves steeped in boiled water for 15 minutes. For children, reduce the dose according to the child’s weight.