Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder are increasingly diagnosed these days and meditation and ADD/ADHD as a treatment is becoming more and more widespread.
You may already know the difference between the two disorders but for those who don’t, plainly put, ADD is the original term for the disorder, with the H – hyperactivity – having been added more recently.
ADD/ADHD can be characterized by any combination of these excessive amounts of:
Inattentiveness, fidgeting and inability to sit still, short attention span, inability to focus and concentrate, excessive talking, frequently interrupting during conversations and lack of attention to details.
Being easily sidetracked or distracted, impulsivity, lack of self-control and self-regulation, poor memory recall, inability to follow instructions, lack of listening skills and an inability to manage time are also symptoms.
As is a tendency to frequently lose or misplace items, hyperactivity and lack of organizational skills.
It can affect both children and adults.
The disorder affects academic performance and can severely interfere with an individual’s ability to hold down a job.6.4 million children in the USA alone have been diagnosed and the numbers keep rising.
There are many theories as to why more and more people (both children and adults) are being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD – ranging from genetics, premature birth, too much sugar, the inherent toxicity of processed food, to overstimulation due to electronic devices, to too much video game playing and to lack of physical movement (as many schools in the USA are cutting physical education programs and shortening the duration of recess).
What is known is that the brain of a person with ADD/ADHD doesn’t work quite the same as a person who doesn’t have the disorder. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine are found in lesser quantities, and certain parts of the brain are physically smaller and demonstrate less activity in children with ADD/ADHD than in children without the disorder.
Whatever the cause, medication isn’t always a necessary course of action. You’ll discover this yourself by simply googling ‘meditation and ADD/ADHD’.
Often, the stress of the diagnosis is in itself a contributing factor to the severity of the disorder. It becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy where the individual is told that they can’t sit still, can’t concentrate, etc. and just the suggestion of these symptoms can be enough to cause stress and anxiety, especially among people old enough to understand the implications of their symptoms.
They can become even more agitated, knowing that their results will be substandard… and this can result in anxiety which can make it even harder to concentrate! Self-esteem also takes a big hit when one is always being criticized for their inability to participate in expected ways.
Thankfully, meditation and ADD/ADHD as a complementary treatment to conventional medicines is becoming more and more exciting as clinical trials are telling us it really works!
Astonishingly, up to 50% of children in one particular study (who meditated regularly) were able to significantly reduce or even eliminate their medications!
Meditation has been proven to effectively reduce stress, and its inherent emphasis on self-control and discipline can be extremely beneficial to anyone suffering from ADD/ADHD.
Please note that you should never discontinue any medication without the consent of your doctor. Meditation and ADD/ADHD however is fast becoming the most effective, natural and quickest method to decrease the need for medication.