Children with ADD are actually exceptional in their thinking ability, the problem is that their thought occur too fast for their brain to process. They are extremely curious and have a zest for learning new things. They are constantly asking why and wanting to know everything that is going on around them, hence their restlessness. ADD children are very creative and imaginative thinkers with good intentions, but have trouble getting along with peers and teachers. Later in life that can translate into difficulties in work management, relationships, drug and alcohol dependence, depression, despair and crime.
Teachers and parents are the ones who usually seek help for children who exhibit the problems associated with ADD. Children from ages 8 to 10 years are most likely to be referred and diagnosed as ADD. The younger the child is when diagnosed as ADD, the more severe form of ADD they are likely to show. Conversely, if preadolescent and/or adolescent children are diagnosed, they will usually show a less severe form of ADD. ADD is most obvious in situations that call for self-application or in group situations, and may be absent in a one-to-one situation or in a situation that is novel to the child. These facts are kept in mind as the criteria used for diagnosis of ADD are considered.
The American Psychiatric Association (1980) uses the following criteria for diagnosing ADD.
When a child shows the appropriate criteria, the diagnosis of ADD will be given.
According to the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd ed., rev.) (American Psychiatric Association, 1987), to be diagnosed as having ADHD a child must display, for 6 months or more, at least eight of the following characteristics prior to the age of 7:
Group consciousness and general attitude will amplify self destructive, rebellious behaviors against groups that have insulted them. That may mean cigarette, drugs, alcohol, and other negative behaviors That prove they are cool and don't care what others think of them. Some of the children, especially the ones with ADD, will feel better on drugs because it helps them to concentrate, even focus and feel good about themselves. However, they can get a distorted view of their own creativity because of the drug effect, and the problem becomes worse. Depression, crime and suicidal tendencies emerge. ADD can then predispose an addictive personality.
The implications of ADD issues are critical to the development of our society. The penal system is not going to work for these young adults any more than the school system did.
ADD happens in adults as well as kids. In fact, it is now becoming a frequent diagnosis in adults with concentration difficulties or impulsive tendencies.
Kids are usually treated with the stimulants Ritalin or Cylert, while adults may be treated with these or with other drugs, like the antidepressants Prozac or Paxil. In fact conventional physicians will often use a stimulant to diagnose ADD because it will paradoxically calm down ADD sufferers.
Many people who suffer from ADD are quite successfully treated with out any drugs at all, by examining and treating environmental and metabolic problems. Having ADD may not be such a bad thing.
Scientists theorize that the resulting diminished size and function of this area can make it more difficult to process information into action. It is possible that this may help explain the daydreaming syndrome in the ADD types and the impulsivity of the hyperactive types.
The adrenal glands may have to take up the slack for the thyroid or can be independently exhausted from the everyday stress or a serious illness, accident or shock. Proper adrenal function is vital to a child's ability to handle stress, meditate inflammation and maintain immune system function.
Fatigue, hyper or hypoglycemia, chronic inflammations or infection should be warning to diagnose and treat diminished endocrine function. The goal is to prevent ongoing deterioration and antigen penetration of the protective mucus membranes in the body leading to increased sensitivity to foods and environmental allergies, erratic behavior patterns, insufficient sleep, cravings for sugar and salt, and problems which will eventually overburden the liver spleen and kidneys. You will need to see a physician who understands natural medicine in order to receive appropriate individualized treatment.
My interest in serotonin is in the wholistic (holistic) medical area. For years it has been known that ions effect serotonin levels. Positive ions exhaust serotonin while negative ions increase it. A full moon pushes down a positive ion level and wind storms also increase positive ions. This creates irritability, depression and non-desirable behaviors. The natural phenomenon that increase serotonin are falling water (rain, surf and waterfalls) and trees and other plants. Food (carbohydrates), tryptophan (an amino acid), herbs like St. Johns wort and success in school (and other life activities) all increase serotonin. The key word here is Success.
Evolutionary psychology argues that each success enhances the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain-and so also our motor coordination and self-esteem. Failure and negative social feedback inhibit the effects of serotonin and lead to lower self-esteem and possible violence.
When young people see no hope to rise within mainstream society, they may create their own hierarchical gang cultures that provide them with opportunities to succeed within their counterculture's mores. Those among successful people in mainstream society who decry gang symbols and exclusionary turf areas should look to the high-status symbols they use to flaunt their success and to their exclusionary golf courses and walled communities. People in both mainstream cultures and countercultures have the same biological need to succeed; they all need a positive self-concept and self-esteem.
Recent research shows that, in primate groups with a developed, stable hierarchy, those at the bottom (who had little control over events) experienced far more stress and stress-related illness than those at the top. Conversely, during periods in which the hierarchical structure was unstable and shifting, those currently at the top (whose power position was threatened) experienced the most stress and stress-related illness.
This finding suggests that it is in the interest of the power elite (in community and classroom) to maintain social stability, and it is in the interest of the currently disenfranchised to create as much social instability (and classroom disruption) as possible In a desperate search for respect and success.
Our brain's complex collections of neural networks process our cognitive activity. Several dozen neurotransmitter and hormonal systems provide the key chemical substrate of this marvelous information-processing system.
Recent studies with human and nonhuman primates suggest that fluctuations in the neurotransmitter serotonin play an important role in regulating our level of self-esteem and our place within the social hierarchy. Researchers associate high serotonin levels in the brain with high self-esteem and social status and low serotonin levels with low self-esteem and social status. High serotonin levels are associated with the calm assurance that leads to smoothly controlled movements, and low serotonin levels with the irritability that leads to impulsive, uncontrolled, reckless, aggressive, violent, or suicidal behavior.
Research suggests that social feedback creates fluctuations from our basal serotonin levels, and these fluctuations help determine our current level of self-esteem. Thus, serotonin fluctuations are adaptive in that they help primates to negotiate social hierarchies, to move up as far as circumstances permit, and to be reasonably content at each stage. Social success elevates our self-esteem (and serotonin levels), and each such elevation further raises our social expectations, perhaps to try for a promotion or leadership role we hadn't considered when we were lower on the hierarchy
A biological system of variability in self-esteem prepares and encourages us to reach and maintain a realistic level of social status. A high or low level of self-esteem (and serotonin) is not innate and permanent. Successful people may tumble precipitously in social status, self-esteem, and serotonin levels when they retire or are discharged, and thereby may experience a rapid reduction in positive social feedback.
This doesn't mean that the serotonin system developed in order to help low-status people endure their fate for the good of all. Evolutionary psychology argues that natural selection rarely designs things for the good of the group.
But the serotonin system provides us with a way to cope in a bad social situation-to be content to play a group role that is consistent with our current limitations.The human serotonin system seems to function similarly in males and females in the important roles it plays in regulating self-esteem and impulse control.
Is it possible to stimulate the serotonin system when conditions become so averse in a person's life that self-esteem and serotonin levels plummet into the depths of depression? Drugs such as Prozac can produce an elevation in the effects of serotonin that often enhances a person's self-esteem; this increased optimism and happier mood leads to the positive social feed-back that allows the natural system to take over again in time and to function effectively. Think of jump-starting a dead car battery-a few miles of driving will reenergize the battery, and it can then function on its own.
The serotonin-induced higher self-esteem leads to the positive social feedback letting the natural system take over again in time.
People often use alcohol when they feel low, and alcohol does increase serotonin levels. Thus, it can temporarily help to raise our mood and self-esteem--but chronic alcohol use depletes a brain's store of serotonin, and so it makes matters even worse by further impairing the impulse control system.
Nutrition may provide another avenue to serotonin elevation. Prolonged periods of stress increase our brain's need for serotonin. Nutrition researchers have discovered a connection between serotonin/carbohydrate levels and emotionally driven eating disorders that emerge out of family stress, premenstrual syndrome, shift work, seasonal mood changes, and the decision to stop smoking. Non drug diet adaptations have been proposed that could solve some of these problems.
Prescription and other drugs can provide only a temporary chemical boost in self-esteem, and diets require a certain level of self-control. The best support for a serotonin deficiency is probably the natural system of positive social feedback we have evolved over millennia.
If positive social feedback is nature's way of regulating the serotonin system so that both an inexperienced substitute football player and the team's star can work together comfortably and effectively, then positive feedback in the classroom is a powerful social device for helping us to assess and define ourselves (self-concept) and to value ourselves (self-esteem). Serotonin research adds biological support to some educational practices that enhance self-esteem and these practices don't require a prescription or an ID card that proves you are 21:
Remember that there are many health issues which can underlie a diagnosis of ADD. So even if your child has received an established diagnosis, and even if their condition is improved by the use of conventional medication, you will still get great benefit from the following suggestions.
Click the above link for a healing diet.
The dosage for nutritional supplements depends on the age and size of the child. These recommendations are for an average sized 8 to 14 year old.
Calcium citrate is important for relaxed muscle tone. Start with 1,000 mg. at bedtime.
Magnesium Aspartate, Malate or Citrate is calming to the nervous system, start with about 250 mg.. three times a day
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is important for immune and adrenal function. Give at least 500 mg.. three times daily.
Vitamin B complex contains substances which are important in many body functions, including those which regulate brain
chemistry. A natural food based high potency formula is recommended (Super Nutrition, The Perfect Blend- High Potency Formula 2) is a good choice, give 3 to 4 tablets per day with meals
Essential Fatty Acids are just that, essential! They are anti inflammatory. Give 2 to 4 tablespoons a day of ground flax seed, mix it in foods or use on salads.
D,L-Phenlyalanine 500 mg.. three times a day (a neurotransmitter precursor)
L-Glutamine 500 mg.. three time a day (a neurotransmitter precursor)
Pycnogenol 25 mg.. three times a day.
Richard A. Passwater. Ph.D., Report on Pycnogenol®
Click above link for more information.
Siberian ginseng helps protect against the mental and physical effects of stress by encouraging normal adrenal function. Licorice root nitrifies the adrenals and soothes the mucus membranes.
His latest book is the SECRETS TO HAPPINESS, INNER PEACE AND HEALTH: COMPLETE GUIDE TO OPTIMAL WELLNESS OF BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT); his 1999 corporate lecture series is TWELVE ESSENTIAL KEYS TO SUCCESS.
Dr. Bailey also does consultation worldwide over the phone, mail or by e-mail.
For more information on losing fat see Dr. Baileys latest book.
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