ADHD and its management
One of the most frequently observed Neurodevelopmental disorders affecting children is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Children suffering from ADHD show the following symptoms:
- Not being able to focus
- Hyperactivity throughout the day
- Impulsiveness (acts without giving a second thought)
Research indicates that ADHD is a chronic and enervating health disorder that profoundly affects various aspects of children’s life, including professional & academic accomplishment and personal relationships. Some research also indicates that children having ADHD often have low self-esteem and social behavioural issues if they are not treated properly. Adults suffering from ADHD may also show symptoms of poor self-worth and add sensitivity toward criticism.
Almost 8.4% of the world’s child population is suffering from ADHD. ADHD is usually identified in school-going children when they start showing poor social behaviour and attention deficit during the classroom and while doing homework. The symptoms are more prominent in boys as compared to girls. However, it doesn't mean that boys are more prone to ADHD than girls.
Some kids may have a hard time sitting still, waiting in line, focusing on one thing, and behaving impulsively. However, these symptoms don’t necessarily indicate that a child is suffering from ADHD. An ADHD-diagnosed kid will have the above symptoms, but they will be at a significantly increased level than a normal kid. As a parent, it is important to understand when your kid needs a certified clinician because of these symptoms. Clinically there are 3 types of ADHD:
- Predominantly inattentive presentation.
- Predominantly hyperactive presentation
- Mixed presentation
Clinically doctors have not reached a conclusion to define a specific reason for the development of ADHD in a few kids. However recent research suggests that the genetic make-up of a kid is often responsible for this disease, but a specific gene responsible for ADHD is yet to be identified. Scientists have shown that there is a significant difference between the brain of a kid suffering from ADHD and that of a normal kid. For example, an ADHD brain will have less grey and white matter. Further scientists have also shown that the frontal lobes and cerebral vermis of the brain are typically the areas which are affected by this disease.
In modern medical science, there is still no cure for ADHD but it can be managed by providing a combination of appropriate educational support, therapies and different medical interventions. During the preschool years, the first line of therapy encompasses behavioural strategies in the form of parent management training. One such example is parent-child interaction therapy which is used to help young kids suffering from ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder.
It is a traditional method of pouring the medicated oil over the head. It lowers anxiety, despair, and other negative emotions while calming the mind and improving attention. Oils like Dhanvantara oil, Durvadi oil and Brahmi oil pacify the Vata, and are beneficial in the ADHD management.
Abyanga (Body oil massage)
Body oil massage is carried out using a classical technique that reduces Vata dosha, unwinds the body's muscles, and calms the mind.
Ayurveda states that the nose is the pathway to Shiras or Brain. So, the instillation of medicated oils, and ghee like Brahmi Ghrita, Vachadi Ghrita, Ksheerabala Taila in the nostrils will help in managing ADHD.
Herbs that are proven to help in managing ADHD
It is the most potent herb for strengthening the neurological system. It promotes cognitive function, understanding, and brain function. Ashwagandha is widely used as a herbal rejuvenator and to ease stress, anxiety, forgetfulness, and sleeplessness. It will strengthen Vata Dosha.
It's a fantastic Ayurveda herb for improving memory. Its antioxidant effect aids in memory and cognitive improvement.
This amazing herb increases metabolism, immunity, and physical stamina; heightens intelligence and memory; and treats anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
Ghee is very helpful for enhancing memory. It is advised by Ayurveda to be a part of a regular diet. Daily consumption of dietary ghee in the recommended amounts aids in better digestion, memory, intelligence, smooth sensory organ operation, wisdom, resistance, and speech. It creates a balance between the Vata and Pitta doshas.
Another approach for ADHD treatment is behavioural therapy and counselling. A counsellor can help an ADHD kid to improve a wide range of skills including building and nurturing personal relationships, completing tasks, and making and sticking to a schedule. A counsellor can also help the parents with how to deal with an ADHD kid. An ADHD kid can significantly benefit from therapies including stress management, family therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and classroom behavioural therapy.