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Solutions for Adult ADHD and ADD

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/18/2006 | Health
Many adults suffer from unbearably short attention spans. The epidemic of children with ADHD and ADD and treatment options for those through the teenage years has been much in the news. However, treating adults for these challenging conditions is an under-addressed area of medical focus.

Children with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder have been treated with Ritalin for years, with many unfortunate side effects. Historically, adults who were bright but couldnt focus in the same way most adults focused and interacted were labeled eccentric and difficult to work with. However, they were not diagnosed and they werent given Ritalin.

Such adults are usually very good at some things, but other people often cant figure out what theyre doing. Its often a relief for such people who just never fit in to finally come to understand that they have ADHD or ADD.

What are the signs of Adult ADD? For one thing, the person may rarely remember obligations and appointments. Sitting down for a long time may be exceedingly difficult for them and they may squirm and fidget. Sometimes they cant stop tapping their feet and hands. They may feel compelled to do things and be overly active.

Additionally, they may delay or avoid starting a task that requires a great deal of thought. They often have trouble finishing the last few details of projects, doing the initial difficult parts of the project just fine, but leave it hanging at the end. They have difficulty with tasks that need organizational skills.

Interestingly enough, nobody knows what Ritalin and similar drugs actually do to the human brain over time. However, multinational drug syndicates work hard at convincing doctors that theyre the magic bullet; hoping doctors will prescribe them for children. Now adults are starting to request them of doctors. Studies have shown that Ritalin, either injected or inhaled, is more addictive than cocaine. It is widely prescribed for children because there seems to be no alternative for some children struggling in school.

The drug industry now sees that they have missed a huge segment of the population to market these drugs to. There are lots more profits to be had if doctors diagnose adults with ADD and ADHD. They see the huge opportunity in focusing advertising dollars on adults whove had trouble concentrating all their lives. Its the lure of a cure.

How does Ritalin really work? No one really knows for sure. It is known that the brain is permanently altered by this powerful drug.

There are some interesting alternatives to prescription drugs becoming available. One is an integrated nutritional approach with a suggested food protocol for nutritional supplementation by Dr. Nigel Plummer who has written an informative monograph called Intestinal Effects on Autism and ADHD for a Novel Probiotic Approach.

Another is the DORE method which uses special eye, balance and sensory activities customized for each individual. It teaches individually prescribed exercises that can be done at home in 5-10 minutes. These exercises stimulate the brain, building connections that allow children and adults to process information more efficiently.

For a simple alternative, L-Theanine (an amino acid) seems to help focus the mind on one thing at one time, greatly helping with concentration. L-Theanine is available at most health food stores as well as any of the major vitamin websites. It comes in both capsules and powder form. Dosage is 100 to 300 mg. as needed for an 8 hour period. Some facts about L-Theanine include:

L-Theanine is non-addictive, nontoxic, and has no side effects.

L-Theanine helps attention and concentration.

L-Theanine lowers stress and blood pressure.

L-Theanine works in about 30 minutes.

L-Theanine has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.

L-Theanine is considered a taste in Japan, after Sweet, Sour, Salty and Bitter.

L-Theanine raises levels of GABA (a brain chemical responsible for feeling good.) GABA levels usually decrease with age.

L-Theanine is found in green tea and makes it better for concentration than coffee.

L-Theanine is an immune system booster.

L-Theanine allows feelings of being calm and alert by raising brain chemical levels of Dopamine and Serotonin.

L-Theanine helps prevent nighttime panic attacks.

It takes some investigation, but there are some alternatives to suffering from adult ADD and ADHD. This is hopeful news for those who have always felt different and who have struggled with being able to hold jobs all their adult lives.