ADHD (Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder) is either a myth or a harmful psychiatric neuro-behavioral disorder signified by poor attention and/or hyperactivity and impulse control problems. There is no known cure for ADHD, but people think they can control it with drugs or supplements.
Some skeptics debate that ADHD is a valid psychiatric malady, but like it or not, the condition is diagnosed in 3-5% of children. It’s a real problem with unknown causes that run the spectrum from genetic to dietary to behavioral.
Nobody knows the real causes of ADHD, which is why there have been all kinds of speculation and research. One ADHD denier is John Rosemond, a faith based parenting dick (I mean guru). He believes that hyperactivity and attention problems stem from bad parenting and unrestricted TV and video games. Of course, his anecdotal ideas may have some merit, but they’re a little too simplistic and arrogant to be considered valid.
What about diet? Studies have consistently shown that sugar by itself does not contribute to ADHD. Lately there have been calls by some scientists to reintroduce the idea that food additives trigger ADHD. The progenitor of this debate has been the Feingold Association, who promote a very strict diet based on available scientific research.
The Feingold diet has been touted by it’s proponents as a miracle cure for all kinds of problems, but the fact is that there have not been adequate scientific studies to back up all of these claims. Certainly, anecdotal evidence is strong among Feingold dieters, but the shotgun approach of such a severe change in diet makes it hard to determine why it may work. Is it because of the removal of salicylates and food additives… or because of other factors?
The standard treatment for ADHD has been Ritalin, an over-prescribed(?) drug that makes parents concerned and scientologists foam at the mouth with anger. Some supplements have been proven to help children with ADHD: magnesium, L Carnitine, iron, zinc, and possibly fatty acid supplements, and vitamin B6. These supplements should be taken in consultation with a doctor.
One herb has just recently been crossed off the supplement list. A recent study revealed that St. John’s Wort is not an effective treatment for ADHD, not that anybody thought it was effective in the first place.
This is a topic in which I welcome feedback. I plan on adding to and editing this post as I learn more information in the future, so please feel free to respond.
Latest ADHD News:
Anthropologist Dan Eisenberg compared tribes in Kenya. He noticed that tribesmen with the ADHD-associated gene were remarkably better nourished than those without the gene. This may prove that ADHD can be seen as a naturally selected advantage in some situations.