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Treating ADD and ADHD with Homeopathy

There is a growing number of concerned parents who do not want to medicate their children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, and who are looking for alternative treatments. This article offers a short introduction to Homeopathy as an alternative to such treatments. children Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADD or ADHD) is being diagnosed in epidemic proportions. In 1996, the number of school children diagnosed in the US was about four million. Within the scientific community and amongst physicians there are voices, growing in number over the last 10 years, that seriously question the possibility of overdiagnosis. Thomas Armstrong, in his book The Myth of the ADD Child, claims that children learn in many different ways and have different styles of coping with stress, and that ADD is overdiagnosed and overtreated. He suggests a wide range of non-medicated approaches such as changes in classroom set-ups, more kinesthetic learning, project-based learning, martial arts, etc. There is also the strong concern about the possibly harmful long-term effects of Ritalin.

Reichenberg-Ullman & Ullman in their well researched book Ritalin Free Kids tell us about their experience in treating ADD children: "Can a child who lashes out in a violent, destructive manner and has no interest in his schoolwork fit into the same diagnostic group as a sweet, gregarious child who simply cannot pay attention in class? Conventional medicine would say that based on their scores on standardized ADD test, both children could indeed have ADD. Homeopathy would say that these two distinct children are as different as night and day. A homeopath would prescribe different medicine for the two children, rather than giving them both stimulants. And what about the many conditions that mimic ADD, such as dyslexia, other learning disabilities, developmental disorders, hypo/hyperthyroidism, anxiety, depression, and compulsive disorder, just to name a few?"

Can we lump all these children under one diagnostic category and give them one drug? Homeopaths treat the individual and not the diagnosis. We take the whole person into account and want to know the specific pattern of symptoms that the child presents. Each person manifests his or her ADD in a unique fashion. For us, a child who is violent and aggressive and spits into people's faces needs a different remedy than a child who is anxious, lacks self-confidence and feels often ridiculed. There are more than 3,000 homeopathic remedies, and a homeopath tries to select the one specific remedy that best matches the child's symptoms– starting from her disposition, her dreams, fears, food preferences, medical history, parents' and grandparents' histories, to the exact way her ADD is expressed, and more. "The homeopath is much more interested in what is distinctive or unique about that individual with ADD, rather than in symptoms such as restlessness and distractibility, which are common to most ADD patients. The homeopath wants to know what the particular child or adult thinks and feels, rather than the interpretation of the parent or teacher or therapist."

Since homeopathy treats the whole person and not just one syndrome/diagnosis, patients experience improvements through homeopathic treatment that are way greater than just the disappearance of one particular set of symptoms. The violent child becomes more settled and balanced in mood altogether; the shy and anxious child develops greater confidence and strength of character.

Ritalin and its other drug relatives mask the symptoms of ADD for a few hours only. J.M.Swanson's article The Effect of Stimulant Medication on Children with ADD states that Ritalin treatments do not show "significant improvement in reading skills, athletic or game skills, or positive social skills. Overall, long-term adjustment, as measured by academic achievement, antisocial behavior and arrest rate, was unaffected by medication".

Homeopathy treats the whole child. Not only do the behavioral and learning problems diminish but also, homeopathic treatment often will stimulate a growth spurt in the child. The child develops in a healthier and happier way overall. Homeopathic medicines also are safe and non-toxic. They do not cause side effects such as tics, appetite loss, and insomnia, which are some of the known side effects of Ritalin.

For people interested in reading more on homeopathy as an alternative treatment, I highly recommend the book Ritalin Free Kids: "Many years ago we worked intensively with psychiatric patients and developmentally disabled children. It was our conviction then that there must be a better alternative than major tranquilizers to help these people to heal at a deep level. We believe that homeopathy, along with other humane, natural therapies, may provide answers for mental, physical, and emotional healing for many people. Homeopathy works, plain and simple, and is very effective for many people with ADD and the other conditions included in this book, as well as most other health problems."

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