Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a relatively new medical condition, only identified as a unique condition separate from mental illness, in the past forty or so years. When my son's father was a child, his behavioral difficulties were not recognized as a medical problem and so he did not obtain specialized schooling or treatments.
As a result he manifested learning problems into adulthood and continues to do so today. He was always wired, seldom read anything casually except the occasional newspaper, and was an alcoholic. We did not know until years later that he also had dyslexia.
ADHD is found more commonly in males than in females. It is often found in conjuction with learning problems, although this is not always the case.
During the mid-1980s, when my son was between 4 and 6 years old, I took a course in Psychiatry from my local community college. As it happened, my instructor himself had ADHD.
He explained that the human brain enabled the mind to select between conflicting inputs, allowing us to focus all our attention on one sense at a time and not be distrated by other inputs/senses. Such as a conversation while in the midst of noisy traffic.
But in the person with ADHD, that capability is disabled. Instead, while teaching a class, this instructor was distracted by the rays of light coming through the windows, a whispered conversation between two students, the dust motes floating in the air, students passing on the sidewalk outside, and so on.
His mind did not automatically screen out these distractions. He had to consciously do so. And, like being told not to think about a pink elephant, that just made those distractions more distracting.
ADHD is generally treated by orthodox medicine with drugs. My son was treated with a series of seven different medications, of three different classes, over a period of years.
My conclusion after this period is that not all cases of ADHD require prescription medication. Sometimes dietary adjustments are more appropriate and effective. If I could go back in time and do things differently, would I? Absolutely.
Here is the story of our experiences treating ADHD with prescription medications [7 Pages]. I hope this helps you in your care of your child or sibling or parent or partner.
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