Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder
People with attention deficit disorder have trouble focusing or concentrating on a task for very long. They may also display hyperactivity and act impulsively. Attention deficit disorder, also called ADHD or ADD, usually begins in childhood and lasts into adolescence and adulthood. An estimated 8 to 10 percent of school-age children are diagnosed with the disorder, which affects three times as many boys as girls. There is no known cause of ADHD, but it does have a strong genetic component and tends to run in families.
Top Tips to Improve Attention Deficit Concentration
1. The most conventional way to improve attention deficit concentration is through the use of stimulating drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall. People who use these drugs can attest to their effectiveness. However, they do come with side effects that some people have trouble tolerating, such as insomnia and loss of appetite.
2. Non-stimulating drugs such as Strattera are next in line in popularity. They increase norepinephrine which reduces impulsive behavior and increases attention span. Side effects are minimal and a dose lasts 24 hours.
3. Herbs,vitamins and supplements can all be helpful with attention deficit disorder. Essential fatty acids are often deficient in people with ADHD. Adding Omega 3s seems to supply something their brains are missing. Julia Ross, in the “Diet Cure” recommends adding the amino acids L-glutamine and L-tyrosine to the diet. A diet of adequate protein supplies amino acids, which are the building blocks of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. The following herbs have been shown to be helpful: Ginkgo Biloba, Siberian Ginseng, Brahmi, Green Oats, and Gotu Kola. Some people with ADHD swear by the herbal formula Focus Factor.
4. Behavioral therapy focuses on re-vamping some of the daily activities of an ADHD person so that he or she can focus better. For instance, avoiding distractions like watching TV while trying to do some other task. Creating a routine which can be used every day, encouraging organizational skills, and limiting choices to keep someone from feeling overwhelmed. Rewards and goals can help reinforce positive behavior. Encouraging creativity which many with ADHD have and helping them develop a talent helps with overall self-esteem.
5. Psychotherapy can help people with attention deficit disorder to work through some of the emotional issues which accompany it, leaving their minds freer to concentrate on the present. Depression often goes along with ADHD. Talking and emoting about feelings can help people move through that.
6. Edward Hallowell, MD, and John Ratey,MD, are authors of “Adult ADHD: 50 Tips on Management”. One of their tips is for the person to have a “coach”. This can be a professional coach they meet with regularly, or it can be a friend or family member with a good sense of humor who can good-naturedly remind them to stay on track, give encouragement, and in short, be an ally.
7. Hallowell and Ratey are also advocates of regular vigorous exercise. It helps work off steam and allows the ADHD person to turn down the noise in their mind.
8. Pauline Jenson, co-author of a 2004 study in the Journal of Attention Disorders, believes yoga increases attention deficit concentration while encouraging mental and physical discipline. Many of the same effects would be felt with meditation, though it is less physical. Both practices employ deep breathing, which is very calming.