Understanding how the brain receives information best is tantamount to teaching it to work for us instead of against us. I am fascinated with the medical solutions of giving a stimulant (Amphetamines) to those with ADD/ADHD, yet no explanation is given as to why this works (or may not).
For those who find medication works, you are the true ADD/ADHD brain. Your brain works best under stress, which is why a stimulate (an artificial stressor) works. But at what cost? These medications put the body into a consistent stress response, with little to no ability to revert to the relaxation response, which ultimately will result in the body’s inability to sleep, irregular heartbeats, anxiety, weight loss, and so much more. Often, these symptoms are met with other prescriptions to calm anxiety and put you to sleep. Each drug comes with a list of side effects, and soon many find themselves not knowing what is their issues or what are issues are created by the drugs.
Complicate these symptoms with the amphetamines’ high potential for abuse and well-documented drug dependence, plus known misuse may cause sudden death and severe cardiovascular adverse reactions. I am often very upset when I see children being given this as a first response to their inability to pay attention in school.
So what to do instead of medications. I often look at the controllable items that negatively affect the brain. These will be anything with artificial colors or flavors, sugars over 30g daily, and wheat. Incorporating physical activity daily and severely limiting screen and TV time. I go as far as suggesting what is watched is also monitored. Often, these brains are easily stimulated and then have a more challenging time shutting down, so choosing shows that further stimulate, especially before bed, can cause difficulties.
Then I look at what the brain needs to apply the breaks or slow down. These are minerals and fats. I will often recommend the supplements in my Brain Bundle for a natural combination of fats, minerals, and nonaddictive brain stimulation. I also teach this group of patients to create a calendar and live by it – put projects and deadlines 24 hours before the actual due date and abide by it. This will stimulate your natural stress response yet allow you to meet deadlines easily. Create a monthly calendar and list everything that needs to be done. Hang it in the bathroom so you can see it daily.
Now for the group that has been given medications for ADD/ADHD, but they didn’t work, yet you still have school issues. Some of the same action steps for you. Limiting the food that makes it more challenging to focus, increasing your physical activity, and also taking the time to discover what type of learner you are. There are eight different types of learners, you can read about them HERE. You may also find that breathing techniques would be helpful. I have brought in Marissa, a Self Love Wellness Coach, she specializes in managing anxiety that often develops in school. Once the anxiety is controlled then, we find the brain can focus again. Below are two videos of her teaching breathwork – a foundational where to start and also one focused on calming the brain.