ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder is a type of neurobehavioral disorder in which the individual often has problems with focus and attention. Most people link this diagnosis with children. It is true that an estimated 10 percent of the children in America deal with ADD/ADHD. What few do not realize is that left unmanaged, ADD rarely goes away on its own. In fact, it often get worse. Adults with ADD are more likely to have poor job performance, substance abuse patterns, more psychiatric problems and more criminal behavior. It is a very sad thing to see a man in his 40s dealing poorly with ADD. We see this very often in our office.
The symptoms of ADD can include problems focusing, impulsivity, hyperactivity, easily distracted, trouble shifting attention, obsessive behavior, inflexible, irritable, oppositional, and clumsiness. The fact of the matter is that there are 7 different forms of ADD and it is important to identify which one a patient has. A healthcare professional can do this through QEEG, a neurological evaluation and a comprehensive patient history.
ADD is the number one reason children are medicated in the United States. The stimulant used is in the same class of drugs as cocaine. Although I am not anti-medication, I strongly believe this should be the last resort and not the first line of defense. I have seen children and adults of all ages negatively affected by the use of these stimulants.
A QEEG or brainmap is very effective in determining it there is a neurological reason for the symptoms associated with ADD. There are 4 main brain waves. In order from lowest hertz to highest they are delta, theta, alpha and beta. A simple 15-20 minute recording of the brain waves and then a comparison to a normative database in all it takes to look at the electrical function of a person’s brain.
Abnormalities in EEG were found in kids who are now classified as on the ADD spectrum as far back as 1938. Brain mapping and the retraining of the brainwaves, called neurofeedback, has been used in various forms for a very long time. Currently the Navy, various high level sporting teams and many high level clinics use neurofeedback to help manage a wide variety of neurobehavioral problems. I have used neurofeedback for the last 8 years in my practice and had huge success in helping people deal with many problems, especially ADD.
Many families we deal with do not want their children on the stimulant drugs often prescribed for ADD. Other families who have tried the drugs see the effects of increased focus go away after 12-18 months. The important thing for people to know is that there are different options for ADD spectrum of disorders. Drugs are not the only option. A properly balanced brain works better and deals with stressors much better than an unbalanced brain.
We have a non drug neurologically based ADD management plan that very often gets the results families are looking for. Many families ask what is my first step in managing this disorder. I always tell them get a brain map and find out is there a neurological reason your son or daughter is dealing with the symptoms of ADD. The bottom line is that there is hope for people out there looking for help. I want to continue to be a resource for the families of my community when people are looking for help. If I can help in any way feel free to contact my office.