Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is on the rise in the United States, and it’s children that are being affected the most.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, 3% – 7% of children have ADHD. As of 2007, 5.4 million children between the ages of 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD.
Eventually, children with ADHD will grow up to be teens and adults, and another viable long-term solution is something parents are starting to consider. Even adults with ADHD are finding that the current available options for treatment are difficult.
The most common way to treat ADHD is through drugs like Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine. However, treating ADHD with drugs has some common side effects like feeling restless or jittery, loss of appetite, upset stomach, mood swings, dizziness, and depression.
Recent studies show that mindfulness based training like meditation is an affective way to treat ADHD without the common side effects that drugs produce, and in some cases, even produce better treatment results.
Drugs Don’t Always Help Teens and Adults
Many drugs are available for treatment, but not everyone responds well to the drugs.
Even though some respond to the drugs, many still have other side effects that have to be treated through other ways. Just like mentioned earlier, side effects like headaches, depression, and upset stomachs will then have to be addressed. Some adults have so many side affects from taking drugs as treatment that they’re not able to continue taking them in the long term.
How Meditation Helps to Treat ADHD
In a recent study involving meditation, many participants found that they received better results than they ever did from medication.
A recent study using mindfulness meditation on 33 teens and adults showed that mindfulness techniques and meditation were successful. 78% of the participants reported that their ADHD symptoms reduced by 30%.
The training involved learning how to sit for quiet periods, slow walking, and other activities during the day that is meant to increase attentiveness. Many teens and adults gave high ratings for the treatment, and between a scale of 1-10, the average score was 9.
Studies Show that Even Children Can Meditate and Treat ADHD
Studies show that children even as young as 11-14 benefit greatly from treating ADHD with meditation.
A study in Australia involved 48 middle school children, and over the course of 6 weeks, their symptoms had reduced by an average of 35% and many went on to reduce their medication.
A study led by cognitive learning specialists in Virginia involved 10 children who had been diagnosed with ADHD. They were between the ages of 11 – 14 and began treatment with meditation.
After 3 months, they found that children had lower stress and anxiety levels. Due to the improvement, the teachers were also able to teach the students more.
Sarina J. Grosswald, a cognitive learning specialist in Arlington, Virginia that was trained at George Washington University, concluded that the study “easily shows us that this technique may be particularly well suited for children with ADHD.”
About ADHD: The CNC
About ADHD: Symptoms and Drug Side Effects
Treat ADHD With Meditation: Australian Study
Treat ADHD With Meditation: Study in Virginia
Treat ADHD With Meditation: More From Virgnia
Treat ADHD With Meditation: Teens and Adults