Balancing Between Despair and Lost Hope – Alternative and Mainstream Treatments
Progress is possible:
I encounter two kinds of over-extended feelings about ADHD. On the one hand, individuals run into fatalism or a kind of despair, “there’s nothing I can do.” It’s understandable because ADHD is truly hard to handle but it goes too far because most of the time some progress is possible.
Overly Rosy Promises Are Harmful:
Sometimes we hear overly rosy promises about what can be accomplished by a new therapeutic approach. It’s appropriate to give some hope, but this has to be tempered by recognizing that for most people, there is no single solution that fixes things. The literature on alternative and lifestyle approaches makes it clear that on average, the benefits from diet, exercise, and so on are partial. That means there is some benefit that is “visible to the naked eye” but not a total solution.
Responses to behavioral or lifestyle interventions vary:
The upside though is that the literature also suggests that a behavioral or lifestyle intervention may make it possible to reduce a medication dose. The literature also makes clear that responses vary. For some individuals, a dietary change (for example) may have a dramatic benefit, while for others, it may have no effect. Right now, we cannot tell why this is, and a key goal of research is to determine how to individualize the approach so that you can choose the approach that works best for you. Right now, there is always some trial and error to find the best combination for a given child. But with that in mind, some patience and effort usually will bring benefit. I discuss this balanced approach across in my most recent book, Getting Ahead of ADHD and help you find the way to create your own individualized plan.