Join me as we focus on, in the next several articles, on Learning disorders and Mental illness.
“I have ADD. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been messy, disorganized, talk too fast and write way too fast. I’m always anxious and can’t sit still; I start something then move onto something else so quickly, I can’t focus on the first thing to get it done. I used to cheat at school…the only thing that saved me was my creative abilities…I was put in every music/art class my high school offered. My focus is incredible when I’m doing what I love but doing stuff I don’t like or don’t want to do is a nightmare and that causes many problems. I have so many unfinished projects. (College student)
“My son has ADHD and is totally addicted, obsessed and consumed with video games. The strangest thing is, they help tremendously to calm him down and he notices the fine detail and frames better than me.” (Father of child with ADHD)
“People will be talking to me and my head or my mind will suddenly travel and drift off into outer space..then I’m come back and try to catch-up and listen but then my thoughts or day-dreams take me off to somewhere else…I doze off at the oddest moments (Andy with ADD)
Not that long ago there was little support or information available to help us understand learning and mental disorders. Those afflicted with learning and mental disorders were basically on their own causing them to feel more and more pessimistic and withdrawn. Their families and those around them were in denial and they would blame themselves repeatedly on what looked like failures in their lives. Society told them to get on with their lives and pull themselves together yet they didn’t know how. To anyone on the outside, it appeared they weren’t in control of themselves.
It wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st century that mental disorders came out of the closet and were considered a ‘real illness’. Actors/actresses and authors admitted and openly discussed their stories of mood disorders and treatments; it was a true relief from those who suffered from inexplicable sensitivities and dramatic mood swings.
Every aspect of the way you live will influence the mind/body system and the thousands of neurons in the brain. The brain and body work as a mind/body connection–especially when the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are in balance or in sync together. From the food we eat, to everyday stresses, to the chemical pollutants that get into our bodies, all these affect our behavior, causing nerve fibres to become tangled in our brains.
“From a bodymind perspective every illness has a psycho/emotional connection; some are simply more obvious than others. There is no clear separation between what is happening in the mind and what is happening in the body. Both the physical problems that arise and the mental battles that rage within have the same importance.
Mental and emotional disorders are real, and they are not necessarily cured by medical intervention. Anti-depressants are not a cure. Most of the therapies available aim to normalize according to society’s idea of what normal is, although more holistic and sympathetic systems are now emerging that treat the person, recognizing that each of us is a unique individual with specific needs.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro
Why are more and more children being classified with this disorder? Many of the children labeled as ADD/ADHD are diagnosed through their behavior and not measured through neurological testing. So any child who doesn’t follow the basic law of standards and rules by a school are diagnosed with some kind of learning disorder. In many cases children are being labeled with ADHD when, in fact, they are simply normal kids who are particularly bright and have a need to explore the subjects he or she are passionate about and that will stimulate and build their willingness to learn. Some children suffer from dyxpraxia; which is basically a problem in knowing what to do and how to go about doing it.
“Indigo Children are children who are brilliant and creative yet unconventional. Many of them are psychic, highly emotionally sensitive, or highly physically sensitive. Some of them have attention deficit disorder or learning disabilities. Some of them are angry or nonconformist, while others are exceptionally tolerant and compassionate. Indigo Children can be spiritually advanced beyond their years. Your Indigo child may have some but not all of these attributes. The main thing to know about Indigo Children is they don’t fit into a mold. They’re different, and they are here to change the world.” ~The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Indigo Children ~ by Wendy H. Chapman, Carolyn Flynn
I hummed and hawed about adding the indigo children. What actually changed my mind was the color ‘indigo’ itself; a color not only difficult to describe but difficult to perceive as well. Its inky blackness is unstable; an elusive color—known to dissolve boundaries; it seduces and liberates or overwhelms the mind. Indigo exists between purple and blue; sometimes almost black and ‘always’ with a hew of red. It’s associated with the 6th chakra (3rd eye) which is in the region of the brain, eyes, ears, nose, pineal and pituitary glands.
(Too much of the color indigo can decrease the function of the thyroid gland affecting one’s thoughts, speech as well as fatigue, muscles aches and weakness. This is discussed later on in this blog.)
“The health issues related to the sixth emotional centre span from ailments of the brain, eyes and ears to broader themes of learning and developmental problems. As with the other emotional centers, if we are discussing a part of the body, the illness is often caused by certain thoughts and behavior patterns. However, when discussing the larger themes, the thoughts and behaviors do not stand as the cause; they are merely a factor that exacerbates certain tendencies, such as ADHD or dyslexia.….
People who struggle with health in the sixth emotional center have an imbalance in how they see and learn from the world. Some are rooted in the earthly realm, with no connection to the greater universe, and others are totally connected to the mystical realm without a foot on the earthly plane. Finding a way to balance the input of both these realms when facing life’s ups and downs bring health in the sixth emotional center.” All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz
Something I’ve noticed with ADHD individuals in regard to the chakras, is at times the 3rd chakra (yellow) and the 2nd chakra (orange) can pulsate causing them to feel irritable, unsettled and anxious. When these chakras fluctuate between overactive and underactive, we become unbalanced and absorb way too much information from our environment. This causes tension and stress to buildup, causing irrational thoughts and hyperactivity.
Physically this can cause intense headaches and affect the whole digestive process from the stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, right into the intestines. When our stomachs can’t digest new ideas and experiences not only food is poorly absorbed in our system but our thoughts and feelings as well. When the stomach is rigid or tense we are resisting or holding onto things that should normally pass through our bodies. Indigestion can reflect on the skin causing blemishes, eczema, and psoriasis, which metaphysically, are caused by confusing thought patterns, frustration and the inability to make our needs understood.
MY SON IS ADHD
My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD in grade school, and I know for a fact, he took great pleasure in defying anything that had to do with rules or tasks that weren’t creative. In preschool he’d roll around on the floor, often rolling up to the teacher and try to tickle her toes. When it was reading time, all the kids would sit in a circle except Jason who’d constantly fidget and rock his body to and fro or comically march around the room, creating havoc. At home, he wasn’t as hyper at school but always seemed to crave some kind of movement. Health-wise he suffered from multiple earaches as a child and as a teen struggled with psoriasis and acne.
ADD/ADHD’ers are sensitive, hyper, impulsive, inattentive, extremely bright and highly animated adults and kids; they’re always on the move and have trouble sitting still. It can be hard to prove some children display ADHD tendencies because all kids display some ADHD behaviors. ADD/ADHD people don’t understand linear time, their thinking is scattered; they have trouble establishing priorities and organizing their lives; they can drive everyone around them crazy.
“It’s..understandable that people might think children with ADHD have brains that process faster than their peers. However…people with ADHD actually suffer from an increased amount of slow brain waves, as evidenced by electroencephalograms (EEGs) (American Psychiatric Association 2013). These slow waves are the “sleepy” theta waves that are seen in ultimate relaxation or stage-two sleep. “This means they are producing theta slow waves (4-8Hz) when they should be producing beta fast waves (12-21Hz),”…this disorder is “related to ‘under arousal’ of the frontal and prefrontal brain systems that regulate attention and impulse control. Children who demonstrate symptoms of ADHD often show smaller and/or slower than normal physiological reactions to stimuli,” and this shows that their brains operate at lower levels of excitement…
… such children can tend to seek stimulation from their external environment, which can present as hyperactivity and/or impulsivity… This is why it seems as though children with ADHD need to get their energy out in a very excessive manner! They appear almost like energy junkies. They gravitate toward activities that produce emotional and sensory stimulation, which seem to be more action-oriented, offering immediate rewards. Things such as “loud music, colorful toys, big motion outside activities, action-packed video games, and so forth offer the right stimulation” (Managing your ADHD Child 2000-2011).” Toddlers & ADHD: Relief for Parents, A Guide for Clinicians and Teachers ~ Donna Mac LCPC
When Jason was being tested for ADHD, I was learning and obtaining my license to drive school bus part-time. Interestingly, when I was given my bus schedule for the new school year in September, the children on my routes were all Special Needs. Each child was to be independently driven to their appropriate school to avoid becoming overexcited by other children on the bus. The parents to these children were astounding! They were such compassionate, spiritual souls—eagerly sharing what they’d learned about alternative medicines and information to help me understand their children and my own son. As I digested all the information, I realized that I had been trying to mould my son into the type of child that I wanted instead of accepting the child that I had been given. For the first time in my life I was looking at the “problem” from his perspective and found out that my attempts to “change him for the better” must have appeared to him as if I was rejecting him; trying to change him into something that he was not. Jason was teaching Me!
I discovered different aspects to my son’s character that I never knew existed because I was reacting and too focused on his behavioral problems. I received a great deal of inspiration when I thought all avenues had been exhausted. It is such an amazing feeling to receive help from people who understood, and took the trouble to offer such kind and helpful advice. Hopefully we can share the same kind of energy.
“The child labeled with ADD is given medication to keep him calm, but no one seems to know why he’s hyperactive, and some adults never even ask the question. The reality may be that he’s just not interested in what this world is teaching him. These oft-gifted and highly misunderstood children already know much of what’s being taught and seek challenges elsewhere. The fact that children labeled with ADD can focus on anything at all should tell you this label is false. That the youngster may not want to pay attention in school but can focus on a video game for hours should tell you it’s the subject matter, not the child that needs to be addressed.” Healing with Source: A Spiritual Guide to Mind-Body Medicine ~ Dave Markowitz
I’ve noticed ADD/ADHD’ers are the first to react to what is happening to them at the moment. They are affected by what’s happening in their environment and especially when something’s off. It’s as if they were born with extreme sensitivities, making them aware of all kinds of subtle messages from outside and inside; many of them are empathic, psychic and very sensitive to their environment. This also means they are easily overwhelmed by touch and clothing against their skin. My son would cry when his shoes felt too tight, or his socks seemed lumpy. He’d scream and yell, at home or at school, until he yanked them off and hurled them away. He hated baths, wouldn’t wear hats or mittens even when it was freezing outside. Getting him to eat was also very difficult—he used to hide his food in his cheeks like a chipmunk.
You can’t be a traditional parent, to ADD/ADHD’ers and you can’t educate them in the traditional way….these kids and adults are very creative and relate best to activities/courses that allow them to explore their creativity. You won’t find an ADHD’er behind the desk doing accounting or talking business on the phone. These special people are the performers, actors, musicians, writers, teachers, photographers and designers of our world. They have unique visual perceptions and often see energies others don’t usually see. They are tuned into something that most of us only get glimpses of—they are tuned into a higher spiritual vibration.
“The ADD/ADHD patient compensates for the increased theta production with hyperactivity. For example, have you ever driven down a road late at night and found yourself becoming sleepy? What do you do? Open the window, turn up the volume on the radio [and sing loudly], or tap the dashboard? You make yourself hyperactive to stay awake! The ADD/ADHD patient that is producing too many slow waves is in a perpetual state of fogginess and is constantly trying to stay awake—hence the hyperactivity” (Brain and Body Solutions n.d.). This is what student with ADHD do in school—they fidget, wiggle, shift body position, and tap their pencils in an attempt to stay focused and awake, which are observations I make on a daily basis at the therapeutic day school where I work. Toddlers & ADHD ~ Donna Mac, LCPC
ADD/ADHD And The BRAIN
“A variety of factors mold your brain and determine how you ultimately pay attention. If your mother was stressed when pregnant with you, especially in the first trimester, her elevated androgen levels would have altered how your right and left brain perceive the world. In addition to an increased risk of dyslexia, you’re less likely to develop the traditional focused attention. You atypical attention style is likely to give you exaggerated empathetic and intuitive gifts and possibily creative and artistic skills. If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, however, all attention pathways in the fetal brain become disordered. Alcohol not only damages the developing corpus callosum, the connection between the right and left brain, but also injures developing white-matter nerve pathways involved in every aspect of attention. Children and adults with fetal alcohol syndrome suffer the most severe forms of attention deficit disorder, with profound hyperactivity so disabling that they have trouble functioning in the world.” The New Feminine Brain ~ Mona Lisa Schulz
The brain is what helps us to make sense of the world, taking in information from your environment and sending messages throughout your body. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch are not only an essential part of our memories, they help to understand the changes happening around us. But any change in the brain, even the most subtlest change, can have a major impact on our feelings, thoughts and action.
The right brain, left brain look very similar and share much of the work in thinking. However, each side has special tasks. The left side of the brain enables us to figure out problems logically, to speak and write, to understand science and numbers. The right side is your creative side—this is where your vivid imagination and artistic ability comes from and your love for music.
“In the last decade, neurobiologists have reported structural differences in at least two regions of the human brain. One is the corpus callosum, the mind’s big “telephone” cable, connecting as it does hundreds of millions of neurons between the two hemispheres. The other is the hypothalamus, the master controller for the integration of many basic behavioral patterns from temperature regulation and appetite to sex drives—involving brain and endocrine functions, Neuroendocrine research also strongly indicates that nervous system differences begin as sex hormones bathe the developing fetus in the womb. Hormonal differences continuing through childhood—and perhaps even through adult life—affect brain activity and guide performance. Other studies suggest that men and women may process the same information differently and yet come to the same of similar conclusion.” Kathryn Phillips
A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical specifically for communication to happen between brain cells. It’s incredible that these neurotransmitters can zigzag and flash through the mass of brain neurons at speeds of up to 150 mph carrying your every thought and feelings. Of the 100 identified, the one’s best known are: acetylcholine, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin.
Acetycholine controls the brain’s speed, creativity, self-esteem, criticism, short-term memory, language, sensory impressions and interpretations, speech, reading and thought. It also controls all muscle contractions. Both stress and poor diet can cause acetycholine to decline.
Dopamine is the brains revitalizer. It controls energy release, energy consumption, drive and excitement about new ideas. It also keeps us alert and vigilant, controlling the release of the hormones norepinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol for the fight/flight response. When dopamine levels are low, these control circuits are sluggish, slow to respond, and less effective. (Many ADHD kids are low in iron and iron is needed to make dopamine.)
Dopamine levels are affected by serotonin, norepinephine and GABA. For example higher levels of serotonin have been known to decrease the level of dopamine. If there isn’t enough dopamine, it’s more difficult for people to feel creative, happy, calm and objective.
GABA works to stop excess nerve signals and keeps the brain from getting out of control. It controls the brain’s rhythm of thinking, talking and hearing and calms and quiets the brain. With ADD/ADHD children and adults GABA levels are low causing them to feel hyper, anxious, and lethargic.
Serotonin is the brains’ mood rejuvenator but too much can cause depression and too little causes us to be impulsive, aggressive, anxious, restless, and compulsive.
Everyday our neuropeptides try to work hard to keep us functioning at a peak performance but chemicals, food coloring, sugar, trans-fats, food preservatives, traffic fumes, second hand smoke, stress, anxiety and lack of sleep slows them down. One of the best ways to boost your dopamine is exercise, swimming, biking walking and running. Playing board games and computer games help to replenish dopamine too. Walking in nature enhances GABA, and creative writing (poems, songs) help to restore acetylcholine. Violent movies and loud ‘hard’ music or angry words decrease the production of acetylcholine.
“Due to the nature of this disorder, what a child with ADHD actually needs is more stimulation within his brain, so he doesn’t need to gain that stimulation from the environment around him. Have you ever noticed a child with ADHD jumping on a coffee table when he is at an age where he is well aware this is not acceptable behavior? He is trying to self-stimulate through this type of inappropriate movement, to get his brain to a baseline level of arousal. Another common misconception of ADHD is “this child just has to learn he isn’t supposed to jump on tables.” However ADHD is not a disorder of inability to learn; it’s a disorder of an inability to self-regulate. Therefore, he has learned he isn’t supposed to do this. All toddlers obviously crave movement, and movement is crucial for proper brain development. However, there is a normal range and an excessive range for movement in toddlerhood.” Toddlers & ADHD ~ Donna Mac, LCPC
The Left and Right Hemisphere of the Brain
Seen from above, the human brain is divided in two parts and looks similar to two halves of a walnut—these two halves are called the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the right hemisphere controls the left. Signals from your sense organs cross over before they enter your brain, going to the opposite hemispheres.
“Those who have suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, commonly called a ‘stroke’, provide clear examples of how this kind of cross-over operates. A stroke in the right hemisphere of the brain will affect victims on the left side of the body. Thus, they can lose control over the muscles in the left hand, left leg, and the left side of the face (including that side of the tongue and mouth). A stroke to the left part of the brain will similarly affect the right side of the body.” Psycholinguistics: Language, Mind and World ~ By Danny D. Steinbert, Hiroshi Nagata, David P. Aline
For the last two hundred years or so, scientists discovered that language and language related capabilities are mainly located in the left hemisphere of most people—approximately 98 percent of right-handers and about two-thirds of left-handers. Because speaking and talking are vitally important in our world, scientists called the left hemisphere dominant and the right side ‘less evolved’ or ‘minor’ and ‘less advanced’ than the left.
It’s only been recently that neuroscience began to understand we have a double brain with two ways of knowing. These two hemispheres (right brain, left brain), perceive reality in their own way and though separate, are joined by a ‘boomerang-shaped band of fibers’ or bridge called the corpus callosum which allows the left brain and right brain to process and relay information between each other.
Children and adults with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and autism have a smaller corpus callosum, which means that they have more difficulty processing outside stimuli. They are easily distracted and alarmed with constant new stimuli bombarding them. This is why most children and adults with ADD function better in classes with fewer children.
THE MEDULLA OBLONGATA AND THE SENSES
At the base of your brain stem is what’s called the Medulla Oblongata. This area at the back of the neck feeds nerve energy to our five senses. When our nerve energy becomes depleted, it’s unable to reach our ears, eyes, throat or mouth. We need our senses to function in the world…every move we make, every bite we eat, every object we touch produces a sensation.
Our senses also tell us when something in our environment doesn’t feel right; the hypothalamus in the brain is what turns the stress switch on and we immediately prepare ourselves for the fight or flight response. When our senses let us know all is well, we relax, feel safe and look for much of the same…if we’re bored we look for something that stimulates us higher.
To do their job well, all the senses have to work together. Together they nourish the brain with many sensations urging us to develop more to improve physically, mentally and emotionally.
But many adults and children who suffer from learning disabilities or some kind of mental illness struggle with the basic ordinary sensations; for some reason their sensitive systems become overloaded and overwhelmed very quickly. It’s difficult for them to know what they feel inside—when this happens, they can become disoriented, confused and lose touch with themselves—this affects their behavior, the way they react, move, learn and relate to others. It also affects how they feel about themselves. Because their central nervous systems have trouble processing through the five senses, they have a hard time functioning in daily life. They look ok on the outside and have a superior intelligence but may be awkward, fearful and withdrawn, or hostile and aggressive. Many adults and children with attention deficit disorder, asperger’s, autism, bi-polar, tourette’s syndrome, and schizophrenia often suffer from low self-esteem and self worth because of their unique condition. Unaware teachers, peers and/or parents may even ridicule them.
“According to the Louise Hay affirmation theory, the health of the sixth emotional center—the brain, eyes, and ears—involves a capacity to be receptive to information and a flexibility to think and reason your way out of situations.
The brain is like a computer, receiving information, processing it, and then carrying out the proper function. Information travels from every part of our body to the brain and from the brain to the body’ however, the brain can be sidetracked in its job by its emotional components such as fear, anger, and inflexibility. All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz
TOXIC BRAIN SYNDROME
“Of all the body’s systems and processes, the endocrine system is the most susceptible to daily stresses such as thoughts, emotions, environmental factors, nutrition and pollutants. An imbalance in this system can interfere with our ability to sustain health and some of the symptoms can manifest as depression, mood swings, weight or sleep issues, lethargy, low self-esteem, fuzzy brain, loss of libido, headaches, allergies, fatigue, and general aches and pains.” YOUR PERSONAL TUNING FORK: The Endocrine System ~ Deborah Bates
For many children where there seems to be no specific learning disability, there is a condition called toxic brain syndrome which is caused by environmental and dietary toxins, food additives, processed foods, and drugs, and poor nutrition. Food colorings and a preservative called ‘sodium benzoate is know to affect the nervous, immune and hormonal systems, causing hyperactivity in adults and children.
ALLERGIES AND CANDIDA CAN CAUSE LEARNING PROBLEMS
If you suspect you or your child suffer from allergies, talk to your health professional about natural healing alternative. More information about allergies and candida can be found here and here.
When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases histamine into your system, which is the cause of most of your symptoms. Allergies are a symptom of an overloading of toxins in the body, expressed through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat as well as the skin.
Allergies and chemical sensitivities may be responsible for some learning problems, as they allow cytokines to enter the bloodstream and affect normal brain function. Cytokines play a key role in cellular messaging, talking to cells how they should act or react to certain situations. Cytokines, are produced by the cells of the nervous system, and the cells of the immune system, binding to sites in the brain, causing changing in areas such as sleep, attention and mood. Recently there has been speculation that immune system problems may trigger the development ADD/ADHD symptoms.
“Inside the brain, histamine plays an important role in all sorts of reactions [including allergies]. In the hypothalamus, histamine stimulates the release of the important neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Another role of brain histamine is to counterbalance dopamine in that area of the brain that filters incoming sensory information. With too little histamine, dopamine levels can be elevated. The result of having too little histamine can be thought disorders like paranoia, or hallucinations that feel as if your mind is playing tricks on you. You may see or hear things abnormally, and your ears may ring. You will probably make grandiose plans but never have the energy to carry them out….
When histamine levels are abnormally high, there is a tendency to hyperactivity, depression, aggressiveness, compulsive behavior and a racing brain. You may grow obsessive about sex, cry easily, have abnormal fears and contemplate suicide.” 7 Weeks to Emotional Healing ~ Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D
Your intestinal tract naturally contains small amounts of Candida yeast. But in some cases because of anti-biotics, birth control pills or a high carbohydrate diet, this can cause an overgrowth of the candida yeast, causing candidiasis. Candidiasis and allergies are so closely linked, they are most often paired together.
Candida becomes a problem when food in the intestines ferments instead of digesting. This overgrowth can penetrate the intestinal lining and find its way into the circulatory/blood system. Some people refer to this as “leaky gut”. What happens with ‘leaky gut’, is undigested food particles (partially digested proteins, fats and bacteria) pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. The body/immune system in an attempt to protect itself attacks these foreign substances and therefore launches an allergic response. Sometimes the immune system can’t determine the foreign substance and in its confusion to obliterate it, starts attacking the body—this is called an autoimmune disease—the self attacking self.
One of the most common mental complaints of candida is brain fog or difficulty concentrating. Psychological symptoms can cause a variety of symptoms such as: depression, angry outbursts, mood swings, obsessive compulsive behavior (OCB), panic attacks, paranoia, personality changes and even schizophrenic behavior. When candida is treated successfully, the psychological symptoms dissipate as well.
This is such a controversial subject that I honestly don’t have enough knowledge about. I’ve suggested some sites for you to read and increase your awareness about it.
ADHD And HYPOTHYROIDISM
In the section on Indigo Children, we touched on the fact that too much of the color, indigo (6th chakra) depresses the performance of the thyroid. The third eye also known as the pineal gland lies deep in the brain and has no direct access to light. Instead it ‘sees’ through our eyes and the amount of light registered on the pineal through the eyes determines the production of melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulates the breakdown of T4 (thyroxine) into the more energetic form, T3 for the thyroid.
“Thyroxine (T4), the main thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid is a small molecule that contains four iodine atoms. In the cells of many organs (including the brain), a well-regulated process causes thyroxine to lose iodine, generating the much more potent thyroid hormone T3. In the brain, probably more so than in any other organ, T3 rather than T4 appears to be the critical form of the hormone that regulates cell functions. Because the amount of T3 present in the brain must remain in an optimal range to keep the mind functioning properly, fluctuations in the crucial process of converting T4 to T3 will inevitably affect the mind.” The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining your ~ Ridha Arem
Melatonin affects our mood, menstrual cycles, estrogen levels, sperm levels and ovulation. When too much of this hormone is in our system, especially during daylight hours, we can suffer mental confusion and depression, skin problems and many other health complications. People suffering from depression also tend to have large amounts of cortisol, a hormone produced from the adrenal glands, in their bloodstream. Too much cortisol suppresses the thyroid and immune system, resulting in lethargy, irritability, overeating, low self-esteem and mood changes.
Stress, illness and poor diet can easily affect the thyroid gland. The thyroid uses foods such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals as fuel. This gland coverts food into energy, not only controlling the body’s growth and temperature, it also controls every cell in the body as well. Your skin, complexion and even your outward appearance is affected by the thyroid. It’s the engine of your body and when it goes into low gear, the whole body is affected.
“The thyroid system is one of the body’s most rightly and precisely regulated systems, Minute changes in the way thyroid hormone is delivered to or dispersed in the brain can have drastic effects on mood, emotions, attention and thinking. A problem with the delivery of T3 can cause disorders ranging from depression to attention deficit in people with normally functioning thyroids. Neuroscientists are teaching us the wide range of ways in which T3 regulates brain function and the brain chemistry syndromes that are likely to result from the alteration of the thyroid hormone levels in the brains of people with normally functioning thyroid glands…..
In patients suffering from generalized resistance to thyroid hormone, thyroid hormone levels could affect other chemical transmitters such as noradrenaline, which is considered to be one of the culprits in ADHD. In such patients, the behavioral symptoms, such as distractibility and restlessness, may improve the T3 treatment. Thyroid hormone treatment could be used alone or in conjunction with other medications to regulate the noradrenaline levels in the brain. The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining your ~ Ridha Arem
Sometimes a genetic defect can cause the thyroid hormone to work less efficiently in the brain, pituitary, and other organs. Although tests show thyroid levels normal, the brain may actually be deficient in the hormone causing attention deficit disorders. Talk to your doctor about this and he or she will be able to do further tests to determine this.
“To address the thought patterns underlying ADHD, Louise suggests the affirmation “Life loves me. I love myself just the way I am. I am free to create a joyous life that works for me. All is well in my world.” But she also recommends you use other affirmations that address some of the common traits of the disorder. For example, the hyperactivity associated with ADHD is often accompanied by thought patterns that include feeing pressured and frantic. So if you tend to be hyperactive or unfocused, you may need a calming affirmation so you can let go of the anxiousness and worry. A good general affirmation is “I am safe. All pressure dissolves. I AM good enough.” Stuttering, a behavior that can be associated with dyslexia, may develop from insecurity and a lack of self-expression. If you stutter, slow down and remind yourself that you have the strength and confidence to articulate your needs with the affirmation “I am free to speak up for myself. I am now secure in my own expression. I communicate only with love.” Asperger’s is often associated with depression, so if you suffer from this, you can use the affirmation “I now go Beyond other people’s fears and limitations. I create my life.” All is Well: Heal your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition ~ Louise L. Hay, Mona Lisa Schulz
“Testosterone levels influence attention and definitely are associated with impulsivity. Men traditionally have higher testosterone levels and are more impulsive. Women traditionally have lower testosterone levels and are less impulsive. This difference in testosterone and impulsivity may explain why men and boys are more likely to have ADHD (attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and impulsivity) whereas girls and women are likely to have a more “dreamlike” or “spacey” type of ADD.
At menopause, however, the brain’s attention circuits change. With a decrease in estrogen and an increase in testosterone, women are more impulsive, more hyperactive, and less attentive. These changes make some women feel as if their brain is turning into a “fuzzbull.” Menopausal women with ADD may become even more inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. Many women also become more emotionally porous—they hear their intuitions more than ever and may be distracted by the pain in others’ lives at this time. Men, who go through a “testepause”, have decreasing testosterone levels and a relative increase in estrogen, so their attention may actually become more acute.” The New Feminine Brain: How Women Can Develop their Inner Strengths, Genius ~ by Mona Lisa Schulz
HEALING ADD/ADHD NATURALLY
The best thing I can advise you is to do everything you can to learn about ADD/ADHD and work together with your health professional. Doctors only have so much time to work with each patient; we have to become our own advocate in the art of healing.
What follows are guidelines only. Healing can happen by applying a do-it-yourself approach—you’ll have to research and experiment with a variety of herbs, supplements and energy work to find what works for you.
Reiki, Quantum Healing, Therapeutic Touch, EFT, are all wonderful healing therapies to explore. They help to relax and ground the body in present time. My son soaked up Reiki energy like a sponge and enjoyed Therapeutic Touch.
“If your child has some of the outward symptoms of essential fat deficiency – rough dry patches on the skin, cracked lips, dull or dry hair, soft or brittle nails, and excessive thirst – it is fair to say that this could be an underlying factor in learning difficulties they might be experiencing, such as concentration or visual problems, mood swings, disturbed sleep patterns and in some cases behavioural problems. This is because dyslexia, dyspraxia, learning difficulties and ADHD all involve poor nerve cell communications in the brain, and essential fats are crucial in keeping neurons talking to each other.” http://www.easyreadsystem.com/news/nutrition-dyslexia-what-works/
I looked at giving Jason a serotonin supplement Tryptophan (5-HTP) which improves both mood and sleep or even SAMe but wasn’t sure at his young age, the amount to give him. Reading up on serotonin, I learnt that when our bodies crave it, we have an insatiable desire for foods that are sweet or starchy (chips, cookies, cake, pastries, cereal). Also, that serotonin hunger can only be satisfied by eating high-carbohydrates. I found out that eating too many protein foods without carbohydrates inhibit serotonin from entering the brain. In fact too much fat in the diet competes with serotonin too! Needless to say, we began changing our food consumption to include carbohydrate-rich snacks and carbohydrate-rich dinners; these include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, rice and legumes.
Factory produced foods (refined carbohydrates) are not carbohydrate-rich and lack essential nutrients the body needs to survive. When we eat too many of these foods the body will crave for its nutritional requirements which often leads to excess eating and hyperactivity.
When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, I looked into the pros and cons of medication and decided not to put him on *Ritalin or Adderall. Many of the parents I’ve come to know with special needs children, recommended Efamol, Omega 3, vitamin B6 and magnesium. B6 and magnesium help to increase GABA as well as prevent the loss of dopamine from the brain. I noticed a slight change in his nature after several weeks and by three months a tremendous improvement.
“I know a lot of people don’t agree with medicating their children, but if my kids didn’t their meds they literally wouldn’t have an education because of there behavior and lack of concentration. We have had all the food allergy tests done; we’ve tried the reward system and the star charts that were recommended but they didn’t help a bit. Using Ritalin helped our children immensely and if all efforts fail, we’d highly recommend it.” (Sue K., mother of two)
Ritalin is a form of “speed”, acting similarly to cocaine or amphetamines—though Ritalin is supposed to “work” for several hours in 60-75% of children. Side effects include a loss of several inches in height, poor appetite, insomnia, tics and personality changes. In spite of using Ritalin, two thirds of children with ADHD carry it into their adulthood.
Simple breathing exercises, focusing on the breath can be helpful for the anxiety that sometimes accompanies ADHD. It will also help to let go of any tension and create more relaxed body language. My son and I would make a game of this at bedtime, counting as we breathed in 1-2-3-4-5 and breathing out 1-2-3-4-5. It was hard at first but if you stick with it for at least 10 minutes, you’ll noticed your breathing will become more rhythmic and helps to release the tensions through the body.
There is also an exercise called cross-crawling (when you raise an arm and the opposing leg together and then repeat the other side – a bit like marching) which stimulates connections in the brain.
Another good idea is to try the mind gym type games, these encourage stimulating parts of the brain that lay latent and increase the brain’s capacity.
A meditation class might be something to try,and a Tai Chi class would be particularly helpful If you have difficulties with spatial awareness and balance.
The other thing Jason needed was exercise, which as indicated above, helps to boost the neurotransmitters in the brain. Walking outdoors strengthens and tones the muscles and also reinforces our feelings of being part of the oneness of creation. The patterns of nature also speak very deeply to our souls.
All children love music; playing a musical instrument is another good way to stimulate the brain. Jason took to the piano like bees take to honey. In high school, the teachers worked with him and he now creates his own music and has his Grade 10 in piano.
There is hope for everyone with ADD/ADHD. My son graduated with honors from high school and is now in University. If he can do it, you can do it too.
BBC ~ ADHD drugs have no benefit http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/11_november/12//adhd.shtml
Indigo, Crystal and Rainbow Children http://www.angeltherapy.com/article1.php
ADHD Gifted and Creative http://innerself.com/Parenting/hartmann_2135.htm
Each child requires an individualized approach. Indigos want very much to be seen for the unique individuals theyare—cookie-cuter solutions don’t work with them.
The sound learning centre for developmental problems http://www.thesoundlearningcentre.co.uk/treatment/development-programme/
Fascinating video with Dr. Daniel G. Aman, who has written many books on ADD ~ he believes brain imaging important – treatment should be individual ~ One treatment does not fit everybody! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXFyUNEXJp0&app=desktop
And his website ‘Healing the 7 types of ADD
“If you have food allergies, the immune cells that line your gastrointestinal tract are hypersensitive. You may have low stomach acid, a pancreas that isn’t working optimally, and, possibly, a congested liver and gallbladder. You may also have an imbalance in your gut flora. The balance of gut bacteria can influence behavior and even cause depression.
According to scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, your gut bacteria communicate with your brain and have a profound impact on making you feel happy or sad. When you are stressed, your body releases lots of stress hormones. When stressed mice were fed a broth containing some Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria (a bacteria found in yogurt), they became significantly less anxious and had lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. The researchers determined that the bacteria were somehow communicating via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a very important neural two-way highway that connects your brain with all of the organs of your body. The bacteria are able to influence the GABA receptors in the brain that allow you to relax”.
Essential Oils – Essential Blends (www.essentialblends.com) has a formula especially for ADD/ADHD to help calm some brain areas and stimulate others. The blend is a mixture of tangerine, cardamon, lavender, sweet almond and jojoba.
Stay tuned for the next topic… Asperger’s Syndrome