What is it??
The two are somewhat different but both are discussed in this article. ADD refers to attention deficit disorder. ADHD refers to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but they are both now placed under the banner of ADHD. It is one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Those with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours or be overly active. There is no consensus of what causes it, but many sources refer to it being associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) lists three types of ADHD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ADHD predominantly inattentive presentation (what used to be called ADD): It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.
- ADHD predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.
- ADHD combined presentation: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.
“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – or ADHD – is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects attention, concentration and impulsivity. Someone with ADHD might have significant attention problems, appear restless, fidgety, overactive and impulsive. They can act before thinking and often speak before thinking by blurting out and interrupting others.” (Mental Health Ireland)
“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a medical/neurobiological condition in which the brain’s neurotransmitter chemicals; noradrenaline and dopamine do not work properly.” (ADHD Ireland)
Where does it come from??…
Researcher still says that causes and risk factors for ADHD are not fully known, it is thought that genetics plays an important role. In addition to genetics, other possible causes and risk factors may include:
- Brain injury
- Exposure to environmental contaminants during pregnancy or at a young age
- Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
- Being male
Many more boys are diagnosed with these disorders than girls. In our view just like with autism there are multiple causes of ADD/ADHD. We believe that these conditions are caused by a combination of factors rather than one alone. However, there may be one factor that contributes more than any other. As ADD/ADHD are neurological disorders we would link them back to damage of the brain, skull or nervous system that occurs during development in the womb, at birth or sometime after birth which we would refer to as birth shock. Due to this damage, neurological dysfunction occurs, causing difficulty processing information, and/or poor focus or concentration.
Injuries during development, suffering damage during birth or from the body not developing optimally this can lead to a situation where the body is in a constant stress response. Meaning those with ADD/ADHD are stuck in flight/fight mode on a constant basis.
Typically, for those with ADD/ADHD their stress hormone levels as well as neurotransmitters such as dopamine and noradrenaline are not at correct levels within the body. The body may be in a constant stress state meaning their stress hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and others are being consistently overproduced. You cannot see these level changes from the outside but what you can see is the effect of the hormones and neurotransmitters on behaviour.
In children, they will not feel comfortable sitting still, it will be much more difficult for them to focus or concentrate. It can also lead them to feel very anxious if they are being pressured into remaining still and to be quiet. As they grow older, and with pressures from society; parents, teachers and peers most children will learn to control their behaviours and may be more able to control their outward actions however this does not resolve the issue inside, the same stress/neurotransmitter reactions are still happening within their bodies. So, what may be described as ADD/ADHD in children can become anxiety disorder in teenagers and adults.
While genetics appear to be a significant factor because ADD/ADHD tends to run in families. As both the parents and siblings of a child with ADHD are four to five times more likely to have ADHD themselves 4 . Genetics cannot account for all cases.
Brain function and anatomy appear to be different in those with ADHD compared to people who do not have the condition. It is suspected that chemicals in the brain that carry messages, neurotransmitters, do not work properly in people with ADHD. And, people with the condition seem to display less activity in the parts of their brains that control activity and attention 4 . This does still not explain where it comes from as there must be a reason for these differences. Again, our view is that these are the consequences of damage that occurs at some stage of development. This is very similar to the cause(s) of autism.
Our view is that those with ADD /ADHD have been damaged or had their development disrupted just like those with autism but just to a lesser extent. We would even say the same for those with dyslexia but that they have been damaged or had their development disrupted to a lesser extent than those with ADD / ADHD.
It appears to be a sliding scale with dyslexia at one end and very severe autism at the other. Please read articles on autism and dyslexia for more information on the cause(s) of all these disorders which seem to be overlapping. It must also be stated that it is possible that there has been some overdiagnosis of conditions such as ADHD. Children are naturally very active, inquisitive and can find it difficult to sit still for long. Especially if they are not interested in something, they may find it hard to, or simply not wish to, pay attention. In our experience working with many children with ADHD in most cases there has been some sort of damage, developmental delay or disruption and these can be addressed with HiddenMind therapy.
How does it affect people?...
Symptoms can include:
- Frequent daydreaming
- Forgetting or losing things very often
- Squirming or fidgeting
- Talking too much
- Making careless mistakes or taking unnecessary risks
- Find it difficult resisting temptation
- Have trouble taking turns
- May have a hard time getting along with others
- Being overactive and/or impulsive
- Pay little attention to details and makes careless mistakes
- Have trouble finishing work or school projects
- Find difficulty in paying attention and can be easily distracted
- Are always “on the go”
- Lack Motivation
There are many ways that those with ADD/ADHD are affected; some of these are listed above. It is all in the name of the condition really. Either it is primarily an issue around not being able to pay attention, focus or concentrate properly. Or that the person is hyperactive. Often it is both.
Unfortunately, because of these features of the conditions it can make it more difficult for the person with ADD/ADHD to fit in or to perform well in certain areas such as academics.
This can lead to low self-esteem, social clumsiness, poor social skills or relationship problems, which may then be a contributor to them feeling anxious or depressed.
Rate of ADHD
In the U.S.
The estimated number of children who ever had a diagnosis of ADHD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
National survey of children’s health (NSCH), version 2003-2011:
4.4 million in 2003;
5.4 million in 2007;
6.4 million in 2011.
National survey of children’s health, version 2016:
6.1 million in 2016.
According to a national 2016 parent survey, 6 in 10 children with ADHD had at least one other mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder:
- About 5 in 10 children with ADHD had a behavior or conduct problem.
- About 3 in 10 children with ADHD had anxiety.
ADHD affects 5% of children and 4% of adults across Europe 6 (ADHD Europe).
Around the world ADHD is the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorder in childhood, as it occurs in 3-7% of school-age children, and displays by high heritability of 60-80%, which means that it has a strong genetic background 7.
ADHD is the most common behavioural disorder among children. It is estimated that the condition affects 3-9% of school-aged children and young people. Worldwide, around 2% of adults may be affected by ADHD 8 (Health Service Executive).
How HiddenMind therapy help those with ADD/ ADHD??
- Engages directly with the subconscious mind
- Helps the body to restore the normal production of hormones / neurotransmitters
- Identifies the root cause(s) of the condition
- Promotes re-Integration the left and right hemisphere of the brain
- Works beyond the level of talk therapy
- Reduces the intensity of the stress response in the body
HiddenMind therapy is very gentle and non-invasive, it is perfectly suited to working with people with any kind of special needs and especially those on with ADD/ADHD. Firstly, it does not require touch or direct physical contact. Often those with ADHD can be very sensitive to touch or may need to be in near constant movement or activity. We understand and accommodate for all individual needs and do our best to create a safe, relaxed environment where the person or child can receive therapy without stress.
The therapist can pick up all the information that is needed for corrections to be made through the subconscious mind of the child, by using the method of dowsing. The therapist makes statements directed at the subconscious mind of the child and can get feedback in relation to person or child’s health. The focus of these statements is to measure energetically the level of integration between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, production and circulation of cerebral spinal fluid, levels of stress hormone production and much more. The sources of damage that have been mentioned above are also investigated, this is to help figure out what factors have contributed to the presentation of ADHD in that person. This investigation helps to build a picture as to what is going on in the person’s body and by engaging with the subconscious this way initiates the process of correction and healing.
Please read the HiddenMind: Investigative & Corrective Sound therapy section for more info on this. Special sound frequencies are then selected and used to aid in, and amplify the corrective process. Sound frequency and vibration can penetrate through the whole body, through every cell. In the case of ADHD, it helps to break the established neural networks that have formed in the brain allowing new ones to form and behaviour to change. For someone with ADHD the brain may be unable to process different stimuli efficiently and means they can be easily overwhelmed or overloaded. So, entering a new or strange environment, meeting new people, being exposed to loud noise, colours or being given something to read or learn can overstimulate the brain. This either causes the brain to lose focus as it does not have the ability to process all the information, this is what happens with those with ADD. Or for those with ADHD as the brain reaches the point of overload this sets off the body to enter panic mode. The stress response activates, and this results in the person or the child becoming hyperactive, upset or having a tantrum. For those with ADHD the stress response is overactive to some degree without the individual being overstimulated,their body is in a constant stress response even when the individual is in a relaxed situation. Which means when they do get overstimulated, the stress response goes far beyond what it normally would for someone without the condition as an individual with ADHD is ‘starting’ their response from a stressed state. This can be extremely distressing to the child but also to the parents, teachers and others.
It may be important to note once again that this elevated stress response usually persists into adulthood and appears to be a very similar mechanism that is the main feature of anxiety disorders.
The HiddenMind therapy helps those with ADD/ ADHD by promoting re-integration of the brain hemispheres. Lack of brain hemisphere integration will relate to lack of overall brain function or the brains ability to process information. Therefore, those with ADHD can be very easily overloaded or overstimulated. That is why it is so important to stimulate healing at the brain level and promote communication between the two sides of the brain.
This may be one of the reasons we see many more boys than girls diagnosed with ADHD as it appears male brains are optimised for intrahemispheric and female brains for interhemispheric communication 9. This means, it is possible that both boys and girls are being damaged at the same rate by the sources discussed above, but that girls may be able to compensate much better than boys because of the apparent differences in their brain anatomy 10, how they process information and how their brains function. In our own observations girls may compensate much better when they are younger and their ability to learn, focus and concentrate may not be hampered as much. But at they reach their teenage years, during or after puberty they seem to be affected much more than boys with anxiety disorders, eating disorders, chronic fatigue and others 11.
The standard approach when treating those with ADHD usually revolves around managing symptoms and behaviours but often there are specific drug-based treatments used for those with ADHD. Drugs such as Methylphenidate Hydrochloride a drug you may see branded as “Ritalin” or “Concerta” which functions on the neurotransmitters appears to activate the brain stem arousal system and cortex to produce its stimulant effect and, in some clinical settings, may improve cognitive function11. However, these drugs which are classed as stimulants or amphetamines may help to improve concentration and focus and reduce undesirable behaviour in children but they also have many side-effects and have been linked with higher rates of drug addiction in later life11,12.
HiddenMind therapy can work alongside drug-based therapy or independently of it and we never recommend any change in medication without first consulting your doctor. However, many parents or individuals are looking for a natural way to help with this condition.
A calming of the stress reaction and rebalancing of the neurotransmitters in the body can be achieved in other ways. Both the HiddenMind: Investigative & Corrective Sound therapy and the HiddenMind Bio-Energy therapy can assist in this. By using both these approaches together healing on many levels can be brought about. HiddeMind therapy helps the body restore the appropriate stress reaction in the body. As many troubling behaviours associated with ADHD are due to a constantly elevated stress response. This is where we see a huge improvement with these individuals. They start to calm down and become happier and more content. These changes can occur quite quickly even over the few days of therapy. Healing at the brain level goes on over a much longer time, we would say usually six to nine months but the process of reintegration can be shorter or longer 13. It all depends on the individual.
Having a healthy diet and regular exercise are important for good health for anyone but are particularly important for those with ADHD. Many children and adults with ADHD often have a great affinity for sport and exercise because it helps to use up the stress hormones such as adrenaline and they can feel much more comfortable in themselves during or just after exercise. Unfortunately, this can be short lived as those stress hormones start to quickly build up in their system again. It is often the norm for those with ADHD to be involved in many educational and supportive programmes, there has been a huge focus on this approach. The feedback we get from so many clients/parents is that their child gets much more out of their support programmes after having the HiddenMind therapy. In so many cases parents are delighted to hear from teachers, SNA’s and instructors that their child’s progress in the class or with their learning or socialising has greatly improved. And they are asked “what have you done with your child?” as the child’s behaviour, ability to learn, concentrate, focus, interact and engage with others has greatly improved in a short time. We believe by everyone working together with those with ADHD the best possible outcomes can be brought about. It is vital to stimulate healing in these children and adults, the HiddenMind therapy does this in a way that is gentle, natural and non-invasive based on the principles of energy healing, mindbody therapy and sound frequency. We have helped many people with ADD/ADHD, and we hope to help many more. We look forward to seeing you in our clinic.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html. Reviewed April 8, 2020
2. Mental Health Ireland. https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/a-to-z/#adhd.
3. ADHD Ireland. https://adhdireland.ie/general-information/what-is-adhd/.
4. Health Service Executive. https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/a/adhd/living-with-adhd.html. Reviewed July 7, 2011.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html. Reviewed October 15, 2019.
6. ADHD Europe. https://www.adhdeurope.eu/information/all-about-adhd/.
7. Freitag, C.M., Rohde, L.A., Lempp, T., and Romanos, M. (2010). Phenotypic and measurement influences on heritability estimates in childhood ADHD. European child & adolescent psychiatry 19, 311-323.)
8. Health Service Executive. https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/a/adhd/living-with-adhd.html. Reviewed July 7, 2011.
9. Ingalhalikar M, Smith A, Parker D, et al. Sex differences in the structural connectome of the human brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(2):823–828. doi:10.1073/pnas.1316909110
10. Ritchie SJ, Cox SR, Shen X, et al. Sex Differences in the Adult Human Brain: Evidence from 5216 UK Biobank Participants. Cereb Cortex. 2018;28(8):2959–2975. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy109
13. Tom Griffin, Nuala Bent Ph.D.; HiddenMind: A Journey of Reconnection (2015)