Neurofeedback: An Underrated Form of ADHD Treatment

You have probably heard of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and chances are, you know someone who is diagnosed with it. This is because ADHD is the most prevalent mental health disorder affecting children in Canada (Centre of ADHD Awareness Canada). While ADHD is considered a complex genetic trait, there are three common symptoms that can easily be explained:

  • Inattention: Being unable to focus.

  • Hyperactivity: Excessive movement in an unfitting environment.

  • Impulsivity: Making rash decisions and acting hastily without any thought.

If left untreated, ADHD can negatively impact almost every aspect of an individual’s life. ADHD can contribute to several health problems including anxiety, chronic stress, and compulsive eating. Furthermore, a person with ADHD may feel a strong sense of underachievement as they may have a harder time concentrating in school and/or work. In addition, people with ADHD often feel a strain on the relationships in their life which can lead to loneliness.

While you may be thinking that there are medications available for treatment, users often undergo a lengthy trial and error process to find medication that best suits them. A recent survey conducted by ADDitude found that on average, an individual tries 2.7-3.5 medications before determining which one is right for them. However, not everyone is lucky enough to find a medication that works well. 34% of survey respondents reported that they stopped taking their medication altogether because of the side effects they were facing. Side effects include:

  • Loss of appetite experienced by 58% of children and 35% of adults surveyed

  • Irritability experienced by 34% of children and 24% of adults surveyed

  • Sleep disturbances experienced by 28% of children and 23% of adults surveyed

Taken from ADDitude special report on ADHD (2017)

Neurofeedback Training is another option to treat these symptoms. Neurofeedback is a form of behaviour therapy in which the parameters of a person’s brain-waves are monitored, recorded, and altered through visual and auditory rewards. It is a technique used to teach individuals how to self-regulate their brain functioning. Neurofeedback has been recognized as an effective method for reducing ADHD symptoms by the American Psychological Association yet, ADDitude’s research survey showed that only 5% of respondents used Neurofeedback training. 42% of adults and 30% of parents with children diagnosed with ADHD gave Neurofeedback a high rating. Ultimately, this means that while Neurofeedback may not be the most well known form of treatment, its effectiveness is still ranked highly when compared to other treatments. Click here to learn more about Neurofeedback and see if you or anyone you know may benefit from this treatment.

References

https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-treatment-options-caregivers-adults-survey-results/

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/what-is-adhd

http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/For-Adults/Living-with-ADHD-A-Lifespan-Disorder/Relationships-Social-Skills/Social-Skills-in-Adults-with-ADHD.aspx

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/adhd-attention-deficit-disorder-in-adults.htm

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/03/cover-feedback.aspx

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