Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a very common disorder in children and adults that has no specific identified neuroanatomical, physiological, biochemical or psychological origin. Symptoms often manifest in the form of challenges with concentration, short attention span, hyperactivity and impulsivity. As a result, individuals struggling with this disorder may be labelled as “lazy” or “stupid” and develop lower self-esteem.
For a child in school, at home, or in public it might be difficult for them to keep their impulsivity, hyperactivity, and attention under control. Their minds are not the same as most others but that doesn’t mean they are trying any less. In adults, the impulsivity, hyperactivity, and attention are difficult to maintain as well. This can cause problems with relationships, work performance, and self-esteem.
ADHD is rather complicated to address: it takes a strong and well-educated support system to help select appropriate treatments, encourage positive social development and lay the foundation for academic achievement.
When dealing with either a child or adult with ADHD, there are a number of things that may be difficult for them such as concentration, organization, work (classes or a job), relationships and much more.
Patients are often treated with medications such as methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine, which can come with a variety of side effects including decreased appetite, insomnia, irritability and anxiety. This one-size-fits-all approach fails to address the differences in the patient’s needs — what works for one individual may not work for another. Parents are also concerned about the long-term effects of administering psychoactive medications to their children. And, as with many chronic childhood illnesses, parents are turning to complementary and alternative forms of medicine, such as hypnotherapy.
Research has been conducted using alternative therapy methods and has yielded positive results; in particular, hypnosis has been found to help patients with ADHD focus, concentrate and control stressful situations. Perhaps the most influential element that hypnosis brings to patients with ADHD is the hope and realization that they can change their behaviour and be in control of their actions.
Hypnosis is very effective as an alternative, or complementary, form of therapy for patients with ADHD: it helps both adults and children control their symptoms without the negative side effects of pharmaceuticals. Individuals with ADHD have a phenomenal natural ability to multi-task and high energy level, both of which can help them succeed if utilized effectively.
The goal of using hypnosis in such way is to allow the client to accomplish more throughout their daily lives. Children are able to grow into more productive adults while adults can utilize their concentration and planning skills to do better at work or to complete simple tasks at home.
Hypnosis will also allow both child and adult to build self-esteem. This is key to reaching any of the other goals they set to accomplish as well as understanding themselves better.
How Can Hypnosis Help?
Hypnotherapy can assist patients with ADHD in the following ways:
1. Planting positive ideas
By placing the patient in a state of deep relaxation, a hypnotherapist can produce a state of heightened focus that makes the individual highly receptive to positive suggestions. For example, if the patient has issues sleeping due to distractions and restlessness, a hypnotherapist can help them relax at will and find the motivation to want to rest at night.
2. No side effects
Hypnotherapy can allow patients to control their symptoms without the use of medication. Besides their adverse side effects, many approved pharmaceuticals for ADHD do not address the disorder’s root cause: they mask simply the symptoms. As a result, therapy will always be more effective in assisting patients progress as individuals.
3. Moving Forward
The subconscious plays an important role — it affects our behaviour, shapes our personalities and stores beliefs, memories and life experiences. It can also be used as a place to plant ideas and, with hypnotherapy, can be conditioned in such a way that addresses symptoms and compulsions. For example, if a patient is constantly afraid that they’ll never be able to develop their ability to focus then no progress will be made. However, a hypnotherapist can help the patient develop their ability to focus and concentrate over time, eventually reaching a point where the individual is genuinely happy, healthy and confident in their abilities.
Whether it’s a child or an adult, hypnotherapy can be a viable method of addressing the trials and tribulations of ADHD. While it’s not a substitution for conventional therapy, hypnosis can be a powerful tool to supplement a patient’s treatment to acquire the best possible results.
Disclaimer: As with all medical treatments, please consult your family doctor or general practitioner before using hypnosis.
Barabasz, A., & Barabasz, M. (1995). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:. Journal of Neurotherapy,1(1), 1-10.
Barabasz, A. F., Barabasz, M., & Warner, D. A. (2000). Neurotherapy and Alert Hypnosis in the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Child Study Journal,30, 1st ser., 43.
Calhoun, G., & Bolton, J. A. (1986, December 01). Hypnotherapy: A Possible Alternative for Treating Pupils Affected with Attention Deficit Disorder. Retrieved June 06, 2017, from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pms.19220.127.116.111
Jones, S. G., Ed.S. (2009, May 15). Treat ADHD with Hypnosis. Retrieved June 06, 2017, from http://www.naturalnews.com/026267_adhd_hypnosis_child.html
Managing ADHD – using your talents deliberately. (n.d.). Retrieved June 06, 2017, from http://www.hypnosisdownloads.com/clinical-hypnotherapy/manage-adhd
As someone who lives with Attention Deficit Hyperacitivity Disorder (combined type), Melvin S. Marsh is also certified hypnotherapist in Augusta, Georgia who is also certified in ADHD Hypnosis. He performs hypnotherapy appointments both in person and worldwide via Skype and Zoom. He can be reached at http://www.afterhourshypnotherapy.com or afterhourshypnotherapy @ gmail.com . Please go online to make an appointment.