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Possibility of Application of Natural Treatments for ADHD instead of Drug-based Approach: Analytical Essay

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This combined with the fact that the companies that provide these types of medication, essentially that they all have a significant amount of resources to invest into research, both meaning that the information around medication is very clear and well understood universally. Therefore, people can make educated decisions with the breadth of knowledge that is available to them and there is not going to be any confusion that could cause patients to experience any problems. Another positive of medication in treating ADHD is that it usually does have the desired effect, just combined with the side-effects as well. There is no doubt as to whether these different types of drugs reduce the symptoms of ADHD and over the many years of being studied, they have been almost perfected in the way that they do help people deal with some of the more negative aspects of living with ADHD. Therefore, they do ultimately do what they are intended to do, very efficiently, the issue simply lies in the side effects that will come as a result, but if they can be managed, medication is a trusted and effective solution. A final strength of medication in treating ADHD is that it is now highly accessible due to the amount of research that has gone into it as well as the fact that medication can be replicated on a much larger scale than some other treatments. Due to this fact people that need quick treatment for their ADHD symptoms can get a very quick solution that will be able to solve the main issues almost immediately. This is a strength of medication when treating ADHD because of the fact that it can be treated universally with drug therapy and in most cases this treatment is good enough for this to be the most efficient plan going forward. However, this extreme accessibility can also produce a quite serious negative because the treatment is so available for people that think they may need it, it can lead to some people being prescribed medication when they do not actually need it, but because the medication is so accessible, there does not have to be many barriers that block whether someone can be prescribed it or not. If a person that does not actually need the medication, gets prescribed it, this could cause much more harm than good and thus practitioners need to be careful to make sure that this does not happen.

It is now relevant to look at the number of weaknesses that comes with using medication as the main way of treating people with ADHD. The first weakness of note comes from the multitude of side-effects that the drugs used to treat ADHD come with. Some of the common side effects that are seen from medication used to treat ADHD include, but are not limited to: decreased appetite CITATION NHS2018 l 2057 (NHS, 2018) (which can negatively affect healthy weight gain and physical development, especially in children), mood swings CITATION NHS2018 l 2057 (NHS, 2018) (which can negatively affect the mental health of the individual), increased aggression CITATION NHS2018 l 2057 (NHS, 2018) (can further damage a person’s mental health, as well as potentially affecting their personal relationships) and a combination of nauseaheadachesvomitingdiarrhoea CITATION NHS2018 l 2057 (NHS, 2018) (all obviously being detrimental to someone’s health). These side effects may not harm everyone, but for the people that they do harm, they can be very damaging to a person’s life and the people around them as they are all quite serious side-effects that someone may have to deal with almost everyday (if they are taking the medication regularly).Therefore, this is a weakness of using medication as the primary treatment for ADHD because for some people taking the medication, the side-effects actually end up causing more harm than the positives of taking the medication in the first place and so suitable alternatives must be pursued. Another side-effect of using medication to treat ADHD is that it is more expensive method of treatment than the potential alternatives. While being accessible, medication is still a relatively expensive way of treating ADHD when there may potentially be treatments that are either completely free or considerably cheaper. This could be taxing on certain people that cannot afford regular treatment and thus have decide whether to get medication or other necessities that they require. It is also just unfortunate that people must pay in order to treat an illness that is out of their control and so if there can be better alternatives found, they should be looked at. This is a smaller weakness than that of the side-effects but if a cheaper alternative can be found then there is no reason why it should not be pursued and so it is still a weakness, nevertheless. A final weakness comes mainly from one of the types of drugs used to treat ADHD, namely stimulants. The issue with stimulants is that they have the potential to be abused. This is because stimulants can increase dopamine levels and can cause feelings of euphoria when taken in high doses. Addiction is described as being caused when “your reward center mistakes drugs for a viable source of chemical reward and works to encourage you to use stimulants repeatedly.” CITATION Vis21 l 2057 (Vista Pines Health, 2021). This is obviously problematic for stimulants, which also happen to be the most commonly prescribed drug for the treatment of ADHD CITATION Rya11 l 2057 (Ryan, 2011), and therefore alternatives where this could not be the case are much more desirable because abuse of stimulant can potentially ruin lives if it gets out of hand. While there definitely there are some strengths to using medication to treat ADHD, mainly the plethora of research and its wide availability, there are still many weaknesses including the potentially severe side-effects as well as the cost and the potential for abuse. Due to these weaknesses, a natural alternative to treating ADHD is definitely desirable and research does show positive signs, it is just whether there is enough to completely replace ADHD treatment from medication to more natural methods.

Overview and evaluation of new, potential natural treatments for ADHDA natural treatment is one that does not occur artificially, in the same sense that medication does, and thus does not have artificial effects on the body. These treatments avoid do not share the same shortcomings as medication and potentially provide a much more sustainable solution in dealing with ADHD in the long-term. Interest in these natural alternatives has been steadily increasing in recent years and there is now some substantial research that points towards natural treatments being very beneficial for people with ADHD. This essay will look at dietary control with multi-nutrients, the effects of physical activity, therapy and exposure to nature.

Firstly, dietary control with multi-nutrients is an area that could potentially have a great effect on symptoms of ADHD. A study conducted a trial titled “Multinutrients for ADHD Youth (MADDY) Trial: Preliminary Trends for Treatment” CITATION Ste19 l 2057 (Stern, 2019) which investigated the effects of a change in nutrition through the use of supplements. They study was a “fully funded, multi-site, randomized double-blinded clinical trial for adolescents ages 6-12 years,” CITATION Ste19 l 2057 (Stern, 2019). This study found that after the 16-week study, there was a significant decrease in the symptom count found for inattention and hyperactivity, which was assessed through the use of validated questionnaires in 27 families CITATION Ste19 l 2057 (Stern, 2019). This study is obviously very recent, showing that this avenue of potential alternative treatments for ADHD is still very much in its infancy. That does not mean that the results are any less valuable and they do definitely suggest that dietary control could massively aid people in controlling their symptoms of ADHD. The main issue with this research is that it is a such a small amount of research to go of off and while the trends are definitely encouraging, they by no means confirm anything. Another issue is also presented due to the fact that diet is almost impossible to fully control and so it is very hard to ever say conclusively that only one change caused a certain result. Overall, while the results of this study are encouraging for the future and people looking for alternative treatment methods could definitely try adjusting their diet, this is still an area that will require substantial research to even reach any sort of conclusion and so at least for now cannot be strongly considered as a key aspect for that argument that natural treatments could replace drug treatment, at present.

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Another area of natural treatment that could potentially reduce the symptoms of ADHD significantly is physical activity. While it is widely known that physical activity is beneficial for both physical and mental health universally, there is an increasing amount of interest about the specific positives it may offer for reducing the symptoms of ADHD that people have to deal with. A study was done that found physical activity before working reduced the symptoms of ADHD exhibited, as long as there was a wind down period CITATION Sum12 l 2057 (Summerell, 2012). It found out that physical activity can also be more detrimental for ADHD symptoms if there is not a suitable wind down period after the physical activity, but if this wind down time is given, then the symptoms of ADHD are significantly reduced. This study reached the conclusion that physical activity is definitely an effective measure for people to take when they are trying to look for more natural methods to treat symptoms of ADHD CITATION Sum12 l 2057 (Summerell, 2012). While this is just one study that definitely did not have a universal scope, it is of a much wider consensus that physical activity is a very real way to, naturally, reduce the symptoms of ADHD that someone exhibits. This natural treatment can be much confidently given to patients as a why to help them with their ADHD. It is still at the stage in research, however, where it would most likely be prescribed with medication as well to try and get optimal results but as the research gets more refined, it could definitely be a key aspect of an eventual natural treatment plan for ADHD.

Cognitive behaviour therapy is another area of potentially natural treatments that has been explored quite significantly. It would be a very significant part of a potentially completely natural treatment for ADHD because of the key findings that studies have found of its effects. One of these pieces of key research was done at Massachusetts general hospital in 2006 and found the significant effects that CBT can have on patients with ADHD CITATION Saf06 l 2057 (Safren, 2006). This study looked at 11 individuals (9 men and 2 women) who had all not responded to medication treatment, then treating them with CBT and measuring the results CITATION Saf06 l 2057 (Safren, 2006). This study acknowledged that psychotherapy is usually used with medication in treatment of ADHD, but only used psychotherapy without the use of medication and found that the results were still very positive for the reductio of visible symptoms CITATION Saf06 l 2057 (Safren, 2006). It also suggests that this approach could be very useful for adults with ADHD because the organised nature of the sessions can help people declutter their often more unorganised lives, that have come into fruition because of their ADHD CITATION Saf06 l 2057 (Safren, 2006). This is study is good evidence for the benefits of using CBT as a natural treatment for ADHD because it was used in isolation without medication to show its isolated effects. The problem with a lot of studies on CBT is that it is combined with the use of medication and so the researchers cannot be certain that it was the therapy itself having the effect on the participant. With this study it can only be the therapy and so that is a strength of this study. A weakness of this study is that it was only done on 11 participants and so the results cannot be easily extrapolated. Due to the fact that there were so few participants, it cannot confidently be known that they all weren’t just abnormal results because there are not enough participants to make a good comparison. However, other studies have gone on to replicate similar findings and so in using them with this study, the weakness is no longer relevant. Overall, CBT has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of ADHD and would definitely be a crucial part to a natural approach to treatment for ADHD. Even in the current treatment of ADHD with medication, CBT is still very commonly used to improve the results and so it is a definitely a key part of treatment and would aid a fully natural approach in replacing the current medication approach to treatment.

A final natural treatment that could potentially be a part of a fully natural treatment for ADHD is exposure to nature. This treatment is similar to the physical exercise one in the sense that it is known to be very healthy for both the physical body and the mind, but it has also been found, as well, to massively aid people in dealing with symptoms of ADHD. A study looked at children with ADHD across the United States and got their parents to rate the aftereffects of 49 common after-school and weekend activities on the child’s symptoms, some involving greenery and some not CITATION Kuo04 l 2057 (Kuo, 2004). They found that green, outdoor activities significantly reduced symptoms more than activities that were conducted in other settings even when the activity was matched CITATION Kuo04 l 2057 (Kuo, 2004). The findings are easily extrapolated as well because they were described as being “consistent across age, gender, and income groups; community types; geographic regions; and diagnoses” CITATION Kuo04 l 2057 (Kuo, 2004). This research is incredibly useful in the sense that it empirically shows that exposure to nature does reduce ADHD symptoms regardless of many other factors that could come into effect and so this proof here is another to say that exposure to nature would be very significant. Therefore, although exposure to nature is a part of a healthy lifestyle for anyone, it is even more important for people with ADHD and would certainly be a part of a natural treatment for ADHD.

ConclusionIn conclusion, medication for ADHD does have its relative positives and is definitely a sufficient solution for many people at present. However, it is not without its fair share of weaknesses and so pursuit for a more natural alternative would definitely be beneficial for society. This essay has outlined evidence for a number of natural treatments that could potentially increase in significance in treating ADHD. The current answer is that natural treatments cannot fully replace medication because there simply hasn’t been enough research and investment into these natural treatments to put them in a position to become the main form of treatment. However, all the initial signs from the research outlined are positive and if the research done in the future follows these trends, then there is a very realistic future when people can be fully treated using only natural methods which would eradicate all of the negatives that medication bring along.

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Possibility of Application of Natural Treatments for ADHD instead of Drug-based Approach: Analytical Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 30, 2023, from
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