How Can I Treat ADHD without Medication?

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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 12 May 2020
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It is possible to treat ADHD without medication. You can choose to use counseling or therapy as treatment, for example. Another treatment option is to teach the parents of the child how to use specific techniques that ADHD children respond to. Improving your child's lifestyle, such by encouraging exercise and a healthy diet, is another way you can treat ADHD without medication. Some people try using alternative therapies instead of medication, such as eliminating certain foods, but those may or may not be effective.

Counseling is one way you can treat ADHD without medication. You may wish to see a psychologist to talk about ADHD and to learn about ways to cope with the disease. An older child or teenager may also benefit from seeing a psychologist for ADHD. Another counseling option is to see a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy. The therapist will help you or a child learn new ways to handle tough situations, such as learning to concentrate in busy, loud environments.

Other ways to treat ADHD without medication include hiring a specialist to help a child learn social skills and how to cope with life in a classroom. Training parents of children with ADHD to reward good behavior and set firm limits for their children can also be an effective treatment, even though the parents are learning the new skills, not the patient. Adults with ADHD may seek treatment by hiring a specialist to help them learn to be organized and manage their time well.

Setting up a routine is another way to treat ADHD with medication. If you have a child with the disease, set definitive bed times and wake up times, schedule meals, and establish rituals for getting schoolwork and chores done. You may want to set up routines for yourself if you struggle with ADHD. In some cases, using alarms and timers will help you or your child stick to the set schedule.

A proper diet can also help manage ADHD. Setting up meal and snack times is part of eating a proper diet. Eat plenty of carbohydrates from whole grain sources or from fruits and vegetables. You should also eat enough protein. Avoiding junk food is a good idea. Although it's not proven that a diet high in sugar exacerbates ADHD symptoms, it can make you unhealthy in other ways.

The food you eat should also be high in vitamins and minerals, though it may not be advisable to take mega-doses of vitamins to treat ADHD without medication. Exercise and activities such as yoga can help you feel better emotionally. There's no firm evidence that doing yoga will treat ADHD, though.

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