For many people, a lack of focus and a general cluttering of thoughts is a daily struggle. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) affects up to 5% (over 11,000,000) adults in the United States. Moreover, many people who express symptoms are not diagnosed with ADD. For many who suffer from the disorder, anxiety is a prevalent symptom. Whether it is ADD itself or simply a reaction of dealing with the disorder, one can not deny the toll that anxiety can take. Modern medical research has attempted to move away from traditional medication, seeking treatment that has less side-effects and less long term dependency.
What is ADD and ADHD
Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder are chronic conditions that involve impulsiveness, hyperactivity and attention span limitations. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-V), ADD/ADHD symptoms include:
- Trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
- Experiences anxiety or a sense of urgency throughout the day.
- Has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
- Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
There is no question that these symptoms could become a serious hinderance on one’s life. While medication does work for many individuals with ADD/ADHD, there are plenty of accounts that claim their medication has undesirable side effects. These side effects include but are not limited to: headaches, restlessness, fever, dry mouth and insomnia. Understandably, some ADD patients are trying new methods of treatment to avoid negative effects.
The Modern Approach
Neurofeedback is a relatively new method of treating various cognitive dysfunctions. For ADD and ADHD, the patient wears a neurofeedback headpiece (which monitors brain waves) and is told to control the images on the screen in front of them. When the brain is emitting waves that are associated with attention and focus, the “game” will continue on. If the brain begins emitting waves that show distraction or loss of attention, the game will shut off entirely. After a number of sessions, patients find that their overall attention is much higher than before hand. While it may be a new form of treatment, neurofeedback therapy adhd patients have experienced results that simply can not be denied. With neurofeedback ocd therapy also becoming more common, it is clear that these methods are here to stay. Only time will tell what is in store for the future of neurofeedback therapy and medicine as a whole.