One excellent thing is to educate yourself about this disordered condition. Read reliable, conventional information, such as books and internet articles and sites, but also read reliable holistic sites, often authored by doctors and other credentialed, licensed professionals. Do this so you will be able to temper your emotional reactions with the knowledge you are gaining, helping you to become more compassionate about what this person is experiencing in addition to what you are feeling. There is increasing scientific evidence that ADHD happens due to a combination of unhealthy lifestyle choices and your genes, although through lifestyle choices, you can usually quiet these genes down!
So actively support people with the ADHD diagnosis! Make it clear that you understand they are not being lazy and/or defiant. ADHD is not a problem that develops due to lack of motivation, an inherent behavioral issue, intentionally choosing difficult behavior, and of course – it is not a moral failing! Within this support you are being nonjudgmental. Instead, be someone who positively encourages a person to persevere and move forward and grow.
You might also choose to advocate for this individual. Explain what you already know and are learning to others, so they may become a bit more compassionate, too. Be diplomatic. Educate others without being judgmental of them regardless of their attitudes and opinions. Point out the many strengths of those with this diagnostic label to others – this will also bolster the self-esteem of those who are saddled with this condition (although with some decisive lifestyle changes, this does not have to last for long)!
Encourage this individual to eat an extremely healthy diet, as improved dietary habits may well quiet some (if not all) of the difficult-to-manage symptoms and accompanying feelings (and subsequent behavioral choices). Since micronutrients like zinc, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, etc. are known to be deficient in many people with this disorder, suggest this person be tested periodically. Knowing if there are food allergies present (tests are readily available) may also have a significant impact on people with this diagnosis.
Supplements such as Omega-3’s are often indicated, especially with children, like flaxseeds, chia seeds, salmon, etc. B vitamins are indicated for inflammation and to bolster the immune system. While we are on this subject, cut out the junk food, soda, etc. (yes, even fruit juices since they contain a lot of sugar), and encourage regular consumption of healthy veggies and berries (lower-sugar fruits). Be creative in your recipes – and make delicious tasting smoothies with veggies and a little fruit – because healthy food, prepared well, also tastes delicious!
And as always, we wish you a happy and holistically healthy day!
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.