ADD or The Hyperactive
the Homeopathic Approach
As a physician who
has successfully treated hundreds of ADD/ADHD patients over the
years, and based on my training in different healing modalities (internal
medicine, neurology, acupuncture and homeopathy), I think I am in
a good position to compare the value of different treatments for
What is normal behavior in a child? I remember when childhood was an ungraded test. Growing up in Belgium, I built forts and played cowboys and Indians. The real clock did not start until high school. Now children get homework in the first grade and parents do anything to help their children get ahead, like putting three-year-olds in a private school for $9,000 a year. Is there still a place for childhood in an anxious America? My own childhood behavior, if I were in elementary school today, would surely trigger a psychological evaluation, followed by the inevitable prescription of Ritalin.
So what about that ubiquitous Ritalin? Why does a stimulant sometimes seem to calm a hyperactive child? Doctors dont know why. (Ask a homeopath though, and he will tell you about the homeopathic law Like Cures Like. When it works for a limited timeits because the childs particular symptoms match the behavior stimulated by the drug.) It has now been used for a half century, and one hypothesis of why Ritalin works is that ADHD stems from inadequate dopamine levels in the brain, but proof of this has been tough to come by. What are the latest findings?
works for a short time in some children to reduce
symptoms of ADHD, but no studies have proved a lasting effect on
Safety? It causes insomnia, a decrease in appetite, and delayed growth, disturbing news considering that 50% of children derive no benefit whatsoever from Ritalin
A positive response initially to Ritalin does not automatically mean a child suffers from ADHD. Stimulants will temporarily sharpen almost anyones focus!
It is not a panacea. It will not boost IQ nor help children whose main symptoms are not hyperactivity but rather inattention or daydreaming, a problem that affects more girls with ADHD than boys.
availability of Ritalin (its use has increased 7 fold over the
past 8 years) raises fears of abuse, while in one study Ritalin
caused liver cancer mice (although this was not considered a
reason to stop the drug). Well-meaning teachers pressure parents
to put a child on Ritalin when they feel his behavior disturbs
the classroom. This leads to anguish on the part of the parents,
who must decide whether their childs very active behavior
is abnormal to the point of needing treatment and whether to use
drugs to control that behavior.
Individualization is the key in treating any chronic condition with homeopathy, but it is particularly important in treating children with ADHD. Symptoms in these children can vary greatly: some are violent and aggressive, others are sweet, sensitive and compassionate, trying to cooperate fully with the physician although unable to concentrate in school. This diversity explains why no one medication, whether prescription or homeopathic, will work for all these children.
Lets have an in-depth look at homeopathy.
Homeopathy is a true science based on laws and principles AND the only scientific way of testing its validity: remedies tested on healthy individuals, not animals neither sick patients as is done in Western medicine. Western medicine has no principles or laws, except that the Contrary Cures the Contrary. This is why no therapy in Western medicine survives the test of time. After some years, at first heralded therapies are abandoned and new ones are pursued. They call it progress, but true healing methods have survived centuries of scrutinies. Homeopathy is almost 200 years old while acupuncture survived 5,000 years. What was true and efficient then still is now! What is left of medicine from 200 years ago? Thank God nothing, because deaf people were put in asylums, mental patients got flogged and tortured, while starving, purging and blood letting were crude methods performed by the star physicians of that time. That modern medicine still changes its opinions on the drop of a hat is demonstrated daily. AZT, the miracle drug for AIDS patients was first advised to be taken not only by full-blown AIDS patients, but also by anyone who tested HIV positive without symptoms. Shortly after this it was found that half of the doses worked as well and cut down on the side-effects. Then a study in Europe showed that AZT did not provide any benefit in prolonging the quantity and quality of an AIDS patient, followed recently by advise in the USA that doctors should not prescribe AZT automatically to AIDS patients. From riches to rags in a couple of years.
Before I start explaining you what homeopathy can do for your ADD child, consider the advantages of homeopathy when compared to Western medicine.
treatment is individualized-it considers the whole patient
himself through symptoms, rather than the disease as a name. Too
often, we physicians think that our work is finished when we put
the patient in a category of disease. Yes, you have ADD.
Here is the prescription for Ritalin. Go home and pray that it
will work. Homeopathy does not need a name of disease. It
looks at the person as a whole and tries to find the contributing
factors of disease.
All remedies recommended in homeopathy have extensive human experiment. Contrary to what opponents of homeopathy would have you believe, all remedies are tested in the only scientific way, i.e. on normal, healthy individuals.
The homeopathic method of prescribing on a totality of symptoms is designed to be curative, not just palliative and suppressive as when takes a sleeping pill for insomnia. Little in allopathic medicine is directed at reparation.
Homeopathy has its time-tested usefulness. Medical fads run their course and disappear rapidly, whereas homeopathy is practiced all over the world.
There is no drugging effect, and there are no side-effects from homeopathic remedies. Unwanted effects are homeopathic aggravations, recognized by the well-trained homeopath and easily managed.
Its cost is very modest and its application is simple. Practicing homeopathy by a majority of physicians would turn the health budget around over night!! This is quite different from the high prices of drugs now often used in ADD/ADHD like Ritalin, Cylert or Tofranil with all their side effects. Not one ADD/ADHD patient in this world has to stay sick because they cant afford the medications.
Most of the remedies are prepared from fresh plants and minerals. Properly stored away from heat or radiation, they keep their strength indefinitely.
Is it not amazing that despite this long list of the benefits of homeopathy that some not-so-well-intentioned people still label this great science as quackery?
Practical plan for the ADD/ADHD patient
Time-Line for Order of Treatment and Diagnosis
For a physician,
every investigation into an illness starts with a good inquiry.
Getting the facts together, the symptoms with their modalities
and the different factors in the patients lifestyle which
contribute to the disease are essential in restoring the patients
health. Yet most physicians neglect the all-important question: What
happened in your life when you became sick or just before you
became sick? I see enough doctors reports from my
patient. They are explicit enough in the description of symptoms
and the enumeration of the different illnesses, but they rarely
link the onset of the disease to a meaningful event in the
patients life. Yet the onset is most often the clue to the
solution. For your ADD child, identifying the onset will be your
first task. Communicate to your physician the exact circumstances
and the first symptoms observed.
Some examples that I have seen in practice will clarify this. Of ten ADD children I treat, they all may be getting the same prescription medication, but they may have ten different beginnings or etiologies. They may have beennever well since such diverse circumstances as:
heartbreak (divorce of parents, death of a pet, moving from the
a fright (locked in a car trunk, or almost killed in a car accident)
difficult delivery when being born, sometimes with a trauma to the head from the use of forceps or suction, sometimes with temporary lack of oxygen
the longterm effects of an operation, because of sensitivity to anesthesia
severe diarrhea with dehydration
recurrent antibiotic intake
the death of a family member
I have seen all these factors lead to ADHD cases in my practice. Your pediatrician may not be able to make anything of this information, but a homeopathic physician will come up with ten different remedies for these ten different children. Doesnt it make more sense to treat the root of the problem, and not merely the little sick branches (the symptoms)? Yet most doctors, alternative or conventional, do little more than trimming the twigs (removing the symptoms) because they do not know how to treat the sick root, the source of the symptoms. Conventional medicine does not have the tools to repair the beginnings of ADD. So they keep on using the few medications that cover some of its symptoms. Only holistic modalities like acupuncture and chiropractic and especially homeopathy are capable of turning ADD patients lives around.
The term miasm is an old medical term used in Hahnemanns time (the 1800s) and by Dr. Hahnemann himself to reflect a certain predisposition, a defect that can be transferred from generation to generation. This theory so well set-out by Hahnemann corresponds to our genetic work of today, except that homeopaths are two hundred years ahead of conventional medicine in applying this theory in practice. For more explanation of miasms, I can refer you to my book Human Condition Critical. For the purpose of this article, it is sufficient to classify these ADD/ADHD children into four major groups, which I will call the Support-Needy, the Stimulation/Excitement Seekers, the Destructive ones, and the Changeable/Restless. As we will see, each of these groups has different symptoms and behavioral expressions, which will reflect the many different kinds of ADD/ADHD children we have. Dont we have some that cant pay attention, but are the sweetest kids around? Others are restless and seem to forget the moment you teach them something. Then there are those who feel the need to be malicious and hurt someone, while some ADHD children exhibit the constant need to kiss and touch everyone around. Are all these children alike? Obviously not, so the myth that a drug like Ritalin would cover all of these children is just that, a myth. Lets look at the four major groups.
absent minded: loses thread of conversation, loss of short-term memory, inattention, easily distracted by slightest diversion, is in a constant brain fag
best time to do their mental work is the evening (8 p.m.
till 3 a.m.), unfortunately thats when they come
alive for other things too: they love the
night life and go to the extreme of switching the day
life to the night life; of course then they are exhausted
the next day in school
tendency to conceal things, lies easily, boasts all the time; conceals parts of the real him: his performances at school, athletic performances, successes with the opposite sex, etc., he exaggerates the extent of them
loves and needs company: the more people, the better; has no problems to get acquainted with strangers, people are very charmed by the sycotic child who is full of tricks and inventiveness
loves to hang out with a bunch of his friends, looking for mischievous things to do, looking for the next short-living thrill; they are dare-devils, taking risks just to look good with their friends; they incite others to do the same daring deeds; they love films with high speed, stunts, guns; they rather live a short life full of excitement than a long boring life
jealousy can be outspoken: towards friends, younger siblings, the success other children have at school, towards the jocks at school
children with colic from birth on
impatient, wants things now, cant take no for an answer
will do anything to get the attention of others: bright clothes, orange hair, tattoos, rings through the nose, flaunting their bodies with tight jeans, miniskirts, bare midriffs; they love to shock people and their parents
mind on sexual organs, preoccupation with sexuality
great physical stamina when excited by things he is doing: sports, dancing, playing music; otherwise complains about feeling too fatigued to do his homework upon returning from school; but feels great again in the evening
mental and physical restless sleep
suspicious, mean, selfish
suicidal tendency in the heat of the passion (no one understands me, two friends committing suicide together
The Destructive Ones
the child cant explain and does not realize his symptoms
mentally dull, ignorant, stupid, sulky, sullen, morose
he can read but cant retain, must reread to comprehend; slowness in comprehension, they forget what they were about to say
urge for destruction is very characteristic: breaks things, with a malicious intent; loves to destroy toys, books, your furniture; cruelty with absence of remorse
at slightest provocation, and even without, resorts to fighting, cursing, nasty behavior; everybody is out there to hurt him; he hates everything: his life, school, work, parents, the government
lack of sense of duty and responsibility, cold blooded, perversion
aversion to company, introvert; locks himself up in his room and plays on the computer; asocial, misanthropic
depression, despair, sulking with suicidal tendencies: giving up on life, rather a lack of passion
laughs inappropriately (in school, at a funeral, etc.)
they like to hurt people (emotionally too) and animals: kick their dog for no reason; they like to hurt their younger sibling out of satisfaction it gives them
disrespectful to any authority (teachers, parents, physicians, police, etc.); they dress to shock people, but not for the thrill, rather to hurt people, out of meanness, as a show of disrespect for the rest of the world
they are fascinated with cemeteries, satanic cults, Dracula and have a morbid interest in skeletons or medical books looking up pictures of deformed people
unsuccessful in arithmetical calculations
great restlessness, driving him out of bed
no mercy, sympathy or affection, despotic, domineering
hereditary tendency to alcoholism; consumes alcohol not to belong or for the excitement, rather to numb the isolated, sad feelings he has; tendency to take street drugs and medical drugs; addictive personality
fascination especially with knives, also guns
tendency to depression; wants to be left alone; indifferent to pleasurable things, avoids people in general (not because he is timid, but because he does not like people in general)
complete aversion to meat
behavior worse from sunset to sunrise
depression, suicide, mental disease, alcoholism in the family history
Dissatisfied and Changeable Ones
good memory but easily fatigued by mental work, becoming confused and averse to mental work
impatient if their wishes are not happening fast enough; or giving up easily when the desired result is not forthcoming
easily impressionable, easily enthusiastic, but tiring quickly in their interest; they change the object/subject of their interest very quickly
temper tantrums with breaking and throwing things when their little whims are not satisfied quickly enough
they crave excitement and new things all the time; they hardly take the time to explore the new things, settings, places, etc.
loquacious in the class, frustrated with rigid teachers, easily coming along with excitable ones
loves to run around, listening to music
tend to be allergic to fury animals (dogs, cats)
argumentative and contrary behavior
biting, destroying toys, books
refuses to come into consulting room, shrieks and yells and kicks; unreasonable terror in a child at a medical examination or with strangers
loves bacon, smoked foods, milk, salt, chocolate
fear of thunder, being alone, being in the dark
Many of the ADHD
children will fall under the Stimulation/Excitement group. Yet I
have seen ADHD children from all four groups and sometimes
symptoms of different groups in one child. The well-trained
homeopathic physician will recognize which group is mainly
represented in that child. Then his task starts. Each of these
groups have numerous remedies. The physician will tailor the
remedy to each child, thereby assuring success in the outcome.
Often the childs life is changed on every plane: physically,
emotionally, and mentally. Just to give you one example of the
hundreds I have been treating:
An 8 year-old child suffered since age 2 from recurrent ear infections. Every cold went to the ears. Now at age 8 he had a 30% hearing loss. He was diagnosed with ADHD because his behavior was asocial, he hated everything, paid no attention, was labeled dumb, and he threatened to kill his mother on a daily basis. After a full examination, it was concluded he belonged to the Destructive group of ADHD. An appropriate remedy was prescribed and taken once only. Result: from the very next day on, his behavior changed dramatically. He became sweet and affectionate. This behavior three months later was still the same, without having to repeat the remedy at all. During this time, he got a cold. Upon examination by his ENT doctor, no ear infection was found. Even more astonishing to the physician, a new audiogram (hearing test) showed a complete normal result. Surprising? Not to a skilled homeopath. Anecdotal? Not if we can repeat such results, and we can! I hope that many parents and teachers alike may discover the wonders of homeopathy: their childrens future is depending on it!