Experts cannot agree on a single, simple definition of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but do agree that it causes unfavorable behavior in educational, professional and correctional institutions. Even the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the bible of psychiatric diagnosis, defines it using a multiple choice test for an array of behavioral symptoms, demonstrating its clinical ambiguity.
Is a mental illness, or a learning disability? Is it environmental, or hereditary? Is ADHD curable, or not?
“It is best thought of as a description. If you look at how you end up with that label, it is remarkable because any one of us at any given time would fit at least a couple of those criteria.” ~Dr. Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D
Some bold physicians have even gone so far as to say that ADHD is a fictitious, fraudulent disease altogether.
“ADHD is fraud intended to justify starting children on a life of drug addiction.” ~Dr. Edward C. Hamlyn, a founding member of the Royal College of General Practitioners
“…after 50 years of practicing medicine and seeing thousands of patients demonstrating symptoms of ADHD, I have reached the conclusion there is no such thing as ADHD.” ~Dr Richard Saul
And some physicians openly admit to falsely diagnosing kids with ADHD. Not because they have an identifiable condition which can be properly treated with medication, but because they need to somehow improve the child’s behavior in order for the child to better adapt to the educational environment.
“Leading the way is Dr. Michael Anderson, a pediatrician in the Atlanta area. Incredibly, Anderson told the New York Times his diagnoses of ADHD are “made up,” “an excuse” to hand out the drugs.
“We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid,” Anderson said.” [Source]
While new ADHD drugs are being rolled out and industry profits swell, diagnoses of ADHD in America’s children also continue to rise dramatically, and now, even babies are being medicated to modify their behavior. The presumption among the medical establishment is that ADHD is best addressed with psychotropic drugs, in spite of the fact that evidence indicates ADHD drugs don’t help kids get better grades,
In 2016, an elementary school in West Baltimore made international news for replacing detention with meditation and reporting incredible results. Behavioral complaints against a student is typically the basis for referring a child to an ADHD specialist, and in this case, meditation improved overall behavior at the school.
“Instead of punishing them or sending them to the principal’s office, administrators will now be sending children to “the mindful moment room” where they will be able to meditate and wind down. The new policy has been in place for over a year, and in the time that the meditation room has been set up, there has actually been no suspensions throughout the entire year.” [Source]
In 2015, the David Lynch Foundation brought TM to 900 inmates in the Oregon State Correctional Institution. The results were impressive, with participants remarking on an improved quality of life, improved focus, and most importantly a feeling of peace, leading to less stress and more peace in an ordinarily difficult-to-manage environment.
Comparing meditation to medication, the following video from the David Lynch Foundation, shows how transcendental meditation is used experimentally in Kingsbury Day School in Washington, DC, a school for children with language based learning disabilities. Twice a day the regular school program stops and the children meditate, using the TM method for just ten minutes, with incredible results, and without the use of pharmaceutical ADHD medications.
There are simple, natural ways of treating the broad and ambiguous array of behavioral issues we refer to as ADHD. Improving diet, tutoring, and increased physical exercise can all have a noticeable impact, however, meditation is coming into the forefront as one of the best natural treatments, as it can actually re-train the brain to concentrate and focus, thereby increasing performance and reducing frustration. After all, meditation is the practice of concentration, while ADHD is the lack thereof.