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Can You Manage ADHD Without Drugs? Sports, Meditation And Self-Hypnosis Can Help

Posted by: Dr. Granat on November 29, 2010

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey released in November, 2010 shows the number of ADHD cases in children ages 4 to 17 jumped 22% from 2003 to 2008. Researchers attribute the increase in large part to improved screening and greater awareness of the condition. The study noted that about two-thirds of children with ADHD are taking medications to help manage symptoms. Behavioral therapy is also sometimes used to help treat ADHD.

Nearly 5.5 million children in the U.S. have now been found to have ADHD. That’s an increase of about 1 million in recent years. The findings of the survey, that involved 73,000 kids, are published in the CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

According to another recent government study, almost one in ten American children are now being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

According to a different study, the cases of parent-reported ADHD diagnosis in kids aged 4 to 17 years has risen from 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007.

These figures come from the National Survey of Children's Health which was a telephonic survey conducted in the years 2003 and 2007.

Parent reported ADHD cases rose significantly, ranging from 31.7 percent to 67.1 percent in almost 12 states, the study claims.

These are rather shocking statistics.  Parents, health care professionals and teachers are understandably quite concerned about the widespread nature of this disorder.

Some children who suffer from this disorder require medication.  Others can be managed through behavioral therapy and by the use of appropriate teaching and parenting techniques.  Some youngsters need both.

It should be noted that some children who are diagnosed with ADHD have other psychological disorders like depression, oppositional defiant disorder and bipolar disorder.  And, unfortunately,  some children have ADHD in conjunction with another psychiatric condition.

Others have behavioral problems which can be ameliorated if they are managed more effectively at home and at school.  In my practice, I have had a number of kids who were taking medication for ADHD who were able to get off the medicine when their parents managed them in a more effective manner.


Sports Can Help Sometimes

Some children with ADHD and ADHD like symptoms can benefit from the participation in sports.  The sport can become an outlet for their energy and can help to raise their self-esteem.  One of my patients became a different kind of kid after he discovered his love for soccer.

Some children with ADHD will feel more comfortable and do better in individual sports than they are likely to do in team sports. One of my patients with ADHD did exceedingly well when he participated in long distance running.  He loved the training and he enjoyed expending his energy while running.

Another patient of mine found that a combination of playing basketball and swimming and a dietary change helped him to alleviate many of the symptoms of his ADHD.

Meditation And Self-Hypnosis Can Be Useful

Some youngsters who have ADHD can benefit from learning some basic techniques to promote relaxation, focus and a sense of inner control and peace.  These methods are simple and usually have no side effects. 

Once a child with ADHD learns how to calm down, relax and focus even for a short of time, they can start to feel more in control, more self-assured and more confident.

Several years ago, I developed a cd program to help young athletes to feel more comfortable, confident and focused when they participate in sports. Bedtime Stories For Young Athletes: 23 Techniques To Build Relaxation, Focus and Confidence.  This two cd program comes with a free book on getting into the zone in just one minute.

 The techniques on this program also show kids how to enjoy themselves when they participate in athletics.

Interestingly, some stressed out parents and kids practice the techniques on this program together.  

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist and the Founder of    This two CD program comes with a free book on getting into the zone.  He can be reached at or at 888-580-ZONE.




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