Meditation helps with ADHD

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Sahaja Yoga Meditation - Scientific StudiesAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).

ADHD has three subtypes:

  1. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
    Most symptoms (six or more) are in the hyperactivity-impulsivity categories.
    Fewer than six symptoms of inattention are present, although inattention may still be present to some degree.
  2. Predominantly inattentive
    The majority of symptoms (six or more) are in the inattention category and fewer than six symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity are present, although hyperactivity-impulsivity may still be present to some degree.
    Children with this subtype are less likely to act out or have difficulties getting along with other children. They may sit quietly, but they are not paying attention to what they are doing. Therefore, the child may be overlooked, and parents and teachers may not notice that he or she has ADHD.
  3. Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive
    Six or more symptoms of inattention and six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity are present.
    Most children have the combined type of ADHD.

Researchers are developing more effective treatments and interventions, and using new tools such as brain imaging, to better understand ADHD and to find more effective ways to treat and prevent it.

Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. It is normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, but for children with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and occur more often. To be diagnosed with the disorder, a child must have symptoms for 6 or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.

Children who have symptoms of inattention may:

  1. Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  2. Have difficulty focusing on one thing
  3. Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
  4. Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
  5. Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
  6. Not seem to listen when spoken to
  7. Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  8. Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  9. Struggle to follow instructions.

Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:

  1. Fidget and squirm in their seats
  2. Talk nonstop
  3. Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
  4. Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
  5. Be constantly in motion
  6. Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.

Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:

  1. Be very impatient
  2. Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  3. Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
  4. Often interrupt conversations or others' activities.

Benefits of meditation in ADHD

A study conducted in Australia, at the Natural Therapies Research Unit, at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, and in collaboration with the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK, showed significant improvement of the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a disorder that develops in childhood and is characterised by problems of attention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

The treatment of choice in ADHD is the administration of stimulant Medication. However, there are side effects, there is concern about the unknown long-term effects of stimulants on brain development and there is evidence for limited effectiveness that wanes after a few years. For these reasons parents prefer non-pharmacological treatment and there is a search for effective alternative non-pharmacological treatment options.

26 children with ADHD, aged between 4 and 12, were treated for 6 weeks with Sahaja Yoga Meditation adjunctive to their usual treatment (i.e.  some of them were receiving stimulant Medication) and then compared to a waiting list control group who received no treatment.

Children with ADHD who learned how to meditate compared to the waiting list control group showed a significant reduction of the main symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention.

Other, secondary benefits were an improved child-parent relationship and enhanced self-esteem in children.

Furthermore, of the children who were treated with stimulant Medication, over 50% either discontinued or reduced their stimulant medication but still improved in their symptoms.

This pioneering study suggests that Meditation is clearly a promising non-pharmacological treatment option for children with ADHD that needs to be further explored. 

http://www.meditationresearch.co.uk
Harrison, L., Rubia, K., Manocha, R. (2003) Sahaja Yoga Meditation as a Family Treatment Program for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Children. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 9 (4), 479-497.

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9 comment(s) so far, want to say something now?


  • Rebecca
    May 19, 2011
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    I already know that meditation could help with ADHD. How can we meditate if we can’t concentrate on one thing? I have been trying and trying, to no avail

    Reply

    admin
    May 19th, 2011

    Hi Rebecca,

    Have you tried our online course at onlinemeditation.org? There is a community forum where you can find more support regarding your experiences.

    Sahaja Yoga Meditation help you improve your concentration and attention. You do not need to have an established concentration in order to start meditation. Meditation starts from where you leave the work to your own Kundalini energy.

    All the best

    Reply

    1

  • Dale
    Dec 26, 2011
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    This is a great article. I am looking at this for my son with ADHD. Do you have a link to the actual study?

    Reply

    TheUrbanMum
    February 15th, 2012

    Hi there. I am also a parent with an ADHD child. I am not having any luck in my search for classes for him. I contacted the dr involved in this study Dr Ramesh Manocha, with no success. Have you had better luck?

    Reply

    2

  • RScript
    Mar 28, 2012
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    I hope that more people get the chance to read articles like this when they are told their children have ADHD. It frightens me to see how medicated our children are becoming. One of the reasons I wrote my book about Chakra energy centers was to offer a beginner level picture book that parents can share with their kids. I see so much improvement in “trouble children” (terrible term) when they learn to connect with themselves and even can just visualize their own energy.

    What about combining meditation with something physically challenging like Yoga? Perhaps start it out as a challenge first: Can you do this pose and how long can you hold it for?

    Reply

    Navin
    September 26th, 2012

    My son has been diagnosed with ADHD. What’s the title of your book and where can i find it?

    Reply

    3

  • Pramod
    Sep 17, 2013
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    Hi,
    I have observed some of the symptoms of ADHD in my son. Can you give me some guidance regarding the websites and information regarding the meditation for ADHD.

    Pramod

    Reply

    4

  • Mike S
    Feb 18, 2014
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    I am a 43 year old guy with major add/ADHD. I read somewhere that marijuana would help so tried it. It put me in a meditative state and it was like a switch was flipped in my brain. I went from feeling dumber than everyone to a creative genius. This has lead me to meditation which I believe is dramatically changing everything about my life for the better. I can’t even begin to explain how much.

    Reply

    Erwan
    March 20th, 2014

    Dear Mike,

    Marijuana is a drug that affects badly your inner left channel/Side, and from a Sahaja Yoga perspective we would never recommend it to anyone, as it would then require literally several years of meditation practice, to get rid of its effect. However it is true that meditation is the way, one can change his/her life for the better, that is without a doubt. A majorities of diseases/Allergies/Mental disturbances and so fourth can be eventually taken care of just by meditating as it all comes from a subtle standpoint.

    It is however great to know that you enjoy very much the meditation, we are very glad to know that :)

    Warm regards,
    Erwan

    Reply

    5

  • katetd
    Apr 11, 2014
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    Hello,
    I grew up undiagnosed with predominantly Inattentive ADHD. My daughter was diagnosed with same & not long after so was I. It had caused a lot of problems in my growing up & young adulthood. After a bumpy start, as I got older, I learnt to manage the symptoms in more productive ways. It wasn’t until life got more complex etc & I got older that I started struggling. I used to do meditation & yoga…now I couldn’t even meditate! Oddly, it wasn’t until I went onto medication that I was able to meditate again! I would always suggest medication as a last resort (as long as you don’t drag yourself along struggling without it for too long unessesarily !) and should never be treated as the be all & end all! For me it just got so bad medication actually helped me to do a better job of doing the other things I needed to do to better manage my symptoms!

    Reply

    Erwan
    April 25th, 2014

    Dear Katetd,

    here is a link below that gives you more insight about ADHD and what Sahaja Yoga can help you with:
    http://bit.ly/1tJHWJe

    Feel free to ask more questions,
    Erwan

    Reply

    6

  • sara
    Apr 18, 2014
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    Can you help Adult ADHD and Dyslexia in one who believes there is no help?

    Reply

    Erwan
    April 25th, 2014

    Dear Sara,

    here is below a link that may help you believing that ADHD whether for child or adult can definitely be dealt through Sahaja Yoga meditation:
    http://bit.ly/1tJHWJe

    Feel free to ask questions if needed,
    Erwan

    Reply

    7

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    Jul 8, 2014
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    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
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    Reply

    8

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    Sep 9, 2014
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