Dealing with ADD Naturally

by Amy Roper
(last updated August 23, 2013)

"Sorry, I am so ADD," a friend joked when I pointed out that she kept distractedly watching people walk by as we talked. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is a condition commonly joked about to describe moments of distraction or inattention, but is hardly a joke for those who have ADD or have a child with ADD. ADD can affect a person's ability to concentrate, complete tasks, and live a "normal" everyday life. Symptoms appear as trouble concentrating, impulsive behaviors, low self-esteem and anxiety, and even one or more learning disability. ADD sufferers may have trouble with family and social relationships. While dealing with ADD can be a challenge, there are solutions to help someone, child or adult, deal with ADD in a natural, drug-free way.

  • Eat strategically. Diet can play a huge role in treating ADD for children and adults. Eat a balanced diet of raw vegetables and fruits. Good fats improve brain function: try foods such as salmon, avocado, olive oil, walnuts, flaxseed, or soybeans. Eat a protein-packed breakfast (like granola, eggs, peanut butter, yogurt, and/or milk) to start your day right. Avoid artificial colorings, sugars, preservatives, and caffeine.
  • Manage energy. Regular sleep and exercise help regulate energy. Try deliberate relaxation strategies such as guided imagery, yoga, or meditation. Adults with ADD should find a career that offers variety, while children and adults should find hobbies and interests for their excess energy. Keep a to-do list to manage, focus, and prioritize. If you are in a situation that calls for focus and stillness but you feel your energy start to take over, try controlled muscle focus: clench one muscle at a time, directing all of your energy to that one spot, and then release.
  • Try herbal remedies. Herbal remedies can ease symptoms without the severe side effects of prescribed medication. The most common herbs for ADD are Gingko Biloba to help the brain focus and retain memory, and St. John's Wort to relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Stay positive. ADD can cause unwanted emotional stress and anxiety, but it doesn't have to hold you back from living a happy, normal life. Don't hesitate to make friends and share your condition with them rather than feeling like you have to hide it. Remind yourself often of your strengths, not weaknesses.

Even though ADD is challenging for those who have it or are close to someone who does, symptoms can be naturally managed without the destructive side effects of drugs.

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