Children and adults with ADHD are now benefiting from the Non-Pharmacological treatment option now used by therapists, as the non-pharmaceutical interventions are becoming increasingly popular. A wide range of Non-pharmacological therapies are now being used for the treatment of ADHD, and are categorized into behavioral interventions, cognitive training, healthy diet and exercise as well as Neurofeedback (Fabiano et al., 2009). These interventions are normally adopted alongside medication management therapies to fast-track the treatment of the affected patients.
Behavioural interventions are aimed at changing behaviors (decreasing undesired behaviors and increasing desired behaviors), using social learning principles, as well as other cognitive theories. The interventions comprise standard contingency management, and cognitive behavior therapy. It also includes behavior therapy, through mediators such as teachers or parents (Catala-Lopez et al., 2015). Parent-led behavioural therapy is often used by parents of children with ADHD to help the children get the best support to live a positive and productive life. Through classroom-base behavioural interventions, trained teachers can help affected children by handling them with understanding and engaging them in a way that does not disrupt their activities. The benefit of incorporating behavioral intervention therapy is to help the patient replace negative behaviors with positive ones and thus improve normal functioning.
Cognitive training encompasses self-instructional training given on an individual basis or in a group, to assist the people with ADHD to cultivate a more organized and reflective approach to thinking as well as behaving, including social relations. This therapy is beneficial to the patients with ADHD because it helps them to reverse negative thinking patterns. This is helpful as it limits frustration and stress by enabling the affected individuals to embrace a more systematic, reflective and goal-oriented approach to solve problems and daily activities. Another benefit of cognitive training is the proven reduction of symptoms of ADHD when adopted consistently among adolescents and adults (Thomlison, R. & Thomlison, B., 2017).
Adhering to a healthy diet and exercise is another natural therapy that can be used to treat ADHD particularly in children. Though diet and exercise may not be used as a replacement of medications among children affected with ADHD, different research studies indicate that it is beneficial as it boost and supplement the effectiveness of medications.
Another form of intervention is psychoeducation where those affected and their family are trained on how to better understand this condition. This way, they can appreciate and adhere to treatment interventions prescribed. An improved understanding help the patients to feel more in control of their conditions. Informed family members would help the patients work towards mental and emotional well-being.
Another intervention is the use of neurofeedback, which involves computer-based exercises that give feedback about levels of attention to allow behavioral training. Neurofeedback entails the use of sensors that are attached to the scalp to measure the activity of the brain and display the measurements, giving the fast feedbacks of the patient's attention level during the task (Sitaram et al., 2017). Use of this intervention is beneficial in the individuals with ADHD as it helps them learn how to control the related attention states and processes (Pahlevanian, 2017).
In conclusion, therefore, it is evident that these non-pharmacological treatment options for ADHD are beneficial and help the patients, in the long run, improve their normal functioning. They help the patients reduce the symptoms of the condition and live a normal life when used together with medical therapy. These interventions not only speed the recovery of patients with ADHD but they also help to prevent the side effects that result when excessive drugs are used.
Catala-Lopez, F., Hutton, B., Nunez-Beltran, A., Mayhew, A. D., Page, M. J., Ridao, M., ... & Moher, D. (2015). The pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Systematic Reviews, 4(1), 19.
Fabiano, G. A., Pelham Jr, W. E., Coles, E. K., Gnagy, E. M., Chronis-Tuscano, A., & O'Connor, B. C. (2009). A meta-analysis of behavioral treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 29(2), 129-140.
Pahlevanian, A., Alirezaloo, N., Naghel, S., Alidadi, F., Nejati, V., & Kianbakht, M. (2017). Neurofeedback Associated with Neurocognitive-Rehabilitation Training on Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 15(1), 100-109.
Sitaram, R., Ros, T., Stoeckel, L., Haller, S., Scharnowski, F., Lewis-Peacock, J., ... & Birbaumer, N. (2017). Closed-loop brain training: the science of neurofeedback. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 18(2), 86.
Thomlison, R. J., & Thomlison, B. (2017). Cognitive behavior theory and social work treatment. Social work treatment: Interlocking Theoretical Approaches, 54.
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