As someone who takes medicine for ADHD, a close relative to ADD, I have personal experience with what can help someone with this disorder. A healthline article states that ADHD diagnosis jumped by 43 percent in 8 years. In 2003 the number of diagnosis was 7.8 percent, and by 2011 it was up to 11 percent. It’s safe to say that many people in america have ADHD. The costs of medicine for treating ADHD are not cheap. The cost in 2007 for treatment was averaged around $14,576 a year. Not everyone can afford this, and I may have a solution, Nature.
ADHD Statistics and Information
In an article written by Holland, Kimberly and Riley, Elsbeth (2014) it states that ADHD diagnosis had risen to 11 percent in 2011. It also stated that the average cost of treatment was $14,576 a year. It also stated that while ADHD does not increase the likelihood of getting other conditions, children are very likely to experience coexisting conditions such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and learning disorders. With ADHD, treatment costs are not the only thing you have to worry about either, as ADHD can affect your work, education, and can even make you getting in legal trouble more likely, as you are more impulsive. It states that 6.1 percent of american children are being treated for ADHD with medication, but around 23 percent of american children diagnosed with ADHD are not being treated with medicine or mental health counseling for their disorder.( Holland, Kimberly and Riley, Elsbeth, 2014)
Keath Low wrote about how ADHD affects the brain in an article he wrote for an article, last updated in 2019. He states that the brain works using synapses and neurons, and that all activity in the brain and the entire nervous system are based on communications among the neurons and across the synapses. He goes on to explain that neurons communicate with each other by sending neurotransmitters across synapses. He states that in order for the pathways to work effectively to send a message, it must send enough of the correct amount of a specific neurotransmitter and this must stay in the synapse long enough to bind to the receptor. He explains that after the neurotransmitter is released, the excess amount is then reabsorbed into the synapse by the neuron that produced it. In cases of ADHD, he says the neurotransmitter is prematurely reabsorbed back into the neuron, causing the system to not transmit messages effectively.
Most Common Type of Medicine
The main type of ADHD medication is what is called a stimulant. Keath Low (2018) explains in his article that stimulants work by producing more neurotransmitters in the neurons, most notably dopamine and norepinephrine, and by slowing the reabsorption of these chemicals by the neuron. This works to help messages sent by the neurons to be sent effectively and give them enough time to reach their destination. Medicines like this are used to improve the activity and communication inside the brain. Brain scans show that when on this type of medicine that prefrontal cortex, specific subcortical regions, and the cerebellum are all more active. There are two types of stimulants, Methylphenidate and Amphetamines. Methylphenidates work mainly by slowing the reabsorption of the transmitter and can also release more of the transmitter. Amphetamines however work mainly by just increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter produced, and do not do as much slowing of the reabsorption as the methylphenidates do. He says that “Taking stimulants isn’t like taking an antibiotic to cure an infection, it’s like wearing glasses so you can see, though the glasses don’t cure your vision problems.” (Keath Low, 2018)
Nature and ADHD
Kuo, Francis and Taylor, Andrea state that the main issues with using ADHD medicine are that they are only a temporary fix and can come with significant side effects. ADHD has been deemed by the CDC as a serious public health problem. They proposed that nature could be a possible treatment for ADHD. Substantial research conducted among non-ADHD populations had shown that “symptoms” of ADHD, inattention and impulsivity, were reduced after being exposed to forms of nature. It was concluded that those who are not diagnosed with ADHD who show its symptoms have what is called attention fatigue, which is described as when the brain is forced to focus so often that it begins to experience fatigue from doing so. They wanted to test if the results were the same for those who are diagnosed with ADHD, as the symptoms are so closely related to those of attention fatigue that they are measured on the same scale system. They predicted that people with ADHD might be equally, if not more vulnerable to attention fatigue than those without ADHD. They state that the right prefrontal cortex has been implicated in ADHD, and that this cortex has been found smaller and less active in children diagnosed with ADHD. The severity of ADHD symptoms have been shown to be proportional to the degree of asymmetry between left and right prefrontal cortex regional cerebral blood flow. (Kuo, Francis and Taylor, Andrea, 2004)
Results of Nature Studies
Kuo, Francis and Taylor, Andrea state that at the time of their article, two studies have been done. These studies focused on the impacts of exposure to nature on individuals with adhd.