Hypnotherapy for ADHD may be a far-fetched idea because people with this disorder struggle with focus and attention. Recently though, more researchers are paying attention to alternative treatments such as hypnotherapy and meditation considering the cost and side effects of standard treatment.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common behavioral disorder typically diagnosed in school-age kids. According to a 2016 study, about 6.1 M children aged 2-17 in the US have ADHD or ADD.
When your child has ADHD, he or she may have trouble focusing on tasks and can’t seem to sit still. Moreover, he or she might be impulsive, often doing things without permission, or blurting out things without much thought.
When it comes to treatment, there are several “traditional” options. Usually, the treatment regimen includes medicine, behavior therapy, parent coaching, and school support.
Moreover, a child who grows up with unmanaged ADHD is two times as likely to get divorced, about 30% less likely to have full-time employment, and more likely to commit crimes as young adults compared to others with no symptoms.
Hypnotherapy For ADHD: Is it worth a try?
As mentioned earlier, doctors use medication such as stimulants to treat ADHD. However, these medicines come with serious side effects such as sleep problems, decreased appetite, delayed growth, headaches, tics, and even heart problems.
Here are several reasons to consider using hypnotherapy for ADHD:
Children and adults with ADHD can be hypnotized.
Because people with ADHD struggle with paying attention, you may think they can’t be hypnotized. However, that’s simply not the case.
In fact, they have two qualities that make them good candidates for hypnotherapy.
First, they tend to daydream, imagine, or space out which makes them conducive to hypnosis.
Second, research shows that the EEG of people with ADHD have elevated power of slow waves (4–7Hz “theta”) which is what we observe during deep hypnosis.
As you can see, impaired attention span is not a hindrance to using hypnosis in managing ADHD.
You can use hypnotherapy by itself for ADHD or with other treatments
Hypnotherapy can already be helpful as a stand-alone therapy. Through hypnotherapy, you or your child can manage issues related to sleep and anxiety.
Also, the hypnotherapist can help when you struggle with sleep. You might find yourself restless at night. Using positive suggestions, you can relax and rest well at night.
Positive hypnotic suggestions can help increase self-esteem, lower depression, and reduce anxiety.
Interestingly, a revolutionary study in 2014 showed a better outcome for clients treated with hypnotherapy (primarily a decrease in ADHD symptoms) than cognitive behavioral therapy over the period of 6 months.
Hypnotherapy is safe for treating ADHD and other issues
Before considering a medical option, you might want to explore hypnotherapy for you or your child, especially if he or she is very young.
Since there are no negative side effects, only better sleep, hypnosis is a certified profession vs. a licensed profession.
However, we need to emphasize that it is important to work with an experienced, certified clinical hypnotherapist to make sure that the sessions are therapeutic.
Hypnotherapy is cost-effective
Hypnotherapy is relatively more affordable, especially when compared to the rising cost of medication and other treatments.
In a 2000 study on the efficacy of hypnosis for ADHD, hypnosis was shown to cut the Neurotherapy treatment length in half, thereby decreasing the overall cost. Neurotherapy involves training the brain to improve function using visual and auditory cues.
So, if the resources are available, would you go for hypnotherapy?