This article was first published in March 2016 and has been updated to reflect the rest of my son’s journey.
If you or someone you love has ADD/ADHD and you’re looking for a Natural Holistic Alternative approach to manage symptoms without medication, you may find my personal story enlightening.
Every parent wants their child to thrive and live a normal and happy childhood. However, for too many children, the experience of living with ADD/ADHD and its pharmaceutical “solutions” stand in the way to optimal health and happiness.
I have lived through this experience with my own child and I want you and your family to understand there is an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs and remedies that blur your child’s life and mind.
I am Brenda Baker, owner and founder of Authentic Health. But before Authentic Health, I worked internationally for over a decade helping orphan children find forever homes through adoption. Today, I will share a brief story of how I went from working in International Adoptions to becoming an Enzyme Nutritionist, Traditional Naturopath, Master Herbalist, Digestive Health Specialist, and Board Certified Drugless Practitioner based in Greenville, SC.
ADD/ADHD Fear, Disbelief, Guilt and Panic
Imagine for a minute that you’re sitting in the psychologist’s office, awaiting the results of the battery of tests recently done on your child. The psychologist comes in and says, “Before we review the results, I want to say I have never seen a child this disassociated with society. He is 11 years old. He cannot read or write, and he is barely on a first-grade level.” Shaking her head, she continues, ” I am unsure he will ever catch up! He has severe ADHD, Dyslexic, Dysgraphia, and Borderline Asperger’s.”
FEAR: Immediately, your heart stops beating. You’re sick to your stomach, and you are convinced you are the worst parent ever… Must we put him on medication we tried years ago that caused him horrible side effects?
DISBELIEF: How could this be? Is this a result of birth, living in an orphanage? He was “different”, a bit hyper, but after all, he is a boy. Right? He is just a boy!
GUILT: I spent years helping people adopt children internationally to complete their forever family. Was I so busy helping others, I did not see this?
PANIC: CALL the doctor! He needs drugs. He has to learn.
Two years later, my son walked into my office, one day, and shouted, “I am not taking these drugs anymore. They are killing me, and you are going to figure out what we are going to do about it!”
Those words will always be a part of his story and mine. They changed our lives forever. I knew I had to help him, but how? After researching endlessly, I went back to school to learn how to help him become prescription-free.
Non-Prescription ADD/ADHD Alternatives
When I went back to school I learned the power of nature utilizing herbs, homeopathics, and enzymes. I grew up with the mentality, a pill for the ill. I remember one trip to Russia I became very ill, my Russian partners offered me some herbs, I blatantly told them in the good ol’ USA we take a pill when we are sick…BOY was I so very wrong.
Changing this mindset was the first biggest change for me and my son. However, similar to the never-ending adjustments to prescription medications, alternative methods take some fine-tuning too.
Alternative options like allopathic medicine is a work in progress, you don’t always get it right the first time. Often when you find something that works, the body does a quick 360 telling us it desires something different.
Each person is so very different, we may uncover the right remedy shortly to find out there is an absorption problem, food sensitivity, etc. leading us to another course of action.
In what ways do prescription ADD/ADHD meds impact the body?
The best way to learn of the side effects of prescription drugs is to go to drugs.com and enter the prescription name then scroll to read the side effects. However, there are a handful of side effects that indicate your child (or you) are in disagreement with your prescriptions.
- Sleep problems
- Decreased appetite
- Delayed growth
- Headaches and stomachaches
- Rebound (irritability when the medication wears off)
- Moodiness and irritability
For a full list of side effects, head over to drugs.com and type in the medication – you’ll get an eye-opening list.
What were the side effects, positive and negative, during the transition off prescription meds?
A world of positive changes, watching your child feel good, sleep at night, being able to eat again, and enjoying life.
The negatives were the day-to-day challenges that one experiences with ADD/ADHD, especially in school.
Can Adults also use natural health alternatives to combat ADD/ADHD?
Adults flourish with alternative remedies as they are able to ascertain what is happening within their body.
How long was this journey to becoming prescription-free?
The journey is never-ending with ADD/ADHD and other learning differences. The key to taking a natural approach is finding the right alternative practitioner who is going to listen! A practitioner who understands and appreciates other alternative modalities; acupuncture, chiropractic and mental health therapy that can assist with the healing journey.
I am happy to report that today, my son is now starting his third year of graduate school for Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture.
There are times he is so overwhelmed, frustrated and wants to give up but those feelings do not last long. He loves seeing patients in the clinic using his skills to excel at alternative healing methods.
The first steps to a prescription-free life
If you or your child is ready to say ‘no more meds’ the first step is to schedule a time to meet with me. I will listen to your needs and desires then together take a new approach to your healing journey.