Attention and Concentration Disorders (ADD/ADHD)
Attention and concentration disorders, the most prominent of which are undoubtedly ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder), are a common phenomenon in all age groups. These two names, typically used to refer to the different expressions of this phenomenon, stem from the symptoms of the disorder, which are manifested in a tendency toward disconnection and distraction or toward hyperactivity, respectively. They are conditions that have the potential to impact all realms of life, including academics, employment, interpersonal relations, and routine everyday life. It is therefore important to diagnose them and provide them with an appropriate treatment in order to allow individuals suffering from them to effectively contend with them, to live a tranquil and relaxed life, and to fit into society.
Many people suffering from attention and concentration disorders possess high intelligence that is not properly utilized, due to lack of confidence and poor self-image resulting from their treatment by their surroundings. Today, this condition is surrounded by great awareness and can be treated and substantially mitigated by means of the unique method developed by Dr. Ora Golan. The method consists of two main components: 1) Elimination of the relevant emotional blocks by means of a six-stage emotional treatment for improving self-image, capabilities, and behavior; 2) Structural/physiological chiropractic treatment through a short, focused workshop that helps individuals contend with and eliminate blocks.
In many cases, there is no need for extended treatment, and following the initial treatment sessions and the provision of assistance, the body is able to overcome the attention and concentration disorder and requires no further treatment. The treatment is short and extremely effective in children and adults alike, and has already enabled many people to begin living a calmer and more tranquil life.
Attention and Concentration Disorders in Children
Attention and concentration disorders (such as ADD and ADHD) impact 10% of all children and typically first appear during childhood, usually between the ages of 3 and 7. In most cases, they last until adolescence and adulthood. Attention and concentration disorders are developmental conditions that result in symptoms such as academic failure, the inability to concentrate, the inability to be consistent, social behavior that differs from that of others (and in some cases is extremely unusual), impulsiveness, problematic long-term memory, difficulty dealing with large amounts of information and informational noise, etc.
Attention and Concentration Disorders in Adults
Attention and concentration disorders are extremely common in adults and are found in approximately 4% of the general adult population (over the age of 18). Most adults who attest to suffering from attention and concentration disorders experienced symptoms in childhood, and the difficulty the condition poses is not foreign to them. In adults, attention and concentration disorders do not fade with the passage time, but hyperactivity disorder may become more moderate. Studies show that adults suffering from attention and concentration disorders tend to display signs of psychiatric/emotional injury, such as anxiety, depression, antisocial personality disorders, or dangerous solutions involving addiction to drugs, alcohol, and sugar.
What are Attention and Concentration Disorders?
As explained above, attention and concentration disorders are extremely common among all age groups and are most commonly manifested in two conditions: ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Both conditions involve difficulties maintaining continuous attention and concentration over time, with individuals suffering from ADD typically experiencing restlessness, daydreams, fatigue, difficulty remembering things, disorganization, oversensitivity, a sense of detachment, and other phenomena, whereas, in addition to these indications, those suffering from ADHD tend to also experience outbursts of anger, frequent sudden subject changes, excessive activity and activeness, ravenous eating, interruption of the conversations of others, immense difficulty delaying gratification, etc. Both conditions stem from the same root cause and make it difficult to function in a normal manner. It is important to remember that these disorders occur on a wide spectrum of intensity and that not everyone who feels a lack of concentration can or should immediately be classified as suffering from an attention and concentration disorder.
Based on a large number of studies, the prevalent assumption is that the root cause of attention and concentration disorders is biological and neuropsychological in nature and has to do with the faulty functioning of neurotransmitters. Attention and concentration disorders are passed on genetically, and it is therefore highly likely that another member of the family also suffers from it. Of course, environmental factors also have an impact on our everyday accomplishments and quality of life. When our environment is supportive, its impact is likely to be positive. Unfortunately, however, environmental interaction can also have a negative impact on everyday functioning, thereby exacerbating the condition.
Head injury is another possible cause of attention and concentration disorders. The brain is a soft and sensitive organ that is protected by the skull, and every injury done to it, especially in its left frontal region, can result in symptoms like those of attention and concentration disorders and the gradual development of such conditions.
Such disorders also develop as a result of an insufficient oxygen supply in premature infants whose vision has not yet developed or who suffered complications during birth, in individuals who almost drowned or suffocated to death, and individuals who were exposed to alcohol, cigarettes, or heavy air pollution during their fetal stage. Another cause of this condition is poor diet. A diet that is rich in simple carbohydrates (white bread, white flour, and sugar) and processed foods results in a sharp rise in the blood sugar level, requiring the immediate release of insulin. Individuals consuming such a diet may feel tired, confused, and restless, and may also experience the release of stimulant hormones, whose impact fades quickly. Chemical substances such as different unnatural food colorings may have a similar effect.
Statistical data indicates that individuals with one parent who suffers from ADD have a 60% chance of suffering from it, whereas children of parents who both suffer from the condition have an 80-90% chance of suffering from it. Attention and concentration disorders are more common in boys than in girls.
What are the symptoms?
Attention and concentration disorders can impact all realms of life and overall quality of life. Individuals suffering from this condition experience poor functioning in realms such as: planning and organization; behavior regulation and delayed gratification; memory and information retrieval; managing a schedule; and going into detail. They may also suffer from poor interaction with their environment (in some cases, aversion and rejection), unsuccessful social communication (the failure to draw conclusions and learn lessons, erroneous interpretation of messages in social frameworks, and difficulty acquiring skills and making decisions), and other problematic phenomena.
ADD has a number of symptoms that can suggest a problem in the realm of attention and concentration even before it is diagnosed. Below is a list of common symptoms that frequently present themselves in different frameworks and realms of life, in children and adults alike:
- Poor ability to concentrate – Difficulty concentrating for an extended period of time.
- Frequent sudden subject changes and a powerful need to move around.
- Sudden mood changes
- Lack of order and organization – A chaotic working environment, a disorderly desk, and a large number of windows left open on the computer screen at any given time.
- A high level of distraction, with every noise or movement in the immediate environment having the potential to distract the individual from the activity in which he or she is engaged.
- Impulsive responses – Immediate unfiltered reactions that can manifest themselves in verbal responses or flight from a place in which the individual in question feels stress or discomfort.
- Procrastination – The tendency to delay everything to a later time in order to avoid contending with the tasks. Procrastination can result in legal problems stemming, for example, from the failure to pay bills, fines, or other financial obligations in a timely manner. This tendency stems from the avoidance of mental effort due to the difficulty of contending with it.
- Avoidance of interpersonal communication – This element can result directly in difficulty establishing social or couple-relationships. Individuals suffering from attention and concentration disorders often find themselves socially isolated, sometimes as a result of seclusion or total detachment from their surroundings.
- Hyperactivity – The need for constant movement, whether physical (for example, walking around the room or the continuous movement of a body part) or reactive (characterized by impatience and short and annoyed speech) in nature.
- Ravenous, quick, and disorderly eating.
A person need not suffer from all the symptoms listed above to justify considering undergoing diagnostic evaluation. It is also important to remember that appropriate and effective treatment can result in a significant improvement in all realms of the patient’s life.
Extended attention and concentration are particularly necessary when a person attempts to learn something new, watch a movie, listen to a lecture, do homework or complete an assignment of some other kind, or is required to follow instructions or adhere to a schedule. In the case of individuals suffering from attention and concentration disorders, each of these areas (and many others) are detrimentally impacted and do not function properly. As a result, the person in question may experience a feeling of failure and frustration, leading to a poor self-image and a sense of insecurity.
To read more about different manifestations of ADHD and the parameters we assess in diagnosing attention and concentration disorders, click here.
How are attention and concentration disorders diagnosed?
There are a number of ways of effectively diagnosing ADD or ADHD, some of which are well suited for children and others of which are better suited for adults. In addition to the factor of age, it is also important to take into consideration the kind of difficulties being experienced by the person in question and the tasks with which he or she must contend on a daily basis.
We first consider the following computerized evaluations, which are well suited for both adults and children:
- The BRC Test
- The TOVA (Tests of Variable Attention) test assesses extended attention. Following the test, the attention faculties of the individual are evaluated in comparison to the standard norm for his or her age group. The test also serves as an auxiliary tool for physicians in selecting suitable medicinal treatment.
After completion of the computerized evaluation, the diagnosis process continues with:
- Didactic Evaluation – Didactic evaluation assesses abilities in the fields of language, memory, reading, writing, and math. It is performed by a certified didactic diagnostician and ultimately generates recommendations that are valid for a period of six years.
- Psycho-Didactic Evaluation – Psycho-didactic evaluation is a psychological evaluation used to supplement the didactic evaluation and recognizes the importance of the psychological/emotional aspect of the condition. It is carried out by an educational or clinical psychologist, and its results are assessed as an adjusted average of the didactic and psychological evaluations and forwarded, along with his or recommendations, to the relevant educational institutions.
- Neuropsychological Evaluation – This type of evaluation is a special computerized assessment conducted using a series of questionnaires and tests. The evaluation is performed by a neuropsychologist who, based on its results, suggests methods of psychological and behavioral intervention. The evaluation provides tools for identifying non-verbal learning disabilities.
- Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation – This relatively uncommon evaluation is conducted by a psychiatrist and involves a series of psychological tests and report questionnaires aimed at confirming or ruling out the existence of a psychological disorder (a personality disorder or mental illness).
Treatment at the Ora Golan Center
One of the most common causes of attention and concentration disorders is the formation of an emotional block during the fetal stage, stemming from the receipt of emotional information from the mother. Though absorbed at an extremely early age, such blocks may nonetheless influence our behavior and our ability to function, our level of concentration and attention, and our interpersonal communication on different levels later on in life. They may be the result of a trauma or crisis that was experienced during childhood by the individual in question and that, through a natural survival mechanism, was translated into a block within his or her emotional system.
Using an alternative method for locating emotional blocks by means of muscle memory and subsequently eliminating them, the Ora Golan Center offers a unique and effective method for treating attention and concentration disorders (such as ADD and ADHD) that restores to patients the right to live without emotional blocks and the ability to contend anew with their condition. The treatment is also effective for patients taking medication to treat attention and concentration disorders.
The Ora Golan Center’s treatment is short, focused, and effective, and achieves quick results. For individuals with all levels of attention and concentration disorders (in adults and children alike), treatment is followed by significant improvements in self-image, organization of thoughts, planning, interpersonal communication with the surroundings, and improvement in behavior and academic grades.
Articles on the Subject:
- ⦁ Self-Confidence and Attention DisordersWhat is self-confidence, and how does our level of self-confidence influence our everyday life? In this article, we have assembled all the relevant information about the relationship between poor self-image and attention disorders.
- ⦁ Questions and Answers regarding Attention and Concentration Disorders in ChildrenThis article contains a list of commonly asked questions on the subject followed by answers provided by expert professionals.