View Full Version : Placebo treatment for ADD... Non medical treatment for ADD.


HappySad99
02-18-14, 12:26 PM
Anyone been using placebo as treatment for ADD? Any ideas, thoughts and information on this? Do you have things you do to improve your concentration? Certain exercises or habits to improve your concentration?

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/news/20030505/placebo-may-augment-effects-of-adhd-meds?page=1

Uk BBC science program called Horizon.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen/tv/episode/b03wcchn/
"They are the miracle pills that shouldn't really work at all. Placebos come in all shapes and sizes, but they contain no active ingredient. Now they are being shown to help treat pain, depression and even alleviate some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Horizon explores why they work, and how we could all benefit from the hidden power of the placebo."

Canadian Mess
02-18-14, 12:57 PM
Nope, I don't use a placebo for treating my ADHD. I take 20 mg of Biphentin... the 10 mg dose isn't enough to reduce my symptoms to the point that I can concentrate, calm my restlessness and brain chatter down ... and still not annoy everyone around me with my hyperactivity and impulsiveness. I get some side effects, but they are little compared to having no Biphentin. I lived my entire life without it so I know the difference now that I am diagnosed.

Additionally, I use proven strategies to change how I act- this is not a placebo like a sugar pill- these are positive coping mechanisms to minimize my deficits and help me live a more normal life. For example, I use schedules and routines so that I can get things done. I have a wrist watch and multiple timers to remind me what time it is, when and where I am supposed to be. I have "eating guidelines" so that I eat healthy and basically eat the same things most of the time so that I eat well while on my medication. I have agendas, to-do lists, bullentin boards... organizational techniques to normalize my life.

I also go to therapy sessions-CBT to re-learn how to feel about myself. ADHD destroyed my self-esteem. I am challenging my false assumptions, realizing I am a good person afterall, challenging my negative self-talk.

Haven't ever tried using placebos to treat the ADHD generally because I can tell the difference- if my brain isn't shutting up and I keep walking around in circles or feel like a rocket,.. I forgot my Biphentin again

By the way, I would be careful about single studies- make sure they are randomized-controlled trials... but also see if there are meta-analysis (meaning multiple studies on the same type of RCT), so that you can see what multiple study outcomes are- they are stronger evidence if something works of not. Also, how long was the study? how many children? what is the strength of the evidence (p=.05 or less)? that stuff matters alot

Canadian Mess
02-18-14, 01:26 PM
"While Bodfish's study was small and lasted only three months -- too short to study long-term effects -- he is currently testing this theory in a larger trial involving 150 ADHD children for longer period, courtesy of a National Institutes of Health grant

However, the study was too small and short-term to draw convincing conclusions, say two experts not involved in the research.

"This is certainly an interesting finding, and they present a great theory that is consistent with other studies," says neurologist Thomas Megerian, MD, PhD, ADHD specialist at Children's Hospital of Boston. "We see around a 30% response rate to placebo in depression and many other psychiatric conditions. But at this point, these researchers are hinting at an effect but the results aren't there."
Megerian says that while the study results suggest improvement with placebo, the results were not statistically significant. "This is what we call 'a trend toward significance,' but we're not there yet," he tells WebMD. "This is probably why the NIH said, 'do this on a larger number of people.'"

In other words, while more children responded well with the placebo, some children -- though not as many -- also responded well to a lower dose of medication without the sugar pill. "It's hard to tell in this study what these kids needed in terms of medication," Megerian says. "Maybe all the kids needed to be on half the dose of medication, since no information was given on how severely affected they were. Were these borderline cases of ADHD, children who didn't need much of a nudge to get them across to responding favorably? It's good that they're doing more research, because more is needed."

That's what I meant- the study isn't statistically significant- meaning don't flush half of your Ritalin in the toilet... it's just preliminary and not proven to actually work.

HappySad99
02-18-14, 05:05 PM
Thanks Canadian Mess for all that you have written. I was hoping that this would be a way I could help reduce my son's need fir a high dose of meds.

I am doing things like rewards, relaxation and exercise to improve on my son's concentration ...

Canadian Mess
02-18-14, 10:16 PM
I wouldn't suggest using the placebo method, but rewards, relaxation and exercise are all good things. There may be no worry about his high dose either, a lot of research has gone into stimulant meds- just make sure to carefully monitor him for any negative side effects.

Here is a good resource for strategies to cope with ADHD, explanations of how the drugs may work, what goes on in the ADHD brain and the kind of coping strategies: http://inyer.org/downloads/You_Mean_Im_Not_Crazy.pdf

And agendas are a good way later on for your son to remember to do homework, or anything the teacher tells him to do.

Nutrition-wise no diets will help unless he already has a food allergy or a micronutrient deficiency. However, you can try to give him Omega-3 fatty acid supplements to complement the meds, and try to have a healthy diet with vegetables, fruits, lean meats, dairy (foods that have higher fiber, protein, more omega-3 fatty acids, healthier, etc)... it may not help lower the meds, but it is associated with better health outcomes and may help with the quality of life. Here is an abstract for a cohort study done on it http://jad.sagepub.com/content/15/5/403.short

sarahsweets
02-19-14, 05:50 AM
I was always under the impression that a placebo was something you took under the impression that it was an actual treatment, yet because you thought you were taking a "drug" and that your mind of matter thingy in your head convinced yourself that it was working>?

HappySad99
03-02-14, 03:32 AM
I wouldn't suggest using the placebo method, but rewards, relaxation and exercise are all good things. There may be no worry about his high dose either, a lot of research has gone into stimulant meds- just make sure to carefully monitor him for any negative side effects.

Here is a good resource for strategies to cope with ADHD, explanations of how the drugs may work, what goes on in the ADHD brain and the kind of coping strategies: http://inyer.org/downloads/You_Mean_Im_Not_Crazy.pdf

And agendas are a good way later on for your son to remember to do homework, or anything the teacher tells him to do.

Nutrition-wise no diets will help unless he already has a food allergy or a micronutrient deficiency. However, you can try to give him Omega-3 fatty acid supplements to complement the meds, and try to have a healthy diet with vegetables, fruits, lean meats, dairy (foods that have higher fiber, protein, more omega-3 fatty acids, healthier, etc)... it may not help lower the meds, but it is associated with better health outcomes and may help with the quality of life. Here is an abstract for a cohort study done on it http://jad.sagepub.com/content/15/5/403.short
Thanks for your advice and links.