According to the systematic data, one in every ten children in Israel suffers from hyperactivity, concentration problems, low threshold depression and sometimes even aggressiveness and violence. This is called “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” [ADHD]. It is [here in Israel as well as across the globe] one of the fastest growing problems in the field of education. What is worse, chemical experiment proves that within the limits of the conventional approach, there is no satisfying solution to the phenomenon. The brightest doctors in the medical, psychological, educational, and pharmacological fields are intensively dealing with the subject.
The problem, according to Dr. Ilan Zamir, MD and Homeopathic Doctor, is in the approach. “The lack of accurate treatment is what makes a problem abnormal” says Zamir. ”Being a doctor that has been treating hyperactive children for some years now (Boruch Hash-m with a lot of success) I allow myself to blame modern medicine for not finding the appropriate cure”
The obstacle in helping these children, according to Dr. Zamir, is that the people who usually treat them do not relate to ADHD as a disease. As long as they see no cure they define it as a disability, and as long as they see it in that light, they will not find the cure.
By taking a completely new approach, by looking at this problem as a disease, Dr. Zamir has found a cure.
AGGRESSIVE AND IRRITATING
Before we get to discussion of conventional treatments and of Dr. Zamir’s solution, we should detail the symptoms.
A child that suffers from ADHD may:
1. have difficulty maintaining concentration on any topic for very long [this is especially problematic in his studies];
2. doze off or daydream during classes;
3. sometimes appear to be out of touch with reality;
4. exhibit erratic behavior, for example:
- getting up suddenly and strutting around the class; or
- touching, turning over, and even breaking things (either his or someone else’s);
5. often be irritating and/or aggressive: hitting his siblings and other children, fighting without a reason etc.;
6. be disposed to depression, and may be known to cry and scream a lot;
7. never seem to be embarrassed of his actions or of their consequences (punishments);
8. often seem to not have even a minimal conscience, that can be employed to influence him;
9. develop specific fears or even phobias of the dark or to be alone, for example, may insist on sleeping with the parents;
10. throw frequent tantrums, at home or publicly.
Although these children have great intellectual potential, greater than the normal (for example: Winston Churchill) the general feeling is that the brain doesn’t function in certain fields. It makes it very hard for these children to get used to a structured environment (like school, or later, at a job) and to generally get ahead in life.
All of these exceptional behaviors will continue as long as the disease is not treated.
The anomaly doesn’t disappear when the child passes psychological treatments and examinations. Under typical medical treatment the child is drugged. Ritalin is most commonly prescribed, but these drugs do not cure either. They are not intended to. They simply suppress the symptoms for a few hours, until the drug wears off.
If the child stays on the he may be able to function relatively “normally”; but he will be dependent on the drug.
Aside from drug dependence there are other known and suspected side effects from these drugs. Some of these include lack of appetite; change in personality; lethargy; general laziness; and acting “dreamy” and out of touch with reality.
Another problem with these drugs is that they produce rebound effects. “Rebound” is a descriptive term for how the patient responds to the wearing off of the drug. In order to explain rebound effects let us use a metaphor:
If you had two tall glasses, the first one full of water and the second one empty, with a clamped hose connecting them near the bottom. If you were to remove the clamp, the water level in both glasses would balance out. Before equilibrium would be reached, however, the force of the water rushing into the second glass would take its level higher than that of the first glass.
This is a simplified description of how rebound effects work. The point is that the patient’s original level of hyperactivity is exaggerated after the drug wears off. This only serves to intensify the child’s dependence on the drug.
The building of tolerances is yet another big concern. This means that a child starts out at a particular dosage. As his body adjusts to having that amount of the chemical in its system, he requires more of it in order to achieve the same results. The dosages must continually increase in order for the drug to be effective.
These are some of the known problems with these drugs. There are believed to be more serious, long-term problems as well. Dr. Hanoch Elran, from the Center Hospital in Tel-Aviv, is researching a hypothesis that Ritalin prevents normal neural development. It is also believed that Ritalin causes damage to the right frontal lobe and other parts of the brain.
If drugs do not work for a particular child, or if the parents do not want to have a drug dependent child, the feeling of despair grows. In the end, the parents, educators, and others involved often accept the situation as it is; and the child ends up in “special education.”
This starts a viscous cycle where the child is treated like a disabled or even semi-retarded child. He then receives lowered expectations from his teachers, literally less of an education, a label of less than intelligent, and a severe blow to his self-esteem. These factors lead to a less educated student, a student who now falsely believes that he is less than intelligent, and more behavior problems. These factors in turn lead to more lowered expectations... and the cycle continue.
When they grow up a lot of these children leave their studies, and never adjust to any sort of a structured framework, neither studies nor work. A lot of them deteriorate, chas v’shalom, and turn to drugs or alcohol, etc.
Doctor Zamir’s method is made up of homeopathy and Bach flowers, [named after Dr. Bach who first discovered their medicinal benefits] both of which are natural and have no added chemicals. This gives as added benefit of eliminating the side effects that most medications have. This is very different than the conventional method that aggresses the disease with chemical and synthetic substances that don't cure the disease, but simply repress it for short periods of time.
Sometimes it happens that school personnel misdiagnose a child as having ADHD. The fact that from 1991 to 1995 diagnosed cases increased by 260% gives credence to the notion that over-diagnosis is a problem in and of itself.
In such cases, after all of his researching, Dr. Zamir will find that the child is perfectly healthy and not hyperactive at all.
It is sometimes the case that a particular child, who is highly intelligent, finds himself bored in class. He understands more quickly that other children; and therefor, feels tormented by all of the additional information. As a result, this child bothers the class and ends up with a stamp of troublemaker. The child is punished, yelled at and, over time, may truly become a problem child. In such a case, the child needs understanding and encouragement, a pat-on-the-back and to hear that his parents are satisfied with him. Giving him extra, more challenging class work also helps.
HOMEOPATHY IN GENERAL
The homeopathic method is based on the principle that “the similar cures the similar.” A substance that causes damage to the healthy person will cure an unhealthy person. That’s what the name is all about - “Homeo” is similar, and “pathy” is disease.
The homeopathic method successfully treats most diseases because it reinforces the body's own immune system. Homeopathy uses natural raw material that are diluted. This turns them out to be very effective while doing no damage (as conventional medicines often do). Homeopathy treats epatient in a specific, individualized way. It should be pointed out that in certain diseases the symptoms would be different from patient to patient.
Each doctor has to learn the specific symptoms very well in order to treat the patent that stands in front of him. There is a need for the doctors to understand each case in depth in order to discover the relationship between all of the symptoms. The range of questions to be asked can reach up to dozens in order to fully understand the patient’s problem (in our case: the child's behavior). After assembling all of this data, the homeopathic doctor has to use all of his knowledge in order to come up with an accurate diagnosis and cure.
Dr. Zamir lives in Telz Stone, Israel, and operates two practices, in Jerusalem and in Givat-Shmuel. Tel: 972-25335627 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.dr-zamir.co.il