Can people with ADHD be hypnotized

What to know about AD (H) S.

Dr. Helga Simchen

Pediatrician / Child Neurologist / Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Depth psychological psychotherapy / behavior therapy / systemic family therapy / hypnosis
Bonifaziusplatz 4a 55118 Mainz Tel .: 06131-618711







What to know about AD (H) S.

1. What is ADD / ADHD and what is it not?

1. The ADD with and without hyperactivity is more than a disturbance of concentration and behavior. Its diagnosis requires a holistic view of the person concerned with their development, their social environment, their individual abilities and their current problems.
AD (H) D is an impairment caused by the organism of the brain, which, depending on its severity, can affect the following areas: concentration and sustained attention, ability to think and remember, behavior, impulse and feeling control as well as different areas of motor control.

  • The AD (H) D is often only present as a predisposition with quite a number of positive properties. So it is not a disease from the start, but with pronounced symptoms and under unfavorable external and internal conditions it can have psychological effects, cause psychosomatic complaints, and impair the development and quality of life of those affected. To prevent this, early diagnosis and - if necessary - timely treatment are urgently recommended so that self-esteem and social behavior do not get into a negative spiral.
  • The AD (H) S is inherited in any case. Negative influences on the developing child from smoking, alcohol consumption or great stress during pregnancy can intensify AD (H) D symptoms and express them earlier. Alcohol embryopathy and "smoking babies" exist independently of AD (H) D. Also early childhood brain damage z. B. Due to lack of oxygen during childbirth, injury-related brain damage or infections do not cause AD (H) D, but can exacerbate its symptoms. Even a pampering fault education with high expectations on the part of the child, even with little willingness to exert themselves, can simulate AD (H) D. It must always be clarified whether the child cannot or does not want to.
  • So there is no secondary AD (H) D, but only an increase in symptoms under unfavorable external influences. With all primary brain damage, in contrast to AD (H) D, the child's statomotor and mental development is clearly delayed from the start, and small physical anomalies are often also present (minor anomalies).
  • Too little structure in upbringing, too little exercise, too much media consumption, too little support can exacerbate AD (H) D symptoms or even make them visible in the first place, but their predisposition is always inherited.
  • People with AD (H) D often smoke because it increases their dopamine levels to make them feel calmer, more focused, and more relaxed. For the same reasons, alcohol is also used more frequently in order to temporarily reduce the anxious, insecure mood and self-doubt. "Drink up courage", as some of those affected call it. If women with AD (H) D who resort to this self-medication in their helplessness then become pregnant, these legal drugs can put the developing child even more at risk. Toxic and genetic damage then add up.
  • A clear distinction from other disorders is a prerequisite for a successful treatment of AD (H) D and the task of every therapist. Since 1999 there have been guidelines for the diagnosis and therapy of AD (H) D, which have since been revised several times and now also include adulthood.
  • Behavioral and concentration disorders, partial performance disorders such as reading, spelling and arithmetic weaknesses are areas that previously belonged mainly to the department of educators. Therefore, it is still difficult for some to understand that an AD (H) S-related neurobiological disorder can be responsible for this. B. Partial performance disruptions also require medical treatment.
  • Pronounced and untreated AD (H) D can cause mental disorders and lead to the following comorbidities: fears, compulsions, depression, addictive behavior, eating disorders and even promoting the development of a borderline personality disorder. Because the AD (H) D does not go away by itself, not even with growing up. Only your symptoms can change, but you can also learn to deal with them successfully.
  • Puberty is a particularly critical phase for people with AD (H) D. Increasing social burdens can be compensated for with poor self-esteem, inner insecurity and the often existing social maturity deficit. As a result, adolescents particularly clearly feel their discrepancies in their behavior towards their peers during puberty. The increasing level of suffering prompts them to look for the causes of their being different now at the latest. Unfortunately, in their helplessness, they do not always find the right therapist who answers their questions in an understandable way.
  • The most common false statements from therapists that sufferers continue to tell me are:

"You cannot have an AD (H) D at all, because you have successfully completed your Abitur and a university degree without interruptions and you couldn't do that with an AD (H) S".
"You do not have AD (H) D, because you were able to concentrate very well for over an hour during my diagnosis, which people with AD (H) D cannot".
That is also not true! All AD (H) D sufferers can concentrate very well as long as something is interesting and new to them, they are fascinated, but not with boring routine work.

  • AD (H) D is a personality variant, but it can also be very beneficial for those affected. Because of their special kind of neural networking in their brain, they have special abilities that they can use as resources. This requires an early diagnosis with an individual, multi-layered therapy concept right from the start.
  • Putting this into practice means:

- Thoroughly educate yourself about AD (H) D in order to understand its neurobiological causes and specifics, as well
- to create and internalize individual learning and behavior strategies with the help of an experienced therapist and to practice them in the form of self-management.

  • Neurobiologically, AD (H) S is a congenital underfunction in the frontal lobe area with overstimulation and specifically changed information processing in the cognitive, emotional and motor areas. There is also a lack of individual messenger substances as a result of an innate transport disorder. The hypofunction of individual areas of the brain and the lack of messenger substances can be detected using special computer methods via the glucose and oxygen consumption of the active brain.

15. The frontal lobe (the pre-frontal cortex) plays an important role here; all information that reaches the brain is filtered there in order to prevent overstimulation. The frontal lobe is also responsible for:

    • The development of the sense of time
    • The targeted termination of work that has already started
    • Estimating consequences
    • The impulse control

Why is there so much confusion about attention deficit disorder?
1. Because its appearance is so varied, its symptoms can change over time and depend on the severity of the affliction and the stress. This complicates the diagnosis, so that it can be quite complicated and time-consuming. The diagnosis of AD (H) D requires:
- The presence of a number of typical AD (H) D symptoms
- Delays and anomalies in the course of development so far
- A significant amount of currently felt stress
- A familial disposition
2. AD (H) D as a congenital neuro-psycho-social Depending on its severity, impairment shows different abnormalities on the neuromotor, emotional, cognitive and behavioral levels. Hyperactivity, behavioral problems, lack of concentration and sustained attention are symptoms that occur in this combination in both forms of ADD. No AD (H) D diagnosis should be made using the point scale alone.
AD (H) D is by no means hyperactive and / or behaviorally disturbed!
The cardinal symptoms: Motor restlessness, impulsiveness, lack of concentration and sustained attention combined with abnormalities in social behavior should always be present. However, they are very different in the subgroups: ADD with hyperactivity and ADD of the inattentive type.
In ADD of the inattentive type, behavioral disorders are initially less in the foreground, but an impairment of sustained attention combined with difficulties in reacting quickly and correctly in a socially adapted manner and being able to access what has been learned quickly and correctly. ADD without hyperactivity is diagnosed far too seldom and too late and until today too little consideration is given in ADD research. Its diagnosis and therapy are much more complex and difficult.
In addition to these two forms of AD (H) S, there are many intermediate stages that often occur next to each other in the same family or in the following generation. No AD (H) D is the same as the other, so diverse is its appearance.
3. The ADHD in its system is always inherited. The genes for this are located on different nuclear loops (chromosomes). So far, around 20 candidate genes have been found which, in their combination, shape the appearance of AD (H) S. But also the social environment, the presence of protective factors, the strength of the current stress, as well as the intellectual equipment influence his appearance. Children and adolescents with good to very good talent can often compensate for their AD (H) D-related problems for a long time.

The following therapeutic strategies can be derived from the causes:

1. After the diagnosis, those affected should be given extensive information about the neurobiological causes of their individual AD (H) S problems. It should be worked out with them how they can improve their quality of life with the help of their special skills and therapy. Because any AD (H) D therapy is only successful in the long run if those affected can explain their AD (H) D problems, know their available resources and use them actively.
2. With the AD (H) D brain, it is important to create dense learning paths through constant repetition and practice in the much too branched neural network so that thinking and acting can take place more quickly and become automated.
3. For this purpose, individual self-management with learning and behavioral strategies should be developed for daily use under therapeutic guidance in order to enable long-term success. Just prescribing medication is not enough! That is why those affected have a great need for discussions, instructions and reflections, and visits to self-help groups are of great benefit.
4. The later the diagnosis and treatment, the more time goes by in which the development of the personality stagnates, the problems increase and self-confidence suffers. Only cause-oriented therapy helps those affected to noticeably improve their self-esteem and social behavior in the long term. It is not individual symptoms that need to be treated, but rather the personality of those affected.
5. An inundation with stimuli and information should be avoided as far as possible. The daily routine must be structured specifically in order to avoid stress and excessive demands. Because stress blocks working memory. Always repeat or write down important things, hide unimportant things. Learning and behavior training until it is automated. If continuous practice is unsuccessful, provided the intellectual level is appropriate for age, the use of stimulants should definitely be considered.
6. Stimulants can compensate for the under-functioning of individual brain structures and the lack of messenger substances in the synapses. The latter are used to transmit bioelectrical impulses in the nerve tracts. For this, the ratio of the individual messenger substances in the synaptic gap to one another must be correct, only then can different information reach the various centers of the brain quickly.
7. What do messenger substances do?
Dopamine activates the anterior attention center located in the frontal lobe, fine motor fine-tuning and the body's own reward system.
Norepinephrine is responsible for drive and impulse control and regulates the rear attention center located in the cranial lobe.
Serotonin, as a "happiness hormone", is responsible for controlling emotions in cooperation with the emotional memory (limbic system). Serotonin deficiency leads to a lack of drive, sadness, fears, compulsions and depressive moods.
8. A norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine has been available as "Strattera" since March 2005 for the treatment of AD (H) D and has proven to be a good second choice.
9. Since January 2016, "Intuniv" has been approved for the treatment of AD (H) D with the active ingredient guanfacine, which influences signal transmission in the postsynaptic manner. A novel active ingredient, not a stimulant and it is not subject to the Narcotics Act. Intuniv use should be closely monitored because of possible side effects. Personally, I have no experience with it.
The means of first choice in the therapy of AD (H) D are and will remain the stimulants, which also include the amphetamines, as they are the best to compensate for the existing underfunctions.
10. Alternative therapies can only temporarily relieve individual symptoms through placebo effects, but cannot influence the neurobiological causes of AD (H) D.

Dr. Helga Simchen

I recommend reading this book to anyone who is interested and would like to find out more: “AD (H) S - helping people to help themselves. Learning and behavioral strategies for school, study and work "
Published in 2015 by Kohlhammer Verlag, ISBN 978-3-17-023351-5