Hypnosis gives people with ADHD control over their choices, impulses, and a feeling that they are in control of their lives.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. When you focus on each of those words, it seems more judgmental and symptomatic than a real problem that has a cause.
Currently, the care for anyone with ADHD is palliative and when we work with the cause, the effect is reduced or eliminated — which is what hypnotherapy does.
What ADHD is ... and is not
ADHD was first mentioned in 1902. British pediatrician Sir George Frederic Still described “an abnormal defect of moral control in children.” Even in the Bible, Peter exhibited disruptive behavior which can be called ADHD. Today he is referred to as St Peter and the Roman Catholic tradition says that Jesus called him the first Pope.
ADHD was originally called hyperkinetic impulse disorder. In the late 1960s, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) formally recognized ADHD as a mental disorder.
When you say to a child who needs more than the monotone of a teacher who cannot captivate their attention during class is that they are “bad” and something is “wrong” with them, the child is shamed and blamed in the classroom. And if they are “too” disruptive, the child could be sent to the principal’s office, parents are called in.
The final nail in the coffin is when the child is labeled with ADHD and the doctor prescribes a pill.
Besides using hypnotherapy to help someone with ADHD with behavior strategies, they need more help with their lack of self-love.
Society wants a worker, a producer, an order taker, and with the help of a pill, a label, and shaming, what you have is an emotional invalid with a lack of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence.
The label and the pill turn into a convenient crutch that most never outgrow as long as they stick to mainstream medication and lifestyle.
This is where a lot of love from family and friends helps along with alternative or non-traditional medicine.
My children and I have ADHD — and it is not a bad thing!
I did not know about ADHD until the 1990’s when I had my children. I was called into the principal’s office of my daughter who was 5 years of age and in the first grade. I was told, “she can’t sit still and maybe you can put her on medication.”
Feeling aghast, I asked to meet the classroom teacher. Fortunately, she sided with me and said that my daughter was a great student both with her grades and her respect for others. The teacher realized my daughter would finish her assignments and get bored. So she gave her extra activities for when she was done with her assignments, to keep her smart noggin occupied.
Also, I was one of those kids who couldn’t still in a class, but I never got into trouble because I was shy-quiet-introverted and also got good grades.
The way I managed my ADHD from when I was 6 years old was by writing every word spoken by the teacher. This saved me from falling asleep in class or giving in to the urge of running out screaming because some teachers can bore anyone to death with their drones.
This was the 1970s and making education fun was not on the agenda. But luckily in those times in India, they didn’t think of medication to control a bored child. Thanks to those teachers I am a speed writer.
How I have used self-hypnosis to keep my ADHD at bay
The scars of being weird growing up never go away unless you learn to tell yourself a different story.
The most important post-hypnotic suggestion I give myself is that I am well, peaceful, and happy. I matter. I am good and beautiful just the way my creator intended me to be here and now.
Do I remember it all the time? No. So, I have to say these kind words to myself all the time, to maintain healthy self-esteem and self-worth.
The three things I work on every day are self-care, self-confidence, and self-kindness.
Since positivity is a higher vibration, it is continuously working against gravity. It doesn’t take much to drop down into negativity and wallow in self-pity.
So I start each day with a healthy dose of positivity by writing down at least four good things that happened yesterday or over the past few days mentioning that I am grateful for each of them.
Besides all the hurt from my past, I still need to deal with my ADHD symptoms which make my mind wander. If I must listen to a lecture, I still take notes so I can maintain focus. If I must watch a show or a movie I knit, to keep my fingers occupied so I can sit through it.
To get started with and complete any task, I use a calendar and a timer to remind myself when to start and when to end. When you know that you have to do something only for a certain amount of time, it’s easy to get started, because you know have to do it only for so long and that can be a motivation.
An ADHD mind is a wandering mind — and usually a hyper-creative mind.
The trouble about doing all things that help you is getting started. E.g. exercise, meditation, your assignment, etc. Somehow there’s a critic in you who’ll distract you and say “hey! You can’t do this now, because you have to do that.” This critic never stops you from turning on the TV, popping that bag of chips, or getting on YouTube or social media.
How I use hypnosis to help my clients with ADHD
This inner critic’s job is to maintain stasis, not ruffle any feathers, keep you safe, stuck in the same-old-same-old and most likely feeling sorry.
Now, your inner critic can be taught to be your inner coach too who is a loving, wise, and kind being. This is what I help my clients with.
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. It is most effective when you are not on any medications for ADHD. If your medication has you functioning as a person who is not exhibiting symptoms of ADHD, then there’s no way to know if hypnotherapy is working or not.
During the cognitive work, my client and I come up with strategies for practicing self-care, self-compassion, and self-kindness.
After a gentle induction, when the critical mind has been bypassed, I offer suggestions to build my client’s self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence.
And when in deep hypnosis, I offer suggestions that help them heal the past wounds of blame, shame, hurt, and guilt. And, when my client is coming out of the hypnosis, I offer post-hypnotic suggestions of what to do when they feel like doing something they do not need to do and instead focus on what they had promised themselves they would do.
All my clients get recordings of the sessions so they can play the recording and have the full benefit of the session as often as they need in between sessions.
And finally, I teach self-hypnosis to my clients, which they can use on their own, before bed. Their personalized suggestions work through their sleep time in reprogramming their subconscious which controls their moods and behavior.
How hypnotherapy helps kids with ADHD
Labeling children as ADHD kids can stigmatize them. The term ADHD means a person with a disease. Growing up, I heard terms for people with certain challenges which today are considered terrible and those words are not used at all.
These children need unconditional love and support from their parents and teachers who are part of their support system during their formative years. They need help that is not merely a mechanical process or the presence of a ‘body’ when in school.
If you want a child to grow up as a functioning adult and an equal member of society, the work must begin in the early years. Ask the child what they need and do your best to communicate it to them in a way they get it.
Homeschooling ADHD kids would be an ideal situation, in which the day can be organized around the child’s needs. Daily social interaction with other children and adults is also needed, so the child believes in themselves and others.
They need to learn to trust others and remind themselves that they are as important as anyone else.
Often, I have found parents silently blaming themselves for their child’s inability to focus or their hyperactive or impulsive nature. It takes all sorts to make the world and remember your child is the most precious thing that your creator could have gifted you with.
You have to learn to be kind and gentle with yourself as a parent and then share it with your child. When your child makes a demand, you could get down to their level and speak to them eye-to-eye horizontally and heart-to-heart, instead of looking down at them or looking away while talking or talking with a raised voice from a distance because you have something else to do.
The greatest gift an ADHD child brings with them is to teach you to slow down and notice someone outside your world.
Keya Murthy, M.S., C.Ht., works as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Parenting and Relationship Coach, and Energy Medicine Practitioner. She is a #1 International Bestselling Author and has published eleven books on Amazon, including The Book on Happiness. Keya is also the host of the Be Happier with Coach Keya Podcast.