ADHD in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults: Integrative Psychiatry Treatments

by RItu Goel | May 17, 2024 | Blogs | 0 comments

If you're concerned that your child or teen may have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you're not alone. Many parents have questions and seek the best care for their young ones. I'm Dr. Ritu Goel, an integrative child and adolescent psychiatrist, and I'm here to guide you through understanding ADHD and the comprehensive integrative treatment options available.

ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, affects many children, teens, and young adults. It can make it hard to pay attention, sit still, and control impulses. It's estimated that about 8.4% of children in the United States have ADHD. This condition can affect school performance, relationships, and daily activities.

ADHD is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors. There is no one specific cause. However, it is not caused by poor parenting or too much screen time, although these can influence symptoms.

While medications and therapy are common treatments, there are other helpful approaches too. Integrative psychiatry combines these traditional methods with additional strategies to support overall well-being. Let's explore these integrative treatments and how they can help manage ADHD symptoms.

Conventional Treatments for ADHD 

Typical ADHD treatments include medications like Ritalin or Adderall, which help improve focus and reduce hyperactivity. Behavioral therapy is another effective method, teaching children and teens how to manage their symptoms. However, some people experience side effects from medications, and therapy may not always be accessible.

Integrative Treatment Approaches for ADHD

Integrative psychiatry blends traditional treatments with complementary approaches, focusing on the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. This holistic method aims to enhance overall health and well-being, using various strategies alongside medication and therapy.

  1. Comprehensive Assessment

This includes a detailed intake appointment, gathering information about your child's medical history, development, family history, previous psychiatric history, and behavior patterns to create a personalized treatment plan.

  1. Medication Management

Medications like psychostimulants or non-stimulants can effectively manage symptoms but are not the only solution. They are used judiciously and in combination with other therapies and interventions.

  1. Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), help children develop coping strategies, improve organization skills, and manage impulses.

  1. Nutritional Interventions
    • Diet can impact behavior. Nutritional counseling ensures your child's diet supports their mental health. This may include:
    • Elimination Diets: Identifying and removing potential food sensitivities.
    • Supplements: Recommending vitamins and minerals that support brain health, such as omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and magnesium.
    • Healthy Eating Plans: Creating balanced diets that avoid processed foods and high sugar intake, focusing on whole foods that stabilize blood sugar levels and support overall health.
  1. Ayurveda and Natural Herbal Medications

Herbal remedies such as Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), and Ginkgo Biloba can be beneficial in managing ADHD symptoms. These natural treatments are chosen for their ability to enhance cognitive function, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

  1. Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is a therapy that trains individuals to control their brainwaves. By providing real-time feedback, this method helps improve focus and behavior. While it's not a cure, it can be a helpful addition to other treatments.

  1. Mind–Body Practices
    • Meditation and Mindfulness

    Mindfulness and meditation practices can help improve attention and reduce stress. Techniques like deep breathing and mindful meditation encourage a calm and focused mind, which can be helpful in managing ADHD symptoms.

    • Yoga

    Yoga combines movement and meditation, promoting relaxation and focus. These activities can help reduce hyperactivity and improve emotional regulation, making them useful for those with ADHD.

    • Physical Activity

    Exercise boosts brain chemicals that help with attention and focus, like how ADHD medications work. Regular physical activity, such as team sports or aerobic exercises, can significantly benefit those with ADHD.

    • Sleep Hygiene

    Good sleep is essential for managing ADHD symptoms. Establishing a regular sleep routine, limiting screen time before bed, and creating a comfortable sleep environment can improve sleep quality and overall functioning.

  1. Parental Support and Education

Parents receive the tools and knowledge they need to support their child. This includes psychoeducation about ADHD, strategies for managing behaviors at home, and guidance on collaborating with schools.

Emerging Treatments
  • Digital Therapeutics

Innovative tools like the FDA-approved game-based treatment EndeavorRx use engaging activities to improve attention. These digital therapies offer new ways to manage ADHD symptoms alongside traditional treatments.

  • Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation

This non-invasive technique uses electrical stimulation to help regulate brain activity. It's a promising new treatment that may reduce ADHD symptoms, but more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness.

Case Studies and Examples

Many families have found success with integrative treatments for ADHD. For instance, a combination of dietary changes, mindfulness practices, and physical activity helped one young patient significantly reduce his reliance on medication while improving his academic performance and social interactions. These success stories highlight the potential of integrative approaches to transform lives.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite the benefits, integrative treatments can face barriers such as lack of access, limited awareness, and misconceptions about their efficacy. It is essential to address these challenges by providing accurate information, ensuring safety, and encouraging open communication between patients, families, and healthcare providers.


Integrative psychiatry offers a comprehensive approach to managing ADHD, combining traditional and complementary treatments to improve overall well-being.

If you are looking for holistic ADHD treatment options, visit and book an appointment with Dr. Ritu Goel. She specializes in integrative psychiatry and can help create a personalized treatment plan for you or your children/ teen.