Thank you for your kind words and guidance, JLynn37 and Mike. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.
I was very nervous about medication (as I’d believed the common myth that it’s bad for children and I could use solely natural lifestyle changes to help her feel less down and more focused) so didn’t give it to her for six months. However, when I got my diagnosis I tried medication and I couldn’t believe the difference it made: after over four decades of trying to “fix” my brain, I finally felt more like, from what I’ve deduced, neurotypicals do. My mind seemed much clearer and I felt calmer and more organised and, most importantly, emotionally level.
I then did even more research about medication for children and realised that if my daughter DOESN’T take medication she is much more likely to go off the rails or become an alcoholic or addict or get debilitating depression or anxiety (like my siblings, one whose addiction and mental health issues led to his death, and the other who had major alcohol and addiction problems for 25 years) or just generally be incredibly disorganised and unhappy and stressed (like I have been most of my life).
From the first day she took a small dose of Ritalin, my daughter became a more mentally stable and happier child. What a revelation!
Medication isn’t a cure all, obviously. For three years prior to that I’d ensured she hadn’t eaten the foods that we’d witnessed exacerbated her hyperactivity, hyper-emotional behaviour and lack of focus (preservatives, glutamates, some colours and flavours – that makes a big difference), ensured she got lots of sleep and exercise and changed the way we patented her. Of course these all helped a lot but we’re still finding pieces of the puzzle that work.
I really like your suggestions. JLynn37 – the doctor that diagnosed her ADHD never mentioned any adjunct therapies or lifestyle changes like the ones above we’d been doing for several years. She also didn’t mention counselling so thank you for suggesting it. What a great idea.