My Child Has ADHD. Is It Demonic? What Should I Do To Help Her?

My daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD ( combined type). I researched deep into it and realized me too into it also my hubby also many family members. It’s genetic. Cognitive. I wonder if it’s some demonic work . Many people around me also seem like this. I don’t want to start medicines for her. I am trying naturopathy and mindfulness course. Can you give me your opinion on this issue. She doesn’t even want to marry because of these issues. I don’t know what to do.

Before we begin, realize that every health professional has their own bias. Medical doctors are trained to focus on the body. My focus is primarily on the soul, subconscious, and conscious. So when you ask me about this condition, you’re going to get a different view than your medical doctor would give you. Often in these cases, both types of advisers have something valuable to offer, so it’s good to keep an open mind.

ADHD has become a very loaded topic these days, with many people insisting it has physical causes, such as being given shady medications or eating foods that you don’t realize you’re allergic to or simply inheriting a bad batch of genes. Obviously we don’t want shady medications and bad food, but my personal opinion is that ADHD is not caused by these things. I feel that this particular issue is very much a case of children (and adults) demonstrating signs of significant psychological stress. The more severe the symptoms, the stronger the underlying stress is. I also believe that many children who are diagnosed with ADHD are already in a state of severe psychological trauma, meaning that they are feeling intensely distressed about some real life experiences that they have had, and they are not receiving the help they need to process those experiences in a healthy way.

Here is a description of ADHD symptoms from the United Kingdom’s NHS (National Health Service) site, which provides this country’s current official definition of ADHD:

The symptoms of ADHD in children and teenagers are well defined, and they’re usually noticeable before the age of 6. They occur in more than 1 situation, such as at home and at school.

Inattentiveness

The main signs of inattentiveness are:

  • having a short attention span and being easily distracted
  • making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
  • appearing forgetful or losing things
  • being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
  • appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
  • constantly changing activity or task
  • having difficulty organising tasks
Hyperactivity and impulsiveness

The main signs of hyperactivity and impulsiveness are:

  • being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
  • constantly fidgeting
  • being unable to concentrate on tasks
  • excessive physical movement
  • excessive talking
  • being unable to wait their turn
  • acting without thinking
  • interrupting conversations
  • little or no sense of danger

All of the symptoms being described here are very common symptoms of psychological trauma. From my perspective as a trauma counsellor, this list of symptoms tells me that the subconscious is extremely upset about something, but it does not tell me why. My first response to this symptom set would be to start working on getting the subconscious to talk to me and explain what exactly it’s feeling stressed about. To do that, I would need to build a positive rapport with the subconscious first, and that means I would avoid using negative, forceful, stress-inducing methods when talking to the affected person. By the time a mind is this upset, a gentle, compassionate approach is what’s needed.

Notice how this particular condition is described as often showing up very early in life. Many children become severely traumatized before the age of 6, but at such a young age, they often lack the ability to communicate what has happened to them and adults usually don’t understand 1) that there even is a psychological crisis happening, and 2) how they could go about trying to figure out what caused that crisis when a child has such limited communication skills. A third element of difficulty here is that the home environment could be adding to the problem, meaning that the child feels very stressed by what’s happening in the home, or by tension between the parents. When this is the case, children can easily feel like it’s dangerous to be honest about what’s upsetting them for fear that they will be punished. So even if a child is able to articulate what’s upsetting them, they might feel it is futile to try to do so if they think theirs parent are either unwilling or unable to provide any real help.

In the above list, many of the symptoms are describing problems with the conscious being able to focus. Then we have a lot of physical fidgeting, which is a body issue. Your body and conscious are extremely sensitive to what’s happening with your subconscious and soul. Your body and conscious rely heavily on your subconscious to help them function, so when they sense that your subconscious is extremely upset, they become upset by proxy.

One of my pet peeves as a trauma counsellor is how much flack kids are given for doing poorly in school. When a kid is squirming, disruptive, and unable to focus, he’s typically punished, which inevitably makes him even worse. You see, by a time a kid is showing a pattern of this kind of behaviour, he is very likely dealing with some intense internal distress. Punishments will only increase his stress load. So even though the kid’s “bad” behaviour is causing his parents a bunch of irritating hassle, what the kid really needs is for the parents to take a calm, empathetic approach and try to help him figure out what the root cause of his upset is. The issue is never “I just hate math.” The issue is “I can’t focus because my mind won’t let me.” The question then is why won’t his mind allow him to focus? What is it trying to protect him from?

Your subconscious is very protective over your entire system and it understands how its own stress impacts your body and conscious. So when your subconscious can tell that it is having a negative impact on your body and conscious, it will start using some protective measures to try to help those two elements stop being so focused on it. The analogy here would be a mom who realizes that her really bad mood is having a negative affect on her kids. The mom has big worries on her mind, and she knows that she is way too stressed to fake a sunny attitude right now. Since she can’t hide her dark mood from her kids, she tries to come up with way to distract them instead. Maybe she parks them in front of the television or hands them some toys or sends them outside to play in the yard.

There are two main causes for the kind of scattered concentration that is associated with ADHD. One is that your conscious is unable to focus because it is so distracted by how upset your subconscious is. In this situation, trying to get the conscious to focus is like trying to get a little girl to focus on you while her father is choking in the background. The girl is going to be so worried about what’s happening with her father that she’s not going to be able to turn her attention onto you. You are simply not going to outrank her father to her in that moment. Since he matters far more to her than you do, he is going to get her attention. In this first kind of situation, the internal experience is that as soon as you try to focus on something, your mind keeps turning back to subjects that distress you–often the same subjects over and over. For a child, this might be an argument that he saw his parents have, or some scary confrontation he had with a bully, or a moment when he felt painfully misunderstood by someone. The pattern here is that the mental focus keeps looping back to stressful subjects over and over and over, and those subjects feel so emotionally upsetting, that the child can’t focus on anything else.

The second common cause of scattered concentration is when your subconscious keeps intentionally distracting your conscious to the point that it can’t concentrate on anything for very long. In this situation, your subconscious is acting like the stressed out mom who is trying to prevent her kids from focusing on her. By pitching your conscious distraction after distraction, your subconscious tries to protect it from focusing on how upset it is. In this second scenario, the child will often find his mind constantly leaping from one random thought to another, often with no obvious connection between them. The distracting thoughts flood in at such an intense rate that the child finds himself “zoning out” or “daydreaming” a lot. A strong indication that this second strategy is in play is when the child seems to suddenly find an ability to concentrate when he is doing something pleasurable, like watching a favourite movie or reading a fun book. When parents sees that their child is quite capable of focusing at these times, they often see that as evidence that the child is lying about not being able to concentrate in school. “If you can focus enough to assemble that 300 piece Lego ship, you can obviously do your math homework.” This is a reasonable assumption for parents to make, but it’s incorrect. The reason the kid can focus on the Lego ship is that the ship is providing a positive, intense distraction for his conscious–so much so that his subconscious backs off and allows the conscious to focus. Remember that in this second scenario, the subconscious’ goal is to keep the conscious focused elsewhere. Just as our stressed out mom will feel relieved if her kids get so engrossed in a movie that they forget about how upset she is, the subconscious is relieved when the conscious gets engrossed in anything that helps it feel better. The Lego ship is great, because it’s complicated and interesting. But math homework is boring and difficult, and the conscious needs to the subconscious to help it do the sums. Once the conscious focuses on the subconscious again, it picks up on how stressed out the subconscious is, and begins stressing by proxy. So when the focus turns away from the Lego ship and onto the boring math homework, the subconscious resumes its efforts to distract the conscious by bombarding it with random, distracting thoughts. Now the child is goofing off or daydreaming instead of doing sums and the parents get mad–so mad that they take away the Lego ship, which was helping the child calm down. Now the subconscious has to work even harder to keep the conscious distracted, and round and round we go. It’s a mess, and everyone tends to get more and more frustrated while the root issues go unaddressed.

Treatment

The common treatment for ADHD involves chucking a bunch of sedating drugs at the body. While some gentle sedatives can be helpful in cases of chronic stress (I personally prefer herbals over prescribed in most cases), the common ADHD drugs have some pretty nasty side effects. More importantly, drugging the body isn’t going to do bumpkus to resolve psychological trauma, so it’s hardly surprising that ADHD is considered a condition that gets carried into adulthood. Of course it’s going to be carried into adulthood if it’s not resolved. All childhood trauma gets carried into adulthood and becomes progressively worse until it is resolved.

My personal opinion is that many of the “learning disabilities” that are getting diagnosed so frequently in these modern times are really cases in which severe psychological stress is going untreated. The subconscious plays such a central, dominant role in maintaining your overall health that your body and conscious will always be negatively affected when the subconscious becomes stressed. The good news is that we don’t have to write people off as having a “genetic disorder,” nor do we have to just accept that “I’ll be like this forever.” Psychological trauma can be resolved, but you have to go about it properly. You can’t fix mental stress by drugging the body. Physical issues have to be dealt with using physical means. Mental issues have to be dealt with using mental means, and spiritual issues need to be dealt with using spiritual means.

Now I would strongly caution you against viewing ADHD as a demonic issue. The symptom list I posted above is a clear indication of severe internal distress. For young children, psychological distress will be the far more likely cause than spiritual distress. That said, spiritual trauma is a very real thing, and can happen to young children as well as adults. Spiritual trauma is caused when the soul forms devastating beliefs as a reaction to a real life experience. Once the soul becomes extremely stressed, the body and conscious will become distressed by proxy, and a bunch of stress will always hamper a child’s ability to focus or relax.

So why is psychological trauma more likely? It’s due to the way the soul and subconscious develop. The subconscious is fully online from the beginning, which is why children can become psychologically traumatized even in the infant years. The soul is present from the beginning, but it heavily relies on the subconscious to help it interpret the world around it. At the start of life, the soul is not aware of the existence of supernatural entities. It takes time to learn about the reality of God and demons, and it takes time to develop its personal beliefs. A lot of early life traumas involve attacks on the body, which falls under the subconscious’ jurisdiction. When the body is threatened or attacked, the subconscious becomes extremely upset and it often can’t get over those experiences without help.

Be aware that you can cause spiritual trauma by telling your daughter she is infested by demons when she’s not, so you really shouldn’t go there. While demons are undoubtedly trying to capitalize on this problem, it’s highly doubtful they are the cause of it. Demons are primarily opportunists, meaning that they would much rather exacerbate existing issues than try to invent new ones. One of the reasons demons harass traumatized people with such intensity is that any kind of trauma gives them a lot of great material to work with. But just because demons are flocking to easy targets does not mean those people are spiritually flawed or inferior, so we need to be very careful in how we assess demon involvement.

Be aware that a very common tactic for demons is to try to use an existing psychological trauma to create a new kind of spiritual trauma. This is a strategy that they are trying to work on you now by encouraging you to misdiagnose your symptoms of stress. The fact that you’re suddenly seeing “ADHD” type symptoms in many people around you simply means you’re suddenly noticing that there are a lot of people acting stressed around you. Well, yes, this is a very stressful world we live in and most people are doing a pretty lousy job of managing their mental health. Psychological stress doesn’t magically vanish on its own. Once it becomes severe enough that you find yourself forming a pattern of being unable to focus or sit still or remember basic things, you need to do more than fuss around with your diet and meds. Today there are a ton of books suggesting that strategic changes to your food intake can help with ADHD symptoms. While foods certainly do impact the body, you can’t resolve psychological issues using physical methods. To help the mind, you need to engage with the mind directly, not just keep focusing on the body.

To avoid piling on more stress, you need to be very careful with the kind of language you use around your daughter regarding this issue. Validation and compassion are key elements to helping someone get over trauma, so it would be helpful to frame your daughter’s restlessness as a reasonable problem to have when she’s feeling internally stressed.

Regarding the marriage issue, some caution is needed here. Your daughter might be pointing to her ADHD as the reason she doesn’t want to get married, but there’s likely more to it than that. If you’re honest with yourself, what kind of marriage model have you been to your daughter? The kind of dynamic she sees happening between you and your husband is going to have an enormous impact on how she shapes her own expectations for marriage. If she feels her parents have modelled that “marriage makes people miserable”, then she’s naturally going to be worried about getting “trapped” in a similar situation herself.

The reality is that a lot of kids with ADHD feel very stressed by their home environments. While I have immense sympathy for why many adults find it impossible to create a calm home environment, the fact remains that if the home is a source of stress to the child, trying to get them to open up to you about their psychological stress is probably not realistic. Parents are very powerful, complex figures to their children, and the general rule of psychological counselling is that family members shouldn’t try to play counsellor to each other because there is too much baggage involved to make that work. An outside counsellor is going to feel much safer to your daughter, especially one who specializes in talking to kids that are in your daughter’s age range. Where a child is at in her own development determines what kinds of techniques a counsellor should take when talking with her. This is why I’m saying it’s best to get a counsellor who feels comfortable working with your daughter’s age group. You should also look for one who respects your desire to minimize medications and who feels optimistic that a lot can be accomplished by focusing on the psychological aspects of this condition.

As far as home treatment goes, there are a lot of things you can do to support your daughter’s recovery. In all cases of severe psychological stress, it is very important to help the internal elements get opportunities to rest and recharge. Routines are also helpful. I would suggest you try coming up with a daily schedule with your daughter in which she has scheduled slots in which she gets to do something she likes for an uninterrupted period of time. If you feel she is old enough, you could encourage her to try doing some self-help journaling exercises using the principles I explain in this post.

Supporting Children Through Counselling

When our children are struggling, we naturally want to monitor their recovery closely. But the only way a counsellor is going to be effective is if your daughter feels that she can say things to the counsellor without those things being reported back to you. At the same time, it is important to help your daughter maintain safe boundaries with her counsellor because counsellors are humans, and unfortunately, some of them are lemons. To straddle these issues, I’d suggest the following:

  • Meet with the counsellor yourself first, discuss your concerns about ADHD, and ask the counsellor for her philosophy in treating this condition so you can see if she seems like a good fit.
  • Before taking your daughter for her first private session, make the following guidelines clear to her:
    • A counsellor should NEVER make physical contact with your daughter during the session (including hugs, holding hands, and other forms of sympathetic touch). That is extremely unprofessional behaviour and it destroys the kind of dynamic that is vital for counselling to be safe and effective for the client.
    • Your daughter has the right to decide how much information she wants to share. If she is uncomfortable with a question she is asked, she should say, “I don’t want to talk about that right now.” If the counsellor doesn’t back off and respect your daughter’s wishes, the counsellor is being inappropriate and the relationship needs to end.
    • Your daughter has the right to decide how long she wants to talk to the counsellor. Anytime she decides she wants to stop, she just has to let you know and she can stop (this is important to discuss up front because many kids end up feeling forced to keep seeing counsellors who make them uncomfortable and that is completely useless).
    • Your daughter has the right to end a session early if she is feeling unsafe or uncomfortable. She just needs to get up and walk out and you’ll help her sort out the details.
    • Your daughter does not need to feel guilty for talking about you in her sessions (this will be extremely helpful for you to say as kids always feel guilty trying to discuss their parents in counselling sessions). You are taking her to a counsellor so she can get help, and you want her to feel free to talk about anything she needs to talk about.
    • Your daughter doesn’t have to share anything she talks about in her sessions with you, but if she wants to share, you’d be happy to listen. Let her know that you care about her very much and are eager to support her, but don’t want to make her feel pressured, so you’ll wait for her to initiate these kinds of conversations.

You might consider suggesting a special journal that you and your daughter can share in which she can write notes to you explaining her feelings and you can write replies that are encouraging. Sometimes this kind of thing can help communication flow better on loaded subjects that your daughter finds difficult to talk about. The point of the shared journal is to give you a chance to express encouragement and support while allowing your daughter to share things that she knows she won’t receive an immediate, negative reaction to. Using a journal helps you calm down and only write when you feel you can use a positive tone even when something your daughter shared is alarming.

Helping Yourself

Since you feel that you also have symptoms of ADHD, I would suggest that you also try to work on your psychological stress load. I know that mindfulness is all the rage right now, but it’s basically an obsession with focusing on the present. You “observe” thoughts, but you don’t deal with them, and that is why this technique falls short of being a helpful trauma recovery tool. To resolve trauma, we have to spend some time focusing on the past, because it was past events that caused us to become traumatized in the first place. We need to identify what those events were and how they affected us before we can understand what kinds of changes we need to make to our core beliefs. The problem with too much “mindfulness” is it can become a form of suppression in which the soul practices ignoring anything the subconscious tries to say. A thought like “I’m really upset right now” shouldn’t simply be observed, it should be responded to. When your mind indicates it is upset, your soul needs to say something like, “I hear you and I care about you. Talk to me. What exactly is upsetting you right now? How can I help?”

To keep mindfulness in perspective, consider which of the following people you would find it most helpful to talk to when you’re having a problem:

  • a woman who simply smiles serenely, nods, and says in calm, non-judgemental tone, “Yes, I hear you. Thank you for sharing. You are a valid, lovely person. Now let’s take a deep breathe and enjoy this present moment”, or
  • a woman who leans in, listens attentively to what you’re saying, and says, “I can totally appreciate why you’re feeling so stressed. Let’s talk more about this and see if we can find a solution.

Mindfulness promotes the first kind of calm, polite, yet disconnected reply. It teaches your soul to devalue the importance of what your other elements are trying to say and to view most of your internal dialogue like obstructive chatter that needs to be swept aside before any real growth can happen. We’re certainly not going to make progress with identifying root cause of psychological distress if we’re not putting effort into listening to our minds. Your subconscious doesn’t appreciate being ignored and shunned, regardless of how polite your soul is acting. Your subconscious wants your soul to come up with some helpful suggestions, not just sit there zoning out.

Now that said, you can meditate without trying to be mindful. When set up properly, meditation can be a very helpful therapeutic tool and a great way to encourage your mind to open up about what’s bothering it (see Meditation: A Practical Guide).

At this point, I would suggest that you consider finding a counsellor for yourself, as well as one for your daughter. If you don’t want to talk to a counsellor, I suggest you try doing the journaling exercises in Practical Steps for Correcting Traumatic Beliefs. I also suggest you design a schedule for you and your daughter that can help you both balance your therapy efforts with some recharging activities. I give an example of this kind of schedule in this post. Bearing in mind that the symptoms of ADHD indicate significant psychological stress, it is important to strike a healthy balance between working on root causes and giving your mind rest breaks so that it can feel rewarded for its efforts.

Since I know that God is very important to you and since He is the One guiding your recovery process, I recommend that you consider replacing one of your mindfulness sessions with a session of spiritual meditation in which you focus on simply being with God. Focus on any kind of scenery that is your idea of beautiful, add a bench in it, and visualize yourself sitting next to God on that bench. Don’t try to fill the quiet with conversation. Simply focus on relaxing with Him. Be open to Him saying something to you, but don’t try to pressure Him to do so. This kind of imagery exercise is often easier to focus on if you listen to calming music and/or nature sounds while doing it. The goal here is to give yourself a break from stressing and striving over fixing your health and to experience the relief that comes with knowing that God is always with you and that He can be counted on to guide you in life. When we are trying to be responsible and not be guilty of slacking, it can be easy to swing to an unhealthy extreme of taking on too much responsibility for our own well-being and losing sight of the fact that God does not expect us to sort these messes out all on our own. We need His help in every stage of recovery. He is the only One who can turn our painful life experiences into positive growth. Taking a little time each day to just sit with Him and reflect on how capable, wise, loving, and faithful He is helps our souls stay on the right track.

This post was written in response to Adhd.