I have written on this subject before. I have shared personal experiences; my dad dying when I was very young and being diagnosed with ADHD, only to be pretty sure from a place of adult perspective that I probably was suffering from PTSD. I have also shared that my guess is, many of the clients we see diagnosed with ADHD are in fact suffering from PTSD. The circumstances they have come from are often brutal, poverty, neglect and abuse. It is no wonder they are ‘hyper-vigilant’.
I found it interesting that these two articles appeared within days of each other: Number of ADHD cases on the rise, in the Tribune-Democrat on July 5th talks about the increase in diagnosed cases of ADHD and notes that it “may be due to better screening, more awareness among parents and teachers, and more acceptance of mental health treatment”. And, How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for AHDH in The Atlantic talks about how Dr. Nicole Brown’s research has led her to believe that their is a “compelling possibility: Inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive behavior may in fact mirror the effects of adversity”. Very interesting.
In either case, our work with horses, may look very much the same. We help clients become less impulsive (worries the horse), improving focus (getting tasks done means you can move on to the next task) setting appropriate safe personal boundaries (getting stepped on by a horse hurts!) and many, many other things. Obviously, not all of the symptoms will be exactly the same. Someone dealing with PTSD will most likely have a great deal of anxiety under certain circumstances. We address this by leanring to recognize and even verbalize when we are feeling anxious and through teaching self-soothing skills.
If you or someone you know is dealing with ADHD, PTSD or any other mental health issue, we would like to share with you how work with horses may be able to help. Call or email us to schedule a visit. We will show you around, introduce you to our wonderful horses, learn more about the challenges you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.