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Giving students a tool to help with ADHD, help prevent depression
by Global Good News staff writer

Global Good News    Translate This Article
12 April 2009

The Transcendental Meditation Programme is a powerful tool to help students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and to help prevent depression and other mental health problems.

This was the message of Dr William Stixrud, a renowned clinical neuropsychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with learning, attention, and emotional disorders, during a recent major press conference* in New York City, USA.

Please also see Part I of this article: Offering a solution to the damaging effects of stress.

Dr Stixrud and his colleague, US educator Dr Sarina Grosswald, conducted a study in which middle school students with ADHD learned the Transcendental Meditation Programme.

After practising Transcendental Meditation for three months, the children themselves reported 53% fewer symptoms of anxiety and 26% fewer symptoms of ADHD, including impulsivity, Dr Stixrud said.

One child, who had been 'wildly impulsive', described how Transcendental Meditation had helped him, Dr Stixrud said.

The student said, 'Before I started meditating, if somebody bumped me in the hall, I'd just turn around and hit them. But now if somebody bumps me, I stop and think, ''Should I hit them or not?'' '

This is significant progress for a child with ADHD, Dr Stixrud said.

Transcendental Meditation can also be an important tool in prevention of depression and other mental health problems.

'Because these mental health problems are strongly related to stress, they are in significant part preventable,' Dr Stixrud said.

'Rates of depression and other stress-related mental health problems in young people are really alarming . . . [and these] disorders are starting younger and younger, and they are predisposing kids to have more lifelong mental health problems, because, for example, [experts] say that depression scars the brain,' said Dr Stixrud.

'Teenagers who are under high stress are twice as likely to use drugs, to drink, to smoke,' he continued, while young people who practise Transcendental Meditation are 'more flexible, show better emotional regulation, improved self control, and better self esteem. . . .'

'I tell my teenage clients that a formula for becoming depressed or developing other mental health problems is to be too tired and too stressed for too long. And I tell them that one important way to prevent these problems is to practise TM.'

'Transcendental Meditation can help students across the socioeconomic spectrum develop brains that work efficiently, that work creatively and flexibly, and can see the big picture,' Dr Stixrud said. 'It also reduces the risk that kids will have anxiety disorders, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, self injury.'

The Transcendental Meditation Programme 'can be a powerful tool to help kids prepare for the 21st century,' Dr Stixrud concluded.

*Educators, doctors, and celebrities spoke at a 3 April press conference preceding the historic Paul McCartney benefit concert on 4 April at Radio City Music Hall, New York City, USA. The extraordinary achievements and goals of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace were presented at the press conference.

The 'Change Begins Within' benefit concert contributed funds to the David Lynch Foundation's initiative to teach one million at-risk children Transcendental Meditation—giving them life-long tools to overcome stress and violence, and promote peace and success in their lives.

The concert was headlined by Paul McCartney, with special guests including Ringo Starr, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Moby, Paul Horn, Bettye LaVette, Donovan, and Jim James.

© Copyright 2009 Global Good News®

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