The Tomatis method, combined with the Activate Brain helmet, has yielded positive results without the use of psychostimulants.
When were you diagnosed with ADHD?
"When I was 3 years old, I was in a nursery and I was running around, they couldn't control me. So she told my parents. Later on, we went to the paediatrician and I had a lot of tests. Then they diagnosed me with ADHD."
Were you subsequently prescribed medication?
"Yes, at the age of eight I was given Rıtalıne. It was much too strong. I took it once and I started to go off the rails. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't do anything. You see the discomfort you get when you don't eat? Well, I had that kind of fainting spell in the middle of class. So my father refused to let me continue taking it. Then, recently, I was prescribed a medicine again, the Medıkınet MR."
When you say derail because of the medication, what are you talking about?
"The Rıtalıne I took for 1 day and immediately I got derailed. It was something that affected me a lot, I wanted to never have to go through that again. Unfortunately, I went through it again because when you change your dosage, you don't feel very well. You feel a lot of emotions that come up on their own. A while ago, I was on the bus with my boyfriend and he was telling me about something very happy, and I was very happy. Then all of a sudden I started to cry. At the dosage, we are all confused emotionally. They even said to me "You are living an ordeal, in one day you can be the 4 seasons of the year". I could go from hot to cold in an instant.
Moreover, the first time, I was not given the medication gradually. My logo-psychiatrist gave me a whole pill at once when I was 8 years old. It's way too big and I was very young and it totally derailed me. I was just going up and down, at one point I was in so much pain that I fainted."
So after the first episode of Rıtalıne, you went off medication for a while?
"Yes, for my father it was out of the question for me to go through this. Then recently, last February, I was prescribed a medication again, the Medıkınet MR."
What brought you to the Tomatis Centre Geneva?
"I had noises in my ears sometimes, a kind of weird "beeping" sound and everything that was said around, I couldn't hear it anymore. This happened to me a lot at school. People would talk to me but I couldn't hear anything. The teachers had to shake me or tell me something, otherwise I couldn't hear. That's why I came to the centre. In addition to the noise, it was impossible for me to sit still. To be able to sit here quietly with you today is an achievement for me. It's something I couldn't do before.
What was it like when you went back on medication before your Activate Brain helmet treatment?
"When I was prescribed medication again in February, my father didn't want me to take it again. My mother wanted us to try again to see, so we tried a small dosage and increased it little by little. Then, when we reached a certain dosage, I couldn't work anymore. I was too excited, it was difficult. The dosage was much too high.
I couldn't think anymore and I started to shake. At school, in my class, I was the best at geometry. Then one day my teacher gave me a square and a ruler and asked me to draw a parallel. I couldn't do it anymore. I was turning my objects around and shaking all the time. My teacher even said to me "this is serious". It was impossible for me to control the shaking and be clear in my head. Emotionally it was very complicated, I got angry easily, I was on edge."
When did you start the Activate Brain headset?
"I had already done some treatments at the centre, notably the Tomatis listening in February. That's when I also went back on medication. Then, in August, Julien Frère suggested I try the headset to treat my ADHD. I accepted and then after a week on the headphones I went to tell him that it was too much information for me at the same time. With the medication and the headset at the same time, I couldn't tell what was being caused by what.
I felt like one side of my brain was normal but the other was jumping around. So after talking to him, Julien Frère wrote a letter to my mother suggesting that she not take the medication during the second week of the helmet and give me a chance to see if the helmet would allow me to stop the medication. She agreed and often asked me afterwards how I was doing without the medication, but I told her everything was fine."
Did you go back on your medication when the helmet treatment ended?
"No, I haven't taken it again since. So it's been a month. I have an appointment with my paediatrician in November and we're going to tell her that I've stopped the medication. I don't feel the need to take them because I feel calm since I did the helmet treatment. I can sit still, even I can't believe I've managed it. Honestly, the helmet treatment was much more effective for me than the medication I was taking. I could feel the effects of the helmet on my hyperactivity right away. At school it is much clearer, I am more concentrated, calmer and it is really easier. Now I can do files by myself easily whereas before the teachers had to run after me or I couldn't do it.
How did you feel about the helmet treatment on your ADHD?
"The first few weeks I had a headache and it was spinning. But then, when I stopped the medication, it was fine. I realised when the headaches went away that I could sit still and be still, I couldn't believe it."
If you were to advise someone with ADHD on treatment, what would you advise them to do?
"I would advise them to do the Activate Brain headset without hesitation. The headset calms us down a lot more easily, whereas the medication fools us. We are not ourselves. My best friend who I've known for 3 years, it's only now that he sees how I really am. The helmet has helped me deal with my ADHD and still feel like me.
I really feel better since I did this treatment.
I feel like myself, it feels a bit weird, but I'll get used to it.
I recommend it and I'm really glad I did it. It's been a month now since I did the helmet and I'm off my medication."Have you noticed anything else in particular?
"I love sweets. When I was eating sweets on medication, the sugar still turned me on a lot. Whereas now, when I eat them since my helmet treatment, I feel the exciting effects of sugar on me much less.
I really hope people will come and try this treatment because it has totally worked on me!"
To find out more about the Activate Brain headset
To book an appointment online