ADD or ADHD -Label or Diagnosis? — ADD Tip o the Day 537

We all have our attitudes

Sometimes people have attitudes that seems strange to me, like about medications or diagnoses. But everybody is different, and we all see such things from our own viewpoints and experiences.

The best comment I’ve read on labeling is, “Would you rather your son be labeled ADHD or as the kid that nobody wants to play with?”

We’re all sensitive

Now there’s a controversy about the term ADDer.  I’m personally happy with it; I’ve been an ADDer for years.  But there is a difference between saying “He’s a schizophrenic -or a diabetic, or a homosexual” versus  “He has schizophrenia – or diabetes, or he’s gay. “

Or even more ungainly, “He’s a person with schizophrenia – etc.”

Maybe the issue is to remember that the label, or diagnosis, does not define the person.    It is simply one attribute of them.


tom (potty mouth) nardone – funny on labels

Dr. Mason ADDer’ Is a Dumb Name. Don’t Call Me That.

bonus question

I’m trying to write about how to tell whether a professional is knowledgeable about ADD ADHD or not.

I would appreciate your suggestions.  Thanks.

extra bonus question

What do you think about ADDer?

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,add diagnosis,adhd diagnosis,labels,labeling

Wasn’t there something else I was supposed to be doing?


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Why we need a good evaluation — ADD Tip o the day 536

Get the right diagnosis

Diagnosis of ADD ADHD isn’t just based on one symptom. We need a full, careful, and thorough evaluation. That includes:

1. a good history

2. reviewing available documents like report cards etc.

3. ideally, talking with other observers like a mother or spouse

4. ideally, a pencil and paper or computer test

Mimics of ADD ADHD

Rule out other things that can mimic ADD ADHD -thyroid disease, medication side effects,  drug abuse, depression, head injury and others. Debbie posted on one that I hadn’t thought of:

  • Debbie L. Rowley, MSW

    Debbie L. Rowley, MSW

    Psychotherapist with expertise in working with Adults with ADHD

    I’ve had quite a few 50-60 yr old males that have come to my office over the yrs believing that they now have ADHD, but aren’t certain they had it before…. If there is no known or suspected family hx of ADHD, no children dx’d or suspected, and there are a lot of sx’s of fatigue & memory issues… I start looking at sleep (these guys are often sucking up a lot of caffiene, too). I’ve had so many people come in fitting the above scenario, and come to find out they’re getting 4 hours of sleep a pm. I won’t agree to refer them for ADHD testing until they’re up to about 6 hrs/pm for at least a week+, and coach them to do this. And with most *poof*. ADHD gone!

    I have one client currently that fits all the criteria for ADHD at age 47, but only dx’d 6 months ago. He’s struggled with it for at least 20 yrs, it’s getting worse, and he doesn’t remember struggling with sx’s before that time. Low and behold– he had a sleep study done 5-6 yrs ago and was dx’d with sleep apnea. He only tried the CPAP for a week before he gave up. He’s being referred for a new sleep study and apnea tx!

    A knowledgeable professional?

    Be sure your evaluator is knowledgeable; a lot are not, it even though they may think they are. Many professionals suffer from the same misunderstandings about ADD ADHD that everyone else does.



Oren Mason MD newest book

from vincent – unplanned resting days

great review of Living Daily With Adult ADD ADHD – Thanks, I needed that

Nearly time for bed.

Nearly time for bed.

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, diagnosis | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Studying and Decluttering— ADD Tip o the day 535

Time for school

School is starting. Michael is not thrilled. But to get off to a good start, this is a good time to review strategies and issues. And it’s important to know how to study. I didn’t discover how until second year medical school. What a breakthrough! It’s covered in the book.

bonnie mincu on the 4 d’s – denial,disorganization, distraction,derailment

For college students, but applies to everyone.

Your Life Can Be Better has a big section on strategies for studying effectively.

 A neat house!

We’re showing the house to sell it. And so it has to be de-cluttered. It looks very neat; just don’t look in the closets and drawers and cabinets where  we stuffed everything.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable living with all this neatness.


Bonus links:

homey on house cleaning, or not!      can apply to lots of things.

from homey on “Why you don’t clean your house? What wrong with you?

from teresa – pro clutter

Jenna – how to declutter


add,adhd,attention deficit,adult add,adult adhd,adhd and clutter,clutter and add,add and studying,studying and adhd

There’s many ways to declutter!

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I didn’t listen to the little voice! — ADD Tip o the Day 534

I didn’t listen

I’m  only on draft number three in writing the new book, which includes some on  adult ADD ADHD .

In Word, I cut a very large segment from one document to paste into another doc.      Before I got it pasted I must’ve done something else, because when I went to paste it,        it was gone. A very large segment. Gone.

I remembered a window had popped up, “You have just placed a large amount of data on the clipboard: do you want to save it for other operations?”

Just before I clicked no, I heard the voice in my head saying, “Don’t do that.”

Clicked no anyway

Gone. Tried lots of things; really gone.

ADD ADHD strategies:

1.Listen to the little voice!  It’s trying to help.

2. Use Copy, not Cut. Can delete later.

Second incident:

After church, went out to pick the rest of the peaches. The little voice said I shouldn’t do that in my church clothes. Ignored it. Got away with it this time! Think it’s a trick to get me to keep ignoring voice; catastrophe will follow.

Follow up:

The good news is I have been using the strategy of frequently clicking save, so I hadn’t lost as much as I originally feared. Will keep using strategy.


bonus link

Bonnie on the four D’s of ADD ADHD;

especially for students, but not just for students. We all got it.

add, adhd,adult add, adult adhd, attention deficit,ADD strategies,ADHD strategies

It could be worse, but saying that doesn’t help.



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More on Food and ADD ADHD — ADD Tip o the day 533

errors in thinking

A common error is confusing correlation and cause. For example:

The number of people who watch Fox news has risen in the last 10 years. The scores of American students on standardized tests have been falling over the same time period.

Coincidence? You decide.

Another common error is assuming that our opinions are facts; if I believe something, it must be so.

color additives and ADD ADHD

Comment by Mike Ragnarok

Color additives tend to come in consumables that are unhealthy for other reasons. Bad diet makes everything worse, including brain function.

Eating junk makes you less capable of overcoming ADHD challenges. That’s not the same thing as eliminating junk being an effective treatment for ADHD.
If I follow you around screaming and shooting you with Nerf darts, I pretty much guarantee that me going away will improve your ability to pay attention to your tasks. Doesn’t make me going away a treatment for ADHD.


 supplements to ADD ADHD treatment

Ari recommends mindfulness as a supplement to other treatments.

response from me:

ari- good comment!
there are a lot of things that help with ADD ADHD – mindfulness, exercise, adequate sleep, and good nutrition. These help with pretty much everything, not just ADD ADHD.   I highly recommend them.
But the fact that they help with ADD ADHD doesn’t mean that the lack of them is the cause, or that ADD ADHD doesn’t exist.

Lots of different opinions.


question  o the day

If I do something, or take something, and it helps my ADD ADHD symptoms, does that mean that it’s a treatment for ADD ADHD?

Ari’s good comment

Mike’s  good comment

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What causes us to blossom?

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ADD ADHD and Food — ADD Tip o the Day 532

There’s a lot written about nutritional treatment for ADD ADHD. A lot of it seems to me to be wishful thinking. Here’s some science, from Dr. Farone. I’ve edited his post.

Stephen V. Faraone, Ph.D.

Stephen V.

Stephen V. Faraone, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University

More recent meta-analyses of omega-3 fatty acids suggest that they show some efficacy, about half as much as stimulant drugs. Those with a high EPA/DHA ratio seem to have the best effect.

Using a standardized measure of treatment response effect where 0 means the treatment does not work and higher numbers are better. For stimulant drugs, the effect is 0.9, for food color restrictions it is about 0.5 and for other elimination diets it is about 0.4. Because most of the food color studies focused on kids with high levels of food colorant intake, the overall effect is smaller.  The effect for other elimination diets is not reliable. A key issue is that the elimination diets are not easy to implement.

To to my surprise, there are a few people for whom the color additives make a difference.  Please note that one of my son in laws takes a handful of “natural” pills and swears that they help his ADD ADHD.


ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,ADD brain,ADHD brain,attention deficit

ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,ADD brain,ADHD brain,attention deficit

Some “natural” substances can help!

meds and foods 

on food additives

homey on using a notebook for a planner

science or hash?

Posted in add, ADD strategies, adhd, controversies, medication, science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My ADD ADHD Problem: Stalled, Stuck, and Overwhelmed — ADD Tip o the Day 531


Since I changed my schedule I haven’t been able to get reorganized yet.                       My to do list is way too long, and I’m blocked and stuck.


I plan to use a favorite strategy, take a used envelope and  write a calendar on the back. Then I’ll put one of those tasks for each day and I will get that done. If I get more than one done, I’ll rewrite the calendar and adjust. That would be nice.

Surprise, surprise!

Once I decided to do this, the block evaporated and I just did the first task without actually making the calendar.

Do you think that my ADD realized what I was going to do and just gave up?



Bonus Question O the Day

Are you an ADDer?  See Oren’s link below. What do you think?

Bonus Links

some controversy from Oren

from Crystal, ADHD parent

stuck, from Doug

iI there something I'm sposed to be doing?
Is there something I’m sposed to be doing?
Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments