Super Comments from Ram and Sue — ADHD Tip O the Day 778

Lots of people have contributions to help the ADHD tribe

I hope each one of you reads all the comments here, but I’m not sure.  Maybe you don’t read ALL of them?  Here are two recent ones that are too good to miss:


I’m still not good with lista. But I do use some helpful tips from this page: the list of one. When I catch myself in a Netflix-induced stupor, I think “if you could do something today, what would it be?”.

I improvised a couple new ones for myself: When I’m sitting around, bored and think “I need to try and do xyz soneday”, I immediately think “what’s stopping you know?” (Usually, nothing, so I go ahead and do it).
When I’m procrastrinating on reinforcing a rule I’m trying to learn (like teeth or skin-care) by thinking I don’t feel like it, I stop and think “are you really making the conscious decision of not doing your routine?”
These variations of the list of one have made an impact in my life!

The point I want to emphasize is that Ram came up with her own strategies that work for her.  I offer strategies that many people find useful, but they are examples, or templates, to help you design your own.  Also, this comment gives good examples of using self talk, and in a positive way, and also of what I call “mottoes.”  One of my best mottoes is “Do it now, do it right, do the hard part first.”


Sue Williams Brawn
Fresh Start Coaching
Calgary, Alberta Canada
(403) 813-5291

Great post Doug as always. With regards to my own to-do lists – I tell people I’m like a toddler who can’t stand their food touching – I can’t have say, financial and family obligations on the same list. My brain can’t process that. So I created a word template that divided my to-do list into domains – work, financial, volunteer, family, social, errands. It made it easier for me to figure out what the priority would be during the time I want to focus on work, for instance, and it keeps me from doing other things during that time. If I need to pick the most interesting thing to do because I need a dopamine boost, at least I’m choosing the most interested work-related activity during the time I’ve designated as work time.

I find my ADHD coaching clients abandon lists when they don’t really know how to make them actionable – often it’s a challenge with how to figure out priorities. Once we do that, and we work with their learning styles – ie. big white boards with coloured sticky notes might work for visual learners, notebooks or paper planners for the tactile learners – the list is more likely to be acted upon. I do find a lot of tactile, visual people try to put lists on their phone – but keystrokes don’t help us remember, and the list disappears into the phone and isn’t visual – the phone isn’t always the best place to keep lists if you have ADHD.

Sue is emphasizing some of my favorite points:

Everyone is different, unique, although we ADHDers share many of the same problems.  For example, setting priorities is a booger. You need a strategy that works for you when you are stuck, or that helps you not get stuck – when you “need a dopamine boost.”  Lists are essential, but they don’t work unless you know how to use them.  And, an important point that I have not emphasized, writing things down helps us remember them.  I often take notes during a talk or a lecture, even though I know I will probably never look at them again.  But the writing not only helps me remember the key points, but also helps me keep my focus on the talk.

Thank you Ram and Sue.

I love comments.


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Send me to the store with ADHD?



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Some days you’re just not that into it.  (I’ve been trying for years to get this foto to come up right on facebook.  Did this do it????)

Not too effective.

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Is ADHD a disorder?

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The Perfect Approach With ADHD (or without) — ADHD Tip O the Day 777

The Perfect Approach to Life With ADHD

OK, I’ll admit I get lazy, and that I’m still behind, but trust me, that’s not the reason for this post.  The link below is just perfect:

The Perfect Approach

Trust me.


Screw Up O the Day:

Just noticed, I have two posts 722 and no 744!

Coincidence?  The work of the devil?  Part of a sabotage plot by vanillas?

You decide!

I don’t think it’s worth the trouble to fix it.  Would not be a good use of my time.  I think.

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Sometimes its too much

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Lists and ADHD, or Not? — ADHD Tip O the Day 776

ADHD and To Do Lists?

Some people have graduated from to do lists.  God bless ’em!  I don’t know how they do it.  I can’t function without to do lists.  The long list. The short list.  The list of five.  Sometimes the list of three and sometimes even the list of one.

But some people say that lists don’t work for them.  It’s my belief that they don’t have the right strategies for using them or else they would work.

So here’s the short course, To Do Lists 101:


Lists don’t work with ADHD if you don’t know how to use them


Lists 2

Lists 3

Lists 4

Lists 5


One More List Post


ADHD Ramblings O the Day:

As you can see, there is are a lot of posts about lists on the net.  There are a lot of different strategies and of course a lot of opinions.  The general consensus is that to do lists are essential with ADHD.  Of course, not every one agrees with the consensus.  Everyone is different.

I experimented with the fotos and  facebook.  Made a mess of my facebook page.  Finally got one to work, using one of my favorite fotos, of the little ballerinas.  Now I can’t figure out how I did it.

I’m finally trying out some apps in spite of being severely technologically challenged.

Having lots of fun with Note (thank you Martha B)


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One At A Time – – – ADHD Tip O the Day 773

With ADHD, we need to work harder, but it’s more important to work smarter.

When I got back to work after two weeks vacation, there was a huge stack of papers on my desk. I used a very good strategy and started organizing the papers, so I could deal with them more efficiently.  That was very wise, and it was a good strategy. Really, the only thing wrong with it was that it wasn’t working.

It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t accomplishing anything. I was just shuffling papers around. I was beginning to get demoralized, discouraged, and stagnant. So I changed to strategy B. I put all the papers together back into the huge stack. I started on the first paper, did everything that needed doing, and filed it away, finished. Then I went to the next paper.

It might have indeed been more efficient to organize them first. If it had worked. But I wasn’t accomplishing anything.

 from Puryear’s principles of human behavior: When what we’re doing isn’t working, we try doing more of it. 

Tip O the Day: When plan A isn’t  working, shift to plan B.


Bonus Tip O the Day:  If you are going to use something from a bottle, and you loosen the cap and then get distracted and start doing something else instead, and then come back and think it would be a good idea to shake up the bottle before you use the stuff, it’s a good idea to tighten the cap before you start the shaking.   Just saying.

Links: The Power of One








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” I Don’t Need Any Medicine!” — ADHD Tip O the Day 772

Learning More About My ADHD The Hard Way

Had a wonderful vacation.  Was amazed to find I didn’t need my Daytrana patch at all, did just fine without it.  Lying on the beach, eating and drinking, and even reading and taking notes.  And did I mention eating and drinking?

 No problem.

An Experiment

Decided when I got home to try going without it except for the days I work.  Maybe I didn’t really need it the other days.


I put on my patch and went back to work the first day back.  Everything went fine.  I was off the next day, no patch.  Lots of catching up to do.

Couldn’t get started, no traction, piddled around all day, minimal accomplishment, if any.

Couldn’t even think of the strategies I know how to use for these times, and it never occurred to me to just put on the patch later. 

A wasted day.



Wear the patch every day.  Makes a big difference.

Was the experiment a failure?  Not at all.  I found out that I need to wear the patch, except maybe not on vacation.  Maybe.


 Bonus Links:

ADHD Medications?

Am I A Guinea Pig?

Piddling With ADHD

We Are All Similar and All Different

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One of my ADHD problems.

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Procrastination Flowchart

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How shall I spend my time?

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Medication, Science and ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 771

More new ADHD science

From Dr. Wilens and AudioDigest and others:

1. Research shows that the stimulants are not risky for the heart or stroke.  Nonetheless, I probably wouldn’t prescribe them for someone with heart trouble. Kids on stimulants may have a slowing of growth, with lower weight and height, but they eventually catch up.

2. Adding guanfacine, a blood pressure medicine that is calming and sometimes used alone for ADHD,  to a stimulant may sometimes be more helpful than either alone.

3.  Other research shows that the only alternative treatment supported by evidence is omega 3 fatty acid.  Not biofeedback, diet, etc. That doesn’t mean that no one will benefit from alternatives, but the odds are against it.  We are each unique.

4. 50% of children with ADHD will still have it in adulthood.  75 % of adolescents who have ADHD will still have it as adults. Of those who seem to recover, nearly 100% will still show brain abnormalities and have some mild symptoms as adults.

5. People who disbelieve or pooh pooh ADHD will rarely be impressed or influenced by facts. (Personal observation)

Tip O the Day: Don’t bother arguing with them.  Just laugh at them and walk off.


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No one is more certain in their views than the one who has no idea what they’re talking about.

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Who, me?

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At any age.

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ADHD is Not –

Did I ever grow up?










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Update: Five Scientific Finding About ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 770

From Dr. Wilens, Mass. General, by AudioDigest, on current ADHD research:

  1. Our ADHD brains are different.  When given a certain task, an extra area of our cortex lights up compared to vanillas.  This makes neural processing less efficient. Studies also found that some of our connecting tracts between brain areas are different in ADHD.  This is more evidence that ADHD is a real and specific condition.

2. In some people, stimulant medications will change these brain alterations to, or towards, normal. 

3. The less good outcomes of having ADHD include mortality, suicide or attempts, substance abuse, smoking, school problems, criminality, motor vehicle accidents, low self esteem, depression, anxiety disorders and conduct disorders, among many other undesirable outcomes.  

4. These outcomes are correlated with untreated ADHD versus treated.  The earlier medication is started and the longer used, the better the outcome.

5. Note that this a correlation and does not prove cause.  For example, maybe the kids that got medication earlier and stayed on it longer had better parents, which may have been the causal factor.  However, the correlation, along with the normalizing of the brain with meds, is highly suggestive of a causal relationship. 


Footnote 1: There are no footnotes.  Use google.

Promise O the Day:  I will try to follow this up next time, with more about ADHD itself,  and both medications and alternative treatments for ADHD.

Tip O the Day: Notice how I said “I will try.” I learned long ago not to make promises.

Question O the Day: I am using medication. Will write more about this also. Are you using medication or not?

alternative substances,natural substances,medicines,medication,ADHD drugs,drugs

With ADHD, we sometimes have occupational challenges.

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Be informed about ADHD.

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Or it might have to do with the way your brain works. Or doesn’t.

alternative substances,natural substances,medicines,medication,ADHD drugs,drugs

Some ADHD children don’t outgrow it. Anyone come to mind?

alternative substances,natural substances,medicines,medication,ADHD drugs,drugs

“I don’t believe in ADHD.”




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Back again with ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 769

 Does this really have anything to do with ADHD?

I’m back.  Sorta.  Swamped.  So here’s some of my favorite clips.  I’m hoping that you will:

1. watch them.

2. enjoy them.

3.  leave a comment on the question, “What do these have to do with ADHD?”  (or any other comments you wish.) I have some ideas about it, and think that at least some of them relate very closely to ADHD.  What do you think? 


Street musician 

Whos on first 

The dentist

Two babies 

The elephant 


We don’t care


Feeble excuse o the day:

Struggling to catch up.  Some tips are coming.  But not today.


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ADHD and Relationships – A Followup— ADHD Tip O the Day 768

What are ADHDers like?  What is it like to live with ADHD? What is it like to live with someone with ADHD?

And why are relationships so difficult for ADHDers?  If you would like to understand, this article from Attitude nails it. 

I wish everyone in a ADHD relationship would read this:

The Link – Why is he (she) like that?


Read Orlov’s book The ADHD Effect on Marriage


Quote O the Day:

“You can’t be married and be right.”

        unknown spouse

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Myths and What It’s Like to Live with ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 767


Some People Still Do Not Understand ADHD

There are climate change deniers, and flat earthers, and anti-vacine conspiracy theorists, and there are still many people who just do not understand ADHD.

It does no good to get mad at them.  You can’t convince those who are determined to remain ignorant, and you can’t teach a pig to sing, but we still try, don’t we?


The Links:

Myths about ADHD by moshin banday

Eric Tiver’s podcast with Dr Russel Barkley on dealing with family

Quote O the Day:

“The only thing worse than being married is not being married.”

            from unknown veteran of marriage

Bonus Links:

Caring for Someone with ADHD

More on ADHD and Relationships

Repetitive Whine O the Day:

If I put enough pictures in, maybe some of them will come out right on facebook?

@addstrategies  #adhd  #add



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ADHD and Relationships. Is it possible? — ADHD Tip O the Day 766

My long suffering wife  (very, very long) still gets annoyed sometimes when I do ADHD stuff.  For one example, of many, calling her to come help and then doing something to get ready while she’s standing there waiting.

I’m trying to enlist her help, as Melissa Orlov teaches, to figure out together ways to prevent these problems.

We have come up with one strategy – I’ll try to have everything ready before I call her.  But I’m afraid that may just be a strategy of “trying harder.” Which we all know doesn’t work.  We’ll see.

But we have backup strategy: if she’s waiting, I’ll explain to her what I’m doing.  That should help.

It would be great if I could just stop doing ADHD stuff, but we haven’t come up with a strategy for that yet.



ADHD relationships by Jenna Knight

Melissa Orlov website

The ADHD Effect On Marriage by Melissa Orlov


Bonus note:  This post represents another strategy, locking in.  By publicly saying what I plan to do, I’m more likely to do it.

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A New Approach to My ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 765

Manila folders are God’s gift to people with ADHD,  and yellow stickies may be his bonus gift.

I have used my index card system successfully for many years, and have written and written about it.

Quote O the Day:

“Whenever we struggle and struggle with a problem, and finally find a solution, the next thing we do is stop doing it.”

                 Puryear’s second principle of human behavior

I recently realized I wasn’t using the cards correctly anymore.  I kept pulling out the red card – habit? easier to find? something about red?- and writing all kinds of stuff on it, including my to do’s.  But the red card is only for the list of five to do’s. 

I tried to correct this.  Didn’t work. Kept doing it.

So I made a rule: Cant write anything directly on the red card, need to put it on a yellow card first and then transfer it to the appropriate place.

Didn’t work, kept pulling out the red card and making a mess of it.

My other essential tool is the appointment book, always with me.  So now I keep a long yellow sticky in the inside front cover, and everything goes there first.  Keep the red card for the 5 to do’s.

It’s working, pretty well anyway.  The appointment book is even easier to pull out than the red card. If I keep at it, it will become a habit.

I believe that for every problem, there is a solution (pretty much).


Bonus Link:

Mindful sent the perfect cartoon.  Perfect!

Laments O the Day:

  1.  I have tried to develop the habit of checking each link before I post.  So far, little progress.
  2. I have tried, and tried, and tried to figure out how to get the pictures to fit right in facebook.  So far, less than little progress.  As you can see.

Extraneous Comment O the Day: Of course, you aren’t using cards and appointment books, are you? You’re using smart phones.  Smart.  But then, you’re not as technologically challenged as I am.  So, would these concepts still apply for you somehow?

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Remedies for ADHD. Or Misinformation? — ADHD Tip O the Day 764

ADHD Remedies and Solutions to ADHD

I just found a post that’s an interesting follow up to the last two posts about treatment without medication. It’s an example of unsubstantiated claims and misrepresentations.

Guy almost says that he is curing ADHD, but maybe not quite.  “Remedies” ? And I was unaware that doctors were getting commissions from “Big Pharma.” Many spinnings and erroneous implications.

Only at the very bottom does he reveal that he is not “just” selling herbs.


I like some of his points:  Herbals can also have side effects and need to be researched carefully.   Children should have a good evaluation and diagnosis before medication is considered.  Children need more exercise than most are getting and ADHD kids shouldn’t be made to “sit still.”  And ADHD has no simple explanation and no simple solution. (although is he offering one?)

The Link:

Check it out

Three natural remedies for ADHD


Question O the Day: I wrote recently of a relative who seems to benefit from all the “naturals” he’s taking.  Have you seen significant benefits for your ADHD from diet or herbs?


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Mindfullness, Meditation, and ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 763

Non-medication treatments for ADHD – part two 2017

Mindfullness – means pause in what you are doing and take a nonjudgmental inventory of your thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and situation.  The key is nonjudgmental, just be aware, that’s all you do.  Takes maybe 30 seconds?  Can you do this three times a day?  You may need anchors.

Meditation– There are many forms, and it doesn’t come easy if you have ADHD.  But the easy way is doable.  This is the simplest form I’ve been able to find.

Sit, relax (oh, yeah.), focus your attention on your breath.  In and out.  How does it feel?  Your mind will of course wander all over the place, but gently bring it back your breath.  Pay attention to it again.  Over and over.  Non judgmentally practice this, don’t assess or score or grade yourself.  Just do what you can.

Can you do this for 5 minutes?  I have tried this for years, and can finally do it for 15 minutes.  That doesn’t mean I can focus on my breath for 15 minutes, it means I can do what I described above for 15 minutes. I discovered a strategy which made a big difference for me.  I set a timer for my 15 minutes, and then I’m not thinking so much about the time.  It has a limit on it.  Helps a lot.

Three breaths – Stop what you are doing and take three breaths.  I use an anchor – hearing a bell.  That’s all, just stop and take three breaths. You can do this pretty often, especially if you find a good anchor

Results –

I don’t do the mindfullness regularly, but hope to do more.  I find the other two practices to be remarkably helpful.  Meditation makes the whole day go better.  The three breaths clears the mind for a moment and reduces that constant sense of urgency.  (Do you know what I’m talking about?)

The Basics for ADHD –

I must again mention these: Get enough sleep.  Exercise.  Get out of doors. And don’t forget strategies.

Finally –

Of course, eating healthily can’t hurt, tho I’m not sure it actually helps the ADHD.  I do advocate everyone, ADHD or not, take a multivitamin with minerals  and 2 grams of omega 3 fatty acid (fish oil) a day.  I think the fatty acid does help a little with the ADHD.  And I do prayer before my meditation, and find that very helpful, too.


The  Hedging Disclaimer of the Day-

The above are my opinions, but most of them are supported by scientific research – probably not the multi vitamin. I don’t usually give references, but you can google anything you want.


Mindfulness in ADHD

Meditation and ADHD

Prayer and ADHD    

Prayer and ADHD – part two



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Non Medication Treatment for ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 762

How can you treat ADHD without medications?

(I will skip entirely the question, “Why in the world would you want to?”

For today, anyway.)

Some of us self medicate with caffeine.   Omega 3 fatty acids show some benefit.  Some people get some benefit from a very restrictive diet, most find its not worth the trouble.

There is some evidence supporting zinc, iron, vitamin C, magnesium – I suspect these may mostly be of some help when there is a deficiency

Other things that help improve ADHD symptoms:

Exercise, get out of doors, get adequate sleep, have a routine, get a coach.  Meditation with ADHD is almost an oxymoron, but doing just the little that you can will help, and you can improve at it with practice.

Medication, or alternative substances, or diets are not the answer to ADHD, they just can be of some help to some people.



Extremely good and comprehensive treatise on ADHD and it’s treatment

Non medications approaches to ADHD

Quote O the Day (paraphrased):

‘ The purpose of the ADHD medication is to help you focus enough that you can use strategies.’

Dr. Goodwin  (I can’t find out which Dr. Goodwin, but he is an ADHD expert.)

One approach to non medical alternatives to ADHD:

Here’s what a relative takes at least once daily for his ADHD.  He swears that it helps a lot, and I have no reason to doubt him.  I don’t see obvious signs of ADHD in him and he is a highly effective person.

Question O the Day:

What other things do you find helpful?


Anticipation O the Day (including bonus strategy):

Planning to have more on this topic next time.  Hopefully. I have noticed that I don’t always do what I planned to.  I do pretty much do what I have promised to, though, because I have a good strategy for that – I never promise anything.


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Be Prepared, if you have ADHD, even if you’re not a Boy Scout — ADHD Tip O the Day 761

What could possibly go wrong, with ADHD?

I was recently honored to be a guest, one of many, on Jennifer Friedman’s podcast.  I must confess that I don’t listen to podcasts, don’t have the patience, probably missing out on a lot, but already have way too much demand on my time  and am not currently looking to add anything.

I was challenged to get things linked up to be part of the program.  But Jennie was a competent patient helper, and we did get connected.

But I had failed to check the sound set up.

My whole piece sounded like I was speaking from the bottom of a deep well.

When I listened to a previous podcast I had been on, I was horrified to hear that I had filled it with “ums”.  I thought I didn’t do that.  But this time I was careful, and don’t think I had any “ums.”

Then I couldn’t remember the right address for this blog, so the website address got into the podcast instead, which would’ve been OK, except when I checked the website, the link to the blog didn’t work.  I tried to fix it but couldn’t get the password right and now I’m locked out of the website for too many wrong password tries.

Oh, well.

After we finished, I’ve had a hard time finding the show on the net.  Somehow the link gets tied up with i tunes and I don’t get it.  But I found a button on the lower left that lets me hear the show, though I can’t see it.  That may be a blessing.

Do you think I may be technologically challenged?  Possibly?

My topic was on to-do lists, and how to use them effectively. Many people don’t like them, or say they don’t work, because they don’t know how to use them.

If you want to check out this podcast it has a lot of good people on it, and we each to give our favorite ADHD tips, so there is good stuff there.

The Podcast

Strategy: Check everything out in advance.


Quote O the Day:

“When you are in a bad situation, it helps to realize that there are other people in the same boat.  But not much.”

             unknown wise source

Bonus Links:

Jennifer’s daily podcasts

Tom Nardone, our cohost on Jennifer’s show, his podcast- one show, I can’t make the link to his site work.  Maybe I am technologically challenged?

To do lists?

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ADHD and Self Esteem? A Plan for the New Year—ADHD Tip O the Day 760

Self-esteem is essential and precarious, especially with ADHD

Our self esteem suffers when we don’t complete something, and that demoralization makes it harder to start the next job.  When we do complete something, the boost in self-esteem helps us move on to the next task.

A bonus tip – when you finish something, stop for a moment to give yourself a pat on the back.  

But there is so much more to it; like everything else, it’s complicated.

Pete Quilly is a Canadian ADHD coach and expert, who helped me get started with this stuff. And I hope he won’t mind if I just copy something from his post without permission, since I am giving full credit to him.

Excerpt from Pete’s recent post:

“What things boost your self-esteem?

  • achievable goals
  • affirmations/positive self-talk
  • avoiding energy vampires
  • being helpful to others (boosts dopamine)
  • belonging to positive people and groups – that you resonate with – that do things you enjoy doing
  • breaking down a big project into smaller parts and getting it done
  • create something physical, making something with your hands
  • doing something creative, physically, artistically, emotionally, or intellectually creative ie, make a meal
  • exercise and meditation
  • faith
  • figure out a script with a problem you are having – start using it in front of the mirror
  • gratitude journal
  • groups that you resonate with, what you like
  • hang around people who appreciate you
  • help someone make something – use your strengths to help others
  • learn what gas lighting is and how to recognize and deal with it
  • learning a new skill
  • notice and celebrate your successes and get curious why –> how can i use that again?
  • recognize manipulation
  • rewarding yourself when deserved
  • short, doable routines
  • spend less time on web/social media
  • stepping outside your comfort zone
  • succeeding at a small goal
  • try something new or challenging
  • try, test, measure, evaluate and adapt


Pete Quilly’s post – several good lists

Bonus Links:

Criticism and self-esteem

New Years ADHD Note:

My biggest resolution is to not make any resolutions. Resolutions are just set ups for failure and demoralization.  The Strategy is to just do what you can do and give yourself credit for it.

Happy New Year



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Five Disconcerting Facts, Relevant To But Not Limited To ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 759

Disconcerting Facts:

1. Our decisions are made unconsciously, based on unconscious factors, mostly emotional.  After a decision is made, we think we “decide.”  Then we come up with “facts” to support our decision and make it appear to be rational.

2. Our memories, clear, strong and certain, are inaccurate. And every time we bring up a memory,  we change it from the time before. (Note:  this inaccuracy and certainty of memory can be the source of marital or other conflicts.  Not the only source, though.)

3. Natural substances, marketed for health purposes, are made under uncontrolled conditions, often do not contain what the label says, sometimes contain other substances also, some of which may be harmful, and, of course, these products are chemicals.    (Note: this may or may not disturb you, depending on your viewpoint about medicines.) 

5. Facebook and WordPress are not necessarily designed to enable you to post what you want, looking the way you want it to.  (Note: This is related to something called “formatting”, whatever that is.)

6.  Not everything you read on the internet is necessarily entirely true.  (Note:  We are now officially in the “Post Truth” era, related to “The Age of Ignorance.”)

A Small Comfort

It may, or may not, be of some comfort to you to realize that we with ADHD are not the only ones significantly screwed up. 


It will be useful to remain aware of these facts as you stumble through your daily life.


Heads up Note O the Day:

I have decided that the next post will be more information about natural alternatives and medications for ADHD.  (If I remember.)

Bonus Links:

ADHD and Decisions

Avoid Decisions

Decision Fatigue



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It’s Christmas/Hanuka/Holiday Season -A challenge with ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 758

The Holidays are supposed to be Joyful

But with ADHD, they can be just extra challenging.

Did you procrastinate on getting the gifts or the cards?

Does the prospect of  making choices and decisions terrify you?

Are you having trouble using unscheduled free time?

Are the memories of previous holidays making you feel depressed?

Does the prospect of another ‘joyful gathering’ with your family fill you with dread?

Well, welcome to the group.  The holidays are stressful and distressing to many people, and probably more with ADHD.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you.



  1. Remember to use your basic ADHD strategies – sometimes we forget.
  2. Cut down – set smaller goals, do less.
  3. Remember that you do not Have To do anything you really don’t want to.  Think about it; you really don’t Have To.
  4. Be sure to watch the movie, Home for the Holidays. This is one of our annual traditions.

Very Appropriate Links:

An ADHD night before Christmas by Rick Green

Downsizing Christmas – from Beth


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Using ADHD Strategies On the Job  —  ADHD Tip O the Day 757

ADHD Strategies at Work

Probably everyone uses strategies for their work, but it’s more essential if we have ADHD.

I like my new job at the pen. I’ve needed to work out the strategies specific to this job.

I’m writing complicated orders that have to be written perfectly.  I also need to make sure each patient’s name and the date are correctly put on the order and on each progress note.

So I check each chart before I close it. Then, if I have time, I check each one again before I turn it in.

I also complete each chart before I see the next patient, so I don’t get behind and feel rushed, and so I don’t need to remember anything about that patient for later.

Some officers are fast in bringing the patients to me, so I have the patients wait while I finish the chart before I dismiss them. Then the new patients don’t arrive before I’m ready.  If the officers are slow, I dismiss the patient as soon as I can and finish the paperwork while I’m waiting for the next patient.

Usually, I get thru the day’s list of patients. But lots of things can go wrong at the pen. Some days I ‘m waiting a long time for the next patient to come, and sometimes they never do. My strategy to help me not lose patience, of which I have so very little, is a mantra, “I’m getting paid anyway.”   So why get frustrated?  It doesn’t help.  I use the time to prepare charts in advance, and when all those are done I study up on the medications.  And I can just reschedule the patients for next week.  Most of them aren’t going anywhere.

In a real pinch, I can go to the pods and talk  briefly with the patients in their cells.  That’s   unsatisfactory, but I can learn that some I  didn’t really need to see,   and others I do need to schedule for next  week.

I try to get thru the whole day’s list each  time, but sometimes it’s long and a  challenge.  I do some triage, although it seems unfair. For example, I’ll spend more time with a young guy who’s in for the first time, has some intelligence, and will be getting out soon.

 I’ll spend less time with an older guy who  has multiple diagnoses.   

Finally, I have another mantra, “I can only do what I can do.”

It’s taken me time to devise these strategies, and surely I’ll come up with others.  Many of them are specific applications of strategies  I’ve  already been using, like  “Set reasonable goals.”  and “Don’t get into a rush.”, and “Always  double check.”

The point of all this?  Can you identify any problems that come up in your work? Are you using strategies to cope with them?


Bonus Links:

Best jobs for people with ADHD

Other helpful mantras or slogans

ADHD at work– from Royce Flippin






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I Whipped My ADHD Procrastination -for the moment. —ADHD Tip O the Day 756

With my ADHD I wasn’t doing what I need to do.

On my to-do list, for a very long time, was “car and tires”.

I needed to get my car to the mechanic for an oil change, and to the tire store to get the tires rotated.  I knew it was necessary, that it could save me a lot of trouble later on, that it was the adult responsible thing to do.  

But I wasn’t doing it.

Well, first, the first step was to call and make the appointments.  Even I could see that.   But I wasn’t.  This stayed on my mind, hung over my head, was unpleasant and uncomfortable.

But I didn’t do it.

I think if there had been a deadline it would’ve helped, because that’s one of things that gets us with ADHD to move, but there wasn’t.  

And I didn’t.

Suddenly, I had an insight.  Have I mentioned the ADHD strategy of small steps before?  Well, I wasn’t using it.  

I didn’t need to get the car and the tires done.  I needed to get the car done.  And then I needed to get the tires done.  I needed to change my to-do list from “car and tires” to “car”,  “tires.”

As soon as I realized this, I called and made the car appointment.  After a few days of procrastinating, I called and made the tire appointment.


  1. Small steps
  2.  Practice what you preach


Personal Question O the Day:

Do you ever find yourself procrastinating?

Bonus Links O the Day:

Good procrastination links

Some strategies for ADHD procrastination

Explanation O the Day:

My wife gave me the gift of the round tuit.    So I can’t say anymore, “When I get a round tuit.” Because  now I’ve got one.


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Why Do You Procrastinate, and What Can You Do About It, With Your ADHD? — ADHD Top O the Day 755


Procrastination, a major issue with ADHD

I’ve been putting this off, but now I’m going to offer a series on procrastination, and strategies to help you deal with it.

Why do we procrastinate?

  1. The task seems too daunting, it will take too much time and too much effort.
  2. The task seems too daunting, not sure I can actually do it or if I can do it well (perfectionism is a booger.)
  3. The task seems too daunting, I don’t have a clue about how to start it.
  4. The task seems too unpleasant, like anything involving paper work, for example..
  5. I feel like I’m being pushed to do it and I’m resisting.
  6. It may seem like a  linked task; you can’t do A until you’ve done B, which you can’t do until you’ve done C, which you can’t do until you’ve done A.

It may help if you understand why you’re procrastinating, but what you really need are strategies.  Those are coming.


Bonus Links:

James Clear, with another excellent treatise, this one on procrastination

Am I avoiding or procrastinating?



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Some semi morbid thoughts somewhat related to ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 754

With ADHD, I really like to plan ahead.

Just  finished a funeral and reception. Pretty good as those things go, but funerals are always painful and sometimes can be awful.  This one was pretty good.

You all are invited to mine, but I don’t want anyone to feel obligated. Still, you need to know about it.  I have it pretty much planned, except I’m still struggling with the choice of music because I love so  many songs.  Anyway, you should know some things about it.

First, there will be no sermon or homily, just songs and scripture, mostly Psalms and Isiah.  It should be limited to  an hour although there are a lot of songs and scriptures I really like .  And I don’t want anyone talking about me.  Surely you could find some good things to say about me, but traditionally you would censor all the bad stuff.  And who cares, lets just skip it.  You can talk about me at the reception if you wish.

But the main thing is the reception, which will feature a genuine frozen margarita machine and a mariachi band.  And feel free to skip the service and come to the reception, although that would be a little crude and I’d hope you would enjoy the service with the music, but I don’t want you to feel obligated.  And there will be dress requirements for the service, no formal attire, and anyone who shows up with a tie will be excluded.  Blue jeans will be the basic uniform of the day.

I do ask that you limit yourself to three frozen margaritas.  Can’t figure a system to control that that you cant figure out how to get around, so it will be on the honor system.  I don’t want the party to turn ugly.

Anyway, I will be looking forward to it, and hope you will enjoy it.  And I plan to be watching.



The Strategy:  Plan ahead, accept the inevitable, and make it good.

Future looking note:

Our church requests that we bring our funeral plans in, and I have been procrastinating on this.  Not sure why, but maybe partly because i want too many songs and verses and am having trouble choosing, not a strong point of ADHD anyway.  And I don’t want the service to be too long, while those frozen margaritas are calling to you. So, here’s the:

Alert O the Day: Next blog will be about procrastinating, if I can get around to it.



Bonus Link, Another Alert:  

Christmas is coming this year again, right on December 25That’s about three weeks away, give or take.

Irrelevant note O the day:  Have I figured out how to stop facebook from cropping my fotos?  We’ll see.



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A whole bunch of stuff, including a valuable secret, related to ADHD— ADHD Tip O the Day 753

With ADHD, sometimes our brain gets clogged up.  And we seem to need to justify what we’re doing, like this post, for example. 

Some days my brain is crowded with lots of stuff, not all of it relevant but all clamoring to get out.  I get upset or preoccupied about the election, or guns, or the pain in my toe, or something. So one of the benefits of having a blog is having a place to put it and release some of the tension.

So here’s some of the other stuff on my mind today, just some of it.


If stuff is clogging up your mind, like you’re stuck in ruminating, discharge it by writing it down.  Works sometimes.


Secret O the Day:

And now I’m going to share with you one of the secrets of life that I recently discovered.  It may not be The Secret Of Life, maybe not the best secret of life, but surely it’s in the top ten. Actually, in the top five.  Anyway, it’s very, very valuable.  And I am sharing it with you.  Here it is:

“It all unfolds.”

That’s it.  I wish I could explain it to you, but I can’t.  You’ll need to think about it.

“It all unfolds.”

Good luck.

Personal Revelation of the Day:

I have a black thumb.  I can’t grow anything.  Anything I plant, or try to nurture (0f the plant world) dies.  It just dies.

And I have black fingers.  Nothing technological will work right for me.  They see me coming, and they conspire to thwart and frustrate me.  Oh, well.

But I am getting better at the guitar.  This is very gratifying to me. Getting better, making progress.  Slowly.

Which is pretty remarkable, when you consider that I have no rhythm.  But one of my gifts is that I can remember songs, the melody and the words, lots of songs for long times.  Is that related to ADHD?  I don’t know but I doubt it.

But maybe it’s related to a specific area of the brain, maybe Wernicke’s area, or it’s analog on the right, or maybe not.  If you really want to pursue it further, here’s a link.

So maybe if one area of the brain, like the connections to the frontal lobe, is all screwed up, like in ADHD for example, then other areas might over develop.

Maybe it’s God’s way of trying to make up for the mess He made out of my frontal lobe connections?

Anyway, I’m grateful for it, and gratitude is a good thing, makes our lives better.  That’s another tip.

Bonus Link:

Life with ADHD

Question O the Day:

Are you grateful for this post?  I think it may be one of my best.  Or not?




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A Book Suggestion, Partly About ADHD, and How We Are Being Gamed — ADHD Tip O the Day 752

I wrote this blog on a plane on a little notebook flying to a funeral and it’s not my best but the best I could do and I wanted to get something in so here it is.  Not even any pictures.  Oh, well.

We are being gamed:

I’m reading Weapons of Math Destruction, by O’Neil.  I highly recommend it because it is so informative, about how we are being manipulated and controlled by algorithms,   computer programs we know nothing about.  It has chapters on college admissions, loans, prison sentences, and other areas of life, some of which probably apply to you. We are  being gamed.

It is very interesting,and well written, and yet I have trouble sticking with it.  It doesn’t  hold my attention for very long.  I think partly because it is somewhat repetitive.  One algorithm screws us in one  area and then another one in another area and then —.  But I’m doing ok reading it in chunks, even tho I can’t always even finish a chapter as a chunk.

Conspiracy Theories

The book provides support to conspiracy theorists, of which I think I may be becoming one.  And I think this program I’m using which puts spaces in strange places may be in conspiracy with facebook, which keeps cutting the tops, or sometimes the sides, off my pictures.


So my strategy is to commit to finishing it, because it is valuable information, and  interesting in one sense, and to just keep reading chunks at a time til I’m done.  And try to read a whole chapter as each chunk, but not to worry about it if I can’t.

So this is about ADHD, and how it causes me problems in my life, and about strategies to  cope, but really it is a book recommendation.  I hope you’ll follow it and give some  comments for feedback.



Michael Hyatt’s inspirational post just a little late for Thanksgiving Day

Tech challenged, includes some pictures anyway


Minimally significant comment o the day:

Well, guess what.  I didn’t have my computer to provide pictures  to put in  but then I realized I could copy one off another post.  So we are not  entirely pictureless anyway.



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Blessings of ADHD? — ADHD Tip O the Day 751

With our ADHD, we tend to be interested in many things.

This is one of the blessings of ADHD.

It is also one of the curses.

I am working a half time job, trying to keep up two blogs (and failing), working on a book, half working on another and have the 5th draft of another sitting on the back burner.  I am working on the guitar and Spanish.  I have been missing out on my quiet time and my exercise, two very important parts of my life.

I have written about this before.  Now I need to do something about it.

Vacation Time:

Note: One of Puryear’s Principles of human life – When we are stressed, the first thing we do is quit doing the things that help us deal with stress.

I am now on a three day vacation.  My goals, including spending time with my family and sampling various Tex Mex resturants, are to read two books, do at least two blog posts, read up on some medicines and their side effects, and write a handout on panic attacks.  I was also planning to download apps on my new notebook, but then I realized that it would cost me money because I would be roaming.

Do you think I can do this all in three days?  I don’t.  Plus, one of the apps that came preloaded is Freecell, so that’s another problem.


I can’t- I don’t want to – continue like this.  I need to change it.  That means giving up some things.  But what?  I don’t want to give up anything.  Plus we ADHDers have trouble with setting priorities, which make it even tougher.

Plus I’m hoping that my loving wife doesn’t read this and decide to direct and remind and help me, which would only make it worse (hint, hint).

So OK, I have identified and acknowledged the problem.  Now it’s time to do something about it.

I’ll let you know.






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Do the Hard Part First? — ADHD Tip O the Day 750

Life is complicated, especially with ADHD

One of my favorite  tools, a slogan or motto, is, “Do it now; do it right; and do the hard part first.”  This has been extremely useful for me, and I highly recommend it.

So I was shocked, shocked! when I read Michael Hyatt’s new post. I recognize Michael as someone who gives good advice and good information, and yet here he was, recommending, “Do the easy part first.” Oh, my!

So I read more than the headline, and tried to keep an open mind.  Yes, I did try.

It’s complicated.

If you are stagnated, stuck, and looking at a list of big tasks or projects, it could be a good idea to pick the easiest one first.  But then you break it down into small steps, and then, start with the hardest step first. Okay, if you’re still paralyzed, go to the easiest one. But, in general, always break things into small steps and start with the hardest part first.

The reason is, if you have ADHD, you are prone to procrastination. And, one of the reasons for procrastination is that the task seems too hard and overwhelming. But if you can do that first small step, the hardest one, and get it behind you, get it done, cross it off, then it will seem smooth sailing from then on.

The same principles  would apply to a list of tasks or projects. It can look overwhelming, and that can cause paralysis. But if you can complete the hardest one, life looks easy from then on, and you won’t feel pulled to procrastination.

So, sometimes start with the easiest, if you’re really stuck, but in general, “Do it now; do it right; and do the hard part first.”

That’s my tip.



Michael Hyatt

Michael’s explanation

The hard part

Do it now

Whiny Question O the Day:

Can anyone tell me why facebook cuts off my pictures?  Is there a way to fix it?




@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp
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More Enthralling Adventures Living With ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 749

A short list to- do, but with ADHD, it’s still challenging

It looked like it was going to be a very good day. Only two things on my to-do list, go vote and go pick up a book at the library. Maybe it was just too easy.

When I got to the court house, without even getting lost, there were signs for early voting on the parking spaces, and there were empty spaces. Amazing! So I pulled into one. Then I noticed there wasn’t a sign in front of my space.  Did I have to feed the meter?  Unclear. But I didn’t have change on me, and digging into the junk box in my car was a daunting and possibly futile task. So I decided to take a chance.

Fortunately, the line for voting was very short, and I got in and out quickly. No ticket! Could’ve ruined my whole day. Still, I was nervous the whole time I was voting.

Off to the library

Didn’t get lost.

Lucky again. Plenty of parking spaces. Locked the car door, walked up to the library, saw the parking tag box, realized I had to pay for a parking tag. Twenty five cents.  A quarter.

Walked back to the car. Unlocked car door. Wound up digging into the junk box after all. Found a quarter. Yea!

Walked back to the tag box, put in my quarter. It worked!

Walked back to the car. Put tag in the window. Locked the car door.

Walked back to the library. They had the book. I had my card. Got the book. Wonder of wonders.

Walked back to the car. Unlocked the car door.  Drove home. Didn’t get lost.

Another ADHD adventure. And so it goes.

Have a good day.


Strategy O the Day:

Remember to plan for everything you do to take twice as long as it should.

Mystery O the Day

I wonder if anyone will really understand this story if they don’t have ADHD?

Information tidbit O the Day:

Swamped, I mean swamped. Of course, a lot is that I do blame on ADHD. My goal is to keep up two posts a week, but honestly, I’ll be doing well to get one a week for a while.

Bonus links:

More ADHD adventures

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,strategy, strategies, tips,living with ADD,living with ADHD,coping with ADD,coping with ADHD,symptoms,problems,ADD problems,ADHD problems,ADHD symptoms,@addstrategies, ADD symptoms,#adhd, #add, @dougmkpdp,@adhdstrategies,accomplishing with ADHD,life with ADHD,ADHD strategies

Oh, really?

A typical ADHD day

A talk on the ADHD brain – it is different

@addstrategies #adhd #add @dougmkpdp
Posted in add | 10 Comments

Back Again and Still Tech Challenged — ADHD Tip O the Day 748

Have been on an assignment and no internet.  Survived without it, but no blogs.

I was moved by those who expressed concern, for my health or sanity.  thank you

The job had many good points, but the electronic record system, Med Tech, has been a killer.  Steep learning curve.  Just as I think I’m getting it, it thinks up another curve to throw at me.  Thought it was me, but hear complaints from others, and the last two nasty tricks it played took the IT folks who have been baby sitting me hours to figure out.


But now I’m in a nice motel room.

Cannot get the coffee maker to work!


Does anyone else have experience with these electronic systems?

Would appreciate comments, but just remember this is a family blog and might be read by children.


Bonus Links:

From Laurie on ADHD in women (they’re different)

From Jerry, there are some good things about tech


  1. curse
  2. call IT again
  3. curse

Question O the Day

Why does facebook insist on messing up my pictures?

Bonus slightly obscene question O the Day

Does a stopped up motel toilet count as technology?


#adhd, @dougmkpdp, @adultstrategies


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Habits using anchoring, by Jerry Bair — ADHD Tip O the Day 747

jerry bair on what I call anchoring for habits

“To make a new habit part of that automatic mind, all we really need to do is associate the new habit with one that’s already automatic. Some also call this anchoring.
This is what it may look like in practice…
  • After I wake up, I will brush my teeth.
  • After I workout, I will eat a healthy breakfast.
  • After I make my morning coffee, I will plan my to-do list for the day.
  • During my commute, I will listen to motivational audio to get in the right mindset.
Of course, none of this really works if you don’t honestly want the new habit…
Let me know if this works for you, and in the meantime…


From doug:
Anchoring is a powerful tool for ADHD.  You can use anything that’s repetitive as an anchor – hearing a bell, hanging up the phone, going to the bathroom, waiting at a stop light, etc etc.  Your choice of the anchor largely depends on how often you want to do the action you’re working on.


We want to make habits.  Then we don’t need to remember, make decisions, or rely on willpower, none of which we are very good at.




Lame Quip O the Day:
I hope this post takes off!


Bonus Links:


addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp
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Busy, Too Busy, Way Too Busy, Life with ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 746

I am way too busy – is it life, or me, or ADHD?

I know that “busy” is only a state of mind and not a reality.  I truely believe this, although I have found it difficult to sell the concept to other people who find themselves “busy.”  The fact is we can only do one thing at a time (in general)  and that one thing is the only thing we need to do right now.. When it is done, then we will have another one thing to do. 

But there are many factors causing us to feel that or to believe that we are busy, and these factors interrelate and reinforce each other.

With ADHD we have trouble setting priorities.  We have many interests and we want to do everything, so we have an impossibly long to-do list, which we probably don’t know how to use (the rule of five.)  We have trouble completing things, so there are unfinished tasks hanging over our heads.

Life can be hard, but with strategies to address these things, our lives can be better.  But I still feel busy today.




ADHD Strategies for Prioritizing from Doug

How to prioritize – from Margarita

Decide what’s important – from Dana

Keep priorities straight


@addstrategies #adhd #add @dougmkpdp
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Things Maybe You Don’t Know About Having ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 745

What is it like to have ADHD?

Frustrated, distracted, looking for things, dealing with people I’ve offended or annoyed, very concerned about time, enjoying things that are a waste of time, forgetting things, making mistakes, irritated with others and with myself, impatient, jiggling, trying to get traction to start doing something at least, look there’s a squirrel –

Oh, Ok, I could go on, and on, and on, but –

Anyway – I like being interested in so many things even tho it’s a handicap, and being creative, and hyperfocus can be great depending on what it’s on.

Don’t we all wish that people would understand us?



12 Things You Don’t Know About Me and My ADHD     from Attitude

ADHD Irritable

Question O the Day:  Anything you would like to add to the above lists?

Second Question O the Day: Why does facebook cut off part of some of my pictures so that they don’t make any sense?


@addstrategies #adhd #add @dougmkpdp
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Bad Attitude with ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 744

The Attitude

I don’t know why I’m rather gloomy today, although to be honest, I do have an idea. But I don’t intend to stay this way and I plan to change it, right after I finish this post.

In the meantime:

“If something can go wrong, it will.”    – Murphy

Puryear’s addendum: – especially if you have ADHD.


“It all unfolds.”     -Puryear


“Anything can happen to anyone at any time.”     -Puryear

Puryear’s addendum: That, of course, is one of the reasons to eat desert first.


“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” Omar Khayyám


“You can’t win, you can’t break even, and you can’t get out of the game.”                          -Ginsberg’s theorem      (“It is possible that the quote originates as a slight misstatement of the opening lines of “You Can’t Win,” by Charlie Smalls”)


” We are well and truly screwed.”    – Unknown realist


But have a nice day.      🙂

Note O the Day: I have done the research, and Charlie Smalls got screwed. 

Note O the Day #2: Actually, “It all unfolds” is quite optimistic and one of my current mottoes.  I recommend it.  You can change your attitude.

Bonus Links:

Attitude and ADHD

Some days are just like that with ADHD



@addstrategies #adhd #add @dougmkpdp
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ADHD and Attitude Adjustment — ADHD Tip O the Day 743

ADHD – Frustrated, Irritable, and Discouraged

I get easily frustrated, often over little things, and I’m irritable, which is a symptom of ADHD, and sometimes I get discouraged, tho not often.  But I have a strategy.

The Strategy

I’ve developed the habit of saying “Thank you.”  Occasionally, I will list all the things I have to be thankful for (unlike some more positive thinkers, I do not include ADHD in this list.)  It’s quite a long list.  I am generally thanking God, but you can do this non-spiritually if you prefer. 

After reciting the list a number of times, a new habit is formed. It’s  stimulus response – now, when I just say “Thank you,” I get the feeling of gratitude and peace that comes with going through the list, without needing to go through the list.  “Thank you” is the stimulus, and the improved state of mind is the conditioned response.

If you  are reading this, you at the least are literate, relatively intact, and have access to the internet.   You are more fortunate than what? – 85% of the human population of the world?

Let us say, “Thank you.”


Bonus Links

12 Things You Don’t Know About Me and My ADHD

ADHD and Irritable

ADHD and Irritable, number two


Illustrative Comment O the Day

Now, why did the $%^&^&%$ pictures wind up at the top of the  $&**&*^%$ post?

Idle Question O the Day

Do you know anybody like Tom?





@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp    @thebullyonline #bully #bullying #thebullyonline


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Caring for Someone With ADHD (ambiguous title). Affection or caretaking?— ADHD Tip O the Day 742

Life Is Hard

Life is hard.  Life with ADHD is harder.  Marriage is hard.  Marriage with ADHD is harder.  Being married to someone with ADHD is harder than I can even imagine.

There are strategies that will make our life with ADHD better.

There are strategies that will make living with someone with ADHD better.

Still, it does require the patience of a saint.


When You Care

Tell me what to do?

Bonus Links:

Relationships and ADHD?

Experts on Relationships and ADHD

@addstrategies #adhd #add @dougmkpdp
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Stimulants and ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 741

Stimulants for ADHD

One of the common misconceptions and falsehoods posted on the net are that the stimulants are the same as street drugs.  Not so.

amphetamines vs methamphetamine

Also, I believe that research shows:

  1. Stimulants are rarely abused by people who actually have ADHD.
  2. Stimulants do not give students an unfair advantage.  They do not improve performance in non ADHD  people.
  3. None the less, there is a high rate of stimulant mis use in colleges.  (It just doesn’t help.)
  4. Treatment of ADHD with stimulants does not lead to drug abuse, and some research shows that treatment actually reduces drug abuse.
  5. There is lot of garbage and nonsense on the internet.



About stimulants

Stimulant abuse

Misrepresentations about ADHD


@addstrategies #adhd #add @dougmkpdp
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Do a To- Do List or Don’t Do a To-Do List? — ADHD Tip O the Day 740

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,to do,to-do,strategy, strategies,wisdom,tips,living with ADD,living with ADHD,coping with ADD,coping with ADHD,list,to do list,to-do list

Where’s my ADD ADHD to-do list?

Life with ADHD is a booger, especially without a to-do list.

Your to-do list isn’t guaranteed to make you happy, but if you have ADHD and don’t have a to-do list you’re pretty guaranteed to be unhappy.

Although a to- do list is essential, it’s not very helpful if you don’t know how to use it.

The main key is Five- you can have a long to-do list with a thousand things on it, but your serious working to do- list needs to be limited to five items. Otherwise, you will tend to feel overwhelmed and find it hard to know where to start.  So you won’t.

There are many other tips for making the to-do list actually work for you.  Maybe more later.  I’ll put it on my list.

Homey writes about her to– do list constantly changing during the day as different things come up.

Aint life like that?


Homeys post on the ever evolving to-do list

Just Received:

Simone Biles, US Oympic hero, has ADHD.  Yea for Simone!

Bonus Links:

Some of the Tips

The Card System

Lists Don’t Work for Me – More on the Tips

Anti To- Do List

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Is Your ADHD Brain Mature?— ADD Tip O the Day 739

Delayed maturation, or erroneous maturation as basis for ADHD?

Like everyone else, I have my fixed ideas and opinions, and like most of us ADHDers, I have definite opinions about ADHD.

 Some researchers suggest that ADHD is a delayed maturation of the brain, especially in the executive functions. (See the link below.) That might help explain why about half of the kids seem to outgrow it. But further research shows that even in those people the brain networks remain “abnormal.”

Some people would prefer the term, “different,” rather than “abnormal,” but in my opinion, if the difference occurs in less than 8% of the population and causes significant difficulties  in functioning, it is “abnormal.”   But I digress.

If it is simply a slowness of maturation, then our brain should eventually catch up and we should no longer have ADHD. And 50% of us “outgrow” it. I think for some of us, our brains have matured and we have learned coping skills and  better self-control (over impulsiveness, procrastination, jiggling, etc.) and ADHD seems to have vanished, except in research studies. ( I am not in that 50%.)


I believe the basis for ADHD is miswiring of the neural networks between the posterior and more primitive parts of the brain and the frontal lobes.  This leads to difficulty  in controlling focus  and  in controlling impulses.  And so we have the symptoms of ADHD, and we need strategies .


Request O the Day:

I would love to get your opinions on this,  especially from our more scientific readers.

Question O the Day:

Did anyone get the joke on the next to last post  or did it fly right over your heads?


Maturation and the ADD ADHD brain

The next to last post, containing the joke

Explanation of the joke, in case you still didn’t get it. Oh well, never mind.


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Summer’s Over – For ADHD Students and Parents — ADHD Tip O the Day 738

With ADHD,  school can be a booger.

Actually, school was very easy for me – that is, the academic part.  Socially and behaviorally, not so much.  But the work was very easy, until I hit college.  It was like hitting a brick wall.  I didn’t know how to study, and I didn’t know that I didn’t know how to study.  So I just tried harder.  You know how well that works with ADHD.

I did not do well in college.  An understatement.

How to Study and Learn, Even with ADHD

I learned how to study in my second year of medical school.  It was a life changing revelation.  I did well in medical school, from then on.   These days, I think most schools teach kids how to study early on.  I hope so.

I go into what I learned about how to study in depth in the book.  These days, I think most schools teach kids how to study early on.  I hope so.


What every student with ADHD should know    Welcome back to school!


What every student with ADHD should know    Welcome back to school!

Bonus Links

Studying and ADHD    The First of  a Series

Helping Concentration

Note On Podcast

I just did a podcast with Jennie Friedman, ADHD coach.  Check it out.

Thank you, Jennie.




@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp


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Open Mind VS Old Patterns — ADHD Tip O the Day 737

With ADHD, we need to make some changes.

It’s hard to change a habit, but there are strategies:

  1. Spotting – This is the first step. Instead of trying to stop the old habit, just recognize every time you do it, spot it.  – “Oh, there I did it again.”  Later you will be able to shift to, “Oh, there I’m doing it again.”  It takes time.                                                                                       
  2. Substitution- We don’t just stop doing something; we need to do something else instead.  Replace the old habit with a new one.


Links O the Day:

James Clear on Habits  The Habit Guru     

doug on Habits

doug  on Problem,Strategy,Habit



Stupid Comment O the Day:

” Hope this post will take off. “



@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp


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Meds for Adult ADD ADHD? — ADD Tip O the Day 736

My opinions about the medications:

There are many medications available  for ADHD – the stimulants, the antidepressants, and others.

Like everyone else, I have my opinions about the medicines, which I will repeat here:

  • Everyone with ADHD deserves a trial of medication.  For some people, they don’t work. That raises the question of whether the person actually has ADHD.     For some people, they cause intolerable side effects.  For some people (like me), they help some. For some people, they are a life-changing miracle.  It’s worth trying.
  • These medications are safe for most people, although caution is needed if there is hypertension or cardiac disease.
  • These medications can be abused. This appears to occur mostly in college. They do not help with school performance for non-AHDers, although they give the impression that they do.  People with ADHD rarely abuse them.  The effect on people with ADHD is different from on vanillas.
  • Starting the medications is a trial and error process.  You must determine which medication is best for you, at what dose, and with what timing.  Each of us is unique.


The purpose of medication is to help us focus. Other benefits can be to increase motivation and decrease inertia.

The medications

Stimulants : methylphenidate -Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, Daytrana ; amphetamines -Adderal, dexedrine, Cylert

Antidepressants: Staterra (atomaxetine), Wellbutrin (bupropion),Effexor (venlafaxine), Pamelor (desipramine)

Others:  Guanfacine, omega 3 fatty acid (fish oil) can be of some help.

There are other longer acting forms now available.


The link below covers this in more detail, as well as more about ADHD.  It is a gem.


Pretty much everything about the meds  from Dr. Schwartz


Other ADHD Medication Links:

Medication Myths

Alternatives to medicines


Totally Irrelevant Comment: Trying to publish a list with numbers is a booger.  But that’s nothing compared to trying to get the pictures right.  Patience is not one of my ADHD gifts.


@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp









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ADHD and Your Genes — ADHD Tip O the Day 735

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD, strategy,strategies,symptoms,problems,brain,genes,genetics,frontal,frontal lobe,amygdale,subcortical,science,research,mind

The ADD ADHD mind.

What about ADHD genes?

We each have two copies of the serotonin transport gene, SERT, one from each parent.  This gene regulates uptake of serotonin back into the cell.

The gene comes in two flavors, long (L) and short (S). If you’re lucky, you got LL. You are not very sensitive to stress and you’re unlikely to become depressed no matter what happens.  You also have less anxiety.

With SS, you are very likely to become depressed in response to stress.   With LS, you’re in between.

With early childhood stress, the frontal area of the brain does not develop as well.  There is a lack of volume in the areas responsible for controlling response to stress and to unpleasant feelings and for controlling impulses.

If you have SS, you’re more sensitive to stress and this effect on your brain is more profound.

With SS things that are stressful to you will cause a bigger reaction than for your buddy with LL. He might not even find them stressful it all.  On the other hand, if you have ADHD you might be creating more stress in your life.

Recent research shows that those of us with the combination of SS and more stress have less frontal brain volume and more severe  ADHD symptoms.  Those with LL have more normal frontal brain volumes and less severe ADHD symptoms, regardless of  stressful life experiences.  The frontal brain is where judgement and delaying action live.

With  ADHD  there is also less good connection between the regulating frontal areas and the stress responding lower areas (subcortical structures).

For most  ADHD children the brain gets more normal with aging.  Stimulants (ritalin, adderall, vyvanse, daytrana, etc.) also change brain structures toward normal in children and in adults.

We have to be careful about confusing cause and effect and remember that  correlation does not prove causation.  But these findings are very suggestive.

Psychiatric disorders

If ADHD is like most psychiatric disorders, and it probably is, then there is no one gene responsible, but many genes that contribute to a propensity to have the disorder.  The environment and expericens may then determine to what extent those genes are activated.

Inviting Comments

I welcome comments from everyone but especially invite our scientists to correct any misinformation here.  I don’t claim to really understand this stuff.



ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD, strategy,strategies,symptoms,problems,brain,genes,genetics,frontal,frontal lobe,amygdale,subcortical,science,research

Is this what made you?

“Brain Correlates of the Interaction Between 5-HTTLPR and Psychosocial Stress Mediating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Severity”,van der Meer et al,Am J Pychiatry, August 2015

ADD ADHD brains function differently

Stimulants improve brain structure

( in case the link doesn’t work)

Note: Actually, it’s even more complicated.  Newer research suggests that the SS combination may even be of some benefit, IF you don’t have a very stressful childhood.
Link: serotonin transporter gene

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD, strategy,strategies,symptoms,problems,brain,genes,genetics,frontal,frontal lobe,amygdale,subcortical,science,research,mind,imaging

The ADD ADHD brain is different.

@addstrategies  #adhd #add @dougmkpdp #adhdstrategies #adhdadultstrategies
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ADHD Evaluation? – A Terrible Experience – Jeff’s Ordeal — ADHD Tip O the Day 734

What can you learn from Jeff’s experience?

“Hi Doug. I saw a psychiatrist for the first time to help treat my ADHD,  and I wanted to let you know how it went. It went TERRIBLE! What a waste of time! I had called 3 psychiatrists who were in my insurance plan, but the other 2 had left the practices. So I was surprised that Dr. R was able to see me within a week because I had been warned of long delays before being able see a psychiatrist.

We (my wife attended to assist me in remembering what was said) arrived on time for my appointment. First, I was given a BIG stack of papers to read and sign, including the set procedures for filing a grievance! (a bad sign?) Next, we were forced to sit in the waiting room for almost 2 hours before he was ready to see me! He finally took us to an office, but then proceeded to curse because he didn’t like where the phone and computer monitor were located on the desk! Then he disappeared out of the office for 10 minutes!

Dr. R finally returned, and started to talk with us. I handed him a sheet of paper that summarized my ADHD problems, and listed  the few medications I take. He seemed mostly uninterested in this! Instead, he was focused on his cell phone, which constantly rang during our short time with him. He checked who was calling him, and occasionally took the call! One time he even stepped out of the office again! (no more cursing, fortunately)

Eventually, Dr. R allowed me to explain my experiences and symptoms of ADHD. He then stated that it was clear that I suffered from ADHD, but he wanted me to get TESTED by a psychologist in his office who specialized in ADHD testing. Dr. R said this would be necessary before he’d be willing to prescribe any medication. This was even though I was asking to be started at a low dose. Dr. R then took me to the scheduling desk to ensure I set up the testing appointment. My wife and I then left, stunned that a highly trained doctor would treat patients in this manner! This turned out to be the worst doctor appointment I’ve ever had!

The next day I looked for ANOTHER psychiatrist in my area who accepts my insurance, and I found one who treats patients with ADHD. The bad news: She isn’t able to see me until late OCTOBER! The good news: She doesn’t require separate ADHD testing, as I was told she evaluates patients during their first visit – during which she’s expected to prescribe medication!

So, what do you think of my experience, Doug? As a psychiatrist, I’m sure you treat your patients much better than Dr. R does. I hope you enjoyed my (hopefully) unusual story. Jeff”


Oh Jeff, terrible indeed, and an embarrassment to the medical profession. I’m sorry this happened to you. I trust your next appointment will go better.
You have the option of reporting this guy to the state medical board. The comment you posted should be sufficient. If several people report him, he will at least be investigated.

And/or you could google him and then grade him on the various sites and maybe have room for a comment.

In my opinion, there is no need for a psychologist testing just to diagnose ADHD.
I can’t say I enjoyed your story at all. I would like to use at least part of it in a post unless you object.


Always check up on someone before you agree to see them.  Get references from other people, from your primary physician, from reviews posted on the net, from CHADD.

You don’t have to put up with this kind of crap.  Walk out.

There are some very poor physicians out there.

There are things you can do about bad physicians.

If it stinks, it’s probably spoiled.


Bonus Links:

How to Evaluate an Evaluater

ADD or ADHDJeff used ADD but I changed it