Non-stimulant Medicines for ADD ADHD (plus other tips on medicines)— ADD Tip O the Day 592

Advantages of the non-stimulant medicines for adult ADD ADHD:
Don’t cause agitation or insomnia; not controlled and easier to obtain; not abusable or addictive; longer acting and smoother effect. Sometimes added to stimulants to improve symptoms or reduce side effects.

.
Probably most commonly used are Strattera and guanfacine.

.
Strattera (atomoxetine)- an antidepressant, works mostly on norepinephrine. No generic, capsules, expensive. Takes some weeks to work; must be taken consistently.

.
Possible side effects include: upset stomach, decreased appetite, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, mood swings.

.
Guanfacine generic (brand name Estulic, Tenex and the extended release Intuniv) –   a high blood pressure medicine, not officially approved for adults (may be less effective in adults?). Inexpensive, except for extended release.

.
Possible side effects include: headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, sleepiness.

.
Other non-stimulant medicines for ADD ADHD:

.
Clonidine generic (Kapvay)- a different high blood pressure medicine, inexpensive.

.
Possible side effects include: drowsiness, dizziness; feeling tired or irritable;cold symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat;mood changes;sleep problems (insomnia), nightmares; headache, ear pain; mild fever; feeling hot; constipation, diarrhea, pain in your upper stomach; dry mouth, increased thirst; loss of interest in sex, impotence, difficulty having an orgasm.
(I don’t think these are very common. If they were, would anybody use clonidine?)

.
Buproprion generic (Wellbutrin) -antidepressant, works on dopamine and norepinephrine. Not expensive.

.
Possible side effects include headache, dry mouth, insomnia, nausea, sore throat, dizziness, constipation, irritability, ringing in the ears.

.
Other antidepressants – less studied for ADD ADHD but reported to be helpful for some people. Probably have a higher frequency of side effects than the other medicines.

.
Important note for any medicines:
Always check for interactions with other medicines or other substances you are taking. Your doctors should do this but I can’t promise they will.

Next Note, on expense:.
You can usually save money for any medicine: buy larger quantity, get large doses and cut pills, get coupons online, shop different pharmacies, ask your doctor about samples or certificates. If you have a hardship, you can sometimes get a break – ask your pharmacy and/or the manufacturing company.

.
Next Note:
I haven’t personally used nor prescribed any of these medicines for ADD ADHD. I believe they tend to have a lower rate of effectiveness than the stimulants but every person is unique.

.
Advantages of the stimulants:
You can usually tell if they will help you with only a few doses and you can take them only when you want to.

.

Important link:

Check medication interactions

doug

He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is a child, teach him.                   He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep, wake him.                          He who knows and knows he knows, he is wise, follow him.                                   He who knows not, and knows not he knows not, he is a fool, shun him. .

ancient Persian proverb

Posted in add, adhd, educate yourself, medication, science, stimulants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Taking Medicines, ADD ADHD or Any — ADD Tip O the Day 591

About taking any kind of medicine, not just ADD ADHD

I wanted to write about the non-stimulant ADHD ADHD medications, but thought this should come first.

Generics

Always ask about the generic. They should always be much cheaper (should).  Not all the generics are as good as the brand name but most are. Also, the generic brands are not always equivalent to each other, but most are.

Expense

If the medicine comes in a pill and it’s not timed or delayed release, you usually can cut the expense by getting the biggest dose they make and cutting the pills. (Pill cutters are inexpensive.)

Dose

I recommend starting with a very low dose and gradually increasing it.  This minimizes the chance of getting side effects. Increase until either you do get side effects or you have no symptoms (unlikely) or the increase doesn’t add any benefit. Then either stay at that dose or drop back one dose.

Possible Side Effects

If you do get side effects  they usually go away in about a week if you stay on that dose. I usually suggest not reading the list of possible side effects  – doing so seems to increase the frequency of getting them. Just pay attention to anything  that you think might be a side effect and ask your doctor.

That list was written by the company’s lawyers to protect them and includes any symptom that anybody anywhere at any dose ever had that might possibly have had anything to do with the medicine. The list can be useful when it gives the percentages of people who actually got that side effect, but those are hard to find.

Almost all side effects are reversible if you just stop the medicine. It is very rare that anyone should need to put up with any significant side effects.

Very Important Bonus Tip

Always check for interactions with other medicines or other substances you are taking. Your doctors should do this but I can’t promise they will.

Check medication interactions

Coming very very soon:

Non-stimulant ADD ADHD medicines!

doug                                     

ADD ADHD,add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,medicine,medication,medications,drugs,side effects,side effects,

Just being normal active boys misdiagnosed as ADD ADHD

More on side effects

More on medicines

Buproprion (Wellbutrin) etc.

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, educate yourself, medication, stimulants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Snake Oil for ADD ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 590

Cures

In the 1960s  a new cure for schizophrenia popped up every couple of years.  Dr. Linus Pauling, a Nobel prize-winning chemist, discovered that massive doses of vitamin C would cure schizophrenia along with a host of other things.  But in 2015  we’re still looking for a cure.

Many things are advertised to “cure” or at least help ADD ADHD.

Cerebellar training, homeopathy, various alternative substances, special diets, etc. There is  little research to support them.  It’s possible that some really helpful approach is lost in the static. It’s  possible that somebody somewhere sometime was really helped by one of these approaches.

Selling

George is selling training for ADD ADHD and learning disabilities.  I hope it works.  If someone has a product for ADD ADHD that works, why would they need to spread false information about medicines?

Dr. Klein posted a long anti medicine article from Dr. Mercola, who it turns is selling natural substances and has been discredited. Dr.Klein retracted his statement.

BS

The web is full of fantastic claims and gross misinformation. This is unfortunate and a little scary. The misinformation about medication will scare off some people who could really benefit from it.

That’s a shame.    meetings-add funny

doug

the post from george

dr. mercola

Dr. Klein on Dr. Mercola

an example of lots of them

Coming Soon:

Non stimulant  ADD ADHD medications,

then alternatives to medication, hopefully without the BS.

Posted in add, controversies, educate yourself, medication, science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Amphetamines for ADD ADHD: Follow-up. Plus, Foundations — ADD Tip O the Day 589

Great Comment On Last  Meds Post From Dr. Boerboom. Summary:

Dexedrine is not very addictive/abusable.  It has a low incidence of side effects. They are different from methylphenidate.

Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) may cause side effects, but apparently not often.

  • restlessness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • headache
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
  • dry mouth
  • unpleasant taste
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • changes in sex drive or ability

Seems to me similar to Ritalin (methylphenidate)

See Dr. Boerboom’s full comment

I disagree on one point – I have been called obnoxious, inappropriate, silly, but not boring. I think the medicine helps me focus and be more of myself, not less. It helps me focus enough to use strategies and my life is better.

doug

Bonus Links:

Dr Anahi Ortiz on Medicines  part 1    part 2

Foundations:

While we’re talking about medicines, let’s not forget the foundations:

Sleep, exercise, structure, strategies, outdoors, prayer or mediation or yoga

And the other faciliators: coaching, therapy, support groups, education about ADD ADHD

 

ADD ADHD,add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,medicine,medication,medications,drugs,insomnia,side effects,controversy,controversies,Ritalin,strattera,side effects, methylphenidate,Dexedrine,dextroamphetamine,speed,Ritalin,abuse, misuse,stimulants

Why, yes, sometimes I am a little hyper and socially inappropriate.  Screw you!

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, attitudes, controversies, medication, science, stimulants, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is It ADD ADHD or Executive Dysfunction? — ADD Tip O the Day 588

From a recent article:

“Is It Executive Function Disorder (EFD) or ADHD?

Children and adults with executive function disorder (EFD) have problems with organizing and schedules. They may also have ADHD and/or learning disabilities, but not always — it’s a common misdiagnosis for those who are actually living with EFD.”

This is new hot topic. At least luke warm.Some are saying that ADD ADHD is getting misdiagnosed when it’s really executive dysfunction.  But the symptoms of “Executive Function Disorder” listed below always seemed to me to just to be part of my ADD, although they’re not all part of the official definition and criteria.

” … deficiencies in planning, abstract thinking, flexibility and behavioral control”

Sound like anybody you know?

“In both children and adults with ADHD, an underlying executive dysfunction involving the prefrontal regions and other interconnected subcortical structures has been found.”

“Warning signs that a child may be having difficulty with executive function include trouble in:

  • planning projects
  • estimating how much time a project will take to complete
  • telling stories (verbally or in writing)
  • memorizing information
  • initiating activities or tasks
  • retaining information while doing something with it (for example, remembering a phone number while dialing)”

“…executive functions involve (at the very least):

  • planning for the future and strategic thinking
  • the ability to inhibit or delay responding
  • initiating behavior, and
  • shifting between activities flexibly”

Difficulty in being able to:

“Plan, Sequence, Prioritize, Organize, Initiate, Inhibit, Pace, Shift, Self-monitor, Emotional Control, Completing”

Sound like anybody you know?

Whichever of our brain networks and functions are off, they presumably produce all of these symptoms as well as the currently popular “benefits and gifts”.

My current best guess is that executive dysfunction is just another name for ADD AHD, maybe without the hyperactivity?  Maybe the inattentive type?

doug

Links:                                                                                   

ADD ADHD,add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit, controversy,controversies,executive dysfunction,executive function, executive function disorder,EFD,incoordination,dyscoordination,dyslexia,learning disabilities, executive function disorder

Did I mention that sometimes I’m socially inappropriate?

 

What is the difference? – I find this confusing.

Executive Dysfunction        

Which is it?

Part 2 of Which is it?

Irrelevant Irreverent Comment:

We also have auditory processing disorder, dyscoordination, dyslexia,learning disorders and dystechnologica.

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, controversies, diagnosis, educate yourself, science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Stimulant Medicine for ADD ADHD and New Research — ADD Tip O the Day 587

 Medicines for ADD ADHD

Like everything else, this is going to be harder and take more time than I thought.

To repeat – everyone is unique. What works for one won’t for another. You need trial and error to find the right medicine at the right dose on the right schedule that works for you.  For some, these medicines work a miracle, for some, they are helpful, and for others, no.

The Stimulants:

Methylphenidate – Ritalin (plain, long-acting, sustained-release, in a skin patch), Concerta, Daytrana, Focalin, Focalin XR, Methylin, Medadate CD/ER.  Most common possible side effects are stomach upset, anxiety, loss of appetite; these can usually be managed and minimized if they do occur. Safe, but use carefully with heart problems or high blood pressure. Not very addictive but are being abused/misused by college students. Probably not helpful unless you have ADD ADHD. Very expensive brand-name, but generic is available for some.  An advantage is you can take them when you want and leave them off when you want.

Amphetamines – Adderall, Adderall XR, Dexedrine, Vyvanse (less abusable)- Probably not more effective than methylphenidate, although they will be for some people. Probably more addictive and more abused. Side effects, probably about the same. Again, use or not when you want to.

From Oren Mason MD based on newly published research:

  1. We are beginning to understand the causes of ADHD. ADHD is a condition that involves abnormal brain function.
  2. Specifically, normal folk have capabilities in their brains that ADHD folk don’t. So far, the reverse hasn’t been seen.
  3. Stimulant medications restore (at least some) normalcy to brain function. They are not–as they are sometimes described–giving ‘speed’ to normal brains. They bring normal brain function to people who were born without it.
  4. These findings have been so consistent across multiple studies, that they can be considered “scientifically proven”.

Notes:

I have no experience with the amphetamines. Medicines are not The Answer for most people. I recommend medicines, strategies (often with coaching) and therapy (to deal with the underlying shame, low self-esteem, depression, etc.). You need a careful evaluation to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms and comorbid conditions which are frequent.  I don’t think these medicines calm us down. I think they basically help us focus and then we can calm down. I haven’t been able to clarify the actions of stimulating release of norepinephrine and dopamine from the neurons versus blocking their reuptake, or both. I get conflicting stories.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Doug

Bonus links:

Dr. Mason’s post is worth reading, shedding light not only on ADD ADHD but also on the scientific method, which is not widely understood.

Adderall versus Ritalin

Lots more, especially about Ritalin:

1     2         3         4        5         6

I am hoping to get some clarifying comments, as well as any questions you may have.

Valentine,ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit,methylphenidate,Adderall,Concerta,Daytrana,focus,calm, Dexedrine,Focalin,Metadate,Methylin,Ritalin,Vyvanse,research,brain

My brain functions more normally with medicine.

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, controversies, dysfunctions, medication, science, stimulants, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Why Valentines Day Is important With ADD ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 586

Valentines Day is February 14, this Saturday, that’s this coming Saturday, two days off, this Saturday, day after tomorrow.

With ADD ADHD:

1. We forget all about it.

2. We think it’s a long way off and don’t buy a card until the last minute.

3. The card we impulsively at the last minute  is not very good.

– Or we didn’t really read it, and it is bad.

- Or we were captivated by a card that is really, really, really funny. funny.

Bad idea.

A Second Chance

If we really plan ahead (Ha!) and knock ourselves out on the card, and perhaps dinner, chocolate, roses, jewelry—

perhaps –

perhaps-

perhaps we can make up for some of our more recent screw ups.

It’s worth a try.

Good Luck

What’s your strategy for making sure you don’t forget?

doug

Bonus Nudge:

If you’re going to take them to a good restaurant, you’ll need reservations for Valentine’s Day, and it’s already a little late, don’t you think?

Remember last year?

Bonus Links:                                                                      

Valentines

Flowers                                       Relationships, marriage,Valentine,ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit,forgetting, Procrastinating,procrastination, strategy,strategies

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, marriage, relationships, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talking About ADD ADHD Medicines — ADD Tip O the Day 585

Terminology

When, and why, did medicines begin to be called drugs?  That used to be the term for illegal substances of abuse. Were I a little more paranoid I’d be suspicious. I’m old-fashioned and prefer to say medicines.

Side Effects

Almost every medicine has side effects – potential side effects. That means you may not get them.  Water “has side effects”.  When you read that the side effects of this medicine are X,Yand Z, you’d like to know what percentage of people actually get them, how serious they are, and if they are reversible.

If someone does get side effects, they can usually be managed by adjusting dosing and scheduling, or the medicine can be changed.  A person should hardly ever need to put up with any significant side effects. Rarely are the benefits of a medicine so essential and the options so limited.

Some people are frightened about side effects, but if they try the medicine and do have side effects, they do have the option of immediately stopping it. In general, side effects, if any, will go away quickly.

Side effects are not a life sentence.

What is the best medicine for ADD ADHD?

There is no “best” medicine. Every person is unique and needs to find the medicine that works best for them. You might choose a medicine that worked for a relative, or has a lower percentage of side effects, or doesn’t have potential side effects that particularly concern you.  And cost is a factor; only some of them are available in generic.

For example, Daytrana, Ritalin in a skin patch, has a lower frequency of side effects than the pills and gives you more control over the dose and timing.  But it has a high incidence of skin irritation.  This was a minor annoyance, but apparently my skin has gotten used to it.  And I don’t get the mild side effects that I got from the pills. I take it off by 2:00 or I’ll have insomnia.  It is expensive.

doug

Side Comment

I am suspicious about how patients began to be called clients. I see patients.

Second Side Comment

Change of plan already. I wanted to get terminology and side effects done before getting into the medicines.

Coming up: executive dysfunction, opinions, stimulant medicines, medication or therapy?

Links:

ADD ADHD Medicines

Trying Medicine – Are we guinea pigs?

Ritalin and Daytrana

Side Effects

ADD ADHD,add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,medicine,medication,medications,drugs,insomnia,side effects,controversy,controversies,Ritalin,strattera,side effects,best medicine,best drug,skin irritation,cost,insurance

Acme Health Insurance Company

Posted in add, adhd, controversies, educate yourself, medication, stimulants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

About ADD ADHD Medications—ADD Tip O the Day 584

Review of ADD ADHD Medications, Alternatives, and Issues

Over the next couple of months I plan to review medications for ADD ADHD, including alternatives,  This will be too basic and repetitive for some of you, so it will be every other post or so and the posts will include some other interesting stuff. Hopefully we’ll get some comments, elaboration and discussion,  some agreeing and some not so much.

The Anti- medication Faction

Some people don’t like to take any medications, some people just not for ADD ADHD. Some people don’t want to take stimulant medications.  Some people don’t vaccinate their children.  This is all generally due to a combination of a lack of information, possession of wrong information, and misunderstanding of information.

XXXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXX. I would like to be able respect everyone’s right to their opinions  without getting sarcastic. That’s why I just blocked out that sentence.  Admirable for someone with the impulsivity and poor social judgment of ADD ADHD.

Everyone Is Unique

Medications are extremely helpful to some people, sometimes a life-changing miracle. They’re somewhat helpful to some.   For some people, they’re either ineffective or have troubling side effects. In my opinion, medication is certainly worth a try to see how it will work or not for you.

Every person is unique and there’s a trial and error calibrating process of finding the right medication, the right dose, and the right scheduling for each person.

Here’s the plan:

(I would appreciate your comments or suggestions about the plan and reserve the right to change it.)

1. Stimulant medications.-Ritalin  etc.

2. Non-stimulant medications.-Strattera, etc.

3. Alternatives to medications:

            A. Alternative substances. -fish oil, etc.

            B. Alternatives to any substances.-exercises, etc.

4. Side effects and other difficulties.-insomnia, etc.

                  (The ugly truth about side effects.)

5. Safety- cardiovascular risks, etc.

6. Myths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings.- Oh, my!, etc.

doug

Quote O the Day:

‘Anyone who thinks he knows something just hasn’t caught on yet.’

St Paul     1 Corinthians 8:1-3

Links:

Myths about ADD ADHD

Meds vs Structure?

You are unique

ADD ADHD Medications are like cocaine and crystal meth

Bonus Tip O The Day:

from Homey – on coping with Overwhelmed

(You know about overwhelmed, don’t you?)

ADD ADHD,add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,medicine,medication,medications,alternatives,drugs,insomnia,side effects,controversy,controrversies

Is the insomnia from ADD ADHD or from the medicine?

 

 

 

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, controversies, medication, stimulants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

To do list – Foto -for Priorities— Addendum to ADD Tip O the Day 583

ADD ADHD Tip O the Day 583.5

I couldn’t get the darn thing to print the image when I was doing the post on priorities.     Think I’ve figured it out now, again.

Technologically challenged!

ADD ADHD,gift add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,gifts,benefits,strategies,priorities,to do,to-do,overloaded,overload,overwhelmed,gift,benefit,time,list,lists,images,technology,technology, technologically challenged, challenges, oh foot!

Messed up again!

Doug

Note to myself, because I’ll forget again:

1. In Picassa, can export to My Pictures.

2. In WordPress, double-click on the image to get the option to edit,  which is the icon of the little stubby pencil.

Strategy:

Make notes to myself where I can find them when I have to. Maybe need to make a note about where to find the note?

Link

The post on priorities

Bryan’s book on confidence- today only

Bonus link:

homey on overdoing

Bonus Tip O the Day:

Sometimes good enough is good enough.

 

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Priorities and ADD ADHD: Incompatible? – – – ADD Tip O the Day 583

Dysprioritiologica?

Setting priorities is an executive function and with ADD ADHD we tend to not be very good at it.

I sit here looking at a long to do list. Where do I start?

Do you see how this can lead to procrastination? Maybe I’ll just give up and play some computer games.

Homey’s great strategy:

“If I could only do one thing today, what would I do? That is your priority!”

My Efforts:

One of my strategies is to make a list of three off the long list, but – that requires prioritizing.

I can number the items one to whatever down the left-hand side of the list, based on how important they are. i.e. prioritizing. – I ask: What is the payoff for doing this task or the penalty for not?  How does the payoff correlate with the time and effort that would be involved?

If I  do the numbering quickly, don’t get bogged down in thinking, maybe the numbers  aren’t accurate but at least I’m starting to do something.

But what if I also put numbers down the right-hand side, indicating how pressing the thing is, depending on deadlines?

If a task has  a one on both sides,  it’s important and urgent, so that’s  a priority. But what if the deadline is tomorrow, a one, but it doesn’t seem very important? If it’s really not important, what if I don’t do it at all? Just cross it off? There’s plenty of other things still on the list.

If I get too caught up in this, will I just wind up stuck, paralyzed,doing nothing? Or will I drive myself crazy?

Sometimes it’s more about how important the task is and sometimes more about how urgent. Getting my taxes done is really, really important, but right now doesn’t seem very urgent (sometimes we work better at the last minute).  Getting this blog done is moderately important, a little urgent. But it’s what I’m doing.

My usual strategy:

My strategy is to just  get a feeling of importance and urgency and make a short list and just do it. Sometimes I just guess,  almost close my eyes and pick a task at random, just so I can start moving.  Eventually things get done.

Maybe you can offer a good strategy for handling this?  Please.

doug

Bonus Tip O the Day:

If you open a bottle or jar, put the lid back on as soon as possible, preferably before trying to do anything else.

Bonus Tip O the Day # 2:

Do not set the bottle or jar down near the edge of a counter.

Note: these tips are from personal experience.

Bonus Links:

My Worst ADD ADHD Problem

Dr Marx ADD ADHD videos and posts

There's still a little controversy.

There’s still a little controversy.

 

 

 

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, procrastination, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Excess of Blessings From ADD ADHD – – – ADD Tip O the Day 582

Gifts, Benefits, and Blessings of ADD ADHD

Have exhausted this topic for a moment. Got lots of good comments on both sides of the question.  Thank you.

But –

I am overly blessed with the gifts of creativity and wide range of interests. There’s so much I want to do and I’m not good at setting priorities or saying no to myself.

I’m not feeling overwhelmed but overloaded.  Some sense of pressure, even since I “retired”. How did I ever find time to work?

To Do

Here’s what I’m trying to do, listed from daily to less often:

Quiet time (prayer, meditation, journaling, Bible), read the papers, exercise, emails, Spanish (duolingo), guitar,reading two books,cocktail hour with Martha, evening movie with Martha, helping teach AP psychology (lots of work, challenging, time-consuming, enjoyable), blog, write autobiography, marketing books, seeking locums jobs, church, errands and tasks and chores, Kairos prison ministry, Cruzada men’s group, PERA job,planning long trip, to say nothing of eating and trying to get enough sleep.

My days are only 24 hours long.

Give Something Up

That’s one strategy. I gave up chess several years ago. Now I’m giving up studying genetics. I’ve pared my email connections way down. There’s nothing else I want to drop, but then I didn’t really want to drop chess or genetics, either.

Strategies –Plug away, et. al.

Plug away is a strategy. I can only do what I can do. Try to watch priorities.

So much is attitude. If I can stay aware of what’s going on and just keep plugging away, it’s actually all fine.

Plans

I’m planning to do an intermittent series covering medications for ADD ADHD– to take them or not? stimulants. nonstimulants. alternatives.

Any suggestions are  very welcome.

Doug

Whine O the Day:

Some days it seems like half my time is spent trying to find things I’ve misplaced and the other half trying to find things someone has moved.

Bonus Links

Videos on ADD ADHD   I don’t watch  videos, but I would guess that these are good.

On the ADD ADHD gifts benefits controversy     one  two   three  four

On overloaded and overwhelmed    one   two three  four

Where does all the time go?
Where does all the time go?

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, attitudes, controversies, dysfunctions, marriage, medication, stimulants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

ADD ADHD As We Age: The Older Adult — ADD Tip O the Day 581

I didn’t discover I have ADD until I was 64.

Suddenly, a lot of things made sense – why I couldn’t make model airplanes as a kid, why I killed a pregnant Guppy fish, why I was always losing my keys, why I always carried a pocket full of index cards and an appointment book. I was using strategies that I didn’t realize were strategies cause I didn’t even realize there was a problem, but they made my life easier.

Medications, and the Elderly

I saw Dr. Evaldson,  the Santa Fe ADD ADHD expert. He confirmed my diagnosis but was a little reluctant to give me Ritalin because of my age.  But I was in good health so we tried a low dose.

The research doesn’t show any real danger of the stimulants – Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall, Vyvanse, Daytrana, amphetamines-especially in the absence of heart disease or hypertension. The antidepressants – Strattera, Wellbutrin- may be a little more problematic but we use them in the elderly.

Changes With Age

ADD ADHD by definition begins in childhood. Basically, we’re born with it, but it often doesn’t really show up in symptoms until we start school, or occasionally later.  8% of children have it. I was wrongly taught that we outgrow it in adolescence; we don’t. But due to some combination of maturing, learning strategies, and improved self-control,the symptoms become less noticeable, especially hyperactivity,and only 4% of adults meet the criteria for diagnosis, even though some of the brain abnormalities persist.

Does our ADD ADHD improve as we get older? Or does it become worse? How do we distinguish between the symptoms of normal aging versus ADD ADHD? I’m not sure there are good answers to these questions, but if the only symptoms are of memory or first appeared and old age, it is presumably not ADD ADHD.

In my little research of the net, there’s not a lot of information about this, and most of it comments that there’s not a lot of research about it.

Diagnosing

It is clear that in making the diagnosis other medical problems (hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiency, dementia, etc.) need to be ruled out, but that’s true for younger people also.

I hope our viewing doctors will make some clarifying comments.

doug

Definition of Old:                                                    

And it doesn't get better.  And tax season is going to sneak up on us.

And it doesn’t get better. And tax season is going to sneak up on us.

Anyone 10 years older than me.

Quote O the Day:

“White hair is a sign of wisdom, if you keep your mouth shut.”

Rant O the Day:

Actually, the stimulants may be less problematic for us than the benzodiazepines that so many of us are on.

Comment  O the Day – Three of the Bad Things About Getting Old:

1. Losing your vision

2. Losing your hearing

3. I can’t remember the third

The Links:

from Dr. Adler

Aging and ADHD

Attention Deficit Symptoms in Older People

Is It ADHD  Or  Aging?

ADHD in Older Adults

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, diagnosis, dysfunctions, medication, stimulants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Do We Really Need More Controversy About ADD ADHD Benefits and Gifts? — ADD ADHD Tip O the Day 580

Aaron Smith said it very well:

  • Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith

    ADHD Achievement Strategist & Motivational Coach

    “Like everything else in life, it’s easy to paint ADHD with a broad brush. Saying it’s “all bad” or “all good,” if only life were that simple. ADHD can be your greatest asset and your Achilles heal. It’s not an “either or” question, it’s an “and both” way of being and relating to your various contextual environments. It’s what you do with your unique mind that makes all the difference, and how you perceive yourself. If we become overly negative, we lose sight of opportunities for growth. There are always ways to harness your ADHD and cultivate greater depths of insight into your mind. Let’s support each other and offer constructive narratives, uplifting strategies, helpful tips, etc. There’s already so much negative stuff out there in society, why not instead offer solutions. For every failure or scenario where someone has given up, there’s someone who has found improbable success through dedication, perseverance, and establishing a growth mindset. We need to learn from these individuals, and understand that their successes could be your own success with the right strategies, tools, systems of support, the right outlook, self-confidence, and persistence.”

    Right on, Aaron!

    May I proffer my opinions (Again)?

    1. Maybe there isn’t really a need for controversy. Clearly, ADD ADHD provides both benefits and detriments.

    2. What is the benefit in standing around shouting about the benefits? Maybe it helps sustain morale and encourages us to make the most of our strengths?

    3.What is the benefit of sitting around moaning about our deficiencies?   None.         And beating up on ourselves is destructive.

    4. But there is also no benefit in denying them. If we acknowledge our problems, then we can address them and come up with ways to cope with them, strategies that will make our lives better.

    5. Unfortunately, for me, the benefits, such as creativity, a wide range of interests, and the ability to hyperfocus (not under my control, sadly), are often overwhelmed by the detriments, such as distractibility, difficulty setting priorities, and procrastination.

    Conclusion: How to Live Well With ADD ADHD

    So, let’s be kind to ourselves, capitalize on our abilities, acknowledge our problems, and come up with strategies for them.

    doug

     

    Pete Quily’s wonderful list of 151 benefits of ADHD

    link for Aaron Smith

    Previous Posts on the Controversy:

    one 

    add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,strategies,gifts,benefits,controversy,hyperfocus,staying on task,distractions,procrastination, creativity,controversy, controversies
    Enjoying one of my ADD ADHD gifts!

    two

    three

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, attitudes, controversies, distraction, dysfunctions, procrastination, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

It’s In the Cards – Another ADD ADHD Strategy — ADD Tip O the Day 579

New Year, new strategies, maybe the novelty helps

You may know that I’m a big fan of index cards.  My system of  colored cards I keep in my shirt pocket. I call that half my brain. The other half of my brain, I call Martha.

Scott has given me another use of index cards, and I really like it.

I got this strategy from Scott:

… one thing I’m trying is I have a pile of 3X5 cards with quotes I have collected on them. Each day or so I take the card from the top and put it on the bottom, revealing a new quote for the day. When I find something that works (and remember to do this) I sometimes write it down as if it were a quote and put it in the pile so I will run into it some day in the future. Sometimes that gets me started doing it again. Also, I don’t always put the old card on the bottom of the pile. If it is something I want to run into again sooner I will put it somewhere in the middle of the pile.

Mottoes, Tips, Strategies, Prompts, Quotes?

I keep the cards on my desk where they’re easily seen. I’m not sure what to call them. Recently I had a week of feeling pressured, overloaded and over whelmed, and that’s when I started using the cards.  They have helped.

Sample Cards

Focus on the positive.

Take it easy.

What does it matter?

Plug away.

Prioritize.

We’ve learned that our brain can generate new brain cells. Yea! So maybe this is a third part of my brain.

doug

Bonus Spanish verb O the day:

zumbar – to buzz, hum, flutter around

That’s kind of what I was doing.

 

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD,New Year, strategy,strategies,card,cards,system,brain

A New Card Strategy

IMG_2072

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD,New Year, strategy,strategies,card,cards,system,brain

 

Bonus links:

save one hour a day – from julie

The Colored Card System

Using the Colored card System

 

 

 

 

Posted in add, ADD strategies, ADD problems or symptoms, dysfunctions, adhd, ADHD strategies, ADHD problems | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ADD ADHD and Goals-Can We Use Them? — ADD Tip O the Day 578

Goals are important, whether we have ADD ADHD or not

In prison ministry, we notice that many of the men do not have the concept of goals other than short term “I want this now”.

Goals help us with focus, planning and setting priorities, and motivation, all of which are issues with ADD ADHD.

Very short-term goals would include the to do lists, and we feel satisfaction when we get something done, which gives us more motivation to move on to the next thing.

Steps

When I list longer term goals, it’s useful to write down the steps I need to do to move towards them. This is  the concept of “small steps”, and also motivates me and helps me get moving.

My goal is to become a better guitar player, but my immediate step is to learn to play a G chord using my little finger. It’s hard.

Values

My long-term goals need to be aligned with and reflect my values. I try to check them every six months and see if how I’m spending my time is congruent with those goals and if I’m making progress.  Again, under each goal. I list things I can do to move towards it.

Here is Scott’s great strategy from his comment:

I like to make a list of things that are important to me; Marriage, Work, Exercise, my Boat, dealing with ADD, etc., and then under each heading I write some things that I can do to help with that. Sometimes these are things I do once and they are done, like finishing a specific project. Sometimes they are ongoing things, like remembering to use specific strategies for dealing with my ADD. Then I put that list in a place, like on a wall, where I will see it on a regular basis, so it reminds me of those things that are important and what I can do to support those things in my life. Throughout the year I may update my list if I think of something appropriate, come up with a new strategy, or finish a project that is on the list. Sometimes I put a date next to a crossed out project and that allows me to see progress, but it isn’t a to-do list. It is more like a reminder of what I consider important and how I plan on achieving that.

Reasonable Goals

We ADDers tend to set goals that are impossible, always overestimating what we can do and being unable to assess how much time we have to do it in. This leads to demoralization, procrastination, stagnation, and inertia ( Is that a little repetitive?)

Strategy

Set goals a little under what you can achieve. When you reach one, you can always cross it off and set a new goal (Does this sound a little un-American? Or just un-ADD?).

Some of my current goals include losing weight (but I hate to think of the steps that are involved), being a better husband, and producing quality blog posts.  We’ll see how it goes.

Doug

Bonus Thought:

Writing this, I realize I also tend to set too many goals – prioritizing is another ADD ADHD issue.

Bonus Links:

Homey has a different viewpoint on goals for ADD ADHD

Goals 1

Goals 2

Goals 3

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD,benefits,gifts,controversy,controversies,add controversies,adhd controversies,hearing,auditory,auditory processing disorder,resolutions, goals

Goals: More New Year’s Resolutions

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, attitudes, dysfunctions, organize, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A New ADD ADHD Strategy for the New Year — ADD Tip O the Day 577

Why a New ADD ADHD Strategy?

One of Puryear’s Principles of Human Behavior:

Once we finally find something that works, we quit doing it.

I have strategies that work, and make my life better, but sometimes I drift away from them.

Do We Need Novelty?

So, do we need to keep changing our strategies? I’m taking a little different approach to my desktop used envelope immediate to – do list. ( my DUEITL)

I turn the envelope long wise and put a line down the middle. On the right, I list the next 5 to 10 things I need to do. On the left, I list the next two or three things I’m going to do. When I get one done, I cross it off, and pull one over from the right to the left and cross it off on the right.

Obviously, as life goes on, I can keep adding things to the right, but never let the list on the left get over three.

So far, it seems to be helping.

dougADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD,New Year,new strategies,to do list,to-do list,To do lists,to-do lists   ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD,New Year,new strategies,to do list,to-do list,To do lists,to-do lists

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                          To Do List, New format,              To Do List, New Format

                                                          Close Up

Bonus New Strategy:

If you noticed the list on the bottom left, that’s my early morning schedule, what I need to do when I first get up. Since my life has gotten a little disarranged, I keep forgetting to do the basic things, and so I write down the schedule – walk the dog,eat breakfast, brush my teeth, etc.   It helps, but you probably don’t need that.

More Links:

Bonnie Mincu’s new course on being productive

I Can’t Use Lists

Pete Quily on To Do Lists

How to Make Lists Work

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, organize, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

ADD ADHD and “Auditory Processing Disorder” —ADD Tip O the Day 576

ADD ADHD and trouble hearing

A fellow ADDer recently asked me if his difficulties in hearing were part of his ADD ADHD. He particularly has trouble in a crowded restaurant, hearing the person across from him.

I’d never thought about it. I  thought my trouble hearing was age. In a restaurant, I like to sit with my back to the wall, but thought that was just paranoia. Maybe it’spart of ADD ADHD? I’m interested and curious and want to know what’s going on. But maybe it has something to do with hearing? Less noise from behind me?

Auditory Processing Disorder

So I did a little research and came up with  auditory processing disorder (APD).  Apparently, like dyslexia, there is a correlation with ADD ADHD  (see links below, once you get there).

Questions:

1. Do you have trouble with hearing? Do you think it’s part of your ADD ADHD?

2.  Are these things, like APD, a basic part of ADD ADHD, or do they just run together because we have various brain dysfunctions, not just one.

3. Currently, ADD ADHD is divided into three types, hyperactive, inattentive, combined. But are there actually many more varieties, coming from different genetic combinations and environmental exposures and manifesting different combinations of symptoms?

Requesting Your Comments:

Your opinions will be appreciated,valued and respected (even though I may totally disagree with them).

Doug

Quote O the Day:

“Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre.”

Philip Roth

Bonus Quote O the  Day:

“Respeto tu derecho de su opinions, aunque sonidos como los delerios de un hombre loco.”

My attempt at  an old Spanish saying

Totally Irrelevant  Thought O  the Day:

“APD also stands for Albuquerque Police Department.”

(- because I have the gift of creativity, which takes me off on all kinds of irrelevant nonproductive tangents, although it has some good effects also.)

Bonus Irrelevant Thought O the Day:

Couldn’t APD  as well be called CHS?

Oh, well.

Finally, Here Are the Links:

clik

clik

auditory processing disorder

auditory processing disorder 2

overlap     

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD,benefits,gifts,controversy,controversies,add controversies,adhd controversies,hearing,auditory,auditory processing disorder,resolutions, goals

It’s not too late for yet more New Year resolutions!

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, controversies, dysfunctions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Free ADD ADHD Training from Bonnie Mincu

free training clik here- free video, and webinar is tomorrow jan 8

recommended

doug

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,strategies,strategy,time,procrastination,marriage

Oh! Is it here already?!!

Posted in add | Leave a comment

You Can Keep Your @#$##@@ Benefits! – – – ADD Tip O the Day 575

Different Opinions About the Benefits of ADD ADHD

Yes, we do have different opinions and viewpoints, not surprising, and I appreciate all the comments. And I respect all the opinions, but -

Here are my responses, from my viewpoint:

1. ADD ADHD gives us the gift of creativity

Yes, I believe we tend to be more creative, and I value my creativity. But it’s not that much of a benefit if I’m trying to create all kinds of things at one time and can’t get anything done.

2. ADD ADHD gives us a wide range of interests

Yes, but I’m interested in so many things that I find it hard to set priorities and learn anything in depth – “I know a little bit about a lot of things –” (song from before your time).  It’s hard to let anything go. Right now I’m into songwriting; and enjoying it, but think there will be very little return. And there are better uses of my time.

3. ADD ADHD helps us think outside the box.

Yes, that’s a gift, but sometimes I blurt out off-the-wall things, and often I find it hard to do things just the regular way, which might be the most efficient way,, which might be the reason that it’s the regular way.

4. ADD ADHD gives us compassion.

Well, maybe. Maybe any kind of chronic problem or handicap would give us compassion?  But I think if I’m too tied up and struggling to just get through the day, manage the hassles and sort out the problems I have caused for myself, I may not have much time, energy, or attention left over for compassion for anyone else’s problems; I may not notice them at all.

5. ADD ADHD gives us hyperfocus.

Yes, I love it when I can hyperfocus on something and be really productive – if it is on something that is in fact productive and not a tangent or waste of time, and if I can unconnect from it when necessary.

doug

Apology:

Sorry if the title was offensive.  Was that an example of impulsive blurting out poor judgement or a shrewd hyperfocused creative way to get your attention?

Add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,add controversy,adhd controversy,attention deficit,benefits,gifts

Benefits?

 

 

 

 Review of ADD ADHD benefits posts and comments:

one two    

And here’s a copy of the discussion:

Responses to Benefits of ADD ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 568

 

  1. I consider ADD a gift at least for me. It helps me see different perspectives, come up with twisty connections for things “Normal” people wouldn’t consider connected, helps me get interested in all sorts of cool things and see how other people can enjoy those things. I love it when I get hyperfocused on a project and dealing with ADD has helped me find yet one more reason I need to get regular exercise (that reason actually finally got me to exercise regularly!)
    Yes, dealing with the downside of ADD can be a pain. Going after every “shiny” thing keeps me from getting the things done that I care about. But I still manage to get a few things finished here and there and life goes on. I would never trade what I’ve been given with my ADD, problems and all, for being “normal”. I’m pretty spoiled though. I think my ADD helps in too many ways that the normal literature doesn’t seem to quantify.

  2. I agree – it’s not a gift. I’d much rather NOT have it or have the option, like you said, of returning it! But it is what it is. I guess thinking of it as a gift makes it less offensive and easier to swallow.

     

     
  3. The only time my ADHD is a gift is when I become microfocused on something that I actually need to get done! That rarely happens. Usually I microfocus on whatever shiny thing is most entertaining at the moment.

  4. D K Powell says:

    I can see both sides to this! I loved the quote at the end – that is so very me! The great thing about living in Bangladesh was that no one uses their given name – everyone is ‘brother’ or ‘aunty’ and so on. It made life very easy for me!

    I DO see my ADHD as a gift but that’s because it enables me to work at very high speed and have interests in many, many fascinating subject (several of which gave me a wonderfully varied career as a teacher and now come in useful to me as a freelance writer). I’m not unaware of my issues (ask my wife to find out ALL of them ;) ) but overall if you could give me a pill to make it go away I wouldn’t take it. I love my ADHD – its the best present life/God/fate ever gave me :)

    • ken – thank you for showing the other side. I too like the hyper work when i can focus it and the varied interests when i can do anything with any of them instead of trying to ride off in all directions at once, and when I’m not trying to schedule 36 hours of stuff to do into 12 hours of wake time and when I can prioritize the ones that will pay off, but I wonder if my issues don’t outweigh my benefits. I’m not sure, I also like the creativity.
      So if the pill took away the ADD, would it also take away all the good things? Probably?
      I think I would take it.
      however, that is not an option because there is no such pill, so I’m happy with the Ritalin. That helps me focus enough to get some things done and doesn’t take away anything, and helps me focus enough to use the strategies to cope with the other stuff.
      Thank you for your insightful comment.
      Doug

  5. Gail – I hope tomorrow will be much better. Just because we can cope and survive. I don’t think that makes it a gift? If my legs amputated, and I learned to walk on a prosthesis, does that make the amputation a gift?
    But, on the other hand, I agree, there are a lot of things much worse than ADD ADHD, so we can be grateful.
    Thank you for commenting.
    Doug

  6. Gail B says:

    Interesting concept. Not sure about ADHD being a gift. On the days when life does not go as planned, such as forgetting an important task, I am reminded (again and again) that I have to take extra measures to survive in the world. Perhaps ADHD is a gift when you actively participate in surving the common everyday events? But then, I know so many different people who have to adjust for something. I do feel fortunate at times that I can usually deal with life’s events by adding structure.

    Today was not one of the better days.

    After talking to a close friend about this whole gift thing and saying I would gladly lose my depression, she (who also struggles with depression even more than I do) said that the depression gives us compassion. I think that is true for ADD and all sorts of other things that we struggle with. A Priest once told me to be thankful for the things that go “wrong” as well as the things that go “right”. That is a very difficult one for me, but it really helps me to see that things do turn around and some things that seemed very “wrong” eventually turn and blossom in ways I could never have imagined. A crazy metaphor for this is I have been practicing running barefoot on gravel to help my running form (which has always been lousy) become smooth and learn not to pound. Who in their right mind would look for sharp gravel when barefoot? It has helped so much though! Go figure.
    Thank you Doug for a great blog!
    All the best,
    Scott

    • Scott – thank you for great comments!
      Yes, I’ve seen many things that I thought were really bad turn out to have been blessings in disguise. Or at least to work out okay in the end. My ADD has not been one of those yet.
      Depression maybe teaches compassion, after it is over. Usually when we’re depressed, we are miserable and pretty much focused on ourselves and our misery, and not compassionate at all.
      barefoot on gravel?
      Wow! Good for you.
      Thank you for commenting.
      Doug

    • Love the running on gravel example, Scott. I do agree that having ADD/ADHD (or anything difficult) helps us to be more compassionate. The people who don’t seem to have many issues don’t tend to be very understanding of those who do. I came across someone like that recently and was amazed at how little compassion she had.

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, attitudes, controversies, dysfunctions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

ADD ADHD and Eating Mangoes??? — ADD Tip O the Day 574

ADD ADHD and No Patience

I love mangoes but I rarely eat them.  Peeling a mango is a hassle.                                     Don’t we all want instant gratification with minimal effort?

A Revelation

Then I had a miraculous spectacular stupendous revelation.                                                   And now I know how to peel mangoes the right way.

How to peel a mango

Don’t.

Who told you you have to peel mangoes? 

Don’t do it.

Just wash the fruit and take a bite out of it.  Ummm, delicious!

I spit out the peel or else I swallow it without chewing it..

Actually, you can eat the peel; it has a good mangoey flavor, but it’s a little bitter.

What In The World Does This Have To Do With ADD ADHD, You May Be Asking?

First, it involves identifying a problem.  In this case, two problems:

         1) I don’t eat enough mangoes –  because  –    2) they’re too hard to peel.

But I don’t have to accept that this is just the way life is; No, it’s a problem.

Second, once we identify something as a problem, we can come up with a strategy.

I believe that every problem has a solution, or at least a strategy to help cope with it.

Our life can be better.

Start 2015 off right, enjoying your mangoes.

doug             

Bonus Tip O the Day :

It’s also fine to eat sweet potato skins- has vitamins and roughage, saves peeling and waste, and they’re not bitter.

Bonus Links O the Day:

Have an organized 2015

Dr Mason’s Secret about ADD ADHD

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD,strategies, problems,problem-solving,problem solving,ADD strategies,ADHD strategies

Two Mangoes, Unpeeled

                            

 

 

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD,strategies, problems,problem-solving,problem solving,ADD strategies,ADHD strategies,your life can be better

Two Mangoes, Close-up

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

Goals, Self Abuse, and ADD ADHD– – – ADD Tip O the Day 573

New Year’s Goals

At the beginning of a new year, we often yield to the temptation to set new goals. We did this last year, and the year before, but we don’t seem to learn. How did that work out for you?

Actually, it can be helpful to set goals, especially if we have ADD ADHD.                           Here are some strategies to help make it helpful.

Strategies

Set reasonable goals.  (When you finally meet a goal, you can always set a new one.)

Think small steps.

Encourage and reward yourself.

Expect setbacks and have a plan for them.

Do not beat yourself up, and stop that negative self talk.

Medications may help, or not.

doug

Meeting Your Goals, from Maria

Meeting your goals Without Abusing Yourself,  from Kelli

Bonus Links:

Goals 1         Goals 2       Goals 3

Smalls Steps

Self Talk 1     Self Talk 2

IMG_2441

 

 

 

 

      Time and the river keep flowing, no matter what you do.

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, attitudes, clutter, dysfunctions, medication, organize | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

2014 in review: report on the blog from wordpress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in add | Leave a comment

The ADD ADHD Year In Review –– – ADD Tip O the Day 572

Another Year with ADD ADHD

We are starting a new year, 2015 -I just thought I would remind you of that, since so many of us are chronologically challenged.

2014 has certainly been interesting:

ADD ADHD Bashing:

Esquire bashed ADD ADHD,  followed by the New York Times crusade against us and against medication to help us.  Esquire   NYT 1     NYT2

Actually, I’m  overly sensitive (another ADD ADHD trait?) – some of this was bashing but some of it was just silliness.

ADD ADHD controversies: 

Does ADD ADHD even exist? – Well,  scientific evidence continues accumulating that shows our brains are different.      Brain 1    Brain 2

Is ADD ADHD a disease? A disorder? A syndrome? A normal variation? –  I was surprised to find that there is no clear, coherent accepted definition of “disease”.                    Disorder?  Disorder 2?

Should children be treated for ADD ADHD?  –  Or should we just stand by and watch their lives go down the toilet?   Treat?

Is it overdiagnosed or underdiagnosed? – I think both. I believe diagnosis should be made carefully by a qualified professional.  Evaluation        Qualified

Is ADD ADHD a gift? Do the benefits outweigh the problems?-  We have a higher incidence of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, arrest, school dropout, job problems, and divorce.  And daily hassles. The benefits would have to be pretty heavy.               Benefits  Controversies

The blog:

The blog was named the number one ADHD blog of 2014  by psychcentral!       clik

(I was astonished, thrilled, and very grateful.)

We’ve had over 55,000 hits from all over the world.

Lots of comments –I love comments!                                                                                       Homey is the top contributor and has been a great asset to the blog. Thanks, Homey!   Homey

Also thanks to Scott, DK  and all the commenters.  You add so much!

Favorite post:  Lisa’s beautiful description of life with ADD ADHD keeps  pulling them in. Lisa 1   Lisa 2     Lisa 3

The books:

The books have sold nearly 19,000 copies so far, and there’s been lots of feedback from people who have found them helpful.  Again, I’m astonished, thrilled, and very grateful.

You’re Life Can Be Better              Living Daily with Adult ADD ADHD

New Strategies:

This isn’t new,  but with moving, I’ve realized again just how important structure is. structure

I’ve added several new strategies this year; may make another blog on this.            strategies

Summary:

2014 has had its good points and it’s not so much.                                                                     I’m looking forward to 2015, and wishing the very best to all of you.

Thank you for all your interest and support.  (And comments.)

Doug

Interesting Image

 

 

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, controversies, diagnosis, dysfunctions, educate yourself, medication, science, stimulants, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Christmas and ADD ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 571

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD, gifts of ADD,gifts of ADHD,benefits of ADD, ADHD, benefits, positive attitude, ADD and depression, depression, and ADHD

We are blessed with an abundance. El Castillo dessert table.

May each of you have a blessed Christmas – and if Christmas is not your holiday, I still pray you have a blessed Christmas day anyway and also your own holiday days.

This is a good time to reflect on our blessings (though some of us don’t consider  our ADD ADHD among them).

Actually, reflecting on our blessings is a good strategy throughout the year.  It helps keep things in focus and is a good antidepressant.

Bonus Link:

great new free little easy ADD ADHD book -highly recommmended!  a gift

Nonsense O the Day:

This post has been checked for political correctness (by me).

doug

Posted in add, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD strategies, attitudes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Gifts and Benefits of ADD ADHD, Again – ADD Tip O the Day 570

Different viewpoints

Many of you do see ADD ADHD as a gift, and you focus on the benefits. I think focusing on the positives is a good strategy. I guess I take the positives for granted and focus on trying to find strategies to help cope with the negatives.  Or at least I try to focus.

from Scott:

“I consider ADD a gift at least for me. It helps me see different perspectives, come up with twisty connections for things “Normal” people wouldn’t consider connected, helps me get interested in all sorts of cool things and see how other people can enjoy those things. I love it when I get hyperfocused on a project and dealing with ADD has helped me find yet one more reason I need to get regular exercise”

from Homey:

“I agree – it’s not a gift. I’d much rather NOT have it or have the option, like you said, of returning it! But it is what it is. I guess thinking of it as a gift makes it less offensive and easier to swallow.”

from Livelife:

“The only time my ADHD is a gift is when I become microfocused on something that I actually need to get done! That rarely happens. Usually I microfocus on whatever shiny thing is most entertaining at the moment.”

from D K powell:

“I DO see my ADHD as a gift but that’s because it enables me to work at very high speed and have interests in many, many fascinating subject (several of which gave me a wonderfully varied career as a teacher…….if you could give me a pill to make it go away I wouldn’t take it. I love my ADHD – its the best present life/God/fate ever gave me :)”

from Gail:

“… Not sure about ADHD being a gift. On the days when life does not go as planned, such as forgetting an important task, I am reminded (again and again) that I have to take extra measures to survive in the world. Perhaps ADHD is a gift when you actively participate in surving the common everyday events?”

from Sarah-louise:

“… gifts are supposed to be nice surprises. it’s not a gift when you have to find good out of something with is a problem most of the time.”

from me: the gifts include creativity, wide range of interest, ability to hyperfocus, thinking outside the box, and not always being constrained to act like other people do.

I hope to comment a little bit more on these gifts next time.

Doug

 

Question O the Day:

Are there two sides to the question of whether there are two sides to every question?

The original post: Benefits of ADD ADHD

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,adult ADD,adult ADHD, gifts of ADD,gifts of ADHD,benefits of ADD, ADHD, benefits, controversies, opinions

Why I have trouble keeping up with the blogs.

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, attitudes, controversies, dysfunctions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

More ADD ADHD Strategy— ADD Tip O the Day 569

No willpower with ADD ADHD

We’re moved into our new place, love it! Still unpacking (don’t love that).

One problem – the food. It’s terrific. I’ve gained pounds. There’s a choice of four desserts, and at least one of them is chocolate.  Have I ever written about a lack of willpower?         As in none?

I don’t know if the weight  problem is more due to the delicious entrees or to the ice cream after the third helping of desert.  But when they serve pecan pie and tiramasu on the same menu, and offer unlimited mint chocolate chip ice cream, what’s a guy sposed to do?

Strategy – the grateful notebook

I keep a “grateful” notebook by my bedside, and every night record several things I’m grateful for. This practice is a good antidepressant  and helps me stay aware. I also record my weight (ugh!) and the routine things I’ve accomplished for the day – E,S,G – for exercise, Spanish, guitar.  This helps me keep track of what’s happening and to be responsible, and is also a reward, positive reinforcement.

New strategy – D

Now I have a new rule – only one dessert and only one scoop of ice cream.  Now each night I record “D” and the number of desserts. Later I may cut down further on the deserts and ice cream but “small steps” is one of the keys to success.

doug

Four posts on willpower

one   two   three   four

Two on ADD ADHD and weight

one    two

Quote O the Day

“Too much is never enough.”    Old Texas saying

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,willpower,lack of willpower,ADD and weight,ADHD and weight,overweight,over eating,strategy,strategies,

El Castillo dessert table.

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,willpower,lack of willpower,ADD and weight,ADHD and weight,overweight,over eating,strategy,strategies,

One of the gifts of ADD ADHD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Benefits of ADD ADHD — ADD Tip O the Day 568

ADD ADHD as a gift?

Christmas makes us think of gifts, hopefully among other things, and that reminds me of those who write about enjoying the gift of ADD ADHD.

Yes, we do tend to be creative, think outside the box, be able to multiple task, and have exciting lives – if you call jumping from catastrophe to catastrophe exciting.

And I do appreciate those aspects, but in honesty, if my ADD ADHD is a gift, I would like to know where I could return it.

Here is an example from a book blurb:

Making ADHD a Gift advocates that individuals with ADHD use their disorder to maximize attention span, improve social skills, harness impulsivity, and turn hyperactivity into periods of extreme productivity

Personally, I do enjoy the occasional hyper productivity, especially when it is  on something that is in fact productive, but I don’t understand how I can use my weaknesses to improve my weaknesses.??  But, I haven’t read the book.

Research from the net:

I did a little research on ADD ADHD being a gift, and most of it seems to be saying to realize and utilize your strengths, don’t think of yourself as a loser and a victim, and when you recognize the problems your ADD ADHD  is causing you, come up with strategies to cope with them rather than being destroyed by them. Nothing there I would disagree with, except the original concept of the gift.

Being positive about ADD ADHD

So to me, when I recognize my ADD ADHD problems, I’m not being negative, I’m being positive, because then I can come up with strategies for them. And still appreciate and use my strengths, and find the kind of job or activities that are best suited for me.

doug

from Edwin Brodin – 4 surprising benefits of having ADD ADHD

Bonus links:

I decided not to include them, because overall, they didn’t make much sense to me. Sorry.

Question o the Day:

What is your position on this question?  Are you grateful for your gift of ADD ADHD?     Do you acknowledge the problems so you can cope with them?

But I'll never forget your face!  I won't be able to put it into context, or know how i know you.... what did you say you name was, again?

Is this a gift?

 

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, attitudes, controversies, dysfunctions, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Dyslexia and ADD ADHD – – – ADD Tip O the Day 567

ADD ADHD and dyslexia run together

I’ve just finished reading a very interesting book on dyslexia.

The author, a prize winning poet!,  talks extensively about his life long experience with dyslexia. It is heart rending. but when I read it, so much of it is familiar – he never mentions ADD ADHD, but I wonder if he has both.  We know that they often run together.

Or could it just be that the long-term consequences of both– shame, depression, lack of confidence, etc. -are so similar?

Both ADD ADHD and dyslexia have demonstrated brain “abnormalities”, but  not the same ones.

Questions of the day:

1. Do you have dyslexia too?

2. What do you make of all this?

The book would be educational reading for anyone who wonders what it is like living with ADD ADHD.

My Dyslexia

Whine O the Day:

As if ADD ADHD weren’t enough.

doug

Bonus Links:

More on dyslexia

ADD ADHD and reading

more on reading

 

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, studying and learning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Have You Heard? Christmas Is Coming! — ADD Tip O the Day 566

Not this time, ADD!

With my ADD ADHD, Christmas usually sneaks up on me and I’m rushing to try to find a gift for my wife.  But this time I’m ahead.  Why, it’s two whole weeks away, and I’m already thinking about it!

The  ADD trap and the red flag

Actually, with ADD ADHD, everything sneaks up on me.  It’s a red flag when I hear myself thinking, “It’s two whole weeks.”  That seems like way far off but I need to realize it’s just around the corner or I’ll be in trouble, again. The red flag warns me of the trap.

Strategies

Fortunately, Christmas falls late in the month, so every time I check my appointment book, there’s a chance I might see it – it’s circled in red.  And with ADD ADHD, I’ve needed to make the habit of checking the appointment book many time a day.

And the three month at a glance calendar on my wall also shows the 25th in red. And I need to look at it frequently too.

And “Christmas present” is on my to do list for today (of course, it was on yesterday’s list too.)

So hopefully this will work and my marriage will stay safe.

ADD ADHD and time

This is a major problem.  Why??  It doesn’t seem to be just due to lack of focus.              Need lots of strategies to cope with this.

doug

bonus links:

Homey’s approach to special days

ADD and time

Getting there on time

Appointments

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,strategies,strategy,time,procrastination,marriage

Oh! Is it here already?!!

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, procrastination, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Another Way to Structure for ADD ADHD – ADD Tip O the Day 565

Missing Posts

Just got back from  Houston seeing our daughter win a big award. Just got moved into our new apartment, lost my travel computer in the process. (Also lost my house keys on the trip). Could not get organized to do a post on the trip.

Unstructured (Disstructured?)

The move has me totally messed up, but now that we’re in it’s time to reorganize. Here’s one strategy:

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,strategies,schedule,structure,strategy,disorganization

A weekly schedule.

 

 

 

I want to keep up with my blogging, marketing, guitar, Spanish, etc.– and I sure haven’t been. With this schedule, each day I have one or two things that I specifically devote time to. When I have done them, then I will do other things. By the end of the week, each of those actions will have been addressed at least once.

, for example – I’m determined to do some writing each Thursday. That doesn’t mean I won’t do it other days also, but I will get some writing done on Thursday for sure.

Restructuring

This provides  structure and cuts down on having to decide what to do.  It’s time to get back on track – I’m tired of floundering around.

doug

Did I mention that our daughter won an award?

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

Greater Houston Women’s Hall Of Fame

 

 

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

ADHD “Natural Fix” Letters to the Editor; and ADD ADHD Brains— ADD Tips O the Day 564

Dr. Marx posted the letters to the editor about the sensational NYT article “The Natural Fix” for ADHD.

I was surprised that they’re so positive. And from some apparently credentialed people. And there wasn’t a single negative one.

Very surprised.

Am I once again just being too suspicious?

Here’s the letters

My comment on the article

What do you think???

I promised to provide summaries of the studies I quoted:

The  brain has two systems, one is on when our brain is resting, and another when we are focusing on something. When one of them is on, the other is supposed to be off.  But in us ADDers, they both stay on all the time. We are pressing the accelerator and the brakes at the same time. And that persists even in people who appear to have outgrown their ADD ADHD.

Also our brains have fewer dopamine receptors in the reward network, which suggests it would take something extra intense to satisfy us.

Our brains are different.

Yes, Virginia, ADD ADHD exists.

The quotes from the studies are here

doug

Bonus link-“Does ADHD Exist?”

Bonus Bonus link – ” The brain in ADD ADHD” -about basal ganglia

Bonus factoid:

People who have two long versions of a dopamine receptor gene are more likely to have ADD ADHD. This is a new concept to me and I haven’t digested it yet.

ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit,natural fix for ADHD,NYT article and adhd,nyt article and natural fix,ADD brain,ADHD brain

This makes everything clear now, right?     Right?

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, controversies, dysfunctions, educate yourself, science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy ADD ADHD Thanksgiving – – – ADD Tip O the Day 563

Challenging Occasions

Thanksgiving can be particularly challenging for those of us with ADD ADHD                  (but then, so can any day).

Checklist

Adjust as fits if you are the host/hostess or if you are a guest.           Check all that apply

1. Didn’t burn the turkey nor serve it still partly frozen.

2. Didn’t spill all the gravy on the rug.

3. While “helping” with the dishes, didn’t break more than one.

4. Didn’t inadvertently insult the host or hostess or a distinguished guest.

5. Didn’t drink way too much, or if you did, did not barf in a conspicuous place or require much help to get to your bed or car.

6. Didn’t tell  more than one grossly inappropriate joke or sing more than one unrequested song.

7. Your significant other has not requested a separation or divorce – yet.

8. miscellaneous – you did not break any furniture, get into any fistfights,  set fire to anything, pull the tablecloth and dishes off the table, arrive more than one hour late or at the wrong house or give erroneous directions to incoming guests.

Test results

If you scored four or more checks, congratulate yourself – you successfully got through another  Thanksgiving (successfully for someone with ADD ADHD).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Doug

We are especially thankful that we are moved into our new digs. Hallelujah!

bonus links

clumsy

clumsier

blurting out

ADD ADHD and relationships

ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit, ADD and social problems, ADHD and social problems, clumsiness, and ADD, clumsiness, and ADHD, blurting out, ADD and inappropriate, inappropriate and ADHD

Well, but you are creative!

 

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, dysfunctions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Moving with ADD ADHD – – – ADD Tip O the Day 562

Are we having fun yet?

Nothing tests a marriage quite like moving. Probably even more so with ADD ADHD.

Strategies:

1. Recognize that your life is in turmoil. Your structure is gone. Your schedule is in disarray. You will barely be able to function at all.                                                                   Your job right now is moving.

2. Recognize that she is very stressed; don’t take it personally.

3. Get all the help you can.

4. Remind yourself, this too shall pass.

5. Try to maintain the practices that help you cope with stress: my quiet time, exercise, the little Blue Book.

6. Perhaps this will prove to have been an opportunity to take a look at things, restructure, reorganize and reprioritize, and perhaps something better will evolve out of it.                    Or perhaps it will just prove to have been a major pain in the neck.

Doug

Bonus Links:

Structure in ADD ADHD

Relationships and ADD ADHD

The Blue Book

 

Sometimes it all just seems a little too much.

Sometimes it all just seems a little too much.

Posted in add, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD strategies, attitudes, marriage, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Stimulants for Children with ADD ADHD? – – – ADD Tip O the Day 561

New report on stimulants for children with ADD ADHD

It depends on how you spin it :

The headline:

Increased risk of cardiovascular events in children on stimulants – Wow! Bad!

Makes a sensational headline.

111 children out of 714,258 had events.  The events were dose-related.                                     It doesn’t mention deaths; that might suggest there were none.  I don’t know.

That’s .01554 % if my calculations are correct.

I would like to see a study of the risks of water, or carrots ( I’m sure some children have choked on carrots), or exercise.

Reevaluation of risks

Dr. Mason on side effects of exercise

doug

Bonus links:

Homey’s grocery list

Kiera on organizing, candy and grocery lists

Is Ritalin safe?

Studies on the safety of stimulant medicines 

stimulants, ADD medication, ADHD medicine, stimulant medicine, stimulant medication, stimulant abuse, stimulant misuse,ADD, ADHD, adult ADD, adult ADHD, attention deficit, ADD controversies, ADHD controversies, Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, Daytrana, amphetamines

Do what’s best for the children.

 

Posted in add, adhd, ADHD problems, controversies, medication, science, stimulants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Startling Thing From The NYT Natural Fix ADHD Article – – – ADD Tip O the Day 560

From the NYT sensational article on ADD ADHD

This is the thing that startled me:

Psychostimulants like Adderall and Ritalin help by blocking the transport of dopamine back into neurons, thus increasing its level in the brain.

I’d understood that the stimulants  work by increasing the release of dopamine and norepinephrine.

When I looked this up on the net, I found studies supporting both effects, including contradictory studies from Dr. Volkow.

What’s a poor boy to do?  I’m sure, or at least hopeful, that some of you out there can clear this up?

Please!

An excerpt:

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, a scientist who directs the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has studied the dopamine reward pathway in people with A.D.H.D. Using a PET scan, she and her colleagues compared the number of dopamine receptors in this brain region in a group of unmedicated adults with A.D.H.D. with a group of healthy controls. What she found was striking. The adults with A.D.H.D. had significantly fewer D2 and D3 receptors (two specific subtypes of dopamine receptors) in their reward circuits than did healthy controls. Furthermore, the lower the level of dopamine receptors was, the greater the subjects’ symptoms of inattention.

Yes, we are little different aren’t we?

More studies: 

If you don’t want to wade through these, I’ll summarize them in another post.

Aaron T. Mattfeld, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now at Florida International University in Miami, compared the brain function with resting-state M.R.I.s of three groups of adults: those whose childhood A.D.H.D persisted into adulthood; those whose had remitted; and a control group who never had a diagnosis of it. Normally, when someone is unfocused and at rest, there is synchrony of activity in brain regions known as the default mode network, which is typically more active during rest than during performance of a task. (In contrast, these brain regions in people with A.D.H.D. appear functionally disconnected from each other.) Dr. Mattfeld found that adults who had had A.D.H.D as children but no longer had it as adults had a restoration of the normal synchrony pattern, so their brains looked just like those of people who had never had it.

But from MIT

In people without it, when the default mode network is active, another network, called the task-positive network, is inhibited. When the brain is focusing, the task-positive network takes over and quiets the default mode network. This reciprocal relationship is necessary in order to focus.

Both groups of adult A.D.H.D. patients, including those who had recovered, displayed simultaneous activation of both networks, as if the two regions were out of step, working at cross-purposes. Thus, adults who lost most of their symptoms did not have entirely normal brain activity.

So, if we lose most of our symptoms, like in a perfect work or  school environment, our brains still function differently.

The NYT article – What??  You haven’t read it yet?!

doug

ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit,strategies,,disorder,disease,ADD symptoms,ADHD symptoms,controversies,Does ADD exist,does adhd exist,add and teaching, ADHD and teaching,school and ADHD,school and ADD,nyt, New York Times article

We can all use a little help.

Bonus Links:

The NYT War On Ritalin

Ritalin – cons and pros

Posted in add | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Natural Fix For ADD ADHD Revealed At Last —ADD Tip o the Day 559

From the sensational new New York Times article:

I promised to reveal “the natural fix for ADHD.”

So, here it comes.

Both parts.

Part A:

Adults should find a job that is suitable for them!

But wait, there’s more!

Part B :

Here it comes – wait for it. – Wait for it. – Wait for it. –

Schools should adjust to fit children’s needs!

Let me repeat that.  Schools should adjust to fit children’s needs.

Wow! Who’d a thought it?!  What a novel concept! Bet you didn’t see that one coming!

Yes, kids will do better in a school that fits their needs. But they’ll still forget their homework, unless there’s no homework. They’ll still blurt out.  Fidget. Daydream. Have trouble getting along with other kids. Lose their pencils, and their gloves, and their hats. Etc.

Point being, if the environment is just right, kids and adults will have less trouble from their symptoms, and they’ll have maximum opportunity to excel, but they’ll still have   ADD ADHD, won’t they?

But there’s still  more to say about this  article.

One thing startled me, about the stimulants.

And there’s some interesting science; may I even say, nuggets, hidden in the BS.

More next time.

doug

Bonus links

Mike’s comment on my comment

Science or hash?

ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit,strategies,,disorder,disease,ADD symptoms,ADHD symptoms,controversies,Does ADD exist,does adhd exist,add and teaching, ADHD and teaching,school and ADHD,school and ADD,nyt, New York Times article

Blurting!

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, controversies, dysfunctions, educate yourself, medication, science, stimulants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Does ADHD Exist? Again???? — ADD Tip O the Day 558

  • A short break  from the New York Times sensational breakthrough article on “The Natural Fix For ADHD”.
  •   Have a little patience, and I promise to give you the “natural fix” next time.      Patience! That’s like asking a rhinoceros to fly.
  • So I’ll give you a little preview, a secret – The Fix for ADHD has two parts.  Two!

Now here’s a question from Britta

  • Britta Bech Gulbrandsen

    Temporary Accountant at Appoint Vikar og Rekruttering AS

    “The struggles, the symptoms and the challenges of ADHD exist, so therefore I think we can conclude that ADHD is a “real thing”. I think the question is not whether it exist, but whether ADHD is an umbrella term for things we do not understand, a collection of symptoms for poor adjustment or a term for “not fitting into the conforme box” that society today wants us to?”

    “If a child (or adult for that matter) can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn?”

    Britta- certainly we should teach the way children can learn, and we need to make adjustments if they’re blind, or deaf, or have ADHD, for example. Beyond that, our educational system in the US could certainly be improved for all students.
    If we could design the perfect program in the perfect school for a child with ADHD, then their symptoms should be much less troublesome, although that certainly doesn’t mean that they no longer have ADHD.
    The symptoms of ADHD are pretty specific. It certainly can lead to poor adjustment or not fitting into the box, but it shouldn’t be diagnosed on that unless the specific symptoms are there.

    What’s my problem?

    • I’m not clear – when I can’t sit still without jiggling my feet, can’t focus, get distracted and veer off into nonproductive activities, procrastinate, can’t finish what I started, lose my keys and can’t find where I parked my car – are those more “poor adjustment” or more “not fitting into the conforme box”?

    Britta was responding to Josfien’s question

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADHD problems, controversies, diagnosis, distraction, dysfunctions, educate yourself | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Trivializing ADD ADHD, part two from the NYT — ADD Tip O the Day 557

Yes, ADD ADHD exists

Dr. Friedman’s article contains a mixture of scientific tidbits which support the existence of ADD ADHD  and the dismissal of its significance.

His patient the lateuses Adderal to help her focus but can deletefocus for hours on painting, which she loves. Yes, we can focus when it’s of personal interest, novel, challenging, or has a heavy immediate deadline.  When we do it for hours, we call it hyper focus. So??

The “real problem”

“… looks like a lack of focus and attention, and impulsive behavior. But if you have the “illness”, the real problem is that, to your brain, the world that you live in essentially feels not very interesting.” 

– The “real problem”? So disinterest is what causes me to procrastinate, and not finish, and blurt out, fidget, lose my keys, forget where I parked, have trouble with priorities, and get distracted and go off on nonproductive tangents? Really?

Certainly I do have trouble doing things that don’t interest me.  But one of my biggest problems is that so many things in the world are so very interesting that I have trouble choosing and tend to go off in all directions at once.

What is a “disease”?

And if that were “the real problem,”, does that make it not a disease? Does that mean those problems really are not significant?  I cannot find a clear definition of the term, disease. There is some confusion between symptoms and a disorder. Usually a disease causes dis-ease, but not always. Some people have diabetes for years before it makes them uncomfortable. And is hypertension a disease?

The doctor notes that our brains are deficient in certain dopamine receptors; doesn’t that sound like a disease? Like people with type I diabetes are lacking in insulin?

– and there’s more

but this is long enough. Next time.

Doug

Links

On previous NYT ADD ADHD bashing

Ditto- the anti-ADD ADHD crusade

Dr. Friedman’s NYT article

Definition O the Day:

Confidence – that feeling you have before you fully comprehend the situation.

 

 

Irrelevant ad O the Day:

By the way, our lovely Santa Fe  home is for sale as we prepare to move into the city. If you are ready to realize your Santa Fe dream, let me know.           clik

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, attitudes, controversies, diagnosis, dysfunctions, educate yourself, medication, science, stimulants, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

ny times again downing ADD ADHD — ADD Tip o the DAY 556

More ADD ADHD Controversy

I’m slogging through the November 2 New York Times article, “A Natural Fix for ADHD”. It’s not as nasty as the recent series of articles they ran; it’s more subtle. I’m having to take it in small chunks and trying to grasp it as I go. Oh my.

The author, “Richard A. Friedman, MD is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of the Psychopharmacology Clinic. He specializes in Anxiety and Mood Disorders and has expertise in Psycho-Pharmacology and Refractory Depression.” at Weill Cornell Medical College.

And I’m just a poor old country boy who has ADD ADHD. How can I question this expert?

The Expert

He asks, “– whether something that affects so many people can really be a disease.”             I don’t know. Cancer affects a lot of people. If the majority of people are obese, does that make obesity “normal”?

He says, “that people with ADHD are actually hardwired for novelty – seeking”. Is he implying that that makes it not a disease or not a problem?

“… People with ADHD may not have a disease, so much as a set of behavioral traits that don’t match the expectations of our contemporary culture.” Would that be true of people who compulsively shoplift or gamble or hoard or have to check that the doors are locked exactly 9 times before they leave, or of people with schizophrenia, or possibly of people with severe depression, which apparently is his specialty?

I’m just getting started. But wait till you hear what his “natural fix” is!

And the question of how Ritalin, Adderall, amphetamines, and the other stimulants work.

Next time.

doug

The Relevant Links

Dr. Friedman‘s article

Dr. Mason’s comment on Dr. Friedman’s article

how ritalin works

on Dr. Friedman himself, note that his listed areas of expertise do not include ADD ADHD

ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit,controversies, ADHD controversies,Ritalin,Adderall,stimulants,amphetamines,ADHD medication for children,ADD children and medicine.

Let’s all just stay calm!

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, adhd, ADHD problems, controversies, dysfunctions, educate yourself, medication, science, stimulants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A Little of Everything —Tip o the Day 555

Mottoes

One of my favorite mottoes  is, “If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.”

My wife’s favorite motto is, “I cannot stand clutter!”

Can you see where this is heading?

Of course I have other mottoes, “Do it now, do it right, do the hard part first.”

But if I can’t see it, I’m likely not to do it at all.

Willpower?

Halloween has come and went.

Are you aware that there are some people who can eat just a little bit of candy?

Amazing!

 ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit,strategies,coping with ADD,coping with ADHD,life with ADD,life with ADHD,self-control, lack of self control, willpower,lack of willpower,clutter

      Michael and London trick or treat

Context

We learn in context.

I put my password into the computer at least three times a day without even thinking. When we went to the weekend resort, I couldn’t remember it.

It’s called state dependent learning.

doug

Bonus links:

I’ve written on willpower a lot. Maybe it’s an important issue?

one          two          three           four      five      six         seven      eight

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Best ADD ADHD Strategy – Overdone?– – – ADD Tip o the Day 554

Too Many ADD ADHD Cards

My wife says I have too many cards in my pocket. She’s often right, and I do sometimes have trouble finding where I wrote down something.

Red card – the to do list of five.

Orange card – for to-dos that aren’t ready to go on the red card, or there’s not room for them.

Yellow cards –more things to do, someday.

White cards -for study and for help. Ideas for blogs, music theory to learn, Spanish to learn (list of irregular predicate verbs; vocabulary), map of cities in New Mexico.

Blue cards – the rest of my brain – all kinds of facts I’d like to have available but I’m not trying to learn. People’s names, phone numbers, websites, the city I visited in Bolivia and can never remember the name of.

Green card – media. One side for books I want to read and the other side for movies to order from Netflix.

So I have too many cards in my pocket? Which ones would I give up?

Lord knows I can’t try to rely on my brain.

doug

ADD ADHD Comment O the Day

Sometimes I have trouble getting anything done. Sometimes I have trouble stopping what I’m doing. Often, if I do do something, I overdo it.

Bonnie’s program starts today                                                                                 

Bonus links:

using cards

using cards, part two

to do lists   

 365 Tip's o the Day, read one a day, at your own pace         

365 Tip’s o the Day, read one a day, at your own pace

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,strategies,to do list, focus, staying on task, overdoing it, cards

let’s stay focused on the main task?

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, clutter, dysfunctions, organize, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

bonnie mincu’s add adhd course

a day late and a dollar short – that’s me, with ADD ADHD

bonnie’s course starts tomorrow, and of course, I got on it too late and so I’m sending you this last-minute urgent or semi-urgent message to give you a chance.

Here’s the course

doug

Posted in add | Leave a comment

Homey’s 10 ADD ADHD Strategies — ADD Tip o the Day 553

Great post

Homey put up such a great ADD ADHD post that I was tempted to just copy it here, but that didn’t seem quite right.  So I’ll compromise, and just copy one of her strategies:

  1. Focus. Nearly everyone with ADD/ADHD has trouble with this one.  It’s the nature of the condition, unfortunately.  This past Friday it took me all day to clean the kitchen.  I kept getting distracted.  I’ve opened half the curtains on the living room windows but forgotten to open the other half.  I’ve fixed milk for my grandkids and left it on the counter.  I’ve given one of them their milk but not the other.  I’ve left the refrigerator open.  Yes, I get distracted.  A lot.  Unfortunately this one is a tough one to fix.  But I have a few strategies that help:  Solution:  (1)  Sometimes I set a timer to work on a certain task.  If I get distracted by something else, I talk myself into waiting until the timer goes off.  (2)  I try to schedule my day in specific blocks.  For example, I prefer to have:

Blogging Time
Cooking Time
Chore Time
Etc.

If I’m trying to do only one type of task, it’s easier to focus.  If I’m trying to do a little of this and a little of that, it’s really easy to get distracted.  (3)  This strategy seems contradictory to the last one but it really does work.  Sometimes, instead of a traditional to-do list, I make a list of 5 things I can do right now.  I choose one of the tasks, go do it, come back and mark it off.  Then I choose another, go do it, come back and mark it off.  I repeat that process until all five are done.  When they’re all done, I make a list of 5 more.  This can be really effective.

ADD ADHD Strategies

This is full of strategies, did you see them? –  structure, focus on one, limit to do list to five, stay on track (I write down the distracting idea for later.)

Homey’s list of 10 includes strategies for overwhelm, which is what I’m dealing with right now, and one of the reasons it’s so tempting to just copy Homey’s post.

I recommend it to you.

doug

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention deficit,strategies,

Distractions, anyone?

 Homey’s 10 ADD ADHD strategies

Bonus strategy:

My wife just pointed out that we haven’t had a vacation in a year! When I’m overdue on a vacation, I get irritable, grouchy, even less efficient, even more distractible, and even more prone to feeling overwhelmed.

I need to plan a vacation now.

Bonus links:

On focus

Another on focus

Coming soon:

Homey’s tip on overwhelm.

Too many cards!

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, distraction, dysfunctions, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ADD ADHD and Technological Challenges – – – ADD Tip O the Day 552

 The iPhone

I’m walking again for exercise, doing well. I was delighted to find that I can use my iPhone and dictate things while I’m walking! Great multitasking, conservation of time, efficiency, etc. etc. etc.

But I wish I could find a free app that lets me dictate and converts it to text and  saves it on the iPhone, even when I turn it off. I use Dragon right now and like it, but it won’t save the memos. Have to email them to myself right away. Any suggestions?

I was walking along this morning, had done a lot of dictation, and suddenly my iPhone was stuck. I kept sliding my finger at the bottom, and nothing would happen. I was  just seeing my rabbit picture and the time and date. Frustrating. What am I going to lose if I turn it fully off to reset it?  Should I just take it straight into the shop?

I can’t see real well, especially when I’m walking and wearing my sexy shades.                Took me a while to realize that I was sliding my finger in the wrong direction.

HTML Code?  Greek?  Ancient Arabic?

I probably told you that this website was named one of the top 10 ADHD websites for 2014, right? Well, with that award comes a logo  that I can put on the website if I’m not averse to showing off a little bit. They sent a note telling me  how to do that; they gave me a little HTML code to write in . Where? How? Huh?

The Booklet Proof

I got the proof of the new ADD ADHD booklet in the mail today. I was testing create space.  Looks great. Very pleased. I can use create space for my next book! A few glitches need correcting.  How do I do that?  My copy  that I sent in is in PDF form, and it won’t let me do anything. Do I have to start over from scratch to make a few corrections?

Technology is wonderful!

Isn’t it?

Strategies

I need to pick one problem at a time, look it up on the net, and try to resolve it.                Call for help if I have to. Yes, that is what I need to do.

Is this what they mean by the term ” procrastination”.

Doug

Previews? Or Warnings?

1. Soon I may write a bit about Naturally Speaking, the dictation program that I’m using right now.  It’s wonderful, but – – –

2. My wife says I should blog about having too many cards in my pocket, and how I have trouble finding the one I want. Maybe – – –

3. I’m not going to even mention trying to download and install the new update to the antivirus program.

doug

Bonus Links

from Anthony Good  on many aspects of childhood ADHD ADHD and diagnosis

Another technology whine

Dystechnologica

add,adh,adult add,adult adhd,attention,deficit,ADD and technology, technology and ADHD

Some days it does seem a little complicated

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Coping with Turmoil — ADD Tip o the Day 552

Arghhhh!! ADD ADHD and all this too!

We’re selling our house and moving to a wonderful community, El Castillo.            We’re excited about it.

But at the moment, it’s like living in a hurricane and an earthquake at the same time.

We’re restaging our house – i.e., totally rearranging – for better showing.

Each showing means cleaning, neating, and shoving everything into drawers and closets. A headache.

Then bring it all back out so we can actually live here, until the next showing.

And monitoring the remodeling of our new apartment.

In the meantime, I’m trying to keep up with my quiet time, exercise, writing, blogging, learning new medicines, learning new Spanish songs for church,  studying Spanish and guitar.

Oh, my!

Strategies for turmoil:

1. Realize and accept that I can’t do it all; this is not life as usual.

2. Make the quiet time and the exercise priorities; then try to do one thing after that.

Puryear’s rules of human nature number three (or maybe it’s number four. I can’t keep up with them) –”When we’re under stress, the first thing we do is give up doing the things that help us cope with stress.”

3. We’re going to take a few days off and go to a resort, and do nothing. Taking breaks is a great strategy.

Puryear’s rule of human nature number five or so:

  “Nothing will test a marriage like moving.”

Oh, by the way:

Oh, by the way, did I mention that this blog was listed in the top 10 ADHD blogs of 2014?

Did I mention that it was number one?

I am grateful and just a little proud, but I don’t want to brag.  Do I?

doug

Top 10 ADHD  blogs

add,adhd,adult add,adult adhd,attention, deficit,strategies,add and stress,adhd and stress,coping

Everything’s coming up roses!

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Cognitive Maps in ADD ADHD – – – ADD Tip O the Day 551

Cognitive maps

From a course on learning: Starting as babies, we develop two kinds of cognitive maps of our environment. One is directions – go north three blocks, turn left at the pornography store, and right at the next light  –.

The other is a visual image of the landscape which we gradually build up as we explore it.

There’s two kinds, but I’m short one – geographically challenged

My brain never constructs the visual image. I can get lost in our house. In Santa Fe, 20 years now, I still have to look up how to get somewhere, or ask my wife, or follow a map.    I can’t picture where the major intersections are, or anything else.

I also  don’t know where different countries are located, in general. Fortunately, this isn’t so much of a handicap. I do have Mexico and Canada down pretty well by now.

Write it down

This is my strategy. Once I get the directions, I write them down, unless I’ve been there many times. I usually manage okay with the places I go to weekly, but that’s it.

Writing it down is an ADD ADHD strategy I use for many things; trying to hold something in my brain is asking for disaster.

My other strategy is the cell phone, which is a blessing.  Sometimes I can get the GPS to work for me and can follow it; more often, I use the phone to call my wife when I’m lost.  Which is often.

Question of the day

Is this part of ADD ADHD, or a separate dysfunction, dysgeographia, like dyslexia?

Does anyone else have dysgeographia?     

doug                                                                  

ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit,strategies,coping with ADD,coping with ADHD,life with ADD,life with ADHD

Where does this road go?

                                       

Bonus links

Ten tips from Homey

More on I get lost

Another geography strategy

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

I Don’t Wash Wine Glasses – – – ADD Tip O the Day 550

Identify the problem

Every time I put wine glasses in the dishwasher, no matter how I do it, they break.

That’s just part of my ADD ADHD.

Make a strategy

I do not put wine glasses in the dishwasher anymore. I rinse them and set them on the counter for my wife to take care of.

Make it a rule

Do Not Put Wine Glasses In The Dishwasher!

Make it a habit

I never put wine glasses in the dishwasher. 

Now that it’s a habit, I don’t even have to think about it anymore.

Most of life consists of little things

This is just one example of the kind of little things that can pile up to make life more aggravating and difficult if we have ADD ADHD.  When we can identify a problem, and apply the principle – problem, strategy, rule, habit – then our life does go better.

Doug

Puryear’s second corollary to Murphy’s Law

If it can be broken, I’ll do it.

Comment:

One of the reasons I love Spanish -“Se rompio’ el vaso.”  The glass broke itself.

Bonus Links:

Great new free little easy ADD ADHD book -highly recommmended!

Clumsy, dyscoordination, and so on

 

ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,attention deficit,strategies,coping with ADD,coping with ADHD,life with ADD,life with ADHD

See, this one didn’t get broken yet. Lunch in Paris.

 

Posted in add, ADD problems or symptoms, ADD strategies, adhd, ADHD problems, ADHD strategies, dysfunctions, strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Time wasters and addictions – – – ADD Tip O the Day 549

Time wasters, Addictions

I was addicted to computer wargames. They were taking over my time and my mind.            I tried many strategies,  but eventually had to just get rid of them all.                          Nothing else worked.
Next, I got hooked on Free Cell, though not as bad. It’s gone from my computer now.

Currently, I have chess and poker on my iPhone. I only use them at opportune moments and briefly. I don’t think they’re a problem, not yet.

Options

But there are other things I could be doing it at those opportune moments.  My iPhone has good programs on Spanish vocabulary and on the guitar fretboard. My current strategy is to make myself do those before I turn to the chess or poker, usually.  Sometimes I work on all the cards that I carry in my shirt pocket which constantly need updating.

Strategies

There are many good strategies for dealing with these temptations – set a specific time to indulge, set a timer for when to stop, and others. Good strategies, none of them worked for me.  Or for Homey, whose post about time wasters prompted this post.

Positives

There is nothing wrong with these time wasters. They can be beneficial when they provide a break and relaxation, and many of them keep our brain active and stimulated. They provide reward, a sense of mastery, and escape. But when we have lost control, when they take over, that is addiction.   And we can’t do just a little bit.

Links:                                                                                                  

Homey on time wasters  ie games -

ADD ADHD and addictions

Me and FreeCell

Some of my other addictions

 

add,adhd,adult adhd,adult add,add and addiction,adhdand addiction,addiction to games

Peace and calm.

Posted in add | 10 Comments

Stimulants and Religion, misuse and abuse – – – ADD Tip O the Day 548

Part of today’s post is not really about ADD ADHD, but it’s important.

My friend Ken sent a great post today; I have to use it.

What do stimulants and religion have in common?

1. They can both be misused and abused.

2. They were both the subject of such a great post that I had to put the links here and hope you will check them out.

Dr.Rostain on stimulants (link below)

It’s clear that stimulants are being abused, mostly in college. Until there’s more data, I continue to doubt if they help anyone who doesn’t have ADD ADHD (once we have a belief, it’s difficult to change it. We tend to collect data that supports it and ignore data that refutes it.)  If someone wants to stay up all night, it will help do that but I doubt if it helps with learning.

Benefits of stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall,Concerta,Vyvanse,amphetamines)

If someone has ADD ADHD, medications reduce the future incidence of criminality, school dropout, unemployment, and divorce. ( I need to look up the sources to back up these claims; will try to post them later.)

Ken’s comment – not about ADD ADHD, but too good not to post!

The lesson to learn is this: Bad people do bad things and use whatever politically expedient ideology happens to be best at the time.

Bad things happened in the name of Jesus, Allah or the state regardless of what the scriptures or ideals actually say. They happen because bad people do bad things and not because of a belief system followed (in the case of Islam) by 1.6 billion good people. Until people start to realise this, we will continue to live in fear of anyone who seems to be different to us.

Thank you Ken.

Doug

from Dr. Rostain on misuse and abuse and alternatives

Ken’s link

Dr. Mason on the stimulant question   

stimulants, ADD medication, ADHD medicine, stimulant medicine, stimulant medication, stimulant abuse, stimulant, misuse,ADD, ADHD, adult ADD, adult ADHD

” This is what ADHD looks like in my head.”

Posted in add, adhd, attitudes, controversies, educate yourself, medication, science, stimulants, studying and learning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments