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3 Special Challenges ADHD Women and Girls Face

Girls-and-Women-ADHDA while back I wrote a blog on the sad lack of ADHD awareness both around the world and even here in the U.S. The lack of awareness obviously makes things worse for ADD sufferers and those around them. But I failed to capture in that blog a major segment of society that gets a triple-whammy from low awareness: girls and women. Let me explain why it’s a three-fer…

Whammy #1: General Lack of Awareness and Diagnosis

We are – or should be – aware of the many costs of general ADHD ignorance. Higher medical costs, criminal system costs (ADHD women AND men are very disproportionately represented among prison populations, which I blogged about last March), lost business productivity, etc. Not to mention the personal misery and underachievement that accompany un-diagnosed and un-treated ADD/ADHD. That’s a whammy for both genders. But…

Whammy #2: The Under-Diagnosis of Girls vs Boys

Even in advanced Western nations where we’re supposedly enlightened about ADHD, the stereotype of the ADD kid as a bouncing-off-the-walls boy is the dominant perception. Girls, less likely to be of the hyperactive type, are more likely to fall through the cracks in their critical school years. It’s also surmised that girls try harder at school and may have better grades, further masking their condition.

As a result, boys are diagnosed between three and nine times as much as girls. Some research suggests that even when teachers recognize symptoms of ADHD in girls, it doesn’t get reported as much as for boys. So as awful as under-diagnosis is for everyone, it’s whacking our daughters and sisters harder.

Whammy #3: The Uniquely Ugly Outcomes for Girls and Women

Being a male who just barely avoided major bodily harm, dodged the long arm of the law on many occasions and probably cheated death once or twice, I know first hand the uglier possibilites of undiagnosed ADD. For everyone, it’s associated with lower levels of education, slower career advancement, more smoking and alcohol/substance abuse, etc. But here comes the icing on the triple-whammy cake (if you can call it icing): ADHD women and girls face some uniquely ugly statistics that men don’t face…

  • Unplanned pregnancy: Impulsive ADHD women are seven times more likely to become pregnant
  • A high incidence of eating disorders and obesity
  • With a higher divorce rate among ADHD adults, women usually end up on the shorter end of the economic stick when that happens – and typically maintain single-parent care of the affected kids.

It’s Getting (a Little) Better, Thanks to Some Champions

ADD writer/blogger Zoë Kessler has done a great service to her gender by often blogging and vlogging on this issue (and I thank her for some of the stats reported above). But one woman, Dr. Patricia Quinn, has made a laser-focused mission of helping girls and women – with a range of websites, books and support organizations I encourage you to explore by Googling her name. Or, to quickly learn more about girls’/women’s issues, a great primer is her archived interview on Attention Talk Radio back in December 2011. Give it a listen, and give some thought to how we can help undo this triple injustice to our mothers, sisters and daughters…and all AHDH women.

-Alan

PS – and speaking of women, wanted to share this nice endorsement from a prominent coach who helps a lot of ADHD women…”Alan Brown’s ADD Crusher videos are comprised of practical strategies to overcome the day-to-day impairments of ADHD that get in the way of success.  He speaks from the heart and experience since he, too, has ADHD.  Do you need another way to compete with your ADHD symptoms?  Go to his site and try his videos!”  – Karen K Lowry, RN, MSN, ADHD Coach, AAC

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

Image: NCPA

 

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Finding Alternative ADHD Treatment in Our Dark Past

I was interviewed a while back by Jeff Copper on Attention Talk Radio. They’ve on occasion done interviews with various folks called “behind the scenes” – a sort of “unplugged” version of the show where ADHD personalities can let loose with tales of the darker/funnier side of their ADD.

MessToSuccessLg

My Undiagnosed ADHD Past: The G-Rated Version

I love telling stories about my dark years – mainly the years in my 20’s when I had no idea what ADHD was, let alone that I was an epic ADDer. A lot of the stories are beyond “G”-rating, but even the ugliest episodes are worth remembering and retelling, because they shed light on the nature of ADHD and inspire me NOT to revisit those days or those behaviors (more about that in a moment).

Some highlights of my undiagnosed, untreated adult ADHD, much of which will likely sound familiar to many of you:

  • Banged up or totaled very car I ever got my hands on, including at least 2 dents on roofs (that I can remember). How do you dent a roof?? Well, flipping it over is one way, but there are others — trust me, I know.
  • When you crack up 8 motorcycles, you’re lucky to be alive – though most of those were on a race track, which is way safer than on the street believe it or not. I crashed one just a few weeks ago!
  • Alcohol was my escape – and my constant companion.
  • Drugs were my self-medication (though I didn’t realize it at the time).
  • Crime (most minor, a few major ones) for which I never got caught, amazingly.

I still think I’m on the verge of getting caught for stuff I did, or somehow in trouble. I see a cop car, and I think he’s looking right at me and knows every bad thing I’ve done! And on some level or another, nearly ALL adult ADDers – particularly those who went undiagnosed for a long time – have this kind of baggage. But, there are lessons to be drawn from our darker days…

Lessons from Dark Days Can Support Alternative ADHD Treatment Efforts

As I’ve said in this space many times, there are forms of alternative ADHD treatment in not only hard-fought changes to life habits, but also in simple acts and even simple thoughts and keener awareness. Here are lessons from my past that likely mirror some that any previously undiagnosed ADHD adult might have:

  1. Understand your past . Know why you did what you did. For instance, I did drugs because I was self-medicating; I committed crimes because of stimulation-seeking and willingness to do stupid things for peer approval.
  2. Come to terms with it . Don’t regret it – see it as part of the “quilt” that makes up your interesting life history. You’re your stories!
  3. Use the painful memories as forward-moving fuel . This is what I call a Negative Nag, which can combine with a Positive Nag to provide consistently strong MOTIVATION (Way 2 in Video I).
  4. Know that we ADDers have the risk-taking, stimulation-seeking gene – and most importantly, see the difference between stupid risk-taking and worthy risk-taking.

There’s one more section of this blog – the ADHD strategies I developed to emerge from the darkness. But I’m running a bit long, so I’ll pick up on those in a later blog (they’re of course the foundation of what’s taught in the ADD Crusher Videos, which you can preview here.

And By the Way…

Whether you’re a regular Attention Talk Radio listener or not, I announced on the show a special discount code for ATR listeners: ATR15. If you’re reading it here, you’re entitled to use it for 15% off any purchase at ADDCrusher.com. Go for it!!

-Alan

P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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The Power of Awareness as Alternative ADHD Treatment

Crusher believes that ADHD is best crushed with a range of treatments and solutions – which can be medication(s), alternative ADHD treatmentsnatural remedies, diet and lifestyle changes, ADHD coaching, mindfulness, neurotherapy, etc., or some combination of all of these. If there is one thing I’ve learned battling this condition for the past 13 years, there is no one best alternative ADHD treatment for all.

In trying to get smarter on the whole megillah and perhaps learn of some emerging new adult ADHD treatment options, I listened to two archived Attention Talk Radio interviews with Dr. Russell Ramsay, a prominent psychologist at UPenn. While he and interviewer Jeff Copper covered the gamut of treatment options, one theme kept popping up in my ADD brain: the power of AWARENESS – and the realization that if you did nothing but improve your awareness of various realities, you’d be into at least 3rd gear in your crush-mobile.

ADHD Treatment STARTS with Correct Diagnosis

It occurred to me that the first thing that happens on the road to effective ADHD treatment is the not-so-bitty bit of awareness – that you have ADD/ADHD! What a life-changer THAT is, huh? Although, according to Ramsay, an often-overlooked issue is CORRECT diagnosis. Often, mis-diagnosis of ADHD stems from the patient instead (or also) suffering from panic attacks, depression, a life situation or additional condition that complicates the matter. “All that glitters is not gold – and all that’s inattentive is not ADHD,” as he says.

The Most Underestimated Alternative ADHD Treatment is AWARENESS

Beyond this big one, there are scores of additional areas of awareness that can power you forward. And as I thought of the range of these, it occurred to me that basic self-awareness plus a dash of knowledge could be the single most underestimated form of ADHD treatment for us adults with ADD. Let’s dig in…

  • Start with awareness of ADD/ADHD’s inner workings, its nature, co-morbidities, etc. The more you understand it, but more you can crush it.
  • Awareness of the options available to you in terms of treatment and resources. There are countless!
  • Awareness of what you’re lousy at and what you’re good at. (Check out the ATR interview with Wilma Fellman, which I recently blogged about.)
  • Awareness of why you did what you did in your past (see my recent interview on Attention Talk Radio). There are great lessons to be had from even the darkest ADHD past.

Awareness

Now, this modest blog post can’t possibly TEACH all the facets of awareness, but I’ll get some more mental wheels turning and further support the commanding importance of awareness as a powerful alternative ADHD treatment with some pointed questions…

  • Are you aware that what you put in your body could be screwing you up? Crusher talks about this in Video I Way 1 – cuz it’s so foundational!! (There’s a preview on YouTube.)
  • Are you aware that the constant, uncontrolled dialogue in your head is NOT a mandatory part of your existence – that you can quiet that thing down in order to power it up? Both Ramsay and Crusher™ videos (Way 3) address this powerful alternative ADHD treatment.
  • How aware are you of the reality of time? Sure, you know you’re always late, always under-estimate the amount of time required to finish something or to get somewhere, etc. But is your awareness at a level that you can compensate for it?
  • Are you keenly aware of the reasons for your procrastination? Having that knowledge can unlock the door to action (as taught in ADD Crusher™ Video II, Way 7).
  • I could go on, but I’m aware that a blog shouldn’t get much beyond 700 words…

But lastly, are you aware of the unlimited possibilities that become available to you when you make the effort – whether alone or with a coach – to gain more understanding about yourself, to form positive habits and to believe in yourself? Ah, there’s your icing in this cake of CRUSH!

-Alan

P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

Image: McGarry Bowen

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For ADHD Peace of Mind Requires Peace of Place

In ADD Crusher™ Video I, Way 3, I talk about how to shut-up-a-you-mind – quieting down your brain to power it up (preview here). We ADDers need a quiet mind, which is more easily had in a quiet/clean space. Ya, peace of MIND is aided by peace of PLACE. And ADHD peace of mind is a powerful natural ADD remedy!

For ADDers, Visual Noise Equals Stress

The more stressed out we are, the more our ADHD is in charge. And we add to our stress with what we allow into our environments. Consider the sight of a cluttered desk. Or a cluttered room. The visual noise PLUS the ugly reminder of frustration and chronic non-finishing of things. Ain’t NO peace in that, my fellow tribespeople.

Creating a Place of Peace is Easy

558959_354544711258881_127053080674713_979303_79965852_nNO, you DON’T have to empty out the house. All you really need – at least to start – is ONE place of peace, where you can shut…up…your…mind. One small part of your home to de-clutter, keep visually quiet, and visit on occasion. One room or a corner of a room. Could even start with just your desk. Could even start….NOW!

Take a mental or actual tour of your entire home – whether a McMansion or studio apartment. Where might you create a place of peace? Need only clear out a space for little more than a comfy chair. Next time exhausted by mind-cluttering BS or a complex project, head there – if only for a sec. You’ll find renewed energy, if you allow your mind to…get…quiet.

Tricks for De-Cluttering

Four key tricks of the visual de-cluttering trade are…

1) If you haven’t used it in 6 months, it’s probably useless – trash or donate.

2) Get a clutter-busting buddy and give her AUTHORITY.

3) If alone, work in 20min spurts, then rest or switch tasks. Otherwise you’ll burn out.

4) If you can’t figure out what to do with stuff, cover it up or hide it in that room.

Throw something out today. Then, do the same thing tomorrow. If it has no legitimate, frequent, or strong sentimental function, throw the damn thing out. It’s liberating and eliminates stressful clutter. Stuff is usually ego-gratifying crap. “Ooh, I visited Florida/France! Check out my amazing Florida/France crap!”

Give stuff away every week. Take it down to the donation center and get a receipt to save you some money on your taxes. If you think about it, you’ll be putting useless stuff to work triple-time: saving you money, saving you space AND saving you stress.

Think about the relative mental peace you have when you are visually confronted by nothing more than a blue sky, or the surface of a lake. Make the surfaces you live with more like that. Peace, baby…yaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Here’s a bonus: A piercing perspective on “stuff”, via the late, great George Carlin. Note there are a couple S-bombs in here

-Alan

Oh, and be sure to share this so you’re not the only one with a gorgeously uncluttered home!

P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

 

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Shut-Up-A-You-Mind: A Powerful Natural ADD Remedy

Creativity and problem-solving have a path, or window, into and out of your brain. That window is quietness of the mind. Hmmmm. Sound impossible for our ADHD tribe? It’s not.

Mental fatigue is caused far less by work than by worry, frustration and resentment, as Napoleon Hill once said. And creativity and problem-solving are locked out when the mind spins – especially on negatives. Today, Crusher outlines the benefits of what happens when you…Shut-up-a-you-mind.

Realities of the Noisy ADHD Brain

Here’s a fact: 90% of the chatter running through your brain – your thoughts – is useless BS. Seriously. If you stop and have an objective listen, you’ll find that your mind churns with fatiguing, often ego-based blather providing no value, no solutions. This recognition alone is a huge ADD crusher.

We waste most mental energy judging people and things. Even the seemingly innocuous kind – “Ick, those shoes!” “Geez that guy’s disproportionate.” “I’m prettier than her, right?” When you hear a judgment, shut it off. Make that a habit and you’ll free up gads of mental energy. A mind above judgment is an overwhelm-crusher.

Meditation

Shut It Up to Power It Up

Question: Which is easier – doing 30 push-ups at once, or doing 20, resting for, oh, 30 seconds, and then the final 10? It’s a no-brainer, right? Just that little break allows you to do 50% more push-ups with relative ease. And your mind works just like your muscles.

If you could quiet your mind for just 30 seconds – better yet, a minute or two — you’d feel reinvigorated, better able to take on a tough task. It’s like resting your brain muscle before lifting the mental weight again. And it’s easier than you think…

A Simple Form of Meditation as Natural ADD Remedy

A tranquil mind brings great power and focus. And a key is MEDITATION. No, not the kind where you moan, “auuummmmm” with a shaved head and unclipped toenails. Meditation in the sense of identifying mental BS – as described earlier — as it enters your mind, gently brushing it aside…and replacing it with some mental quietness. Indeed, tough tasks become candy when quiet focus is ours. Using this simplest version of meditation is a powerful natural ADD remedy. And the benefits will quickly accrue if you can practice it enough to make it a habit:

  • More focus when you need it.
  • More creativity and better problem-solving abilities.
  • Reduced stress and frustration (they disappear when your mind is quiet!).
  • More mental energy on-demand, as well as overall stamina.

Give it a try. Here’s a video snippet from ADD Crusher™ Video I, Way 3. A future blog will share some more meditation tips and benefits. But you have to first promise that you’ll…Shut-up-a-you-mind!!

Yours in Mental Quietness,

-Alan

P.S.: Want to know how to beat more than just mental noise? Tricks to beat procrastination? How to get prioritized and manage your time? Have you heard about my award-winning video/audio program ADD Crusher™? Learn more HERE.

ADD Crusher Program

Alan P Brown CrusherTVAlan P. Brown, an internationally recognized Productivity Coach, TEDx Speaker and #1 Best Selling Author of Zen and the Art of Productivity: 27 Easy Ways to Have More Time, Earn More Money and Live Happier is the host of Crusher™TV, where he and his Guest Experts share simple ways to get more done in less time with less stress. Follow Alan on Twitter and on Facebook.

 

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Understand Negative Self-Talk for Natural ADHD Remedy

A while back I posted a multi-part series of Facebook entries entitled, Score Your Successes – which is based on what I teach in Way 9 of ADD Crusher™ Video II. This particular strategy is about…

  1. Understanding our skewed perspective on our ADHD ‘failures’
  2. Putting these ‘failures’ in healthier perspective
  3. Learning to acknowledge our successes – big and teeny, and…
  4. Keeping track of our ADD ups and downs so that they provide positive motivational fuel

Shortly thereafter I was listening to one of the archived shows at Attention Talk Radio and learned about a much deeper dimension to our ADDer habit of not giving ourselves credit for anything — and blaming ourselves for everything.

 

The Negative Self-Talk of ADHD

Negative-Self-Talk-ADHD-ADDCrusher

It’s called negative self-talk, and host Jeff Copper interviewed Debra Burdick, LCSW and psychotherapist, about this topic in detail. In a nutshell, negative self-talk is the habit of talking to yourself in a way that reinforces the negative feelings you have about yourself and, ultimately, guides the things you do (not in a good way, of course).

We all do it – ADDer or not. But we ADHD sufferers of course tend to do it more than others. Think about it: We’ve been conditioned to feel we’re chronically wrong/out of line/problemsome/etc. For instance, here’s a beautifully painful exchange with a six-year-old patient Debra recounts:

6-yr-old boy: My new medication is working great!

Debra: How do you know it’s working?

6-yr-old boy: Cuz nobody yelled at me all day!

 

Better Awareness and Understanding Are a Natural ADHD Remedy!

As with so many areas of our adult ADHD, the more we understand it, the better able we are to accept it, deal with it and crush it. And I realized, listening to this interview, that negative self-talk is an area of particular opportunity for creating our own natural ADHD remedy through greater awareness and understanding. For instance, have you ever heard yourself say anything like…

  • “I’m not smart enough to get that promotion.”
  • “I don’t have what it takes to start my own business.”
  • “I didn’t deserve to win that award.”

 

Toplines from the ADHD Negative Self-Talk Interview

Now, I can’t do justice to all the information in the interview, but I’ll summarize a few key points…

  1. Become AWARE of your negative talk. (Confession: When I pull a bonehead move, which is usually trivial, inconsequential – I replay what I was often told as a kid and yell at myself, “You @#$%$ dummy!”) Wow, gotta cut that out!
  2. Identify the various types of of negative talk you engage in most (there are several, as described by Dr. Daniel Amen, who calls them “species”).
  3. Understand that negative thoughts are most often inaccurate, and always self-defeating.
  4. Pay more attention to your successes (as described in Video II, Way 9). We ADHD adults/kids tend to “filter out” successes in our thoughts and recollections – leaving only the ‘failures’.

Bottom line, know that your ability to move forward powerfully has a helluva lot to do with how fairly you judge your own past. Successful people tend think more about their successes…as should you.

-Alan

Image: Pitt pen on watercolor paper. © Quinn McDonald

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Dear ADHD Adult: Score Your Successes!

Dear ADHD adult or teen: Is a recent success/victory overshadowed by some minor “failure” that happened this morning? Is your most recent faux pas still ringing in your ears – a missed deadline, a forgotten appointment? Fact is, we ADDers are masters at acknowledging and remembering past failures, but terrible at acknowledging and remembering successes. Itsa-no-good!

It’s funny/sad that for ADDers, failures seem to have double or triple weight. You could succeed three times and fail once, and still, that one failure would weigh in your mind more than the three successes. It’s detrimental…and, um, ridiculous.

ADHD Adult Success

We Gotta Put Failures in Healthier Perspective…

ADDer life can feel like a continuous stream of losing this, forgetting that, being late. But what ARE these “failures”? Well…

  • They’re NOT a character flaw
  • They’re NOT moral failings, and…
  • They will NOT be erased or avoided in future by ANY amount of self-punishment.

In fact, most ‘failures’ don’t exist the moment after they happen – except in our mind, so we carry them around like an ID card.

ADHD Adult “Failures” Arise from Our Neuropsychiatric Condition

They’re the result of our differently wired brain trying to operate in an intensely paced, left-brained world. That’s not failure – that’s just a mismatch. See that for what it is and work with it. You can’t eliminate failures or completely erase your weaknesses. But you CAN manage them, and even be positively motivated by them.

For the ADHD Adult or Teen, Success Breeds Success

That is, IF we ADHD adults give ourselves credit for successes. A forgotten success has no motivating power. But, make a habit of celebrating successes is like a natural ADHD remedy — you trigger a cascade of positives that re-fill your motivational fuel tank, build up confidence, reinforce your good habits and weaken bad ones, and keep you positive when inevitable setbacks arise.

But what IS a success? A success is not just the COMPLETION of a difficult task. It is any measure of effort TOWARD that completion. Getting started on a task and slamming 20 minutes on it, then running out of gas and moving on to something else is NOT a failure. That is a success. As is every additional INCH toward completion. So celebrate every effort no matter how small.

Making progress doesn’t always mean COMPLETING an important job or task. We can ALWAYS be moving something FORWARD. Even if that forward is an inch…credit yourself for reaching Successville. The most impactful way to take credit for successes and be positively motivated by setbacks is to record them – to keep SCORE.

An Action Step to Do Just That…

ADHD Adult Success Scorecard

Make a postcard-size scorecard with 7 columns for the days of 1 week. List down the left side good and bad habits you’ll track (eg, screensucking or ADD-inducing junk food…positives like cardio, or when you pushed aside fear to attack a task). Keep it with you and note -1 for setbacks and +1 for positives – then add ’em up & see if you can create a positive trend!

 

This is an adaptation of Way 9 from ADD Crusher™ Video II – if you like the written version here, you’ll totally love the video version!

Score those successes!!

Bless!

Alan

Alan P Brown CrusherTVAlan P. Brown, an internationally recognized Productivity Coach, TEDx Speaker and #1 Best Selling Author of Zen and the Art of Productivity: 27 Easy Ways to Have More Time, Earn More Money and Live Happier is the host of Crusher™TV, where he and his Guest Experts share simple ways to accomplish more in less time with less drama. Follow Alan on Twitter and on Facebook.

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ADHD Medications: The Body Bone’s Connected to the Brain Bone!

ADHD MedsOn the ADD Crusher™ Facebook page, we often see flurries of questions and qualms about medical treatment for ADD. I’ve always shied away from commenting too much on such posts, because, as I say right up front in the Crusher videos, I ain’t no doctor or expert on anything other than the alternative/natural strategies that have taken me and my clients from mess to success. (Although I learn and develop more good/useful stuff, including more alternative ADHD strategies, every day.)

On meds, I prefer to defer to folks like ADHD Coach Laurie Dupar who, as a former psychiatric nurse, can school you real good on meds – and does so in some of her presentations. Another reliable source is Dr. Charles Parker. I saw part of Parker’s presentation at the ADHD Coaches Organization conference last March (where Laurie also made a great presentation), and you only have to see this guy talking for a few minutes to know he’s a guy to listen to and learn from.

So when I found an archived interview with him on Attention Talk Radio, I had to listen, in hopes I might at least get a few pointers I could pass along to the Crusher Facebook fans. He certainly delivered.

In an interview themed, “Pay attention to meds for paying attention”, first thing he points out is that ADHD medications have to go through the body to get to the mind. Hmmm. Hadn’t really thought about that. Anyway, as a result, what’s going on with the body impacts how well your meds are gonna work. Here are a few interesting topic areas that will help you steer a smarter course with your (or your loved one’s) meds regimen…

  • Immune System & Food Allergies: If you’re allergic to milk, eggs or gluten, your bowel can become inflamed. By far the most common allergen is milk – but it’s not always an acute thing. It’s often chronic and asymptomatic, so you don’t know it’s going on. But that inflammation can interfere with the delivery of your meds to your brain.
  • Your Liver: you can have an otherwise healthy liver in terms of acute pathology – but a “constipated” one that has a chronic foul-up, thus affecting the absorption of med chemicals. Any treatment for ADD will be impeded when the liver doesn’t function properly.
  • Your Diet: Neurotransmitters, which are what we’re fixing when we take meds, are products of amino acids and proteins – and have a short half-life. So if your digestive process isn’t right, you’re not making the micro-nutrients that produce the neurotransmitters. And just as I teach in Video I, Way 1: Feed Your Brain, Parker says you gotta get the protein – especially in the morning.
  • Exercise and Metabolism: These two are related, because an increase in activity can affect metabolic rate – and you can burn through your meds’ effective window more quickly as a result of a significant increase in activity. So a kid (or adult) who takes up a new sport that increases physical activity, may find that meds become less effective – and have no idea why!
  • Side Effects: These are the window into whether you’re using the med correctly. If you’re getting side effects – these are markers that are telling you that you need to change what you’re doing!!!

Also know that different meds have different windows of effectiveness. Vyvanse is a different kind of med than Ritalin, for instance, so it has a different onset and ‘shut-off’. Even a kid, Parker says, should be a “partner” in this arrangment, and parents can help kids to keep aware of the effective windows throughout the day.

And lastly – and this I tell EVERYONE, cuz I know it from personal experience — each person is different and metabolizes stimulants differently. All too often, ADDers get the diagnosis, try the medication, have a bad experience, then give up. Whichever treatment your doctor recommended initially, there’s most likely another that could work better for your body.

You need to pay attention to how your meds are working. If something feels out of whack, go back to your doc and tell him/her in as much detail as possible what you’re experiencing, because you (or your child) deserve to get correct results from meds. So if you go get a prescription and it doesn’t work as you’d hoped or there’s some problem – TELL YOUR DOCTOR and DON’T WRITE OFF MEDS. It’s trial and error. Keep trying!!

Next I’ll talk about powerful stuff that doesn’t come in a bottle.

-Alan

PS — if you’d like to check out the Attention Talk Radio interview with Dr. Parker, it’s here.

 

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Feed Your Brain – With the Right Diet

As we get geared up to go back to school or get back in the throes of regularly scheduled work, let’s take a moment to ponder our ADHD brain and its particular back-to-school/work needs…

Heed the ADHD Diet-Brain Research…and the Rules

More and more research is confirming that the ADDer has unique dietary needs that, if ignored, magnify our ADHD symptoms. But properly feeding our unique brain goes beyond food to include the right amounts of exercise and rest. Crusher tips on all three in this series of three blogs, the first, on diet, herewith…

Crusher adheres to and preaches four cardinal rules for the ADDer diet…

1. Sugar Sucks

2. Carbs Kill

3. Protein is Power

4. Omegas Are Mega.

They’re pretty self-explanatory, but here are some quick details on each…

Sugar Sucks

Sugar – especially processed sugar — jacks up your blood glucose briefly for a spurt of mental energy, but then dissipates just as fast, leaving you in the gutter jonesing for more sugar like a two-bit junkie. So no, you CAN’T have your cake and eat it, too. As I say in Video I, Way 1, “if you’re eating a glazed donut for breakfast, you’re kicking your own @ss down the street!”

And watch out for hidden sugars – in cereals, condiments, “healthy” juices. (Read the label, you might be shocked at what you find in a wholesome, all-natural looking product.)

Carbs Kill

In reality, you can’t live without carbohydrates. But most carbs on the crappy American grocery shelf are ADDer no-no’s because they TURN INTO sugar, and we already know how much, um, SUGAR SUCKS! Now, not all carbs are created equal: complex carbs are safer – whole grain breads/cereal, brown rice, yams, veggies, seeds and nuts. But steer clear of simple carbs — WHITE foods (breads, rice, pasta, potatoes), which are often processed and useless to the ADDer brain.

Carbs-Kill-ADHD-Natural-Remedy

Steer clear of those pancakes and muffins! They’ll bite ya!

Protein is Power

Because it actually triggers alertness-inducing neurotransmitters that help us focus. Get quality proteins from fish, lean meat, beans, eggs, dairy and protein drinks or powders. And if you use protein drinks/powders, make sure they’re not loaded with sugar, cuz, right – you know…sugar yada yada.

Protein-is-Power-ADHD-Natural-Remedies

Protein is power – get more lean meats, nuts/seeds!

Omegas are Mega!

Essential fatty acids like omega-3s and -6s found in cold-water fish can improve brain function/memory. So get more of these with quality fish or krill oil supplements pronto. To get both omegas AND protein, put walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and sardines on your grocery list. Do it now!

[Note: There’s been some recent research suggesting that too much omega fatty acids may correlate with increased incidence of prostate cancer in men, but as with anything, everything in moderation!]

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, though, feeding your brain right correlates more to long life than to any health risk – and conversely. For instance, a recent study linked ADHD, high-fat foods and obesity.

So, cut out the sugar, reduce simple carbs, up your protein intake and get some Krill Oil supplements (Omega-3s)! Do you have your own cardinal rule on diet? Share it in the comments!

[Addendum: And here are parts two and three of this Feed Your Brain trilogy…]

-Alan

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Motorcycle Racing as ADD Alternative Treatment

Of the 22,000+ ADD Crusher™ fans on Facebook, a disproportionate number are connected to the worlds of motorcycles and motorcycle racing. Not a majority by any means, but certainly more than their representation among the general population. As I’ll cover in a couple of posts to follow this one, it’s no coincidence, for we ADDers all share a gene for stimulation-seeking and risk-taking…which are of course both intertwined with motorcycles and moto racing.

Motorcycle Racing as ADD Altnernative Treatment

Of the many purported natural remedies for ADD/ADHD, there’s one I know that works pretty good as an ADD alternative treatment: motorcycle racing…

  • If you’re a spectator, watching this beautiful-yet-dangerous sport is healthy downtime — perhaps even a natural ADHD remedy in the form of quasi-meditation. (Think of the bliss you’re in as you watch any of your favorite sports – or your kid playing one: this one is very ADD-friendly.)
  • If you’re a motorcycle rider/enthusiast, it’s a celebration of the art and science of man-and-machine and, as such, a mind-soothing joy.
  • If you’re a track day junkie like me, it’s psychotherapy, pure and simple. When I’m on the racetrack, every trouble disappears and all mental noise ceases – as it must, lest your thoughts drift to the proverbial squirrel/butterfly and you crash at 165mph.

Then of course there are the sounds and smells of the sport that cater to our inherent demand for general stimulation. Blasting engines, roaring crowds and the lovely scent of expended racing fuel.

ADD Crusher™ Puts Its Money Where Its Mind Is

All this affinity between moto racing and ADD/ADHD is why we were proud (and wise) to sponsor AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike Racer Josh Galster #74. I’m here today at Miller Motorsports Park watching Josh compete in the fourth round of the AMA season, and sitting among a stimulation-seeking audience of tens of thousands who are probably disproportionately ADDers.

So, if you need an invitation to take up moto racing as a new sort of ADHD alternative treatment for yourself, here it is. If you like, kick off your new hobby by Liking Josh’s Facebook page!

Alan&JoshGalsterPit

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