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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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Why We’re On Facebook

Screen shot 2012-03-21 at 10.58.44 AM

When Crusher was first conceived, our digital media strategist, Neil Kirby, gave me one massive piece of advice: Why create an ADHD blog and try to drive people to it, when you can just “blog” on Facebook, and have a ready potential audience of 750,000,000 people who are just a few keystrokes away from your message at any given time?
Brilliant advice, Kirbo. And since we launched ADD Crusher’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ADDCrusher) back in August of 2010, we’ve attracted over 22,000 loyal fans [now nearly 26,000 as of early 2014] who make up the coolest community of ADDers and their family members. (Not to mention one of the world’s largest independent online communities for adults with ADHD.)

And that’s the role of our Facebook page – to provide COMMUNITY, discussion, debate, share ideas, trials and tribulations, etc. As one of our loyal fans described it, “ADD Crusher isn’t a Facebook page – it’s a MOVEMENT!” We agree. And we’re gonna keep that movement moving by continuing to keep the page’s mission on-task.

In other words, although we’ll keep the Crusher Facebook community up-to-date with product news and exclusive discounts, the Facebook page will NEVER become the storefront for ADD Crusher products – or any ADHD product. That’s the job of ADDCrusher.com and our other marketing efforts. And if you’re a frequent visitor to the Facebook page and find this is not to be the case, come on back to this blog and give me a smack upside the head.

-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!  – Team Crusher

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Dispatch #1 from the ADHD Coaches Conference

[Originally posted in March, 2012]

Screen shot 2012-03-25 at 5.05.02 PMOn Friday I presented here at the ADHD Coaches Conference in Atlanta. ACO founding member and rock-star-coach Laurie Dupar (www.coachingforadhd.com) and I tag-teamed on “The Impact of Digital Storytelling in ADHD Coaching”. Originally conceived by Nadine Nassar, journalist at MTV-Lebanon, who was unable to make the trip to Atlanta at the last minute, the presentation got a great response from our audience of ADHD coaches from around the world.

Here’s the bottom line of the presentation: the world of ADD coaching and ADHD alternative treatments needs to adopt more digital tools – like ADD Crusher™ videos and other tools we’ll be offering in the near future – in efforts to help people employ effective ADD treatments and strategies.

I hope to make the same or a similar presentation at next year’s ACO Conference – at which time I’m betting the appetite for and acceptance of a broadening range of digital tools for ADD adults will have increased exponentially.

Thanks Nadine and Laurie for letting me be part of this great presentation!

-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!  – Team Crusher

 

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Dispatch from the ADHD Coaches Conference: Untreated ADHD

ADHD-brain-in-prison

ADHD is a huge problem. Duh. But did you know that it’s a huge problem for society? Consider data from our prison populations – suggesting that anywhere between 10% and 50% of those incarcerated are ADHD, compared to 4% for the general population.

A Real Eye-Opener

This was the topic of an eye-opening presentation at the conference, as well as the Keynote Speech. It’s really startling. But the British, for one, are using this startling knowledge constructively: every person entering the British correctional system is now screened for ADHD – so that possible treatment can be provided, giving these inmates a better chance at defending themselves at trial, surviving prison and, most importantly, succeeding upon release.

Crime, Punishment and ADHD in California

Actually, when you think about the high incidence of alcohol/drug abuse and petty crime among undiagnosed adults with ADD, maybe it’s not so surprising that our jails are filled with our busy-minded brothers and sisters. And in California and some other states that have had stringent “three strikes and you’re out” legal policies, you’ve ended up with very high numbers of non-violent drug offenders doing hard time.

The Costs of Untreated ADHD

This now has California on the ropes – because their full prisons are of course costing taxpayers billions a year to house these non-violent inmates. So now they’re crying “uncle” and beginning to grant early releases to them. But WILL THEY GET TREATMENT? Or will they be tossed out into a lousy job market as ex-cons with still no idea why they gravitated toward substance abuse in the first place?

The good news is that there are people here in the U.S. now waking up to this problem and doing something about it. A few programs (one particularly successful one in Delaware) are popping up around the country that seek to help these folks improve their lives as inmates and their odds of succeeding upon release. Want to help? Write your government representatives telling them you want more evolved thinking when it comes to ADHD and our criminal justice system.

-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!  – Team Crusher

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Dispatch from ADHD Coaches Conference: ADHD Awareness

The world has a LOT to learn about ADHD. Even in the “developed” world, ADHD awareness and help are under-developed. Having been among ADHD coaches from all over the country – and the world – for an entire weekend revealed some startling gaps in ADD/ADHD awareness, attitudes and available services.

There’s No ADHD Treatment Where It’s Not Seen as a Problem

There are entire nations where ADHD treatment is not taken seriously, leaving undiagnosed and untreated children and adults to suffer as we all have before our “aha”. For example…

  • Sweden, certainly one of the most advanced societies on the planet, still tends to view ADHD as either out-of-control young boys or representative of the prison population (see earlier dispatch from the conference). And there are only a handful of ADHD coaches practicing in the country.
  • Turkey is a relatively advanced country of 73 million people – yet there are all of four – four! – ADHD coaches in the entire country.

world in the eye

You Don’t Have to Leave the U.S. to Find ADHD Alternatives Lacking

Don’t know about you, but these items really surprised me…

  • There is only ONE ADHD coach in the city of Gainesville, FL – a town of 125,000 with the nation’s 6th largest university campus by enrollment.
  • Anchorage, the capital of Alaska with nearly 300,000 people, has no local CHADD chapter (yet).

Hope for More Choices

As an advocate for ADD adults, Crusher is hopeful that as the ADHD Coaches Association continues to expand its membership and its presence – fueled in part by more grads from the ADD Coaches Academy and other training institutions – there will be plenty of resources and better understanding to go around.

-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!  – Team Crusher

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Dispatch from ADHD Coaches Conference: Bestselling Books & DVDs

What are ADHD coaches reading/watching lately? I figure folks with ADHD would want to know. I did – so I asked the guy running the bookstore at the ADHD Coaches Organization’s 5th Annual Conference, and here are a few he mentioned:

Best-Selling ADHD Books & DVDs at the ADHD Coaches Conference

  • Laurie Dupar’s “365 Ways to Succeed with ADHD”, a new book containing 365 tips, strategies and solutions for succeeding with ADHD.
  • Wilma Fellman’s “Finding a Career that Works for You” – now in its second edition.
  • “ADHD Stole My Car Keys”, the book from the guys who brought us the breakthrough documentary, “ADD and Loving It?!”
  • “Permission to Proceed”, the new book from David Giwerc, president and founder of the ADD Coaches Academy. A very enjoyable and enlightening read, by the way.
  • And last but not least…ADD Crusher™ Video I. That’s right – one of the top selling items at the conference was Crusher’s own game-changing video…

FB Cvr pic1med

What’s More Fun Than a Barrel of ADHD Coaches?

Not much. An ADHD coaches’ gathering is pure fun. Think about it: it’s mostly ADDers who’ve crushed their own ADHD enough to be able to help others crush theirs. People who are seekers and sharers of ADD-crushing wisdom. People united by one mission: help other people. Not to mention, a crapload of left-handed people!! That’s a great recipe.

It Ended Over a Week Ago, But It’s Sticking With Me

In closing this series of dispatches from the ADHD Coaches conference, I have to tip my hat to the attendees for welcoming me so warmly and embracing the ADD Crusher™ concept. With special thanks to Laurie Dupar (coachingforadhd.com) for inviting me in the first place. If you ever need a reminder that ADHD is in many ways a gift, stop by an ADHD coach conference – a lot of gifted, fun, cool people who want nothing more than to help other ADDers. Makes for a great cocktail hour also, by the way.

-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!  – Team Crusher

 

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The Impact of ImpactADHD

One of the benefits of ADD Crusher™ is that it’s in a way the closest you can get to having your own ADHD coach. Ideally, everyone would have their own ADHD coach – the people who often work miracles for us adult ADDers. Alas, it does cost money.

Making Coaching Affordable

Luckily there’s ADD Crusher™, AND there are people like Diane Dempster and Elaine Taylor-Klaus, who created ImpactADHD, a resource for parents of kids with ADHD – and for parents with ADHD, including affordable group coaching. And they have designated the month of April 2012 to be…

Power of the Parent Month

They will be providing quality programming, inspiring elucidating conversations, and offering parents of ADHD kids new confidence – and power. Here are two their free teleclasses for April:

• Less Chaos More Calm, with Elaine Taylor-Klaus; Friday April 13, 2012 at 12:30pm.

• Organizing 101– How to C.O.P.E. with Clutter, with Elise Marinos; Tuesday April 17, 2012 at 12:30pm

Each class offers a chance to explore a topic in greater depth and develop a personal plan of action. Please share with those you think would benefit.

Coaches’ Club

They also have a Coaches’ Club where, for a modest fee, you can get great group coaching twice a week. Here are some deatails on that:

• Coaches’ Club Members participate in weekly coach-led group phone sessions, providing strategies, tools and coaching support.

• Coaches Club Groups Meet Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 12:00pm EDT

• April Topics: Picking Your Battles, Button Pushing

• April’s Special: ?1 Free Private Coaching Session ?when you join Coaches’ Club

Hope you check them out and reap the benefits…

-Alan

IMPACTADHD-LO-FFlg

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!  – Team Crusher

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