An ADHD Diagnosis Is Good News

An ADHD Diagnosis Is Good News

Pediatric neurologist, Dr. Sarah Cheyette, is an expert at working with kids and young adults with ADHD. She believes that while the condition has its challenges, an ADHD diagnosis actually allows people to become much stronger versions of themselves.

Check out Dr. Sarah Cheyette’s website at: SarahCheyette.com.

To purchase one of her books (which are available in audio versions read by Dr. Cheyette) go HERE.

In this episode you’ll also hear from Dr. Carol Locke, the founder and creator of OmegaBrite CBD! Dr. Hallowell takes the supplement every day because it’s safe, 3rd party tested, and it works. Shop OmegaBrite CBD online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Director of online learning at Landmark College, Denise Jaffe, also makes an appearance in this episode to talk about the dual enrollment program they offer for high school students who learn differently. Learn more about our sponsor’s program HERE or HERE.

Reach out to us! Share your thoughts and questions by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin (@sarahguertin) and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years, OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com and by Landmark College offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. Learn more at lcdistraction.org, Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

That is exactly why I love treating ADHD is because you can be so successful as a treatment provider because treatments work really well and you really hand people their lives and it’s really nice. People think, “Oh, ADHD is fluffy. It’s not… Whatever.” But my goodness, I can make a huge difference in people’s lives from childhood to adults and gosh, that’s a wonderful thing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell and welcome to Distraction. Today we have a very special guest from the other side of the country, from California, a pediatric neurologist, a Princeton graduate, UCLA Medical School graduate, and a fan of and an expert on ADHD. It’s not common to find a pediatric neurologist who specializes in this and not only specializes, but has written a couple of books about it, ADHD and the Focused Mind and Winning with ADHD. This wonderful woman’s name is Dr. Sarah Cheyette, she is a brilliant woman and a wonderful woman to have on Distraction. Hello, Dr. Cheyette!

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

Thank you so much for that wonderful introduction Ned, and thanks for having me on the show. I’m delighted to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, it’s terrific to have you, just mentioned your website is sarahcheyette.com. S-A-R-A-H-C-H-E-Y-E-T-T-E.com. I have to prove to our listeners that I can actually read without reversing letters. So how did you get into this field, Dr. Cheyette?

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

That’s an interesting question because as you said, there’s not that many pediatric neurologist who like to treat ADHD. But as I was taking histories on my patients with headaches, I would find that they might have the headaches because of difficulty concentrating or anxieties. I would find they would have anxiety because of difficulty concentrating. ADHD affects so many things that it’s not hard to find it when you’re dealing with neurology.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And did you learn about it during your fellowship? When did you learn about it?

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

Well, actually not much during my fellowship because as you know with medical training, a lot of that is in-patient. So a lot of the outpatient stuff became something that I learned in private practice and also from mentors such as yourself and from books and from conferences and all the ways we learn things all our lives.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And do you have a personal interest? Do you have it yourself or any of your children have it?

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

No, I don’t have any children who have been diagnosed with ADHD, although certainly many of their teachers might’ve had an argument with me here or there about that for two of them, but I have four kids and I certainly know how a distracted child looks, but nobody has had a diagnosis of ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So what would you like to tell our listeners about ADHD?

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

Well, what I think the important thing about ADHD is that, it doesn’t always have to be a negative. It’s certainly a negative in some situations, but we all have our positives and negatives. And ADHD is a wonderful thing at times, but it can be difficult at times. That’s nothing that your listeners don’t already know, but it certainly bears repeating.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. And what would you say are the… What’s the upside of it?

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

The upside of it? When you learn how to deal with ADHD and meet your challenges there, you can become much stronger there. If you learn how to deal with hard situations, you usually get very good at hard situations. When people come in and get a diagnosis of ADHD, sometimes it’s very liberating for them because they say, “That explains a lot and it’s not just me being bad or my child being bad.” But they are sometimes surprised to hear about all the things that they can do. One of my pet peeves is when I hear them say, “I can’t do X, Y and Z because of my ADHD.” And that’s not a mindset that I like to hear.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What do you think is the biggest undiagnosed group who have ADHD? I’ll tell you what I think it is, it’s adult women, and you specialize in that?

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

Oh, I definitely deal with a lot of adult women and some of these are the parents of patients. Their kids had come in to see me and then they decided that they need to come in and see me too.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yes, yes.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

As a mom, when you have ADHD as a mom, it takes an already very distracting situation and it magnifies that. When you have kids, getting up and going to the bathroom for two minutes by yourself without getting interrupted, it’s a notable event and the more that people get interrupted, the more their ADHD gets exacerbated. But especially with women, women feel they have to do everything for all people all the time. That’s, obviously a broad generalization but it’s true of a lot of moms that I know.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

So they have a hard time prioritizing one thing over the other. Mom is getting constantly pulled in different directions because it’s harder for her to say, “Nope, I’ll be with you in a minute.” So practicing those words are often pretty helpful. The value of completing something before you move on is absolutely something that needs to be rehearsed with a lot of people.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

Plus the anxiety piece I think is quieter in moms. The windup usually by the time they’re moms, if they have ADHD, then they feel behind a lot. And even if they don’t have kids, even with their jobs and mates and so on, pulling them in different directions, they can develop a lot of anxiety and the anxiety is this quiet piece of it that is comorbid with the ADHD. Sometimes the anxiety piece gets recognized but the ADHD piece doesn’t get recognized. And so sort of like the canary in the coal mine, whenever I talk and the woman feels anxious, we do talk about whether there could be a history of ADHD because that really can contribute to anxiety.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Really cause the anxiety.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

Yes, that’s exactly right. And then when you have anxious thinking it’s harder to focus and then the outcome is worse and then it makes you more anxious.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Exactly. And then it makes you depressed because you’re not doing as well as you should.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What happens most of the time is the unknowing doctor, diagnoses anxiety and depression and puts them on an SSRI, which is not at all what they need.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

That’s exactly right. And it can take a long time to figure that out. Weeks, months or years. And what these women need is to control the ADHD first and then the anxiety gets better. But one problem that some, I think primary care doctors have, and also some patients after they read the side effects, they come back and they say, “Hey doc, don’t you know that this medicine can cause anxiety?”

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

And we talk about the fact that yes it can make some people anxious but the idea would be to try it, see if it makes you less anxious and then hope it does.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Right. No, exactly. And it’s in and out of your system in a matter of hours. So if it should happen to make more anxious, you only have to put up with it for a matter of hours. In my experience at least 9 out of 10 people feel better with it, not more anxious.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

I agree. That’s my experience too. And if you read the side effects to coffee, it will also say it can cause anxiety but people leap ahead for that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Sure. I mean the whole world is caffeinated. Coffee is my medication because the prescription stimulants don’t work for me. I have ADHD as well as Dyslexia.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

There you go. And sometimes there’s Comorbid Sleep Apnea where the coffee helps with that or as you know, the ADHD medications are also used to manage the side effects, the problems with feeling sleepy during the day if you have Sleep Apnea.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay, we’re going to pause right here for just a moment. Joining me now is Dr. Carol Locke, the creator and founder of OmegaBrite Wellness. She’s extremely fussy about purity and pharmaceutical grade and all the kinds of things you want someone to be fussy about. She’s here today for a follow-up conversation about the health benefits of CBD and Omega-3. As you know, Carol joined me a few weeks ago in the episode we released called, Tools To Help You Stay Calm. Carol, it’s great to have you back.

Dr. Carol Locke:

It’s great to be here Ned.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So, let’s just get right to it. Why is taking Omega-3 supplements good for us?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Omega-3s are vital for our bodies. They’re vital for our brain, for our eye, as well as for our cardiac health.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And in these days of the pandemic and COVID-19, do Omega-3s take on added value and importance?

Dr. Carol Locke:

They do, Ned. During this time as people are stressed every day, both from the COVID pandemic as well as from being hunkered down, that level of stress becomes chronic and that creates inflammation in the body. Omega-3s can help lower and create a positive inflammatory balance in the body. So they are very important from that point of view, as well as for cardiac protection and in protecting our mood during this time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So they’re even good for mood.

Dr. Carol Locke:

They’re very good for mood. And the research over the years has proven now that Omega-3s do promote positive mood, they help prevent and treat depression and reduce anxiety.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Now, how can the average intelligence skeptic, like many of our listeners, be sure that it’s worth the money to get a more expensive brand like OmegaBrite versus the least expensive brand out there?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, good question. You want, when you buy a supplement, to have it be proven in science and proven in science, in human beings. And so, OmegaBrite has been proven in clinical studies at major academic centers.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what dose and what ratios matter here?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, the ratio that OmegaBrite, that we developed, was a high EPA ratio. The dose in the study, that has been shown to be effective is three capsules of OmegaBrite a day up to six capsules a day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Now, EPA doesn’t mean Environmental Protection Agency. What does EPA mean?

Dr. Carol Locke:

EPA is, Eicosapentaenoic acid.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), okay. Switching gears slightly, what are CBDs?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, CBD is a cannabinoid, so CBD is the best known one and the best studied.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And who should take them and why?

Dr. Carol Locke:

We all have an Endocannabinoid system in our body, which is a self signaling system that helps maintain our mood, helps maintain homeostasis, is involved in learning and in memory and in inflammation as well as many other areas. And so many people benefit Ned from taking them for pain. Sleep is another big one. People are having a really good benefit reducing anxiety, which right now is particularly important during this time of stress as well as positive mood and people are using them as well for depression.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, I can tell you personally, and I’m saying this not just because you sponsor our podcast, but because it’s the truth. I love your CBD product. I’ve been taking it for about six weeks now. I’m just less reactive, less impatient, less apt to spout off, and it’s noticeable. It really is, and I love it. I don’t like it if I forget to take it, it doesn’t tranquilize me at all. So it doesn’t take anything away in terms of energy or alertness. It just takes the edge off of my impatience and reactive ADD nature.

Dr. Carol Locke:

That’s fantastic. I think that is a benefit. I think that people report feeling more themselves and less pressure. Your description is really apt. Ned, did you feel it happened right away? How long did it take for that?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah, it happened right away.

Dr. Carol Locke:

How do you feel as far as on your ability to focus on tasks or accomplish what you want?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah, no, I’ve mastered that one. My medication is caffeine, so caffeine is my focus drug and now CBD and OmegaBrite fatty acids, Omega-3s are my mood medication. One more product that I want to ask you about that you also make you, you have a vitamin D supplement that you produce, why should we all take that?

Dr. Carol Locke:

We have discovered and new research shows that it’s important for fighting respiratory infections. So it’s recommended right now to help people ward off any respiratory infections and hopefully that would include any viruses. And it’s also helpful for your immune health overall as well as your bone health.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, thank you so much. We have Omega-3 supplements from OmegaBrite, we have CBD and we have vitamin D and if you want to get more or learn more, go to omegabritewellness.com and that’s intentionally misspelled.

Thank you so much for joining us Carol, and thank you for sponsoring Distraction.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Thanks so much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

All right, Dr. Sarah Cheyette. Tell our listeners how a successful diagnosis and treatment can change, let’s say, an adult woman’s life for the better.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

I love it when people get treated and the treatment works because they feel like they have a new lease on life. They’ll go back and say, “Oh, if I only had this during high school or college or whatever.” But it’s not very fruitful to go do that. And you can point out that you are who you are today because of all your experiences. When it works, it takes somebody who feels terrible about themselves a lot of times to making them feel good and normal and they are respectable and I just love that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. That’s why I love my job too. People don’t realize what a good news diagnosis this is, once you get the diagnosis things are only going to improve.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

Exactly. Because you can treat the right problems and address the right things. And that is exactly why I love treating ADHD is because you can be so successful as a treatment provider because treatments work really well and you really hand people their lives and it’s really nice. People think, “Oh, ADHD is fluffy. It’s not… Whatever.” But my goodness, I can make a huge difference in people’s lives from childhood to adults and gosh, that’s a wonderful thing.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

I was really, really surprised how few medical doctors were there at the last ADHD convention in Philadelphia. I mean, I love that there were coaches and psychologists and so on, but this is something that people also go to their medical doctors for all the time. And I don’t know if it’s because in recent years we’ve had an array of new medications, although they’re not that new and they mainly have different names and slightly different releases, But I don’t know if people are feeling unconfident about prescribing also, as you mentioned or as we talked about earlier, it’s not something people learn about in their training very much it’s something that is an outpatient thing that they may or may not feel comfortable learning on their own.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Right, right. No, exactly. But meanwhile, there are doctors like you out there and it’s too bad someone has to luck into seeing you because as we’ve said, an awful lot of doctors would diagnose depression and anxiety in this hypothetical female patient instead of the underlying ADHD and then she would never get the treatment that could really change her life.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

That’s absolutely true.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. We’ll get right back to the conversation in just a moment. On the phone with me now is Denise Jaffe, the director of online learning at Landmark College, our wonderful sponsor and the college of choice for students who learn differently. Denise is there to tell us about Landmark College’s dual enrollment program, which offers college level courses to rising high school juniors, seniors and gap year students who struggle with learning primarily due to a learning disability such as dyslexia, ADHD, autism and executive function challenges. Thank you so much for joining me, Denise.

Denise Jaffe:

Hello, Dr. Hallowell. Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to talk about our dual enrollment program. We offer a 100% online program for rising high school juniors and seniors. And what I mean by rising is that they are college bound and interested in taking a college course to see if college is the goal that they want to have. Our courses run everything from introduction to business and communications, computer applications, psychology, sociology, creative writing, personal finance and math, and we focus on college preparedness and transition. For example, we want to ensure that they have the academic skills and the executive function skills to go to college. So our courses are set up to provide students who learn differently with more guidance, more hand rails in order for them to feel and be successful.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), wonderful. So you give them the support they need and you teach them the skills they need?

Denise Jaffe:

We do. Our courses are highly personalized and supportive, enabling our students to develop and hone those critical academic skills while they’re exploring their interests and earning college credits.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, so they get college credit and they’re getting skills that they’ll need when they get to college, regardless of the subject they’re taking.

Denise Jaffe:

Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s a terrific service. If they want to learn more, where should they go?

Denise Jaffe:

They should go to the Landmark website at landmark.edu/dual will take them directly to the dual enrollment program with more information and our applications.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wonderful and what’s the fee for the program?

Denise Jaffe:

The fee is $1,000. It’s a 14 week semester, three college credits. There’s a second hand rail support called the Course Advisor that is specifically for executive function support and then our department because all three in addition to the family or the school that they’re coming from, support that student towards success.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Boy, it’s a bargain. That’s a great thing. What a terrific, terrific program. Thank you so much. If you’d like to learn more about online learning at Landmark College, go to lcdistraction.org or the website that Denise already gave you. Denise Jaffe, thank you so much for giving us this really valuable information. And again, congratulations for the wonderful work you all do at Landmark College.

Denise Jaffe:

Thank you so much.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

I have a hope that in time, it will catch up to ADHD treatment. You may be able to speak to this, but maybe, well it’s only recently we’ve really been talking a lot about ADHD as a adult diagnosis, and probably there was a time when primary care doctors did not treat women very much, or men, for anxiety or depression. Maybe they referred them onwards and maybe the ADHD diagnosis just has to catch up.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. Well let’s hope it catches up fast. I’m doing my best and you’re doing your best. Dr. Sarah Cheyette, her books, ADHD and The Focused Mind that she wrote with her husband Ben and Winning with ADHD that she wrote with a younger colleague by the name of Grace Friedman, wonderful resource. And then Mommy, My Head Hurts, A Doctor’s Guide to Your Child’s Headache. So she doesn’t just do ADHD. She does full service neurology, doing a great service to the Bay area and her four children and her many patients. It’s a real pleasure to meet you and I feel like we’re fellow travelers in a wonderful crusade to bring this good news to as many people as we can.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

I feel the same way, absolutely. I should mention also my ADHD and the Focused Mind had one other co-author Peter Johnson. And do you know who he was, Ned?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

No.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

He is my kid’s karate teacher.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh great, wonderful.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

So, it’s really the only book in the entire world that’s written by a pediatric neurologist, a psychiatrist and a karate master.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s just terrific. That is really terrific.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

Where that came from is that I was watching Pete teach inattentive kids and teach kids with ADHD and he was so good at coaching them. Every time a kid got their black belt or Brown belt, he would have them write an essay and one person wrote, “What I learned in the dojo helped me in the rest of my life.” So it got me thinking about how the lessons of the athletic mindset and what Pete was trying to teach them in karate applied to help them be more focused in their regular life. And so that’s what that book is about.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s wonderful.

Well, thank you again.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:

All right. Bye bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s our show for today. If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Cheyette or purchase one of her books, which I urge you to go to sarahcheyette.com.

You can find it all there, of course, Amazon would have her books as well. Please continue to reach out to us with your questions and show ideas. We thrive on your participation. We are a community, we are a connected group. Remember, the best antidote to distraction is connection. We will be releasing another listener question and answer episode soon, so please write to us now and get your question on that show. Email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

Again our tremendous thanks to pediatric neurologist, Dr. Sarah Cheyette and I will close by telling you that Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the estimable and imaginative, Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is the delightful and clever Patrick Keogh.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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3 Comments

  • Gwen Posted May 1, 2020 12:24 pm

    Many ADHD specialists have advised against treating ADHD with cannabis citing worsening of executive functioning. I realize CBD is not cannabis in the traditional sense. In your professional opinion, how would you determine if someone was a good vs. not good candidate for omega with CBD, does a product like OmegaBrite with CBD take time to build up in the body to have a positive effect and have there been any side effects or drug interactions in the clinical trials using large sample sizes using various demographics that are long term in nature?

    And a quick shout out to Landmark College. We have a son who is finishing his first year there. They have handled the current situation with adapting to the impact of COVID 19 beautifully.

    Thank you! Love your Podcast! Stay Well.

  • Sarah Guertin Posted May 5, 2020 5:14 pm

    Hi Gwen, Thanks so much for listening to the podcast and for your comment. Here’s a link to OmegaBrite’s website with FAQ about CBD: https://omegabritewellness.com/cbd-101/ Dr. Hallowell has said on the podcast that he felt positive effects from taking the supplement in a short amount of time. We encourage you to reach out to OmegaBrite directly if you have other specific questions.
    We love Landmark too!! 🙂
    Please stay safe!

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