Pat Yourself On The Back For Making It Through 2020

Pat Yourself On The Back For Making It Through 2020

Ned shares congratulations on making it through one of the most difficult years in our lifetime. He extends a wish of hope and continued resilience for 2021 with the Distraction community.

We are so grateful for all of you!

If you like this episode, please rate and review Distraction on Apple Podcasts! If you have a question, comment, or show idea please email it to [email protected].

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0!

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark!

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, Omegabrite Wellness. I’ve taken their Omega-3 supplements for many years, and so as my wife, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast, I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at Omegabritewellness.com and brite is intentionally misspelled, B-R-I-T-E Omegabritewellness.com. This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College, another institution that I have warm personal relationship with, in Putney Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at LCdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell for Distraction. I’m talking to you on the eve of new year’s eve. So of course, I’m thinking about the new year as most of you are as well. And what a hellacious year 2020 was. I’m sure we’re all looking to much better tidings come 2021, but looking back I just want to congratulate you all because simply getting through a amounts to a lot. Particularly if you have the fascinating trait that we love to talk about called ADHD, or as we renamed it in our new book, VAST. If you have ADHD/VAST then dealing with the uncertainty of everyday life becomes even more stressful, problematic, upsetting, frustrating, and raging difficult and leads you to want to pull out your hair, if not your fingernails as well. It’s really stressful.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So if you were sitting there listening to this, you deserve tremendous congratulation. You deserve enormous, enormous pats on the back and whatever other kinds of goodies you like to get. It’s no small feat to have gotten through the horrible obstacle course that was 2020. And to be looking at the new year with an attitude of hope, knowing that we’re not out of the woods by any means but that there is reason to hope. The vaccine gives us reason to hope, and we hope the transition from one administration to the next will give us hope. We’re together, bonding, connecting, getting over what I call a massive vitamin connect deficiency, which is hitting people right and left and leveling them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So now’s the time to connect. Now’s the time to come together, hug one another if it’s safe, hug one another figuratively otherwise, and just feel the good vibration that can start circling around the country and around the world. Congratulations on having made it through 2020, and now steel yourself, gird your loins and march into 21 with gusto, enthusiasm and high, high hopes. I think 21 will prove to be a wonderful year.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This is Dr. Ned Hallowell wishing you the happiest of new years you could ever imagine. Take care, stay safe and be well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at Omegabrite Wellness. I take their supplements every day and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at Omegabrite, and that’s B-R-I-T-E, wellness.com.

Share:
Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria Is Common with ADHD

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria Is Common with ADHD

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is common in those with ADHD. And the pain that people experience is very real as Dr. H describes in this mini episode.

Do you have a question or guest suggestion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness!

Now is a great time to try OmegaBrite as Ned has arranged for a special offer for the first 250 Distraction listeners who respond. Distraction listeners who buy one bottle of 70/10 MD Omega-3, will get a FREE bottle of CBD Full Spectrum 25mg Softgels with the promo code: NED. You’ll get FREE shipping too! These are the same supplements that Dr. H takes every day.

Just enter the code: NED after adding the Omega-3 to your cart and the FREE bottle of CBD and FREE shipping will be automatically applied.

Click HERE to learn more about our other amazing sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is sponsored by OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD full spectrum soft gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned, that’s my name, Ned, at omegabritewellness.com. Distraction is also sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. Today I want to respond to a couple of questions that have come from my recent debut on Tik Tok #nedtalks on Tik Tok. If you go there, you’ll see a bunch of 60 second video clips that I’ve made. A couple of questions that have come up… On Tik Tok you don’t have a lot of time to answer a question. So a couple of questions that would take a little bit more than the brief space we have on Tik Tik to answer questions I thought I’d deal with here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The first one regards rejection sensitive dysphoria, RSD, condition that William Dodson, one of the great clinicians in our field has really taken to the general public. It’s received widespread attention because it’s so common. Now rejection sensitive dysphoria is a bunch of syllables that simply refers to a person’s tendency to be more than average sensitive to rejection. None of us likes rejection. If someone comes up to you and says, “You’re ugly,” you’re not going to like that. Or if someone comes up to you and says, “You’re stupid,” you’re not going to like that. Or if you apply for a job and don’t get it, you’re not going to like that. Or if you ask someone out and they say, “You must be joking,” you’re not going to like that. So, it is a baseline fact of human existence that rejection is not pleasant.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
However, there’s tremendous variability in how people respond to rejection. Those of us who have what’s called rejection sensitive dysphoria, we have an exaggerated response to rejection. Oftentimes we imagine rejection when it really isn’t there. Someone can say, “Oh, I really like your tie.” And you think, well, does that mean you don’t like my shirt? So we can imagine rejection where none as intended. That’s the dilemma of the person who has RSD, rejection sensitive dysphoria.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It happens to be very common in people who have ADHD. People don’t have ADHD can have it as well. People with anxiety disorders, people with post traumatic stress disorder, people who have a very insecure childhood, never got the kind of grounding and reassurance they needed and never developed what I call the emotional shock absorbers to allow you to deal with and rebound from rejection or disappointment. So there are many ways you can acquire rejection sensitive dysphoria, but it happens for whatever reason to be common in the ADHD population. We are inclined to overreact to rejection and to imagine rejection where none is intended.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What do you do about that? Well, you begin by simply knowing that it exists, that you have an exaggerated response to rejection, and sometimes you perceive it when it’s not even there. Now that can help you put it into perspective, you see, because by definition, the rejection sensitive dysphoria is a loss of perspective. You are magnifying the importance of the disappointment. You are magnifying the damage to your self-esteem that the rejection has done. You are turning a molehill into a mountain. So you want to learn how to bring that mountain back down to the molehill it ought to be.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a skill that you can cultivate. One good way is to go to my favorite rule which is never worry alone. Talk to someone about it. Do you think that person really hates me? Do you think my not getting the job means I’m a total loser? Do you think my not getting a good grade in the course means I have no future in this field? You want to reality test, as the jargon puts it, your reaction, because your reaction is exaggerated. One way to bring that mountain back down to a molehill is to test your reaction out with a friend and say, “This is how I reacted to that. What do you think?” And the friend will say, “You’re exaggerating.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, in order to do that, you have to be willing to make yourself vulnerable. You have to be willing to say, “I had this extreme reaction.” Then let your friends say, “Gee, it doesn’t sound like that person really was putting you down all that much.” Or the job you didn’t get it, well, there’s plenty of other jobs out there, and it doesn’t mean you’re a loser at all. There’s nobody in this world who hasn’t applied for something and not gotten it, whether it’s a team, a job, a date, or whatever it might happen to be.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So, start building your emotional shock absorbers as I call them. You do that with friends, with belief systems, with faith, with aphorisms, slogans. Epictetus, the great stoic philosopher, really the father of cognitive therapy, was a slave, and he discovered that the one thing he could control was his thoughts. So even as a slave, he was happy. His master freed him because he said, “Epictetus, if you can explain to me your secret, I’ll set you free.” Epictetus did, and it worked. The master set him free, and now Epictetus is revered as one of the fathers of a whole school of philosophy called stoicism. So, it’s about learning how to take control of your emotions and your thoughts instead of being at the whim, the horrible often devastating whim of your perceived rejections. You want to learn how, and seeing a therapist can help a great deal, learn how to build up your emotional shock absorbers, your reality testers, your capacity to reassure yourself, to give yourself self-talk without necessarily having to find another person.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Dr. Dodson also recommends a couple of medications that oddly enough can be helpful for this. They’re not antidepressants. They’re what are called the alpha agonists. Clonidine is one, and Guanfacine is another, that in low doses have been found to be effective in dealing with RSD. Now, why that is, we don’t know. But it is very interesting that a medication can help improve a person’s capacity to tolerate rejection. It just shows there’s this tremendous interface between the mind and the body, between what we think of as femoral and psychological, as opposed to what we think of neuro-transmitter driven biology. They overlap. They’re, in a sense, one and the same, that you can use a medication to treat what seems like such a purely psychological experiential phenomenon. So rejection sensitive dysphoria.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The other part of the question the person asked was, “Well, what if the rejection is real?” What if you have been dropped by the person of your dreams? What if you did make it up to the final cut and didn’t make the team, or didn’t get the job, or didn’t get the promotion? There’s no doubt that’s a rejection. What if it’s real? Well, you deal with it in exactly the same way. You rely on your emotional shock absorbers. You rely on your support system. That’s why it’s so important to have a support system, what I call your network of positive connection, connection to friend, connection to family, connection to a dog, one of the ones that I champion all the time. Connection to ways of self-soothing be it music, be it beauty, be it a walk in nature, ways of self-soothing, reliable ways of self-soothing, and avoiding the dangerous ways of self-soothing, which is excessive alcohol, drugs, dangerous seeking behavior, impulsive acting out. So you want to try to cultivate the adaptive forms of self-soothing and steer clear of the maladaptive.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But that’s why it’s important to have a philosophy, or a belief system that you can reliably turn to, a passage from literature, a letter from a friend, something that you remember that stuck with you that helps to bring it out when times are tough. My father-in-law who’s since passed away, loved the poem “If”. I’ll send you to that poem. It’s a great one if you want to have something that you can turn to for some degree of stabilization. We all need that. People who have this predilection toward overreacting to disappointment and rejection particularly need to develop those emotional shock absorbers that you can bring out so that you don’t suffer the terrible pain that RSD can create if you don’t know what you’re dealing with.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I hope that makes sense because it’s a common phenomenon, not just in the world of ADHD, but in life in general. Life has enough pain in it, but you don’t want to… I call there’s necessary pain and then there’s unnecessary pain, and the pain of RSD is unnecessary pain, so take it upon yourself to learn how to master it. Work with a professional. You’ll discover that these episodes, while no fun, do not have to be devastating, and indeed can turn into growth. That is a fact, that the painful experiences, the old saying what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, it’s true. It’s true. But we don’t want you to get killed in the process.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Before I go, I’d like to thank our sponsor OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD full spectrum soft gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned, that’s my name, at omegabritewellness.com. Please reach out to us with your questions and comments by emailing [email protected] That’s [email protected] And if you happen to be on Tik Tok, my new favorite platform, you can find me there with the username @drhallowell. I’ve posted a whole bunch of videos about common ADHD issues, and they’re only 60 seconds apiece. Take a look and let me know what you think. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the estimable Scott Persson. Our producer is the very talented Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, until next time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard, just now heard, was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD full spectrum soft gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned, that’s my name, at omegabritewellness.com.

Share:
Ned and Sue Answer ADHD Relationship Questions

Ned and Sue Answer ADHD Relationship Questions

Dr. Hallowell’s wife Sue returns to Distraction to address listeners’ ADHD questions. Sue Hallowell is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and has been married to Ned for 30 years. They’ve also raised 3 children together who all have ADHD, so you could say Sue is somewhat of a subject-matter expert! Listeners ask about issues with their kids, spouses and more.

Do you have a question or guest suggestion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness!

Now is a great time to try OmegaBrite as Ned has arranged for a special offer for the first 250 Distraction listeners who respond. Distraction listeners who buy one bottle of 70/10 MD Omega-3, will get a FREE bottle of CBD Full Spectrum 25mg Softgels with the promo code: NED. You’ll get FREE shipping too! These are the same supplements that Dr. H takes every day.

Just enter the code: NED after adding the Omega-3 to your cart and the FREE bottle of CBD and FREE shipping will be automatically applied.

Click HERE to learn more about our other amazing sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

This episode was originally released in August 2017.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is sponsored by OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of Omega Brite CBD Full-Spectrum Softgels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned, that’s my name, Ned, at omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is also sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, the college of choice for student who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s very demoralizing for me when I come up with a new idea, “Let’s start a goat farm tomorrow morning,” and have her say, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” So we each try to manage the other’s expectations a little bit, and we’ve been married how many years, 28 years? It’s…

Sue Hallowell:
It’ll be 28 years September 17th.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, we’re still working at it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and welcome to Distraction, the podcast. Today we have a very special episode because my wife is joining. My wife, Sue, has joined us in the past and it made for one of our most popular episodes ever, and so we’ve invited her back.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
By way of introduction, Sue is my wife of 28 years, the mother of our three children, now 28, 25, 22, but professionally, she is a licensed independent clinical social worker, LICSW, has been in practice for 30 years, is really honestly the best clinician I know. She is truly, and I don’t I’m biased, but I mean it. She’s remarkable. She’s incredibly empathic, incredibly warm, but also very decisive, incisive, and smart. She specializes in couples, particularly couples where one or both members have the wonderfully interesting condition called ADD. Welcome, Sue.

Sue Hallowell:
Thank you. It’s such a privilege to be here. I’m really happy to be asked back.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, the privilege is ours. And with that, we will take our first caller. I’m very happy to welcome a caller by the name of [Suta 00:02:45]. Hello, Suta.

Suta:
Hi, how are you?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
[crosstalk 00:02:48].

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah. Hi, Suta. How are you?

Suta:
Nice to meet you, Sue.

Sue Hallowell:
Nice to meet you.

Suta:
Thanks for having me on your show with Dr. Hallowell.

Sue Hallowell:
Well, it’s nice to have you here.

Suta:
Where are you calling from, Suta?

Sue Hallowell:
Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And how can we help you?

Suta:
Well, I’ve been with my husband for 22 years, and he was diagnosed late in life with ADHD, so I listened a lot to ADHD podcasts and I’ve learned a lot about it, but I still struggle with a few things. One of those is how do you respond when your ADHD spouse comes to you with a new idea, a new hobby, or a new business venture? I know that I should respond positively but I still have a hard time with it. Sometimes I maybe question a little bit too much and I think it comes across as being negative.

Sue Hallowell:
I’m only laughing because this comes up in our coupledom all the time.

Suta:
Yes. And my questions generally revolve around the time commitment and money. So I was just wondering, do you have any thoughts on how to respond positively and be supportive, but still be able to get your questions answered?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, as Sue said, this comes up between Sue and me all the time. So let me let you, Sue. How do you handle me when I come up with a new idea?

Sue Hallowell:
Often, probably like you, almost automatically, I come up with, “Oh, yes, but.”

Suta:
Yeah.

Sue Hallowell:
And one of the things that Ned and I have talked about over the years is that drives him absolutely crazy. And it’s my own anxiety that gets perpetuated immediately, and I feel as if it’s happening right now, that if I don’t respond in a responsible way right then, that we are going to have something happen that’s beyond my control without even beyond a blink of an eye. So what I’ve really tried to learn to do is just suppress that part of myself and realize that what’s most important first, is to just be enthusiastic, and say, “Geez, that’s a great idea. Tell me more about it. Wow, that’s so interesting,” because there’s going to be time for questions. It isn’t going to happen immediately, and if I take the time and talk about what’s good about the idea, or really hear what he’s thinking about it, then he’s often much more responsive when I do say, “Well, but have you thought about this, or have you thought about that?” But if I bring up those concerns immediately, he’s not going to listen to me and it just leads to a fight.

Suta:
Right, it shuts down pretty quickly in my household too.

Sue Hallowell:
That’s exactly right. But for me, it really is, and I don’t know if this is true for you, but I just want to underscore, it’s my own anxiety about things getting out of control that leads me to respond so quickly.

Suta:
Yes.

Sue Hallowell:
And sometimes, actually, if I stop and I really listen to him, he can almost, he’s already considered a lot of things that I didn’t even know he thought about, and/or as he talks about it, sometimes he can see the issues himself. And so that has helped a lot. Would you agree, Ned?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, I rely on Sue to be the brakes. My analogy of ADD is I’ve got a Ferrari engine for a brain with bicycle brakes, and so I’ve spent a lifetime trying to strengthen my brakes. And one of the ways I’ve strengthened my brakes is by marrying Sue, because she doesn’t have a runaway brain and she is able to put on the brakes, and what I have to learn to do is take her temperance as just that, instead of thinking of her as the official wet blanket, to instead say, “Yeah, you’re right. We can’t immediately open a goat farm tomorrow morning in our backyard and it does take some planning.” And so I’ve tried to learn to appreciate her putting on the brakes, just as she’s tried to learn to appreciate my new ideas and not rain on the parade right off the bat. Because it’s very demoralizing for me when I come up with a new idea, “Let’s start a goat farm tomorrow morning,” and to have her say, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” So we each try to manage the other’s expectations a little bit. And we’ve been married, how many years, 28 years? It’s…

Sue Hallowell:
It’ll be 28 years September 17th.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, we’re still working at it.

Sue Hallowell:
That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And I still get upset when she bursts my balloon, and she still gets upset when I go off half-cocked with yet another new idea. And…

Sue Hallowell:
And, may I say, that sometimes your half-cocked ideas have turned out to be pretty fabulous things, down the line. It’s just taken a little bit of a slower process with it. And as you said, sometimes my temperance has helped us maybe stay out of a little bit of trouble sometimes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, and also, I’m not the only one with ideas. For example, I’m just finishing a memoir that I’ve spent the past two years writing, and it’s completely different from anything I’ve ever written. And the only reason I wrote it was Sue telling me, “You really ought to write a memoir. You really ought to write something totally different from all the other books you’ve written.” And only with her encouragement, and only with her assuring me that people might actually want to read it, was I able to get up the courage to write the proposal and sell the idea, and now I’m just finishing the book. So, sometimes she comes up with the bright ideas, and I’m the one who needs to be encouraged.

Suta:
Right, right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you so much for calling in, and-

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah. Yeah, it’s really great talking with you.

Suta:
Yes. Yes, thank you so much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you, Suta. Take care.

Suta:
I appreciate it. Bye-bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Bye-bye.

Sue Hallowell:
Bye-bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay, next up we have a question from [Cheryl 00:09:11]. Hi, Cheryl, this is Ned. Where are we reaching you?

Cheryl:
I am just outside of Portland, Oregon, in a little town called Lake Oswego.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Well, welcome to Distraction, and how can we help you?

Cheryl:
Okay. Well, my question is around the mindful parenting courses that I’ve been seeing a awful lot of both online, I mean, you can take them online, or you can take them in person. And I’ve been seeing those on different ADHD sites and mostly on the parenting sites. Very recently, I started practicing mindfulness and meditation for myself to help kind of manage my nine-year-old ADHD son, and it helps quite a bit.

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

Cheryl:
We’re having fewer power struggles, mostly because I feel like I’m stopping and taking a breath. So my question is, what’s your take on these course offerings? Do you think they offer a more directed plan for parenting a complex kid?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Before we comment, I’d like to hear you describe what has been in the course, and by the way, when I hear mindful parenting, I always think, “So what’s the opposite, mindless parenting?”

Cheryl:
[crosstalk 00:10:25].

Sue Hallowell:
Well, that’s what we do a lot of the time, Ned. We often do mindless parenting.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So, tell-

Cheryl:
I think they call that autopilot.

Sue Hallowell:
There you go.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So tell us, what is in the course? What have you learned? What are they advising you to do?

Cheryl:
Well, some of the modules involve, obviously, there’s a module on mindfulness and meditation and being able to step back, kind of do the old school count to 10 routine. They talked about effective communication and communicating with your child more on their level, and don’t let them push your buttons. I mean, several of the courses have, and they’re anywhere from six to 10 or 12 different modules that you can go through and some of them are self-paced online, and some of them are in person, where they do a webcast. So I mean, there’s several different pieces involved with the courses.

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
My take on it is, what’s not to like? I mean, they’re advising you to learn skills of self soothing, of breathing, of meditating, of being in the moment, of being patient, of waiting and not engaging in struggles, and if the adjective applied to it is mindful, fine. You could call it patient parenting. You could call it taking a deep breath parenting. I think most of these kinds of courses have a lot to offer, simply by allowing you a forum to step back and ponder and consider what you’re doing as a parent. And the oldest job in the world. Sue and I have three kids, and the most important thing we’ve ever done was raise those and some days we were mindful and some days-

Sue Hallowell:
We were not.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We were mindless. But I think these courses, by and large, they’re all good. I mean, unless they’re recommending terrible things, but by and large, I think what they provide is support and certain techniques that have time tested. Goodness knows, breathing and meditation have been around for thousands of years, and learning forbearance with kids who are by nature rambunctious, and we all need support, a guide and someone to worry with and so you feel more confident and less stressed.

Cheryl:
Okay.

Sue Hallowell:
I would basically agree. I mean, I think I heard in one of your questions was you’ve already taken some mindfulness courses? And-

Cheryl:
Well, I haven’t actually taken the courses yet. I was more wondering if, I mean, would this be a good model to follow-

Sue Hallowell:
Yes.

Cheryl:
Or am I in just as good a place in the different little tidbits and things that I’ve stumbled across kind of on the web?

Sue Hallowell:
First of all, I think that I love groups where you can interact with other parents.

Cheryl:
Okay.

Sue Hallowell:
Because I think that that is one of the most healing things that can happen, no matter what the techniques are, right? I think that just being able to have the opportunity to interact with other people who are struggling with the same kinds of issues with your child, is most important. We run this camp in Michigan every year, a week, it’s called ADHD Family Camp, and the kids work with this master educator who does a wonderful program have the kids and the parents work with Ned, and I come in one day. But I always like to joke when I talk to families and say, “Even though Ned’s giving you information and talking with you, what the most important thing is the interactions that you get with the other parents and what you learn from them.”

Cheryl:
Okay.

Sue Hallowell:
So you can read the tidbits and you can get information, but it’s the connection and also having to be able to practice some of it really makes a difference.

Cheryl:
Oh, okay. Awesome. Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
There’s a wonderful book, if you want a book along these lines, by Shefali Tsabary.

Cheryl:
Okay.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If you go to Amazon and look up Shefali Tsabary, her books are wonderful. And then-

Sue Hallowell:
And Cindy Goldrich.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
There’s another author, Cindy Goldrich, and her parenting course is terrific.

Sue Hallowell:
Calm and Connected Parenting.

Cheryl:
Okay.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So those two books, those two authors, both Sue and I know and endorse.

Sue Hallowell:
And Cindy actually not only has a book, she also runs a Calm and Connected Parenting workshop that people really love.

Cheryl:
Okay.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But it’s on the East Coast, so it’s not exactly convenient.

Sue Hallowell:
But it’s a webinar.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh, it’s a webinar. Oh, okay. Oh, okay.

Sue Hallowell:
She does both in-house and webinar.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh, great. Great.

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Terrific, then.

Cheryl:
Oh, very good. Thank you so much for your insight. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, and thank you for giving us a call and it was nice to talk to you.

Sue Hallowell:
Good luck.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good luck.

Cheryl:
Thank you. Have a great day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You too. Take care. Bye-bye.

Cheryl:
Bye-bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay, so Sarah, I understand there’s a new offer from our wonderful sponsor OmegaBrite Wellness.

Sarah:
Yes, there is and we’re really excited. I like to call it the Ned pack, because they’re, basically our listeners are going to have the chance to take what you take every day. So all you have to do is add the OmegaBrite 7010 MD Omega-3 to your cart at omegabritewellness.com, and if you use the coupon code Ned, your name, N-E-D, it’ll automatically add a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full-Spectrum 25 milligram Softgels to the cart, and you get free shipping. So, pretty cool.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow, that’s an excellent offer. I’m so glad they’re using my name not in vain, but to bring people to this wonderful product. It is a wonderful product.

Sarah:
It makes it nice and easy.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, and my wife, really, if they really want to get someone who loves it, they should get my wife, Sue, on because she, and she’s very skeptical about all kinds of things. I mean, she laughs at me for the various stuff I take, but this is one that she absolutely swears by, so I’m glad to know. So they just go to omegabritewellness.com and put in the code Ned and they get all this cool stuff.

Sarah:
Yep, they just have to add the OmegaBrite 7010 MD Omega-3 to their cart, and then with the promo code, they’ll automatically get the free CBD Full-Spectrum 25 milligram Softgels. They’ll get free shipping, and I should note that this is limited to the first 250 Distraction listeners. So people kind of got to move on if they’re interested.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay, and the offer code is Ned.

Sarah:
That’s right, N-E-D.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Very good. Okay. Thank you, Sarah.

Sarah:
Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, now I’d like to welcome Christian to Distraction.

Sue Hallowell:
Hi, Christian. Thanks for calling.

Christian:
Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Where are we catching you? Where are you?

Christian:
I live in Massachusetts.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You have Sue and me together. What can we do for you?

Christian:
So my question for you guys is my wife Michelle, we’ve been married 16, almost 17 years, and she has ADD and I think I have ADD as well, but Michelle has a real severe case of it. So it’s frustrating for me, as a spouse where, a lot of times Michelle has great intentions, she’ll say, “I’ll do this for you,” or, “I’ll run this errand,” and I’m like, “Okay,” and I count on her to do and then it doesn’t happen. And that happens often and I know she doesn’t do it deliberately. It’s just she gets caught up with a lot of things going on in her head. But I guess my question is, how can I, I don’t want to be frustrated anymore and I don’t want our kids to kind of sense that from me, because then [inaudible 00:18:18] they may internalize that and think that Mom just lets them down. So I guess that’s my biggest question.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, my first question is, is her ADD being treated?

Christian:
It is, yes. She sees a doctor, I think, once a month, and she works on it. She listens to your podcast. She reads a lot. And I got to be honest, she wants me to read a book, and I haven’t read it. [inaudible 00:18:45] So I also have to do my part, as well, but yeah, she is being treated for it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, is she taking medication?

Christian:
She is, and if I have it correctly, I think it’s called it Ativan? No.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Adderall.

Sue Hallowell:
Adderall.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right, the biggest mistake that people make is they don’t get maximum mileage out of the medication. The medication is by far the easiest intervention we’ve got. There’s plenty of other things you can do, but if you are open to using medication, and really the medical facts are tremendously reassuring along those lines, then, once you start, you’ve got to titrate the dose so you get target symptom improvement with no side effects. And that can take some backing and filling. If she’s forgetting stuff, it sounds to me as if the medication dosing should at least be looked at, if not revised, because it’s a shame to… It’s like having the wrong prescription eyeglasses. You don’t get the best results. Or the wrong shoe size. You want to make sure that she’s getting the maximum mileage from the medication. And then-

Sue Hallowell:
But.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The second suggestion is for you to sit down with someone like me or Sue. You can see either one of us, I’m in Sudbury, she’s in Cambridge, and do some couples coaching because-

Christian:
Right. Yeah, that’s a good idea.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’ll let you take over with that.

Sue Hallowell:
So I have some medication, though I absolutely agree with you, it does have its limitations and people can be adequately medicated with… Still these issues come up, what kinds of things does she, can you say a little bit more about what you notice or what happens?

Christian:
Sure. Just every… It can be any task, like household things. I’ll do the groceries and then, okay. I like to do the groceries because I, just with my experience with her, I’ll go and get everything that’s on the list, but when I give it a list, she comes back with one third of it. And then she’s like, “Ah, oh I forgot this,” and if she says like… It can be any household chore, like, “I’ll do the laundry,” or, “I’ll do the bills,” or something. Lots of times she just forget, she just doesn’t get it done.

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah.

Christian:
And I know that she doesn’t do it deliberately. I know that she’s not doing because, “Ugh, I don’t want to do laundry.” No one really wants to do laundry.

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

Christian:
She’s just, I think her mind is so preoccupied with a lot of things that she just literally forgets.

Sue Hallowell:
Is she working, or is she-

Christian:
She works part, yeah, she works part time. Yep.

Sue Hallowell:
She does. So she’s out of the house, some. Because one of the-

Christian:
Yes.

Sue Hallowell:
One of the challenges that I’ve seen with a lot of people, women with ADHD who are at home is they feel like they need to be home because they have ADD and they can’t manage everything, but the unstructured life at home actually, in many ways, is much harder for them than if they actually had more of a structure.

Christian:
Right. It’s funny you mentioned that because she worked at home for a while and then she got really, she did a home daycare, and it just was, that was a lot. She did it for seven years and then she stopped. And then she took a break from working and she always said that when she works and she gets out of the house and she works, she can put 100% focus onto work tasks, but when she gets home, she has a very difficult time.

Sue Hallowell:
She loses it. Right.

Christian:
Yeah, so she definitely, what you just said, is definitely true for her.

Sue Hallowell:
Right. The structure really makes a huge difference.

Christian:
Right.

Sue Hallowell:
And so the more that structure can be built into things, the better she will do.

Christian:
Right.

Sue Hallowell:
The other thing is to really talk with her about what she is good at and what she’s not so good at. One of the things that people with ADD, and not that that means she doesn’t have to do anything, but really playing to what her strengths are around the house is much better than having her do things that she’s really not good at.

Christian:
Yeah.

Sue Hallowell:
That can help. Also, don’t pick up the pieces so much. So, if she forgets things at the grocery store, instead of you taking over going to the grocery store, going back for her, one of the mistakes people make is they begin to overcompensate for their partner and then their partner ends up sort of feeling crappy about themselves, really, because they feel like they’re never quite doing it, doing everything they’re supposed to do. And I understand that it’s frustrating and you worry about, “Well, are things going to fall between the cracks?”

Sue Hallowell:
Well, you have to think about what’s good enough versus what is your idea of how things need to be, because sometimes you have to look at what your style is, and what’s important to you, because sometimes with an ADD family, it’s not going to look like other families. And it’s what’s good enough and what needs to get done and how to do it, as opposed to, this is the way it’s supposed to be.

Christian:
Right. No, it makes a lot of sense. And we’ve done that recently. We’ve… She enjoys doing the finances and taking care of those things, and she does a great job at it and she does a lot of things with the kids’ school. Our kids started going to private school this year, so she’s taken a lot of those tasks.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How old are your kids?

Christian:
14 and 12. Our daughter’s dyslexic, and our son is has processing, executive function things going on, and they both have made tremendous strides just in one academic year. It’s been a blessing for us. But Michelle has been really in charge with that and in advocating for the kids. And so yeah, I guess so, we’ve done that in the last few years. We’ve focused on trying to give her a structure, I guess, without even thinking about it.

Sue Hallowell:
And raising kids with issues like your kids have, don’t underestimate how much time and effort that takes, and it sounds like she does a terrific job with that. And so-

Christian:
[crosstalk 00:24:59]. I mean, she’s phenomenal.

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah.

Christian:
Yeah, so.

Sue Hallowell:
And so focus in on that, and if you have resources, filling in the places that she doesn’t do as well, or… I’ll tell you a story of this one couple I see. He is someone who would really get very upset when his wife would put, they had one small child, and she would put the plastic plates that he was eating on in the dishwasher, which he felt was not a good thing because of health benefits. He felt like… And they would go, and she would really mean not to do it, but then would forget, she has ADD, and would put it in. And it was just this struggle and she didn’t want to do it, but she would forget it was… So I finally said, I said to them, I said, “Well, why don’t you just stop using these plastic plates?”

Christian:
Right.

Sue Hallowell:
I mean, and that sounds so simple but they both looked at me like I had given them a magic wand and made it… And so now they have more glass, these pottery that are sturdy, and that she can put them in the dishwasher, and yes, they break sometimes, but it’s really made a major improvement. So I’m saying that you have to sometimes think outside the box a little bit. And-

Christian:
Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. Yeah, and it’s… We’ve been married 16 years and thank god, our marriage is great and she’s phenomenal. And we’ve had two different upbringings, so that’s also another thing. Life isn’t always the same as when you were a kid.

Sue Hallowell:
That’s right.

Christian:
But just this short conversation with you guys has definitely, it makes me think a little bit more.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wonderful.

Christian:
And I agree 100%. I think it can only be a benefit for us to talk to a psychologist, or a doctor like you guys, in terms of figuring out different methods to help us, because if we just try to do it on our own, it’s sometimes [crosstalk 00:27:03].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, someone who has experience with ADD, a little coaching.

Christian:
Right, exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Just a couple of sessions can go a long way, strategies and…

Christian:
Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right. Well, good luck to you.

Sue Hallowell:
Thank you so much for calling and good luck.

Christian:
Thank you very much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you, Christian.

Christian:
All right. Thank you. Have a good day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You too. Bye-bye.

Sue Hallowell:
You too. Goodbye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I want to recommend to you Landmark College. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Go to lcdistraction.org to learn more. That’s LC for Landmark College, distraction.org, to learn more. It’s a really wonderful special place in beautiful Putney, Vermont. It’s bucolic, but what goes on there is unique. It is a truly specialized learning environment for people who have the conditions I’ve got, ADHD and dyslexia, for us to learn how best to acquire knowledge and also to express our own ideas. It’s a marvelously talented, sympathetic, lively faculty. The courses are rigorous, but also wonderfully forgiving if you have one of these conditions. Please go to Landmark College, lcdistraction.org, to learn more, and feed yourself with the banquet you’ll find there. Okay, let’s get back to the show.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now Sue and I are going to speak with a Distraction listener who reached out to us by the name of [Janine 00:28:50]. Hello, Janine.

Janine:
Hi, Dr. Hallowell. Hi, Susan. I’m so delighted to talk with you both.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So what can we do for you today?

Janine:
Well, you know what, it’s interesting, because when I got your initial email that you were exploring marriage issues, it was a week before our 30th wedding anniversary and the question really came to mind is, how on earth did I make it this far, or we make it this far? Because I never thought we’d be celebrating 30, although we both are really stubborn. But there were times when I thought, “There’s no way,” and I guess one of the big things that has helped us survive and be stronger is you in my life, your podcast, your books. And back in 2011, I was part of your summer intensive at Leelanau [crosstalk 00:29:53] School-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Ah.

Sue Hallowell:
Ah.

Janine:
And that was really my first jump into this crazy ADHD brain and kind of understand it, because that’s when my son had been diagnosed. I think what I wrote you about is just being grateful that you were there as a resource, and that you really focused on the connection piece, because that was another big way that we have made it through, is we have a group of friends that we camp with all the time and we just grew our families, and our kids grew up together and they accept us for who we are, but they hold us accountable.

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janine:
So that’s critical.

Sue Hallowell:
It’s so important. And I want to say something about when you said how did we stay married for 30 years.

Janine:
Yeah.

Sue Hallowell:
And one of my favorite answers to that, Ned and I had these very close friends, Priscilla Vail and her husband, who were, what, about 10 years older than us?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sue Hallowell:
Maybe even 15 years older than us. And they… Priscilla described this evening one time that it was she and her husband and these three other couples, and between them, they were probably married 200 years, just an enormous amount of time. And they discussed, they wanted to talk about why did we stay married or what keeps people together, when so many people divorce. And everybody went around and some people said a sense of humor or respect or all these things, and Donald, her husband, went last, and he said, “It’s the determination to stay married.”

Janine:
That’s so true.

Sue Hallowell:
And I think that it’s really your testament to that, right, that you and your husband, it’s not always been easy, but you kept trying to go back and solve the problems or solve the issues and try different ways of looking at it, it sounds like, and having a connected life with people outside of yourself so you didn’t get so insular. I think that if you hadn’t had that determination, you can call it stubbornness or you can call it determination, then you may not have been a family that survived and wouldn’t that be unfortunate?

Janine:
It would be.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now after 30 years of marriage, what’s the upside? See, we’ve talked about sort of grim determination but what’s the-

Sue Hallowell:
Hey, hey, hey, I didn’t say grim determination. I-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What’s the joy?

Sue Hallowell:
You are terrible.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What’s the fun? What’s the joy?

Janine:
Okay. You guys make me laugh and that’s fun.

Sue Hallowell:
I mean, really.

Janine:
It’s interesting, now that our sons are almost launched and pretty much on their own, I mean, just our intimate life is probably better than it ever been because we… There was a time when we could go months and months without sex because first, we didn’t like each other very well at that point and who had any kind of… You just fake it and that wasn’t fun. So that part of our life wasn’t really active, and that has reemerged in our 60s, believe it or not.

Sue Hallowell:
And I have a question. I often find, and I don’t know if this is true for you, but so many couples, when they’re struggling, they really just focus on what their partner is doing wrong or what makes them unhappy about their partner.

Janine:
Yes.

Sue Hallowell:
And I think that when people are able to finally stop and, sounds like you did a little bit, take stock of what’s good and what’s not good, and what do I really want, then sometimes you’re able to say, “Okay, what can I do differently?”

Janine:
Exactly. I was spending a lot of time being the martyr and blaming, and…

Sue Hallowell:
People fight that because they think, “Well, no, but I’m right in what I believe,” and I often say to people, “Being right is sometimes not the best thing in a relationship.” Sometimes it’s more important to pay attention to what works for the relationship, rather than being right or not, and maybe you don’t have to react to every little thing, whether you’re right or wrong.

Janine:
Exactly. And I felt so justified in pointing them all out. It felt really good but it didn’t get to the end goal of us really being a better couple and enjoying each other.

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

Janine:
And-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s funny-

Janine:
[crosstalk 00:34:41].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I remember a woman that I saw years and years ago, and she worked in the corporate world, and she was absolutely brilliant, but she wasn’t getting promoted to the level that she really deserved until she figured out why. And she said, “I used to go into meetings with the sole purpose of being right, and I was the smartest person in the room. I had done the most preparation, but my way of being right was to make everyone else feel wrong.” And she said, “Now I’m a recovering righteous bitch.” She said, “When I was able to not have to be right, and allow other people their say, everything changed.” And I think that’s true in couples. Being right is really overrated.

Janine:
Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Getting along is what you want to do.

Sue Hallowell:
And of course, I mean, Ned’s going to yell at me now because I always have to qualify everything. Of course, we’re not talking about… Obviously, there’s some times when you have to take a stand, but in general, taking a stand isn’t always needed.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now’s the time for Sue to issue a disclaimer that we do not have a perfect marriage. We fight all the time.

Janine:
Well, we do too.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We don’t fight all the time, but she would just as soon say that we do fight all the time.

Janine:
Well, we banter. [crosstalk 00:36:06].

Sue Hallowell:
Banter.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, we banter. We banter.

Janine:
We banter. And I think it’s learning to respect each other’s needs, because I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my 50s, and then I also have dyslexia, so I have a bunch of triggers about being stupid. So I work real hard at [crosstalk 00:36:25] stupid.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Janine, where did you, you are anything but stupid. I can tell just talking to you, you’re very smart.

Janine:
Well, yeah, but I didn’t think that for years and years, so I can’t underestimate or I can’t say enough really for the work you both do and your commitment to this, and it’s not easy stuff and you’re a voice out there that people can go to and trust. And it’s sort of this beacon in the middle of the storm sometimes that, “Oh, there is a different way,” and, so thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, thank you for those encouraging words, and we really have fun doing it. And we see the greatness in ADD, not just the problematic part of it.

Janine:
Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And we have fun with each other.

Sue Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janine:
Yeah, I can tell. You laugh a lot, and you don’t take each other quite too seriously.

Sue Hallowell:
No, you can’t.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We don’t have much grim determination, I’ll say that.

Janine:
We’ll just keep using the strategies we’ve been using and being gentle with each other and try and listen and not be so bullheaded and I think it’ll work.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Yeah, it’ll work. It obviously is working. Enjoy the next 30 years.

Janine:
Hey, thank you so much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right.

Janine:
And it’s been delightful talking with both of you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thanks, Janine.

Sue Hallowell:
It’s so nice to talk to you, Janine.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Take care.

Janine:
All right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Bye-bye.

Janine:
Take care. Bye-bye.

Sue Hallowell:
Bye-bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, that’s our show, our very special show, featuring my wife the inimitable Sue George Hallowell. Do you have any closing remarks, sweetheart?

Sue Hallowell:
I just want to say thank you to all the callers today. I’ve always felt like it’s such a privilege to be able to get a little insight into people’s stories, and everyone today just had such incredible stories that I’m sure that many of you out there share many of the same issues. And so, I thank them for being willing to call in and to share their stories with us, and help others along the way.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, absolutely, Sue. And the major theme of our show is the power of connection, and we really depend on you listeners for that, and so please write us, call us, be in touch with us, comments, stories, suggestions. We love hearing from you. We’ll do another show like this soon, I hope. Love to get your input and love to create the force field of connection that really is the key to pretty much everything good in life. Well, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, saying goodbye for me and for my wife, Sue, until next time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, that’s going to do it for today. I hope you all had fun. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you learned a lot. If you did, please tell your friends. We’re trying to grow our audience and the best way to do that is for you to tell other people about us. Thank you for all of you who reached out, and please, if any of you feel moved to write a question, write it, email it, record it, whatever. We will almost definitely be airing your question and I’ll get a chance to take a stab at providing my best answer that I can come up with.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If you have a question or comment you’d like us to include in a future episode, write it or record it and send it to, here you come, here you come, [email protected] Send it to connect, the word [email protected] Remember, please to follow Distraction on social media and subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen, so you’ll never miss an episode. I’m now also on TikTok, if you can believe that. I’m loving TikTok. It’s a perfect, perfect format, 60 second bits about different parts of ADHD. So, you can find me there too. My username is @drhallowell.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for joining us today. I love this audience. I just appreciate lending me your ears, as it were. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the amazingly talented Scott Persson, and our producer is the also amazingly talented Sarah Guertin. Thank you all and see you next time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard, just now heard, was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full-Spectrum Softgels, with free shipping, when you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned, that’s my name, at omegabritewellness.com.

Share:
Who Can Diagnose and Treat ADHD?

Who Can Diagnose and Treat ADHD?

Ned clears up some common misconceptions about who can diagnose ADHD, the types professionals you might encounter on your treatment journey, and what questions you should ask any professional before working with them.

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Do you have a question or guest suggestion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness!

Now is a great time to try OmegaBrite as Ned has arranged for a special offer for the first 250 Distraction listeners who respond. Distraction listeners who buy one bottle of 70/10 MD Omega-3, will get a FREE bottle of CBD Full Spectrum 25mg Softgels with the promo code: NED. You’ll get FREE shipping too! These are the same supplements that Dr. H takes every day.

Just enter the code: NED after adding the Omega-3 to your cart and the FREE bottle of CBD and FREE shipping will be automatically applied.

Click HERE to learn more about our other amazing sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is sponsored by Omega Brite Wellness. Get a free bottle of Omega Brite CBD full-spectrum soft gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned, that’s my name Ned, @omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is also sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more @lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Today, we’re going to do a mini based on a few questions that come up all the time in my practice, in many people’s practice and in your lives, as you wonder about ADHD and how to get help so let me address them. I’m going to talk about who is qualified to diagnose ADHD, who is qualified to treat ADHD and what the difference is between a psychiatrist, psychologist and a therapist.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Let’s start with that last one. A psychiatrist, which is what I am, has an MD. In other words, I went to medical school, and then I did a medical internship, taking care of heart attacks and GI bleeds, and that sort of thing. Then I did a residency in adult psychiatry for two years and followed that with a fellowship in child psychiatry for two more years. So it was four years of medical school, a year of internship, and then four years of residency and fellowship for a total of nine years after college, before I was set out upon the world to do what I wanted to do, not that I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing as a resident.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But a psychologist, on the other hand, has a PhD. So a psychologist does not receive medical training unless he or she goes out of his way or her way to get into biological psychology. So a psychologist has a PhD and in order to get a PhD, you have to go to grad school, take some courses, traditional courses, and then write a thesis, write a dissertation. If you ever hear of a psychologist saying I’m ABD, that means all but dissertation. He or she has done everything, but write the dreaded dissertation, and it becomes kind of a rite of passage for these folks.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then in the grouping of therapists, there’s many different stripes. I think if I were to advise a young person to go into the field, I’d advise them to get an MSW, master in social work. That takes two years. Once you get that, then you have to do some thousand hours, it varies from state to state, to get licensed and become an LICSW, licensed independent clinical social worker. The beauty of their training is it’s very strength-based, unlike psychiatry and psychology, which are skewed toward pathology.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then there are many other people who can do therapy. In fact, anyone can do therapy. You can not even have a high school diploma and put a sign out saying “I’m a therapist.” So, there is zero quality control unless you get into one of the licensed disciplines like social work, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then there are licensed marital therapists, there licensed counselors. Again, it varies from state to state. But once you see the word ‘licensed’ in front of somebody, that means they had to pass some requirements set by the state board, usually including an exam. Then they have to answer to that board so there’s some quality control and supervision.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The word ‘licensed’, not anybody can call themselves a licensed therapist, but truly anyone can call themselves a therapist, which is both good and bad. It does open the door for a lot of people who really shouldn’t be doing it. But then there are some people who were gifted and do a great service.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But to review, psychiatrist, someone like me has an MD, and we’re very trained in the medical sciences, the biology of the mind, as well as the psychology. Psychologists do not have the medical background and as a result, unless you have an MD, you can’t write prescriptions. So psychologists have a PhD, but they’re not allowed to write prescriptions with some exceptions. Some states have opened the door for psychologists to write prescriptions, but that’s more the exception than the rule.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The only non-MDs who can write prescriptions are nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, and they are allowed to write prescriptions. They are usually under the supervision of an MD, again, depending upon the state licensing requirements.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then the therapist, as I said, there are many stripes of therapists, but licensed independent clinical social worker, LICSW, is a reliable one, licensed couples therapists, licensed counselor, licensed family therapist. Those are all sort of a summary of the mental health professionals, including nursing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then occupational therapists who often do get involved in the treatment of ADHD. Don’t want to leave them out, nor the addiction counselors. They do tremendous work, licensed addiction counselor and addiction counselors in general, tremendous amount of work to do there because there’s a big overlap between ADHD and people who have what’s now called substance use disorder. We don’t use the term ‘addiction’ because it’s so pejorative. We go with substance use disorder, which is true. It is a disorder, a disease and needs to be respected and treated as such.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, who is qualified to diagnose ADHD? Well, the answer is any professional, preferably licensed professional, who has experience in working with children and adults who have ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now that’s a wide swath, but you can’t, just based on the person’s initials after their name, know whether they have experience so you ought to ask. The people who have the most training in ADHD are the people who are from my discipline, which is child psychiatrists. That’s an MD who’s done extra training in child psychiatry. We get the most training of any professional in ADHD, but we’re rare as hen’s teeth. It’s very hard to find child psychiatrist.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But you don’t need to have one. A diagnosis can be made by a pediatrician, family physician, neurologist. Anyone with an MD can do it as long as they have experience in working with ADHD. As I said, among the MDs, among all professionals, the child psychiatrists have the most training and the most experience.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
A psychologist can also diagnose this condition, so can a social worker, so can any licensed therapist.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What you want to do is ask the person you’re seeing how much experience do they have. I’ve treated tens of thousands of people over my 40 years. It’s pretty hard to find someone with my level of experience. But you can certainly find someone who’s treated a thousand people, or even 500. That is what you’re looking for.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If you’re having trouble finding somebody, and the best way to get a referral is from somebody who’s seen that person already, but call the nearest medical school. Medical schools are good quality control clearing houses. Call the nearest medical school and ask for the department of psychiatry.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If you’re an adult looking for an adult referral, say, “Do you know of any adult psychiatrists on your staff or on your referral base who treat adults with ADHD?” If you’re looking for a child, ask for who on your staff or in your clinic or in your referral base is good with children who have ADHD. That’s a good quality control measure.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Every state has a medical school. So no matter where you live, you are within somewhat striking distance of a medical school and a state medical society and a state psychiatric society. You can call all of those people, and those are good resources.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Finally, who is qualified to treat ADHD? Well, again, anyone who has experience, the more, the better, in working with children and adults who have it. Now, only MDs or nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants can write prescriptions. So if you want to get medication, and medication is a standard tool in the toolbox of treating ADD, then you have to see an MD or someone who works with an MD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Most psychologists, PhD psychologists, who treat ADD, and most social workers and other professionals who treat ADHD are affiliated with an MD who can prescribe. So if you happen to be with a psychologist, that psychologist almost always has an MD who he can refer you to, if you want to get a trial of medication. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and go find an MD and get diagnosed all over again. That’s the way most of those folks take care of that issue.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
To summarize, who is qualified to diagnose and who’s qualified to treat? Bottom line is a licensed professional who has a lot of experience in doing it and, again, I reviewed which those people are. Then in treatment, the same thing. Find someone who has a lot of experience.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Make sure you don’t see a one-trick pony, someone who can only prescribe medication, for example, because there’s a lot more to the treatment of ADHD than prescribing medication. You want to see someone who takes a more inclusive, multimodal approach, where you use some of everything, whether it’s exercise-based treatment or meditation or coaching or cognitive behavioral therapy or medication, all of those treatment modalities you want, whoever you see, to have experience with all of those, or at least many of those. Don’t just see someone who’s pushing one kind of treatment, someone who just does neurofeedback, for example, who just does nutritional counseling. Whatever the angle might be, you want someone who is more eclectic and goes by my motto, which is whatever works. As long as it’s safe and it’s legal, I will do whatever works. That’s the kind of approach you’re looking for.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So we’ve reviewed what’s the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist and a therapist, and we’ve reviewed who’s qualified to treat ADHD and who’s qualified to diagnose ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Before I go, I’d like to thank our sponsor, Omega Brite Wellness. Get a free bottle of Omega Brite CBD full-spectrum soft gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned, that’s my name @omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Please reach out to us with your questions and comments by emailing [email protected] That’s [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If you happen to be on TikTok, my new favorite platform, you can find me there with the username @drhallowell. I’ve posted a whole bunch of videos about common ADHD issues, and they’re only 60 seconds apiece. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is created by Soundscape Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the estimable Scott Persson, and our producer is the very talented Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, until next time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard, just now heard, was made possible by my good friends at Omega Brite Wellness. Get a free bottle of Omega Brite CBD full-spectrum soft gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned @omegabrite wellness.com.

Share:
ADHD and… Driving, Divorces, and Daughters

ADHD and… Driving, Divorces, and Daughters

It’s one of Ned’s favorite things to do… respond to listener emails! Today’s questions have Dr. H discussing the real dangers of driving with ADHD, how to handle marriage troubles when your ADHD is getting all of the blame, why girls are under diagnosed, and medication tolerance.

If you have a question or comment you’d like to share, please write an email or record a voice memo (like Miles did in this episode!) and send it to [email protected].

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Do you have a question or guest suggestion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness!

Now is a great time to try OmegaBrite as Ned has arranged for a special offer for the first 250 Distraction listeners who respond. Distraction listeners who buy one bottle of 70/10 MD Omega-3, will get a FREE bottle of CBD Full Spectrum 25mg Softgels with the promo code: NED. You’ll get FREE shipping too! These are the same supplements that Dr. H takes every day.

Just enter the code: NED after adding the Omega-3 to your cart and the FREE bottle of CBD and FREE shipping will be automatically applied.

Click HERE to learn more about our other amazing sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is sponsored by OmegaBrite wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full Spectrum soft gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega 3. Use offer code Ned. That’s my name, Ned, at omegabritewellness.com. Distraction is also sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thanks for joining us today. We have my favorite kind of show today, which is dealing with questions from all of you. As you hear these, please think of your own questions and send them in to us. We love doing these shows. As we normally do in these episodes, Sarah Guertin, our wonderful sturdy, steadfast, brilliant, et cetera, et cetera, producer is joining me to read your emails because I can’t read. No, I’m just kidding. She’s going to read them to me so you can hear them, but I haven’t seen them yet, so these are done cold. I had no chance to rehearse my responses, so what you will get will be my spontaneous reaction to your question.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, with that as an introduction, let me turn it over to my wonderful producer and friend Sarah Guertin. Take it away, Sarah.

Sarah Guertin:
Thank you, Ned. Hello there.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You’re very welcome. Hello.

Sarah Guertin:
Okay, today we are starting with an email from a woman named Karyl. She’s a 45 year old mother of two boys who both have ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I just have to interrupt you because I’m looking at this. I have never seen Karyl spelled that way. This lady spells her name K-A-R-Y-L. Good for her, how to individualize a very generic name. This is Karyl with a very special spelling of Carol. Sorry for interrupting Sarah. My ADD runs away with me.

Sarah Guertin:
There you go.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Race car brain with bicycle brakes, just can’t stop myself.

Sarah Guertin:
Well, this question, not surprisingly Karyl discovered that she had ADHD after her sons were diagnosed. So her question today is about her own ADHD, and it’s about books, so you’re going to love this. She says, “I read for about 30 to 45 minutes to wind down in the evening with a mystery or with your book, Ned, which was the first one I hungrily devoured after the initial diagnosis.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Isn’t that nice?

Sarah Guertin:
“I have been able to zip through, but there are about eight books, different books on my shelf. I am reading, but have not finished. I don’t so much hold off on these books as a form of procrastination, although they do help me get sleepy enough to sleep every night. I see these books as golden opportunities for learning, so I want to savor each piece and put it into practice before moving onto the next nugget. I would not like to just gloss through the info just to get it done like some of the mundane tasks of my life, such as payroll and preparing tax docs for the CPA. The problem I see though, is that sometimes I take such a long break that most of what was already learned, I am not always able to connect with the new information.”

Sarah Guertin:
To give you an example, she said she’s currently reading Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. “I am on page 150 out of 330 pages. I bought the book 20 years ago. That is an extreme example, but I’m wondering if I should give myself a kind of deadline for a book. If I’m not done with it, shall I just put it on the back burner “maybe” shelf and pick it up again? With strong coffee, colorful lists and an agenda book I am able to complete most of my other daily tasks with no problems. I would like to get your opinion on whether my evening reading routine needs tweaking. Shall I only have one or two books on the shelf or is it okay to be reading eight books at once?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, Karyl, let me tell you what I think, and it’s not what you’re going to expect to hear. You said you have eight different books on your shelf that you’re reading. I have about 2,000 throughout my house. I’d say even more than that. Of the 2,000, I may have read, oh, maybe 50 of them all the way through, and I don’t feel guilty about that, you see. I feel wonderful about it. I see these books, it’s like I own a beautiful apple orchard and my orchard is full of ripe ready, bright red apples. What makes this orchard special is that these apples never go bad. They never fall off the bow. They’re never… They’re just waiting for me to pluck one down and take a bite. I can take a bite and guess what? The apple still doesn’t go bad and I can stick it back up on the tree. They’re replaceable stems, you know?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
My orchard is always there waiting for me, any book I can pull off the shelf and you’re right, if I hadn’t read it for 10 years, I’d had trouble coming back to it. The person who really taught me this wonderful way of looking at things, I was an English major at Harvard, and when I was finishing my degree, at Harvard, you get what’s called a tutor and it’s a professor in your field and you meet with him or her one-on-one. I had this legendary professor for two years, junior and senior year, William Alford was his name. He’s now in heaven, but he was just the most wonderful, wonderful man in the world. I sort of breathlessly confessed to him in our final meeting, we were talking about the greatest novelists of all time, and we were compiling a list, and I said to him, because he put as his greatest novelist of all time Tolstoy.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I looked down at the floor and I said, “Professor Alford, I just have to confess. I’ve never read War and Peace.” Without missing a beat, he said, “Oh, aren’t you lucky?” What he meant by that was I have such pleasure in store for me that instead of saying, “How can we call you a Harvard grad English major and you haven’t read the greatest novel ever written” and making me feel ashamed and guilty, which is what an awful lot of professors would have done, he immediately said, “Oh, you’re so lucky you have that pleasure yet in store for you.” That’s the way… By the way, I still haven’t read War and Peace, so I guess I’m still very lucky, but I guess what I’m saying is if you can look at those books as pleasures waiting for you…

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now it’s true enough, if you don’t get back to some of them pretty soon, you’ll forget what’s in them and you’ll have to catch up, but I wouldn’t guilt trip myself about it. I wouldn’t say, “Oh, I’m a bad person. I have eight books going.” I would say that’s a indicator of how enthusiastic you are, how curious you are, how varied your tastes are. You go from a mystery to a science, to a history, to a memoir, and you like to change it up. You don’t want to just stick with one genre or one author because, after all, this is not an assignment. There’s no exam. You have the freedom to peruse your shelf, as you would like to. Think of it as your special apple orchard, with all these beautiful, bright red, shiny apples hanging from the branches and they never go bad. They never go rotten. They just hang there waiting for you to come eat them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This is one problem I would reframe not as a problem at all, but as a delight and the fact that you want to read and that you’re curious and imaginative, that’s all and you just need these books to feed that curiosity and imagination. I hope that makes sense to you. I hope I freed you from feeling like you’re somehow failing the course or not doing your duty as a reader and encouraging you just to run wild, run free in your own personal orchard.

Sarah Guertin:
I love that. You always know just what to say.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I still remember Bill Alford saying that to me, “Oh, you’re so lucky.”

Sarah Guertin:
Well, and like you said, you’re still lucky, right?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Exactly. I still haven’t read it.

Sarah Guertin:
Maybe you’ll read it some day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Some day. I hope.

Sarah Guertin:
Okay. This next email we have is from Donna who lives in London. She wrote in part, “Hello, Dr. Ned. I’ve listened to many of your podcasts and have to thank you for how informative and helpful I have found the topics, but I hope you can help me with a trait I’m finding problematic to get help for. I have a big problem when it comes to driving. I have never felt I’m a confident driver. Even when I was learning to drive, rather than getting easier and more relaxed with each lesson, I was getting more anxious to the point where I would sweat excessively through nerves. I must have had over 300 lessons over a two year period. Driving did not and has not come naturally. Driving for me is more like an ordeal than a pleasurable experience.

Sarah Guertin:
After looking into the traits of ADD, I now believe that my brain becomes so overwhelmed with the task of driving, which is why I struggle with it. Having the inability to sustain attention with what my brain classes as a boring task, trying to stay focused, transitioning from one task to another requires the brain to shift its focus, and now I understand that that causes the brain to overreact and go into a startled state, leading to the feeling of anxiousness. It was just by luck I passed my driving test in my early twenties, but I’ve been left these last 20 years not understanding why I had this problem with driving. What can I do to get over this trait? How do I stop my brain sabotaging my ability to drive? It’s probably worth pointing out that I’m single, I live on my own and live miles away from friends and family, so I do not have a close network near me, and with the coronavirus lockdown, there are social distancing rules in place, so not able to see others currently.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, it’s a very common problem that people with ADHD are not good drivers. In fact, Russ Barkley has researched this, and traffic accidents of all kinds are eight times more common amongst us who have ADHD than the general population. If you think about it, it makes sense. You’re daydreaming and you don’t see the stop sign. You’d be willing to stop, and you actually do see it. I mean, it lands on your occipital cortex, but you don’t do anything with having seen it. In other words, you see it, but you don’t comprehend it. So you see the stop sign visually, you’re not blind, but you don’t comprehend it. You don’t turn it into the action of stopping your vehicle. If you’re driving through stop signs, you’re going to have accidents and sometimes tragic accidents, so you’re hardly alone.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now what to do about it? You’ve had over 300 lessons over a two year period. I think you’ve demonstrated that you don’t have a natural ability to drive happily and confidently. One question I would ask, however, is are you taking medication for your ADD? Because that could make a huge difference. If the meds work, and we’re talking Ritalin, Adderall, the stimulant medications, if they work, they could turn you into a good driver. It’s just that simple. It’d be like getting eyeglasses. If you get the right eye glasses, suddenly you can see, you can drive better. Rather than taking another 300 lessons, I would say, try to get on the right medication. A medication will work about 80% of the time, so it’s a pretty good batting average. Otherwise, you really are endangering yourself and others by driving.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I hate to put it that way, but it’s true. If you can’t drive, if you’re so anxious that you’re driving along a nervous wreck, you’re better off not to drive, to take public transportation or Uber or Lyft, or have a friend or what have you. Try and create some kind of social community where people can pick you up and take you to where you’re going. Those would be my two suggestions. Is your ADD being treated? I don’t think… If you’re not taking medication, I do think it would be really worthwhile your getting a trial of it because when the meds work, they truly give you the ability to sustain attention. You say you have the inability to sustain attention. Well with meds, you could gain the ability to sustain attention.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then driving, even though you class it as boring, you could drive well enough to stay out of trouble. Remember, thinking of it as boring, it puts you in a dangerous spot because if you have an accident, suddenly it’s anything but boring. Obviously, it can end your life or someone else’s life or leave you with terrible, terrible consequences. So my two bits of advice, number one, look into a trial of medication, and number two, look into ways of living your life without driving a car, and lots and lots of people do that. Between public transportation and Uber and Lyft and friends picking you up, it is possible to live in this world without driving an automobile. Thank you for your question. It’s a really interesting question and brings to light one of the really dangerous aspects of having untreated ADHD, namely the dramatic increase in traffic accidents.

Sarah Guertin:
That’s really interesting. I didn’t know that. Okay. This next question comes from Anita. She writes, “Hello, Dr. Ned. I’m a 36 year old mother of three. My nine-year-old son was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago and I cried with relief because here was a plausible explanation for everything. I knew he was a brilliant empathetic child, but I couldn’t explain the cause of his symptoms. However, I understood his symptoms because I was wrestling with them my entire life as well, especially emotional regulation.

Sarah Guertin:
Last week, I was also diagnosed with ADHD, but this was not so much of a surprise, just a formality. I didn’t want to self-diagnose, so I went to my doctor and got a proper evaluation. We will both be starting Concerta next week, and I’m excited for us both to finally feel what it’s like, quote, “to have the glasses on,” as you put it. In my gut, I think my 11 year old daughter has the inattentive type and because of her natural brilliance, it wasn’t picked up at her school the way my son’s hyperactive ADHD was picked up. Should I get her an evaluation? Thank you very much, and God bless you and your lovely wife and team.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, thank you so much for that and God bless you as well and your children, and a very sweet way to end your email. Should you get your daughter an evaluation? Absolutely 100% yes. Females, whether it be the children or adults, are the most undiagnosed group. Why? Because they’re not disruptive like your son was was disruptive, and he called attention to his symptoms, but your daughter could be just sitting there quietly daydreaming in class. She’s very smart, so she’s able to get by without doing much in terms of class presence, engagement, or participation, but nonetheless, she’s missing a lot. You ask her what is it like to be in the classroom, and she’ll say, “It’s fine. I’m almost never there,” because her mind is wandering. So it’s absolutely worthwhile to get your daughter, and 11 years old as a perfect time to have a look. Just make sure you see someone who really understands ADHD because she doesn’t fit the stereotype of the hyperactive little boy, but she absolutely could have it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I look forward to you also getting the trial of medication because it could absolutely change your life. I mean, that’s the beauty of getting treated for this condition. You can really get a whole new lease on life. At 36 to be coming to terms with your ADHD at the same time that your son is, and maybe your daughter, that’s pretty wonderful. That’s a good Christmas present to your entire family. Stay in touch, and let me know how this works out. I’d love to get a follow-up email from you once you’ve gotten into seeing how the treatment goes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
When we come back, we’ll hear from a listener who is going through a separation with his wife and his ADHD is a point of contention. Okay, so Sarah, I understand there’s a new offer from our wonderful sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness.

Sarah Guertin:
Yes there is, and we’re really excited. I like to call it the Ned Pack because basically our listeners are going to have the chance to take what you take every day. All you have to do is add the OmegaBrite 7010 MD Omega 3 to your cart at Omegabritewellness.com, and if you use the coupon code Ned, your name, N-E-D, it’ll automatically add a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full Spectrum, 25 milligram soft gels to the cart and you get free shipping. So pretty cool.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow, that’s an excellent offer. I’m so glad they’re using my name, not in vain, but to bring people to this wonderful product. It is a wonderful product.

Sarah Guertin:
It makes it nice and easy.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, and my wife really, if they really want to get someone who loves it, they should get my wife Sue on, and she’s very skeptical about all kinds of things. I mean, she laughs at me for the various stuff I take, but this is one that she absolutely swears by. So I’m glad to know. They just go to Omegabritewellness.com and put in the code Ned and they get all this cool stuff?

Sarah Guertin:
Yep. They just have to add the OmegaBrite 7010 MD Omega 3 to their cart, and then with the promo code, they’ll automatically get the free CBD Full Spectrum 25 milligram soft gels. They’ll get free shipping, and I should note that this is limited to the first 250 Distraction listeners, so people kind of got to move on it if they’re interested.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay, and the offer code is Ned?

Sarah Guertin:
That’s right, N-E-D.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Very good. Okay. Thank you, Sarah.

Sarah Guertin:
Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. We’re back now. Let me ask the wonderful Sarah, what is the next question?

Sarah Guertin:
This next one is from a listener named Miles who is going through a separation with his wife and he is struggling. Miles actually recorded his question for you. So Scott, can we hear that?

Miles:
Hi Ned, this is miles. I’ve been listening to your podcast for, I don’t know, a month now or so. I’m 42 years old and diagnosed with ADHD in fourth grade. I now have twin boys that are three years old and a marriage, which is going through a separation and also own my own business, and my most recent business started in the end of 2015, just before we had kids. I’m starting to understand my ADHD quite a bit more and things are majorly overwhelming. I have some resources that I’ve been working with right now that I’ve been fortunate, but can’t seem to get enough of what I need to make a difference quickly enough. My question to you is this. Working with our marriage therapist, I am pretty much labeled as atypical, although my therapist is really pretty understanding of me and that’s been a gigantic relief. When I work with him individually, I feel his support.

Miles:
However, when we work together with my wife, it just feels as though I’m labeled as atypical, and somehow my wife thinks that I need to be doing the majority of the changing here, and it’s not her. My thought on this is that, hey, there’s two people in a relationship together and what needs to happen is that the two people need to understand each other in order to figure out a way to work with each other best just as though it would be two different people, each with their own personality. I’m curious what your thoughts are on not only being labeled atypical during therapy, and that basically undermining my part in the relationship, as well as how a relationship should work with two people where one has ADHD.

Miles:
I guess a side question would be how to get my wife to understand me better so I can avoid just being labeled as I confide in her, and at the same time, let me think what I was going to say. I’ll probably put it in an email to you as I remember. All right, thanks again. Bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, Miles of course, in any couple, takes two to tango. Very often people come into couples therapy and the either explicitly stated or implicit message is if only the other person would change, everything will be fine. We’re sort of saying, “I want her to change. I want him to change.” Of course the only person you stand a chance of changing is yourself, your behavior. What often happens in a couple where one has ADHD and the other does not is a kind of parent child dynamic develops where the non-ADD spouse feels like, in this case her husband, is another and she’s picking up after him and reminding him to do things and getting exasperated with him, and the ADD spouse, in this case you, feels like he’s a little boy who’s being chastised by a scolding mother and that’s very anti-romantic and leads to all kinds of problems.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If the couples therapist could help identify, first of all, is that dynamic in play, and if it is, make sure your ADD is treated and then begin to address that parent-child dynamics so you can become partners instead of a parent and a child, if there’s still time for that. Often, a good therapist who understands ADHD can truly save a relationship. Now maybe this relationship is just not meant to be and you should separate, and that’s the end of it, but in your next relationship, you want to watch out for this. As for his calling you atypical, I have no idea what that means. As far as I’m concerned, we’re all atypical. what does he say to his other patients, “Well you’re typical”? I mean, I don’t know what that means.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think we all have our funny parts and we all have parts that we share with others as well. I think the label atypical is pretty unhelpful and maybe his shorthand for saying there are parts of you that he can’t make sense of, and I would say there are parts of everyone that we can’t make sense of. I would suggest that you pursue trying to sort out the parent-child dynamic, if that does exist, pursue getting your ADHD treated as you want to get the most mileage you can out of medication because that’s the easiest intervention we’ve got. Then based on the increased focus you get from that, begin to discuss with your wife the dynamics so you can recreate the romance that brought you together in the first place. Okay. Thank you. Thank you very much. Sarah, do we have another email?

Sarah Guertin:
We certainly do. I was just going to say we like that he recorded that one and was able to record it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. Yes.

Sarah Guertin:
That was perfect.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, absolutely.

Sarah Guertin:
This last question comes from a listener who wanted to remain anonymous, but it says in part, “Dear Dr. Hallowell, I have one question specifically that I could not find the answer in any of your books or podcasts, how exactly to find the right dosage for medication. I know you talk a lot about fine tuning medication. I have a psychiatrist prescribing Adderall to me. I get tremendous great results from Adderall with no side effects that I can note, but if I see great improvement with 30 milligrams, shall I go to 40 plus milligrams if I get even better results and advantage? As the improvement is relative, how do you find the optimum dosage? I feel the higher the dosage, the better I perform, so is it recommended to go to the highest possible dose, and what is that for Adderall? Is there any potential of building tolerance? Should I only use the minimum effective dose and leave room for an increase in the future in case I build a tolerance? Thanks so much for all your great work and support. You have changed my life with your publications and podcasts.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well dosing, when it comes to stimulant medication, is unusual in that most medications are given on a milligram per kilogram basis. In other words, you weigh 80 kilograms, you would take X number of milligrams of the medication based upon that. Most medications, that’s how the dosing is determined. In stimulants, it’s not the case. It’s some big people need a little and some little people need a lot. It’s based on brain receptor sites that we can’t measure. The way you find out the right dose is trial and error. Now the good news is these meds are in and out of your system the same day. You can try two or three different doses in the space of a week. It’s not like you’re waiting around forever.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Once you get a positive response, you can continue to increase. I wouldn’t leap by 10 milligram increments. I’d probably do by five milligram increments, but you can keep increasing until you get target symptom improvement or side effects. You’ll know you’re too high if you start getting side effects, and the three that you want to particularly look out for, number one, weight loss, number two, elevated heart rate, number three, elevated blood pressure, and then insomnia as well. Those are sort of the four leading ones, and the two most critical naturally are elevated heart rate and elevated blood pressure. If your blood pressure goes sky high, you got to stop the meds. Get a blood pressure cuff and learn how to take your pulse, measure your heart rate, and with your doctor’s supervision, you can increase by five milligram increments every other day until you get the sweet spot where you say, “Okay, this is good.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If you bump it up five, you start getting side effects, you say, “Okay, I’ll just go back to the previous level.” That’s how you zero in on the optimum dosing. Trial and error is really the way to do it, but fortunately you can go through many trials in a short amount of time. Tolerance usually not. What happens sometimes is someone will say, “Well, the meds just aren’t working the way they used to.” What you want to do then is just stop them for a few days and then restart them at the same dose, and they’ll usually kick in effective again.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You don’t want to keep chasing increasing dosing levels. It’s not necessary, and obviously it’s a bad idea because you’re going into higher and higher doses. Usually once you get the right dose, you stick with that and stay there for years. Years, and years and years. I have patients who’ve been on the same dose of Vyvanse for 10 years. You don’t need to be increasing it and you don’t need to save room for going up in case you get tolerance. Try to get the optimum dose by trial and error and then stick with it. If it seems to stop working, don’t increase the dose. Just stop the meds for a few days and then start back up at the same dose.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you for your question. It’s always an interesting one because these meds are unusual in the dosing is not based on milligrams per kilogram. And thank you for your thank you. It’s really nice to hear good words like that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, that’s going to do it for today. I hope you all had fun. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you learned a lot. If you did, please tell your friends. We’re trying to grow our audience, and the best way to do that is for you to tell other people about us. Thank you of all of you who reached out, and please, if any of you feel moved to write a question, write it, email it, record it, whatever. We will almost definitely be airing your question and I’ll get a chance to take a stab at providing my best answer that I can come up with.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If you have a question or comment you’d like us to include in a future episode, write it or record it and send it to, here you come, here you come, [email protected] Send it to connect the word, [email protected] Remember, please, to follow Distraction on social media and subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen so you’ll never miss an episode. I’m now also on TikTok, if you can believe that. I’m loving TikTok. It’s perfect, perfect format, 62nd bits about different parts of ADHD. You can find me there too. My username is @Dr.Hallowell.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for joining us today. I love this audience. I just appreciate lending me your ears, as it were. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the amazingly talented Scott [inaudible 00:32:15], and our producer is the also amazingly talented Sarah Guertin. Thank you all, and see you next Time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard, just now heard, was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full Spectrum soft gels with free shipping. When you buy one bottle of their 7010 MD Omega 3. Use offer code Ned. That’s my name, at omegabritewellness.com.

Share:
The What, When & Why of Neuropsychological Testing for ADHD

The What, When & Why of Neuropsychological Testing for ADHD

The process of reaching an ADHD diagnosis rests primarily on your    personal history. However neuropsychological testing can reveal a ton of useful information for expanding your understanding of your own ADHD. As Dr. H says in this ep, “It’s the closest thing we have to an MRI of your mind.” But as Ned also points out, this type of testing is not necessary for a diagnosis.

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Do you have a question or guest suggestion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their Omega-3 supplements for many years, and so has my wife, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast, I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at omegabritewellness.com and brite is intentionally misspelled, B-R-I-T-E, omegabritewellness.com. This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College, another institution that I have warm personal relationship with in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell and welcome to Distraction. Today I’m going to do a very short mini on a very important question that comes up all the time in practices around the country and around the world, namely, when, and why, and how much do you get neuropsychological testing? First of all, what is it? There’s psychological testing, and then there’s neuropsychological testing. Well, psychological testing is the kind of thing, you’ve heard of the Rorschach test with the inkblots, and you say what you see there. You maybe have heard of the MMPI, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. You have certainly heard of IQ tests, many different kinds of IQ tests, the Wechsler probably being the most famous, these are all examples of psychological testing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s a series of questions that have been researched and normed. So they have some degree of validity in answering descriptions, all trying to give a description of the mind that the individual can’t self-report. They try to get at parts of yourself that are unconscious or out of memory, or simply not part of your everyday self-awareness, for example, your processing speed or the difference between your immediate memory, your recent memory and your distant memory, things like that you can’t self-report, or intelligence, whatever that means, different kinds of intelligence you can’t self-report.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So psychological testing is aimed at asking questions or getting you to perform exercises and tests that will help us quantify different elements of cognitive and emotional life, then neuropsychological testing adds an element of neurology. So this gets more at things like processing speed, or evidence of past head injury, or deficits in memory, the neurological elements. Well, the Rorschach can be used that way too, but neuropsychological testing adds in more of the biological exploration to the psychological exploration. And neuropsychological testing is what is commonly offered as part of the diagnostic workup for ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, this is a very important point that I’m about to make, and it’s widely misunderstood, so listen carefully. You do not need neuropsychological testing or any psychological testing to make a diagnosis of ADHD. There is no test for ADHD. Many people come to me and say, “Well, I don’t have it, I was tested and I don’t have it.” There is no test that can tell you whether you have it or you don’t have it, really important point. The closest thing we have to a definitive test for ADHD is your history, the story of your life beginning when you were born. And the diagnostic criteria are laid out in the DSM-5 and two sets of nine symptoms. And if you have six out of nine on one or both set, then you by definition have the diagnosis.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So the process of reaching a diagnosis rests primarily on asking you questions about your childhood and your immediate life and comparing them to the criteria as set out in the diagnostic manual, that’s it. Sure, there are qualifiers, you need to make sure it’s not something else, you need to make sure you’re in proper shape to offer your history. Usually best taken from two people, because people with ADD are not good self observers. With all of those qualifiers, it still comes down to your history and that is the truth.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, why do we offer neuropsychological testing? Because it can reveal a ton of important, useful information, not necessary for diagnosis, but certainly helpful in expanding your understanding of yourself or your child. Neuropsych testing is really the closest thing we have to an MRI of your mind. It gets at all sorts of things that you can’t self-report. You can’t self-report processing speed, memory scales, unconscious biases, a specific reading problem, a specific math problem. You can generally report them, but you can’t get more specific and detailed about them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So neuropsychological testing is very valuable, but it is not necessary. And this becomes important because it is expensive. And [inaudible 00:06:31] what city you’re in, the ballpark of $5,000. Now, if insurance doesn’t cover it, and some insurance policies will, some won’t, then you have to think long and hard before you want to plunk down $5,000. Now, if money is no object to you, please get it, it’s worth it, it’s always nice to have. But if you have to decide between spending the 5,000 on neuropsych testing or spending the 5,000 on followup treatment, coaching, tutoring, additional services, by all means, spend it on the additional services, the coaching and the tutoring, not on neuropsych testing. It’s a wonderful thing to have if you can afford it, but it’s not necessary. You do not have to have it in order to make this diagnosis, nor is it definitive.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And if the history, for example, says, yes, this is ADHD, but the neuropsych testing says, no, it is not ADHD, believe the history, because neuropsych testing is notorious for producing false negatives, that’s because the combination of structure, motivation, and novelty creates focus, essentially treats ADHD. For example, a video game full of novelty, full of structure, and you’re motivated, you want to win the game, so you focus. Kids with ADHD can focus for hours on a video game.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, neuropsych testing includes the same three elements. It’s done one-on-one, nothing could be more structured, it’s full of puzzles and games, novelty, and there’s a natural motivator because you want to beat the test, and that’s why a lot of kids and adults who have ADHD on the testing look as if they don’t, because the test itself treats the condition it’s trying to diagnose.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a quick summary of neuropsych testing, when to get it, why to get it. And I think the most important point for you to understand is it’s a wonderful thing to have if you can afford it. It’s expensive, but it is not necessary in order to make the diagnosis in a child or in an adult.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, that’s it for me for this mini episode of Distraction. Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. Save 20% on your first order at omegabytewellness.com with the promo code podcast2020. And please reach out to us with your questions and comments by emailing [email protected] And if you’re on TikTok, you can find me there with the username @Dr.Hallowell. I’ve posted lots of videos about common ADHD issues, each one only 60 seconds. Take a look and let me know what you think. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the wonderful Scott Persson, and our producer is the also wonderful Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, until next time when I will still be Dr. Ned Hallowell.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. I take their supplements every day, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at OmegaBrite, and that’s britewellness.com.

Share:
The Benefits of Using a Body Double with How to ADHD and Landmark College

The Benefits of Using a Body Double with How to ADHD and Landmark College

Getting homework and other tasks done remains difficult for many of us as we continue to study and work from home. Jessica McCabe of How to ADHD explains how using a “body double” can help hold you accountable. Jessica talks about how she uses this simple technique to help stay on track in this special episode sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Check out Jessica’s ADHD videos at HowtoADHD.

Share your thoughts with us! How have you been adapting to learning from home?  Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected]

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our audio engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Do you know a student with ADHD or other learning difference looking for a higher education experience? Tell them about our amazing sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. Learn more HERE.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much as always for joining me. We love our audience and we wish you’d tell our friends about us because we love reaching out to you and sharing the wonderful information as well as good cheer we hope that we do share. This episode is made possible by our wonderful sponsor Landmark College, the college of choice for students like me who learn differently. Joining me today once again is our favorite guests, the lovely, talented, amazingly triumphant in so many ways, Jessica McCabe, from How to ADHD. Jessica, I know you have an idea of what you’d like to talk about. You always do. So I don’t want to get in your way. Let me stand aside and welcome the so very talented Jessica McCabe.

Jessica McCabe:
Thank you for that incredible introduction. Yeah. I wanted to talk about body doubling today, because a lot of us are learning from home and things are even more challenging than maybe they usually are. There’s some great, great advantages to learning from home, or if you’re learning on campus, being by yourself when you’re studying or trying to take a course. Online courses can be great. They can also be really difficult because we don’t get enough accountability. We don’t have anybody else around. We’re not getting the cues that it’s time to work, that it’s time to focus the same way that you do, say you’re in the library and everybody else around you is studying. So you’re like, okay, cool. There’s that social pressure to study that we might not be getting when we’re at home. At home, we’re maybe getting pressured by things like the X-Box that keeps taunting us and being like, do you really need to study?

Jessica McCabe:
So one of the best things you can do is to use a body double. A body double in Hollywood means something very differently than what I’m talking about. In Hollywood, a body double means somebody who looks like you, who looks like the actor who fills in for the actor, maybe does some stunts or whatever, but is there so the actor doesn’t have to do the thing. If we have a body double when we have ADHD, we still have to do the thing. We just have somebody else in the room with us is really what it is. It’s somebody to sit quietly with you while you work. Maybe they are studying the same thing as you, maybe they’re studying something else, maybe they’re doing a completely different task, but the idea is you sit in silence and you have somebody else present.

Jessica McCabe:
And for those with ADHD, that can be really important because it can be so hard for us to stay focused and on task. The attention regulation is a part of our condition and our brains go so quickly that if we see a cue to do something else, we’re quick off and running, doing that thing before we realize, wait, I was supposed to be working on something else. So a body double can help with that. It can also help give us some emotional support to be honest, because there’s some tasks that we build this, as Brendan Mahan from ADHD Essentials puts it, a wall of awful around. We have struggled to do this seemingly simple tasks so many times, and we’ve failed at it in the past that there’s a lot of emotion that we have to get past to be able to start doing the thing.

Jessica McCabe:
And so just having somebody else there can be this emotional support as well in that way. It’s like that for me with paying bills. Opening and paying bills is one of the most difficult things in the world. It’s not that it’s hard technically. I do a lot more challenging things with a lot more ease because I just don’t have that same level of dread, of opening thing. And it’s a boring task and I’ve failed at it before and I’ve ruined my credit and there’s just so much around it that just having my boyfriend sit next to me while I do it is enough for me to be able to tackle that task. Otherwise, I’m going to put it off for forever and ruin my credit again. So knowing what tasks you could use a little extra support for, one thing to ask yourself is would this activity be easier if somebody else was in the room?

Jessica McCabe:
Another great thing about doing it is if you set it up ahead of time, it’s like an appointment. We tend to respect appointments more than we do saying, “Oh yeah, I’m going to totally play guitar today.” We’re not going to respect that as much as we have a performance day, somebody is expecting us to show up and perform for them. Body doubling is something in the middle, where somebody else will notice if you don’t do the thing and you’ve blocked out time for it. The way to find a body double, if this is something that sounds like it might be helpful for you, is there’s several ways. You can ask a friend and it can feel weird to be like, “Hey, can you sit with me while I do this thing so that I do this thing?” But you’d be surprised at how many people it benefits, how many other people are struggling with it, too. Because difficulty focusing isn’t unique to ADHD. It’s a part of a lot of other conditions as well, including sometimes the human condition.

Jessica McCabe:
So it’s beneficial, not just to you, but to the other person too, because you can be like, “Hey, is there something you’ve been putting off that you need help with making sure that you do? Cool. I’m struggling to do this. Let’s sit together and just put ourselves on mute and work in silence.” You can do it over Zoom. You don’t have to be in the same room. You can do it online. There’s also a website if you don’t know anybody that might be willing to do this with you. There’s a website called focusmate.com, where you can set it up. I think you get three sessions a week for free. And you can say, “Hey, at this time I need a partner. I’m going to be working on this. They’re going to be working on this.” And then you just sit in silence and work together.

Jessica McCabe:
If it is a friend, I do recommend having a distinction between when it’s time to talk and hang out and when it’s time to work. The Pomodoro Technique can work great for this where you set a timer for 25 minutes and then when the 25 minutes is up, cool, now we get to talk for five minutes. But then when that 25 minutes starts again, now we’re doing our work. Because otherwise, you’d set up a body doubling session and then you just end up talking to your friend for the entire hour. And there are certain people that it might be hard to do that with. If it’s somebody you haven’t seen in a long time, it might really hard to stop and study when what you actually really want to do is just catch up on everything that you’ve missed.

Jessica McCabe:
So it’s good to know yourself, know what tasks a body double might be helpful for, know who does and doesn’t work for you as a body double. And if you are being a body double for somebody else, recognize it’s not your job to make sure that they get their work done. You’re not there to lay down the law or anything. You don’t have to keep nagging them to do it. That’s their job. You’re just there to provide a gentle nonjudgmental presence, really. That’s pretty much all I got. Do you have any questions?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No. It’s such a great idea. Don’t you think a dog can also function as a body double?

Jessica McCabe:
Yeah. In a way they can, which is really interesting. I read once that sometimes they actually bring dogs in to classrooms to help kids with dyslexia who are struggling to read, who maybe feel self-conscious about doing it in front of other people. They’ll have them sit and read to a dog to get the practice, because that dog is not going to be judge-y. That dog is going to be absolutely welcoming. And my dog actually does serve as a body double for me while I’m at work. Part of what I’ve trained her to do is when I’m at work, she comes and hangs out with me and she sleeps or whatever, but I see her sleeping and I know it’s time to work, because at some point she’s going to wake up and need to be taken for a walk. At some point, she’s going to want to play with me. And so while she’s sleeping is a great time for me to sit down and focus.

Jessica McCabe:
So yeah, dogs can make a great body double. And sometimes people who don’t even know they’re being a body double can be a body double. For me, a great body double that I don’t need silence for is if I need to clean up, if I need to clean my room or something, if I’m on the phone with somebody, I’ll start cleaning my room, because usually it’s a horribly boring tasks that I don’t want to do for longer than three minutes. But if I’m talking to somebody, I’m distracted enough that I can clean my room without getting terribly bored. And so they end up keeping me company while I’m doing something that otherwise I wouldn’t do. And so you can do that even if they don’t know they’re being a body double as well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Music can serve that function. Plants can serve that function. There are ways that you can feel input that allow you to do tedious tasks.

Jessica McCabe:
Yeah, that’s true. I think the key with body doubling is basically just knowing that someone will notice for the most part, generally speaking, someone will notice if you’re not doing the thing. Somebody knows what you’re supposed to be working on. And when you see that person, it acts as a reminder of what you’re supposed to be working on. And so you can set up other cues for yourself, too. When I put on this certain music playlist, I know it’s time to study. And if you get distracted and then you realize what’s playing, that’s a cue, that’s a reminder, oh right, I’m supposed to be studying. The same way that a body double in person can, you look at them and you’re like, all right, I’m supposed to be working on this thing. So there’s a lot of different ways to set up cues, but body doubles can be a great way to give yourself the cues that it’s time to work on what you’re supposed to be working, as well as that sense of positive feedback, I guess.

Jessica McCabe:
Even if they don’t say anything, you know that they’re seeing that you’re working. And so then that feels good. And you can set up at the beginning of the session, “Hey, this is what I’m going to be working on. This is what you’re going to be working on.” And at the end of the session, you can say, “This is what I got done.” So then you get a little bit of, I get to feel good. Somebody got to notice that I did the thing.” And that could be [crosstalk 00:09:20].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think it’s also, Jessica, the force of what I call the other vitamin C, vitamin connect. And I think just having a human in the room fortifies you, strengthens you, reduces your fear, makes you feel more in control. Particularly these days we’re living with such disconnection. When you have a person there, aside from the fact that they’re watching or what have you, I think just the force field that emanates between two people, we know, it’s a scientific fact how powerful it is. And when there’s no one there, social isolation, most people don’t realize this, but social isolation is as dangerous for your health as cigarette smoking.

Jessica McCabe:
Yeah. It can be a great way to give yourself a little connection as well. One other thing that I do with body doubling is I have trouble stopping work on time. And so my boyfriend and I started doing this thing where one of us picks the other one up from work, quote, unquote, we’re in different rooms, but we’ll pick each other up and then we’ll walk around and spend time together.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s great.

Jessica McCabe:
And so we’re getting body doubling, because we’re both making sure that we get exercise, we’re making sure that we get outside. We’re making sure that we stop working. And that peer pressure and that connection that we get is really wonderful, because it makes it so that we get the things done that we want to get done. We get the connection we need, we get the walk, we get the exercise, which can be so important for ADHD. And it makes it easier. It really does. It just makes it easier to have somebody else be there with you when you do it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, as always, you are a treasure trove of wisdom and gems, always put in such a charming and pleasant way. That’s it for us today. You can learn more about Jessica McCabe at her website, Howtoadhd.com. And if you would like to support her work, she has this wonderful way that you can do it. You go to the website called Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N, like a sponsor. Patreon.com/howtoadhd. Go to Patreon.com/howtoadhd. That’s a wonderful way to support Jessica’s work and other people who need that kind of help.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And if you’re someone who learns differently like me, like Jessica, please check out our sponsor [email protected] That’s [email protected], Landmark College in beautiful Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And please remember, reach out to us with your questions and comments. We thrive on them. We need them, by sending an email or a voice memo to [email protected] That’s [email protected] And remember to subscribe to Distraction wherever you get your podcasts. And if you’re on Apple Podcasts, please leave us a review. We love getting reviews. That really helps the show.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m also now on Tik Tok. You can go to Tik Tok and find me with the username @Drhallowell. That’s @d-r, no period. Just @d-r-h-a-l-l-o-w-e-l-l. Please let me know what you think.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the extremely talented Scott Person. And our producer is the equally extremely talented Sarah Gurton. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell thanking you all and Jessica McCabe. Look forward to seeing you next time. Bye for now.

Share:
How Estrogen and Brain Shame Affect Women with ADHD

How Estrogen and Brain Shame Affect Women with ADHD

Psychotherapist Sari Solden is a pioneer in the field of women with ADHD. Her new workbook with co-author Michelle Frank PsyD, A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD, shows women how to cultivate their strengths and learn to communicate with confidence and clarity. She and Ned talk about how hormones affect a woman’s executive function, why “brain shame” holds women back,  and why it’s never too late to be diagnosed with ADHD.

You can find Sari’s blog at ADHD Radical Guide.

To purchase one of Sari’s books go to SariSolden.com.

Check out all of the #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark!

Do you have a question or guest suggestion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their Omega-3 supplements for many years, and so has my wife and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast, I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at omegabritewellness.com, and bright is intentionally misspelled B-R-I-T-E, omegabritewellness.com. This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College, another institution that I have warm personal relationship with in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to Distraction, I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. We have a wonderful guest today, one of my oldest friends, oldest in the sense of we’ve known each other a long time, not that she is old. But we go back, we were just talking before we started, to 1993 at a little conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she lives, about the ADHD and opening it up to adults because back then people still thought of it as just a condition that children have.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And she is a true pioneer. Her name is Sari Solden, S-A-R-I S-O-L-D-E-N. And she’s just this wonderful, brilliant, kind, loving, smart, experienced person. And she really helped bring the whole conversation about ADD/ADHD to a female audience, because as I said, at the beginning, it was pretty much consigned to little boys, hyperactive little boys, and it took a long time to expand it. Well, the expansion happened in large part because of Sari Solden. She’s been a psychotherapist for over 30 years and is the best-selling author of three books, Women With Attention Deficit Disorder, that was the groundbreaking first one. And then, Journeys Through ADDulthood, and the words ADDulthood. And her most recent book, a wonderful book called, A Radical Guide For Women With ADHD, really, really good.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So for anyone who wants to understand ADHD and particularly for women or the men who would like to understand them better, get one of Sari’s books or even better get all three of them. She has a private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she and her team specialize in providing psychotherapy and consultation to women and men with ADHD. So thank you so much my wonderful friend Sari Solden for being here with us on Distraction.

Sari Solden:
No, it’s so exciting to talk to you again, Ned. It’s been a long time, I love talking to you and your audience.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Just give us the headlines, what’s special about women and their lives with ADHD?

Sari Solden:
Well, there’s lots of things special about women and women with ADHD. It’s difficult to get diagnosed, first of all, even now as a woman with ADHD, because often, like you said, we don’t meet that stereotype of a hyperactive, troublemaking little boy. And so that causes a lot of difficulty, not just with the diagnosis, but throughout life because your self image, because you didn’t know was sort of conflated with your unique brain wiring. So early on often little girls are the opposite of what you would think, they’re people-pleasing, they’re internalizing their difficulties, they’re often doing well in school, but they’re masked by support they’re often getting at home or structure or being smart. And often their diagnosis is delayed until they hit a wall either when they go to college or when they get married or when they try to do other things that other people at their own ability level can do, and then they’re often diagnosis depressed or anxious. So it takes many years often to untangle these things, and in the meantime, women are left feeling so confused and then with a distorted kind of sense of self about themselves.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What age do you see people getting diagnosed, women or girls?

Sari Solden:
Well, if you’re lucky, and you’re a girl and you’re acting out and you’ve come to someone’s attention you can get diagnosed. But often I have people from their early 20s all the way through, my oldest client, I think I diagnosed, actually [inaudible 00:04:49] at 80 and she died in peace at 85 and after knowing what she had struggled with her whole life. So it really runs the whole gamut. It just depends often if they have kids who are getting diagnosed, they find that out, or there’s so much more resources now, but really it runs the gamut. I would say, middle, perimenopause or right around there. A lot of women start to lose any kind of compensations they might’ve developed because of these extra difficulties and they start to seek some help.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, my daughter was one of the lucky ones. She got diagnosed in the third grade and she’s now 31 and is a marketing executive for the National Football League. [crosstalk 00:05:28].

Sari Solden:
Yeah, no, I heard you say that. And yeah, I mean, it’s funny to say lucky, but it is lucky because you can identify it, you get support, you know what’s going on in your own brain, even though you might be having difficulties. But you can imagine things smart and having all these amazing ideas and all these amazing characteristics and you can’t figure out why you can’t manifest it, why you’re so disorganized, overwhelmed, even though maybe you’re successful in other areas so nobody can understand you or believe you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I recently voyaged into the world of TikTok and it’s amazing, someone told me I should do it a month ago. And so I’ve posted, I think I’ve got about 15 or 16 60 seconds of posts on ADHD in TikTok. And much to my amazement, they’ve so far received about 4 million views. There’s a tremendous appetite for, I think that format the 60 second soundbite. You can say a lot in 60 seconds, but one of the questions that keeps coming up on TikTok is, is there a link between estrogen hormones and ADHD? And you’re the one to ask, so what about that?

Sari Solden:
Well, I’m not the one to ask, but I do know enough about it to know that whenever you’re hitting a particular hormonal challenge in your life, it’s going to affect your estrogen and your ADHD. So particularly around perimenopause, when you start to sort of withdraw from your estrogen, it’s going to also affect the dopamine, and so that’s why people start to have more difficulties. Premenstrually, at puberty, anytime you’re starting to lower the estrogen you’re also affecting the dopamine which is involved with these executive functions and the ADHD. So I’m not [crosstalk 00:07:23].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So would it make sense for a woman who is perimenopausal to combine estrogen supplementation with stimulant medication?

Sari Solden:
Well, I would definitely say to try to involve both doctors, your psychopharmacologist and your gynecologist, good luck, but hopefully they could talk. There’s more controversy about hormone replacement therapy these days, so not always a good idea for everybody, but often to increase your, or change your medication, you’d be the expert on that. But to up your dose even before periods, people start maybe needing to increase, at least if you know. The main thing, Ned, I think is, besides fooling around with the medication, which you definitely need to probably tweak around those times, is to know what’s going on, to know that this is happening, to know that you’re not going crazy, you’re not necessarily developing Alzheimer’s, which is what most women previously undiagnosed with ADHD or even with ADHD started to fear because their memories gets so much even more impacted around this time. So the fear takes over, and so you can adjust your life in many ways to make it work better for you. If you know you’re going into a period like this and you know what’s happening.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative). So talk it over with your gynecologist or someone who understands hormones and with your ADD doctor.

Sari Solden:
Yeah, it’d be nice if everybody understood it and talked to each other, but sometimes you have to push a little bit and try to advocate for yourself, which is always hard for women. And that’s really what I’m about now with women, it’s not just about their ADHD now, I think what’s different in my new book is we’re just talking about a woman now who has brain wiring differences and difficulties, but certainly that’s not the only thing that’s defining her or by which she needs to measure her own worth. And so learning to speak, learning to move a little bit more into the center of your own life, learning to use your voice, learning to have power in the world, and in a relationship. So I guess our emphasis more now is for women not just to see themselves only through this lens, but to see themselves as all women need to, as powerful people in the world learning to live a fulfilling life.

Sari Solden:
And the ADHD is one track, it’s chronic, it’s your brain, it needs support, and medication, strategies, all that. And that’s chronic, but that has to be untangled from you as a woman, as a whole human being who has strengths and gifts and needs to move into a life. And the problem with women is that they don’t do that, they come in all wanting to be fixed, not wanting to wait until their ADHD has gone or until they’re perfectly organized. So I guess what I’ve been identified with, most of my writing, has been these gender role expectations that women, all women are subject to, but women with ADHD have internalize these expectations and idealized them. And so this idea that they carry inside of them about what a woman should be able to do, or why can’t they be like other women, these messages from the media, from growing up, from everything around them that they can’t do well that stays with them and really wounds them and haunts them.

Sari Solden:
And that’s a big part of the work is not just managing their brain, but really digging in much deeper. I guess, I think of it as healing more than curing, I think that’s a better way of thinking about ADHD because restoring a person, so this feeling of wholeness about themselves and viewing themselves much more accurately, not just viewing the difficulties. Or just the strengths, just as a whole person with who are you, your enduring traits, your resilience, your humor, creativity. I know you believe all this too, Ned, but just moving forward in your life and not waiting to get over… Like you say, you just have to be as organized as you need to be to move, but for a purpose to move towards something compelling, not just to get over, not to be perfectly organized.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, exactly, exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to my friend, the founder and creator of OmegaBrite Wellness, Dr. Carol Locke, about the benefits of taking OmegaBrite’s Omega-3’s CBD, and other supplements. Here’s a clip from one of those conversations.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Could you tell us a little bit about the study, recent study that showed OmegaBrite reduced inflammation and anxiety in medical students?

Dr. Carol Locke:
Yeah, this was a great study, it was done at Ohio State and it was done on medical students, 68 medical students without any medical problems done over 12 weeks. And it was a blinded study, meaning the researchers and the students did not know if they were taking the OmegaBrite or the dummy capsules. And what it found was a 20% reduction in anxiety and a 14% reduction in the inflammatory cytokine IL-6. So that you had a very powerful benefit from the OmegaBrite shown in this study, and that’s something that people could use right now in their life, reducing their anxiety and stress and inflammation.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction listeners, you can save 20% on your first order at omegabritewellness.com by using the promo code, podcast 2020. All right, let’s get back to today’s topic. Can you talk a little bit about brain shame and the patterns you’ve identified in the neuro diverse women you work with?

Sari Solden:
Oh, you must have read my essay. I wrote an essay called Brain Shame-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Sari Solden:
I should have reviewed that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Imagine that, I would actually read something you wrote Sari.

Sari Solden:
Oh my God, I would have reviewed it had I known. Well, I talk about it as similar to body shame, and it’s important now even as we all get older. My mother when she was 85 said, “Oh, I feel so ashamed, I can’t remember something.” So we feel so ashamed about our brains no matter what age we are, and especially women with ADHD, they compare themselves. So it’s [inaudible 00:13:56] if you went to a doctor and they said, “Okay, well this week we’re going to measure success on how much weight you lose this week.” Versus, “Okay, how can you feel well and have wellness and feel good about yourself?” And instead of measuring your worth by becoming a size three, it’s the same thing with brain shame, women compare themselves in very toxic ways to other women who can multitask, and go to the gym, and take care of the kids, and work and take care of the house.

Sari Solden:
So executive function for women is so central to their functioning, they believe still. And it’s amazing, the women I work with in their 20s, you would think would feel differently. But in therapy, when push comes to shove, still this idea that they wouldn’t be able to cook, or clean, or do all these things well enough, or entertain, or do all the birthday cards and niceties of life, all the stuff women still feel is their job even now, and still have no way of communicating and measuring their worth and letting themselves be in one down positions in relationships because of this. Even if their spouses don’t blame them so much, they carry this with them and feel like they’re not equally valuable in a relationship, and that’s part of the big work in therapy [crosstalk 00:15:19].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And how do you help them with that, Sari?

Sari Solden:
I mean, I think there’s no substitute, first of all, is a therapist for really seeing your clients, seeing them, knowing them, listening to them. And it takes a long time sometimes depending on how much they devalue themselves. But when you’re working with a counselor or a coach or anybody who can really see you or other group members who have some of the same issues as you do, eventually those women start to internalize themselves or trust you enough to start taking small risks, moving slowly toward the edge of their comfort zone to start having new positive experiences of themselves, starting to do something new, go to a read at a poetry reading. I have one client, she joined the talent show at the latest conference after I encouraged her. Doing something new and getting other people to see you and value you for a larger picture than you’re ADD difficulties.

Sari Solden:
So that’s the hard part getting to a place where somebody through your view of them can start to see themselves in a new way. And once that happens… Instead of just starting out changing, berating yourself, instead of just accepting yourself, we always say in our book, only dogs and furniture need fixing. So getting people over that idea that they have to be fixed. You have to support your brain and get help for it, but for the purpose of you moving into new areas of success and you have to find people who can value you and see you. And sometimes you have to start out in ADD support groups with that and then move into other people who do other things that you do, creative people, adventurous people, other people who are like you, instead of always feeling like you’re different.

Sari Solden:
Women with ADHD, the biggest problem they have is not their ADHD it’s their hiding, and pretending, and moving away from people, and avoiding things and being inauthentic. And so through the book, especially our workbook, we try to help people develop a healthier relationship to their brain and to enter themselves and to understand what they learned about being different, how difficult the messages they got about that. These days to learn to be different, what else do we need in this world except to accept our differences, to celebrate differences, to unite with people who have other differences and to embrace all that. And this is a perfect time in the world for that message.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, yeah, really. And when you say a perfect time, because why?

Sari Solden:
Because of the world where everybody’s moving away from each other and there’s so much anger and hostility and differences. And we have to start to work toward accepting ourselves being a role models for… Sometimes people say, “How can I be a good parent, a good mother to my children when I have these problems?” And I always say, “Well, you can be a role model to your children by teaching that we all can accept ourselves with differences and that we accept other people who are different from us.” So whether it’s the racial differences in the world or the political differences, we’re not going to get anywhere until we all start to model that we can embrace our own differences and welcome other people’s differences and respect each other’s differences.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, no, so true. Where you and I work is in the realm of mental differences and brain differences, the sort of invisible differences, but they’re very real.

Sari Solden:
They’re very real, and neurodiversity is just a part of diversity in general. And that’s why I like to call it neurodiverse now instead of ADHD, which is such a stereotype now, and nobody understands it. But when you just say, “Hey, we’re all different. We’re all similar in a lot of ways, and we’re all different.” Everybody has differences, ADHD or other stuff, and you have to know your particular difference and work on it, but that’s not all of who you are.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative). I want to tell you about Landmark College in beautiful Putney, Vermont. It is the best college in the world for students who learn differently with ADHD, for other learning differences or autism spectrum disorder. It’s fully accredited, not for profit, offering bachelors and associate degrees, bridge programs, online dual enrollment courses for high school students and summer programs. They use a strength-based model at Landmark, which as you know, is the model that I certainly have developed and subscribed to, to give students the skills and strategies they need to achieve their goals in life and really expand upon what they believe they’re capable of doing. It is just a wonderful, wonderful place, and I can’t say enough good about it. I, myself have an honorary degree from Landmark College of which I am very proud. Landmark College in Putney, Vermont is the college of choice for students who learn differently. To learn more go to lcdistraction.org, that’s lcdistraction.org. Okay, let’s get back to today’s topic. Looking forward, what do you see coming down the road in the world of ADHD?

Sari Solden:
Well, I think this broadening out to neurodiversity is important, also instead of just… I think it’s just become meaningless, it’s become stereotyped, it’s become people don’t take it seriously. And so really advocating for a broadening out of that. But I’m working now with a lot of professional women, neurodiverse professionals. Actually, I’m getting a lot of satisfaction out of… I did a long course on changing the conversation from pathology to humanism so that I’m trying to teach people across domains, whether they’re therapists, they’re doctors, they’re organizers, they’re coaches, podcasters, support group leaders like to look at people over a pathology or viewing someone as who they are self over symptoms. And we had a movement from character to the medicalization for awhile, but now we have to go back to humanism.

Sari Solden:
And I think, if we understand that you don’t treat people with ADHD as just a different breed of person. A lot of people just see ADHD people in therapy as, “Okay, that’s an academic problem. Or, “Get them over, get them accountable, whatever they want to say.” Versus saying, “Okay, here’s a human being and they have these particular difficulties, and this is who they are as a person. And this is their whole life.” So that’s part of what I’m trying to do is I change the conversation around people who have neurodiverse brains from something that they just have to get over, work on tips, tools, strategies versus, “Hey, this is who you are as a human being, work on this but you need to figure out…” You have a right and feel entitled, for women to feel entitled, to move to a more fulfilling life and fulfilling relationships because a lot of times women don’t feel like they’re entitled to that if they still have clutter.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sari Solden:
[crosstalk 00:00:22:38].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I tell people I don’t treat disabilities, I help people unwrap their gifts.

Sari Solden:
Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Often it begins by convincing them that they have gifts to unwrap, the shame is so great that they-

Sari Solden:
Their shame was so great.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… yeah.

Sari Solden:
And yeah, and so the shame becomes my desk is messy, to I’m a mess, to I’m bad. I mean, the shame is very deeply in there. And so if you see their gifts then they’re able to believe that eventually, but no one is usually seeing their gifts. So sometimes what we do as clinicians with people like that is just see them, and I mean that’s a big gift in itself, so that helps. That helps.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, absolutely it is. Absolutely, it is. Well, I could talk to you for a long time but our podcasts have an audience that can’t pay attention all that long. So we should wrap up-

Sari Solden:
Correct, exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
To learn more about Sari or to purchase one of her books, go to Sari, S-A-R-I, Solden, S-O-L-D-E-N, sarisolden.com. And you can find her blog at adhdradicalguide.com.

Sari Solden:
Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s so nice to have you and go out and buy her books. The most recent one is The Radical Guide, and then the first one was Women With Attention Deficit Disorder, that was really such a groundbreaker. You can find Distraction-

Sari Solden:
Yeah, and you can find [crosstalk 00:24:07]… I just want to say that these groups I’m talking about, these mentoring professional groups for professionals who have ADHD, that’s on my website too, that I’m really excited about.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh, good. So they can find groups-

Sari Solden:
For professionals.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… mentoring professionals. Wonderful. Oh, that’s wonderful. And that’s at sarisolden.com?

Sari Solden:
Yeah, uh-huh (affirmative).

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a great thing.

Sari Solden:
Yeah, it’s exciting.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So for anybody professional, who wants to-

Sari Solden:
Who are neurodiverse, neurodiverse professionals who work in the field, I’m really excited about that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, well see, I think we’re all neurodiverse so you could invite everybody.

Sari Solden:
You’re all welcome to come along, Ned. Stop by.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’d love to join.

Sari Solden:
All right, go ahead and I’ll be quiet.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No, no, you can interrupt, this is the boring part. I read the close to the show but I have to do it.

Sari Solden:
Thank you for inviting me, okay.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, no, no, no, I’ll stay on and I’ll say goodbye. You can find Distraction on all the social channels and you can find me on TikTok. My username is @Dr.Hallowell. I’ve uploaded a bunch of ADHD related videos, 60 seconds a piece, and I’d really love to hear what you think. Send me a DM or email, [email protected], that’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the extraordinarily talented Sarah Guertin and our audio engineer and editor is the equally extraordinarily talented Scott Person. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, and thank you so much for joining me and my wonderful special guest Sari Solden.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. I take their supplements every day, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at OmegaBrite, and that’s B-R-I-T-E wellness.com.

Share:
Don’t Overcomplicate Role of Medication

Don’t Overcomplicate Role of Medication

Dr. Hallowell recently started sharing content on TikTok and his video, “Don’t Overcomplicate Role of Medication” left users wanting to know more. So in this mini ep, Dr. H answers a few of the questions that came up like, “How does a stimulant help a hyperactive brain?” and “Do I have to be on medication for life?”

Check out all of the #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark!

Do you have a question or guest suggestion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their Omega-3 supplements for many years, and so has my wife, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at omegabritewellness.com and brite is intentionally misspelled B-R-I-T-E. Omegabritewellness.com. This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College, another institution that I have warm personal relationship with, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. Today I’m going to answer a question that came up through my TikTok platform. I’ve recently started posting 60 second videos on TikTok, and they’re under the label #NedTalks on TikTok. They’re not TedTalks, but NedTalks. It’s about neural developmental experience discussed. NED. Neural developmental experience. Neurodiverse experience discussed. I’m sorry. Neurodiverse, N, Experienced, E-D discussed. NedTalks. Not TedTalks, but Ned talks. Oh, you get me going the bouncing around with words, which is what I love to do. Anyway, one of the NedTalks was about medication in treating ADHD, and the question came up. Can you explain how a stimulant helps someone who’s already stimulated? Namely someone who has ADHD. The explanation is simple, but I should add, it’s why categorizing these medications is so misleading.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The fact that it’s called a stimulant does not mean that it juices you up. They’re given a name… They’re anti-seizure medications that are good mood stabilizers, and so if you’re taking an anti-seizure medication, that doesn’t mean you have a seizure disorder. These meds are given labels, but their application may have nothing to do with the label. Now the fact is, a good way for you to understand why a stimulant helps someone with ADHD, who’s already very stimulated.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Think of my model for ADHD, which is you have a race car brain with bicycle brakes. You’ve got a powerful brain. Powerful, powerful brain. Active imagination, ideas flowing all the time, popping up all over the place, but you have weak brakes. You have bicycle brakes. Brakes that aren’t strong enough to control the awesome power of your brain. Well, stimulant medication like Adderall and Ritalin stimulate the brakes. They stimulate the inhibitory circuits in the brain that allow you to control the power of your brain. That’s how they work. They stimulate the brakes. Now, it happens that they produce the… You end up with more dopamine. We can get into all the neurotransmitters, but the basic sort of model that you can remember is, stimulant medication stimulates your brakes, thereby giving you more control.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Along with that question came the question, how long can these meds be taken? They can be taken for as long as they’re helpful. There’s no limit to how long. You can take them for decades, as long as they don’t cause side effects, and as long as they’re effective. Now, you don’t develop tolerance, so you don’t have to increase the dose over and over. I have people who are on the same dose of Adderall for 10 years. They didn’t change it at all. Once in a while, the meds will cease to be effective. Instead of increasing the dose, what you ought to do is just stop the meds for a few days, and then start them up again at the same dose. Often, they’ll kick back in. Why that works, I don’t know. Maybe it gives you… The neurotransmitter’s a rest. That makes no sense neurologically, but it makes sense intuitively.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Whatever. I’ve just found over my many years, that if you simply stop the stimulants for a few days, and start them up at the same level, they kick back in and are effective. This medication… By the way, these medications are not based on how big you are, or how old you are. Most medications in the world are based on milligrams per kilogram. The dose is based on how big you are. Not so with these. Some little people need a lot, and some big people need only a little. It’s a matter of trial and error, but once you find the right dose, you can stick with that for many, many years. People asked, “How long do I have to take it?” You don’t have to take it at all. ADHD is not a life-threatening condition. It’s not like insulin for a diabetic. You never have to take these meds.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You see, the ADHD is not going to kill you, but it can impair your life significantly, so you may find that you want to take it. Untreated ADHD can… Russell Barkley has shown this over a lifetime, reduce your life expectancy because of all the mishaps that can accompany untreated ADHD, but you don’t ever have to take the medication. Now, if you find a dose of a medication that you like, that helps you, that doesn’t cause side effects, chances are you will want to take it indefinitely for as long as it continues to be effective, and not cause the side effects. It’s really straightforward that way.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then, what kind of doctors should you see? Again, I did another mini episode on this, but any doctor who has experience in prescribing. It’s got to be an MD, or a nurse practitioner, or a physician’s assistant who works with an MD. Anyone who has medical training can prescribe stimulant medication. That means psychologists can’t, social workers can’t, but psychologists and social workers almost always work with someone who has an MD, so they can refer you to their… What’s called medical backup, or whatever term they want to use for it, but someone who works with them, and can prescribe. You need to have somebody who has a medical degree, an MD, overseeing the prescribing of the medication. You’d never want to take these meds without careful supervision.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
While they are very safe and effective, they can be dangerous if you are not… If you don’t know what you’re doing. If you do know what you’re doing, or working with a professional who knows what he or she is doing, then they are indeed among the safest meds we’ve got, as long as they’re used properly. They are controlled substances, so you have to take them again, with respect and with caution.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You never want to give these medicines away, you never want to sell them, you never want to… If somebody says, “Could I borrow one of your Adderall? I have a test.” You have to say, no, you can’t, and please don’t ask me again because it’s illegal. You need to be careful. In any case, medication is a powerful tool in the toolbox. Just work with a doctor who has plenty of experience in prescribing. Well, that’s it for me for this mini episode of Distraction.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thanks to our sponsor OmegaBrite Wellness. Save 20% on your first order at omegabritewellness.com with the promo code Podcast2020. Please reach out to us with your questions, and comments by emailing [email protected] If you’re on TikTok, you can find me there with the username @drhallowell. I’ve posted lots of videos about common ADHD issues, each one only 60 seconds. Take a look, and let me know what you think.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the wonderful Scott Persson, and our producer is the also wonderful Sarah Guertin. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell, until next time when I will still be Dr. Ned Hallowell.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. I take their supplements every day, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at OmegaBrite, and that’s B-R-I-T-E wellness.com.

Share:
ADHD vs. ADD: What’s the Difference?

ADHD vs. ADD: What’s the Difference?

So what’s the deal… is it ADD or ADHD? Dr. H answers this common question and explains how symptoms determine which type of ADHD you have.

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Check out Dr. H on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark!

What’s your opinion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their omega three supplements for many years and so has my wife and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at omegabritetwellness.com and “brite” is intentionally misspelled, B-R-I-T-E, omegabritewellness.com. This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College another institution that I have a warm personal relationship with in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to Distraction. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode. One question that comes up in the ADHD world all the time is what is the difference between ADHD and ADD. So let me clarify and bring some resolution to the confusion.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Technically, attention deficit disorder, ADD, no longer exists. In the diagnostic manual the DSM-5 there is no ADD. When I first learned about the condition back in 1981, it was, indeed, called ADD, attention deficit disorder, and that was what was in the DSM-3, the third incarnation of that manual.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, as the years went by, the good people who make up the names of these conditions decided to insert the letter H, ADHD, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder. And then rather than saying, “We have ADD and ADHD,” they said, “No, it’s all going to be under the umbrella of ADHD.” And those people who are not hyperactive, we will call ADHD primarily inattentive because their main symptom is distractibility and inattention. And those people who are both inattentive, and hyperactive and impulsive, we’ll call them ADHD combined type. Now that leaves room for a third type, which would be only symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity with no problems with attention, but you virtually never see that so it’s only of academic interest.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So there you have it, ADHD. There is no ADD, but clinically there is, and we call that ADHD primarily inattentive. Now, why is that relevant? Well, because a lot of people who have ADHD, primarily inattentive, mainly women and girls, but can be in men, never get diagnosed because they don’t have the disruptive symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. They don’t call attention to themselves, be they a child throwing spitballs in the classroom, or an adult raising hell in the landscape.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So what happens is the women, the females usually, get overlooked because they’re demure, they’re quiet. They’re sitting in the back of the room daydreaming. You have to ask them what’s it like in the classroom? And they say, “Well, I’m almost never there.” You see? Because they’re off in their own world. And that’s why they don’t get missed.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And then when they become adults, if they show up and ask for help, almost always, they get diagnosed with depression or anxiety or both. And sure enough, they are a little bit unhappy, depressed, because they’re underachieving and they know they could be doing better and they don’t know why. And they are kind of anxious because they don’t know how they’re going to screw up next. But both the so-called depression and anxiety are caused by the untreated ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And so if you’re a woman who is underachieving and it has a tendency to be a daydreamer and is creative and all the positives, things that go with it, consider ADHD, primarily inattentive as your diagnosis and don’t take depression and anxiety as your primary diagnosis because if you do, you’ll get put on an SSRI, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, which might do a little bit of good, but it has side effects that are not pleasant and also won’t get at the underlying condition, which is the ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
For that if you’re going to take a medication, you need stimulant medication. Okay, which by the way, is safe and effective as long as it’s used properly. That’s it. That’s the explanation. It’s very clear and causes a lot of unnecessary confusion. It’s an important clinical point to know that you can have ADHD without being disruptive, without being hyperactive. There you have it. Okay, before I go, I’d like to thank our sponsor, Omega Brite Wellness, go to omegabritewellness.com and save 20% on your first order with the promo code podcast 2020.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineering editor is the wonderful Scott Persson and our producer is the also wonderful Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell wishing you well until we meet again.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at Omega Brite Wellness. I take their supplements every day and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at omegabrite, and that’s B-R-I-T-E, wellness.com.

Share:
Strategies for Successfully Working From Home with ADHD

Strategies for Successfully Working From Home with ADHD

Being prepared and developing routines are key to staying organized and being productive if you have ADHD and are working from home. Our go-to productivity expert and ADHD coach, Kristin Seymour, offers a ton of simple life hacks you can utilize to help you stay on track in your job and increase your overall happiness.

Kristin’s website is ADHDFogLifted.com. Get her book and her resource binder!

Pre-order Ned’s new book, ADHD 2.0 on Amazon.

Check out Dr. H on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark!

What’s your opinion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their Omega-3 supplements for many years, and so has my wife, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at omegabritewellness.com… and brite is intentionally misspelled B-R-I-T-E… omegabritewellness.com

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College, another institution that I have warm personal relationship with, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to Distraction. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell, your host. So glad you’re with us once again. Today, we have one of my favorite… and I can say our favorite… guests. I can’t remember how many times she’s been on the podcast, but more than twice. She’s a remarkable woman. She’s one of those people who just gets it when it comes to ADHD. There are experts and then there are people who get it and she is, yes, an expert, but she also gets it. That just means when you’re with her, if you have ADHD, you feel understood. For a lot of people, particularly adults, they almost never have that feeling of being understood without being marked down, without being judged negatively. They feel understood, appreciated, and it’s just being with her, for many adults, is in and of itself pretty much all the therapy they need.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
In terms of credentials, she’s got them all. She’s a board certified clinical nurse specialist. She works with cardiology patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She also is an author. She wrote a wonderful book called The Fog Lifted: A Clinician’s Victorious Journey with ADHD. I highly recommend it. The Fog Lifted. She works with ADHD kids and their families, as well as adults. She consults to businesses, hospitals. You just can’t slow her down. Of course, she has ADHD herself, as she’s the first to tell you, and she’s just a tremendous gift to this world with her energy, her knowledge, her expertise, her empathy, and her undying devotion to all the people she serves, which is quite a few people. I can tell you, I’ve called her on a Sunday and she’ll say to me, “I can’t talk long. I’ve got another client coming in.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I don’t think she ever stops working. In addition, she’s married to a wonderful man and has two of the best daughters you could ever find.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Welcome, Kristin Seymour, MSN, RN, AHCNS-B.

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you, Ned. Thank you for your kind introduction and kind words. I most appreciate it and your support over the years. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, it’s a treat for me and our audience to have you. Now, we are going to get into a topic that you proposed because you’ve been seeing it a lot, and one that we have not really covered on the podcast. Why don’t you tell us about it.

Kristin Seymour:
Okay. What I have been working with, with countless of my adult patients in the past several months, is the reality of the overnight shift for the ADHD employee to go from an office setting or work setting outside the home, instantly to a home setting, which provides much distraction and is a big, huge challenge for many of my adult patients.

Kristin Seymour:
The reason I believe that this massive change and this debilitation for many of them is because there’s no mental or physical mind shift. You know how when you go to the gym from your house, you’re in the moment to work out. Or you go from your dorm or your apartment or your home to the office, you are in a work mode. Without that mind shift, many people are finding it very hard to be productive and stay on task. We’ve had to adapt their lives and implement strategies that they have found to be pretty effective and helpful in making this new environment successful and productive.

Kristin Seymour:
In order to help that mind shift, I even have some of my patients, once they get up, make their bed, brush their teeth, and get dressed as if they are going to an office, some of them even go drive around the block just to move their mind from the thought of, “Okay, I’m going from my home as a sanctuary and a place of rest to, now, I’m coming back to the house or apartment or whatever as an employee, as a producer.” That’s been really helpful. But keeping that routine and structure in place, same wake and sleep time, maintaining their prescription medication as directed and prescribed, is all key to being successful with this work at home environment. Creating a schedule, writing it down, keeping it visual, things like that are really essential for these visual learning ADHDers.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, absolutely it is. One suggestion is to do the mind shift.

Kristin Seymour:
Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And what’s the second one?

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, I have many.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay.

Kristin Seymour:
Waking up at the same time every day, even if your first meeting, Zoom call, conference call, whatever platform you’re working from isn’t until maybe an hour after you typically wake, still get up at 6:30 or 7:00. Go for a walk, exercise, keep your body on that same routine.

Kristin Seymour:
The biggest thing a lot of my patients are missing is they don’t have a good understanding of writing down each platform of a meeting. For instance, you have Google Meet, Adobe Connect, Zoom, Google Classroom. You have all these different ways people are communicating and a lot of people have different passwords, different usernames, so I tell them, “Log on 10 to 15 minutes and be sure you have the right meeting platform, the right time zone, and have everything charged and ready to go,” because a lot of patients are missing simple things like that. It has nothing to do with their production or their productivity or their content, it’s just being organized, on time, and on the right platform, with a charged device. Those are all things we can control.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. All right. What’s next?

Kristin Seymour:
Another thing that will be really helpful for them is to space their appointments, if possible. If my patients are able to schedule all appointments… whether they’re a phone call, a virtual video call… everything 30 minutes apart so that you have that 30 minutes to recapture yourself, jot notes, stay on top of it, stay on time, stay organized, so that at the end of the day you’re not playing catch up.

Kristin Seymour:
On that same note, you want to make sure that you answer your emails as they’re coming through, but don’t get all tied up and hyperfocused on them if it’s going to take more attention than a couple of minutes. Print that, put it to the side, and know you have to get to it later. Those are all things that have been real time suckers and get my patients down a rabbit hole of they get tied up in one email or they run late on a meeting. Use alarms. Use technology. Space your appointments.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to my friend, the founder and creator of OmegaBrite Wellness, Dr. Carol Locke, about the benefits of taking OmegaBrite’s Omega-3s CBD and other supplements. Here’s a clip from one of those conversations.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, there are many different products, brands of fish oil. Why is OmegaBrite the best?

Carol Locke:
What I can speak to with OmegaBrite is it’s a very different formula than typically what you can get in the store or online and OmegaBrite is clinically proven. We have over 10 studies in major academic centers showing OmegaBrite improving mood, helping with bipolar, with depression, with ADHD, with anxiety, with inflammation. So, it’s a very proven product for you to gain these benefits and these benefits, we know, come from OmegaBrite. You can’t get that with a typical Omega-3, which has, say, 180 milligrams of EPA in it. That just isn’t going to provide that benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction listeners, you can save 20% on your first order at omegabritewellness.com by using the promo code PODCAST2020.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right, let’s get back to today’s topic.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What should they do about the lack of human contact?

Kristin Seymour:
That’s a good one. One of the most important things they should do is, if they’re living alone, to check in with another adult. Whether it’s a significant other, a neighbor, a family member, to everyday check in with someone either on a walk social distancing, have a Zoom call just socializing with friends, but mask, get together. I think the social isolation is really difficult. I think not having the camaraderie of a team in a work environment around you is difficult. As long as you check in with yourself, check in with one other person, and then always socializing with your spouse and stuff. Make sure you tell your spouse and your significant other, roommate, family what you need right now. Because what I need is different than what you need. Maybe that friend needs to give them reassurance. Maybe it’s their boss telling them they’re doing okay. The social isolation is really devastating to these people and they have to think outside the box in how to see one another, but there’s lots of things that we can do that aren’t in an office.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Maybe they miss their boss and they want someone to yell at them, so you could ask someone to yell at you.

Kristin Seymour:
Right. Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m just kidding, Kristen.

Kristin Seymour:
I have a man I’m working with-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m just kidding.

Kristin Seymour:
… I have a man I’m working who, he’s in his mid-20s, and is a very successful architect type of position and he was really struggling with all of them, with the lack of structure and time and to-do lists and things being visual. So, we got his significant other on board. She was such a partner in it. We utilized a white noise machine to drown out distractions of delivery trucks and barking animals and just typical things.

Kristin Seymour:
Then, we actually also contacted his supervisor and just said, “He’s adjusting to this. These are the things we’re implementing.” The boss was so empathetic and understanding. He didn’t have to go into this whole history of his diagnosis, but he just said, “Look, this is a whole new world, particular for my distracted mind.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I was kidding when I say get someone to yell at you, but I think a lot of people miss having the cheerleading, and that could be yelling, “Come on, team. Let’s go. Let’s go. We’re going to nail it today. We’re going to go through the roof.” And it’s just not there. It’s crickets. I think the encouragement, cheerleading that people often dismiss as superficial is, in fact, profoundly important.

Kristin Seymour:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think you’re right on. I think your first point of with crickets, when you said that, an idol mind can be a devil’s workshop. These people that can be so prone to that default mode or hyperfocus or going down a dark place, this is a real serious time for them. So, like you said, the camaraderie, the team work, the cheering them on, is really essential. It can be, I think, knowing as you say, Ned, no one should ever worry alone, whether it’s worrying about their work, worrying about their family. They need to tap into someone they trust. If they don’t have someone, there are a lot of resources. There’s a lot of hotlines. There’s a lot of support groups and people you can talk to.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yep.

Kristin Seymour:
The other thing is utilizing those grocery delivery apps or food delivery apps to help maximize your time during the day. Auto pay all your bills. Make sure you remind yourself on your calendar to have your medication refilled. A lot of those controlled substances, people forget about them. When you’re at home, you just kind of assume things are going to be done. You got to remember to call and get your medication refilled.

Kristin Seymour:
There’s a lot of things we can do to help them be organized and be focused.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You mentioned the food delivery services. On the other hand, I look forward to going out to the food store as sort of my outing. Oh good, I get to go to the food store and push my cart, get a little exercise, see some human faces behind masks, smile at them, talk to the deli counter guy. It’s my little trip to the park and I get my shopping done. So, I don’t want a delivery service, but I can certainly understand people who do. You’re absolutely right, it is a way to save time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I can’t not add that no one needs to be alone. Get a dog. I know this is a broken record because I squeeze it into every podcast, but it’s no accident that God spelled backwards is dog. Particularly if you’re alone, if you have a dog, believe me, you won’t feel alone.

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah, I loved when you said in a lecture at one of the conferences a couple years ago, you said you had written more prescriptions for dogs or a pet than you did for anything else.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. Yes, I don’t know how many people filled those prescriptions, but I really-

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah, I think the dog, having someone to love unconditionally there, is great, or take care of. I just can’t stress enough how much this lack of a mind shift and getting them into that mind space of production for these patients has really been a challenge. I don’t think many people are really talking about it. People are just really struggling with their jobs and there’s been a lot of layoffs and furloughs. It’s just a really tough time right now. I love your quote, “Just never worry alone. Be there for each other.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… The only reason I go to my office… I live in Arlington, have an office in Sudbury… and the only reason I get up and drive the half hour drive to the office in Sudbury is just for that mind shift. There’s nobody there. A couple of administrative assistants, but I don’t see any patients live. It’s all done by Zoom, which I could just as easily do from home, but I want the feeling of getting in my car, driving out there, coming in, unpacking my briefcase, setting up my laptop, getting a cup of coffee, sitting down, opening it up, starting the Zoom. You’re so right. It’s a kind of a ritual that my brain is accustomed too.

Kristin Seymour:
Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If it doesn’t get it, it’s sort of saying, “Okay, what the heck’s going on here?”

Kristin Seymour:
Exactly. That lack of a true shift happens when one physically moves from one environment to the other, like you said, and when that’s out of our control we have to create a natural shift. That’s why I said I have a couple of my patients driving around the block-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a great idea.

Kristin Seymour:
… and then going back into their home as an employee because it’s just so going to the hospital to do my job, or coming to my office to see patients and Zooming them from here. Just like you, it makes me feel like I’m in a different head space.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Don’t you think it should be more than around the block? Maybe drive a few miles?

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah, that would be great, depending on how big their block is. But it’s just, I would say, in the exercise piece and movement, the ADHD brain loves movement. So, I will do one part of my role from Zoom in my office where I see ADHD patients and then I do another part of my role from my home because we can’t go to the hospital right now, due to limiting COVID exposure unnecessarily. It’s interesting. You have your different head spaces for your different places and I think people really need to play into that and really think about that because it’s a big deal.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What I’m going to do now is engage in a conversation with a delightful young woman by the name of Katie [Labumbard 00:17:43]-

Katie L.:
That’s me!

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… a student at… there you are… a student at Landmark College, our podcast sponsor and the college of choice for students who learn differently. Welcome to the podcast, Katie.

Katie L.:
Thank you so much. Love to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, the reason we want to talk to you and follow you along is track your progress at Landmark College. You’re a senior, is that correct?

Katie L.:
Yes, correct.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And you’re graduating in the spring?

Katie L.:
Yes, so that’s one more semester after this one.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Tell me what it’s been like to be at Landmark.

Katie L.:
Well, as we all know, this semester in particular has been very different, but beforehand it’s a life changing experience. High school is absolutely terrible and I can’t speak for everyone, but most of the people I have met here, we share a universal experience of having a terrible high school experience, whether it was from segregation into the special ed classrooms or just not getting exactly what we need in terms of education or that social experience that helps us grow.

Katie L.:
So, I came to Landmark, I think, very developmentally delayed, very awkward, very not ready for anything in the real world. To come here and be able to not start over but have different supports that I wasn’t used to, have people that understood what I was going through and see me of the same light and go through what others have gone through, that was so helpful, incredibly.

Katie L.:
Now, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. Now, with this whole pandemic going on and classes being different, everything being different, it’s hard to learn, but as I said before, people here, we’re used to adapting. We’re used to needing to step it up and learn maybe more than other people would have to. So, I think we do have a leg up there, but that being said, it’s still difficult.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What are your hopes and dreams? What do you hope to be doing after you graduate from Landmark?

Katie L.:
Oh man, that’s definitely a scary thought. My broad dream is to open a business. I’m an entrepreneur. I think that career style fits good with how I work and learn, especially with being my own boss, but that’s really as much thought as I put toward my future, especially with the career. Within my recent years at Landmark, I’ve gotten really into activism, especially with the newer diverse movements and with women’s movement and women’s rights. I’ve also really gotten into that. We’ll see where that takes me.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good. Good for you. Most entrepreneurs have ADHD, so you’re in really good company. Thank you. Thank you so much, Katie.

Katie L.:
Yeah, you too. So nice to meet you. Thank you so much for doing this.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Listeners, if you’d like to learn more about Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently, go to lcdistraction.org. Okay, let’s get back to today’s show.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How under the weather, so to speak, psychologically, do you think most people are because of this? I think I say none of us is getting enough of the other vitamin C, vitamin connect. We’re all suffering from a little bit of a vitamin connect deficiency, but are you seeing it really bothering a lot of your folks?

Kristin Seymour:
Yes. I don’t think I’ve ever honestly been as busy right now as I am and a lot of it is because my patients are struggling, young and older, particularly this 19 to 30 year-old cohort of patients. Whether they’re single, married, whatever their state is, they are struggling. It’s hard enough to think differently and have our super powers as ADHDers in a typical environment with just regular pressure, social media, and everything else, other pressures. But then to have this social isolation and restrictions is just making people feel even further apart from each other and it’s really affecting my folks in a big way. It’s affecting the students with their assignments. It’s affecting their action in class. It’s actually setback, significantly, a few of my patients who I’ve made a lot of progress with, because it’s so unfamiliar and isolating. They feel terrible. We’re really working hard to be outside and create new habits and find new sports and things like that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So, being outdoors, whether permitting, is another key strategy?

Kristin Seymour:
Yes. I actually told a patient the other day, I said, “Well, get a rain coat and go walk in the rain.” Come on, it doesn’t have to be sunshine and lollipops and rainbows every day. Just put on a rain coat, get an umbrella, and as long as it’s not thundering and lightning, go take a walk. I’ve been biking. I’ve got a little girl I’m working with who’s 10 who’s taken up golf because she gets to be outside and she can be a part.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow, that’s wonderful. That’s really wonderful. And a walk in the rain, well you know my children’s story, the only children’s book I’ve ever written, the title of it is A Walk in the Rain with the Brain.

Kristin Seymour:
Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Walking in the rain [crosstalk 00:23:41]-

Kristin Seymour:
So, getting outside, changing the environment, changing your work environment home, connecting with your friends and family, making sure you stay compliant and on a schedule and routine. People just expect it to happen and people who are on a routine and get ample sleep every night and eat, and have hard-boiled eggs, something protein packed, things ready in the fridge to grab if you’re in a hurry in the middle of the day to eat between meetings, just start to prepare yourself. Those life hacks we always talk about. Have things ready so you’re not flailing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… And you’re so good at those, you really. So, half a dozen hard-boiled eggs and some carrot sticks ready and a pickle or two.

Kristin Seymour:
Exactly. I always tell people, I’m like, “Grab some sunflower seeds. Have about six hard-boiled eggs ready in your fridge. Have some bottles of water. Fill your big… You have a cooler in the back of your car so if you do go, Ned, like you to your office and work from a Zoom and you want to do errands on the way back, throw your produce in a cooler. Leave a cooler in the back of your car. Have your car always at a quarter tank full.” Our people always run out of gas.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s another great suggestion.

Kristin Seymour:
Or else they’re coming to me on fumes. Those are just some simple life hacks. Have your prescriptions post-dated and put on the hold file in the pharmacy if your state allows that. It’s just all those kinds of things. Make your bed every day. Then, you’ve done one thing right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, it’s so true. Filling your tank. Another suggestion I make is to have a joke book nearby at all times. I think we can-

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, I love that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… I think these days we can suffer from excessive solemnity. It’s got to be jokes that you think are funny, but not just any joke book.

Kristin Seymour:
Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But a joke book that will reliably make you laugh because it is true that laughter does dilute a lot of negative feelings.

Kristin Seymour:
It does. And just smile. When you start your Zoom meetings, smile at each other. I read the other day that a smile is the starch of peace. It really is. If we all just took a minute. Everyone’s in such a hurry and so angry all the time right now. It’s really a crazy time, but the one thing we can do is be gentle with ourselves, plan ahead, be cognizant of a mind shift, and just try to be gentle with yourself. Everyone’s so hard on themselves right now too. But I’m your boss-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And be kind. There was a big survey, hundreds of thousands of people, voting on what are the three most attractive qualities in a person. Not physical attributes, but what are the three most attractive qualities. What do you think the top three were?

Kristin Seymour:
… That aren’t physical?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Not physical.

Kristin Seymour:
A positive attitude?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, kindness. Number one was kindness.

Kristin Seymour:
Kindness.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
They called it kindness. Yep.

Kristin Seymour:
What were the other two?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Number two was health, to be in good health. And number three was intelligence.

Kristin Seymour:
Wow. That’s fascinating. That’s probably so true. Being kind is important, but I don’t think enough people are right now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No, no. Really, we’ve really got to do something about it, no matter who the president is. We really need to.

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, I know. I was in line the other day and this little elderly woman was behind me and had one item and I let her go ahead of me and the person two behind, even though we were all six feet apart, got mad at me. I was like, “What is wrong with this scenario here?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Really. That’s amazing. Got mad at you for letting a little old lady with one item get in front of you?

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s just-

Kristin Seymour:
I was just like, “Wow.” So, it really made me think, “Okay, we all need to be a little gentler with ourselves, a little kinder, a little more forgiving and just get through each day right now,” because this is not as easy time for anyone.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… No, it’s not at all. No, we’re all a little frazzled, I think. These are great suggestions, Kristin, as always. [crosstalk 00:27:59]-

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, yeah. You’re welcome. I just think that the idea of the mind thing is really… it’s kind of, when you really think about it… it really can help people then framework how they can be most productive, how they can take this nuance, this new way we’re living and try to make it work because you’re home and your home should be your sanctuary. Yeah. But you can make it. I don’t care if you live in a studio apartment, you can find another little corner-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… Yes, absolutely.

Kristin Seymour:
… that’s different and put a little plant there. Figure it out. A little change up. People can help you. I’m always here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You are. Now, if someone wants to reach you or go to your website, what’s the best way to do it?

Kristin Seymour:
Well, just going to my website’s probably the best and that’s my ADHDfoglifted.com website. I have this whole-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wait a minute. Let me say that for the listeners that don’t know it. ADHDfoglifted.com?

Kristin Seymour:
… Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
ADHD, fog, F-O-G, lifted, L-I-F-T-E-D, .com and that’s Kristin’s website and you can reach her through that. Then, of course, her book, The Fog Lifted: A Clinician’s Victorious Journey with ADHD. It’s a wonderful book. It’s autobiographical, but it’s full of [inaudible 00:29:14] and it’s full of wonderfully useful and amusing and deep and moving anecdotes and ideas.

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you. Thank you, Ned. There’s also my binder that’s on there that gives virtual learning tips for the elementary school student, the college student, the adult that I think has been real helpful for parents because it’s a whole new… parents turned into teachers overnight. I think that this provides some real good tools that are from different articles and different resources all at your fingertips in a few pages. That’s on my site too, if anyone needs help with that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wonderful. I can tell you if that binder is like taking a special ed consultant home with you. It really is amazingly detailed. Not in a boring way, in an encyclopedic useful way. It’s a wonderful resource.

Kristin Seymour:
That’s right. You saw that. I just added a tab for virtual, so you know exactly. Yeah. It’s even more robust now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good word, robust. Well, Kristin also wrote a robust blurb for my new book, which won’t be out until January but I am tickled to have her name on the back of my book.

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, the new book? ADHD 2.0 is fabulous.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you.

Kristin Seymour:
Honestly, as an ADHDer who finds reading to be something I have to do and usually don’t want to do, I wanted to finish that. I wanted to read it. It was awesome.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you so much. Well, I think you can order it in advance on Amazon now, but it was wonderful to-

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah, it is excellent. It’s informative. It’s a great navigator and guide. I loved it. I think you and Dr. Ratey did a great job. I mean, it’s wonderful.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… Thank you.

Kristin Seymour:
I hope everybody…

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you.

Kristin Seymour:
I thought it was great and I think all the books are great, but I think that one and Distraction are fabulous. This is even better.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you so much. And yours, we’ve got this mutual admiration society going here, but it’s true. You really are like the ADHD whisperer. You just get it in a way that very few people do. Anyone who-

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… is lucky enough to have a consultation with you, comes away the better for it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, will you promise to come on my podcast again someday?

Kristin Seymour:
Of course. You know I love it. It’s so fun. I always love chatting with you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good.

Kristin Seymour:
We always share some great information.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Well, it’s been great having you.

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you so much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you for this wonderful contribution today and we’ll talk to you soon. Take care, Kristin.

Kristin Seymour:
You too, Ned.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right. Well, that’s our show for today. To learn more about Kristin Seymour, go to ADHDfoglifted.com. You can watch the short videos she creates every week for parents of school-age kids with ADHD and you can also get her 100 page resource binder filled with strategies and tools for success with ADHD at home and at school.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Kristin is also on Instagram with the username ADHD Fog Lifted. You can also find Distraction on Instagram too, as well as Facebook and Twitter. You can find my 60 second videos clips on ADHD on TikTok. We now have over three million views on TikTok, so it’s worth going to check it out. It’s @DrHallowell on TikTok. I’ve unloaded a bunch of videos there and I’d love to hear what you think.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Our email is [email protected] That’s [email protected] Okay, as I said, that’s it for today. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the wonderful Sarah Guertin and our audio engineer and editor is the brilliant Scott Persson. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell and thank you so much for joining me and us.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. I take their supplements every day and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at omegabrite… and that’s B-R-I-T-E… wellness.com.

Share:
How to Manage Racing Thoughts and Idea Overload

How to Manage Racing Thoughts and Idea Overload

The best part and the worst part about having ADHD might be all of the thoughts and ideas that are generated, according to Dr. H. Racing thoughts and/or having an abundance of ideas is common for those with ADHD. But how do you manage all of them? Ned offers several suggestions for organizing your thoughts and keeping track of all of those great ideas. But he cautions listeners to recognize that you can’t accomplish every idea you have, so it’s important to prioritize them.

Keep listening after this episode for a special segment with Dr. Carol Locke, Ned’s friend and the founder of OmegaBrite Wellness for 5 ways to help manage stress. Learn more HERE. Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark!

Do you have a question for Dr. H that you’d like him to address in a future episode? Send it to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their Omega-3 supplements for many years, and so has my wife, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at omegabritewellness.com, and brite is intentionally misspelled B-R-I-T-E, omegabritewellness.com. This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College, another institution that I have warm personal relationship with, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org. Hello, and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you for joining me today for a mini-episode. People love the mini-episodes because they’re quick, they’re short, and that’s the world we live in, quick and short and to the point. We received a question from a listener that I think many of our listeners will be able to relate to, so I wanted to share it with you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It goes like this. “Hi there, Distraction team.” Smile.” Wanted to get advice on having lots of ideas. I wake up and meditate most mornings. So even if I get my mind quieted, it can still get racing and come up with lots and lots of good ideas. I write them down, but there are just so many that I end up feeling bad about not pursuing most of them, or they lead to the feeling of never achieving enough. I obviously need more self-acceptance, but any advice on how to best approach tackling large amounts of ideas and things to do? I use the TickTick app, and it’s great, but still doesn’t help with the output of my brain. Love the podcast. Kiran.” Well, Kiran, thank you very much for that note, and what you describe is the blessing and the curse of ADHD. The great thing about it is we have so much going on and the curse about it is we have so much going on.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Our brains I often compare to a popcorn machine, just pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, ideas popping all the time. They come in bunches like bananas. We’re just surrounded by all these bananas and all these popped popcorns. Whatever analogy you want to use, we have an abundance of ideas, and you have to be grateful because contrast that to people who have what I call attention surplus disorder, they almost never have a new idea. They come by and see you surrounded by all these bananas and popcorn and they say, “Oh my gosh, where did all those come from? I never have any of those. I have no bananas and no popcorn.” And they just never, rarely, have a new idea. And you say to them, “Fine. Take them, please. I’ve got too many of them. I don’t know what to do with them.” So that’s one solution, is to share them with other people who need them and get a team of people to implement your ideas and share the credit for them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If you grow my idea, I’ll share it with you. Because often those folks, the ones who can’t come up with new ideas, are good at growing them. They’re good at taking them and developing them and turning them into a business or turning them into a piece of art or turning them into a new line of clothing, or turning them into a well tilled garden. Whatever the project might happen to be, if you can find someone who’s good sweating details with attention surplus disorder, you and that person can make an excellent team. They can take your new ideas, sort through them, and they’re good at prioritizing while you’re not, you can dump 25 ideas on them and they’ll pick out the one or two that stand the best chance of succeeding, and then they’ll get to work on it. And you can just keep up more bananas and more popcorn, and just keep feeding your good attention surplus friend, partner your ideas.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a really good recipe for success. Most of the successful adults I know who have ADD have someone, an admin assistant, a partner, a mate, a favorite employee, somebody who’s the chief implementer, the one who makes things happen and gets things done. And so that’s a really good team. As for you yourself, you’ve hit upon a very good strategy, which is writing things down. And once they’re written down, they don’t disappear. So even if you say, “God, I had a great idea. What was it?” Well, you can say, “Well, I’ll just look at my little journal where I keep my ideas in, my idea bin, and I’ll be able to retrieve it.” Be grateful that you have this copious, fertile, fecund imagination. Be grateful, but at the same time understand that you can’t do everything. Don’t become the victim of your own enthusiasm. Nobody can do everything. Nobody is obliged to do all that they could do. Just do enough to keep yourself satisfied and in the game, as I like to say.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
A great life is staying in the game until your life is over. The victories and the defeats will happen. They’re part of the game, but the definition of a great life I think is finding a game you love to play and then playing it until you can play it no more. That’s my answer to your question, Kiran. I hope it makes sense to you. I hope the rest of you will send us your questions and ideas, because we really love to get them. Keep listening after this episode for a new paid feature from our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. Dr. Carol Locke, the company’s founder, will share some key information about how Omega-3s, CBD, and other supplements can help with issues like anxiety, inflammation, depression, and a host of other issues.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Remember to reach out to us with your questions, thoughts, and show ideas. Send an email or a voice memo to [email protected], and check us out on social media. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We’re trying to build a new presence there, so please help us do that. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is Scott Persson with two Ss. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell. Goodbye for now.

Dr. Carol Locke:
This is Dr. Carol Locke, and I am here with five ways to reduce stress. It’s going to be a tough week that we’re facing with the election on top of everything else. So here are five easy things that you can do to reduce stress and get through any tough time. Number one is get up and move. Moving is so important. It activates the brain and it releases BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor, which increases our brain’s ability to connect to new learning, to neuroplasticity, reduces depression, anxiety, and increases your resilience. Number two is compassionate mindfulness. This is an exercise where you close your eyes, and then you imagine someone that you have a very positive relationship with. And then you imagine you’re sending good will, good wishes to help them through some difficult obstacle in their life. We know from research done at University of Wisconsin that increasing our ability to have compassion, feel compassion and caring, increases our overall sense of well-being and positivity.

Dr. Carol Locke:
Number three is limit social media. How can you do that? Well, if you’re on Twitter all the time, you can take Twitter off your phone. This will make you have to go to your computer to check and you can set a time that you need to check. If you’re just checking other social media, you can set a time each day that you’ll check in with social media and the news and check out. Number four is laughter. Laughing is super important. It increases the blood flow to your brain, relaxes your body, and causes a release of oxytocin, the feel good hormone that gives you a tremendous sense of well-being. So schedule a time to laugh every day. Number five is you can take a supplement called OmegaBrite. OmegaBrite is an Omega-3, high EPA supplement that I developed while I was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. OmegaBrite has been shown to reduce anxiety by 20% in healthy adults in a double blind placebo controlled trial by Ohio State. So this is an important way that you can add health and reduce your anxiety, reduce your stress every day, by simply taking OmegaBrite.

Dr. Carol Locke:
If you’d like to learn more about these five ways of reducing stress or about the study on OmegaBrite by Ohio State, you can go to our website at omegabritewellness.com/reduced stress. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E wellness.com/reduced stress. This is Dr. Carol Locke. Stay safe, stay well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. I take their supplements every day and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at OmegaBrite, and that’s B-R-I-T-E, wellness.com.

Share: