Science Shows Omega-3s Improve Executive Function with OmegaBrite Wellness

Science Shows Omega-3s Improve Executive Function with OmegaBrite Wellness

This special episode is sponsored by OmegaBrite Wellness.

This back-to-school season is especially stressful, so we know parents and kids are looking for ways to cope! Dr. Carol Locke, founder of OmegaBrite Wellness, shares some of the proven benefits of Omega-3s and how they can help adults and children. Dr. Locke cites recent studies out of Ohio State using OmegaBrite Omega-3s, which showed a reduction in anxiety and inflammation, and improved executive functioning in participants.

To view the studies cited in this episode, go HERE.

Shop OmegaBrite Wellness online. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson. Reach out to us at [email protected].

LISTEN to this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello, and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Those of you familiar with the podcast will know my guest today, and she’s one of my favorites. She’s joined me on the podcast many times over the years, and especially over the past few months, Dr. Carol Locke, Harvard Medical School trained and all together entrepreneur, innovator extraordinaire, the founder of OmegaBrite Wellness, a sponsor we’re lucky to be able to say of this podcast, joins me today to talk about how parents and kids can alleviate some of the anxiety they are feeling as they embark on this new school year, a particularly difficult time because of the pandemic and the tremendous uncertainty that surrounds it.

What you might be feeling, whether it be political, medical, nutritional, spiritual, what have you, Dr. Locke is here to help us with one kind of intervention that you probably haven’t thought of, namely Omega-3’s and fish oil. So Dr. Locke, could you please begin the discussion by telling us why Omega-3’s are so important?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Omega-3’s are so important because, number one, we cannot make them. Our body cannot make them. We must take them in our diet and they’re very low or deficient in them in our diet right now. They have tremendous health benefits all across the board from cardiac, brain health, to our joints, as well as to managing stress. And that makes them very essential all of the time, and even more important now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I start every day by taking five of your little gel capsules. So what good am I doing for myself when I take them and swallow them?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, what you’re taking is OmegaBrite. That’s OmegaBrite 70-10MD, which is our high EPA Omega formula product. And what you’re doing in taking those capsules is you’re giving your body a way to not only provide for the health benefits of Omega-3, but have the unique ability to increase your ability to manage stress, decrease your anxiety, increase your executive function, and improve your mood as well as pain. So those are very big benefits that would help people in their toolbox as a parent, or as a child, in facing this pandemic, COVID return to school.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Huge. I mean, the advantages you just ticked off. And all I have to do is, I keep them in the freezer, reach in there and, and take five capsules out of the bottle and swallow them, and I’ve done myself a huge favor. Now there are many different, many different products, brands of fish oil. Why is OmegaBrite the best?

Dr. 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 on line. 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:

Oh, that’s really good to know. As you know, I have total faith in it, take it myself. So does my wife. 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. 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 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:

So I think with that in mind, I mean, honestly, my profession, psychiatry, and medical in general, we ought to be, we ought to be prescribing this, certainly before we prescribe drugs like Prozac or Zoloft.

Dr. Carol Locke:

I think it’s a very powerful foundation to give to yourself and to your patients. It’s has all-health benefits on top of these benefits. So I agree. I think it’s something that we can powerfully prescribe and use in our lives and in our patients’ lives to reduce anxiety, inflammation, stress, and help with mood.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And tell me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents?

Dr. Carol Locke:

It’s a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent without negative effects. So typically if you take a prescription anti-inflammatory, you can have problems with COX-2 inhibition. You can have various problems in your immune system with suppression. When you’re providing high EPA Omega-3 like OmegaBrite, you’re giving your body back the ability to balance inflammation in its own system. Omega-3 EPA competes with arachidonic acid, and so when you provide a high dose of Omega-3 in your diet, you gain ability to balance and modulate your own inflammation in your body, as it wants to naturally.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And most people, most lay people, think of inflammation as what happens when you get a cut or you get a bruise, and you turn red and it’s hot. But in fact inflammation drives stuff that people don’t associate with inflammation, like obesity, like depression, like high blood pressure, like immune dysfunction, which is associated with cancer. So by suppressing inflammation, you’re suppressing one of the major provocateurs of the conditions that we fear the most.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Exactly. It’s a huge thing. And we want inflammation, like you said, if we get a cut, we break our leg. We want to know about it. But we don’t want that fighting against our body all the time, like you said, causing those disease states. One of the things, Ned, that people, as you know, are facing overload right now, and the kids are facing, is stress. And stress affects inflammation as well. We think that stress causes a neuroinflammation and it looks like the Omega-3’s can decrease that neuroinflammation. And one of the effects of stress is impaired executive function.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yes, absolutely.

Dr. Carol Locke:

And we have a study I wanted to share with you, in 2019, just came out also from Ohio State, in youth and kids showing OmegaBrite improved executive function. This was in 95 kids over 12 weeks. So that’s a pretty big gain I think could go in and kids and adults toolbox right now with the pandemic to increase our ability to have executive function.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh my gosh, absolutely. What ages were these kids?

Dr. Carol Locke:

These kids were ages seven to 17, boys and girls recruited from the community. This study was done over 12 weeks in 95 children with the diagnosis of mood disorder, including bipolar disorder, not otherwise specified major depression, or cyclothymia. An important point, Ned, was many of these kids had co-diagnoses as well, 75 with anxiety and 58 with ADHD. There was improvement across the board for executive function in all diagnoses. And the ADHD population had a slightly higher level of improvement.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Is the dose different for kids?

Dr. Carol Locke:

The dose in this study was four capsules a day, four OmegaBrite capsules a day. And what we think when dosing is it looks like we can use weight rather than age in children. OmegaBrite, six capsules a day have been used in kids with bipolar disorder, a MGH study. Again, very healthy with only health benefits, positive health side effects.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. Wow.

Dr. Carol Locke:

So the executive function study, I think, is really powerful because problems with executive function happen in ADHD. They happen in every mood disorder, and they happen across the general population in stress. And if we can help with that-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. I mean they happen just in modern life, and now modern life with a pandemic thrown in, everybody’s executive function is going.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Yeah, is affected.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah, no boy. And it’s such a simple thing to just take these capsules. Like I said, I take five of them. Is five enough, should I take six?

Dr. Carol Locke:

A lot of people take six, and there have been studies in mood disorders where less than six was not as effective as six capsules a day. A lot of people take four or five. This study on executive function was four capsules a day. In the anxiety study it was six capsules a day. So I think you can use your own body and experience to tell you, is four good? Is five good? Is six good? You’ll know.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, I’ve certainly found them to be mood stabilizing. My mood is all over the place. I don’t know what diagnosis I have other than ADHD, but my mood is very labile, up, down, in-between, and quick to change. And I found that the Omega-3’s really helped me with that. Not only with my musculoskeletal issues, but the mood issues as well. It is a wonder drug, you know, what can I say?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Thank you. We hear that a lot from people, particularly in the pandemic we’re hearing from customers that they’re finding it essential with their mood. They’re also finding the OmegaBrite Omega-3 essential in their relationships. Keeping their mood stable, positive, and feeling less anxiety helps them with their family relationships. And I think anything we can do to help kids, parents, and teachers right now, because of this added stress of do they go back to the classroom, at a changed classroom with partitions and masks and social distancing, or are they at home with their parents who are stressed, is such a powerful situation. I think we want to help give people tools to put in their toolbox to succeed and to feel like they are thriving and able to learn during the stress.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Absolutely. And this is such a simple tool. I mean some tools, you have to work out, or you have to stretch. I mean, those are all good too, but this is a simple tool. There’s no taste to it. There’s no aftertaste to it. What could be easier than swallowing a few capsules? I mean, it’s such a wonderful product. And there are fish oil products that you got to watch out for, because if they’re not pharmaceutical grade the way yours is, you can get mercury contamination. It can be dangerous. So it’s worth taking OmegaBrite to get the quality assurance that comes with it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Any last words, Carol? It’s always great to hear you. You always have such good news.

Dr. Carol Locke:

I am glad to be here. I think this is a particularly powerful message of this executive function study, showing both the safety in kids, but also the effect, helping kids with their ability to get along. The parents in that study said that their kids had less distractibility, more ability to plan for and problem solve stressful situations, as well as less dysphoric mood irritability and improved self-esteem. So I think that’s the message I’d like to give, is we have something to help. OmegaBrite can help kids, is safe, and will add to their ability to manage stress. And the parents too. And teachers.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wonderful. Wonderful. Thank you so much, Carol. And listen, to learn more, go to OmegaBriteWellness.com.

And Distraction listeners, you can save 20% on your first order by using the promo code Podcast2020. That’s Podcast2020. So go to OmegaBriteWellness.com. Enter the promo code Podcast2020, save 20% and most important, be on your way to promoting health, mental health, physical health, all-together wellness for you and your children, and your family and your friends for that matter.

It’s such a treat to have you as a sponsor because it’s spreading good news and powerful, powerful resources. Tools in the toolbox as you like to say.

Okay. Remember to reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. We thrive on them. We love them. We use them. We metabolize them. We turn them into new shows all of their very own. Our email address is [email protected]odcast.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the brilliant always on top of everything Scott Persson. That’s person with two S’s. And our producer is the wonderful, brilliant, many-ideas Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell wishing you a healthy and productive day, week, year, and life. Goodbye for now.

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What Happens When ADHD Is Left Untreated

What Happens When ADHD Is Left Untreated

If you don’t deal with your ADHD then you could be setting yourself up for a lifetime of negative consequences.

Learn about ADHD myths vs. facts in this Distraction episode from Season 2.

Please reach out to us with your questions and episode ideas. Write and email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

Thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Click HERE to learn more about our 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 October 2019 with the title, “The Downsides of  ADHD.”

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega three supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com. And by Landmark College offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. Learn [email protected], Landmark College. The college of choice for students who learn differently.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. By the way, please be in touch with us, let us know what direction you want us to take, what topics you want us to address, what guests you’d like us to reach out to. We follow your lead, we depend on your input, please, please, please be in touch with us. So I want to talk a little bit about ADHD, a term, by the way, that I’m in the process of changing, the new book John Ratey and I are writing, we are introducing our new term, vast variable attention stimulus trait, instead of the cumbersome misleading term, ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It’s not a disorder, it’s a trait. It can be a disorder, but it can also be an asset, and it’s not a deficit of attention. It’s an abundance of attention.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So the term itself is misleading and really inaccurate, but it’s called ADHD. So for now, we’ll call it what it’s called in the official diagnostic manual. What are the worst parts of having it? And it can be a terrible thing to have, that Russell Barkley’s latest numbers show that the average person who has ADHD loses 15 to 16 years of life due to not taking care of themselves. Not going for medical care, accidents due to failure to pay attention, addictions, substance abuse, drug abuse, unemployment, all the comorbid problems that go with ADHD. That’s the bad part of having it. If you don’t take care of it, if you don’t get diagnosed, if you don’t take it seriously, if you’re one of those people who “Doesn’t believe in it,” well, it will believe in you. Namely it’ll hurt you and it’ll hurt you real bad, this condition, if you have it, and if you don’t deal with it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Addiction is five to 10 times more common than people who have it, and as you know, addiction can end your life or certainly shorten your life, and most definitely curtail the quality of your life in a major, major way. I hope you all are not affected by it, but most people know people who are, and it’s a terribly sad thing to watch, the gradual decline in quality of life. What makes it even sadder is most of these people, most people who struggle with addiction also have extraordinary talent. So the bad side of having ADHD is what happens when you don’t get help for it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Depression is much more common, anxiety disorders, much more common. Addiction, much more common, accidents, traffic accidents, eight times more common. Injuries, accidents, suicide, more common. Divorce, more common, unemployment, more common, living on the margins of life, feeling marginalized, feeling left out, underachievement in school, on the job. You name it. ADHD, untreated, unrecognized, untreated, tends to have a negative impact. It can truly ruin your life, or at least hold you back from becoming all that you could otherwise become. It can be a terrible, terrible condition to have, and this is coming from me who is known for helping people turn it into an asset, which it can indeed be. In my life, ADHD is an asset. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, and in the lives of the millions of entrepreneurs who have it, it’s an asset.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel prize in chemistry has it, and it’s an asset for him. David Neeleman, who founded Jet Blue Airlines and several other airlines, it’s an asset for him. So it can be an asset if you manage it properly. But if you don’t, as Russell Barkley has proven with his very careful statistical analysis of the condition, it can absolutely, absolutely ruin your life. So it’s very important to take it seriously and not blow it off and say, “Oh, it’s a made up condition.” It’s anything but made up. It’s very real and very can be very devastating. But the good news is, if you do take it seriously, if you do get help, then you can turn it all around. Then you can turn it into a very positive force in your life.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
As I say to kids, it’s like you’ve got a Ferrari engine with bicycle brakes. Well, a Ferrari engine with no brakes is very dangerous. You can crash, burn, die. But a Ferrari with brakes wins races. You’re a champion in the making and that’s the deal, that’s the deal. So for goodness sake, go see a brake specialist, go get your ADHD treated. So you can go from being a disaster in the making to becoming a champion in the making. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell for Distraction.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Before I sign off, I do have to thank our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. I’ve been taking it for the past three months and highly recommend it. OmegaBrite CBD is safe, third-party tested and it works. Go to omegabritewellness.com, and remember Brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. Go to omegabritewellness.com and use the promo code podcast2020 to save 20% off your first order. That’s podcast2020. Okay. Remember, please reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. We love them. We depend upon them. We just can’t get enough of them. Our email address is [email protected] That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great media. Our producer is the multi talented Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is the genius of Scott Persson. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, and thanks so much for listening.

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

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Minimize ADHD’s Impact on Your Relationships

Minimize ADHD’s Impact on Your Relationships

How do you work through issues that arise when you and/or your significant other have ADHD? Sue Hallowell (a couple’s therapist and Ned’s wife of 31 years) sat down with Ned in the kitchen of their Massachusetts home to talk about the realities of being married to someone with ADHD. Sue’s insights shed light on how to navigate the frustrations of being the “non-ADHD” half of the couple, and what predicts whether a relationship will succeed. You’ll hear the love as Ned and Sue talk shame, blame, excuses and more in this heartwarming episode.

Please reach out to us with your questions and episode ideas! Email [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.

Thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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 2019.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


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

Sue Hallowell:
Even though the person with ADHD, their intention may not be to ignore, to not pay attention, to forget, they have to understand that that behavior still has an impact on their partner.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right. Hello. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell and welcome to the opening episode of Distraction. Fittingly enough, the first episode in August of 2019 is graced by my lovely and wonderful wife, Sue, always the favorite guest. I don’t think I need to introduce her, but for those of you who have not heard her before, Sue and I have been married for 31 years. I would say wonderful years, but she doesn’t like me to say that because she doesn’t like me to brag. She would prefer I say 31 strenuous, difficult, horrible, years. But anyway, we’ve been married for 31 years and that’s a fact and, and we have three wonderful children, now aged 30, 27 and 24, Lucy, Jack and Tucker. Sue is an incredible therapist, a social worker, the best therapist I know, and she also runs our office in New York City and runs our lives.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
She’s an amazing woman, an amazing woman, the kindest person I’ve ever met, and truly the cornerstone of our lives. We’re grateful to her every, every single, single day. I really love having her on the podcast. And her specialty naturally enough is working with couples where one or both members have the wonderfully interesting condition so misleadingly called ADHD, which I’m renaming, John Rady and I are renaming in our next book, VAST, variable attention stimulus trait. So without further ado, let me introduce Sue. Look how I made that little rhyme, ado, Sue.

Sue Hallowell:
Ado, Sue. That’s my Ned.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Welcome, Sue.

Sue Hallowell:
Thank you, sweetie.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So we can talk about so many different things. I said I was going to ask you, what are the elements that you think predict a marriage that will go well versus a marriage that won’t go well, particularly when one member of the couple has this thing called, that I now called VAST, but most people call ADHD?

Sue Hallowell:
Well, I can certainly tell you what predicts in couples therapy what’s going to make things go best. It’s whether both people are really willing to look at themselves and what they bring to the relationship, the challenges they bring to the relationship. I always like to say that whoever comes in my door, actually whether they have ADHD or not, but every couple that graces my door, whether they will cop to it or not, their primary thing that they think needs to happen is their partner needs to be fixed. That if only my partner wasn’t the way they are, if only my partner did this better, then the relationship would be better. And that is just not true. And-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You’re still trying to fix me.

Sue Hallowell:
I’m not trying to fix you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, you are.

Sue Hallowell:
I’m trying to understand you as you’re trying to understand me. And I know that I bring a lot to the table. That’s why I tell this story over and over about the kitchen counter, because we talk about the kitchen counter and how what a mess it was for years. I don’t know if everybody knows, but not only do I have a husband with ADHD, I have three children with ADHD, and in our kitchen we have a counter that is constantly covered with everything.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
In fact, we’re doing this interview right next to that kitchen counter.

Sue Hallowell:
Which is …

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Covered.

Sue Hallowell:
… covered with things. I used to get so mad about this. I used to say, “How can you guys be so …

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Inconsiderate.

Sue Hallowell:
… inconsiderate? You don’t care. It’s not so hard to …

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Selfish.

Sue Hallowell:
… put things over there.” I would get so angry about it. But one of the things that I’ve really learned to do for myself as well as encourage other people, is I began to think, why does this bother me so much? Why does this make me so angry? I began to think it’s almost like it’s imperative that the counter be clean, that that is a moral issue, that that is the way a counter is supposed to be. But when I really stopped to think about it, what I understood about myself is I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and when the counter is covered, it makes me feel chaotic. I’m someone who likes things structured and like space more organized.

Sue Hallowell:
And when that counter, it has a lot on it, I end up feeling chaotic. Now, that’s my problem. It’s really not everybody else’s problem. And once I was able to be aware of that, then I was able to develop strategies. So we developed this plan where every day I straighten out the counter and then after two days, I’ve let everybody know anything of theirs will be removed from the counter. I don’t do it with anger anymore. I don’t yell at people. I don’t get upset with people. You guys don’t like it when I move things, but you’ve been given lots of notice.

Sue Hallowell:
But what I’ve been able to do is look at myself and not just blame you or the family for doing something. I figured out where the issue is. People in a couple begin to think that there are defined ways that the world should be. And we have to understand, not just about our partner and why they do things the way they do them, but we also have to understand why we want things the way that we do them. And couples, when each individual is really able to look at themselves and stop just wanting to fix their partner, that’s when a couple can really make progress.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And how, when you do your couples therapy, how do you help them do that? That’s our dog barking in the background, by the way. Our dog is Max.

Sue Hallowell:
The first thing I really have to do is develop a relationship with both people, because no one wants to hear that they’re the locus of the issue. It often takes a lot of work. Learn how to ask questions and be curious about both themselves and curious about the other person rather than make assumptions. One of the things that I try to work with people first to try to understand is we all are smart enough to know that we all view things from our own lens. But it’s really funny, in those that are close to us, even though we know that the other person has a different way of thinking, feeling, processing the world, we make the assumption that they’re doing it in the same way that we are. So we determine their intentions, we determine everything based on how we see the world.

Sue Hallowell:
So early on I try to begin to help each person separate that out a little bit so that they can begin to question and have some curiosity that maybe the other person’s reasons or ways of doing things isn’t what they assume it is. Once you’re able to do that, then you’re be able to begin to think about it differently. I talk a lot about intention and impact with people. One of the mistakes I made when I first started doing this work is everybody was talking about how the person with ADHD, how their brain is different and how it’s not their intention to forget things all the time. It’s not their intention to not pay attention.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Sue Hallowell:
Right? But that would get you a little ways, but then I found the couples therapy still falling apart, the person without ADHD is continuing to be angry. And then it went more into the, oh, that’s just an excuse. What I found out that I had to pay more attention to was impact, that even though the person with ADHD, their intention may not be to ignore, to not pay attention, to forget, they have to understand that that behavior still has an impact on their partner.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Sue Hallowell:
Right? So when you’re able to begin to make sure that both people are being heard, then they’re able to begin to take more responsibility for themselves.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Let’s say the ADD guy says, “I didn’t mean to forget your birthday. My intention was to remember your birthday. I just forgot your birthday.” So then you say what?

Sue Hallowell:
Then I say, “So it was your intention, but how do you imagine that makes …

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Her feel.

Sue Hallowell:
… her feel? And are you able to open up your yourself a little bit to imagine and to listen to how that makes her feel?” And I say, “That’s really going to be hard for you,” because people have ADHD, they often have so much shame and so many years of being told that they do things wrong.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Sue Hallowell:
Right? So I say that to them and I say, “So that makes it really hard for you to hear the impact on her because you feel so bad. There’s part of you deep down that feels so bad about what you’re doing, you can’t tolerate.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So what does he do with that? He feels bad and ashamed, so he says-

Sue Hallowell:
I think shame is the greatest disability there is, honestly. I know you talk about fear, but I honestly think that shame is. I think that what shame and its counterpart, externalization, and for those of you don’t know, shame is when you take whatever is happening in you internalize it and blame yourself and you go-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So you feel bad about-

Sue Hallowell:
You feel bad about yourself.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, let’s be concrete. You feel bad that you forgot the birthday.

Sue Hallowell:
Well, you feel like you’re just not a good person or you’re never good enough and you never do something.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So you generalize and you say …

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… I’m just a bad person who forgets birthdays.

Sue Hallowell:
Exactly. Exactly. Or you externalize because you can’t tolerate that feeling of feeling bad and feeling shame.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You’re just a bad person who always blames me for-

Sue Hallowell:
Or I wouldn’t have forgotten your birthday, but you-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You’re so mean to me.

Sue Hallowell:
You’re so mean to me, I forgot it or I forgot it because of blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, something outside of yourself. Right?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, right.

Sue Hallowell:
What both of those are, are really ways to keep the feelings away, even though you’re feeling-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How is shame a way of keeping the feelings away?

Sue Hallowell:
Because it’s rather than taking responsibility for just the fact that you’re someone who is forgetful, one of the symptoms of your ADD may be that you become very distracted with a lot of different things and you forget things. That in and of itself is not … If you can separate out the shame from it, if you can see it as a symptom, if you can see it as just something about how you are in terms of behaviors as opposed to part of who you are, it becomes easier to not let it be such a big deal. It makes it so that you don’t have to feel bad about yourself. And when you don’t feel bad about yourself, then you can develop strategies to help yourself.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’ve been taking a new supplement called OmegaBrite CBD. As I’ve mentioned before, OmegaBrite CBD was created by my good friend, Dr. Carol Locke, graduate of Harvard Medical School and her company, OmegaBrite Wellness. They’ve been making the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Well, Carol and her team decided to break new ground and having set the standard for purity, safety and efficacy in the world of omega-3s, and they’ve brought that same commitment to excellence to their new CBD supplement. I take it myself. It helps me with my reactivity, my impatience. It just puts a smoother edge. It’s in no way is it a buzz or a high, anything like that. It’s way more subtle.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But it’s a very noticeable subtle effect and one that I’ve come to really appreciate as I take it every day. So, all right. Get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. And now Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code podcast2020. That’s podcast2020, go to omegabritewellness.com and order OmegaBrite CBD. You’ll be glad you did, just as I am. Now, how does the other person, the person whose birthday was forgotten, how does she deal with that?

Sue Hallowell:
Well, I can tell you that there’s a true two-pronged approach for them too, right?

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

Sue Hallowell:
First of all, if someone really feels like their partner understands the impact, really takes responsibility for how it makes them feel, you see, when somebody says, “I’m just a bad person,” that’s really about them. It takes the focus away from the person whose birthday was forgotten, right?

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

Sue Hallowell:
Which is the feeling that people often have. If someone can really say, “Look, you’re right, I really have trouble. I get distracted and I forget things, and I really understand that hurts your feelings and made you feel unloved, and I am really sorry about that,” if someone hears that, they still may not like it, but at least they feel connected. At least they feel loved, and that’s a really different experience. That’s what a lot of these couples can never get to.

Sue Hallowell:
Now, of course, the person with ADHD, they also really have to buy in and understand that so if they forgot somebody’s birthday because they’re not distracted, or if they didn’t pay attention, that would mean probably something more dynamic or would mean that they were angry or it would mean that they don’t care. Right?

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

Sue Hallowell:
So they have to be willing to understand that there is a different lens and they really have to buy into the fact that their partner with ADHD really does get distracted and when they forget something, it doesn’t have the same meaning for them. So they have to really be able to buy into the idea of intent and see that it really is a different thing, which they are more likely to be able to do if the person with ADHD really feels the impact. Does that make sense what I’m saying?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh yeah, totally. Yeah. Yeah. And then there’s the old problem where the spouse doesn’t want to have ADD be used as an excuse.

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I always say to people, “No, it’s not an excuse, but it is an explanation.”

Sue Hallowell:
But where it becomes an excuse, where that comes from is exactly what I’m talking about. When people go to externalization of shame rather than taking responsibility.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, but it’s an explanation to help you take responsibility more effectively.

Sue Hallowell:
That’s exactly right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s not an excuse to get out of taking responsibility.

Sue Hallowell:
That’s right. But you know what’s amazing to me is people, even people who proudly wear the banner of ADHD sometimes, they say, “I have ADHD and I’m proud of it,” they fight the symptoms that make up the ADHD and that’s where the problem come.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How do they fight them?

Sue Hallowell:
So they may say, “I have ADHD,” but say there’s someone who’s always late because that’s an easy. They won’t really take responsibility that they really have trouble being on time. They make it about, “Oh, I just can’t help that,” or, “I’m a bad person because of that.” Or, “If you love me, you just accept me”, instead of just really understanding yes, timeliness, because of the way that I think in the world, being on time is hard for me. And if you can really see that as a problem that you want to solve, then you can develop strategies that aren’t going to work all the time, but you can certainly do better.

Sue Hallowell:
But people with ADHD, they’ll often say, “Oh, I don’t want to get help with that.” Or, “I don’t really need to put strategies in place. I’m just going to be better next time. I’m just not going to do that anymore.” Or they get mad at the other person for getting upset with them. So even though they say they have ADHD, they don’t want to accept that they really have trouble with time management, or they don’t really want to accept that they have trouble with different things.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But on the other hand, just to take the other point of view, I don’t think someone should spend a lifetime trying to get good at what they’re bad at. At some point you want to say, “Look, I’m just not going to get better at this now. So I probably always will be late.” And you don’t offer that as an excuse. You offer it as a part of who I am. In my own personal case, as you know, I don’t remember names. I just simply can’t remember names and I no longer feel ashamed or guilty about that. It’s just a fact of who I am. If someone doesn’t like that about me, that’s their problem. I no longer think that’s a failing on my part because it’s a quirk of my brain. It’s like the fact that I’m also left-handed.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It doesn’t hurt anybody, and if someone does take offense at that, that’s their problem. I’m fully ready to explain to them I have this neurological problem. My brain doesn’t remember names. Unless I walked around with a notebook writing down, okay, describe the person, took a picture of them, it would be ridiculous the lengths that I’d have to go to. And for some people, the lengths they have to go to to be on time would be equally ridiculous.

Sue Hallowell:
I do. One of the things that I really do work with people is realistic expectations of what is possible to change and what isn’t possible to change. Right?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, right.

Sue Hallowell:
One of the famous ones use for people is you would be surprised, or maybe you wouldn’t about how many people come in and one of the major issues is whether people close the cabinet doors.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh yes, yes.

Sue Hallowell:
Or whether they turn off the lights before they go to bed.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. I wrote, you know my satirical piece in Super Parenting For ADD where the guy says, “When I take something out of the cabinet and I don’t even notice if it’s open or not.”

Sue Hallowell:
That’s right. That’s right. That’s the kind of thing that I absolutely agree with you, that there are not really strategies one can put into place. I don’t spy so much the timeliness issue so much. I do agree that you will never be perfect at it and I really work with people around, again, what are realistic expectations. But I do think that there are strategies that you can put into place that can help you with that. You just have to understand what it is that gets in your way and be willing to do that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But once you’ve put all the strategies into place …

Sue Hallowell:
Then you’ve done the best you can do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… I’ve done all I can do about names. Well, not all I could do. Like I said, but I’m not going to go to the length of writing notebooks and putting posters up and hiring an assistant to follow me around.

Sue Hallowell:
Well, of course.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So I suppose if I were a politician maybe I’d have to do that. But since I’m not, I’ll just live with people wondering why I can’t remember their name. But yeah, you don’t want to blow off being late because it can cost you your job and it can cost you …

Sue Hallowell:
Lots of things.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… lots of things.

Sue Hallowell:
It’s really important.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, right, right.

Sue Hallowell:
And I do try to make the differentiation, but yes, they’re never going to be perfect on it. But I do think that that is the kind of thing that there are more practical things that you can put into place rather than your brain just escaping you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Sue Hallowell:
Right? So I really try to work with people around what is realistic and what isn’t realistic and what needs to be done. And sometimes I try to get people to think out of the box. Like this isn’t about timeliness, but I worked with a family and I think a couple of the kids had ADHD too and mornings were just very disorganized. And even if dad, it would take him a while once he took his medication and it would just be a mess. The family was just very distressed about this. What we ended up deciding was he would either have to stay in bed until everybody left or get up before everybody got up.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a good example of thinking outside the box. Well, talking about escaping us, the time has escaped us. As always when we have you on the time just disappears. Would you come back again soon?

Sue Hallowell:
I surly would.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We really should have you on more often. It’s wonderful. I know our listeners love it as much as I do. We just begin talking and we just keep talking, which is not surprising.

Sue Hallowell:
Well, after 31 years.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
31 miserable years. Correct? Is that what you want me to say?

Sue Hallowell:
Now, now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
31 impossibly difficult years full of [sturm and drang 00:00:23:59]? Right?

Sue Hallowell:
You know that’s not what I mean. You know that what I hate is when “experts” make it sound like they have all the answers. You know that it’s something I can’t stand.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We certainly do not have all the answers. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell, who does not have all the answers.

Sue Hallowell:
And his wife, Sue …

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… who does not have all the answers, thanking you for joining us on this first episode of Distraction. Please come back and join us again. We look forward to building this community as this year develops. Thank you so much. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell, until next time for Distraction.

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

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An ADHD Diagnosis Really Is Good News

An ADHD Diagnosis Really Is Good News

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

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

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

In this episode you’ll also hear from Dr. Carol Locke, the founder and creator of OmegaBrite CBD! Dr. Hallowell takes the supplement every day because it’s safe, 3rd party tested, and it works. Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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

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

This episode was originally released in April 2020.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


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

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

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

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
Thank you so much for that wonderful introduction Ned. And thanks for having me on the show. I’m delighted to be here.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And did you learn about it during your fellowship? When did you learn about it?

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And do you have a personal interest? Do you have it yourself or any of your children have it?

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So what would you like to tell our listeners about ADHD?

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
Well, I think the important thing about ADHD is that it’s not [inaudible 00:00:04:06]. It doesn’t always have to be a negative. It’s certainly a negative in some certain situations, but we all have our positives and negatives and ADHD is a wonderful thing at times but it can be difficult at times. That’s nothing that your listeners don’t already know but it certainly bears repeating.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. And what’s the upside of it?

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What do you think is the biggest undiagnosed group who have ADHD? I’ll tell you what I think it is. It’s adult women. Then you specialize in that, right?

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
Oh, I definitely deal with a lot of adult women. And some of these are the parents of patients. Their kids had come in to see me and then they decided that they need to come in and see me too. When you have ADHD as a mom, it takes an already very distracting situation and it magnifies that. When you have kids getting up and going to the bathroom for two minutes by yourself without getting interrupted, it’s a notable event. I’m worried, the more that people get interrupted, the more their ADHD gets exacerbated. But especially with women, women feel like they have to do everything for all people all the time. That’s obviously a broad generalization but true of a lot of moms that I know. And so they have a hard time prioritizing one thing over the other. Mom is getting constantly pulled in different directions because it’s harder for her to say, “Nope, I’ll be with you in a minute.”

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
So practicing those words are often pretty helpful. The value of completing something before you move on is absolutely something that needs to be rehearsed with a lot of people. Plus the anxiety piece, I think, is quieter in moms. The wind up, usually by the time their moms, if they have ADHD, then they feel behind a lot. And even if they don’t have kids, even with their jobs and mates and so on, pulling them in different directions, they can develop a lot of anxiety. And the anxiety is this quiet piece of it that is kind of co-morbid with the ADHD. Sometimes the anxiety piece gets recognized but the ADHD piece doesn’t get recognized. And so like the canary in the coal mine, whenever I talk and the woman feels anxious, we do talk about whether there could be a history of ADHD because that really can contribute to anxiety.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Really cause the anxiety.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And then it makes you depressed because you’re not doing as well as you should.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
Exactly.

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

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
That’s exactly right. And it can take a long time to figure that out. Weeks, months, or years. And what these women need is to control the ADHD first. And then the anxiety gets better. But one problem that some, I think primary care doctors have and also some patients after they read the side effects, they come back and they say, “Hey doc, don’t you know that this medicine can cause anxiety.” And we talk about the fact that yes, it can make some people anxious but the idea would be to try it, see if it makes you less anxious and then hope it does,.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Sure. I mean, the whole world is caffeinated. Coffee is my medication because the prescription stimulants don’t work for me. I have ADHD as well as dyslexia.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
There you go. And sometimes there’s comorbid sleep apnea where the coffee helps with that. Or as you know, the ADHD medications are also used to manage the side effects, the problems with feeling sleepy during the day if you have sleep apnea.

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

Dr. Carol Luck:
It’s great to be here, Ned.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So let’s just get right to it. Why is taking omega-3 supplements good for us?

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And in these days of the pandemic and COVID-19 do omega-3s take on added value and importance?

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So they’re even good for mood?

Dr. Carol Luck:
They’re very good for mood and the research over the years has proven out that omega-3s do promote positive mood. They help prevent and treat depression and reduce anxiety.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And what dose and what ratios matter here?

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now EPA doesn’t mean environmental protection agency. What does EPA mean?

Dr. Carol Luck:
EPA is eicosapentaenoic acid.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Switching gears slightly. What are CBDs?

Dr. Carol Luck:
Well, CBD is a cannabinoid. So CBD is the best known one and the best studied.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And who should take them and why?

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It happened right away.

Dr. Carol Luck:
How do you feel as far as on your ability to focus on tasks or accomplish what you want?

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, thank you so much. We have omega-3 supplements from an OmegaBrite. We have CBD and we have vitamin D. And if you want to get more or learn more, go to omegabritewellness.com and that’s intentionally misspelled O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E. wellness.com. Thank you so much for joining us, Carol. And thank you for sponsoring distraction.

Dr. Carol Luck:
Thanks so much.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, that’s why I love my job too, where people don’t realize what a good news diagnosis this is. Once you get the diagnosis, things are only going to improve.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
Exactly because you can treat the right problems and address the right things. And that is exactly why I love treating ADHD, it’s because you can be so successful as a treatment provider because treatments work really well and you really hand people their lives. And it’s really nice. People think, Oh, ADHD is fluffy. It’s not whatever, but my goodness, I can make a huge difference in people’s lives from childhood to adult. And gosh, that’s a wonderful thing. I was really, really surprised how few medical doctors were there at the last ADHD convention in Philadelphia. I mean, I love that there were coaches and psychologists and so on but this is something that people also go to their medical doctors for all the time. And I don’t know if it’s because in recent years we’ve had an array of new medications, although they’re not that new and they mainly have different names and slightly different releases, but I don’t know if people are feeling un-confident about prescribing.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
Also, as you mentioned or as we talked about earlier, it’s not something people learn about in their training very much. It’s something that is an outpatient thing that they may or may not feel comfortable learning on their own.

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

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
That’s absolutely true.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wonderful. So you give them the support they need and you teach them the skills they need?

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well. So they get college credit and they’re getting skills that they’ll need when they get to college regardless of the subject they’re taking?

Denise Jeffe:
Exactly.

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

Denise Jeffe:
They should go to the Landmark website at landmark.edu/duel. We’ll take them directly to the Dual Enrollment Program with more information and our applications.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wonderful. And what’s the fee for the program?

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

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

Denise Jeffe:
Thank you so much.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
I have a hope that in time, it will catch up to ADHD treatment. You may be able to speak to this but you know, maybe… Well it’s only recently, we’ve really been talking a lot about ADHD, [crosstalk 00:22:05] adult diagnosis. And probably there was a time when primary care doctors did not treat women very much or men for anxiety or depression. Maybe they referred them onwards and maybe the ADHD diagnosis just has to catch up.

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

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
I feel the same way. Absolutely. I should mention also my ADHD & the Focused Mind had one other co-author, Peter Johnson. And do you know who he was, Ned?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
He is my kid’s karate teacher.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh, great. Wonderful.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s just terrific. That is really terrific.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s wonderful. Well, thank you again.

Dr. Sarah Cheyette:
All right. Bye-bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s our show for today. If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Cheyette or purchase one of her books, which I urge you to do, go to sarahcheyette.com. That’s Sarah, S-A-R-A-H. Cheyette, C-H-E-Y-E-T-T-E.com. You can find it all there. Of course, Amazon would have her books as well. Please continue to reach out to us with your questions and show ideas. We thrive on your participation. We are a community. We are a connected group. Remember the best antidote to distraction is connection. We will be releasing another listener question and answer episode soon. So please write to us now and get your question on that show, email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected] that’s [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Again, our tremendous thanks to pediatric neurologist, Dr. Sara Cheyette. And I will close by telling you that Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the estimable and imaginative Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is the delightful and clever Patrick Keogh. The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E wellness.com.

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Mental Illness Affects 1 in 5 Families

Mental Illness Affects 1 in 5 Families

Mental illness is so prevalent in the U.S. that we now have a reduced life expectancy as a result of 2 specific causes, and the pandemic is only making things worse. Dr. Ken Duckworth, the chief medical officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), joins Dr. H to talk about how his organization helps those with bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, schizophrenia, depression, thoughts of suicide, and other conditions.

Looking for help? Learn about NAMI by clicking HERE.

Is there a topic you’d like Dr. Hallowell to explore in a podcast? Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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 of Distruction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
If anybody here is listening to Ned’s podcast and lives with schizophrenia, or loves someone with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe post-traumatic distress, has had a suicide attempt, NAMI is a great group. It is a great group, and one thing you’ll know is that people will listen to you. They won’t dismiss you, they know how hard this is, they know how much pain there is in this, and they will embrace you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello and welcome to Distruction, I am your host Dr. Ned Hallowell. I am really excited about our show today. As you know, I have some very special people in my life and one of those is Dr. Ken Duckworth. I’ve known him since he was a resident back at Mass Mental Health Center, and I used to call him one of the living saints of this world. He’s an amazing man, he’s a Harvard professor, a psychiatrist and the Chief Medical Officer for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Ken and I share a personal history in that both of us had bipolar fathers, and that’s what brought us into the field. We exchange stories about that often. Ken is also double board certified in adult and child psychiatry, and he’s completed a forensic psychiatry fellowship, there’s nothing he doesn’t know about. He’s also an incredibly devoted dad to his three wonderful, brilliant daughters and has made them his top priority throughout his life. Another thing we share with me and my three kids and him with his three kids.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We over the years have grown up together and even though I’m a little bit older than he is, he is one of the most special people I know. Without further ado, let me welcome my friend the…

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I’ve got to meet this guy if any of that’s true.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well he is.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
[crosstalk 00:02:35].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s you Ken, just look in the mirror.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
[inaudible 00:02:37] all right, so I want to start with a story if I may.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Please.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
This is about Ned, and in 1986 I took the radical path which was extremely unfashionable, to write about my dad’s bipolar disorder as the reason I wanted to become a psychiatrist. This essay was very personal and intense and real, my father was a very good man with a very bad illness. I spent a lot of time at state hospitals, police coming to the house and then on alternate summers or falls or winters, my friends and relatives saying, “How come you got the nice dad?”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I’m like, “Yes, I did get the nice dad,” but there was an asterisk there which is that, his bipolar disorder was quite severe and it made a big mark on me. This is 1986, this is NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness had just gotten started. I thought, “I’m just going to write the truth because for God’s sake I’m going into psychiatry. Surely someone will understand what this is like and have been through a personal experience.”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Little did I know how naïve that was and I went to 15 of the best programs in America. 14 of those people ignored my essay, literally talking to me about my major in Political Science or my passion for college football, which is ongoing. I went to the University of Michigan and no, I don’t want to talk about Ohio State.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
One person that I interviewed with the day before I saw Ned in Boston, at our world’s famous Harvard Institution, said to me, he’s the only person besides Ned who I met the next day who took a look at my essay. He said, “So, you want to help your father, that’s a terrible reason to become a psychiatrist.” I say that with an accent because he had an accent.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
He apparently was a very famous person because I was a 26-year-old scared kid out of medical school, I didn’t know what that whole thing was that he was a world famous psychoanalyst. I said, “Well, I have been traumatized by this experience, but I loved him very much. I thought it might be good if I could see if I could make a difference because I know a little bit about what it’s like to love someone with a severe illness and see them for their strengths.”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
He further ridiculed me and before I left and I walked out to my car, burst into tears and didn’t even finish the interview with that world famous program, I asked him, “One last question,” and again I sound like I have confidence but I don’t at the time. I’m a kid, I know no one. I said, “What would be a good reason to become a psychiatrist?” He paused for a minute, I think nobody had ever asked him that hard of a question. Paused for a really long time and he said, “Well, if your father is a psychiatrist, that would be a good reason.” I said, “Don’t we have something of a workforce shortage in the field?” Like I did say it, I got in one punch but then I left and I even skipped the free lunch, which is very unlike me if you knew me at all. I walked in my car, burst into tears and the next day I met Ned Hallowell.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Now, I’m going to finish this story about this world famous hospital flash forward 14 years and I’m the commissioner of mental health and this hospital does something very bad to a patient. When I called them into my office I wanted to remind them that I had the power to shut their facility because I was over licensing and control. What I did is, I didn’t do that of course. Maybe wonder what kind of person I was because I did have the power to actually harm them back, but I said, “I’d like to tell you a story.” I told them this story about how they had treated me when I was a nobody, but now I was the commissioner of mental health with power over their facility. I don’t know if they listened to my story, but it was very therapeutic to tell it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That next day I got up and I thought, “Maybe psychiatry isn’t for me.” I liked cardiology and I noticed they drove nicer cars than the psychiatry. I thought maybe I could just switch my whole orientation and just go into cardiology. I like talking to people about their hearts, it seemed very concrete and I really thought that morning that it wasn’t for me.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
After 14 programs had ignored me, one program had humiliated me, the last interview I did was with Ned Hallowell at the Massachusetts Health Center. The other three people I interviewed with at Mass Mental Health Center were very nice, but they also ignored my essay. It was just too much to take on, I mean you want to deal with this guy’s problems and his issues and how does that fit into who he is?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Ned read my essay and I’m going to say 45 or 50 people I interviewed across America, he was the only person who read the essay, looked at me and said, “What a great thing. You know what this is like. Do you know what a difference you can make in people’s lives?” When Ned said that to me, I made a decision to move to Boston from Philadelphia. I’m still affiliated with the same Massachusetts Mental Health Center three decades later.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
It matters how you talk to people and it matters how you talk to them about their vulnerabilities. Ned was encouraging and supportive. You also encouraged me to pursue my actual interest, which was the first person and family experience of living with a condition and try to master it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Then of course I found the National Alliance on Mental Illness or they found me, and I’ve been their National Medical Director now Chief Medical Officer for 15 years. I found this community of people who live their first experience and the family experience and Ned’s encouragement, pursue what you want to do. You might actually have some knowledge or advantage through your traumatic experiences that will help you be a better doctor.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That’s a long story about Ned, but it’s the crucial story of my becoming a psychiatrist because for that one day after I was humiliated at the world famous Harvard Institution down the street, I thought seriously about becoming a cardiologist.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well I’m glad you didn’t do that Ken.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I do drive a Mazda, it should be noted I could be driving a Bima, but psychiatry is my calling. I just needed one person to respond to my essay with an affirmation or at least an inquiry of, why was that important? Ned you made a big difference in my career and I shall never forget that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, thank you so much and you in turn have made a huge difference in the lives of thousands if not millions of people around the country. With various kinds of mental illness, do you want to just talk a little bit about, what are some of the misconceptions in the general public that you could disabuse people of?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well I’d start with the idea that these aren’t real illnesses. Back in the day before this thing called mental health parody, I testified before Congress in multiple state houses that my dad had bipolar disorder which easily could have killed him if he didn’t receive medical care, and his medical care was the bare minimum. I had the misfortune of having cancer as a psychiatric resident and I could have been dead of course through an illness that would have killed me if I had not attended to it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I said and somehow in our society, this is in the 1990s, cancer is considered legitimate, [inaudible 00:10:11] casseroles they call you a hero. They offer to cover for you, they send you flowers. My father after his manic episodes was isolated, alone, people wouldn’t talk to us at church. Church is supposed to be theoretically nice people, who would all move away from us after a manic episode. I thought, this was a big part of my life in my 40s which was to fight for this idea of mental health parody.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
These conditions are real conditions. Is it true that there’s things that we don’t know about the brain that’s absolutely true? Is it true that I can’t tell you how lithium works to save people’s lives? It’s true. Might have something to do with membrane stabilization, but is it true that we don’t really know how the antipsychotics impact voices? The answer is, it’s really humbling because there’s a lot we don’t know. The fact that we don’t know a lot about the brain has nothing to do with the fact that these are real conditions.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
If you need to any further proof, I mean look at the evidence on suicide which has gone up steadily over the last two decades. From 1999 to 2018, we’ve had essentially a straight line of increase in suicide. At the same time we’ve had an increase in overdoes deaths too to opioids. These two illnesses together are conditions, are outcomes together are for the first time in 100 years caused a reduction in the American life expectancy.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Really? Wow!

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The deaths by suicide and the deaths by overdose, the French continue to smoke their brains out, drink coffee up to the max and their life span keeps expanding. This is an American problem, and it has something to do with health disparity, it has something to do with the complexity of the uninsured but it has a lot to do with the fact that mental illnesses are not fully treated. Because of our problem with opioids, we’ve seen a lot of premature death.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
When you say mental health parody, Ken, what does that mean, mental health parody?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Mental health parody means your insurance company can’t give you unlimited visits to see your oncologist, which of course as a cancer patient when I was a young man, I was allowed to do anything I wanted to. I think my treatment probably cost half a million dollars, while final copay was 50 bucks. Cancer was legitimate, my illness was legitimate. Was I grateful? I’m incredibly grateful. Medical science saved my life but the insurance company at the same time would have $500 as your outpatient psychotherapy maximum.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That meant I could go see an oncologist twice a week if I wanted to, but I can only see a mental health practitioner perhaps five times if they charge $100 an hour. If they had the courage to charge 250 an hour, I only had two sessions that were covered. This is the inequity that was structured into the mental health system and into health insurance.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Mental health parody was a big cause celeb of mine personally and largely National Alliance on Mental Illness made this happen. The first version was 1998, Domenici and Wellstone. Domenici was a Senator from New Mexico, Wellstone a Democrat from Minnesota and they together had family members with serious mental illness. They got it, and they did version kind of 1.0 and then later on Patrick Kennedy with the affordable Care Act and all the activity after the housing collapsed 2008.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
This amendment was tied to it, and to make the long story short, mental health access has improved. I think a lot of people still feel that we’re not at true parody yet. That means treating them exactly the same, but I do think we’re going in the right direction.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What percentage of families in the country have at least one member who does have a serious mental illness?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The answer Ned is one in five Americans would endorse, one in five families have a person who would endorse an anxiety disorder, a depressive disorder. Another mood disorder like bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD, these are kind of the major categories. For serious mental illness the number is smaller, that’s about one in 17 people has a condition that is severely impacting their functioning. That is brain based and it involves emotion, behavior, cognition that is severely impacting their functioning. Frequently with work, relationships and their health and self-care.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. What percentage of people who could benefit from help from a mental health professional actually consult the mental health professional?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That’s a good question. We think less than half of people with most mental health conditions actually get help.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow!

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well the good news is since we’ve done this whole mental health parody thing, the number of people who are seeking help is increasing. We saw this in the pandemic. NAMI has a helpline 1-800-950-NAMI which is staffed by individuals with first person experience or family experience. Our calls went up very substantially.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow!

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The other thing which was surprising in the pandemic is the American mental health field not known for sprinting, pivoted in three days to become a teleservice. The experience of the therapists and the patients has been very positive, although not universally positive, but I think it’s a new way of delivering care that’s here to stay.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The therapists were surprised that the people always show up, that the cancellation rate is low. That they don’t have that first five minutes of accession where they can read CNN online because the patient show up on time as they do for their professional meetings or other Zoom calls during the course of the day. The patients notice that it’s convenient, they get heard and they don’t have to pay for parking or fight traffic.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I think that for people who don’t have a lot of privacy, it’s important to have a phone service covered so people can go into their car. If you live in a studio apartment with another person and part of your experience is to talk about that person, privacy can be a challenge. I do think there are people who are a little bit paranoid of technology. There are people for whom this isn’t an ideal setup. I think if you talk to people they’d rather see somebody like you Ned in person, but given the fact that we’re in the middle of our first pandemic in our lifetime, the rules have changed. I think the mental health field has responded.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
They’ve changed by using Zoom or some other platform, that’s one.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Any platform that they’ve been using has made a difference, and it’s interesting the other fields of medicine have really struggled. How do I do ophthalmology care? How do I take care of people’s knee problems? Well, those things are very hard to do virtually but because our skillset is listening, judgment, empathy, compassion, and thoughtful reflection and potentially recommendations, that’s a skillset that’s ongoing.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
We can’t touch the patients. We’re not supposed to take their blood pressure. We have to be thoughtful about what we’re trying to do here in the field of medicine and it turns out mental health is an incredibly easy thing to apply to the tele space. I think that’s been a great gift.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Do you think that will continue after the pandemic is over?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I do think people will want to see their therapist in person. I think they’ll want to, but now that they’ve been thrown into the deep end of the teletherapy pool, and realized they can swim pretty well, I think a lot of people are going to say, “You know, it’s an hour to drive to Sudbury,” you probably don’t charge people for parking Ned at your office.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Sudbury’s not next to my house, so if I want to come see you as a professional, be an hour commitment going out, an hour commitment coming back, I’d had to pick up some apples in Concord on the way. It’s four hours round trip, so it’s a big commitment. If I could see you by pushing a button, then go back to work or engage in child care or do any other tasks that might be relevant like cooking dinner for the family, I think I might choose to do that some of the time. Some other time I just break down and make the trip.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, I have been taking a new supplement called OmegaBrite CBD. Listeners know that Brite is spelled, B-R-I-T-E, so it’s Omega B-R-I-T-E CBD. As I had mentioned before, OmegaBrite CBD was created by my good friend Dr. Carol Locke, graduate of Harvard Medical School and her company, OmegaBrite Wellness. They have been making the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well Carol and her team decided to break new ground and having set the standard for purity, safety and efficacy in the world of omega-3s and they’ve brought that same commitment to excellence to their new CBD supplement. I take it myself, it helps me with my reactivity, my impatience. It kind of just puts a smoother edge. It’s in no way is it a buzz or a high or anything like that. It’s way more subtle, but it’s a very noticeable subtle effect and one that I have come to really appreciate as I take it every day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right, get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com and now Distruction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code podcast 2020. That’s podcast 2020, go to omegabritewellness.com and order OmegaBrite CBD. You’ll be glad you did just as I am.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What about the person who’s listening now and is saying, “This living at home and this keeping social distance is starting to drive me crazy.” That’s not a mental illness but what should that person do?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well first of all I don’t think anybody likes it. Although I have one friend who’s a psychiatrist who’s a severe introvert, who seems happier. He works out of his basement, has lunch with his wife every day. I go over to his backyard every other week, we stay at 20 feet away from each other and chat. I think his quality of life has improved. Now, this speaks to how individual this all this.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
True.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I of course I’m an extrovert.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes you are.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I struggle to not see my friends. I don’t like not going down to my coffee shop at the end of my street and hanging out, and talking to the owners. The owners are hiding in their masks, it’s not a convivial environment. In fact, all the tables have been removed.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh gosh.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
You can have a standing chat for two minutes, nobody checks in about my daughter who used to work there, but there’s something lost there. I guess what I would say is isolation is hard on all of us. If you have an anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, it’s a challenge. You have to figure out, how do you stay connected with people?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Connection is crucial for mental wellbeing and it doesn’t solve all problems, but through your faith group, through AA, through anomie connection, through some other vehicle. I have a Monday night meeting with four friends, we used to go out to dinner once a month and now we meet once a week. It’s fun.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s wonderful.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I actually look forward to it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s wonderful.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I have a friend deficit disorder during the variation on the thing you study. It’s hard to be isolated.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It is.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
It is weary. I will say that, I do think it’s going to be a very long haul, like I don’t think the vaccine’s going to turn up and everything’s going to be okay. I think we’re up for a pro crafted experience, so figuring out what your inventory of coping skills is. Mine happens to be connecting with friends online, family reunions of sorts online. We’re doing a memorial service for a beloved member of the family this week in New Jersey. I didn’t really want to do it but somebody really wanted to get us together.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh good for you.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I’m driving to New Jersey and I’m going to see the family and it’s not the way I wanted to see them. I wanted to have a party and hang out and toast the family member, but what we’re going to do is have lunch under this tree where our little grave sites in Cape May, New Jersey and we’re going to have lunch. Elbow bump, and go back to our respective corners, extremely suboptimal.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I have come around from opposing this idea to believing it’s probably better to make it a choice to be connected.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh yes.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
You mentioned that your family’s in North Carolina, see and they’re cousins right? There’s some risk there, but there’s a lot of benefit in the connection.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. There sure is, I mean it’s essential. I mean we’ve learned social isolation is as dangerous as cigarette smoking.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Yeah, it’s really not a good thing and so I really think we miss the boat when we called it social distancing. We should have called it physical distancing from the get-go. I think you’ve seen in this entire pandemic that we’ve missed several big boats. Telling people not to wear masks because we were trying to secure them from medical providers I think has confused a lot of people. Giving the impression that young people can’t really get the virus so they can feel free to party on at the beach. Again, just some young people duly noted.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I think we haven’t done a very good job and by calling it social distancing, I think we missed it. The idea is we have to stay away from each other because the virus is transmitted physically. Socially you got to stay connected to your people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
You really have to because that’s an antidepressant and an antianxiety treatment.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I call it the other vitamin C, vitamin connect.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
There we go, vitamin connect. It’s also good for people who have addiction vulnerabilities.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Connection is really important. I have a friend who’s a physician who’s in AA, and on his birthday, I checked in on him on his birthday and he said, “I had a great birthday.” I said, “What made it great?” He said, “Well, I’m here in my apartment and I have been to two AA meetings and I got a lot of love in both of them. It was new and I called them in the middle of the day.” I thought, “This man has figured something out.” He said, “I’d be at meetings anyway and it turns out the AA platform is very well suited, and it might even be better because when on a Zoom call, somebody’s speaking, you get to see their face. You’re not spacing out in the room like you might be the rest of the time.”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
He found something that meant something to him and this is the art of self-care. You have to find out, what is it that will help you get through this because this might be a long haul? It’s not good for people to lose their jobs, it’s not good for people to live with the anxiety of losing their jobs and coping with the anxiety of someone you love getting ill or dying. There’s a lot to cope with.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We’re almost overtime, just coming back to irrational things and what to do to combat them, what can we do to dismantle the terrible stigma that still surrounds mental health issues?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I prefer the words prejudice discrimination to the word stigma, because the word stigma itself is complication of how you think about things. What is the prejudice that you have for yourself if you were to say, “Can I join this club?” Every time a famous person comes out and says, “I have such and such a condition,”… Selena Gomez two weeks ago did a talk with NAMI’s CEO. I’ve had several chat with famous celebrities on NAMI’s Instagram page. People want to talk about their mental health conditions and so this idea I have prejudice against somebody gets broken down when you see Selena Gomez, one of the most amazing humans on the planet has said, “I think it’s okay to talk about the fact that I’ve struggled with bipolar disorder, that’s very helpful.”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The related thing about the attitudes is the discrimination. This gets back to our early discussion about mental health parody. The idea that you just structure and rules that jam people who don’t have illnesses that are considered quote legitimate end quote. This is why mental health parody’s an ongoing struggle, we continue to have lawsuits and interpretations and attorney generals review it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
What are the conditions under which the race is actually fair for a person with mental health condition? Can you allow yourself to seek help? Still, a challenge for many men. There was a pretty good study a little while ago, showed that the more hypertoxic, masculinity men endorsed, the more likely they were to have very bad outcomes including suicide. The idea somehow being threatened by mental health is such an unfortunate piece of our culture and I think this ordinary human experiences… My dad’s bipolar disorder, hearing voices and believing that he was Jesus wasn’t great. It is 2.7% of the population plus or minus has this condition. It’s rooted in biology. It’s treatable for the most part. It requires a lot of self-knowledge and self-care.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Was it difficult? It was very difficult. Was it worse before there were things like NAMI and Selena Gomez to use two examples? Yes, it was worse. There’s a NAMI chapter in every major American city that’s doing connection groups and programming, educational work. Advocacy if you feel the service system is mistreating you or somebody you love. Well let’s fight to make it better. Mental health parody, that fight is not over. We’ve won some battles but that war is not over.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I feel like there’s a place to go now if you’re struggling with this, and you will be welcomed by people who are loving and creative. A community of people who probably didn’t start their lives thinking, “I want to be identified with a condition that it does not have a high status.” Like mental health problems, mental health conditions, turns out it’s an amazing group of people and I consider it my second family. NAMI is in my will.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I feel like NAMI helped to save my life by giving me a sense of purpose around these wounds I had. I feel so fortunate to have stumbled upon it, and if anybody here is listening to Ned’s podcast and lives with schizophrenia or loves someone with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe post-traumatic distress, has had a suicide attempt, NAMI is a great group. It is a great group and one thing you’ll know is that people will listen to you, they won’t dismiss you. They know how hard this is, they know how much pain there is in this, and they will embrace you.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I think the question about prejudice discrimination is, can you take the first step? I might be talking to your primary care doctor about the fact that you can’t sleep, you’ve lost 30 pounds, you’ve lost interest in everything. You’re thinking about giving away your possessions. That’s a classic depression, you could reach out to your primary care doctor. They prescribe most of the antidepressants in America, they help people, they might be able to refer you to somebody who does therapy. Or if you don’t want to go that route, you could start with NAMI and find a local NAMI chapter and say, “What are the resources that are out there? How can I find a path to be supported and connected while living with this particular challenge that I have?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You go to nami.org, is that the website?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Nami.org is where it’s at. We get millions of hits and we’ve become the dominant source of information for people in the last year. It’s been interesting to me to see that because I have tremendous respect for the other communities, NIMH, the American Psychiatric Association. More people seem to be seeking media inputs and lessons from our website, so people have come to trust NAMI and I’m grateful for that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well that has a lot to do with you Ken I mean because you’re the face of it and the spokesman for it. There’s no one I know who’s more convincing, believable. You’ve done such a great job.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well thank you Ned and if it wasn’t for you, I’d be practicing cardiology today, driving a BMW.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think also the image problem would be helped if more people talked about, it’s hard to find a very creative person who doesn’t have either an anxiety disorder, a depressive disorder, addiction, or ADHD. It’s common among those countries or common among the highly creative people amongst us.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Yeah, if you want to do a treatise on this, Kay Jamison’s, Touched By Fire is the artistic temperament and mood disorders. It’s unbelievable-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
… how many of the artists that we would hold out as our greatest artists were clearly quote touched by fire. Maybe not with formal diagnostic schemes but she goes through their-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No, they were crazy as hell, I mean you know.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
… diaries, their writings, their observations and you’re absolutely right Ned.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, it’s…

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
For many people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, so it’s not to be ashamed at all. By the time I die I want people to wish they had ADHD because if you manage it right, it’s such an asset. It can ruin your life as well, but if listening to Ken if you’re listening and you know someone, don’t think of it as a marker of shame. Think of it as a marker of talent. I tell people overtime I don’t…

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Or of resilience.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
We all have to cope with something and the faiths conspired through genetics and environment and epigenetics to have you have a recurrent condition. You’re not alone with that, in fact there are millions of people who are living with these kind of things and together you can get a lot out of it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I do want to say one thing that I still quote you about whenever I’m confronted with somebody who says, “I have a young child and he was just told he had ADHD.” I said, “Ned Hallowell would say you have a BMW brain and a Chevy hand.” They said, “How did you know he can’t write?” I’m like, “Well, it’s the Chevy hand, it’s right there. All the great ideas, he’s having trouble translating it.” A few things that you’ve said Ned have really stuck with me including one you said to one of my daughters who was diagnosed with ADHD, you said, “So you have the gift?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, exactly.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
It was a great moment, it was a great moment in her life because thinking about these things which have the potential to identify you as different or less than through a different lens, that there’s a possibility, there’s a potentiality inside of us.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. No, I don’t treat disabilities, I help people unwrap their gifts.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think that you do the same thing. What you’re doing it’s such spectacular work. I mean it really is, it’s a wonderful thing. I’m glad that NAMI is now the leading source of information. As I said that’s thanks to Dr. Ken Duckworth.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well it’s a whole team of people, but I do think-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, I know, I know.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
… people trust a consumer family experience and we also made a decision about three years ago, every research study we cite is listed on the website. If you don’t believe what we say, click on the research study and you can see that it’s only 400 people but it’s the best study there is on this topic.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
We make everything as transparent as possible, goes back to the antiscience discussion we’ve had, I believe in science, I believe in education. I believe that people have the capacity to learn and make decisions for themself.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
If you want to see what the literature is on a specific treatment or an intervention, or on the risks or traumas that attend to certain things, it’s on the NAMI website and it’s all transparent.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yup, nami.org, N-A-M-I.org, not .com .org. N-A-M-I.org. Well you know Ken, I could talk to you for so long, this is wonderful. You’ve brought so much and you do so much. If people listening want to learn more and want to connect, feel a part of a growing community of people who have different brains and learn how to understand them better-

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… join a group [crosstalk 00:36:51].

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The other thing you might want to check out and dish to our groups is, I run a session called Ask the Expert, once a month. Where I get the leading thinkers in American mental health to talk about different topics and people who join in.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Beautiful.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
We run about 1,000 people per session.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wonderful, wow!

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Can ask questions and we cover everything from transcranial magnetic stimulation to minority disparities in mental health.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow! What’s the latest on transcranial magnetic stimulation?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well I think it’s pretty well covered by private insurance.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, but does it work is my question?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
It does have an acute indication, so if you fail on several meds, because nobody would start with an engine problem by doing a major overhaul of your engine. You would probably add oil first, check the timing of the engine. TMS does appear more invasive, but I took a three-day course at the Beth Israel Hospital in transcranial magnetic stimulation. I was impressed mostly by not the fact that when they zapped my brain it felt like a bee sting to the skull. Like I’m like, “How did they do a generic sham zap? How would you know the difference between that zap?” I was very interested in that.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I talked to the techs instead of listening to only the professionals and I [inaudible 00:38:18] about five of the techs. I said to them, “What do people say when they say our show rate is 95%?” I thought, “Okay, that’s telling me something, people feel they’re getting a benefit.” My understanding of literature Ned, is the maintenance use of TMS has not really been well established. I don’t think there’s really a research base for that and I don’t think it’s well established for bipolar disorder or psychosis.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That would just be an example of a discussion, that if you have depression and the other interventions haven’t worked, there is some evidence there that this could be helpful to you. The side effects are apparently quite mild in terms of a headache or something like that. People show up at very high levels and it makes a different for people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. You are a living saint and can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your amazingly busy schedule to join us. Listeners go to nami.org, N-A-M-I.org or go to Ken’s Ask the Expert, happens once a month. Join a chapter, get involved, suddenly you will feel so much less alone and so much more accepted. You’ll learn, you’ll gain knowledge which is power in and of itself.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you all for joining us, so much thank you especially Ken. As I say, learn more go to nami.org and don’t forget, please reach out to us with your questions, comments and show ideas. We need them, we live off of them, we use them, and we produce them. Send an email or a voicemail to [email protected], that’s [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distruction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the estimable Scott Persson and our producer is the always vivacious and brilliant Sarah Guertin. I am your host Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for now.

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

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This Teen Is Harnessing His ADHD Superpowers

This Teen Is Harnessing His ADHD Superpowers

Akira is a 15-year-old ADHDer from Japan who just started his own YouTube channel in the hopes of becoming an “influencer.”  Akira shares how he’s harnessing his ADHD superpowers of creativity and hyperfocus to bring his dream to life.

Akira’s website: LilBitALife.com

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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 of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega three supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online @omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell and welcome to Distraction. Today, I have a very special guest, indeed, a very, very special guest indeed. He is 15 years old. He comes from Japan, but he’s visiting the United States right now. He has the wonderful condition that I have as well called ADHD, terrible name because it’s not a deficit, it’s not a disorder. It’s a superpower, and believe me, this young man has super powers, plural. His name is Akira, and he’s kind enough to join us. We’ve become friends because of work he’s done on his own and I’ll let him tell you why and what he’s done, but it’s pretty amazing. Typical of people who have the super creativity that people with ADHD tend to have, but I don’t want to tell you, I want a Akira to tell you, but I can just say this is one extremely impressive young man, and he’s bursting onto the scene, but Akira, welcome to Distraction.

Akira M.:
Thank you for having me, Dr. Ned.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So tell the listeners what you’ve done because it’s pretty cool.

Akira M.:
Basically, I had a dream from when I was about 12, 10, maybe even younger, to be able to share and explore with other people this kind of a influencer type of a lifestyle. While I was born in Japan, and I was raised up by a pretty wealthy family, which allowed me to have multiple-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Opportunities.

Akira M.:
Sorry?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Multiple opportunities or multiple interests.

Akira M.:
Multiple opportunities, indeed, to basically explore, and it’s very simple. It’s like putting a camera right in front of your face while you’re just living your daily life.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now you use the term influencer, you’d like to be an influencer. Can you tell us what that means?

Akira M.:
It’s like showing people your daily life, but also being able to influence, share a path to other people where they can follow you,

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Show them what you’re doing with the idea that they will go and do likewise.

Akira M.:
Yes, likewise, and also be able to learn from my experiences.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
By the way, that noise you’re hearing is a rain shower that’s coming down on the skylight. So don’t think we’re suddenly having an avalanche here. It’s just a little rain, little rain drops fallen on our heads. The idea that you’ll share your personal life up close and personal with others in the idea of influencing them.

Akira M.:
Yes. I think of what I’m doing as not as a job or anything that takes hard… It does take… I’ve put a lot of effort into editing my videos, shooting content, and listening to what the viewers want, and trying to communicate with the viewers. But I think this to me is more like something I want to do, and I don’t feel like it is a job or it’s something that I should do or I want to become famous out of it. I want to make something out of it, but not to become famous or to share my lifestyle in a boasting way, but to be able to share my experiences as I said.

Akira M.:
It’s very complicated and interesting. It’s a very weird feeling when I’m sharing my content in a very different way. Since I have ADHD, I can really shout at the camera, and a lot of people tell me for what I do… A lot of people can’t talk the same way to the camera. They’re shy or that I want to express myself, and that’s what I feel what is important for me.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Having watched some of these, you really do come across with tremendous energy and vigor and vitality, and it’s so genuine. You’re clearly not trying to put on a performance so much as just be sort of a heightened version of who you already are.

Akira M.:
Yes, of course. I always want to get that energy out in the ADHD world. It’s hyperactive energy-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Hyper energy is a good term. Hyper energy.

Akira M.:
I always have a lot of energy and being able to share that energy with other people and transforming it into a different way, it’s absolutely incredible.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. You’re channeling it, which is always the goal in ADHD. We have a lot of energy, but now you’re channeling it into this creation that you’ve made. How many of them now, how many YouTube…?

Akira M.:
More than 10, probably, I think.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And the point is you’ve just started, you only started this a few weeks ago, right?

Akira M.:
Yeah. I started it about three, four weeks ago. I shot my first video for my new channel. I’ve done a couple of other things before, including being on other people’s channel. I think when I saw that video, when I was on this person named Karen Foo’s, who is an influencer in Singapore, channel, I saw that I had a lot of energy and then I realized that I can really share that energy with other people which made me have more of a reachable, realistic dream and get a bit more of a bigger idea of what I want to do personally.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So she inspired you when you saw yourself, you saw this part of you coming out, you didn’t realize you had such presence, huh?

Akira M.:
I don’t think she inspired me. I think I inspired myself to become more of myself, basically to express myself. I was maybe I can really express myself in this way.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. So seeing yourself inspired yourself. That’s pretty cool. I’m sure listeners are wondering, how do we get to see Akira in action? Let me just give you the website is lilbitalife.com. I’ll spell that for you. L-I-L-B-I-T-A-L-I-F-E.com. Lilbitalife.com. On the website, you can be redirected to the YouTube channel, as well as Instagram. I love the way you described it. You said you saw yourself and you saw this energy that you had inside of you, and you wanted to find a medium where you could share that and you’re doing it, and you’ve only been doing it for three or four weeks.

Akira M.:
It’s really hard to explain this energy. Of course, I think you’re one of the people who know this energy most in this big world, or it might be small world. It depends on how you see the world, but I think you have the best idea of this energy, and for me, it was kind of a click to be in my passion type of thing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s so wonderful. One of the analogies I use is, think of Niagara Falls and that’s ADD, but until you build a hydroelectric plant, it’s just a lot of noise and mist. But when you build a hydroelectric plant, then you can light up the state of New York, and I think this has been, for you, your hydroelectric plant. You can take the incredible Niagara Falls energy that you’ve got and turn it into beauty, turn it into art, turn it into a form that will influence someday millions and millions of people because you’ve done this in only a few weeks, and at age 15, and you have this tremendous power that you’re unleashing so wonderfully well, and it’s just going to grow and grow and grow. I’m so thrilled for you. I’m just going to say the website again, because I really hope listeners will go and see what I’m talking about. Lilbitalife.com. L-I-L-B-I-T-A-L-I-F-E.com, not case sensitive, lilbitalife.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. For the past three months I’ve been taking a new supplement called OmegaBrite CBD, and listeners know that brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. So it’s Omega B-R-I- T-E CBD. As I’ve mentioned before, OmegaBrite CBD was created by my good friend, Dr. Carol Locke, graduate of Harvard Medical School, and her company OmegaBrite Wellness. They’ve been making the number one Omega three supplements for the past 20 years. Well, Carol and her team decided to break new ground and having set the standard for purity, safety and efficacy in the world of Omega threes, and they brought that same commitment to excellence, to their new CBD supplement.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I take it myself. It helps me with my reactivity, my impatience. It kind of just puts a smoother edge. In no way is it a buzz or a high, anything like that, it’s way more subtle, but it’s a very noticeable, subtle effect, and one that I’ve come to really appreciate as I take it every day. So, all right. Get OmegaBrite CBD online @omegabrightwellness.com and now Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code PODCAST 2020. That’s PODCAST 2020, go to omegabritewellness.com and order OmegaBrite CBD. You’ll be glad you did. Just as I am.

Akira M.:
What else would you like to say to the listeners, Akira?

Akira M.:
One thing I’m really grateful, with ADHD, is that it allowed me to have these incredible ideas that were just life changing for me and helped me to grow in certain ways that a lot of people can’t grow in.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Say more about that.

Akira M.:
For the first part, I think ADHD really helps me because I can really be creative and think of video content, if we’re talking in the influencing world, video content. Even just in the moment, that when we’re recording, it’s just a spark that comes to me and I know what to talk about. It also helps me to hyper-focus, and when I like sit down and edit my videos, I need to send this out online by tonight, and it just helps me to hyper-focus and I just sit down and get to work, and it takes me a couple hours, but it would have taken me a couple of days if I don’t have that ADHD power within me.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And the deadline.

Akira M.:
Yeah, go ahead.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No, and the deadline helps.

Akira M.:
Yes. The deadline really does help because it allows me to know when to do it, and so I can know what time, the timing for me to hyper-focus and really get into it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I love the way you said, there’s the spark and then, and your voice changed, you said, I know what to say. That’s the magic, you know what to say. It just comes to you and that’s what’s so wonderful about this condition when you learn how to manage it, and you’re a great example of someone who’s learning how to manage it so very, very well.

Akira M.:
I love how you said manage it. I’ve seen a lot of people with ADHD who can’t focus and you can’t sit in a classroom, and say I learned this and this today because they were so dis focused that they couldn’t understand what the teacher was saying. One kid who was sitting down, playing with his hands and couldn’t focus to what my teacher was saying. But I think why this content helps is because it’s a passion, as I said, and when I get to focus onto my passion, as I said, it’s a spark.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then it becomes a roaring fire.

Akira M.:
A big roaring fire, for sure.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh, I hope the listeners are smiling as broadly as I am, because it’s like seeing the beginning of a life of genius, and you are going to bring us all along with you, Akira.

Akira M.:
I think that this is definitely just the start for me and for me, what I believe in, my ideas are just out of the box, extraordinary, and very creative. This is not me coming. It’s not me who’s telling me all this stuff to myself. It’s other people who have told me that these ideas are creative and I have to give a shout out and a thanks to our team. I think that really helped me to focus on what I need to do, and for me because sometimes people with ADHD can’t understand certain things. I think that’s when my team really comes to help. And it’s just unlimited ideas all around, and this wasn’t just YouTube, and influencing is not just one of my biggest ideas. I’ve had a couple other big ideas, inside my mind, of course.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Do you want to mention them or not?

Akira M.:
Sure. This is one thing, I think it was a great idea is that back in Singapore, I started a car washing business and I think this helped me to create my content with YouTube, because this helped me learn how to advertise, promote, marketing, and also, well mainly those, but how to hyper-focus and get that work ethic going. I just washed cars, but I knew how to advertise. I knew how to market and I knew what to do, which helped me raise about $6,000 in the week and a half, two weeks. It was absolutely incredible.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And you’re like 12 years old doing this?

Akira M.:
Oh no, It was just a while back in this year when I was 14.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. 14. But you hadn’t gone to business school obviously. So you just figured out how to-

Akira M.:
I haven’t gone to business school, but I feel like I was always in a business school, especially because my dad was an investor and I learned a lot from him, especially investing business and how to… He wasn’t that much of a marketer, but my brother was, and he also did really help me.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So your brother and your dad helped you?

Akira M.:
Yeah. To get that business work ethic and all this other stuff, that led to many different platforms and ideas.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You’re a born entrepreneur, as most people with ADHD are, and you’ll be having ideas for the rest of your life. You mentioned at the beginning, your family was wealthy, but you also had a fair number of hardships that we don’t have to get into, but I want listeners to know you didn’t have it easy. There was money, but there wasn’t other things that kids need and you have continued to grow and develop, and you’re very resilient. You’re a brave young man, and you keep the ideas coming and now you’ve got this new thing going, it’s wonderful to see, but I respect you so much for having persevered and maintained your optimism.

Akira M.:
I just have to say, I’ve watched a couple of episodes from Distraction, and I think the listeners have to listen to what he’s saying, because ADHD is not, as he said, a curse. It’s like a super power, something else. I think a lot of people think of it as a curse, and that’s when they are misled to ideas that are not helpful, and I think they should fight for their passion which can lead them to so many great things. Because a lot of people with ADHD, I think have great logic and I just love how wonderful ways it can go. Wonderful, different ways life can take you with ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s so wonderful. The way you put it, and so glad to hear you know that at your age, 15, and help people to not buy into the deficit disorder model. Yes, it presents challenges, but it also comes with extraordinary superpowers, and like we said, once you learn to manage it as Akira is doing, then you can light up the world, be an influencer par excellence. Akira we’ve come to the end of our time. I can’t thank you enough for joining us and your team that helped you join us. I wish you could see me smiling right now. It’s a huge smile and I’m sure our listeners are smiling, too. Just to remind you to go to Akira’s website, lilbitalife.com, L-I-L-B-I-T-A-L-I-F-E.com. You can get directed there to the YouTube channel as well as to the Instagram. My friend Akira, thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me on Distraction.

Akira M.:
Thank you for having me on. It’s been a pleasure of mine and fight for ADHD because it’s really worth it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It sure is. Thank you so much. Remember listeners to reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. We need them. We thrive on them. We love them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Email us please, @connectatdistractionpodcast.com. That’s [email protected] Our wonderful guest today, Akira, my friend, 15 years old, but boy oh boy, he is going to set the world on fire, developing the passion that his superpower, otherwise called ADHD, has given him. He’s just at the start and he’s already so far ahead. It’s a great gift you’ve shared with us. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the wonderful Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is the brilliantly talented Scott Person. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for now from Distraction.

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

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Our Pets Get Stressed Out Too

Our Pets Get Stressed Out Too

Humans aren’t the only ones feeling anxiety and stress as a result of the pandemic. Our pets are too! And if you’ve been working from home for the past few months, it’s possible that your dog or other animal could develop separation anxiety when you return to work.

Veterinarian Dr. Sarah Silcox joins Ned for a conversation about the promising benefits CBD is showing in animals for conditions like anxiety, chronic pain and epilepsy. Dr. Silcox also reminds you to check with your pets’ vet before giving them anything!

Share your thoughts with us at [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and welcome to Distraction. Today, I am welcoming a guest, and you could guess all day long, and you would not guess what she does, a really unique niche in the helping profession. She’s in my favorite helping profession, namely, she’s a veterinarian. But she has a very special niche in the world of veterinarians aside from being a general veterinarian and treating dogs and cats and whatnot. She is the president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine. Isn’t that something? I asked her, how many members does it have? Expecting her to say about four, 350 Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine.

And in addition, she’s the owner of Greenwood Veterinary House Call Services, which sounds like angels of mercy. They make housecall for hospice and palliative care to these little dogs and cats, and I suppose birds, I don’t know. But in any case, the idea of going in and delivering palliative care, being a dog lover myself, I know how much that must mean to the patients or clients, whatever she calls them. In any case, but I won’t keep talking. I want to welcome, I think, the most unique guest we’ve ever had on Distraction, Dr. Sarah Silcox, who comes to us from just East of Toronto in Canada. Dr. Silcox, welcome to Distraction.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Thank you so, so much. I’m speechless after that introduction. Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, I’m speechless to have met you. Really, you could have knocked me over with a feather. How long have you been doing this cannabinoid medicine for pets?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

So the association was founded… We just celebrated our third anniversary. So we founded in June of 2017, which was just more than a year before Canadian legalized cannabis for not only medical use, which had been legalized for some time, but also for non-medical or recreational use.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And why would someone give their pet CBD?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I think, much like on the human side of things, CBD has been touted as a bit of a cure all. And I think that’s one of the things that we work to really clarify is that it’s not snake oil, there’s a solid basis to how it works from a medical perspective.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s for sure.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

But on the same token, it’s also not a cure all, it’s a very specific medicine that’s going to work for different conditions, and in different patients it works a little bit differently. But the most common things that pet families are telling us that they’re choosing to use it for include things like chronic pain, anxieties, behavioral disorders, general inflammation, skin conditions, trouble sleeping. So there’s really a broad range. And that’s understandable once we start to understand how CBD and other cannabinoids work in the body, that it’s able to treat a whole range of different problems potentially. We’re still waiting on some of those published studies to come out.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Interestingly enough, our sponsor, OmegaBrite, makes a CBD product specifically for dogs. Have you heard of OmegaBrite? It’s a wonderful American company. They started off with fish oil and Omega-3 fatty acids supplements, and then they just came out with their CBD supplement for humans and they also have one for dogs.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Humans, and then they’ve expanded that into the pet world as well. And I think we’re seeing a lot more of that in the US compared to Canada. Because in Canada, our regulations are a little bit different. So even though it’s technically legal, it’s only legally available through certain regulated channels. And as of yet that hasn’t included a market specifically for pets. In Canada, people are either purchasing a product sold outside that legal pathway that are pet specific, or they’re purchasing legal products intended for human consumption and then giving them to their animals.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, since most of our listeners are in the United States, although they actually are around the world, but for our listeners, if they wanted to get CBD for their dog or other pet, they could just go to omegaBritewellness.com, and there it would be. So why would they do that? You mentioned anxiety. How can you tell if your dog or cat is anxious?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Well, I think there’s a wide range of things that can cause anxiety. We have situational anxiety. So sometimes it’s just a short term thing like thunderstorm, or a trip to the vets or the groomers. And other times we’re dealing with more generalized anxiety, and behavioral disorders, and separation anxiety, which funny enough is getting a lot of attention as in certain areas, maybe not in some of the states, but certainly here in Ontario, we’re starting to get some opening up of the economy and opening up of the restrictions that have been in place for the last several months. Our pets have gotten very used to us being around. And so, one of the concerns is, is that when we all start going back to work and resuming our more normal routines, how are our pets going to be affected? And for some pets, they may struggle with some separation anxiety.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What a great point. I hadn’t thought of that. What a great… And of course they would. Of course, they would, they feel abandoned and anxious.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

The cats on the other hand will probably be celebrating, “Thank goodness the humans are gone.” But our dogs, I think, a lot of them have really come to enjoy us being around a lot more.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, I’m a dog person, not a cat person, but I do appreciate the feline independence, but I’m drawn to the canine affection. But that’s such a good point, Sarah, that when we’ve been with them all the time and then we leave them, and of course they’ll be sad. I can see your dog standing at the door waiting for us to get home.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And you said pain is, so if they have arthritic hips or something like that CBD might help?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yeah. Chronic pain is probably the number one reason that people have looked to cannabis-based therapies, both for themselves as well as their pets. But it’s also one of the ones that’s been looked at most commonly in our published studies. So we now have a few published studies that have looked specifically at using high CBD cannabis products for the treatment of arthritic pain in dogs. We also have a published study that’s looked at the use of CBD for treating epilepsy in dogs as well.

And so, all of those studies have been very positive, certainly more work still needs to be done. It’s not cut and dry, there’s always lots of confounding factors. And it’s certainly not something that I would recommend people do without consultation with your veterinarian. It is still a medicine, even though you can order it online, you don’t need to go to your veterinarian to get it, but we do want to make sure that it’s a suitable product that will maybe not missing something else, and also make sure that there’s no possible drug interactions. And that’s something a lot of people don’t consider.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

They don’t consider drug interactions?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

That’s right. So if your pet’s on other medications for chronic health problem, and you decide to add in a high CBD product, there’s the potential, and again, we’re still learning, this area is so new to us from a medical perspective, but it certainly appears that there can be the potential for some drug interactions because CBD can affect the way our body metabolizes drugs.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And also, I’m very intrigued by your Greenwood House Call Services. What are the kinds of conditions like a dog who’s dying of cancer or something?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I mean, really it encompasses a range going anywhere from those senior patients who are just struggling a little bit more, the focus has shifted away from finding a diagnosis and finding a cure to really trying to keep that patient as comfortable as possible, up to patients who’ve been diagnosed with life limiting diseases like cancer or those who have reached end of life, and the family wants to have that end of lifetime be at home where the pet is most comfortable, and where they’re probably more comfortable as well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Sure. And that’s the one downside of having a pet, that they die usually before you do.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

And I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say, “Never again. I’m not going to do this, it’s too hard.” But fortunately, I think, given enough time, our hearts are able to see how much joy they brought. And in most cases, I think, families end up opening their heart to another pet.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

We’ve done it five times now. And every time it’s so hard, but-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

It’s a testimony to how much joy they bring us when we’re willing to go through that thing all over again.

[SPONSOR BREAK]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. For the past three months I’ve been taking a new supplement called OmegaBrite CBD, and listeners, know that brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. So it’s OmegaBrite CBD. As I’ve mentioned before, OmegaBrite CBD was created by my good friend, Dr. Carol Locke, graduate of Harvard Medical School. And her company, OmegaBrite Wellness, they’ve been making the number one, Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years.

Well, Carol and her team decided to break new ground, having set the standard for purity, safety, and efficacy in the world of Omega-3s. And they brought that same commitment to excellence to their new CBD supplement. I take it myself. It helps me with my reactivity, my impatience, it just puts a smoother edge. In no way, is it a buzz or a high, anything like that, it’s way more subtle. But it’s a very noticeable, subtle effect, and one that I’ve come to really appreciate as I take it every day.

So, all right. Get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. And now, Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code podcast 2020, that’s podcast 2020. Go to omegabritewellness.com and order OmegaBrite CBD. You’ll be glad you did just as I am.

[SPONSOR BREAK END]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What do you have yourself?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I have one cat named Marvin and I have a, let’s see, he’ll be 13 in the fall, a little Miniature Pinscher, and then a great big Argentinian Mastiff.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What are their names?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

His name is Wallace, and the little one is Blackberry.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wallace and Blackberry, that’s so adorable. Wallace, what a great name for a big dog, and Blackberry, what a great name for a little dog. And then Marvin, of course.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

And Wallace is actually on cannabis-based therapy as well. So he gets a high CBD product every morning and every evening.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. Do you have kids?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I do not, just my furry ones.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But a husband.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Is he a vet as well, or is he-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

No, he’s in corporate training. So completely different type of business. But thank goodness, he’s also an animal lover. He actually came into the relationship with Blackberry.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh, that’s wonderful, that’s wonderful, that’s really wonderful. And did you growing up wanting to be a vet?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yeah. I think when I look back through the little school day treasury books, it first hit the radar in grade two. Veterinarian was on the list of things I’d like to do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So many little girls say they want to be a vet, but you actually did it.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I actually did it. Well, I had an interesting background. My dad was very much an animal and nature guy, and my mum was a nurse. And so, I think I had both sides of things. So veterinary medicine seemed to be a pretty darn good fit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what’s the process in Canada? How do you become a vet?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

In Canada, so way back when I went through, you had to have a minimum of one year of general science, and then applied into the veterinary program, if accepted, there was then a pre-vet year and then a four year veterinary program. They’ve changed it up a little bit since then. So now it’s a two years and you write your MCATs and go through the application process, and then a four year program.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

You take the medical college admission test?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

They do now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Just as if you were applying to medical school?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. So you have to have a college degree and then take the MCAT, and then four, five-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

So it’s a minimum of two years of science or equivalent, I believe, now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

To get in? And then that school is four years just like medical school?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. And then do you specialize-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

We’ve got a lot more species to cover.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah, you sure do. So do you get trained in all the species?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

We do. I believe that there are some veterinary schools now that are starting to stream a little bit, but generally speaking, most veterinarians have received training in both large and small animal. And then as they progress through the course and get into that final year, their elective courses can focus more heavily on the area that they feel like they’re going to pursue. And so certainly all of my electives were small animals.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But nonetheless, you were exposed to how do you deliver a horse, or how do you take care of the pregnant cow. Do you get trained on how to take care of a snake?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Briefly, yes. And birds and fish. I was actually going through the garage last week and found a whole bunch of boxes with my old notes in there, and I’m like, wow, we had a lot of lectures on fish that I don’t remember.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Fish, really? Wow.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what about birds?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

So we do the full gamut. And circling back to today’s topic, it’s really interesting to see some of the science that’s coming out as we start to look at how CBD and other cannabinoids influence other species as well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Really. Have you taken care of parents?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Parents or parrots?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Both. Obviously, parents, but-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Parents, not so much-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Not so much.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

… But aging parents, yes. And both my parents, I also push to have them on medical cannabis therapy as they approached senior years and end of life, my mom still gets hers regularly. She has both dementia and arthritis and it helps to level out both of those, I think.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s wonderful. Well, you sound like a dream come true of a veterinarian. I wish I lived near you and you could take care of our animals. You obviously found your calling. It’s wonderful. And you’re a pioneer, you’re breaking new ground, you’re staying young, that’s also impressive.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Dr. Sarah Silcox, founding director and current president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine, and owner of Greenwood Veterinary House Call Services. What an angel of animals you are for sure. I can’t thank you enough for joining us.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Oh, you’re very welcome. Thank you so much for having me on and introducing your audience to some of the potential uses for those CBD products in pets.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Thank you indeed. What a unique and wonderful guest you’ve been. Thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Now, I just have to read some credits. Please, listeners, reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas, and we really do love getting them, by sending an email to mailto:[email protected]. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media, our recording engineer and editor is Scott Persson, and our producer is Sarah Guertin. I’m DR. Ned Hallowell, your host, saying goodbye, until next time.

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

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Should Ned Stick to What He Knows?

Should Ned Stick to What He Knows?

Should Dr. H avoid talking about politics, money, religion, sex and other non-ADHD topics on this podcast?

Ned reacts to an email he received from a listener who said he should stick to talking about ADHD in this podcast and reaches out to listeners for feedback.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with us at [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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 can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by Omega Brite CBD, formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and welcome to a mini episode of Distraction. As you know, during this period of COVID, each week we release a mini episode that in some way pertains to the experience we’re all sharing as we live through this unique period in our lives. And unique it certainly is. I wanted to reflect on an email that I was sent, but let me preface it by saying when I was growing up, and I grew up in a very Waspy family, where being polite was de rigueur, I was explicitly told and certainly implicitly told to stay away from certain topics in conversation, and those topics included politics, religion, money, and sex.

I can still remember watching my father shave one day. I must have been six years old. And I asked him, because I had just learned this word, “Dad, what is your salary?” And he looked down at me as if I had just uttered the worst curse word you could ever imagine. He said, “Ned, never, ever ask anyone that question.” And I got the strong message that talking about money, certainly in a personal way, like how much do you have, was completely off limits. And there are other instances where I got the same message regarding politics, religion, and as for sex, that was just so out of the question, unless the people in the room had been doing what they usually were doing, which was drinking, in which case sex would come up very easily.

In any case over the years, I’ve turned that advice in my mind over and over, and I’ve really decided it’s terrible advice. It’s good advice if you want to not make any waves, if you want to avoid conflict, if you want to be as bland as you can possibly be. Then yes, don’t bring those up, and for that matter, don’t bring up much of anything. Just talk about the weather and ask the other person to talk about themselves, and you’ll be safe. But of course that’s not my way. Having ADHD, I like to branch out, reach out, inquire, probe and try to find out what’s going on. And that’s what I encourage other people to do.

Well, I must have strayed beyond the boundaries of people expect. In one episode, I opined not overtly politically, but one listener took umbrage to what I said. It was not an opinion as much as it was, I guess, a intimation, but he emailed me and he said, “Dr. Hallowell, I enjoy your podcast, but stick to ADHD. If you go into politics, you’ll offend people, you’ll lose your listenership. We don’t like it. We don’t want it. So just keep that to yourself.” And I’ve been wondering, do all of you feel that way? I’d love to hear from you. Do you all want me to just keep this very G-rated and very conflict free and free of anything that I’m not a licensed professional to talk about?

I mean, I would much rather have an ongoing dialogue with you and it is certainly true, I will never turn this show into a Fox News versus MSNBC contest. I wouldn’t want that. I mean, I think you listen to this to get away from that. So I don’t want to join the haranguing and join the venting, and join the angry discourse that you can hear altogether too easily. And I do try to be a unifier. I do try to be a connector. But to me, that allows there to be availability of all points of view, listening to all points of view, honoring, as we say in my religion, to respect the dignity of every human being. That’s what I’d like to try to do and not to avoid hot topics, but rather cool them down by airing them out. You can cool them down by airing them out in a way that makes each point of view intelligent, responsible, and discussable.

To me, the minute you say something can’t be talked about, you give it power that it ought not to have. When a thing becomes forbidden, it takes on a secret power that tends to distort it and magnify it, intensify it in a radioactive kind of way. I’d like to get guidance from you all on this. So please email me, email us [email protected], and tell me, do you want me just to stick to the G-rated discussions about ADHD, which I certainly love to do, or do you like it if I go off that topic and get into politics, religion, money, and sex, and any other topic you might like me to bring up, like dogs and meatloaf, two of my favorites that are not on the beaten path? Let me know, give me guidance. Let me know if that man who wrote to me speaks for most of you, or if he speaks for a minority of you.

And let me thank that man. I’m not naming you at all and I don’t want to single you out in a negative way. I appreciate your giving me your point of view. You were trying to help me. You said I’ll lose my audience if I don’t stick to what I’m licensed to talk about, and instead if I offer my various thoughts, feelings, and ideas on other topics of human existence. As always, thank you so very much for joining us. We depend upon you. We need you. We want you. Please tell your friends about us, as we’re trying to grow and build a community of interesting and congenial listeners. And if you’re not congenial, that’s okay too. You can be whoever you want to be.

Before I say goodbye, I’d like to remind you to check out Omega Brite CBD. I have been taking this CBD supplement for three months now, and feel very much more calm because of it, not calm in a zonked out kind of way, but calm in an equanimous kind of way. Equanimity, Osler said, was the great goal of the physician. Equanimity is a wonderful state to achieve, and Omega Brite CBD helps me achieve equanimity. You can buy Omega Brite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. And remember, brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. Omega, O-M-E-G-A, B-R-I-T-E wellness.com. Distraction listeners should use the promo code podcast2020 to save 20% off their first order, podcast2020. Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works.

Remember, if you have a question, comment or show idea, we want to hear from you. Question, comment, show idea, or recipe for meatloaf, we want to hear from you. Send us an email at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the amazingly talented Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the almost as amazingly talented Scott Persson,  and I’ll catch hell for that. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for listening.

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

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Dr. H Answers Your ADHD Questions

Dr. H Answers Your ADHD Questions

Our host responds to listener emails this week about ADHD and…  medication and addiction, anxiety issues, sensory processing disorder symptoms, OCD and the pandemic, and more.

Thank you to all of our listeners who sent in an email! A special shout out goes to awesome Distraction listener, Gray, who shared his thoughts with us in a voice memo!

If you have a question, comment or show idea we want to hear from you! Write an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Dr. Hallowell’s books mentioned in this episode:

Delivered from Distraction

Driven to Distraction

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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 can be found below.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega 3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD. Safe third party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Hello and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so very much for joining me. We have a growing audience and we hope it continues to grow. Please tell your friends about us, assuming you like what we’re doing. Today’s show we’ll be doing one of my favorite episodes, responding to your emails and questions. If you listen to these questions and enjoy them, please send us your questions. As we normally do in these episodes, my producer, the inestimably wonderful, Sarah Guertin will read to me your emails so I can respond. Without further ado, let me invite Sarah to read me the first email.

Sarah Guertin:

Hey. Happy to be here. All right. This first email says, “Hi, Dr. Hallowell. My son was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD in September. He also has sensory processing disorder, but now I’m wondering what he truly has since his symptoms are very similar between SPD and ADHD. Since learning this, I’ve read eight books and changed his school. While he is better, I want to be sure to give him all the support and resources for him to navigate well through life’s journey. I struggled to know how to best help him in what he really needs. He has had three years of occupational therapy, but we’ve hit a wall. What is the best way to get them on a path of treatment that is right for him? He is attending a school for kids with learning differences though I’m not sure I can afford to keep him there as I’m a single self-employed mom. He’s a happy, amazing kid aside from the struggles he faces with the differences, but I don’t want to make things worse. I love your podcast. It has helped me understand and sometimes given me ideas. Any advice for the bumbling parent? LB.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, LB, first of all, you’re anything but bumbling. Any parent who reads eight books and changes the school and paying a tuition she can barely afford, I’d say is anything but bumbling. I would say you’re a candidate for mother of the year. As for your son’s problem, you didn’t mention medication. You said he’s had occupational therapy for the sensory processing disorder, I assume, but I didn’t see any mention of medication. Sensory processing disorder by the way is not the one I would put at the top of the list in terms of ease of helping to improve. You want to make sure you really go after the ADHD. Often the SPD, the sensory processing disorder, will follow. You’ve been doing the OT, the occupational therapy. You’ve kind of nailed that one. You said, “We’ve hit a wall.” I’m not sure what you meant by that.

I can guess he’s stalling out. He’s not doing well. The three hallmarks of the treatment of ADHD are number one, education. You want to know what it is and what it isn’t. I’d recommend my book Delivered from Distraction, which came out in 2005, but the information in it is still current. I’ll have a new book for you in 2021, but as of now Delivered from Distraction. Read that so you really understand what ADHD is and what it isn’t. For example, it is not a deficit of attention. It’s an abundance of attention. Simply need to control it. I don’t see it as a disorder. I see it as a trait. It can become a disorder or it can become a superpower depending upon how you manage it. You begin with education and letting your son know that he’s got a race car for a brain, a Ferrari for a brain, but the problem is he has bicycle brakes. We need to somehow strengthen the brakes.

You want to get him in a good frame of mind so he doesn’t feel like he’s being fixed. So he doesn’t feel like he’s being remediated. So he doesn’t feel like he’s fundamentally defective, which is what the term ADHD implies. Instead, tell him he’s got a Ferrari engine with bicycle brakes. There are many ways of strengthening those brakes. As I say, you start with education. Then a trial of medication makes a lot of sense, unless it goes against your brain for some reason. Most parents say, I don’t want to use medication, but they don’t really know why they don’t want to use medication. Their reasons are rooted in wrong information or lack of information or both. Talk with your doctor. I would recommend a trial of medication. Remember, a trial of medication is just that. It’s a trial.

If it does anything you don’t like… If he turns purple, you just stopped the meds. He’ll go back to his original color. You don’t want to proceed as if it were a permanent intervention. If it works and by work I mean he gets improved focus, improved control over his engine with no side effects, other than appetite suppression, without unwanted weight loss. If you get that result, which you can achieve 80% of the time, then it makes everything else so much more easy to do. People often say to me, why don’t we do a year or two of non-medication treatment before starting medication? I say fine. I’m happy to do that with you. I’ve written books about that, but it’s sort of like saying, why don’t we do a year or two of squinting before we try eyeglasses?

Why not go to the proven intervention that is safe and effective? Why wait because it makes everything else you do more effective. Then the third element… We have education. We have trial of medication, 80% of the time it will help. The third element is coaching, which includes everything from how to get up in the morning and get dressed, to how to make your bed, to how to plan your homework, to how to listen in class, to how to take notes if you’re old enough to do that, to how to hand in papers on time, to how to stop procrastinating. All that comes under the heading of coaching. That can be done by an ADHD coach. The de facto coach is you, the parent, usually the mother. The problem with that is as the child gets older the coaching comes to feel like nagging.

What a hired coach does or a hired tutor does is what a mom would do minus the nag factor. Those would be my recommendations, but start with the recommendation of getting rid of yourself designation as a bumbling parent. You’re anything but. Educate as to what ADHD is. I recommend my book Delivered from Distraction. Consider your pediatrician for a trial of stimulant medication. Then bring in the coaching, addressing whatever the target areas of need are. Hope that makes sense, LB. Please give us follow up. Love to hear how he’s doing as time marches on.

Sarah Guertin:

This email is from Diana. She wrote in part, “Hello, Dr. Hallowell. First, let me say how much your work has personally and professionally impacted my life. Back in 2015 when I first started learning about how my daughter might have ADHD and that I myself might also have ADHD, it was your book Driven to Distraction that launched and guided me through this world of self discovery. Your book also enabled me to effectively advocate for the accommodations my own children need at home and in school, as well as giving those same tools to the students in my classroom, as a science teacher. In the more recent past and present, however, it has been your Distraction podcast that has opened up the flood gates to the multitude of other resources, which have skyrocketed my growth about ADHD since my diagnosis, and now too the diagnosis of my daughter, testing of my son for ADHD and navigating the most effective treatments for us all.

The reason for this email though, is not entirely to share my appreciation for you, but to ask for advice about, and possibly connections for writing my own book about my experiences with ADHD. Thus far, I have nearly an hour’s worth of voice memos with full pages of the book laid out along with ideas for more content and a broad framework for scope and scale of the book. Unfortunately, this is where I begin to flounder. Since I have no clue how to make connections in the publishing realm, do you happen to have any advice for this or contacts I could pursue in this endeavor to write my book? Your help and advice would be most greatly appreciated and valued. All my best, Diana.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, Diana, what a wonderful email. What a wonderful goal you’ve set for yourself of writing a book. That’s fantastic. One of the best ways to treat ADD is to develop a creative outlet. The reason I write so many books is if I don’t have a book going, I get depressed. I’ve found in working with people with ADD over the years, the ones who do best always have some kind of creative outlet, whether it’s writing or gardening or cooking or investing in the stock market. There’s some kind of creative outlet, an outlet that allows you to be spontaneous and access your unconscious and create. It is something that our brains really need to do. If we don’t do it… It’s like a cow that doesn’t get milked. We just get all stuck up, plugged up. Good for you. Wonderful goal.

Now what you’re going to need is structure. You can do that by hiring a coach. You’re also going to need an agent. It’s very hard to sell a book as an unpublished author if you don’t have an agent. It’s possible, but it’s extremely difficult. You can go online and Google agents and literary agents. The best ones or in New York or Boston, although there were agents all over the place. If you find an agent, you see, they’ll take on the task of helping you get the book written. Then selling it. What you can do once you have an agent is write, what’s called a proposal. The agent can sell the book based on the proposal. It has to be a fairly detailed, for someone who hasn’t been published, a fairly detailed summary of what the book will include.

Once your agent sells that proposal, then you get an advance. That’s a sum of money that you get to support you while you write the book. Now, if the book doesn’t earn back the full amount of the advance, you don’t have to pay it back. It’s called an advance on royalties, but it’s really a gift. You don’t get royalties until the book earns out as it’s called, until it earns back the amount of money of the advance. In the unfortunate case, it doesn’t earn that much money, you’re not on the hook. The publisher takes the risk, which is really quite wonderful. The agent usually takes 15% of the advance, but you don’t have to pay the agent anything if he or she does not sell the proposal. That’s in a nutshell the best way to get published.

You’ve done the hard part, which is gathered up your experience. Now you’ll have to sort through your voice memos and develop an outline, and a table of contents. That’s what usually goes into a proposal. Good for you for doing it. It’s a wonderful thing to do. You’ll feel very gratified and you will help an awful lot of people if the book manages to get published or you could self-publish. Now you can do eBooks on Amazon. There’s a whole way of doing that as well. You don’t have to rely on a New York publisher picking up your book. I hope that answers your question and good luck. You have to be crazy to write a book. It’s no way to make a living. It’s a good way to torture yourself. I’ve been writing them for many years now. I just finished my 21st book. I guess it’s a fine madness, if you will. It’s not a way to feel good, but it is a way to feel very fulfilled and satisfied.

Sarah Guertin:

“Hi, there. I listen to your podcast on Spotify to help with my ADHD, OCD, and insomnia, which is an ongoing issue. I think I have other underlying problems, but that’s another story. I’m constantly learning about it. I’m doing online courses to understand my brain and others and how it all works, but I’m stuck. As a result of COVID became isolated with all my usual helpers and I’m scared. I’m 24, female in Melbourne, Australia. I live out of home at the moment in a share house on a noisy street and can’t concentrate. I’ve decided to move back home because it seems to be my only option for a healthy and financially stable lifestyle. I am currently having a meltdown. My parents both obviously have undiagnosed ADHD along with my younger sister, but she has been diagnosed. The house is full of clutter. I’m slowly trying to organize my old room, which is full of the classic hoarding of old clothes from all people from my family.” She has another sister, too.

“I suffer from OCD and like things to always have a place. I love self-learning and love how my brain works most of the time. I think I’m a genius to be honest. I just cannot seem to understand what is a good decision. Do I move home where the clutter is never ending and don’t think it will ever be perfect? Will I be overwhelmed with a house full of ADHD? I can’t think. I’m trying to be positive. I help people often. I’m kind and actually enjoy organizing, but this is so much that I’m currently living out of my car because I’m stuck in between the two houses. I’m stuck. I’m anxious. I need help. What actions do I take? What advice do I listen to? Where do I look for help? Thank you for your help so far. Your podcasts make me feel safe wherever I’m sleeping at night.” She put in parentheses a different bed every night. “I hope you are well. I appreciate the work you do. Hailey.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, Hailey, what a wonderful email. What an amazing young woman you are. Gosh. I can’t remember the last email where someone said, “I actually think I’m a genius.” I love that you think you’re a genius because you are. Genius just means extraordinarily talented in some domain or another. I can tell just by reading your email, you are. What you need is what most of us with ADHD need, namely, some structure. You need to take all these wonderful ideas and images and thoughts and feelings that are ping-ponging around in your brain all day and most of the night and shape them, direct them, organize them. Like I say, ADD, you’ve got a Ferrari engine for a brain, but with bicycle brakes. Your Ferrari is zinging all over the place. You can’t decide on where to land. I think you need somebody to work with you, whether that could be a friend, if you can’t afford a professional help or a coach, probably it cost something, or an actual medical professional to take you on and help you construct a game plan so to speak.

It’s very hard to do it on your own. I would not. As for moving home, I assume the price is good. That’s an advantage. If you could create a space of the house that’s yours and if you could have it neat and tidy, then the chaos going on around you wouldn’t necessarily be a problem. If you all love each other, even if you’re a little chaotic, that’s fine. We can deal with chaos as long as there’s good feeling. You want to have good feeling. That force of connection is very formative as long as it’s positive connection. You say you suffer from OCD. It sounds like that can help you actually if you use that to get organized and have things in place. I think you really do need someone to sound off your ideas with and make some plans and set some goals. We really do well when we have goals.

Then someone to hold you accountable. That also helps if you could be held accountable. You have enormous potential, believe me for a 24 year old woman. I can just tell from your email, how much you’ve got going on inside that really zinging and zagging and zigging and zagging mind of yours. If you got some help and then I would certainly consider a trial of medication. You didn’t mention that in there, but you’ll need an MD to help you with that. When the meds work, they’re amazing. They really work wonders. If they don’t work, you just don’t take them.

The stimulant meds are in and out of your system very quickly. You can find out pretty fast if the meds will be helpful to you. If they are helpful to you and they help about 80% of people, then it makes all the rest of the interventions that you need so much easier. When you can focus, it’s like when you have eyeglasses. You can learn and do everything more felicitously. How’s that for a word, felicitously. Thank you so much for writing to us, Hailey. Please keep us posted on your progress. Let us know if we can help you in any other way. You are a genius. Don’t forget that.

[SPONSOR BREAK]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Before we get to the next question, I’d like to take a moment and talk with you about our wonderful sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. As many of you listeners know I’ve been taking OmegaBrite CBD supplement for the past few months. It’s the newest supplement from OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one, Omega 3 supplements for the past 20 years, which my wife and I have taken for quite some time now. We really swear by them. OmegaBrite’s founder, Dr. Carol Locke, graduate of Harvard Medical School, and her team set the standards for purity, safety and efficacy in the world of Omega 3s and have now brought that same commitment to excellence with their CBD supplement. I love the CBD because in my own case, it’s helped me with my reactivity, my natural impatience. I can be very impatient, reactive, peremptory. Since I’ve started the CBD, that’s sort of been blunted. I’m not like that. It hasn’t taken away any of my mental fastball at all. I encourage you to give it a try. You can find OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com.

As a special for Distraction listeners, the OmegaBrite folks have given you a 20% discount off your first order, but you have to use the promo code, podcast 2020. That’s pretty simple. Podcast 2020. Go to omegabritewellness.com. Order up some OmegaBrite CBD and some fish oil. While you’re there, you can also pick up some vitamin D. They also make that. Put in podcast 2020 and you’ll get 20% off.

[SPONSOR BREAK END]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

All right. Sarah, what does the next email have to offer us?

Sarah Guertin:

“Hey, Dr. Ned. I don’t have a question. I just wanted to give my thanks to you. I’m a 28 year old from Australia who is only just diagnosed with ADHD late last year. I failed out of university when I was 21 and went through a lot of self hatred and depression, not understanding why I couldn’t cope. I decided to come back to university and subsequently found out about the ADHD and my whole life suddenly made sense. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. I spent some time feeling really down about it. Earlier this year, I discovered both you and Peter Shankman. Both of your perspectives on ADHD have completely changed my mindset and life. It’s allowed me to really appreciate my strengths. I’m now managing my weaknesses properly. I wouldn’t give my ADHD away if I could. I’m also getting nearly exclusively A’s on all my assignments as well and have regained a fire in my belly that had all but died out.

Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent. I was writing to you just to tell you that when I’m having a bad day or I’m feeling lost, I often go to your podcast and listen to an episode. I really like your short episodes where you give your thoughts on a topic. There’s something about the way you talk about your experiences that calms me down and makes me feel like everything is and will be okay. Thank you for doing what you do. I really appreciate it. Regards, TCM.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh my goodness. What a wonderful email. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. I’m really glad that I’m able to help you calm down and think that everything will be okay. I think what you’re finding is the truth of my little aphorism, never worry alone. I was taught that by my teacher way back when I was a resident. Dr. Thomas Gutheil. He used to say to us, it’s okay to worry. In fact, it’s a good thing to worry. Just don’t worry alone. I think you must find in listening to the podcasts, a companionship, an affiliation that always makes us feel better. When we’re alone, we globalize. We catastrophize. We lose hope. When we’re in connection, it doesn’t have to be in person like the podcast isn’t in person, we feel the energy. We feel the whatever it is that has not yet been discovered, that happens when a person connects, even just by listening because you’re inputting even though you’re listening. You’re also adding to my words with images, associations, thoughts, feelings.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

If I started to describe the lake where my kids and I used to go growing up, you’ll think of a lake that you go to. That in and of itself will be calming and pleasant for you. You’re clearly on your way to doing wonderful things. I’m so glad you discovered Peter Shankman. I’m so glad you discovered me. Both Peter and I think of ADHD as something that if you manage properly can really enhance your life in a unique and wonderful way. I’m glad you’re discovering that. I’m glad you’re discovering the pot of gold at the end of this particular rainbow because it’ll be with you for the rest of your life. Thank you for writing in. I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement of me, which I need just like anybody else. Thank you again, TCM, from all the way from Australia where so many wonderful people live. Sarah, we have another one?

Sarah Guertin:

This next email is from Steven. He wrote in part “Dr. Hallowell, I’m 42 years old and was diagnosed with ADD at 39 by both a neurologist and psychologist. Before the diagnosis. I did well in college, earning three degrees, including a doctorate. I’ve been successful enough in the work world. Though, in retrospect, I see how strengths associated with ADD helps me and hindered me through the formal education process and how an earlier diagnosis would have been helpful. As I age my increasing difficulties with ADD correlate 100% with attempts to balance parenthood, my wife and I have three young children, career and related responsibilities. I’m convinced that I successfully self-medicated prior to marriage and children with long hikes distance running, long bike rides and time outdoors. That’s a bit harder to come by now. I need additional help. I’ve been taking generic Adderall for just over two years, either 10 milligrams XR, or single, or double dose of five milligram tabs as needed.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the medications impact. I tried generic Ritalin prior with a slightly lesser result. I find that when I skip a day of medication, I’m 100% okay, especially, if I’m not at my desk job. Self-medicating with exercise works better anyway, sometimes, but on the second day of not medicating, I become noticeably irritable, starting in the morning, far sadder than circumstances warrant and I’m generally a less agreeable husband and father.

One solution is to medicate daily, without exception.” Then he put this in bold. “But I’m hoping that my experience isn’t a sign of addiction. If it is what actions should I take? Finally, I’m otherwise healthy and fit. I rarely drink alcohol. I use no other drugs, recreational or prescription. I’m not prone to addictive behaviors. I take Omega 3 supplements per your suggestion. I do find that if I take an XR pill in the morning, I feel a drop-off late afternoon. I usually work through such or take a five milligram tab at onset of drop-off, especially if I plan to work or have meetings that evening, but taking medications too late in the day does affect my sleep.” It kind of goes on from there, but that’s the general question that he’s asking.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Steven, you’re obviously an incredibly talented person as so many people with ADD are. I’m really glad you got diagnosed and you got on medication. The fact that you feel funny after two days does not mean you’re addicted at all. It just means you’re suffering from some residual side effects, but you’re not addicted. If you were addicted, you would go into withdrawal. You’d have cravings. You’d become irritable. I do think it means you need to tweak the medications. What I would suggest is switching from Adderall XR to Vyvanse. Amphetamine is the active ingredient in both, but with Vyvanse the drop-off is smoother. I’ve found with most of my patients when they switch from Adderall XR to Vyvanse, they don’t have that crashing, as it’s called, period when the medication is wearing off. You’re managing it properly, by the way, to use the five milligram immediate release Adderall to temper that. I’m glad that’s working well for you.

Of course, exercise is the best of all in terms of self-medicating. Continue with the exercise. You might add in some meditation, which you can do five or 10 minutes once or twice a day. Don’t forget the vitamin C, vitamin connect. Stay connected with the people you care about. That all will help with these raggedy feelings that you can get. Push exercise. Push meditation. Push human connection. I would tweak the medication in the way I just suggested to switch from the Adderall XR to Vyvanse. Keep the immediate release Adderall toward the end of the day, but don’t take it too late or you will get insomnia as you’ve experienced. Thank you, Steven. Please stay in touch with us. Let us know what progress you make. Sarah, do we have any more?

Sarah Guertin:

This last one is a voice memo that we received from a listener named Grey. Grey reached out to us several months ago, Ned, when you did your meatloaf episode. He wrote to us and told us that he is a fan of meatloaf as well. Here’s what he recorded.

Grey:

“Hello, Dr. Hallowell. Greetings to you again. This is Grey, your meatloaf pal. I have a four year old daughter. We are working our way through classic kid appropriate music. We’ve been listening to The Sound of Music recently. After listening to Maria and I Have Confidence a few times, it dawned on me. Have you ever heard a better or more musical description of ADHD? Someone who has trouble following rules, but is a joyously good person and is determined to succeed despite repeated negative feedback. Perhaps you can name a future book, chapter, holding a moonbeam. I would love to hear your comments. Thanks.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, thank you, Grey. Thank you for continuing our meatloaf association. I hope you are experimenting. There are as many recipes for meatloaf as there are cures for hiccups. Sometimes meatloaf will give you the hiccups. One of my favorite meals. I love to pair meatloaf with a baked potato. I don’t know about you. Then a nice salad or peas, but I don’t often get to have the peas because no one in my family likes them. I love them. I don’t know how you feel about peas. They go well with meatloaf and a baked potato. Anyway. Yes. Holding a moonbeam. Yes. That’s wonderful. I’m so glad you’re introducing your daughter to the world of ADD in such a positive way, which is indeed how it is. I think that’s terrific.

I love the image. Wanting to do well and do right, but not really inclined to be a conformist and paint within the lines. She’ll be carving out her own painting as the years go by. With a wonderful father like you and I’m sure a mother as well, it will all be coming up roses and moonbeams for you all. Thank you. Thank you so much, Grey. Please keep me posted both about your daughter and about your experiences in the world of meatloaf.

All right. If you have a question you’d like me to address in a future episode and it can be about anything including meatloaf or moonbeams or kangaroos in Australia, write an email or record a voice memo on your phone just as Gray did. Send it to us at [email protected].

If you’re on Facebook, be sure to like the Distraction podcast page. We post links to episodes, relevant articles and the occasional cute dog video, which I’ve got to make another one of those soon. It’s a good way to stay connected with the show and other Distraction listeners. We’re on Instagram and Twitter. Please give us a like and a follow on there as well. Now, if I knew how to do any of those things, I’d do it myself, but someone else does it for me. I’m too old this dog to learn those new tricks, but you are young and Instagram and Twitter savvy. Please do that. Like, follow, embroider and add to. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our wonderful recording engineer and editor is Scott Persson. Our producer is the estimable, irreplaceable and always effervescent, Sarah Guertin. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for now.

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

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The Sleep Benefits of CBD with OmegaBrite Wellness

The Sleep Benefits of CBD with OmegaBrite Wellness

Dr. Carol Locke, the founder of OmegaBrite Wellness, joins our host for a special episode about how CBD supplements have been shown to improve sleep. They talk about the science of why CBD works and discuss a recent sleep study that has shown very promising results.

This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness.

Learn more about CBD by clicking HERE for a list of frequently asked questions.

Shop OmegaBrite CBD online. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Hello, and welcome to the podcast Distraction, a special episode today. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell, and we are bringing you the brilliant, the amazing, the incredibly accomplished, Dr. Carol Locke, the founder, creator, developer, and all around guru of OmegaBrite and their special new product CBD. CBD has been hot on every list and it took someone like Carol to really drill down, and make it right, and play by the rules, and assure purity and quality, and all the things that OmegaBrite has been famous for with their omega-3 product.

Well, today we have Dr. Carol Locke back, she is the founder of OmegaBrite Wellness. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E intentionally misspelled. And she joined me back in April for a conversation we called, Tools to Help You Stay Calm. Today, she’s going to talk more about CBD, and particularly about sleep. She’s going to share some of the research, but enough from me, let me turn it over to my wonderful friend and brilliant collaborator, Carol Locke.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Thank you, Ned, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So tell us about CBD.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, one of the questions that comes up with CBD is CBD and sleep. So how CBD works. Our body has a signaling system called the endocannabinoid system, and we have receptors in our body CB one and CB two, as well as other nerve receptors that cannabinoids work on. And we have cannabinoids that our body makes, and those are part of our body and help regulate it. And we can also take cannabinoids by plant-based cannabinoids, which is what CBD is. And so, we’re looking at how people benefit from taking with a supplement CBD, and one of the benefits is sleep.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And how does it help you sleep?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, we know that CBD is very effective for decreasing pain and decreasing anxiety. So one effect may be that as you decrease pain and anxiety, you’re able to go to sleep much better and remain asleep, as well as wake up refreshed. We also know that CBD and the endocannabinoid system is part of our body’s regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, and our circadian rhythms, our day and night rhythms of sleeping.

So as we’re taking this and helping rebalance, and achieve a better homeostasis of our endocannabinoid system, it seems to be benefiting sleep. There’s one study recently in the Permanente Journal, which 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep were studied, and they were given 25 milligrams of CBD at night in a capsule form. Those that had anxiety took the CBD in the morning. So sleep at night CBD for anxiety in the morning. After a month, 79% of the people had improved anxiety and had better sleep in 66% of participants.

Dr. Carol Locke:

So we see that it’s working, and after another month, the sleep benefits tended to decrease. And we’ve seen this in other studies. So it may be that they need a higher dose for sleep, it may be that they need to change the type of CBD they’re taking. If they’re taking full spectrum or broad spectrum, they’re slightly different, they may want to make changes. So those studies were encouraging, and we need more studies to understand how CBD helps with sleep. But we do know that people report significant benefit with sleep, as well as decreased anxiety and decreased pain, which affect your ability to go to sleep and remain asleep.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Before we had these supplements, where did people get their CBD from?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, our body makes it. And this is an interesting question that we have cannabinoids and endogenous cannabinoids that our body makes. And why is it that we benefit from more? We don’t know. Is it that right now, our life is so much more stressful than say, if we were hunter gatherers in our evolution? Is it just the overwhelming, if you think of it, the noise, the sleep cycle changes, the demands, the different things going on? Is it an increased level of stress that is requiring us to have more cannabinoids to bring benefit?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I remember back when I was in medical school, I graduated in 1978, we were just discovering the endogenous morphine system, the so-called endorphins. And that was so exciting, there are opiate receptors we have throughout our body. And one of the ways you can get a surge of endorphins is physical exercise. That’s the runner’s highs, a surge of endorphins. Does a similar happen with endocannabinoids?

Dr. Carol Locke:

It does, and it also happens with exercise, and it also helps with the runners high [inaudible 00:06:05], which is one of our endogenous cannabinoids is called the bliss molecule. And so, part of the cannabinoid system in our body does give you the experience of bliss and relaxation. Isn’t that cool? So the bliss molecule breaks down rapidly, but taking CBD helps prolong that effect.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Really. So other than taking exogenous supplement of CBD and exercise, are there other ways of accessing the bliss molecule and other endocannabinoids?

Dr. Carol Locke:

There are bliss states. So you’re wondering about yoga, you’re wondering about meditation, and I think these are things that need to be researched.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, maybe when you’re in the zone, when you’re really-

Dr. Carol Locke:

Exactly. And that would be really a fantastic study to see if our levels are increasing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But meanwhile, your supplement, how many milligrams of CBD is in it?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, we have a variety of different CBD products. So you can take the full spectrum CBD 25 milligrams, we have a broad spectrum CBD 25 milligrams, we have different tinctures. One is a lower milligram tincture, and one is a 1500 milligram tincture of oil. And those are full spectrum.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What’s the one that I take?

Dr. Carol Locke:

You take the full spectrum, 25 milligram capsule, which is really a favorite, because it is very rich in the different plant molecules, the terpenes and bioflavonoids, and as well as other cannabinoids that there are.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What are turpentines?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Terpenes are a smell flavor molecule that can have different smells. If you smelled the cannabis sativa plant, it can have dramatically different smells, and they seem to be important as well. Many people feel they’re part of the entourage effect, the ability, those molecules help turn on the CBD and make it work.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What’s the entourage effect?

Dr. Carol Locke:

That is something that people believe may be important that there are other molecules they’re part of the plant, they’re part of the cannabis sativa plant, the hemp plant. When they’re present, they help the body turn on the benefits in the cell. We need more research on that, and that’s where people are taking the full spectrum capsule that you have, which is so rich in these terpenes in these other plant molecules, and people have a huge benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, as you know, I take four of them a day, so I take 100 milligrams a day, and I love it.

Dr. Carol Locke:

And what’s your experience?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I love it. I didn’t really have a target symptom, but I use myself as my own experimental animal. So I started taking them and I noticed that I’m just less reactive, less impatient, less apt to snap if someone interrupts me, more patient when I’m on the phone with the annoying bureaucrat. But just a general stabilizing effect. So I love it. I take my four little pills every morning, along with my four OmegaBrite fish oils, and I’m off to the races.

Dr. Carol Locke:

That’s fantastic. Well, we hear a lot of people that’s their favorite, the full spectrum CBD capsule. It just gives a very good benefit of calming, people report like you do, that they feel better, they feel nicer. That’s one of the descriptions. It’s pretty great to see.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s wonderful. Well, if you’d like to try OmegaBrite CBD, go to omegabritewellness.com. Remember brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. So omegabritewellness.com. And Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code, podcast 2020, that’s podcast, 2020. Thank you so much, Carol, you’re such a benefactor to the world. It’s been wonderful having you.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And listeners, remember to reach out to us with your questions and show ideas. Our email address is [email protected]. We really depend upon input from all of you. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the wonderful, Pat Keogh, and our producer is the brilliant and beautiful, Sarah Guertin. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell, goodbye for today.

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

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What You Tell Yourself Matters

What You Tell Yourself Matters

Changing your mindset can take a lot of work, but it is possible. Today’s guest grew up thinking he would never be good at math, and went on to write two textbooks on the subject! It’s all about what you tell yourself and what you’re willing to do. Listen as Dr. H talks with Steven Campbell about how your brain is always paying attention.

To learn more about Steven Campbell’s virtual workshop go to StevenRCampbell.teachable.com. Use the code COVID49 to pay just $49 (regularly $297) for a limited time.

Making the Mind Magnificent by Steven Campbell

Reach out to us! Send us an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected]

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Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Last week, we released a mini-episode where I talked about little ways to make each day feel special. I hope you’ve been practicing your own ways of making each day feel special, as a way to counter some of the stress and anxiety that we’re all living through these days. My guest today is here to add a few ideas to that list. His name is Steven Campbell, and he has an MSIS, that was new to me, we looked it up, master of science in information systems, MSIS. And his resume includes professor, author, educational dean radio host, and professional speaker.

He conducts seminars around the world on the subject of changing what we say to ourselves about ourselves. Boy, that’s a big topic and he joins me today to help all of us thrive in this new normal. Thanks so much for joining me, Steven.

Steven Campbell:

Well, thank you so much for having me, Ned, I appreciate that this is going to be fun.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So, just have at it. How can you help us talk to ourselves better about ourselves?

Steven Campbell:

Well, psychology has been doing some amazing things in the last 60 years. I really like to start with the ’60s because that’s where changes really began. That was really the beginning of cognitive psychology. And a little book came out back in 1961, called The Guide to Rational Living by Albert Ellis, he was one of the founders of cognitive psychology. In that book he suggested, because the research had not been done sufficiently as it is now, so what I’m going to be sharing with you has been researched for years all over the world, is that everything that we can do today is primarily based on what we say to ourself about ourself, today. Now, notice I’m emphasizing the word today, when he suggested this, in his little book, psychology had an absolute conniption fit, they said, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no.”

The way we are today is based in our childhood, and unresolved childhood conflicts, of course, that was Freudianism. That was followed by behaviorism, Dr. BF Skinner from Harvard, who said, “No, no, no. The way we are today, it’s all cause and effect.” That was followed by, “It’s all in your genes.” Which is wrong because we’re far more than our genes. That was followed by environmentalism, it’s in your environment, your birther, your mom, your dad. And Dr. Ellis came back and he said something really interesting, he said, “You know what? They’re all true.” Wait a minute. How could they all be true? Here’s the point, when you say it, your brain’s job is to make true.

So, I think one of the most exciting discoveries that psychology has made is that our brain believes what we tell it, without question, no arguments. So, when I give my presentations to people, I like to always give personal stories because that’s what makes it real. So, let me share a little story that illustrates this. For the first 42 years of my life, I said to myself, “I am really dumb at math.” And guess what? I was because that what I said to myself, I’d see numbers, I would freak out. But then in the ’70s I began discovering computers and I began tinkering around with computers and eventually got a graduate degree in computer science and began teaching computer courses. And one day the dean came in the office at this one university, he said, “One of our math professors just quit, so you are our new math professor.”

“No, I can’t.” He said, “Do you want a job? Learn. There’s the book. Next semester.” Well, I needed the job, Ned, so picked up all the books I could on brain-based learning from my library. And I taught my curriculum based on how the brain learns. And students began saying, “Oh my gosh, Mr. Campbell, you are such a good math teacher.” And then, the Dean said, “All the students saying, ‘I will only take math if Mr.Campbell’s my professor.'” And here’s what I began doing, Ned. I began listening to what they were saying to me rather than what I’ve been saying to myself for 42 years. And I began saying, “You know what? I’m really good at math. This is really fun. I’m having a good time with this.” And what did my brain say? “Oh, okay. Is it true? Don’t care. All I care is what you tell me. You say it. I believe it.”

And I began enjoying math so much I eventually ended up writing two college textbooks. In what do you think? Math and computer science. So, here’s the point, everything we can do today is primarily based on what we say to ourself about ourself, today. We can change what we are saying to ourself about ourself, when? Today. And what will our brain say? “Okay. Is it true Don’t care. All I care is what you tell me.” When I began learning that, things began changing in my life, in my wife’s life and then eventually in our daughter’s lives and in my students’ lives. So, the first point is that our brain believes what you tell it, which is scary and wonderful. The scary part is when you’d say, “Oh my gosh, I’m so dumb for doing this.” You know what our brain says to that?

“Okay. Yeah, you’re right. You really are.” And then what it does is it looks for other ways in which we did bad things and makes us feel dumb. But the wonderful part is when you say, “You know what, that was really dumb, but that doesn’t mean I’m dumb.” Brain says what? “Oh, okay.” And then it looks for ways in which I’m really intelligent. When I say, “I can do it.” The brain says, “Absolutely.” And it becomes obsessed with finding ways of doing it. So, the first principle is that we are in charge. Our brain’s listening to us. People say, “Well, what about what other people say to us?” Listen, what other people say to us do not become a part of our mindset until we agree with them.

I’m a first year Baby Boomer, born in 1947, I was taught that you have a self-image that you have to maintain and flourish and all that. It turns out that’s only partially true. It turns out that we now know that we have millions of self-images. You have a self-image for every single thing that you do. I have a self-image for every single thing that I do. So, I have a self-image of how I see myself as a father, as a husband, as a grandfather, as a teacher, as a singer, as all this. So, I have all these self-images. In fact, I have a self-image for every meal that I cook. So, I cook really good scrambled eggs and horrible poached eggs. What’s the point? Well, if I kept two self-images for just two meals that I cook, you can imagine how many self-images that you have. Some of them are really strong and others are not, but here’s the point. Those self-images are learned. You were not born with them.

Now, all of us were born with certain natural dispositions. I was born a natural teacher. I’ve always been a teacher. When I was a kid, I used to put rocks in my backyard to pretend that I was teaching them. I mean, I was a weird kid, but we all have these natural dispositions. I don’t know you too well, Ned, but you have these natural things that you just love doing. It’s just a natural thing. Now, you had to learn how to do it, but the learning wasn’t hard because it was what you were doing naturally. So, our self-images are learned. Now, here’s where it gets exciting. Our self-images are learned from our self-talk. Our self images are based on what we are saying to ourself about ourself, today. Now, why is that so scary? Because according to your Shad Helmstetter in his wonderful book, What We Say When We Talk to Ourself, most of what we say to ourself is negative.

Also, what we say to ourself, I call the negative crap, because our brain’s believing it. And here’s what’s scary, we keep saying it and our brain rewires itself, this is called neuroplasticity. There’s a wonderful book by Eric Kandel called In Search of Memory, which I highly recommend people read if they’re interested in this. Neuroplasticity is basically the fact that our brain rewires itself and it’s doing that right now. And so, when you give yourself messages like, “I’m really dumb.” The brain rewires itself and makes you dumb, but when you give yourself [inaudible 00:09:02] messages, the brain rewire itself, and those messages not only become a part of what you think, they become your mindset and then they become who you are.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Why do people say these negative things to themselves?

Steven Campbell:

It’s what we do. When people become aware of the negative stuff they’re telling themselves, they hold themselves back and they say, “Wait a minute. I don’t think so.” So, when I began saying to myself about the math stuff, “Wait a minute, I’m really smart in this.” The brain says, “Yes, you absolutely are.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Steven, Steven, come on, I have to just gently challenge a little bit here because nobody would want to be dumb at math. So, why would someone say, “I’m bad at math.”?

Steven Campbell:

I was bad at math is because of the way I was raised. It’s the way I thought about myself. I was raised in a family where I always just felt … I was raised feeling really, really dumb.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. But if it were as simple as saying, “Oh, I’m really smart.” Then you on the spot become smart. I mean-

Steven Campbell:

Yes, it goes more than that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. Or to say, “Oh, I’m good at math.” Then we could just fire all the tutors and the special educators and just have a course in saying, “I’m good at math.” And suddenly everyone would be good at math.

Steven Campbell:

Yeah. As you noticed, it’s not that easy, but to start-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, see, that’s what I’m saying. You make it sound as if it is. I mean, our brain believes what we say to ourselves, all we have to do is change what we say to ourselves and suddenly it’ll change?

Steven Campbell:

That’s where it starts. It starts with changing what we’re saying to ourself about ourself. Is it easy? Of course not.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, so that’s what I’m getting at. What makes it hard?

Steven Campbell:

Let me talk a little bit about self-image, a little bit more, I think that will answer your question. Our self-images are learned, which means they’re hardwired into our brain. They’re really, really hard to change because you’ve been saying these things to your life, some of these negative things all your life, and they’re hardwired in there.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But Steven, you just said a little while ago, your brain believes what you tell it. Well, if that’s true, then why can’t you just tell it, “I’m good at math.” And on the spot become good at math.

Steven Campbell:

You can, but it’s going to fight you tooth and nail in the beginning.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So, it doesn’t believe what you tell it, in other words?

Steven Campbell:

It does believe. But when I began teaching the math, I discovered that it was really fun. If I just said, “I’m good at math.” And stopped there, this never would have happened.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. So, you had to do something, Steven, you had to do something to prove to yourself that you were good at math? It wasn’t enough just to say, “I’m good at math.”

Steven Campbell:

Oh, no. No.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. So, that’s a far cry from what you said at first, at first you said, “Brain believes whatever you tell it.” But then as you tell your story, no, you had to prove to yourself you were good at math and then your brain believed it.

Steven Campbell:

Yes. Absolutely. But it had to start with a change of what I was saying to myself. If I had said to that professor, “I’m just dumb in math, I can’t do it.” It would have stopped there. I said, “No, I’ve got to teach this class.” And then, I began looking at how the brain thought and I began teaching the class. And that’s when I said, “This is really fun. I can do this.” And the more I did it, the more the math became easier and easier, and really fun, but it starts with what I was saying to myself. And then, when I began teaching it and my brain rewired itself, it became easier and easier.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But I’m sorry, again, but I just have to push back a little bit. It didn’t start with what you were saying to yourself. It started by you’re accepting a challenge out of necessity because you needed the job.

Steven Campbell:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. So, you were still saying to yourself, “Holy bleep, I’m bad at math, but I got to get good at math. And how am I going to do that?” And then you set about accepting the challenge and lo and behold, you were much better than you had thought. So, you proved to yourself that, in fact, you had talent that you didn’t know you had.

Steven Campbell:

That’s right. That’s right. But it started with the decision to accept that challenge. I could have said, “I just can’t do it. I just cannot do it, and you got to get someone else.” Or it says, “You know what? I’ve got to do this and I’m going to.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. So, you have grit. You have the ability to dig in, even when you think you’re at a disadvantage.

Steven Campbell:

That’s right. But it began with that decision, “I’m going to do this, I’m doing this.” And then when I began doing it, I discovered it was really easy and really fun. Does that make sense?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah, it does, but I’m glad to get it clarified. So, you’re not saying it’s as easy as saying,” Oh, I’m good at math.” And then, suddenly your brain will believe that?

Steven Campbell:

No, because I had been saying that stuff to myself for 42 years. It was when I began teaching it and I began seeing the responses from the students that I began saying, “Wait a minute, this isn’t bad at all. I’m having a really good time with this.” And then, when I began realizing I could write a book on this, it all validated it. But in the beginning it was hard and I had to make that decision, “All right, I’m really stupid in math, but I need this job, so I’m going to accept the challenge.” And at first it was difficult, but it became easier and easier.

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Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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Steven Campbell:

I guess, that’s the point that I’m trying to make here. That it starts with, oftentimes, a decision that I can do it. Does that make sense?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Of course. I guess, the obvious question is why doesn’t everyone decide, “I can do it.”?

Steven Campbell:

Well, that’s a really good question and I don’t have the complete answer to that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

It’s just it’s such an interesting question. I mean, when I was in the 12th grade, I wrote a three-page short story in September and I handed it in and my teacher handed it back with a note at the bottom that said, “Why don’t you turn this into a novel?”

Steven Campbell:

Oh my gosh.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And I said, “I knew this was a tough school, but I didn’t know I had to write a novel.” Well, I didn’t have to. And I was the only one, I was the only student he challenged to do that. And he said, “You know it’ll have to be on your time and you won’t get any credit for it, but I think you ought to try and do it.” And for some reason, I took up the challenge. And by the end of the year, I’d written a novel and it won the English prize and it changed my life forever because what it did was it got me to prove to myself that I could do something that I would have thought was impossible. If you told me at the beginning of the year, “You’ll write a novel.” I would have said, “Yeah, sure, and I’ll fly to the moon.”

But, the genius of this teacher was laying down that challenge in such a way that I accepted it. And to me, that’s what great teaching is. It’s getting people to prove to themselves they can do more than they thought they could do. But it was where that impulse comes from to say yes to the challenge, as opposed to say no. Well, in your case, you say it came from necessity. You had to have the job. In my case, I don’t know where it came from because I certainly didn’t believe I could do it. I suppose it was the triumph of hope over experience.

Steven Campbell:

That story just illustrates everything I’ve been saying. It started with the suggestion from your teacher and you had to decide, “I’m going to write this novel.” And your brain said, “Yes, you can.” And more you wrote it, I bet the more you enjoyed it because you were saying to yourself, “You know what? This is working.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

No, it was always difficult. Writing is difficult. I can’t say it became easy, but it became magnetic. I looked forward to doing it, I suppose, in the way someone looks forward to going to the weight room or something. I looked forward to the pain because it was in the service of trying to create something good. Yeah.

Steven Campbell:

And what happened is your brain was rewiring itself and it became a writer. You became a writer. Yeah. And that’s what’s wonderful about this. So, here’s what I tell my audiences at the end of every presentation I make, I want to give you two new ways of thinking. One, when you do something really well, one, when you do something really badly and the first one is from Stanford University, back in 1975 called the Effort Effect. What they discovered is that most of us pass over our successes way too quickly, too lightly, for them to ever become a part of who we are. So, oftentimes when people say to us, “Good job, I’m so proud of you.” Oftentimes many of us, not all of us, but many of us say, “Oh, not really. Oh, that’s embarrassing. That’s egotistical. Thank you very much. I could have done a better job. I was part of a team.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yes. It’s so true.

Steven Campbell:

“Well, no, no, not really.” Well, this comes back to the brain believes what you tell it. When you say, “No, no, no, really, not really.” The brain’s believing that, the brain says, “Yeah, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right.” So, what I tell people is this, “When people stop to say, ‘Good job.’ you look at them and you say, ‘Thank you for telling me that.'” And then you wallow in your success like a pig in slop. I love the work of Dr. E.P. Seligman out of University of Pennsylvania, who was one of the authors of Positive Psychology. I taught this to around 300 Kaiser physicians, a number of years ago, down in Los Angeles. And when I said, “Wallow in your success.” The whole audience just broke up and laughed at the thought of that, but they loved what I was saying. They just loved it.

And when I was driving back to LAX, I was so excited I almost drove off the freeway. And so, I stopped by a Chevron, got a tuna sandwich and a Coke, and looked at myself in there. I was alone in my little rental car. I said to myself, I said, “You are the most amazing speaker.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So, in some ways, you’re repositioning Norman Vincent Peale.

Steven Campbell:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

It’s the power of positive thinking.

Steven Campbell:

That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What you’re saying is absolutely true. It’s just, I think the hard part for most people, the brain is a tough sell. I disagree with you-

Steven Campbell:

Yes, it is.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

… that your brain believes what you tell it. You have to really persist in telling it, but if you do, it’s a really worthwhile effort because you can change from being someone who completely doubts everything you do, to someone who has confidence.

Steven Campbell:

Absolutely. I have a wonderful virtual workshop that I’m doing, that I’m offering at a tremendous discount. It’s normally $297, I’m offering it for a $248 discount. It’s what I call my COVID discount. And it is nine separate presentations, including a workbook that you can watch anytime you want to. And the website address is stevenrcampbell.teachable.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So, stevenrcapmbell.teachable.com.

Steven Campbell:

Yes. And go on there and write the discount code COVID49 and that will give you a $248 discount. So, the end price is $49.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what is in the workshop?

Steven Campbell:

Workshop is basically the contents of my book. And it’s nine sessions that covers everything from self-images to goals, to affirmations, to why affirmations do not work, to affirmations why they can work and then it gets into feelings. So, it goes into all of it and people have really enjoyed it. And then, my book, Making Your Mind Magnificent, is on Amazon.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wonderful. Well, you’re a very wonderfully accomplished and wise man. I really appreciate your joining us. So, thank you so much to Steven Campbell for joining us and to learn more about his virtual workshop, Flourishing in These Unprecedented Times, go to stevenrcampbell.teachable.com, enter the code COVID49, or get his book, Making Your Mind Magnificent. And remember, please, to reach out to us. We love hearing from you. Send a voice memo or an email to [email protected] That’s [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the wonderful Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is the irrepressibly delightful and brilliant Pat Keogh. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for today.

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Now Is the Time to Rethink Your Plans

Now Is the Time to Rethink Your Plans

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the education system, and no one is really sure what school is going to look like in the fall. From higher education institutions to preschools, everyone is trying to figure out a way forward. Taking a “gap year” is one option many college bound students are considering. Rick Fiery of Inventive Labs, an entrepreneurial incubator, discusses the pros and cons of the gap year approach with Ned, who shares his own experience with taking a gap year!

Share your thoughts with us. Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by Omega Brite CBD. Formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years, Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested. And it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Rick Fiery:

The college experience next year is going to be very, very different. And I don’t know what you think Ned, but I don’t think it’s going to be very conducive to people with ADHD. Online is really, really tough for folks to do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Today, we have a guest who has been on the show before, and a guest whom we love and adore, who was an amazing entrepreneur himself. And along with his partner, Tom Bergeron, no, not that Tom Bergeron, but another Tom Bergeron, on some years ago, founded Inventive Labs in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and amazing place that takes kids and some older folks who are entrepreneurial, but don’t want to go to school or can’t go to school or have tried school and found they’re allergic to it. They go up to Inventive Labs and they find a place, an incubator, if you will, where they can share with other Inventives as they’re called, rather than students, other Inventives and learn how to develop and start a business, or build a boat or a design a dress or whatever might be the entrepreneurial creative outlet that they’ve found for themselves.

It’s an amazing place, an incredible place. And we are thrilled to welcome its co-founder Mr. Rick Fiery, aptly named because he is indeed a fiery man. And he’s here to not only talk about Inventive Labs, but an idea that he has related to what he’s seen during the pandemic. So without further ado, let me welcome my friend and colleague, Mr. Rick Fiery.

Rick Fiery:

Well, thanks Ned as always, it’s amazing to talk to you and kind of share some stories and have a conversation. And that’s what I was kind of hoping to do today. I would add that we did start out as entrepreneurship as kind of a thing that we wanted to help people with. And that was probably… It’s hard to believe it’s about seven years ago that we started and we’ve also morphed quite a bit. We’ve listened to what people have wanted and we’ve added, probably about five years ago, what we call kind of career prep and gap year programs as well. Because we felt that… We saw that people really wanted to start a business potentially.

But they also realized pretty quickly that they needed to gain some more knowledge and maybe get some industry experience in a field before they jumped into the entrepreneurship group. So like good entrepreneurs, we listened to our customers and we pivoted and we’ve expanded and added those programs about five years ago. So I think that’s an important component to what we do. In fact, those programs have turned out to be very, very popular with people to where we have probably, interestingly enough, we probably have more people enrolled in gap year and career prep than entrepreneurship right now. That may change though, with the latest shift in the economy.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What about your idea related to what people have learned from distance learning?

Rick Fiery:

Well, I think what has happened, interestingly, I think in the world, quite frankly, the whole world right now is on pause for a number of different reasons. And a lot of people, when they’re considering college, we kind of believe, especially with people with ADHD, they really need to know why they’re going to college. I would say that the number one question that ADHD-ers ask is always, “Why? Why do I need to do this? Why do I need to study English literature if I’m going to be an engineer?” That was my question when I was in college. Why do I need to do this? What am I going to get from it if I put forth this effort?

What we’ve tried to focus on with people is really identifying their strengths, identifying their weaknesses, and then based on their strengths and weaknesses pick a career direction first. I think when I was younger, people didn’t ask me where I was going to go to college. They asked me what I was going to do for my life, what I was going to do for a career. And then once you knew that, then you pick the college. I think right now it’s kind of a race to pick the best possible college that people can potentially brag about it to their friends at a cocktail party. And I think it’s gotten backwards.

So from our perspective, people have struggled in the past to take a gap year, but they’ve struggled in the past because they think they’re going to fall behind. That’s been the number one reason that people have said, “Hey, I’m not really comfortable doing this. I’m going to fall behind.” And our point right now with everything that’s going on with the pandemic, et cetera, the college experience next year is going to be very, very different.

And I don’t know what you think Ned, but I don’t think it’s going to be very conducive to people with ADHD. Online is really, really tough for folks to do. And we’ve seen that firsthand. We went online partly for our program and it worked, but it was very different. It was a different kind of experience. And for online and the colleges going forward, it’s going to be an extremely difficult environment for people with ADHD. So kind of our point is, if there was ever a time to take, not a gap year, but what I would call it a focus year. Where you can focus yourself, identify your strengths and weaknesses and take a break and figure out where you’re aiming before you go marching off to college or marching into a career and get it right.

And you’re going to save a lot of time, frustration, potentially failure, and many other bad things from happening if you just hit the pause button for a second. So I kind of, the thing that has struck us is that if ever there was a time to do it, now you have a great reason to do it. And there’s no reason to go marching off to college this fall, or even the next spring, with the way the environment is going to be for folks.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. I think the experiment in distance learning, using Zoom and other tools has really taught us how much better live and in-person education is, not just for people with ADHD, for everyone. I think the experiment has largely failed. And I have a lot of… I’m doing all my seeing of patients over Zoom now. And, that’s a perfectly acceptable replacement, but I’m not teaching a course, nor am I trying to learn physics or chemistry or English literature for that matter. It’s really difficult for people to both teach and learn.

I’ve talked to teachers about this, many teachers and I’ve talked to many parents and I’ve talked to many frustrated students. I haven’t heard one person say, “Oh, this is really great.” Not one. I’ve heard people say, “I’m glad they’re able to continue the educational process in some way.” But it’s always followed by, “I can’t wait to get back to live and in-person schooling.” I think drives home the point I’ve always made about the importance of connection and in-person human connection is the best. Virtual electronic connection is okay. But it just isn’t the same thing. And certainly for folks with dyslexia and ADHD, both of which I have, it would just be torture.

It would be a real exercise in going backwards to head off to school in September with the expectation of doing online courses. And I think you’re so right to say this is a perfect time and it’s not a pause. You say hit the pause button. You’re not pausing. You’re just redirecting. You’re saying what is being offered won’t work for me. It will be torture. It will make me hate what I’m studying and hate school and hate life. And turn me into a very miserable human being.

So why in the world would I want to do that when I can redirect to something else? Inventive Labs is one distinct possibility, but there are so many others. Travel, get a job, look into areas of life that you’ve never seen before. Explore your city, your region, your family, your ethnicity. I mean, you could really do the equivalent of a Montessori education, which is follow your curiosity. So I’m with you 100%, 1000%. And I think this is the ideal time to redirect rather than paying a huge tuition for, at best, a second rate experience in college, if you’re having to do it.

Rick Fiery:

Exactly. And honestly, I think if you look at the college experience for most people, at least for me when I look back at mine, the big… Academics was certainly part of it, but a big part of it was social growth. I was totally introverted and shy and terrified about public speaking and getting up in front of people and doing presentations. And I didn’t have a whole lot of friends in high school, but I got to college and socially, I was able to blossom. And in the fall those opportunities aren’t going to be there. There isn’t going to be the team sports, there isn’t going to be intramurals, there isn’t going to be fraternity rush, there isn’t going to be sorority rush, there isn’t going to be the ability to exercise, there isn’t going to be the ability to isolate and study in a private area, in a library.

Again, it’s just, they’re going to be in a very difficult environment. Plus accommodations are going to be even harder to come by because the classes will be recorded, which is nice. But note taking is still a challenge and extra time is going to have to be negotiated. I’ve seen that with some of the folks that we work with trying to get that done in an online environment. And it just adds to the level of difficulty and stress and anxiety. And there’s enough of that in the world right now. So from our perspective, it’s a golden opportunity to say the time is right to find your focus, to find your drive, to find a direction that you want to head, that you can get excited about. And if you can do that, then the chances of you being successful academically or in a career that you choose, or if you can decide to start up a business right now in the middle of all this, the chances of success are just much, much higher.

So we just were frustrated in seeing that some folks are just saying, “Yeah, I’m going to go back to college in the fall.” And what we’ve heard from many of them is, for 20% or so, it’s going to be an in-person experience that they have things like labs or things that require hands-on. And for the rest, it’s going to be an online experience. And that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to us right now. So that’s why we’re kind of waving the flag and we’re seeing some people send some folks off with ADHD for their very first college experience in this kind of an environment. And it just seems like the wrong thing to do right now.

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Dr. Ned Hallowell:

When I was in college, I went to Harvard and I took off the year between junior and senior year. And I worked during the summer on Cape Cod. I lived on Cape Cod as a tutor during the daytime. I tutored high school kids in English and math. And then in the evening, I worked as a waiter at a famous restaurant in Chatham called Pates. And I learned how to carry trays on one hand. These huge trays that have six orders of lobster on platters. So I could walk around the restaurant full tilt, holding this huge tray with only one hand and negotiating corners, and then putting down the tray stand and putting the tray on it and serving it and many wonderful experiences as a waiter. It was a wonderful summer. I’ll never forget the customer. We would put the salad dressing on their salads.

They could either get a Caesar salad or a tossed salad. And for the toss salads we offered dressings. And this one diner said, “I want you to put the dressing on my head.” Well, he’d had a few too many drinks. And I said, “I don’t think you want me to do that, sir.” He said, brought out a hundred dollar bill. And he said, “How about if I give you this?” I needed the money. So I said, “Okay, if you really want me to.” So I put a big dollop of Russian dressing on his head. The old table laugh. The restaurant laughed. It was all… So, the summer experience was very worth it. And then for the rest of the year, I went to London and I had gotten some references from my tutor in college, William Alford, who had friends over there.

And my friend, John Glossy, was doing a fellowship over there. And I met this wonderful poet named Judah Thurman, who now writes for the New Yorker and wrote the book that Out Of Africa was based on. But I wanted to try my hand at being a writer. And so I started writing and meeting with these people and I’d saved enough money to not have to get a job over there. And by the end of the summer, I took an interregnum trip down to Greece and took the Orient Express back. And at one point I got off at the wrong train station and here I was in communist Yugoslavia with no passport. A whole series of things happened. And I fell in love and asked a girl to marry me. And she said, no. And, in retrospect turned out she was gay, but hadn’t told me that detail.

But anyway, it was a wonderful year that taught me so much that I wouldn’t have learned had I just gone college straight through. And, yes, it’s true, when I came back, I was out of step. I didn’t graduate with my class. I graduated a year later, but I’m still in the class of 1972. So you don’t lose that. And to the extent it did put me out of sync, it did me a great favor, a much greater benefit than any cost associated with it.

And I decided that as far as being a writer goes, I ought to have a plan B. And so I thought… Because I realized how hard it was to write and make a living. So I went to medical school. That was my plan B. So now I am both a doctor and a writer and having the MD allowed me the freedom, in terms of not having to worry about earning an income, to spend time developing writing.

And now I’m just finishing my 21st book. But this is the kind of experience a young person can have by taking a year off. You can work, you can explore, you can test out a career or you could go to Inventive Labs, which I think would just be a bang up solution for people with ADD. So say more, would you please Rick, about what a person would find if they went to Inventive Labs?

Rick Fiery:

Well, for us, it’s really important, and I think passion is an overused word, but it’s really important for us to understand the person and their strengths and weaknesses and build upon that. And we ask people when they come to take some tests and engage with us, do some group brainstorming. And we kind of learn from working with them kind of where they can fit into a work environment, the kind of work environment that they thrive in, the kinds of things that their brain is really good at. And then we collectively kind of brainstorm a bunch of different career paths and career ideas and directions they could go in their life.

And then the second phase of that is the important part, which I think you just hit on, which is the launch phase, as we call it. And that’s where you really just get out there and try it. You can’t Google your way to a career. You can’t figure out what it’s going to be like to be a computer programmer, writing code eight to 10 hours a day in a cubicle, unless you actually try it and do it. And that sounds glamorous sometimes, but then when the reality hits and the shiny brochure of the career wears off that can be a real challenge for folks. So the second phase, we take them through a launch process where they get out there and they meet people. They job shadow. Last time we did it online, which worked pretty well. You find that some of the higher end folks that we wanted to connect with were more willing to engage in Zoom than they were in-person, but we’ve been successful in both and just meeting and talking to people in the potential field and seeing what it’s going to feel like to have that kind of a role and that kind of a position.

And then once they do that, then we figure out, okay, well, that’s great. Here’s what you look like today. What do you need to make yourself look like to have that kind of career and that kind of job? Does it mean that you need a college education? Yes or no? If it does, what college should you attend? What company do you want to work for? Where do they hire from? Where do you need to live? If you want to be a musician it’s probably Nashville or LA and probably not in Nebraska where one of a potential inventive that we were talking to was living in, that wanted to get into the music industry. So you figure out really what you need to look like. And then the key activities that fall out of that are the things that you need to do. And now you know, “Hey, I think I’m going to love this career. I’m all in. I want to work for that company. I want to be a performer at whatever it is they want to do. And now I know why I’m doing all the different things, all the different work activities that I need to do to make myself look like that.”

So it’s really basic stuff, but we kind of say that you can’t just go to college and get the degree and then wave your degree around and expect that people are just going to hire you. You’ve got to make yourself attractive for a particular job or a particular industry. And college is only one piece of that. There’s lots of other ways to do it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So I’ve hope we’ve enchanted the listeners enough if they have a child, a son or a daughter, or if they themselves are in school and thinking, “Do I want to take now and give a shot to a redirection, an experimental year trying out life and seeing how it feels?” This is an ideal time because distance learning has proven to be not as nearly as engaging and fulfilling as actually being on a college campus, attending live classes and going to live parties and going to real football games, whatever, and falling in love with real people, which is hard to do online and falling in love with real subjects, which is also hard to do online.

Rick Fiery:

Yeah. And it’s not just college. I mean, many folks are looking at careers differently now with the changes that have happened in the economy and things like that. And, instead of diving back into that same career, there’s an opportunity to kind of reset as well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Absolutely. Well, as always, you have provoked a wonderful conversation. I think your idea is so perfect. I mean, talk about flipping. I’ve been listening to people complain about how bad it is and now I’ll have a nice idea to offer them instead. Say, “Well, my friend, Rick Fiery, points out, this would be the ideal time to say, okay, I’ll come back to college in a year, but for now I’m going to create my own learning experience. And one of the things I’ll take a look at is Inventive Labs.” So Rick, thank you for joining us.

Rick Fiery:

Thanks, Ned. I think it’s been a great conversation. And now the point of it is just to get people to think a little bit differently. With great challenges, sometimes come great opportunities. And I think right now it’s a greatly challenging time on a lot of different levels. And with that comes great opportunities sometimes as well. You just have to look a little bit harder for them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. But they’re right there. The way we’ve painted it, it’s right there on the horizons, right there for the taking. Don’t become the subject of negative thinking, just find that opportunity and we’ve described it to you pretty well. I think as my daughter said to me many years ago, don’t hold back on life out of fear. She was only 13 when she said that. I couldn’t believe it, but it’s such a good line.

Well, listen, thanks a million. I know we’ll have you on again soon. If you want to learn more about Rick and his wonderful group, go to InventiveLabs.org. It’s a unique and positively transformational experience for a person of any age, but particularly for people in their late teens, 20s, early 30s. And that’s it for today.

Please reach out to us with your questions and show ideas. We love hearing from you. Love, love, love. Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]. And again, please be sure to visit inventivelabs.org, to learn about Rick Fiery, Tom Bergeron, and the amazing piece of paradise that they’ve created up there. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the beautiful, talented, and wonderfully blessed Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is the ever grumpy, funny, effervescent, Pat Keogh.

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

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