ABC News’ Gloria Riviera Believes the Antidote to Mom Guilt Is Comprehensive Childcare

ABC News’ Gloria Riviera Believes the Antidote to Mom Guilt Is Comprehensive Childcare

Our guest-host and mother of three, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, continues her conversation with longtime ABC News correspondent (and fellow mom of 3) Gloria Riviera about the prevalence of mom guilt in our society, and how we can change our current childcare system to alleviate the guilt so many working parents feel. They talk about who is getting it right and where we should look for inspiration, from countries to corporations and even our own military.  

Gloria shares the startling fact that only 4% of US companies offer some form of childcare assistance, and talks about some of the things progressive workplaces like Patagonia are doing to retain new parents as employees.  

The pair also talk about the preschool meeting moment when Gloria stopped striving to be a perfect parent.  

Gloria’s latest project, No One Is Coming To Save Us from Lemonada Media, a limited-series podcast she hosts featuring Kristen Bell, explores America’s broken childcare system and how we fix it. Take a listen! 

We want to hear from YOU!! Let us know what you think! Record a voice memo or write an email and send it to [email protected]. 

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ABC News’ Gloria Riviera on the Pressures of Being A Working Mom and Why Some Have It Harder Than Others

ABC News’ Gloria Riviera on the Pressures of Being A Working Mom and Why Some Have It Harder Than Others

If you’re a mom chances are you’ve experienced mom guilt. Unless you’re like our guest-host, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, who hasn’t felt guilty as a mom, ever! This week Alisyn Camerota, speaks with longtime ABC News correspondent Gloria Riviera about the pressures of motherhood and why many moms feel like they can never do enough.

The two highly successful working mothers talk about where they think mom guilt comes from and Gloria, a mother of three, talks about being a good role model for your kids, even if that means missing one of their events.

“I want my kids to know that I do other things that make me happy and make me satisfied,” Gloria says in this episode. “And so if I have to miss something because I’m doing something I love, A, doing something I love provides for my family and B, it’s important to who I am as a person now…” she continues.

They also talk about how the pandemic and other recent events have ushered in a new era of news reporting where it’s okay to show more emotion.

Gloria’s latest project, No One Is Coming To Save Us from Lemonada Media, a limited-series podcast she hosts featuring Kristen Bell, is about America’s broken childcare system and how we fix it. Take a listen!

We want to hear from YOU!! Do you experience “mom guilt” and if so, where do you think it comes from? Let us know! Record a voice memo or write an email and send it to [email protected]

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A Different Way to Find a Career Where You Shine

A Different Way to Find a Career Where You Shine

A traditional college setting isn’t always the ideal learning environment for those who learn differently. That’s why Tom Bergeron and his co-founder Rick Fiery created Inventive Labs in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Ned talks to Tom about how their “career incubator” works for those who have struggled in traditional education settings. 

Learn more at Inventive Labs.

Note: Dr. Hallowell is on the Advisory Board of Inventive Labs. 

If you have a question or comment you’d like Dr. Hallowell to address in an episode reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].  

Students who learn differently love Landmark College and so does Ned! Learn what it’s like to attend Landmark during their Virtual Open House on March 19th! Register HERE. Landmark College in Putney, Vermont is the college of choice for students who learn differently. 

Check out our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the #1 Omega-3 supplements for the past twenty years. Ned and his wife, Sue, take them every day! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Distraction at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Get a copy of Ned’s newest book, ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.com or by clicking HERE.

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

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Q&A with Dr. H: How Do I Become a Better Writer?

Q&A with Dr. H: How Do I Become a Better Writer?

Dr. H offers advice on how to improve your writing skills in response to a listener named Jake who is struggling as a copywriter. Jake is 34 years old, a new dad and a dual business owner with ADHD. 

Ned is a prolific author who just released his 21st book in January. In this episode he shares several practical strategies everyone can use to become better writers.

If you have a question or comment you’d like Dr. Hallowell to address in a future Q & A episode just like this, reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].  

Learn more about our sponsor, Forman School, a coed college prep school dedicated to empowering bright students who learn differently in grades 9-PG. Forman School provides the individual attention these students need.

Get a copy of Ned’s newest book, ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.com or by clicking HERE

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

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Strategies for Successfully Working From Home with ADHD

Strategies for Successfully Working From Home with ADHD

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

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

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

Check out Dr. H on TikTok! @drhallowell

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

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Seymour:
Yes.

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

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, I have many.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay.

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Seymour:
Right. Exactly.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m just kidding.

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Seymour:
Exactly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Katie L.:
That’s me!

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

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

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

Katie L.:
Yes, correct.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Seymour:
Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Seymour:
Oh, I love that.

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

Kristin Seymour:
Right.

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

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

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

Kristin Seymour:
… That aren’t physical?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Not physical.

Kristin Seymour:
A positive attitude?

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

Kristin Seymour:
Kindness.

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

Kristin Seymour:
What were the other two?

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

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

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

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

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

Kristin Seymour:
Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s just-

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… Yes, absolutely.

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

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

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

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

Kristin Seymour:
… Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you.

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… Thank you.

Kristin Seymour:
I hope everybody…

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you.

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

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

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you.

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good.

Kristin Seymour:
We always share some great information.

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

Kristin Seymour:
Thank you so much.

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

Kristin Seymour:
You too, Ned.

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

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

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

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

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Shift Your Focus from Getting to Giving

Shift Your Focus from Getting to Giving

Bob Burg believes that providing value to others is the path to success. He joins Dr. H for a conversation about why one person is more successful than another, along with his 5 laws for success. And Bob would know, his book The Go-Giver has sold over 1 million copies and he is one of Inc. magazine’s 100 Great Leadership Speakers!

Bob;s book: https://thegogiver.com/

Bob’s website: https://burg.com/

Do you have a question or comment for Dr. Hallowell? Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

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

Click HERE to listen to this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Bob Burg:

Don’t have making money as your target. Your target is serving others. Now, when you hit the target instead, you’ll get a reward and that reward will come in the form of money. The money is simply the reward for hitting the target. It isn’t the target itself. Your target is serving others.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and welcome to Distraction. Today I have a very interesting guest who I am truly looking forward to interviewing because he’s expert on a lot of stuff. At the center of what he does is what we emphasize here, namely, the wonderful art of connecting and giving. He’s written a book with John David Mann called The Go-giver, great title, The Go-Giver. Not the go getter, but The Go-Giver. And it’s sold a million copies and translated into 28 languages. Wow, that’s a lot of languages, and he has a new go Give-Giver series called The Go-Giver Influencer.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

In any case, Bob is an advocate, supporter and defender of the free enterprise system believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve, which I think is a great way of putting it. He’s also an unapologetic animal fanatic as am I, and as a past member of the board of directors of Furry Friends Adoption Clinic and Ranch in his hometown of Jupiter, Florida. What a wonderful overview, The Go-Giver. So Bob Burg, welcome to Distraction.

Bob Burg:

Well, thank you. What an honor to be with you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh no, the honor is all mine. Let’s just jump right in. You have five laws that will bring you both personal effectiveness and professional success. Is that correct?

Bob Burg:

Yes sir.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, what are those five laws?

Bob Burg:

Before I even get to the laws, if I may, they’re really based on a premise. And it’s a fairly simple premise, and that is that shifting your focus, which is really the key, shifting your focus from getting to giving. And when we say giving in this context, we simply mean constantly and consistently providing immense value to others. When you’re that person who can take your focus off yourself and place it upon others, trying to bring value to them, make their lives better. They want to be a part of your life. It really results in a very mutually beneficial relationship.

Bob Burg:

So there are five laws, as you mentioned, and those laws are the laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity, and receptivity.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Can you say something about each one?

Bob Burg:

Sure. The law of value is determined by how much more you give than you take. The law of value basically says when you focus on providing someone with an immensely valuable experience, everyone wins. Really money is an echo of value. And this is true in any business, and it’s also true in any kind of relationship because to the degree that you really place your focus on bringing value to another human being, whether it’s a friendship, whether it’s a relationship, whether what have you, that’s the degree that not only is that person going to feel great about it, but you’re actually going to go into profit yourself.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

The cynic might say, “What about these people who make gazillions of dollars and add very little value to the world?” Do you think the amount of money a person makes is in fact proportional to the value he or she adds?

Bob Burg:

Let’s put it this way, in a free market based economy, yes. And when I say free market, I mean no one is forced to do business with anyone else and that government’s legitimate function is to protect the marketplace, protect people from force and fraud, but otherwise leave people free to voluntarily exchange with one another however they see fit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

How about a professional athlete who makes $25 million a year compared to the fifth grade school teacher who makes maybe $50,000 a year, works harder than anyone could ever imagine, dedicated to the children, who adds more value to the world, the professional athlete or the school teacher?

Bob Burg:

So there’s two issues there. One is, well, law number one is about the value you provide. Law number two, the law of compensation has to do with how many people’s lives you impact. So while that teacher who does a wonderful, wonderful job, we even have one of the people in the book, in the story in The Go-Giver, one of the mentors is a former school teacher and I’ll tell you about that in a moment. So the school teacher who does a wonderful job, they might touch the lives of 100 children in a year wonderfully with tremendous value, okay?

Bob Burg:

But this athlete who’s making $10 million a year, they actually touch the lives of millions and millions of people. And so it’s well worth it to the owners of those teams to pay them those kinds of salaries.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Now, when you say touch the lives, touch the lives, they don’t improve the lives. They provide entertainment. And it’s a pretty big stretch, in my opinion, to compare entertainment with the kind of gift a school teacher gives to the children.

Bob Burg:

Now, when I say touch their lives, no, they didn’t do so in a way in which they personally got to know this person and encouraged them or whatever, but because value is in the eyes of the beholder and the viewing public in this case decides what’s of value to them, the market speaks, the world itself is not necessarily fair. The marketplace though actually is when you consider that the people in the market, the consumers are the ones who get to make the decision.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, what’s the second law of your five laws?

Bob Burg:

This is the law of compensation. And it says that your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them. The mentor in this part of the book, her name was Nicole Martin. She was the CEO of Learning Systems for Children, LSC. She started out as a teacher and she was very frustrated after a few years because as much as she loved teaching the children and as much as the children loved her and the parents loved her, she was very frustrated by the money she was making. She was also very frustrated by the bureaucracy with which she had to work.

Bob Burg:

So what she did is she had had a computer software system that she put together on the side that could teach masses of children how to learn different topics in a way that was much easier for them. So she developed this company and now she’s touching the lives of millions of kids through this software.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What’s the third law?

Bob Burg:

This is the law of influence. And it says your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first. Simply understanding that the golden rule of business, of sales, of life is that all things being equal, people will do business with, refer business to, allow themselves to be influenced by, want to be in relationship with those people they know, like, and trust. And there’s simply no faster, more powerful or more effective way to elicit those feelings toward you and others than by moving from that, I focus or me focus to, and other focus.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And you know, Francis of Assisi, in giving, we receive.

Bob Burg:

That’s right. Very much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what’s the fourth law?

Bob Burg:

That one’s the law of authenticity. And this is the most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. What really keeps a lot of people from living authentically and showing up authentically is that they don’t have the self-confidence to do so. They don’t recognize their value both intrinsically and the value they bring to the market. So that’s why it’s very important to really understand our strengths, our weaknesses as well, of course, but to understand our strengths and embrace them so that we’re able to lead with them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And being authentic does take courage. Of course, the cynics say sincerity is the key to success. Once you learn to fake that, you’ve got it made. And number five.

Bob Burg:

This is the law of receptivity. And the law of receptivity says the key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. Giving and receiving are not opposite concepts. They are simply two sides of the very same coin and they work in tandem. So it’s not, are you a giver or a receiver? You’re a giver and a receiver.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I love what you’re saying, but my experience as a psychiatrist teaches me some of the dangers. I have over my 40 years in this field, worked with a lot of patients who are unbelievably generous, incredibly giving, and they’re taken advantage of right and left. It’s like lambs to the slaughter and they’re taken advantage of by very shrewd mean-spirited people who end up making off like a bandit with a lot of money and the kind, generous person who has been the lamb led to the slaughter is left feeling kind of bereft and saying, “Why am I so good?” And the answer to why they’re so good is it’s just the way they are.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

They’re born generous and humble and some other people are born greedy and ready to take advantage of people. Do you acknowledge that that also can happen?

Bob Burg:

Well, sure, it does happen. But being a go giver should never, ever be confused with being taken advantage of. If someone’s being taken advantage of, it’s not because they’re a generous kind person, it’s because they’re doing things in such a way that they’re creating the environment to allow themselves to be taken advantage of.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Sure. There are people who set themselves up to become victims and they need to work on that. But then there are other people who are simply very deliberately generous and to the rest of the world, they may look as if they’re being taken advantage of, but as far as they’re concerned, they’re following their principles. They do believe it’s better to give than to receive. And they do believe if, I’ll give you the shirt off my back. And they do that. That’s in keeping with their basic core beliefs.

Bob Burg:

In that case, they’re doing something out of strength, not out of weakness.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Correct. Absolutely. That’s what I’m trying to say. That you can be a great strength to be a relatively impoverished generous person.

Bob Burg:

Well, okay. So here’s the thing. Let’s take Mother Teresa, for instance. Okay?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Sure. Let’s take her.

Bob Burg:

She was a woman, a saintly woman who lived in poverty, but she was a very rich woman. I mean, she could receive a lot of money. She just chose to give it all away because that was congruent with her values. My feeling based on my experience is of someone’s being taken advantage of possibly. It’s not because they’re generous, they’re being taken advantage of constantly because that’s what they do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I got your point there, Bob. I’m just saying there’s other people who are not in that category you’re talking about who are simply very generous because that’s what their principals have them do. I’m thinking of the school teacher versus the hedge fund manager. And they are two very different kinds of people.

Bob Burg:

One reason a school teacher doesn’t make as much money as he or she could is because it’s really not a free market system they’re working out of. If education was a free market system, the real good ones would be making a lot more money than the bad ones, but it doesn’t really work that way. And I realize, again, that opens up a whole can of worms, but that’s why if someone’s going to be a teacher, if they can find another way to be able to add value to even more people, then they’re going to make more money if that’s what they choose to do. And of course, everyone does what they do based on their own principles.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

There’s another note here in your bio, one golden nugget of advice from a drive by mentor totally shifted your perspective and played a big role in your success. Can you tell us about that?

Bob Burg:

Yeah. It was after I had been in sales for a couple of years and I was doing pretty well, but I was in a real sales slump and I came back to the office one day, really discouraged. And I think he saw me as not coming close to realizing, and he said, “Burg, can I give you some advice?” And I said, “Yeah, please do.” And he said, “If you want to make a lot of money in sales,” he said, “Don’t have making money as your target. Your target is serving others. Now, when you hit the target,” he said, “You’ll get a reward and that reward will come in the form of money. The money is simply the reward for hitting the target. It isn’t the target itself. Your target is serving others.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Adding value to their lives.

Bob Burg:

Right. Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Boy, Bob Burg, I could talk to you for a long time. We’re running out of time. If any of our listeners would like to download chapter one of Bob’s wonderful bestseller, The Go-Giver, visit his website at thegogiver.com/join. And to learn more about Bob, go to burg.com. You must get a lot of ham jokes, huh?

Bob Burg:

Oh, are you kidding? Absolutely. Hamburger, iceberg.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, you’re spreading a wonderful, wonderful message that our world really needs. And you frame it in such a way that a person should be motivated to be a go giver because it’s how you get what you want. And it really is in giving we receive, a lot of people don’t realize that and they play it close to the chest and they don’t release anything. And it’s not a great way to live. But you are, I can just tell talking to you, you’re just right out there. You’re totally authentic. You’re totally enthusiastic. You believe in what you’re saying, and it really comes through. The Go-Giver, what a great message. And thank you so much for being my guest on Distraction.

Bob Burg:

Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Again, learn more about Bob. Go to burg.com. Get his book, The Go-Giver, and you can download the first chapter by visiting the website thegogiver.com/join. And please continue to connect with us. Share your thoughts, questions, and show ideas by emailing us at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] And again, our thanks to Bob Burg, a wonderful message that he lives out very clearly and has delivered to over a million people through his book.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. The podcast is recorded and mixed by the incredibly talented, wonderfully opinionated Pat Keogh. And our producer is the delightful Mary Poppins –esque, Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thanks so very much for listening.

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Managing Your ADHD in the Pandemic

Managing Your ADHD in the Pandemic

Based on the emails we’ve received, lots of our listeners are struggling with their ADHD right now. Dr. H addresses several questions in this episode including getting diagnosed while in quarantine, educational accommodations, impulsive versus compulsive, and the upside of being forced to slow down. And on a lighter note, Ned learns he’s not alone in his ADHD cooking misadventures!

Do you have a question or comment for Dr. Hallowell? Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

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

Episode image by Daniel Xavier from Pexels.

Listen to this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello, welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. And I want to thank all of you who’ve been reaching out to us with your comments and questions. We love them. We love them. We love them. We really, really do. So today we are going to prove it by devoting the entire episode to responding to your emails and questions that we’ve received over the past few weeks.

My producer, the incredibly talented Sarah Guertin joins me now, virtually of course, and she will read to me your emails so I can respond. I have not seen these before. So what I will be offering is an off the top of my head off, the cuff, shoot from the hip immediate response, which I hope will have some sense to it. So Sarah, welcome and would you like to read me the first email?

Sarah Guertin:

Certainly. Thank you. It sounds like you might’ve just gotten another one too.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah, yeah.

Sarah Guertin:

Okay. This first email is from a listener named Maria. She wrote, “My eight-year-old son has been recently diagnosed with ADHD. His struggles were the same as me when I was growing up. As a 35-year-old woman and now professional accountant, I can see ADHD traits encroaching my everyday work life. Examples of this are having difficulty focusing on reading a long technical document and regularly interrupting coworkers. I’m fun to be around, but as I continue to move into more lucrative positions, I’m afraid my ADHD like symptoms will hinder my ability to learn more complex technical issues and to be taken seriously. With COVID-19 rampant, would an online ADHD specialist be able to give a proper diagnosis that can be used to start behavioral therapy and possibly if needed be prescribed medication? Thank you for your help. I love your podcasts. Stay safe.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

The answer is yes, an emphatic yes. And that’s something I’ve been learning during this pandemic. Pretty much every day I do just what you asked. I’ll make a diagnosis over Zoom on a new patient. Someone that I’ve never met in-person. The same principles apply. You take a history and you reach a diagnosis. So yes indeed and I would urge you to do that because if you do have ADHD and it sounds like you do, getting treatment for it can make an enormous difference.

And the treatment is not just medication. It begins with education and learning about it, what it is, what it isn’t, learning how it plays out in your life, in your relationships, and a number of different ways of dealing with it, which may or may not include stimulant medication. But the answer to your question, yes indeed. You can call my office in Sudbury or my office in New York, set up a Zoom session and I will get on the line and tell you whether you have this mysteriously fascinating condition or not and then take it from there.

If you want to know how to reach my office, just go to my website drhallowell.com.

Sarah Guertin:

Okay. Next up is an email from Jessica. She has actually reached out to us in the past, but this time she writes, “I love listening to your podcast and I truly appreciate all the different advice and suggestions you give all of us. You previously recommended me to find a job that best fits my personality and a place that I am happy. After juggling my finances and balancing my life, I took an opportunity and relocated from Southern California to Northern California and became a teacher.”

Sarah Guertin:

“I work with students that are in grade six to nine, with moderate to severe special education. I can honestly tell you that. I love my job. I am passionate about working with them. I learned something new every day. They love me and accept me with all of my disabilities. My struggle is standardized tests. I need to successfully complete my CBEST and CSET.”

Sarah Guertin:

And I looked those up. Those are California educator exams, but she says “I have failed the test and I have always struggled with all standardized tests. When I was in high school I almost didn’t graduate because of the same reason. I am constantly studying, but nothing seems to help me. What advice can you recommend?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, if you have ADHD, which could very well be if you’re having trouble on standardized tests, medication could make all the difference in the world. So I would suggest you go get an evaluation. And again, as I just said, you can do that online during the pandemic and find out if you fit the profile.

Then if you do, you’re entitled both to extra time on the test, on the standardized test as well as if medication is helpful, medication to help you pass it. I had a patient this year, a wonderful doctor who had taken the board exam, which is sort of the equivalent of what you’re trying to pass four times and failed every time. And when we diagnosed her ADD and got her on medication and got her extra time on the test. This time, the fifth try, she passed with flying colors. And that’s not an uncommon story.

So we ADDers often have tremendous trouble with standardized tests, but the combination of extra time and perhaps medication could really make a huge difference for you. So I would get an evaluation and see if this would do the trick for you. Because this is a good chance that it would. Just go to drhallowell.com and we can set something up.

Sarah Guertin:

Okay. This email is from Chuck in Georgia. He wrote, “the instant pot story has me laughing and feeling better about my ADD cooking. I’m 55 now, and I’ve become a good cook and baker over the years, despite some failures.” So obviously he’s referring to that episode you released about your instant pot story.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Uh-huh (affirmative).

Sarah Guertin:

But he says, “In college, I was making Kraft macaroni and cheese. I boiled the water and put the pasta in the water to boil the pasta according to the recipe. After boiling the noodles for the time stated on the package, I opened the cheese packet, added the cheese and stirred. I waited a few minutes and the macaroni just wasn’t coming together like it was supposed to do.”

“What I hadn’t done was pour the water and pasta into a colander before returning the cooked pasta into the pot, and then adding the cheese. I had poured the cheese into the boiling water and was waiting for the cheese and pasta to, I don’t know, cook down.”

He says, “If you enjoy this story, feel free to ask about my chicken curry and the wok or my bean burgers. Thanks for your ADD tips, advice and encouragement. They helped me. Thanks even more for Landmark College. My step son is a student there and really developing academically and as a man.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh, that’s wonderful. I could see, in fact, I have made Kraft macaroni and cheese, and I almost did just what you did. I almost forgot that you got to drain the pasta before you put it in the cheese. So I could totally identify this. You’d pour in the cheese and then you’re watching it, hoping that it’ll turn into something that looks like macaroni and cheese, but all you’re getting is macaroni and cheese soup. That’s very, very funny.

I just did a little video I was talking about the downside of ADD, and I told the story on myself where I always have grapefruit juice and coffee for breakfast. And I take milk in my coffee. So I had the coffee cup there and I had the glass for the grapefruit juice and I had the grapefruit juice container and the half gallon of milk.

What did I do? I poured the grapefruit juice into the coffee and it’s just why would I do that? Well, I just wasn’t thinking as they say. But then I said the solution is structured. So from now on, I’m going to have the coffee cup and the glass for the grapefruit juice far enough apart, so that I’d actually have to think before I realized what I was pouring.

And now that won’t be foolproof, but it’ll be a step in the right direction other than my point was, don’t try to change yourself, change your system. It’s a lot easier to change your system than it is to change yourself. But thank you for your lovely story. I can just see the Kraft macaroni and cheese and turning into soup. Okay and thank you for your kind words about Landmark. What a great place that is. So do we have another one coming, Sarah?

Sarah Guertin:

We sure do. This next one is a little bit longer and I had to shorten it a little bit, but it’s from a woman named Rosemary. She wrote, “I grew up with a mother who was a hoarder and subsequently with the public attention to the problem of hoarding over the last 10 or more years, I came to understand that my grandfather was also a hoarder.”

“My sister and I grew up in conditions where the houses we lived in were always full of garbage, cockroaches, cat, feces, and mice when we lived in places where cats weren’t allowed.” Yeah, she says, “We moved to frequently due to evictions. Hoarding is treated as symptomatic of an anxiety disorder. I suffered from generalized anxiety disorder for several years following my husband’s death and cognitive behavioral therapy helped me a great deal.”

“More recently over the last two or so years, I’ve basically diagnosed myself as falling under the umbrella of what’s called ADHD. I haven’t been formally diagnosed. I am hyper-focused when it relates to my research or other things I find interesting, but I get years behind on taxes and paperwork is a nightmare for me.”

“I’ve always been very impulsive and extroverted, although I think I’m mellowing with age, currently I’m 49. In some, has anyone thought about a connection between hoarding and ADHD? I know that people with ADHD could also have other co-morbid problems. Maybe in my family, ADHD and anxiety have combined in certain ways that led to hoarding or problems that on the surface look a lot like hoarding, any thoughts?”

And then she followed it up with just another quick question. She’s also wondering about the difference between impulsivity and compulsivity saying she doesn’t quite understand the difference because when she gets an impulse, she often feels compelled to act on it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hmm, that’s interesting. Let’s start with the last question. Impulsive is simply acting without thinking. So you see an apple on the teacher’s desk and you snatch it without a plan, as opposed to someone who has a conduct disorder, they plan to take the apple when the teacher isn’t looking. So it’s a question of volition and that’s contrasting impulsive behavior versus a conduct disorder, low conscience, that kind of thing.

Now compulsive, compulsive is sort of akin to an addiction and you are compelled. You feel compelled to not step on the crack or avoid the number 13,, or not open an umbrella inside as in obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, the compulsions or these irrational feelings that you have to do something. They’re not impulsive. They’re not spontaneous out of nowhere. They just rise up and they’re usually irrational, superstitious like stepping on cracks or not stepping on cracks.

So you’re quite right. You, you do feel compelled and it’s against reason. You’ve you feel compelled not to step on a crack, even though “that stepping on a crack is no problem.” People step on cracks all the time, but in your mind, your imagination plays a trick on you. And you conclude that it’s extremely dangerous to step on a crack. And so you’re compelled not to.

Impulsive, you suddenly do something without thinking. Compulsive, you are forced to do something out of irrational needs. Now you can also not have it be OCD-like. You can have compulsions like compulsive gambling, which is close to an addiction, sort of cousin to an addiction. Compulsive gambling, compulsive drinking compulsive use of the internet, compulsive shopping.

If you’re on your way to developing what could be called an addiction. So a compulsion in that sense is like a bad habit. It’s hard for you to stop gambling. You’d like to, but it’s hard for you to stop, or it’s hard for you to stop drinking. You’d like to, you’re a compulsive drinker. Or you’re a compulsive user of the internet, which applies to an awful lot of people these days.

You would like to do it less, but you can’t seem to willpower your way to doing it less. And so you are compulsive in that sense. So there are different meanings of compulsive. Now, as for your possible ADD, yes, ADD and hoarding are often found together. And the good news is if you get your ADD treated, you might find it a lot easier to get past the generalized anxiety disorder.

And while the CBT, the cognitive behavioral therapy helped you after the death of your husband, which is very sad, by the way, it sounds like he was pretty young if you were only 49. I’m sorry to hear that. That must’ve been pretty tough for you. But if you are the cousin to hoarding, generalized anxiety disorder, sometimes it goes away when you treat the ADD. Because one of the reasons for anxiety is feeling out of control and people with add often feel out of control.

They don’t know how they’re going to screw up next. They’re waiting for the next mistake to be made or the next reprimand to come their way. And so it creates a very anxious state to live in. And oftentimes when you get the ADD treated, you feel more in control, which immediately reduces your anxiety. Same thing, by the way, a lot of people are diagnosed with depression don’t really have depression. They’re just bummed out because they’re not doing as well as they know they could do.

And when they get their ADD treated, their performance improves markedly. And so what had looked like depression goes away because it wasn’t really depression. It was simply a feeling of bummed out because I’m not where I ought to be. You do that for a while and it can look for all the world like you’re depressed, but you’re not really.

Because once you get your ADD treated and your performance improves both the anxiety and the depression go away. This leads to one of the common mistakes that gets made is that someone goes to see a doctor who’s not familiar with ADHD and gets diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and gets put on a SSRI like Prozac or Zoloft. And that is not what they need.

It’ll help them a little bit, but what they really need as far as medication goes is a stimulant medication, which will help them focus, which will reduce their anxiety and reduce what had looked like depression. But wasn’t really depression.

Again, it comes back to how important it is to get the full and complete diagnosis and not treat symptomatically the anxiety and the perhaps depression.

So yes, go get yourself diagnosed and I hope the explanation of compulsive versus impulsive made sense to you as well. Thank you so much, Rosemary. Please keep writing to us. Do we have another one, Sarah?

Sarah Guertin:

We do. This one comes from a listener named Cynthia. She wrote, “My nine-year-old son and I are both ADHD experiencers. I have found your podcast to be excellent and wanted to respond about vitamin connection during quarantine. My hope is that society will appreciate the value of real flesh and blood interactions after this time. I am a musician and piano teacher and I’m hopeful people will appreciate music and making it with others more after this.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh, I think there’s no way in the world that we won’t. I think we’re all missing human contact. I think we’re all missing what you get face-to-face that you can’t get. I’m doing my whole practice now via Zoom and thank God for it because I couldn’t do it at all were it not for that. But it’s not the same thing as being in-person with someone.

The depth of contact as one of my colleagues said to me the other day, the depth of contact is so much greater in-person than it can be virtually. Still, the virtual connection is good enough to get the work done, but it isn’t the same. And I think you’re right, this a shelter at home and quarantine is teaching us the value of what I call the human moment, as opposed to the electronic moment.

The human moment is just so much richer and fuller. The electronic moment will suffice, but it’s not as full and rich as the human moment. We have another one, Sarah?

Sarah Guertin:

We sure do. Got a couple more for ya. This is from Lauren, who also happens to be an ADHD coach. She wrote, “Hi there. I just listened to your short podcast about how not being around people is tiring.” What we were just talking about. “My ADHD 16-year-old son was telling me this last week. He doesn’t have many close friends in high school so I trying to understand what he was missing.”

“He said, it’s just being around people, seeing them and interacting at any level. He has been more tired, yet not able to sleep very well. It is interesting and makes sense. The funny part is he also says his morale is better at home without the social stresses of fitting in, in school and whatnot. Such funny contradictions, yet they make sense at the same time. Thanks for your insight and encouragement of your podcasts.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, thank you. Thank you, Lauren. Yeah, it’s tiring. Not being around people is tiring. My wife said to me the other day, “Why am I so tired?” And it’s because we’re not getting vitamin connect. We’re not getting the human connection. She has me and I have her, but it’s just the two of us in the house. We connect. She’s a therapist also, we connect with our patients or clients over Zoom or telephone, but it is tiring.

I think it is because we don’t appreciate how important vitamin connect is. We don’t appreciate how important those human moments are. And it’s also interesting you said your son’s morale is better at home because the social stresses at school can also be a bummer. So you give with one hand and take away with the other. But when we come out of this, when we can get back to whatever we get back to I think one of the things that we’ll be celebrating and rejoicing, what a great thing it will be to be together.

I mean, an important part of my life and my wife’s life is the church. We attend Episcopal church in Cambridge, Massachusetts called Christ Church. We’ve been going there ever since we got married 32 years ago and it’s a big deal. I love going. People often talk about going to church is a burden.

No, for me, it’s a real replenishment. I loved the music. I loved the liturgy. I loved the stories from the Bible. I love the sermons and I love most of all the community. We don’t have that anymore. We have a virtual church, but I can’t on Sunday morning, go sit in that beautiful space and hear that beautiful music sung by living heart beating humans.

And my wife and I, we both really miss it, even though the church is continuing in its own way. We miss that community. And I’m also a big sports fan, season ticket holder to the Patriots. And we just lost our great Tom Brady, but I don’t know what it’ll be like if we have to play games with no one in the stadium.

When it’s taken away, you really notice how much you appreciate something when you can’t have it. And I think the human connection with other people in a crowd, be it a congregation or a football game or a shopping mall for that matter, all of those were essential parts of my life. I’m a pretty simple guy. Those are my pleasures and I can’t do them. You just go down that list.

Can’t go to a football game, can’t go to church. Can’t go to a movie. Can’t go to a restaurant. Can’t go to a shopping mall. It’s like, “golly” and nothing against my wife and she has nothing against me, but it’s pretty thin gruel, when that’s all you’ve got. And she would say, “What do you mean I’m thin gruel?”

Well, I’m thin gruel put it like that. We need more, we need more sustenance. Then we can get just hanging out, the two of us. It’s hard. We go for walks, we do and we wave at other people walking, but can’t get too close and it’s not easy. And your point is a very good one. When we can get back to it, it’ll be pretty wonderful.

In the meantime, we’re making the best of it and I hope this podcast is providing you with some form of connection. That’s certainly our aim in doing it is to connect with you all because you are our reason for doing it. So Sarah, you have another, I think.

Sarah Guertin:

Yes, I have one more. We love all of the emails, but this one I thought was especially touching. So it says, “Hi, I’ve been listening to your recent podcasts in the current COVID world and how it has impacted our lives. I wanted to share my personal experience. I have a 21-year-old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety, social phobias, addiction, lying, et cetera.”

“You could use them as an example, in every chapter of a textbook on ADHD. We have been deep in the trenches for many years. A year ago, he returned home from an unsuccessful college experience and his mental health was very fragile. We doubled down on the therapy and other resources, but I didn’t see much improvement.”

“Then COVID-19 became our new normal, the world stopped. He lost his job and has been home for six weeks now. I’ve been so impressed with how much he has improved. To me, it seems like the world has slowed down to his speed and he can now function productively. He has been great. He keeps a somewhat normal daily routine takes his medication daily, does a little work around the house, has maintained his personal space, does his own laundry and exercises.”

“All of his therapy has moved to virtual sessions, including a weekly group therapy. We have been given the luxury of time to figure out that this is all he can handle right now. We will build on this, but this slow world has been a miracle for him. He was obviously overwhelmed before.”

“I’m a little wary of putting too much weight on his success right now, but it sure is a bright spot for me in a world that really could use some good news. Thanks for all of your words of wisdom. I really enjoy your podcast. Sarah.” Not me.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Not you. What a lovely, lovely story. That’s so wonderful that given a chance to slow down, all those problems could sort of leave him, drift away, move into the rear view mirror. He needed chance to slow down, have some structure, have some vitamin connect from you. He’s getting what he needs in terms of structure, love, attention, and a pace that he can handle.

And I think success does breed success. So now he’s learning some adaptive life habits that will continue and will strengthen and become durable and will serve him. It’s a great thing seeing how a change in environment, a change in pace, a change in demands. What a difference that can make. That’s a wonderful, wonderful story.

And those of you who are listening, that’s quite a list of problems. He had ADHD, depression, anxiety, social phobia, addiction, lying. That’s why I don’t like the labels because you bury someone under all those labels and the real health can often get lost because you tend not to identify, diagnose health.

We tend not to list strengths or potential strengths, but those are the very factors that have been able to emerge and carry him now that he’s been allowed to have some pressure off and live at a pace that he can handle.

Thanks so much for your email, Sarah. It’s a wonderful story and a very hopeful story as well. Thank you, all of our listeners and sending questions and comments. Please, please, please keep sending them. If we didn’t get to your question today, we will get to it in the next podcast we do on listener comments and questions.

And if you have a question or comment, please, please send it to us at [email protected]. We really live off of your suggestions, comments, and questions. And as you see today, we do take them seriously and answer them to the best of my ability.

In any case, thank you for listening. Thank you for joining our community. Please tell your friends about us as we really want to grow and reach more and more people.

Distraction is a project of Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the amazingly talented Sarah Guertin and our audio engineer and editor is the also amazingly talented Pat Keogh. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you for listening.

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Tips for Learning from Home with How to ADHD and Landmark College

Tips for Learning from Home with How to ADHD and Landmark College

Jessica McCabe shares a ton of practical tips for making a successful transition to learning or working from home in this special episode brought to you by Landmark College in Putney, VT, the college of choice for students who learn differently. Jessica’s acronym, STACC, will give you the framework you need to get your work done at home, whether it’s for school or a job!

Check out all of Jessica’s amazing ADHD content on her website at HowtoADHD.

How are you making the transition? Share your thoughts with us by writing an email, or recording a message using the voice memo app on your phone and sending it to [email protected]

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

Do you know a student with ADHD or other learning difference looking for a higher education experience? Tell them about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Find out more HERE.

Check out this episode!

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Unlock Your Potential By Finding a Creative Outlet

Unlock Your Potential By Finding a Creative Outlet

Overscheduled lives can be especially stressful for those with ADHD. That’s why carving out time to be creative is extra important for neurodiverse brains. In this mini, Dr. H responds to a question from a mom about her son’s busy schedule and whether or not it is inhibiting his happiness and growth.

Do you have a question for Dr. Hallowell? Write an email, or record a voice memo on your phone with your question and send it to [email protected]

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

Learn about our sponsor, Landmark College, HERE.

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Tim and Nancy Armstrong Tackle ADHD Falsehoods in New Documentary

Tim and Nancy Armstrong Tackle ADHD Falsehoods in New Documentary

Tim Armstrong is the founder and CEO of the dtx company, a former CEO of AOL, and former President of Google’s America Operations. Tim also has ADHD. This week he and his wife, Nancy, reveal details about Tim’s diagnosis (hint: their kids have it), and their new movie aimed at countering the misconceptions surrounding ADHD. They share insights about their struggles and offer sound advice for parents and kids who have “Ferrari engine brains with bicycle brakes,” as Dr. H puts it.

Do you have a question or comment? Reach out to us with an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

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

Do you know someone who learns differently? Our sponsor, Landmark College, might be the right place for them. Learn more HERE.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective ADHD Adults

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective ADHD Adults

The start of a new year is a good time to reassess how you’re managing your ADHD. In this previously released mini episode,Dr. Hallowell gives his spin on Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, with a similar list for those with ADHD. From doing what you’re good at, to asking for advice, you’re bound to find a few nuggets of applicable wisdom for your own life. But as Ned advises, this is his list, so if these habits don’t resonate with you, add your own to the list!

Reach out to us at [email protected].

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

Do you know someone who learns differently? Our sponsor, Landmark College, might be the right place for them. Learn more HERE.

This episode was originally released in October 2018. 

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Special Resources for Lawyers with ADHD

Special Resources for Lawyers with ADHD

If over 10% of lawyers have ADHD there should be more resources available to them. That’s why attorney and fellow ADHDer Marshall Lichty created TheJDHD.com, a podcast, website and community for lawyers with ADHD.

CLICK HERE to sign up for Marshall’s FREE 10-day course, “Introduction to ADHD for Lawyers.”

Please reach out to us with your questions and show ideas! Record a voice memo or write an email and send it to [email protected]. Our producer is Sarah Guertin @sarahguertin, and our editor/recording engineer is Pat Keogh.

To learn more about how our sponsor, Landmark College, helps students with ADHD succeed click HERE. See their beautiful campus in Putney, Vermont at their next Open House on Friday, January 10, 2020.

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