ADHD Theme Park Opening Spring 2022

ADHD Theme Park Opening Spring 2022

Don’t pack your bags just yet, but there’s an ADHD theme park in the works that’s set to open in 2022! Ned shares the details in this mini episode. 

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

Students who learn differently love Landmark College and so does Ned! Sign up now for one of their summer programs! 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.

Check out this episode!

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Embrace Your Awkward Moments

Embrace Your Awkward Moments

In honor of National Awkward Moments Day, Ned shares a personal story about an awkward moment he recently experienced while on the phone with a friend. We’re confident many will be able to relate to Dr. H’s “foot in mouth” moment!  

Take a listen and then share your awkward moments with us in the comments! 

If you have a question or comment you’d like Dr. Hallowell to address in an episode please reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone 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.

 

Check out this episode!

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Get to the Good Part of Your ADHD

Get to the Good Part of Your ADHD

Ned and his longtime writing partner, Dr. John Ratey, talk about some of the best ways to treat ADHD and minimize the damage. They touch on a variety of topics like finding a creative outlet, how exercise helps the brain, addiction, and of course Ned’s favorite, the power of connection! 

This conversation highlights what you’ll find in Ned and John’s newest book, ADHD 2.0.

At the end of this episode, keep listening for a special feature from Dr. Carol Locke of OmegaBrite Wellness, who shares some of the science behind the development of the Covid vaccines. 

Get a copy of Ned and John Ratey’s newest book, ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.comJohnRatey.com, or by clicking HERE. You can also find it wherever books are sold!  

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].  

Check out our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Distraction at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Learn what it’s like to be a student at Landmark College 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. 

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

Check out this episode!

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Today’s a Good Day to Share a Hug

Today’s a Good Day to Share a Hug

Ned celebrates National Hugging Day by encouraging all of us to share a hug with someone or something we love… safely, of course.

It’s a feel-good kind of day!

Ned’s NEW BOOK is out now! Get a copy of ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.com or by clicking HERE. You can also find it wherever books are sold!

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

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness!

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.

Check out this episode!

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ADHD 2.0 Reveals New Science and Strategies

ADHD 2.0 Reveals New Science and Strategies

Dr. Hallowell’s latest book, ADHD 2.0 is out today!

Ned’s longtime writing partner, Dr. John Ratey, joins him for a conversation about the latest research they uncovered including how the brain’s “default mode network” is especially dangerous for those with ADHD, why “ADHD” is a terrible term and we should call it “VAST” instead,  and how finding the right amount of difficult can help you stay engaged in a task.

They also discuss the role the cerebellum plays in regulating our attention, how exercise can help with symptoms, why ADHDers are more susceptible to addiction in all forms, and the importance of connection.

You can get a copy of ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.com or JohnRatey.com, or by clicking HERE. You can also find it wherever books are sold!

Reach out to us with your comments, questions and show ideas! Send us an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! 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 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 omegabrite.wellness.com and Brite is intentionally misspelled, B-R-I-T-E, omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell and welcome to Distraction. We have a very special show today because my dear friend, John Ratey, Dr. John Ratey is joining us to talk about our new book, ADHD 2.0: New Science and Strategies for Thriving with Distraction. It will come out January 12th and we’re hoping to tell you enough about it that you will want to run out and buy the book yourselves. So without further ado, let me welcome my wonderful friend, John. Hello, John.

Dr. John Ratey:
Hello, Ned and hello everyone in podcast land.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. Just so you know, I’m coming to you from my third floor studio office in Arlington, Massachusetts and John is coming to you from, where are you John?

Dr. John Ratey:
I am in Los Angeles, California, Beverly Hills, to be exact from my wife’s apartment in her office and enjoying talking with you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good. Well, so we have this new book that listeners maybe remember our first book, Driven to Distraction that came out in 1994 and then Delivered from Distraction came out in 2005 and so now in 2021, we have ADHD 2.0. Let’s just jump right in and tell listeners what’s new about it. One thing that’s new in the book is our term for ADHD, which is a terrible term, it’s not a deficit of attention, it’s an abundance of attention and we don’t see it as a disorder, but rather a trait. If you manage it right it’s an asset, if you don’t, it can be a terrible pain in the butt. So we invented a new term for the condition that does not connote as much pathology as ADHD does with its deficit disorder.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Our new term, which we introduce in this book is vast, V-A-S-T. First of all, it is a vast condition, but vast is also an acronym stands for variable attention stimulus trait. Captures the two key elements of stimulation and attention and everything in this condition is variable. So VAST, we hope will be more appealing to people and actually far more accurate than the old ADHD. What do you have to say about that, John?

Dr. John Ratey:
No, exactly. And I think we’ve been trying to say, “Look, this is a normal condition across a spectrum,” and it’s when you get… because we all have variable attention, right, and we all have trouble with it. But especially some people have the genes or have the upbringing or have circumstances that lead to more of it. And especially in our overstimulated world, we all have trouble with our attention. We’re not building it up like we used to or so it goes. But the problem with ADHD and the problem with a diagnosis like a deficit is that it makes people feel problematic. It makes them feel defunct, deficit, they’re less than. That’s not a way to think about it. It’s something to be mastered, to be understood and to be guided.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. So with a more affirmative term that is actually more accurate because there’s no deficit of attention, it’s wandering of attention, an abundance of attention. The need is to control it. So we offer VAST as both a more accurate and a more affirmative positive strength-based as we like to say, strength-based term. So that’s one thing that’s new in this book. Something else that’s new comes from the realm of a neuroscience and it’s a complicated cumbersome term, but once you understand it, it’s incredibly powerful. This is the default mode network, the DMN, which I call the demon and you’ll see why. John, do you want to give them a explanation of why we think the DMN is so useful and powerful an idea?

Dr. John Ratey:
Right. Well, first off, it’s looking at the brain as a bunch of networks and the major one is the default mode network, which is parts of the brain that are all connected and that are being employed when you’re letting your mind wander. This is sort of a condition that ADD people love and are very much into. But it’s when we’re not paying attention to something, we go into the default mode. This is great when you can control it. But again people with ADD have trouble getting rid of it. They’re too much into it. We can get out of it when we have a task performance network, which is another network that takes us into something that we’re paying attention to, something that we’re worried about, something they were doing. It usually in people that don’t have attention deficit disorder. When this happens, when you get into something, your default mode shuts up or goes down. However, with ADD it’s always pressing to say, “Hey, pay attention to me,” which means, let’s go into a mind wandering situation.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. I think what people find so useful about the DMN or really revelation is that it can just stream out really negative ideas, thoughts, feelings, images. So you go into the DMN, the demon, and it takes over and you get into this sort of trance-like state of rumination and you can stay in it. As people with ADD know only to well, you can stay in it for a long time, spend an hour just brooding and ruminating on all the ways in which your life is miserable and you’re miserable and everything’s miserable. People take medication to prevent it and they do anything they can possibly think of to prevent it, but the best way to prevent it is to do something else, to get back into the task-positive network, to snap out of the demon.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And so I say, “Don’t feed the demon,” and we tend to feed it with our attention. Attention is its life’s blood, its oxygen supply. Well, if you pay attention to something else, like dig a hole or play a piano or talk to a friend, anything, do anything, do jumping jacks, focus on your breathing. The key is to focus on something else to break the hole, the DMN, the demon has over you to break that negative about how you’re awful and your life is awful. It’s a state that people with ADD go into and the mistake they make is they mistake the productions of the demon for being reality. Yes, I really am that bad, yes, life really is that awful. And it’s not. It’s your imagination conjuring up all this negative stuff. Rather than take a pill or take a new philosophy course, simply do something else, anything to focus your attention elsewhere so you’re not feeding the demon with your attention.

Dr. John Ratey:
The trick with this too is that the DMN and the TPN and the task-performance network-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Task-positive, isn’t it?

Dr. John Ratey:
Yes, task-positive network is, the connection between them is clunky. It doesn’t quite go as easily as it does in the so-called neuro-typical person or the person that doesn’t have ADD. And so having structures, having a positive focus in your life and the 3M’s meditation, medication and exercise, which is not an M, but all help correct this clunkiness so that you’re able to switch easily enough and get out of it if you get caught into the rumination problem.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think the M you were looking for John is movement.

Dr. John Ratey:
Movement, yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Meditation, medication and movement.

Dr. John Ratey:
Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But to deal with the DMN, you really don’t need medication, you just need the insight that this is not reality, life is not so terrible, I’m not so terrible and just focus your attention on some other tasks. You’ve got to shut off the demon’s oxygen supply, namely your attention and redirect your attention to some other tasks. Do a crossword puzzle, dig a hole, call a friend, do 25 jumping jacks, just focus on your breathing. You’ve always got your breathing with you. And if you can do that then you will shut off the demon and you’ll stop this horrible, horrible spell of trance-like brooding, ruminating negative thinking that really hounds most people who have VAST or ADD. It’s such a simple trick to learn, but so gripping is the habit of the negative thinking that a lot of people just buy into it and keep feeding the demon with their attention.

Dr. John Ratey:
Right. It’s been very helpful for patients and people in general who have trouble with their attention, sort of giving them this model saying that, “You have something that you’re trying to attend to, but you’re being pulled out of it by the default mode that’s a chatterbox and just won’t shut up.” So it’s helpful to use this model and people have said, “Aha, that’s what it is. When I’m trying to pay attention and keep on what it is I want to do, I’m being pulled back to this default mode to have my mind wander or get into the very ingrained rumination of how you’ve not done right in life, you have been a failure, whatever.” But just having that explanation has sparked a lot of, not just insight, but action-oriented insight when people can say, “Okay, now I just need to do something or change my thoughts or flip into another mode, to fry an egg,” like your one patient who said, “Yeah, I’ve fried 25 eggs now, what?” I mean, it’s-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
When we were first learning about this, one of the first experts we listened to amused us both because his antidote to the demon, the DMN, he would just shout it out. He would say, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” and that would shut off the demon. He’d out shout it. He’d just say, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” and that would shut off the demon. So you can do that. Of course, you have to be in a place where nobody’s going to think you’re going out of your mind, but it’s-

Dr. John Ratey:
No, but that checks it off you see.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, exactly.

Dr. John Ratey:
Then you’re able to use your energy to things that are positive and things you want to do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. So don’t buy it. See, that’s the key selling point. Don’t let it own you, don’t let it take over, don’t think, “This is the terrible insight that, I really am doomed and my life really does suck and I suck and everything sucks.” Don’t buy that. Don’t mistake that imagining for reality because it’s not reality and you can shut it off just by doing something, engaging, focusing on something so you activate the task-positive network. I hope that’s clear because it is complicated from a neuroscience standpoint, but it’s very true, very valid. You can see it on FMRI and it’s really learning how to use this scientific bit of information in a very practical transformative way.

Dr. John Ratey:
One of the chapters in our new book is called, Finding the Right Difficult, which is finding something that really is compelling and that is a bit hard, but something that you want to master, you want to be involved in and this will keep your attention. If you find the right one, you can keep coming back to it, whatever it is, or solving a problem, figuring out whatever your bills or how to-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s not usually going to be your bills, but the two key elements of the right difficult are number one, it has to be challenging. If it’s not challenging, it’s boring. And number two, it has to matter to you. It has to really hold you. And so those two combined, it matters to you and it’s challenging then you’ll engage and in many ways, the more difficult it is the better. I discovered my right difficult in high school when my 12th grade English teacher challenged me to write a novel. A novel, I knew Exeter was a tough school, I didn’t know I had to write a novel, but I did it because he encouraged me to do it. I took up the challenge and by the end of the year, I’d written a novel and it won the senior English prize and I was off to the races. The beauty of that and it’s been my right difficult ever since, no pun on, write, with 21 books and still counting. It all began in 12th grade when that teacher introduced me to my right difficult.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And that is a third element of it which we found is so important in living and mastering this condition, namely that you have a creative outlet. We’re like cows, we need to be milked. If I don’t have a book going, I get depressed. We need that creative outlet. I think it’s been overlooked in the writings that people have done about ADHD. We haven’t stressed it enough ourselves. It’s so important. You find it through the right difficult. So you find some activity that’s challenging and matters to you that you can put in your creativity. That’s why paying your bills is not particularly a good example. So it’s got to allow for your creativity to be brought into the process.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And so you have those three elements that it’s difficult, but it matters to you and there’s room for your creativity to activate it and advance it. When you find that and you can have several, then you’re ready to get into the zone, you’re ready to take advantage of the advantages that come with this condition, the creativity, the originality, the industriousness, the refusal to give up, the stalwart nature of, spunky nature of most people who have it. But remember those three elements that it’s got to be difficult, it’s got to matter to you and there has to be room for you to really put your full supply of creativity into it.

Dr. John Ratey:
Right. Well, I was thinking less about pills and more about manipulating the stock market and figuring that-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
There you go. Okay. There you go.

Dr. John Ratey:
Because I have so many patients who find that right difficult by day trading or dealing with the cryptocurrency. These are difficulties to get it right and to master it. So that’s what I was really thinking about this morning.

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

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

Dr. Carol Locke:
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. What it found was a 20% reduction in anxiety and a 14% reduction in the inflammatory cytokine IL-6, so that you had a very powerful benefit from the OmegaBrite shown in this study. That’s something that people could use right now in their life, reducing their anxiety and stress and inflammation,

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction listeners, you can save 20% on your first order at omegabritewellness.com by using the promo code, Podcast 2020. All right. Let’s get back to today’s topic.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So now we have two elements in our book that have not been in previous books, a new name for ADHD, talking about the default mode network, talking about the right difficult and then a fourth new topic in the book, you want to talk about the cerebellum, John?

Dr. John Ratey:
Yes. The cerebellum. What a great part of our brain. It’s amazing. We used to only think of it as dealing with keeping us coordinated, keeping our movements coordinated. In the past 20 years, there’s been an explosion of interest in the cerebellum as keeping our thinking in order, keeping our experience in order. This is really important. It’s not just about balance and rhythm and for our motor system, but for all of our higher functionings, especially for attention, that the carry over of our cerebellum in involvement and attention is so great.

Dr. John Ratey:
We know that, 35, 40% of kids with ADHD have a discoordination problems, problems with their coordination and balance and whatnot. And same so do many of adults who get diagnosed with ADHD, they have coordination and balance problems. The beauty of it for… in our book we talk about is that the cerebellum is something that is very trainable, that is, you can make it better by doing balance training, doing yoga, doing Tai Chi, doing the martial arts or doing some kind of exercise that impacts your balance and makes it better. This has an impact on your attention, on the clunkiness of the default mode and TPN but also in doing all the things for our executive function that the medicine can do. It can help greatly.

Dr. John Ratey:
There’s study after study now showing that this is something to really pay attention to. Ned, you have this case in China, that is in our book where you did this sort of from afar over email to a mom and getting her son to really change his life by doing balance exercising in the morning and led to massive change in his attention and his performance and in the school that he was involved with.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And what’s so important is that it’s not just you get better at balance and coordination, by doing exercises that stimulate the cerebellum, you, in fact, directly impact the circuits that have to do with executive function and detention. This is work from Jeremy Schmahmann at Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School showing there are connections from the cerebellum through the vestibular circuit to the prefrontal cortex and all the elements that are so involved in ADHD. In fact, there’s a syndrome called Schmahmann syndrome named after Jeremy Schmahmann where injury to the cerebellum results in a syndrome that looks ever so much like ADHD. So it’s not just that you’re getting really good at balance so you can ride a unicycle, it’s that by stimulating the cerebellum, by doing exercises that challenge balance, you are also directly impacting the circuits that create the problematic symptoms in ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And as John’s saying, I learned about this… I went to Shanghai a couple of years ago and gave a talk and at the end, the mother of one of the kids, an eight year old boy came up and said, “You’ve got to treat my son.” And I said, “Well, I can’t. I live in Boston, you live in Shanghai.” And she said, “That’s okay. We’ll use email.” And so she was so persistent, we went ahead and we devised a treatment plan that involved the elements that we outlined in the book. It’s not just a cerebellar stimulation, but it’s also creating an environment, what we call a stellar environment of warmth and connection and support and instead of the boy being humiliated and hit with a stick when he got something wrong, they started understanding him and the teacher went along with it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And then in that context, we had him do a series of exercises for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening that involved balance. So he’d stand on one leg, stand on one leg with his eyes closed, he would do some juggling exercises, a series of exercises that challenged balance and coordination. He went from being the absolute rock bottom of the class at the start of the year in September to by Christmas being number one in the class and it was just this simple, straightforward program, no medication whatsoever that took this little boy combining a stellar environment of warmth and understanding with exercises that challenged balance and coordination.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That little boy I’m still in touch with him interestingly enough, he just got into the best secondary school in China. He’s thriving, he’s soaring and he won’t stop doing the exercises. He says to his mother, “I’m not stopping these. Dr. Hallowell gave them to me and I’m going to continue doing them,” and he’s off to the races. His American name is Boots and he and his mom it’s just wonderful to see them. But if a doctor from however many thousand miles away, Boston to Shanghai using no medication and just coaching on stellar environments, warmth and cerebellar stimulation, I can get that of a result, I mean, it really shows that we’re onto something new and important and really the way was paved by Jeremy Schmahmann and the important connection between the cerebellum and the front parts of the brain where the action is in ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s a real breakthrough. I’ve spoken about this before with the Zing program, Wynford Dore in England, with his marvelous program of cerebellar graduated series of exercises. He has over a hundred different exercises that stimulate and challenge balance and coordination and get wonderful results, not just in ADHD, but in other autism and autism spectrum and that sort of thing. So this is another breakthrough that we highlight in the book that John and I are very excited about. If you noticed a change in my voice or John’s voice it’s because I had to move from one location to another, it’s still the same person just located in a different place.

Dr. John Ratey:
I just completed a study with about 26 autistic adolescents, where we had them trained basically on balance and coordination exercises and saw a vast improvement in their attention and then a decrease in their off behaviors and an improvement in their socialization. And these were very complicated autistic adolescent. So it works and it can really make a big difference and with your patient Boots who wasn’t your patient, it was just an advice to the mom, it really changed his life and it’s something that we can easily do for so many people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. And it’s real exciting application of advances in neuroscience to the practical treatment of this condition. What else is new in our book, John, before we wrap up here. We talk about medication, we talk about nutrition, we talk about coaching, the new developments in coaching, and now with the pandemic, coaching has become even more important because it’s harder to see people in person.

Dr. John Ratey:
Well, we also have a whole chapter on exercise and how exercise has such a profound effect on the attention system. Because when we exercise, we liberate more neurotransmitters that we affect with our stimulant medication and other medications we use for ADD. But exercise produces them in a big, big way and very quickly, so that we’ve known in all of our books from the very beginning, that exercise was a component of treatment and now we know how it works and why it works and even studies now going on about what kind of exercise to do and there’s no guarantee that one’s better than the other, but the more you do, the better you become at exercising, the better your attention will be.

Dr. John Ratey:
When we started, we heard all the time about kids doing really well when they were playing a sport and then when they were off season that’s when the trouble began. And we have so many examples of that in our star athletes that have the same kind of program that when they stop training, then they get in trouble because their attention system is wild and not focused and then they get into the inevitable problems with addictions that so many people with ADHD have.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s another element that we take up throughout the book really, the overlap with addiction. Probably the single biggest hazard in life with ADD is to develop a chemical addiction or a behavioral addiction. The rate of addiction in the ADHD population is 5 to 10 times higher than in the neuro-typical population. And another interesting fact, 80% of addiction begins between the ages of 13 and 23. So we are talking about major risk for people between 13 and 23. One of the best ways to stay off to avoid addiction is taking medication. This has been shown over and over again, people think, “No, you shouldn’t take medication like Adderall. That’s a gateway drug.” No, just the opposite. It helps close the gateway.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So by taking medication, you’re reducing the risk of addiction. Contrary to popular belief, taking stimulant medication helps prevent the development of addiction. Remember, behavioral addictions are very important too, screen addiction, gambling addiction, sex addiction, shopping addiction all of these sort of compulsive behaviors go on wild are way, way, way more common in life with ADHD. And then another element that I think we have to stress because now it’s so missing in so many people’s lives that we stress in the book is the importance of connection, the importance of human connection, of warmth, which I call the other vitamin C and it is as vital for life as ascorbic acid. So many people are suffering from a vitamin connect deficiency these days. You see the symptoms, it’s listlessness, low grade depression, lack of motivation, lack of zest, lack of get up and go, all because they’re not getting enough human connection, not getting enough people and we need people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think it’s one of the really most serious and not often acknowledged consequences of the pandemic is the social isolation that absolutely cripples people. Well, people with ADHD, it’s critical that they get it and they often don’t get it because they’re socially awkward, they don’t join, they don’t jump in and as a result, they suffer the consequences of vitamin connect deficiency. Well, that’s a long menu John of new ideas and suggestions in this book, which is by far the shortest of all of our books.

Dr. John Ratey:
Yes. It really is the shortest, but I think it’s power packed even though. It’s short and quick but it brings to light a bunch of the new stuff that keeps coming out about ADHD and what to do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. It boiled down to its bare essentials. The manuscript that I handed in was 125,000 words and the manuscript that you’ll buy, if you but the book is 50,000 words. So just think of the labor that went into reducing it in size so it’s absolutely pithy and condensed and every word counts.

Dr. John Ratey:
The other thing about the final product is it hasn’t lost its humor and fun. And we try to keep that in there so that it moves along quickly and you can enjoy the reading of it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What would ADD be without humor and fun. There’s no serious case of, a VAST as we like to call it now that… well, we hope you’ll get it. You can go to Amazon and order it or any other book selling outlet. You can go to my website, drhallowell.com, John’s website. What’s yours? johnratey.com.

Dr. John Ratey:
johnratey.com

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You can go to your bookstore, the bookstores that are open. We hope that with this book and the documentary, that’s going to come out two months later will really have a movement to take the stigma away from this misunderstood condition and really help people turn it into an asset from being a liability to turn it into an asset. Any last thoughts, John?

Dr. John Ratey:
Well, I just think that this book really captures the essence of the new stuff that we are so excited about and as well as how to manage your attention and the deficit or the attention difference or the variability problem that you have. I think it turned out to be a terrific resource and recommend it to all of you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. And I think we really stress that this condition is not a disorder. It’s a way of being in the world and it has its positives and its negative. We’ve been working with people who have it for so long. We really know what you need to do to maximize the positives and minimize the negatives of this way of being in the world that is so misunderstood. And instead of carrying around these moral diagnoses that you’re undisciplined or a loser or can’t get your act together, we’ll show you how, in fact, you can turn all that around. So that’s why we call this a good news diagnosis. Unlike most diagnoses in medicine, this one is good news because things can only get better. John and I had been doing it long enough, we’ve seen it thousands of times now, thousands upon thousands of times with people, their lives really demonstrably, measurably, improving. Sometimes only a little bit, but more often a lot, major, major improvements.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And that’s why we’re so zealous about it? A patient said to me the other day, “You’re like Moses, you’re leading people out of bondage into the promised land.” And I said, “Well, I don’t think I’m Moses, but this knowledge is Mosesesque. It really can take people out of a condition of bondage and offer them a whole new life. John and I have seen it so often that we really want people to understand it and get the message. We’re not selling anything, we’re trying to report the truth that we’ve seen over and over and over again.

Dr. John Ratey:
That’s great. I think that’s a wrap.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Thank you so much to my dear friend and colleague John Ratey. You can learn more about John at his website, johnratey.com that’s J-O-H-N-R-A-T-E-Y.com. And you can learn more about our new book ADHD 2.0 in the show notes and on my website and John’s website as well. My website is drhallowell.com. And of course, you can get a copy of ADHD 2.0 wherever you buy your books. Remember to follow Distraction on social media and please continue to reach out to us with your comments and questions. We love getting questions from you and every now and then we devote an entire show to your questions. Our email address is [email protected] That’s [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media, our audio engineer is Scott Persson, the brilliant and always ingenious Scott Persson and our producer is the delightful, equanimitist and harmonious Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thanks so much for listening and I look forward to being with you next time.

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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Pat Yourself On The Back For Making It Through 2020

Pat Yourself On The Back For Making It Through 2020

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

We are so grateful for all of you!

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

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

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

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

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

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Holiday Wish For You

A Holiday Wish For You

Ned shares holiday greetings with our listeners.

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

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

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness!

OmegaBrite is extending their special offer to an additional 250 Distraction listeners who respond to the offer below!

Buy one bottle of 70/10 MD Omega-3, and get a FREE bottle of CBD Full Spectrum 25mg Softgels with the promo code: NED. You’ll get FREE shipping too! These are the same supplements that Dr. H takes every day.

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is sponsored by OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full Spectrum Soft Gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 70/10 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned. That’s my name, Ned. At OmegaBriteWellness.com. Distraction is also sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. The college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell for our podcast called Distraction. I hope wherever you are, you’re healthy. I hope you have found shelter from the storm of the pandemic. And I hope your family, whatever holiday you celebrate, is together and enjoying one another. We happen to be Christian, we Hallowells, so we celebrate Christmas. Then there are the other holidays this season. There’s Hanukkah, there’s any number of other reasons to celebrate. And I think we all celebrate the new year in one way or another.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But I thought I’d talk today, in this holiday message, about what to do if you’re not as happy as you wish you were. I think a lot of folks this year have suffered. Not, “I think,” I know. A great deal more than the average year. Due to the pandemic and other factors, I think there’s a lot of not abject misery, but some abject misery, but more just a feeling of, “Gosh, I hope 2021 is better,” kind of thing. Not as happy as you wish you were. And there’s lots of remedies that people like me and people who write books and people who do podcasts… We’ve got lots of remedies for what to do if you’re not as happy as you wish you were.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But I thought I might take a different approach. Often when we’re not as happy as we wish we were, we’re waiting for something to happen to make it better. And then the usual advice from folks like me is, “Well, you’ve got to make your own music. Do something to make it happen.” I always say connect, and other people have their favorite remedies, but it’s all a matter of your finding the inner resource, the motivation to do something, to become as happy as you’d like to be, or as fulfilled as you’d like to be. Fill in whatever adjective you want to use. But there’s another approach that I might recommend to you. And it’s just to let it be. To let what I call the Holy Spirit, the messenger of God… And I’m not getting all religious on you, but that’s just my word for it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Other people call it, “The magic,” or other people call it, I don’t know, whatever word you have for whatever spirit roams the universe. And I’ve found, if you just let it find you, all you need to do is sort of open yourself up to it. “When the sense of sacred presence fires,” wrote Samuel Johnson in one of his great poems, that comes, that sense of sacred presence. And said, doesn’t mean God. Don’t be put off if you’re an atheist, it applies to atheists just as much as to anyone else. It doesn’t require faith. It’s more a preparedness, a openness, saying, “Okay, universe, cosmos, world, life, I’m just going to let you swim through me.” And see what happens. See what happens. Very often you’ll find yourself, magically, miraculously, whatever adverb you want to put in there, feeling better for no good reason whatsoever.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s not that you just won the lottery. It’s not that you just had a business project succeed. It’s not that your children suddenly did everything you wanted them to. It’s none of that. It’s just a quiet but profound spirit, that’s my word for it, flows through you almost like a magic wind. Breathe in, breathe out. And if you just let it happen, if you just allow the forces in the universe that are there to help you, if you allow them to help you, and if you put down your sense of agency, your sense of not responsibility, but a feeling of, “Well, I got to do it for myself because no one else is going to do it for me.” Which is a fine attitude to have in some instances. But in the instance I’m recommending to you, it’s not that at all.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s just, you accept how you feel now, and then you wait, you watch, you see what you can see and you feel what you can feel. The image that comes to my mind, and this is something I do if not every day, at least every other day, is I lie on our bed. We have a big, huge bed. And our big, huge, 110 pound mutt named Max, part German shepherd, part boxer, part pit bull, but he’s got the short brown hair coloring of a boxer. He’ll bound up onto our bed, 110 pounds, and he just takes it in a single leap. And he will lie down there, stretched out, and he’ll look at me and I’ll be lying with my head propped up. And he’ll look at me with these big brown eyes and I’ll look at him and our eyes will lock. And all I see in his eyes is tranquility, is, “I’m here. Life is happening. You’re going to feed me in a little while, I’m sure. I’ve been outside. Don’t need to go outside. I just need to lie here. Look at you. You look at me.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And we do that. We do that. We look at each other. And I know he enjoys it, because I enjoy it. And he stays there. Obviously, no words are exchanged, but feelings move back between us. Feelings move back and forth between us. And we both feel, the word that comes to my mind is contentment. We both feel contented. For the moment, we’re enough for each other. And I guess that’s my holiday wish for you all, to have a moment with yourself or with your dog or with a friend or with a piece of music or the beautiful mountainous vista or with the sea crashing the waves in your ears. Whatever the setting might be, I hope for you all, you’ll find a few moments where whatever it is that you find is enough. Enough to feel that quiet but sustaining sense of contentment.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, with that image of my dear friend Max and me lying on a bed, I’ll leave you until the holiday season has come and gone and we’re about to celebrate the new year. I wish you, whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish that it will be enough for you. And whatever feeling of not being as happy as you wish you were, I hope you fuel off of that as you move on to a newer, and we all hope, better place.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Was that our dog barking in the background? How appropriate. Yep, there’s the sound of the angel. All right, well, that’s it for me and from me for today. Thanks to our sponsor OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full Spectrum Soft Gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 70/10 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned at OmegaBriteWellness.com. And I’m thrilled, I am so relieved as well to tell you that my new book ADHD 2.0 is coming out on January 12th. Co-written with my buddy, Dr. John Ratey. We lay out a new approach, a revolutionary new approach, not really creating a revolution, but it is new and different. Featuring new science and strategies to help people with ADHD/ADD thrive. You can learn more about it, and I wish you would, about ADHD 2.0 and pre-order a copy, that would be wonderful, by clicking the link in the show notes or going to my website at drhallowell.com. Or of course, going to Amazon.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay, please reach out to us after you go pre-order a copy of ADHD 2.0. Reach out to us with your questions, comments, and whatever else you’d like to send us, an apple pie or a cheesecake. Well, that’d be hard to do by email. By emailing [email protected] That’s [email protected] And that faint, faint, faint chime you hear is my ring tone, which is a little bit of Bach. It doesn’t pollute any airway. So please reach out to us as I said, at [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor the brilliant Scott Persson. And our producer is the always wonderful Sarah Guertin. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell, wishing you all a very wonderful, wonderful holiday season. Goodbye for now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard, just now heard, was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBrite Wellness. Get a free bottle of OmegaBrite CBD Full Spectrum Soft Gels with free shipping when you buy one bottle of their 70/10 MD Omega-3. Use offer code Ned, that’s my name, at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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Ned’s Attitude of Gratitude

Ned’s Attitude of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our listeners! We are so thankful for our Distraction community and our neurodiverse brains. Ned shares a special message of thanks in this week’s mini podcast.

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

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

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

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their omega-3 supplements for many years and so as my wife and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at omegabritewellness.com. And bright 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. [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode on the theme of Thanksgiving. No, I’m not going to give you a pious lecture on all the reasons there are to be grateful, but I am going to invite you to enter into an attitude of gratitude. How’s that an attitude of gratitude, but in a very genuine heartfelt way.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, I think I’ve told this story before on the podcast, but I’m going to tell it again because it demonstrates most vividly a genuine heartfelt expression of gratitude. And this came from a dear friend of mines son when he was six years old and he was sitting at the family Thanksgiving dinner. This was obviously way before we had pandemics. And 20 or so of his aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, mothers, fathers, et cetera, were sitting around the table and some had card tables to the side. There was the big extended Thanksgiving audience. No holiday brings together for a sit down dinner, anything quite like it. And they were doing a family tradition, which was to go around the table, each person standing up and stating one part of their life, something in their life that they’re grateful for. And so grandma begins by, “I’m grateful for all my grandchildren are here, smiling at me.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And granddad says, “Oh, I’m grateful for grandma and all the great years you’ve given me.” And one of the teenagers says, “I’m grateful for the football games we’re going to get to watch.” And until it comes to this little boy about halfway through the proceeds and this little boy was not shy and he stood up and he said to the assembled gathering, “I am grateful for my penis.” And he sat down.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think that is a perfect demonstration of heartfelt, genuine, sincere gratitude. So I would invite you all to think to yourselves, in equally a heartfelt, sincere way what are you truly grateful for? What are you really glad to have in your life? And I’m not going to ask you to state it because I can’t see you and couldn’t hear you anyway. But if you want to say it out loud, by all means, say it out loud, say it loud and say it clear to yourself or to whoever you’re sitting with and just let yourself wonder what are you really grateful for?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now it doesn’t have to be anything the least bit noble. For example, I’m really grateful that the Patriots played such a great game last night and came out of their funk. Some of you know, I’m a long time Patriot season ticket holder, and this is not been a good year for us. We lost Tom Brady and we went into a swoon, but last night we rose up in the middle of a monsoon and struck down one of the best teams in the league. The Baltimore Ravens.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m very grateful for that. Genuinely sincerely grateful for that. Perhaps not as grateful as that little boy was, but I’m very grateful for that. So think to yourself, I’m sure we’re all grateful on the good news about vaccines. Looks like there might be vaccines on the near horizon. I’m sure you’re all very grateful for your best friend or a loved one, your dog. These are things that I’m very grateful for, but I just want to allow a few seconds for you to daydream and wonder to yourself, what am I really grateful for? So I’m going to be quiet for 10 seconds and let your mind wander.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, I hope you settled on a few items. Places, memories, hopes that you’re grateful for. I’m grateful for you. I’m grateful for our audience. I’m grateful for the time we’ve spent together over these years. I’m truly grateful, truly, truly, truly grateful.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And I’m wishing you all a very happy, happy Thanksgiving. Even if you can’t be as very few of us can be with all the people you love and would like to be with, you can bring them all to mind. You can even bring them to vision perhaps via Zoom, but they are with you mentally, if not physically.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I wish you the happiest and the most gratitude filled an attitude of gratitude of Thanksgiving holidays.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, that’s it for our mini today. Thanks to our sponsor. OmegaBright Wellness, save 20% on your first order at omegabritewellness.com with the promo code podcast 2020. Please reach out to us with your questions and comments by emailing [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s [email protected] And if you happen to be on TikTok, my new favorite platform, you can find me there with the username @drhallowell. I’ve posted a whole bunch of videos about common ADHD issues, and they’re only 60 seconds a piece.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Take a look and let me know what you think. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the estimable Scott Persson. And our producer is the very talented Sarah Guertin.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell until next time.

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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A Post-Election Plea for America

A Post-Election Plea for America

As we await the results of the presidential election, Ned shares his wish for all Americans.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. Now that the election is in its final phase, I just thought I’d make a prayer or a plea, as we move forward, for decency and civility, grace and humor, regardless of which side ends up winning. And it looks like there’ll be winners and losers on both sides. Couldn’t we all enjoy moving forward, guided by those pretty much solid and eternal qualities of decency and civility, grace and humor. Wouldn’t it be nice to turn on the TV, open the newspaper, turn on the radio and hear reasonable, calming voices, laced not with vitriol, venom and hatred, but with humor, with humility, with curiosity.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The people on the other side of the election, whichever side you were on, nonetheless, our brothers and sisters. We’re all brothers and sisters in this world. And my plea is that we learn once again to treat each other that way, especially the people who are on the other side of the divide. I’m reminded of a prayer that I particularly like. It goes like this, “Lord, help me always to search for the truth, but spare me the company of those who have found it.” It’s the people who have found the truth and want to ram it down everyone else’s throat that I think cause the most trouble. No one, after all, has a monopoly on truth. We’re all human. We’re all flawed. We’re all biased. We’re all more apt than not to look out for our self-interest before we look out for the other person. Let’s keep that in mind as we try moving forward, to move, not just onward, but also upward. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a reflection for Distraction.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Before I go, I’d like to thank our sponsor, OmegaBritewellness. Go to omegabritewellness.com and save 20% on your first order with the promo code, Podcast 2020. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is Scott Persson, a brilliant man, indeed. And our producer is the equally brilliant and always rich with ideas, Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, and thank you for joining me. We’ll see you next time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at OmegaBritewellness. 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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Ned’s Secret Weapon for Managing His ADHD

Ned’s Secret Weapon for Managing His ADHD

Dr. H is one of the minority of people with ADHD for whom medication does not work. Instead he drinks coffee to help manage his symptoms. And since today is International Coffee Day (and the start of ADHD Awareness Month), we thought it was the perfect day for Ned to share the details of how he uses caffeine for his ADHD!

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

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners, you can SAVE 20% on your first order with the promo 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.

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. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com. That’s B-R-I-T-E, omegabritewellness.com. And by Landmark College, offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. It is the college of choice for students who learn differently, and I have an honorary degree from that college. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. Today, October 1st, the first day of the month of October, is International Coffee Day. Isn’t it amazing? Every day has some designation to commemorate one thing or another. Well, today, October 1st, is International Coffee Day, not to be confused with National Coffee Day, which already happened on September 29th. But today, October 1st, we’re expanding the sphere of influence of coffee to include the entire world.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We should maybe someday have a galactical coffee day, a universal coffee day, you know? Coffee throughout the universe. Is there coffee on a nearby planet? That’s a question to ask. But what can I say about coffee? Well, first of all, as many of you know, I have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a terrible term, but I won’t go off on that riff, but I have that condition, which is poorly named ADHD. It’s a surplus of attention, believe me, not a deficit of attention.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
In any case, the medications that we prescribe, the stimulant medications like Ritalin and Adderall, don’t work for me. They work for about 80% of people who have this condition, but they don’t work for me. They just give me side effects. But I do have a medication and it is coffee. It is caffeine. And the way I get my caffeine is through coffee, and I get whole bean coffee. I put it in our little … don’t remember the name of the maker, but you put in the coffee beans and it grinds them up and spits out … not spit, that’s the wrong word, it drips out coffee, freshly brewed hot coffee. And that’s how I start my day, every day, with two cups of that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now I put milk in it because I’m one of those people, number one, who doesn’t like my coffee really hot, and number two, doesn’t like the taste of pure black coffee. My wife, on the other hand, likes her coffee very hot and black, so she gets the first cup out of the machine, and then I get the next two. I don’t understand people who say, “I want a piping hot cup of coffee.” It makes no sense to me. Doesn’t it burn your mouth? Doesn’t it burn your tongue? I can’t drink it if it’s piping hot. And there was that person who sued McDonald’s because she spilled a cup of coffee in her lap and burned herself and she said, “They made it too hot.” And she won the lawsuit and McDonald’s had to pay her for making their coffee too hot.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, I’d like that. I want it to cool off and I drink mine usually lukewarm. Well, that’s … would make my wife vomit. She can’t stand that. In fact, if her coffee gets too cool, she takes it and puts it in the microwave and warms it up, heats it up, makes it piping hot. I still don’t understand how you can drink piping hot coffee. If any of you listeners have an answer to that, please let me know, because when I try and do it, even if I just take a little sip, it burns my tongue. It burns my cheek. That’s not pleasant. I don’t like to be burned to start my day. And I don’t want to walk around with that feeling you get on your tongue after you’ve burned it. Why do people want piping hot coffee? Why? I mean, it’d be like drinking boiling water. Why would you … I don’t get it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So in any case, my medication is caffeine, and the way I get it is in the form of coffee with milk so it’s not too hot and so it tastes better. I don’t put sugar in it. I used to put sugar in it, but I’ve been persuaded that sugar is bad for us so I don’t put sugar in it. It’s an amazing bean, this coffee bean. The entire world is caffeinated now. If you add in tea and Red Bull and Mountain Dew and cola drinks, it’s hard to find a corner of the world where there is not the presence of caffeine in the form of coffee or cola or a so-called energy drink.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, some people claim or have claimed that coffee is bad for you. Well, the fact is anything in excess is bad for you. Too much oxygen can be bad for you. Too much water can be bad for you. Too much sunshine can be bad for you. So, all these things that we associate with goodness, sunshine, water … What was the third one? See, my mind is leaving me. Sunshine, water, and something else, things that we think of as good, if in excess … Oxygen. Sunshine, water, and oxygen in excess become bad for us.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, the same is true with caffeine. And yes, if you drink too much coffee, you can get very jittery. Your heart can race. Your blood pressure can go up. You can get terrible kinds of GI complaints and ulcers and craters and bad juices flowing, and you can just be jittery like a cat on a hot tin roof. You can just be all over the place, so you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to develop what’s called caffeinism. And also if you abruptly stop coffee, if you are a regular coffee drinker and you decide one day, I’m going to swear off coffee because I read that it’s bad for me, you’re going to get our wicked headache, a wicked headache. So, don’t abruptly stop coffee. If you want to cut back, do it slowly, taper off the coffee, switch to decaf, something like that. And remember, even decaf has a little bit of caffeine in it, so don’t drink too much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I would say don’t drink too little because I would be lost without my daily coffee. It really does help me focus. And be grateful that we have this wonderful medicinal available element to our diet. I think of caffeine as my medication. Why not? I take it to improve my performance, and so does the rest of the world. Just don’t drink too much of it. Don’t stop it abruptly. And today, give thanks for your favorite coffee.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Our producer, Sarah Guertin, asked me what’s my favorite coffee, and I said, “Any coffee, as long as it’s strong enough.” I don’t like weak coffee, coffee that tastes like dishwater. Not that I’m in the habit of drinking dishwater, but what I imagine dishwater would taste like. So I don’t like really weak coffee, but other than that, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Homebrew, I like them all. And just so long as it’s strong enough, and I like to drink it with someone else, but when I’m writing, I’ll drink it alone. But I don’t think of writing as being alone. I’m with the work. We’re a team. We’re trying to conquer the forces of chaos.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, there you have it for International Coffee Day today, and in memory of the September 29th National Coffee Day, here’s to coffee everywhere, and here’s to all of you who drink it. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell. That’s our show for today.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Is there a special day you’d like me to acknowledge in a mini podcast? Email your ideas to [email protected] We’d be very glad to acknowledge your special day. Well, I want to, once again, thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve been taking their Omega-3 supplement for years and recently started their CBD supplement as well. OmegaBrite products, I trust them because I know the woman who’s in charge of the company, a Harvard Medical School graduate. She’s very fussy about quality efficacy, and always looking to make sure that the product she has is the best in the business.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And Distraction listeners can save 20% off of their first order with the promo code podcast, 2020, at omegabritewellness.com. And remember to look for Distraction on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and soon Tik-Tok. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our sound engineer is the wonderful Scott Persson with two Ss. He loves his second S. And our producer is the wonderful Sarah Guertin, and you spell that U-E-R, not like curtain, like Guertin. This is 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. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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Ned Believes Every Day Should Be Gratitude Day

Ned Believes Every Day Should Be Gratitude Day

Ned celebrates World Gratitude Day by sharing his appreciation for the life and service of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

October is ADHD Awareness Month and we want to hear your ideas for the show! What topics should we cover? What aspect of ADHD do you want to learn more about? Write an email or record a voice memo with your thoughts and send it to [email protected].

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners, you can SAVE 20% on your first order with the promo 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.

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. Shop [email protected] That’s B-R-I-T-E, OmegaBritewellness.com. And by Landmark College, offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. It is the college of choice for students who learn differently. And I have an honorary degree from that college. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. Monday, September 21st was guess what? National world, not national, World Gratitude Day. What a great day to reserve, ideally every day is world gratitude day. We’re alive, and the more we can give thanks the better. But I thought I would comment now on World Gratitude Day by speaking about my own personal gratitude. And I am sure I share it with most of you, if not all of you, for the life and service of the great Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I don’t think you could really have anything bad to say about this woman and you could have so much good, so much good.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Even those who disagreed with her, absolutely diametrically like justice Scalia, loved this woman. They would disagree, write nasty opinions to each other, and then go to the opera together. That’s the way it ought to be. She was the hardest working woman you could ever imagine. People who clerked for said they became like her family because she was never not working and they were the people who were around her. She worked so hard for women’s rights. Much as Martin Luther King is to Black people’s rights and civil rights, you might say Ruth Bader Ginsburg is to women’s rights. And I remember the exchange in the movie about her, where she’s talking before the Supreme Court and one of the Justices says to her, “Ginsburg, where in the Constitution does the word woman ever appear?” And Ginsburg responded, “Well, your Honor, nowhere in the Constitution does the word freedom appear either.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And you know, she was brilliant, witty, dry, but beyond every reckoning, fair, honest, believing in truth to the best of her ability to discern it and trying to render opinions that would advance the cause of justice wherever she could. Never did she ever sell out. Never did she ever come under the rubric of someone else’s sway. Never did she ever give into the power of popular persuasion or peer pressure. She was her own woman, but a woman very attached to all of humanity, very attached, deeply committed, there to serve all of us. There to serve all of us, not a selfish bone in her body.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I am so grateful for the life and service of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What she did for me, my family, my town, my state, my country, my world. That woman did so much in her slight frame with that characteristic tilt to her jaw and twist to her lips. She just was wise, brilliant, big hearted, a great, great woman. So join me in commemoration of World Gratitude Day and make World Gratitude Day become every day in your life. And maybe to give it a jumpstart, just think of the life and service of the wonderful, brilliant, loving Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, I want to once again thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve been taking their omega-3 supplement for years and recently started their CBD supplement as well. OmegaBrite products, I trust them because I know the woman who’s in charge of the company, Harvard medical school graduate. She’s very fussy about quality, efficacy, and is always looking to make sure that the product she has is the best in the business.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And Distraction listeners can save 20% off their first order with the promo code podcast2020 at OmegaBritewellness.com. All right, well next month, October, that’s the month that comes after September. See, I’ve still got my brains. October is ADHD awareness month. So be sure to reach out to us with your questions, thoughts, and show ideas. We love, love, love getting these, it sends shivers up and down my spine. Your emails and voice memos will affect what we do in October. So please take charge, send us your email or voice memo with an idea, a comment, a thought, a show, a recipe. We don’t care, we just love to hear from you. And send them to [email protected] That’s the word [email protected] Remember to check us out on social media, please, we’re trying to beef that up. Distraction is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This podcast is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the wonderfully talented Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is the equally, if not even more talented, Scott Persson, with two S’s. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Shop online at OmegaBritewellness.com.

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Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Future

Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Future

As fall nears closer and the pandemic rages on it can be difficult to envision what next month, or even next week will look like. In this mini episode Dr. H shares some words of advice on how to think about the future and get ready for whatever comes next.

Please share your thoughts and ideas with us! Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

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

And thank you to our sponsor, Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. Click HERE to learn more the college of choice for students who learn differently.

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

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. Hello and welcome to this mini episode of Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for joining me. We love having you with us and lending us your ears.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Our wonderful producer, Sarah, gave me a note to base this mini on, and I’ll just read you what she gave me. She wrote, “I think we’ve all been waiting for fall to get here, kind of wait and see what’s going to happen with the pandemic. But now that it’s almost here, what if nothing changes, or worse yet we have to go into lockdown again? How do you look ahead when you can’t envision what it will look like?” Well, that’s the world we’re living in. Isn’t it? How have we done it so far? How do we look ahead when we don’t know what it’s going to bring? This whole thing has been an exercise in learning flexibility, an exercise in learning resilience, an exercise in learning how to find connection in places we haven’t found it before, learning new uses of technology.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
My practice has drastically changed, but thanks to Zoom and the telephone, I’m able to see patients. Without Zoom and the telephone and other platforms, I wouldn’t be able to. They wouldn’t be able to see me, nor I could see them. Now, it’s not as good as in-person, but in many ways it’s better for people who leave live two or three hours away or people will live with the other side of the country or the other side of the world for that matter. It’s an absolute godsend, and I think I will continue after the pandemic is over to offer that as an option. You can either see me live and in-person or over Zoom or another platform, so it’s been wonderful in that sense. Another hidden advantage is my two kids, our two kids who live in New York City, work in New York City have come home, and they’ve been with us for the past three months to avoid the virus in New York when it was so bad, and they’re doing their work. Fortunately they can from home, so we’ve had the benefit of their wonderful company.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But the damage is colossal and the deaths and the restrictions on life and the not going to restaurants and going to movies. I used to love to take my son, who lives locally too, we’d go to Legal Seafood, a great seafood restaurant near us, and then we’d go to the Burlington Mall cinema and watch movie. We’d do that almost once a week. Sometimes Sue, my wife, would come with us, and sometimes she wanted a night to herself. But we can’t do that anymore. We haven’t been able to do that anymore, and then of course the big X factor, school. What’s going to happen with that? And we don’t know, and as we try to look ahead, people form opinions, and people think this, think that, think the other thing, and sometimes they get very angry and strident about it, but we’re still dealing with X factors, with unknowns. When you’re dealing with unknowns, you want to try to plan for various contingencies.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Harvard Business School made the worst case scenario famous by saying, “Well, let’s imagine the worst case scenario and then plan for that, and then if we do that, we’ve got everything else covered.” But we don’t even really know what the worst case scenario is with this virus. Haven’t we already had the worst case scenario? Can it get worse? Well, sure it could get worse, but what steps are we taking to make sure that doesn’t happen, and how can we maintain hope but also be realistic and prepare for bad things? So I guess my riff on Sarah’s question is use your imagination, both imagining what you hope for and imagining what you dread and get ready for all of the above, knowing that we are very resilient as humans. We’re very resilient, and what really makes us most resilient is when we’re serving one another, when we’re connected to one another, when we’re working together, because then you see we create a mission, and mission really motivates people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And our mission now is to survive and to thrive, but begins with survive, and we’d never had our survival threatened on a daily basis, at least in my lifetime, like we have it threatened today. Survival is actually a matter that we have to take precaution to ensure, and wearing masks and keeping distance and all that kind of stuff, washing hands. We’re doing things. We’ve adapted. We’re banding together. We’re helping one another. By wearing a mask, you help other people, not just yourself. By washing your hands, you help other people. I mean, by working together, we’re building muscles we didn’t know we had, and we’re learning the value of interdependence rather than independence. We’re learning the value and power of what we can do together.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
My daughter happens to work for the National Football League, so I’m, as a long-time 26-year season ticket holder for the New England Patriots, I’m praying not only for my sake to have football back, but for my daughter’s sake, because that’s her job. We’re hoping and praying, and I can tell you the NFL is taking tremendous care and precaution. They’re working very, very hard to do everything they can to allow the season to proceed. But again, there are X factors. Who knows what will happen? I do take my hat off to the NFL for the way they’re handling it so far, and I take my hat off to businesses and organizations everywhere as they deal with this and try to make the best of it for everybody.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Again, the people who are hit the hardest are the people who are hit the hardest by everything: people who live in poverty, people of color, people who don’t have access to medical care, who don’t have access to good food, who don’t have access to transportation, all of that, the people who usually get the short end of the stick. And I think it’s up to us to try to reach out to them in whatever ways we can. So the answer to Sarah’s question, “How do you look ahead when you can’t envision what it will look like?” My answer is envision and just know that you’re probably wrong, but one of your visions will be close to what happens, and you want to prepare for all of them as best you can and never worry alone.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So don’t envision alone; share your thoughts with other people. Go online. Talk to neighbors, friends, however you do it, but this is a groupthink. This is not an individual think. This is a groupthink, and if we groupthink long and hard enough, this thing will come to an end, and we’ll reduce the damage it will do, and we’ll even find the hidden good things, just as I’ve discovered Zoom as a way of seeing patients and have got two of my three kids back inadvertently but as a special hidden benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Once again, I’d like to thank our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. My wife and I have taken their omega-3 supplements for years, and for the past several months, I’ve been taking their CBD supplement as well. I highly recommend them both. Go to OmegaBriteWellness.com and save 20% on your first order with the code “podcast2020.” Okay, please continue to reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. We love them, need them, thrive on them and would be lost without. Send your thoughts in an email or record a voice memo and send it to us at [email protected] That’s the word “connect” @distractionpodcast.com, and talk about from rags to riches, that little at sign, which never, ever, ever used to get used by hardly anybody is now everywhere. It must be so proud. It went from nothing to the penthouse, that little at sign. What a story.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the infallible, lovely and brilliant Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the impeccably careful and always never missing a note or a sound, Scott Persson, and that’s Persson with two S’s. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for today.

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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