Anxious, Stressed Out Parents Are Constantly Weighing Worst-Case Scenarios

Anxious, Stressed Out Parents Are Constantly Weighing Worst-Case Scenarios

Anxious parents weren’t born over night, but a shift can be pinpointed to 1984, when the first missing child’s picture was put on a milk carton as part of the National Child Safety Council’s Missing Children Milk Carton Campaign. At the same time, the 24-hour news cycle was coming into existence and local stories were frequently becoming national news, a rarity prior to this new news cycle. As a result parents became increasingly aware of the dangers  that could befall their children, and the “helicopter parenting style” become more of the norm than the exception. 

Alisyn’s guest today is author Lenore Skenazy, who coined the term “free-range kids” after making headlines for letting her 9 year old ride the subway alone. Through her organization, Let Grow, Lenore is on a mission to make it easy, normal and legal to give kids back some freedom.  

The pair talk about why parents are so much more anxious now and how society has shifted from sympathizing with parents to blaming them when something bad happens to a child.

Get a copy of Lenore’s book, Free-Range Kids: How Parents and Teachers Can Let Go and Let Grow, HERE, and learn more about the organization Let Grow HERE.

We want to hear from you! CLICK HERE TO TAKE OUR LISTENER SURVEY. Or, email your thoughts about this podcast to [email protected].  

This episode is sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont.  It’s the college for students who learn differently! Landmark offers comprehensive supports for students with ADHD and other learning differences, both on campus and online. Learn more HERE!

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Save Your Advice and Offer Support Instead

Save Your Advice and Offer Support Instead

Our guest-host, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, is joined by Bethany Johnson and Dr. Margaret M. Quinlan to continue the conversation about why so many moms feel like they’re never good enough at home or at work.

“The threshold for women to be called a bad parent is far lower than it is for men still, and that’s an institutional thing…” Bethany says in this episode.

The trio talk about how having a helpful partner can make a big difference when raising kids, but it will never make up for some of the systemic problems that exist, like the lack of good childcare. They also talk about a better way we can support moms and each other on social media that does not involve offering advice.

Our guests today co-wrote the book, You’re Doing It Wrong! Mothering, Media, and Medical Expertise and share some of the historical underpinnings of why so many mothers struggle with feelings of shame and guilt regarding their kids. 

Bethany L. Johnson (MPhil, M.A.) is a doctoral student in the history of science, technology and the environment at the University of South Carolina and a research affiliate faculty in the department of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She studies how science, medical technology, and public health discourses are framed and reproduced by institutions and individuals with structural power from the 19th century to the present; specifically, she studies epidemics and reproductive health. She has published in interdisciplinary journals such as Health Communication, Women & Language, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, Journal of Holistic Nursing, and Women’s Reproductive Health. 

Margaret M. Quinlan (Ph.D.) is a Professor of Communication Studies, Director of an Interdisciplinary Minor, Health & Medical Humanities and Core Faculty Member of the Interdisciplinary Health Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She examines the nexus of public perceptions of medicine, science, and technology, both historically and presently. She investigates the role communication plays in public understandings of medical expertise, illness, wellness, caring, treatment, health, and healing. Dr. Quinlan has authored approximately 40 journal articles, 17 book chapters and co-produced documentaries in a regional Emmy award-winning series (National Distribution with PBS and available on Amazon).

We want to hear from you! CLICK HERE TO TAKE OUR LISTENER SURVEY. Or, email your thoughts about this podcast to [email protected].  

This episode is sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont.  It’s the college for students who learn differently! Landmark offers comprehensive supports for students with ADHD and other learning differences, both on campus and online. Learn more HERE!

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Teenage Boys Need to Hear From Their Parents About Sex and Relationships

Teenage Boys Need to Hear From Their Parents About Sex and Relationships

Our guest-host, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, is joined by her twin 16-year old daughters and Dr. Lea Lis, The Shameless Psychiatrist, for part two of a revealing conversation about what dating and romance is really like for teenagers today. 

Building on the conversation from our previous episode, Dr. Lis reminds us that boys shouldn’t be left out of this conversation. “I see so many of them are just lost,” she says. “They don’t connect. They can’t form bonds. Moms and dads don’t say anything. They’ll talk to the girls. And they don’t say anything to boys,” Dr. Lis can be heard saying in today’s episode. 

Dr. Lis shares some practical advice about how to talk to boys about sex, and offers detailed suggestions for “coming of age rituals” to help young men and women navigate their passage into adulthood. 

You’ll also hear Dr. Lis’ best tips for teenagers on how to navigate relationships and sex. 

Parents need to be having these conversations with their kids and this episode will give you the skills and tools to start the dialogue. 

Dr. Lis book, No Shame, Real Talk with Your Kids About Sex, Self-Confidence, and Health Relationships is available HERE

Let us know what you think! Email your thoughts to [email protected].  

This episode is sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont.  It’s the college for students who learn differently! Landmark offers comprehensive supports for students with ADHD and other learning differences, both on campus and online. Learn more HERE!

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Talking to Your Teenagers About Sex and Dating

Talking to Your Teenagers About Sex and Dating

Our guest-host, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, is joined by her twin 16-year old daughters on the podcast for a revealing conversation about what dating and romance is really like for teenagers today. They are joined by Dr. Lea Lis, The Shameless Psychiatrist, for a candid conversation about the rise of the hook-up culture, why your first sexual experience should be special, and how parents from the 80’s need to back-off a bit and not force their own teenage experience on their kids. 

Dr. Lis shares some insights about how the pandemic has affected relationships, how to talk to teen girls about sex and prioritizing their own pleasure, as well as the shame that many feel if they’re “not being a nice girl” and how to counter it. Dr. Lis recommends teens “set expectations up front” before a situation arises.

Dr. Lis book, No Shame, Real Talk with Your Kids About Sex, Self-Confidence, and Health Relationships is available HERE

There’s a lot to dive into in this episode so please let us know what you think! Email your thoughts to [email protected].  And keep an eye out for the rest of this conversation when we release it on Thursday!

This episode is sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont.  It’s the college for students who learn differently! Landmark offers comprehensive supports for students with ADHD and other learning differences, both on campus and online. Learn more HERE!

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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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Alisyn Camerota and Heather Dubrow on Careers, Kids and Mom Guilt

Alisyn Camerota and Heather Dubrow on Careers, Kids and Mom Guilt

We’re kicking off our 6th season of the podcast with a series of episodes hosted by CNN anchor, Alisyn Camerota! Alisyn is the mother of three teenagers and will be speaking with celebrities, experts and other professionals to talk about the issues families are facing right now. 

Today we’re sharing the second part of Alisyn’s conversation with with actress, entrepreneur and mother of four,  Heather Dubrow. The star of The Real Housewives of Orange County and Alisyn talk about why moms feel pressure from social media, the surprising fact that your teenagers don’t always hate you, and Heather shares some solid advice for parents.

And of course they talk about Heather’s return to reality television for the 16th season of Housewives, and what the experience has been like for her and her family.  

Next week, Alisyn speaks with ABC News correspondent Gloria Riviera, about the struggles working parents face in the United States to find quality, affordable childcare and her new podcast series featuring Kristen Bell that explores this issue, No One Is Coming To Save Us. Gloria also reveals her own struggles with “mom guilt” as the two talk about the vast differences in how they were brought up in the 1980s, versus their own kids today.

That episode drops on Tuesday!  

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Reach out with your questions and comments by sending an email to [email protected].

 

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Alisyn Camerota and Heather Dubrow Get Real About Parenting Teenagers

Alisyn Camerota and Heather Dubrow Get Real About Parenting Teenagers

We’re kicking off our 6th season of the podcast with a series of episodes hosted by CNN anchor, Alisyn Camerota! Alisyn is the mother of three teenagers and will be speaking with celebrities, experts and other professionals to talk about the issues families are facing right now. 

Today Alisyn speaks with actress, entrepreneur and mother of four,  Heather Dubrow. Alisyn and the star of The Real Housewives of Orange County talk about the challenges of raising teenagers who are prepared to leave the nest, talking to your kids about sex, drugs and alcohol; and whether nature or nurture has more sway when it comes to who your kids grow up to be. Heather also shares her best advice for raising happy and well-adjusted kids. 

Remember to listen on Thursday to hear part two of Alisyn’s conversation with Heather! They talk about mom guilt (something neither one of them experiences), how to raise grateful human beings, and how to support your kids no matter what they’re going through. 

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Reach out with your questions and comments by sending an email to [email protected].

 

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The Impact of ADHD on Marriage

The Impact of ADHD on Marriage

Marriage is never easy, but it’s even harder when one or both partners have ADHD! Meygan and Casey Caston say they are the least likely couple to succeed in marriage. Not only does Casey have ADHD, but between them their parents have been married a dozen times, so instability was a theme in their youth. They’ve had their share of screaming matches, name calling and threatening divorce, but luckily discovered tools and resources to help them become better spouses, as they now have a loving and thriving relationship. And they’re helping thousands of other couples achieve the same results! 

Meygan and Casey Caston’s website: Marriage 365

This episode was originally released in October 2017. Season 6 is coming in August!

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Q&A with Dr. H: How Do I Help My Son Help Himself?

Q&A with Dr. H: How Do I Help My Son Help Himself?

Today’s question comes from Cindy, a concerned parent. She emailed Distraction and wrote in part, “Our 31 year old son has the most incredible “race car brain with bicycle brakes” that are in desperate need of maintenance… As parents of an adult with ADHD we struggle with how to help our son. How do we help him help himself?”

Dr. Hallowell responds by offering up a few ideas and encourages Cindy to jump in and help. “Sink or swim? In our world you sink,” he says in this episode. “So you need to jump in there with life jackets…” he continues.

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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Ned and Sue Answer ADHD Relationship Questions

Ned and Sue Answer ADHD Relationship Questions

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

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

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

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness!

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

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

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

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

This episode was originally released in August 2017.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suta:
Hi, how are you?

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

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

Suta:
Nice to meet you, Sue.

Sue Hallowell:
Nice to meet you.

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

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

Suta:
Where are you calling from, Suta?

Sue Hallowell:
Pennsylvania.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suta:
Yeah.

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

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

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

Suta:
Yes.

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

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
That’s right.

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

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

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

Suta:
Right, right.

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

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

Suta:
Yes. Yes, thank you so much.

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

Suta:
I appreciate it. Bye-bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Bye-bye.

Sue Hallowell:
Bye-bye.

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

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

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

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

Cheryl:
[crosstalk 00:10:25].

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So, tell-

Cheryl:
I think they call that autopilot.

Sue Hallowell:
There you go.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

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

Sue Hallowell:
We were not.

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

Cheryl:
Okay.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Yes.

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

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

Cheryl:
Okay.

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

Cheryl:
Okay.

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

Cheryl:
Oh, okay. Awesome. Thank you.

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

Cheryl:
Okay.

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

Sue Hallowell:
And Cindy Goldrich.

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

Sue Hallowell:
Calm and Connected Parenting.

Cheryl:
Okay.

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

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

Cheryl:
Okay.

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

Sue Hallowell:
But it’s a webinar.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh, great. Great.

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Terrific, then.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Good luck.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good luck.

Cheryl:
Thank you. Have a great day.

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

Cheryl:
Bye-bye.

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

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

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

Sarah:
It makes it nice and easy.

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

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

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

Sarah:
That’s right, N-E-D.

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

Sarah:
Thank you.

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

Sue Hallowell:
Hi, Christian. Thanks for calling.

Christian:
Thank you.

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

Christian:
I live in Massachusetts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Adderall.

Sue Hallowell:
Adderall.

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

Sue Hallowell:
But.

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

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

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah.

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

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

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

Sue Hallowell:
Is she working, or is she-

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

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

Christian:
Yes.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
She loses it. Right.

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

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

Christian:
Right.

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

Christian:
Right.

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

Christian:
Yeah.

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How old are your kids?

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah.

Christian:
Yeah, so.

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

Christian:
Right.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
That’s right.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wonderful.

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

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

Christian:
Right, exactly.

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

Christian:
Yeah.

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

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

Christian:
Thank you very much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you, Christian.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
You too. Goodbye.

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Ah.

Sue Hallowell:
Ah.

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

Sue Hallowell:
Yeah.

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

Janine:
So that’s critical.

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

Janine:
Yeah.

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

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

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

Janine:
That’s so true.

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

Janine:
It would be.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What’s the joy?

Sue Hallowell:
You are terrible.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
I mean, really.

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

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

Janine:
Yes.

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

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

Janine:
And-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s funny-

Janine:
[crosstalk 00:34:41].

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

Janine:
Yeah.

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

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

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

Janine:
Well, we do too.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Banter.

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

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

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

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

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

Janine:
Yeah.

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

Sue Hallowell:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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

Sue Hallowell:
No, you can’t.

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

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

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

Janine:
Hey, thank you so much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thanks, Janine.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Take care.

Janine:
All right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Bye-bye.

Janine:
Take care. Bye-bye.

Sue Hallowell:
Bye-bye.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ADHD Questions About Diagnosis, Medications, Doctor Disagreements & Helping Family Understand

ADHD Questions About Diagnosis, Medications, Doctor Disagreements & Helping Family Understand

What does it mean when you’re one symptom short of an ADHD diagnosis? Dr. H answers this and other listener questions including the difference between short-acting and long-acting medications, how to explain ADHD to family members, and what to do when your child doesn’t like their doctor.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. I’ll be answering in today’s session your questions and responding to emails we’ve received recently from many of you. Remember, if you have a question you’d like me to answer, please, please, please send it to [email protected] That’s [email protected] We love these Q and A sessions. Of course, we can’t have them without your questions. So off we go. Off we go to the races. Let’s get started. My wonderful producer, the inimitable Sarah Guertin is joining me now to read your questions to me, as well as your comments. And so let me ask Sarah, the wonderful, wonderful Sarah, who are we starting with today?

Sarah Guertin:
Hi, Ned. Today, we are starting with an email from a listener named Tim. Tim wrote to us in response to the episode we released about an ADHD diagnosis being good news, and he wrote: Hi, Dr. Hallowell. I haven’t technically received a diagnosis of ADHD, but the process wasn’t good news for me. After struggling and underperforming through grade school, community college, and university finally earning my bachelor’s degree six years after graduating high school, I finally had myself tested for ADHD when I was put on academic probation after my first semester in grad school. I was told that I was one self-reported symptom short of a diagnosis of ADHD. They found that I had a good IQ, but my working memory and processing speed scores were three standard deviations below my other scores. My university was unwilling to allow me any accommodations. And the representative told me that, “No one was going to feel sorry for me if I was able to get a bachelor’s degree.”

Sarah Guertin:
I later worked with a psychiatrist that allowed me to give ADHD medication a try, but they didn’t seem to help me. This was around 2003, and they had unpleasant side effects. A few years later, I tried treating my dysthymia pharmacologically, and that didn’t seem to help either. I’ve worked with a few different therapists over the years and have made only a little progress on that. I currently take dextroamphetamine because of daytime sleepiness associated with insomnia and sleep apnea that is not treated well by APAP/CPAP. The dextroamphetamine sort of helps the attention piece a little, but also makes me more distracted in other ways. Anyways, the point is that the news isn’t always good, but maybe that is just because I didn’t get a clear ADHD (VAST) diagnosis. Take care, Tim.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, thank you so much, Tim. For people listening VAST is the term that John Ratey and I came up with in our new book for ADHD because ADHD itself is so inaccurate. VAST stands for Variable Attention Stimulus Trait. Tim, yes, what you suffered is not good news. What you’ve suffered is terrible news. It reflects both how difficult it can be to have ADHD or VAST, but also how hard it is to get competent help. I mean, the idea that you were one self-reported symptom short of a diagnosis is ridiculous. It’s like my friend and colleague, John Ratey, kids, “If you’re one symptom short of a diagnosis of depression what does that mean? You’re just miserable.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I mean, these diagnostic criteria are not supposed to be taken that literally so it’s hard and fast if you have five symptoms, you don’t have it. If you have six symptoms, you do. Technically, that’s the definition, but a true evaluation, a good evaluation is based on the totality of your presentation. What are you struggling with? And how long have you been struggling with it? And how intense is it? And these are not amenable to being so concrete that you say, “Well, you have five symptoms. You don’t have it. You have six symptoms. You do have it.” That’s just not right. You were suffering and you were not given any help. The idea that no one was going to feel sorry for me if I was able to get a bachelor’s degree that’s also absurd.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
There are plenty of high achievers who have ADHD. I have any number of physicians in my practice. There is a Nobel Prize winner who has ADHD. You can be a CEO, a self-made millionaire, or billionaire, and have this condition. So the fact that you were able to get a bachelor’s degree doesn’t mean you don’t have ADHD. Again, we’re dealing with misconceptions. It breaks my heart to see how hard you’ve been trying, which is also typical of folks who have ADHD, not getting the right help. In fact, getting wrong help. I don’t know about the medications that you were given, but if my guess is right you weren’t given the full range of possibilities vis-a-vis medication. Now, medication does not always work. It does work about 80% of the time and by work, I mean, you get target symptom improvement, improved efficiency, improved focus, improved performance with no side effects other than appetite suppression without weight loss.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
In my own case, meds don’t work. I’m one of the 20% for whom meds don’t work, but I have found a medication that I like, namely, coffee. So I have my coffee every day, and that’s my version of stimulant medication. I think if you were to work with a psychiatrist who really understood the condition, and if you were given help beyond simply try this medication. If you were given some education, some coaching so you could have a fuller understanding of what your strengths and vulnerabilities are then you could maximize the strengths and minimize the vulnerabilities, but you need to find somebody who really gets this. I refer you to my book Delivered from Distraction. If you read that you’ll know enough to be able to actually teach whoever you go to see and you’ll know what the various meds are, but also what are the non-medication interventions that are available, and there are many of them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We’ve talked on this program before about the Zing program. And if you want to learn about that go to distraction.zingperformance.com, Z-I-N-G performance.com. And it’s just a series of physical exercises that stimulate the cerebellum, which in turn is connected to the frontal part of the brain where the action is in ADHD. My buddy, John Ratey, has written a whole book about how physical exercise, just exercise in general can help with ADHD. And we know also that meditation can help. I’m a big fan of promoting finding some creative outlet, something where you can use your imagination to create, build, or develop something. That’s something that the reason I write so many books. I’m starting my 21st book is not because I’m ambitious to write books it’s because if I don’t have a book going I get depressed. I need a creative outlet to keep me to keep me going.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So, long-winded, but yes, this condition undealt with can be horrible, but if you find someone who can guide you to deal with it properly, you can tap into your superpower. You can tap into your unique talents, and your special abilities, which we all have. It can take some doing, some scratching, some probing, some trying, and failing to find what are your special talents and abilities. Tim, don’t give up. It’s not like people with ADD to give up, but I’m sorry you had that negative experience. I’m sorry you’ve had the bad news side of ADHD. Let’s see if you can get some help and get to the good news part of it. Thanks so much for writing in. Sarah, do we have another one?

Sarah Guertin:
We sure do. Actually, it ties into what you were just saying. This one is about changing careers from a listener named Sarah. She asks: Can you do a podcast about ADHD-ers who want to change fields or careers? I have tried to switch a few times with no success. I have never been “happy” in a job. I have an enormous amount of student debt to pay off, which weighs on me every single day of my life. I would like to find something I can be happy doing day in and day out. Like you, Dr. Hallowell, I’m a writer at heart and I am depressed when I don’t have a creative outlet. My husband has even said, “You are so much happier when you write.” With three school-aged kids it’s very hard to find the time for all the things to keep us healthy, exercise, cooking, et cetera, and sane. I’m not a novelist yet. How do you find the time?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, Sarah, as one writer to another my heart goes out to you. I mean, you’ve got to make money, and it’s very hard to make money as a writer. So for now I would put the writing under the category of hobby, avocation. It’s probably not going to pay you what you need to make right off the bat. So you want to find a job that is at the intersection of three circles. One circle are things you really like to do. The other circle are things that you’re very good at doing. And the third circle are things that someone will pay you to do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So where those three circles overlap, what I call your sweet spot, that’s where you ought to be spending as much of your time as you possibly can. Just sit down at the kitchen table with your husband because we’re not good self-observers. We so often sell ourselves short. Make a list. What do I like to do? And then another list. What am I good at doing? And see where those two lists over overlap. And then the third one. Okay, given these overlaps, which one of them will pay enough to make it worth my while, worth the time I put in? And I know you can find probably a few things in there where you can try to get a job in that overlap in your sweet spot.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And then for the writing, I would recommend you get it’s a very short book. I can’t remember the author’s name, but it’s This Year You Write Your Novel. It’s a very short book and it’s very practical. It’s written by a man who’s written 20 books so he knows what he’s talking about. I’m just going on my cell phone to see if I can find the actual … Here we go. This Year You Write Your Novel. Okay? The author is Walter Mosley, M-O-S-L-E-Y. It’s in paperback. It sells for $15.99. I can tell you it’s money well-spent for you. This Year You Write Your Novel.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Basically, what he recommends is that you write for an hour a day. Now you may not be able to find an hour a day. I think he’d approve if you put in a half an hour a day, but that’s how you do it. You find the time. You create the time. And then you protect that time religiously. And it gets so you really look forward to it. And even if you spent the half hour staring out the window, you’ve committed to doing it. Since you’re a writer at heart, I love your phrase, I’m a writer at heart and depressed when you don’t write, you got to write. Just don’t think that it’s going to pay your bills right off the bat. Now the day may come when it does pay your bills.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
One of the main reasons I went to medical school is I didn’t want to put all my financial eggs in the basket of becoming a successful writer. And it took me a while before my book started paying me, but now they do, and they’ve helped me put my kids through college. I’ve achieved my dream, but my primary job is being a doctor is helping people. I specialize as you know in this condition, ADHD, terrible name, but that’s what they call it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I hope this answer helps. Try to find a job that’s in your sweet spot, the overlap of what you’re good at, what you like to do, and what someone will pay you to do. And then have your writing. Don’t give up on it. Absolutely have it. Commit to it at least a half hour a day, ideally, an hour a day, and get Walter Mosley’s book This Year You Write Your Novel. I want you to come back to me, please. Let me know how you did with this. Congratulations, Sarah. Don’t give up on your dream. Okay. We’re going to pause for a little break right here to hear from one of our sponsors.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
OmegaBrite, omegabritewellness.com has been a sponsor of this podcast for I don’t know how long. I invited them to join us because my wife, Sue, and I have taken their Omega-3 supplements for years and years and years. I’ve known Carol Locke, the woman who developed all the products for many years. She’s a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a superb physician, and incredibly careful with the products that her company creates. She has extremely high standards that are uncompromising. She’s also a really nice person. They’re a natural fit for the show because their products help with mood regulation, anxiety, as well as focus and attention, as well as being good for your entire body their powerful anti-inflammatory action. You can find all of their supplements online at omegabrite B-R-I-T-E wellness.com. That’s omegabritewellness.com. And Distraction listeners you can save 20% on your first order by entering the promo code Podcast2020. That’s Podcast2020. All right. Now, back to the show. All right, this next question comes from Kristen. Sarah, you want to read it?

Sarah Guertin:
Sure. She writes: Hi Dr. Hallowell. My son is moderately gifted, IQ approximately 135, so nothing profound. I would think he hits about six to seven check marks for inattentive ADHD. It does definitely affect him at home and at school. He gets pretty stressed about writing, prioritizing, organizing, planning, ignoring distractions, et cetera, but because he is gifted, he seems pretty average to the teachers. Just seems to “need a bit of help to stay on task.” He is going into grade five in Canada, but he does like school so that’s good. He does have some success there, thank goodness. He has accelerated by one grade for math.

Sarah Guertin:
At home, he has a hard time following more than two-step directions, forgets what he was going to do, avoids hard stuff, emotional regulation is difficult and can be quite extreme, et cetera. Basically, I am on the verge of considering medication. I will see how this year goes. I just wonder if these struggles are holding him back from his potential. Kristen notes that her son has had an assessment and that he scored well on all tests, including working memory, but he was in the clinical range for visual attention, and visual-motor processing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good job with that visual-motor pronunciation.

Sarah Guertin:
I looked it up.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Visual-motor. Well, okay. Kristin, 135 is more than moderately gifted. “IQ approximately 135, so nothing profound.” That’s profound. 135 is real good and it’s certainly the top one or 2%, so I think he is indeed at least on the basis of IQ a gifted kid. You said in your letter, “Basically, I am on the verge of considering medication.” That makes it sound like it’s some kind of last-ditch intervention. Medication used properly is very safe and very effective. Putting it off it’s like saying, “Why don’t I do a year or two of squinting before I get eyeglasses?” Medication is proven to be effective in 80% of cases. Effective means you get results and you don’t have side effects. 20% it doesn’t work, but 80% is a pretty good batting average.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And it makes no sense to defer hoping that the non-medication interventions will take care of it because the non-medication interventions become far more effective if the person is on medication that works. In other words, you can do all the coaching, and organizing, and planning that are part of the non-medication interventions far more effectively if you’re taking a medication that is helping you. So I would absolutely get my doctor to give my son a trial of Ritalin, or Adderall, whichever he or she likes to prescribe. Make the trial involved enough so you don’t just try one dose of one medication. You try various doses of one from the amphetamine category, and one from the methylphenidate category. The holding off on medication is real common. People have a tendency to think of it as an extreme intervention and it isn’t. It’s not surgery. It’s not last-ditch when all else has failed. Unfortunately, that’s the way a lot of people approach it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
If they approached it more like, okay, let’s get the proven intervention, namely medication, and then do all the rest you’d get much better results with a lot less heartache and struggle. People talk about the side effects of medication, and all those side effects can be controlled simply by lowering the dose, changing the medication, or discontinuing it altogether, but what they really ought to talk about are the side effects of not taking the medication. Year after year after year of underachievement, of frustration, of knowing you could be doing better if only you could get the mental eyeglasses that medication can provide. I hope you’ll give that some thought. Please do get back to us. We love to get follow-up emails from these calls. Okay, Miss Sarah, do we have another one in our mailbag?

Sarah Guertin:
We certainly do. We have lots of parents this week. You can tell it’s back to school time, but this next email comes from Lisa, who is the mother of a 12-year-old girl in the seventh grade. Her daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in the second grade, but didn’t start medication until fifth grade. She writes: Please share more on the psychiatry of ADHD medications, and interaction with the brain. My very specific question is about why a 10 milligram methylphenidate seems to be more effective than the fancy slow-release Concerta. What are the risks of me sending methylphenidate to school for my immature 12-year-old to take at lunch hour? (I heard kids sell them). Thank you again for all you do to help me learn to be the best mom I can for my challenging child. Lisa.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, thank you so much, Lisa, for writing in. 12-year-girl in the seventh grade. You got the diagnosis in the second grade, but didn’t start medication until the fifth grade. That’s sort of in keeping with the previous call. There’s a tendency to put off starting medication, which again, I don’t think makes much sense. Everyone does it so don’t feel bad. Everyone thinks that medication is this last-ditch intervention, but it really isn’t. It’s a first-ditch intervention. At least I think it ought to be because there’s very little downside. The meds work right away, and if you don’t like what they do you stop it. That’s only common sense. And if you do like what it does, you say hooray, and you continue it. And that whole process can take a week. You can really find out pretty quickly if the meds are going to be helpful or not. Sometimes more than a week, maybe a month, but it is a process of trial and error.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, your specific question, why does 10 milligrams of methylphenidate seem more effective than Concerta, which is a slow-release medication? The short answer is we don’t know, but specifically with Concerta, it may very well be if you’re taking the generic Concerta that the osmotic pump, the generic manufacturer didn’t get it right. Concerta was the first long-acting medication we had. And when it went generic, all of a sudden people were saying, “My Concerta doesn’t work anymore.” And that’s because the osmotic pump, which was developed at MIT, and allowed for the medication to be slow-release, a lot of the generic manufacturers didn’t get it right. They didn’t know how to technologically reproduce the original Concerta so all of a sudden people were getting different generic formulations that suddenly didn’t work so that could be why.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now there are other slow-release forms of methylphenidate. There’s Ritalin LA, for example. LA stands for long-acting. And if you want a long-acting formulation, I would suggest giving that a try, or trying a different generic of Concerta, or trying brand name Concerta because there’s a distinct advantage to not having to bring your medication to school. Most schools will not allow kids to bring it in for one of the reasons being you already cited that some kids sell their medication. Some kids lose it. Some kids pass it around to friends just to see what it does. You know how kids are with experimentation. That’s dangerous. You don’t want to be doing that. So I would not have my son or daughter bring their medication in their pocket to school.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What schools do do is you can give it to the school nurse and she can dispense the medication. Now that’s inconvenient. The child has to go to the school nurse at recess, or lunchtime, and a lot of people don’t want to do that. So I think it’s worth it for you to hunt down a long-acting methylphenidate that does work. And don’t forget if you don’t find a methylphenidate, there’s always amphetamine, Adderall, or Vyvanse the long-acting version. Adderall XR, extended-release, or Vyvanse.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What can you do to be the best mom you can be? Learn all you can about ADHD. My most recent book is Delivered from Distraction. There’s a ton of information in there. Superparenting for ADD is another book that is worth it. And there are many others out there by many other authors. This field has become richly written about, which is great. And you might subscribe to the wonderful magazine ADDitude. That’s A-D-D-I-T-U-D-E. Terrific, terrific magazine full of really good articles every month that it comes out. I hope this answers your questions. I’m just looking back and trying to see. I think I addressed it, but the main thing you can do for your daughter is to love her, which you’re already doing. Sorry about that. My cell phone just went off. The producer always tells me to turn off my cell phone and, of course, I forget. And so then I will get my wrist slapped during the break for not turning off my cell phone.

Sarah Guertin:
Everyone knows your ringtone.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Anyway, I’m sorry for that interruption. There’s methylphenidate and there’s amphetamine. Those are the two molecules that comprise the bulk of the stimulant medications that we use to treat this condition. And it is a matter of trial and error. You can’t predict which one will work best for any given child, but it’s worth trying a few before you give up, different doses, and different formulations. As I said, the best thing you can do for her is love her, and you know that. Provide structure. Provide a routine. Provide what her brain usually doesn’t do so very easily.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And make her feel proud of having it. The more successes she experiences, the more she feels proud of having the imagination I’m pretty sure she’s got. Having the kind of spontaneity, the kind of humor, all her quirkiness make her feel proud of because she should be proud of it. We need this in today’s world. These are the people that make the changes that bring us what we’re hoping for. Anyway, Lisa, thanks so much for writing and please give us follow-up. We love hearing about what happens to the people that our listeners write in about.

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

Sarah Guertin:
We have a couple more here. This next one comes from Tricia and she writes: I enjoy listening to your podcast to help me learn more about how I can help my 11-year-old son use his ADHD superpowers. I have read your Driven to Distraction book as well. Where we struggle is explaining his brain to the grandparents that don’t see him on a day-to-day basis to know how to deal with, or understand his behaviors. They are used to the other grandkids that are very organized and even keel with their emotions. Do you know of a concise general resource that we could point them to so they can better understand and appreciate his unique brain?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, this is common. Grandparents, and people who didn’t grow up with ADD as part of the lexicon often get grumpy about it and say, “What is this nonsense? All he needs is more discipline.” And that’s simply wrong. It’s understandable because they don’t know what they don’t know, but they need to know what they need to know. Now it’s hard to educate your parents. As people get older and more fixed in their ways, they become less open to hearing the truth. So how do you present to them the truth? Sometimes you can’t do it as their child. So sometimes you rely on a book, and the book I would give them would be not Driven to Distraction, but Delivered from Distraction because it has newer stuff in it. The first chapter is called The Skinny: Read this if you can’t read the whole book, so get them to read the highlights.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, if they’re willing to listen to you, and if you’ve read it, just explain to them. Keep it simple. The analogy that I like best is the one that I use most often. Having this condition is like having a Ferrari engine for a brain, but with bicycle brakes. It’s not hard to understand that analogy. You’ve got a powerful, powerful brain, a powerful imagination. Your challenge is in controlling it. It’s not easy to control the power of the brain that you’ve got so you need help in strengthening your brakes. That’s a pretty good analogy, and the grandparents should be able to understand that. And the way to strengthen your brakes is not to punish or shame the child. In fact, that’s the worst thing you can do, but to support and give structure.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And when they screw up, say “Your brakes failed you.” You see, because that’s not shaming. There’s no shame in my brakes failed me. It’s a mechanical problem. So I got to work on my brakes. Okay, now how do I do that? Well, I exercise. Maybe I take medication. Maybe I practice more. Maybe I work with a coach, or some teacher. Maybe I get extra help. Maybe I eat right, get enough sleep, not too many video games. These are all ways of strengthening my brakes. And if grandma and grandpa can reinforce that, then that’s so much better than undermining it with grumpy remarks about all he needs, or she needs is more discipline.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Telling someone with ADD to try harder, or get more discipline is about as helpful as telling someone who’s nearsighted to squint harder. It’s antediluvian. It misses the biological science, the point. And even though we live in an age that people are not always receptive to science, we ought to be because science means knowledge, and knowledge is powerful. Lack of knowledge on the other hand is hugely destructive. So try to go with knowledge and science, and try to help your parents help their grandchildren. Grandparents are the greatest blessing next to dogs God ever created. And so let your child’s grandparents live up to the blessing that they have to offer. Thanks so much for writing in.

Sarah Guertin:
Okay. We have one more and it, too, is from a mom. Her name is Denise and she wrote: Good afternoon, Dr. Hallowell. I have enjoyed your books and podcasts for many years now as my husband and I are learning how to help our 13-year-old son with ADHD. My son has been under the care of a child/adolescent psychiatrist since he was nine years old when he was started on Concerta. In the recent 12 months, my son is not liking his doctor. My son describes him as confrontational, and he feels like the doctor is trying to make him mad, or put him down.

Sarah Guertin:
I have a professional relationship with the doctor and have subtly brought up the fact that my son does not like coming to see him recently in hopes that things would improve, but they have not. I would very much like my son to have someone he likes to talk to and can connect with, a physician, therapist, or social worker. These teen years are hard, and I know my son is frustrated with his ADHD. I’m writing to see if you know of any child/adolescent psychiatrists, or therapists in the Chicago area. With much gratitude for your work and positivity in the area of ADHD. Warmly, Denise.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, Denise, it is very important that your son like his doctor. Everything will go better. The meds will work better. The interventions will work better. Your son will feel better about himself. And if he’s come to a point where it’s time to part ways with this doctor it doesn’t mean the doctor is bad it just means the chemistry. People leave me because they don’t like me. It happens to all of us. It doesn’t mean we’re bad doctors. We can’t be liked and appreciated by every single person who comes to see us. Just like you can’t like every food, or you can’t like every movie you see. There’s an element of chemistry in the doctor-patient relationship that you really need to respect.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The doctor won’t take it personally. If the doctor is being unpleasant to your son your doctor probably doesn’t like seeing him either. So if you leave him, he’ll probably be relieved. He probably knows that their relationship has gone a little bit sour. Again, no bad guy here. It just happens in doctor-patient relationships. It happens in clergy-parishioner relationships. It happens with merchants. You have a merchant that you’ve always liked and suddenly you’re not getting along with the merchant, or the plumber, or the gas station person. You have people that you’re working well with, and then you’re not. And rather than getting mad, and pushing forward move on. Fortunately, there are many doctors in the Chicago area. Plus your son will be relieved that you’re listening to him that you’re understanding what he’s saying and just say, “Well, this doctor helped us for a while. Now we’ll find another doctor who can meet you more on your terms and get along with.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I don’t have a specific referral in Chicago, but I can tell you the best psychiatrist in the world, in my opinion, is the head of child psychiatry at Northwestern. His name is John Walkup, like you walkup to a store. W-A-L-K-U-P. John Walkup. Now he won’t have time to see your son himself, but his office I’m sure could give you a referral either within their department, or somewhere. Just to have John Walkup’s name in your book of names, he is an amazingly wonderful child psychiatrist. He’s both an academic, but also just a wise, knowledgeable, commonsensical, down to earth human being. And since you’re in Chicago, I would try calling his office and seeing if you can get a referral, and explaining to your son, you respect what he’s saying, and you’re going to find him a new person because it’s important, not just for medication, but for understanding this condition as he continues to grow and develop. And, also, that you have an ally in the doctor that you can turn to and trust.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Like I say, I don’t treat disabilities. I help people unwrap their gifts. And in order to have someone unwrap your son’s gift, your son has to like that person, and believe in that person, and enjoy seeing that person, and laugh together, and be silly, or whatever your son’s stock-in-trade is. And they’re out there. A big city like Chicago there are plenty of clinicians. It’s not easy to find. You have to do some legwork, make some phone calls, but I’ve given you a starting point. Good luck in unwrapping your son’s gift.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, thank you. Thank you, thank you for sending in those emails. Please keep sending them in. Send it to [email protected] You can send us an email, or record a voice memo. You can put a message on a carrier pigeon, but it’s got to come to [email protected] And I don’t think the carrier pigeon could get onto the internet. It’s a sad thing that we don’t have carrier pigeons anymore, or smoke signals, or any of those ways of communicating that we used to. I’m just saying that tongue-in-cheek. Of course, it’s a wonderful thing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s going to do it for today, unless you want to send me a smoke signal to the contrary. Thank you so much to all of you who wrote to us. Really, we rely on your messages. Please keep them coming. It’s the way we exist is because of you, and without you we wouldn’t exist. Remember to like Distraction on social media. We’re trying to beef that up and be sure to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen so you never miss one of our lovely episodes. And please let us know how we could make them even better. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is Scott Persson, the wonderful Scott Persson. And our producer is the also wonderful, talented Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for now.

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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