Jessica McCabe on Why ADHD Brains Are Drawn to Crises, Sponsored by Landmark College

Jessica McCabe on Why ADHD Brains Are Drawn to Crises, Sponsored by Landmark College

Jessica McCabe joins Ned for a conversation about how ADHD brains respond to crises. The queen of the ADHD kingdom (as Ned dubs her in this episode) talks about the struggle she faced in college with dropping everything to help those around her. Jessica learned that responding to someone else’s crisis was a way to distract herself and avoid doing the boring stuff, like homework.  And as Dr. H says to her in this episode, “Boredom is our kryptonite!” 

The pair talk about why neurodiverse brains are draw to stimulation and the importance of recognizing what’s really going on when you drop everything to help someone else and avoid your own responsibilities. 

An extra special thanks to our sponsor Landmark College in Putney, Vermont for making this episode possible!

Check out Jessica’s videos at HowtoADHD

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

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media and produced by Sarah Guertin.

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

Check out this episode!

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How to Deal with Disappointment

How to Deal with Disappointment

The expression, “don’t cry over spilled milk” has been around for centuries, but what do you actually do when your faced with a disappointment?

In this week’s mini Dr. H talks about a few different ways you can move past a disappointment. And yes, that does call for the occasional “good cry.”

If you have a question or comment for Dr. Hallowell reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].  

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!  

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

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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ADHD and Accepting Help, Hormones, Meds and More

ADHD and Accepting Help, Hormones, Meds and More

What do you do when someone you love with ADHD won’t accept help? Do hormonal changes affect medication? What are the different types of ADHD treatment available? These are just a few of the questions Dr. H addresses in this week’s podcast as he responds to emails we’ve received from our listeners.

Please continue to reach out to us with your questions and episode ideas! Write an email or record a voice memo 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. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com, and by Landmark College offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. Learn more at lcdistraction.org. Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. In today’s episode, I will be doing one of my favorite things, answering questions and responding to emails from you, our treasured valued, esteemed, and just magnificent listeners. As we usually do with these episodes, my wonderful producer, the lovely, brilliant, so very faithful and good and true, Sarah Guertin is joining me today to help out. Okay, Sarah, who are we starting with today?

Sarah Guertin:
I kind of sound like a dog. Maybe that’s why we get along so well, you like dogs. I’m loyal.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You don’t look anything like it though.

Sarah Guertin:
Well, thank you anyway. Okay, so today we are starting with an email from a listener named Mary. She writes, “I enjoyed listening to the mini Distraction/What’s in My Toolbox podcast.” That was quite a while ago you did that one, but she says, “My son is almost 20. He was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia at age eight. He is a wonderful human being and very loved, but struggles daily and spends much of his time shut away in his room. He has friends and enjoys his time with them, but shuts himself away when at home. Throughout his life he has shunned any form of help, despite huge encouragement. He won’t accept our help or help from external sources, i.e., he rejected to help at school, left college as lecturers couldn’t help him, won’t let us teach him practical things, gave up on driving lessons. The list goes on. How can we overcome this barrier? If it was in his toolbox, he’d fly.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Mary, your son, this is not uncommon, particularly among young men. He had a hard time early on, and he’s adopted avoidance as a coping style. That’s really the coping style that I hate to see, because it’s out of fear. He doesn’t want to fail. He doesn’t want to look stupid. He doesn’t want to embarrass himself.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
He’s, as you say, a wonderful human being and very loved, but he’s hiding from the world. How do you bring someone out of hiding? How do you coax someone or persuade someone that it’s worth taking a shot? This is where creativity comes into play, even bribery, but if you can find something to interest him in, something to get him to stick his head out of his hole long enough to smell life and get excited by something, anything. It could be a project, could be a relationship, could be a sport, could be a puzzle. Could be something online, some chat rooms, some group of people, some game, anything to get him involved in life.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s, I would say, the measure of a successful life is have you found the game you love to play? Have you found something you love to play? Whether it’s a business or a profession, once you get in the game and love the game, then the wins and the losses don’t matter. The victory is loving the game and looking forward to taking another shot. Right now your son, bless his soul, is dropped out of the game, because he’s afraid of embarrassing himself. He’s afraid that he doesn’t have whatever it takes, and it’s your job and the job of whoever you find to help you, and there are lots of people who can do it, doesn’t have to be a mental health professional could be, but it could be an uncle, an aunt, a grandparent, a friend, a relative, a music teacher, a gym teacher, a drill instructor in the army if he decides to enlist.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You don’t know who it’s going to be, but that’s the project, and approach it with a creative mind. Try not to fall into the trap of getting frustrated and fatalistic and just kind of giving up on him, not that you’d ever do that, but just feeling in your heart that it’s never going to work out because chances are, it will work out. Chances are, if you keep at it, if you keep coming toward him with different offers of different projects, different treasures, different goodies, one of these days, he’s going to get in a mood where he’ll snatch, he’ll reach out, his eyes will widen and his heart will beat. He will come out of hiding long enough to taste some kind of success, some kind of approval of others, some kind of engagement on his own in a way that it’s more valuable to chase that feeling than to hide and avoid feelings altogether.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I promise you if you keep at it with a team of people, not you alone, with a team of people, and they can be a ragtag bunch of, doesn’t have to be professionals or experts of any kind, just people who are interested in him, care about him, know something about something to get him hooked on life, to find a game he loves to play, and then you’re off to the races. Then you’ve got it made. Then he’s doing this thing we call life until he can’t do it anymore. You’re in a tough place right now, but a place that is fraught with possibility, as long as you keep at it. Good luck and do me a favor, come back to us in a few months and tell me what’s going on. I’d love to follow you along, Mary, in your journey with your son. Thanks so much for writing to us.

Sarah Guertin:
Okay. This next one is about hormones in girls and ADHD. It starts, “Hello, Dr. Hallowell, I am a divorced parent of one daughter who is about to turn 13. She started middle school last year. She was diagnosed with ADHD several years ago due to struggling in the classroom. She had no issues with peers or coaches though. After trials of a handful of medications that were either ineffective or had negative side effects, she responded well to guaifenesin and she has been taking it ever since.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Guanfacine, that probably is.

Sarah Guertin:
Sorry, guanfacine. Okay. “However, her reactivity, anger and impatience, at home only mind you, are at an all-time high and have been for a year or two. As she enters adolescence and is experiencing hormonal changes, I am wondering whether that has an effect on how medications for ADHD work. Do you recommend a medication re-evaluation? Of note, she presents much more like a boy with ADHD than how girls typically present. Thank you for any thoughts that you have, Chloe”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. By all means I recommend a re-evaluation of medication. Guanfacine worked for a while, but it’s not working so much at home because of her reactivity, anger and impatience. Do hormones play a role? Yes, indeed they do. They very much do. You want to revisit medications. 80% of people with ADD can get an excellent response to medication. By that, I mean, target symptom improvement with no side effects. No, no, no, no side effects other than appetite suppression without unwanted weight loss.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But remember, there’s more to this than just medication. We have many more tools in the toolbox than just medication. You might want to consider one of my favorites. It’s a real breakthrough, the Zing method. We’ve had podcasts about this in the past. It’s a specialized form of exercise that you do for 10 minutes twice a day, that bolsters the cerebellum part of your brain at the back. It turns out the cerebellum is very involved in executive function and mood and cognitive issues. If you do these for 10 minutes twice a day, three to six months, 85% of people get really excellent results.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
To learn more just go to a website, distraction.zingperformance. That’s Z-I-N-G performance.com. That’s distraction.zingperformance.com. You don’t use medication at all. You may take medication while you’re doing Zing, it’s not contra-indicated, but this is a completely non-medication treatment for ADHD. It’s based on breakthrough science from Jeremy Schmahmann at Mass General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Schmahmann’s not part of the Zing group at all, but the Zing people took advantage of Schmahmann’s research in developing their program, which I think is very, very promising. I recommend that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then the other standards of non-medication treatment, physical exercise of all kinds. My friend, John Ratey, in his book, Spark, showed what an incredibly powerful tool exercise is for sharpening up your mental faculties. Getting enough sleep, meditating, eating right, in other words, avoiding junk food, avoiding sugar, trying to eat whole foods and not use drugs and alcohol to help you get by. Then coaching is another standard in helping with ADD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You’re talking about good news in that she’s symptomatic only at home, which means she can hold it together away from home, which is a good sign, but we want to help her at home, as well. Her race car brain is running away with her, and she’s having trouble putting on the brakes. That’s ADD, race car brain with bicycle brakes. You want to strengthen those brakes in whatever ways you can. I would suggest revisit medication, see if stimulants might work this time, but in meanwhile, investigate the Zing program. Go to distraction.zingperformance.com, and then look at physical exercise, meditation, sleep, eating right and coaching.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Also, don’t forget my favorite element in the list, which is positive human connection, the other vitamin C as I call it. A lot of people aren’t getting enough vitamin C these days because of the pandemic, but we need to connect with each other one way or another, so make sure your daughter is doing that, as well. Thank you so much for writing in and please give us follow-up. Love to hear how she’s making out.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
In this anxious back-to-school time, everyone is looking for ways to reduce the edge of anxiety. One good way to try is by taking OmegaBrite supplement, Omega CBD, OmegaBrite CBD, as well as the OmegaBrite fish oil product. Both are good for emotional reactivity and can take the edge off of that. They’re fully natural, very healthy, really developed by a top-notch company. OmegaBritewellness.com, and you can get 20% off your first order by using the code podcast2020. Enter that, get 20% off. OmegaBritewellness.com. Okay, now let’s get back to the show.

Sarah Guertin:
Okay. Since we’re on the subject of medication, we have another question from a listener about medication. Jean wrote, “Thank you. Please talk more about Ritalin and other best medications for ADD. I have side effects, and it takes months to get my medication changed.” I was thinking maybe you could just give listeners a quick overview.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Is that what you were thinking, Sarah?

Sarah Guertin:
It’s my job to produce, so this is me producing you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, I will do as I’m told. In fact, I would love to do your bidding and this writer’s, this listener’s bidding. It says it takes months to get my medication changed. That should not happen. These medications, stimulant medications, can be changed daily if need be. It certainly shouldn’t take months. There’s something wrong with that picture. Maybe have a sit-down with your doctor or nurse practitioner or whoever you’re working with and try to set up a system where you can make changes more quickly, because to wait months for a stimulant medication change is just insane. There’s no need for that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now the stimulant medications, of which Ritalin is one, are basically divided into two categories. Those that are methylphenidate-based, Ritalin, Focalin, Daytrana patch, Concerta, Ritalin LA, those are all based on the molecule methylphenidate, which came into use in the early 1950s. Ritalin is the best known among those. By the way, do you know where Ritalin got its name? The man who developed it, developed it to help his wife with her tennis game, so she could focus better. Her name was Rita. Hence, Rita-line is where the name came from.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then the other group of stimulants are based on the molecule amphetamine. Now amphetamine was used for the first time to treat what we now call ADHD in, guess what year? 1937. Most people think it’s some new development in the past couple of decades. Not so at all, it’s been around for what is that, like 80 years. That’s good, because nothing lasts that long unless it is safe and effective. Now the best-known amphetamine-based medications are Adderall, Adderall XR stands for extended release, Vyvanse, which is another extended-release and Mydayis, which is the longest-acting of the amphetamine-based medications.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Those two groups, the methylphenidate-based and the amphetamine-based, make up the bulk of stimulant medication that we prescribe for ADHD. They still remain, in my opinion, the gold standard. Those are the best, when they work, they’re the best. They’re not definitive treatment, but they are symptomatic treatment. They’re like eyeglasses, and eyeglasses are pretty darn good if you’re near-sighted, and stimulant medication is pretty darn good if you have trouble focusing, if you have ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The major side effect of both groups, and the side effects are the same, the major side effect is it cuts your appetite. You have to be careful not to lose weight that you don’t want to lose. Other side effects are much less common, but they include insomnia if you take it too close to bedtime, elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure. Some people get jittery as if they’ve had too much coffee. Some people the opposite, oddly enough, become somnolent. Some people just don’t like the way it makes them feel. They feel like they lose a bit of their personality. They lose their spontaneity, their sense of humor.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Any of those that happen, you just stop the medication. You can stop it on a dime. You don’t have to taper it. If it does anything you don’t like, if you turn purple, stop it, and you’ll go back to your original color. One of the great conveniences of these medications is that they’re in and out of your system in a matter of hours. That’s why I say you certainly don’t have to wait months to make a change. If one doesn’t work, another might. If Ritalin doesn’t work, Adderall might. The fact that one medication doesn’t help you, doesn’t mean that the other grouping won’t. How do you know in advance which one to try? It’s trial and error. That’s where we are. You try one. You try the other. As I said, you can go through a number of these in a matter of days. You don’t have to spend months doing the trial and error. About 80% of people who have ADD will find benefit without side effects from one or another of the medications.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Then there are the non-stimulant medications, which don’t have the stellar track record of stimulants, but they’re great if they work. At the top of the list in that group, in my opinion, is Wellbutrin bupropion, which also has effectiveness as an anti-depressant and as an anti-addiction medication. It’s marketed as Zyban to help people quit smoking.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
There’s a quick, quick overview about stimulant medication and medication in general. Work with a doctor who knows what he or she is doing. That’s the key to it all. Work with a doctor who has lots of experience in treating adults and children who have ADHD. If you do, you can really exhaust the possibilities, certainly in a matter of a couple of months at most. You may be one of those people like me for whom medication does not work. My medication is caffeine, coffee. That’s the world’s medication, but I don’t leave home without it. It’s something that I find very beneficial. Well, thank you so much for writing in and asking about that. Sarah, do we have another question?

Sarah Guertin:
We sure do. Do you remember the mini episode you did a few weeks ago… it was a little bit more than a few weeks ago… where you asked listeners whether you should stick to only talking about ADHD?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh yes, yes, yes, yes. Whether I should stick?

Sarah Guertin:
Yes. Yes. We had said in a recent episode that we got a lot of listener feedback where they all said, “No, you should talk about whatever you want.” I wanted to let you know that that has continued. We are still getting emails where people are telling you, “Yeah,. Speak your mind.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, it’s funny, because I thought about that. Whoever wrote that to me, telling me to shut up and dribble, he was, or she was trying to help me. I appreciate that. He or she was saying, “You’re going to hurt yourself if you go outside your behavioral perimeter, if you go outside your designated area of expertise.” I took it to heart enough that I wanted to ask people about it. I also am grateful to the man or woman who sent me that, because they were trying to help me, and maybe he or she is right. Maybe there are people when I go off to other topics that think, “Oh, shut up and dribble.”

Sarah Guertin:
Well, they’re not emailing us if that’s the case.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good, good, good, good.

Sarah Guertin:
But I wanted to share one with you. It’s a little bit long, but I thought it was particularly powerful, so I wanted to read it to you. It says, “Hi, Dr. H, I was catching up with the podcast when I heard the episode where a listener suggested that you should stick to what you know and leave more provocative topics alone. I’ve never sent an email to your show before, but I absolutely had to this time. I’m a Black woman with ADHD. I also have two sons with ADHD, and I’ve appreciated your work for many years now. I’ve often felt invisible as a woman of color with ADHD. Although there are plenty of us out here, we often get overlooked for one reason or another.

Sarah Guertin:
I’ve been absolutely floored and thrilled to witness more conversation happening about race in this country. I’ve been especially happy to witness it coming specifically from some of my favorite ADHD experts. I’m beginning to feel seen in a way I never have before. We are living in unprecedented times where the people at the very top are willfully and intentionally corrupt, bigoted, illogical and hateful, and it is costing lives every single day. Now is not the time for anyone to be silent or to simply stick to polite topics that won’t ruffle feathers. I want to know what kind of people the experts I’m supporting (with my time when I’m listening to their podcasts and my money, when I buy their books and go to conferences). I want to know who they are. I don’t think you can call yourself a decent person and not speak about the things that are happening in our country.

Sarah Guertin:
The same way more ADHD experts are talking about how race affects diagnosis and treatment, I hope to hear more speaking out on how poverty and lack of access to mental health resources also affects diagnosis and treatment. It’s especially vital that people with a platform use their reach for good, which is exactly what I’ve witnessed you doing for years now. The person who sent you that email does not speak for me, and I suspect they don’t speak for a significant portion of your listeners. Please keep speaking about the things that matter, especially when they’re messy and have potential to ruffle feathers. Respectfully, Candy”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh, Candy, what a wonderful email. I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement, and also for what you’re seeing happen in your own life. I mean, you’re twice invisible. You’re a woman with ADHD, the biggest underdiagnosed group, and you’re of color with ADHD, also an overlooked group. You have two forces that lead you to fade into the background. I’m so glad you’re standing out and standing forth and standing up and saying, “Hey, here I am finding your voice, finding your identity, laying claim to your truth, your story, your place in this world, your place at the table.” Gosh, it’s wonderful, because, I mean, I’ve been trying to bring people with ADHD to the forefront for my whole career. I’m now 70 years old, and it’s wonderful to see it happening in the two groups you represent, women and color. Both groups are hugely overlooked in our society in general, but in the ADHD diagnosis in particular.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
People of color who have ADHD, women of color who have ADHD are so at risk not to fulfill their destiny, not to fulfill their potential, not to find the encouragement, the guts, the platform, whatever the propulsion, to stand up and be counted, and then help others stand up, because that’s the next step which you’re doing in writing in and helping others stand up. I mean, because this diagnosis, unlike so many diagnoses in medicine, this is good news. Things can only get better when you find out you have ADHD. They can only get better. Often your life changes dramatically for the better. You’re really on the precipice of making good on all your potential. You’re on the precipice of finding the superpower hidden within ADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Don’t get me wrong, it can be a terrible curse, as well. That’s why it’s so important to diagnose it, because undiagnosed ADHD can all but ruin your life. Sometimes indeed ruin your life, whether it’s through incarceration, or addiction, or job loss, what have you. But when you learn to get the right help, you can begin to tap into the superpower that’s often there, the Ferrari engine, when it gets its brakes, can start winning races. That’s what you’re doing. No pun on race, because you’ve also got that going. People of color are finally being recognized more accurately, and we old white men like me are understanding better what it’s like to go every day and if you see a police officer, wonder is he going to pull you over, and if he does, what are you going to do?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I really, in all my naivete, and I grew up in the ’60s when we were fighting for civil rights, but in all my naivete, I sort of thought that had been taken care of. Then my gosh, even just the past months, learning how wrong I was, that it’s anything but taken care of, and that we old white men like me need to start learning that we haven’t solved this problem, to the point where many of us, including me, were unaware of the details of what it’s like subjectively to live as a person of color in this country. Then if you throw in poverty, which is another way of being unnoticed, invisible, discounted, rejected, unheard, then you have a third factor folded into the mess, as you say, the messiness of life. If you’re a person who has little money, you’re of color, and you have ADHD and you don’t know it, boy, oh boy, is the deck stacked against you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But if you start listening to people like you, Candy, and if you hear your stirring example, and if you say, “Okay, let me go find someone to get my ADHD taken care of,” now that in and of itself is a problem. How do you gain access? How do you gain access to care? Experts in ADHD are not easy to find. For one reason or another, they’re is rare as hen’s teeth. I live in the Boston area, so there were plenty of experts around here. But if you go outside of the academic centers, they’re hard to find, particularly ones who take my approach, which is a strength-based approach saying, “This is a trait, not a disorder. It can be a terrible disorder, but it can also become a superpower if you manage it right.” We’re very hard to find.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The most economical way of gaining access to me is by one of my books, which are cheap on Amazon. That’s like $10 for Delivered from Distraction. Now for some people, $10 is not cheap. It’s a big reach. There are also libraries. There are places where you can read books for no charge. This podcast is free of charge, as well. My website has a lot of information on it, drhallowell.com. That’s also free of charge.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It is the truth that shall set you free in this case. It really is. Once you understand the basic symptoms, which creativity, originality, entrepreneurial-ism, powerful brain going all the time, a desire to be free, desire to not necessarily play by the rules, but make it up as you go, all of those positives that you can’t buy and you can’t teach, immense curiosity, coupled with the negatives, which is trouble getting organized, trouble being on time, trouble showing up where and when you’re supposed to, trouble following through, and trouble focusing when you’re not interested. When you’re interested, you can hyper-focus, but when you’re not interested, your mind wanders, goes elsewhere. What that all sums up to is trouble achieving and a tendency to underachieve and then get fired, lose jobs, lose relationships, and so on and so forth.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But if you can identify that, if you can see yourself in that list of symptoms, and then go to an MD who has some experience with this, and you don’t have to go to an expensive specialist, go to some MD, you could bring my book with you, could say, “I’ve gone through this. These are the symptoms I’ve got. Could you give me a trial of stimulant medication?” As long as they’re comfortable with it and comfortable with the diagnosis, they’ll do that. That’s sort of the first step, getting a trial of medication and then learning about the condition, learning about what it is, owning it, metabolizing it, learning about it well enough that you can teach someone else about it. This is life-changing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Chances are, once you do get it, your earning power will increase because you’ll be able to marshal your God-given talents and resources and start leading others of your group, of your race, of your ethnic grouping, whoever you are, lead and help them free, I say, break the manacles that that can be holding you back. When you start leading others to do that, helping others to do that, it’s a great feeling. St. Francis said, “In giving, we receive.” It is so true. When you can help someone else, and when you can see their life change, and when they say, “Gosh, thank you. Man, that feels good.” You have it in your power to do that, Candy. You have it in your power to lead a whole bunch of people, because you’re representative of a group that is underserved, for sure, people of color, women of color who have ADD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you so much for writing in. I’m glad you are encouraging me to speak my mind. I am someone who values telling the truth, certainly in doing that with my work with ADHD. I hope and pray whoever leads this country in the coming years, what we need is coming together. What we need is forces of unification. Often that’s done best at local levels. I like to think that everyone knows how much we need each other now. Everyone knows that what we need to do is come together. I kind of believe that we’ll find a way to make that happen. Candy, thank you so much for writing in. I can’t thank you enough.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, that’s going to do it for today. If you have a question you’d like me to address in a future episode just like the ones I answered today, please write an email or record a voice memo, and send it to us at [email protected] That’s the word, [email protected] We love getting these questions. We really love them and make them commentary, not just questions. Put in your opinions, your thoughts, your speculations. It’s a great way for our audience to get to know each other.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for joining me. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the meticulously brilliant Scott Persson, never misses the sound. Our producer is the very imaginative, but also very careful to detail, Sarah Guertin.

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

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

This special episode is sponsored by OmegaBrite Wellness.

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

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

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

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

LISTEN to this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh, that’s really good to know. As you know, I have total faith in it, take it myself. So does my wife. Could you tell us a little bit about the study, recent study, that showed OmegaBrite reduced inflammation and anxiety in medical students?

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yes, absolutely.

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Is the dose different for kids?

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. Wow.

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

Yeah, is affected.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Carol Locke:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Avoid Arguments with Your Kids

How to Avoid Arguments with Your Kids

Being a parent is hard, and it doesn’t come with a handbook. If you find yourself fighting with your kids and feeling frustrated by them, Katherine Winter-Sellery offers some effective strategies you can use to help you bring harmony to your home.

Katherine’s next Guidance Approach to Parenting class begins September 28th, and she is offering a special discount to Distraction listeners! Save 20% with the promo code: DrNed20. Click HERE for more information.

To download a copy of the free e-book, 7 Strategies to Keep Your Relationship with Your Kids from Hitting the Boiling Point, go to ConsciousParentingRevolution.com.

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

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Glad to be with you again. We’re all aware of how much life has changed since this pandemic started. And with everyone staying at home more, there of course will be disagreements and conflicts in your household particularly if you have kids. My guest today is here to help. Isn’t that great, we always bring people in who can help. Her name is Katherine Winter-Sellery, and she’s taught thousands of parents as well as executives about how to be better communicators. She joins me today to help us all maintain harmony in our homes and our relationships. Catherine, welcome to Distraction.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Thank you so much. It’s such a pleasure to be with you today. It’s great to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Tell me, how did you get into this area of working with parents and their kids?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
I started, well, literally 30 years ago, more or less close to 31 years ago. I’d studied Chinese and speak Chinese and was working as a commodities trader, running a firm in Hong Kong trading commodities. And then I started having kids and my husband is an architect. And-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Do you have ADD?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Not diagnosed.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’ll bet you do most commodities, and your life story, anyway-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
I wouldn’t be surprised.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Anyway, so there you are speaking Chinese, trading commodities [crosstalk 00:02:22]-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
I’m sure there’s so many undiagnosed out there. Oh my gosh.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Totally.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Totally.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So there you are speaking Chinese trading commodities and you started having children-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And started having children. And we had a son and here we were very successful professionals who were complete dear in headlights when it came to like, Oh my gosh, what do we do? A discipline issue would show up and I didn’t have a method to approach conflict resolution or coach for better behaviors. Other than that, tried and tested and failed from my perspective at least, rewards and punishment thing. So I became a student of conflict resolution. I’d also gone to law school. So I had a natural interest in that. And I just became passionate about communication in families and ecosystems and developing ways to create change in behavior without doing it and paying such a high price for it, which you do. You pay a high price when you use a heavy hand that that makes someone feel ashamed of their behavior rather than it’s a teachable moment.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right. So you developed this method over a few years I gather and tell us about it?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yeah, it’s actually over like decades. I started with Dr. Thomas Gordon, Parent Effectiveness Training and became, I found that course and took it over and over and over again, and finally became actually a trainer for them. And then I studied with Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication and the father of restorative justice in American prison systems. And I sat at his feet and just took every word in and made it, it just became my passion.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
His name was John Rosenberg?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
No, it’s Dr. Marshall Rosenberg.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Marshall Rosenberg. Okay. And what kind of doctor is he?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
He is a doctor of psychology. He was the founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, CNVC.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. That’s great. And he’s a psychologist, he’s a PhD?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
He is, yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Marshall Rosenberg. [inaudible 00:04:40] To look him up. Restorative justice [crosstalk 00:04:42]-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Totally, restorative justice in the American prison system was all because of Marshall.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow. So what brought you to him?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Oh, life is such a… you meet somebody, you meet somebody, and I was at a conference in Brisbane and I was there with the Effectiveness Training Institute of Australia who I’d received some certifications to train under their banner. And there was a conference and the woman speaking at the conference was the author of a book called Children are People Too. Her name is Dr. Louise Porter and she was the keynote. And I literally hung on every word that came out of her mouth. And I strategically positioned myself at the dinner next, I got to sit next to her. And it was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s wonderful.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And she gave me her book and she and I began a conversation because she had some ways of looking at communication that were different than Gordon. And I wrote to her after reading her book and said, “Wow, are you sure about this?” And she said, “I’m pretty sure I’m happy to have a discourse.” So that became a really interesting, we became pen pals, looking at some of the techniques around communication and connection. And the thing that she brought to my attention that was so powerful is that when you say to anyone, “I feel so upset when you don’t clean up the kitchen.” That there’s a lot of blame that the feeling that I’m experiencing was because of their action. And we all know other people don’t make us feel the way we do. That we can’t blame other people for our feelings. And it opened my mind to how deeply embedded, and it was actually something that I guess became much more nuanced for my own ability to communicate honestly, and not blame other people for the feelings that were coming up in me, but yet to want to talk about their behavior.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
So this just took me to a whole another level and she introduced, she came to Hong Kong. I brought her there as an expert speaker at my children’s school. And she saw that I had a book called Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, which I had gotten at that event, that conference where I’d met her. And she said, “Have you read it?” And I said, “I haven’t yet.” “Oh, that was the best book I read last year.” So I feverishly read it and fell in love with yet another gem. And the gem in that moment was that I chose how I heard you. I get to choose how I hear you. Not just, I get to choose how I communicate, but I get to also choose how I hear what’s being communicated. And that just opened my mind, that I actually have a choice about how I hear other people. And all of this in the end over many, many, many, many years, eventually Louise and I created a program together with another colleague that I had been teaching with at the time. And that’s the course that I’ve been running now for 12 years.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And it’s called Conscious Parenting?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
It is. It’s the guidance approach to parenting. And it is part of this conscious parenting revolution that I’m just, it’s become sort of my reason to get up every day and make a contribution, is that families hurt and misunderstandings create breakdowns. And the people we care the most about, sometimes we find ourselves in such a difficult position, we’re not connected, we don’t have the warmth that we wish we had or that we had when they were maybe little and somehow it’s been lost along the way. And I know it breaks people’s hearts.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, no, it does. If people want to read about it, learn about it, where would a listener go to learn about this? Is there a website?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yeah. consciousparentingrevolution.com is the website. And I have a free ebook, which people can take and digest, and it has strategies. And I have blogs as well that people can just enjoy, every week I put a new blog up and it just starts the healing process. Everybody wants healing and they want to create that connection that just makes all the difference. It’s why we have children. It’s to have that beautiful deep connection where we feel so much a part of each other’s lives.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So, the people who would go or people who are having conflict in the family and they’ve drifted away from their children, something like that?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
I have a whole variety of clients, if you will. There’s everything from the, my kids are really young and I don’t want to get it wrong. And so I’m looking for some support. It’s one of the only things in the world that we do without training, if you will.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
The biggest job on the planet is parenting. And so very few people actually go in prepared and accidentally they develop resentment flows. So retaliation, rebellion and resistance, it’s called the three Rs. And they are what happens in relationships. And if you can start by not creating the three Rs and the resentment flows, wonderful. And if you’ve done it and you didn’t even realize it was because of the way that you were parenting, and you thought that you just had kids that were disrespectful or didn’t pay attention or never listened to you, or didn’t cooperate, then it might actually not be about them. It could be that they’re in reaction and you can change the whole thing by changing how you’re approaching conflict resolution.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So you used a term that I’ve never heard before. What’s a resentment flow?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
A resentment flow is also a secondary problem. Let’s take a simple example where you’re asking a young child to pick up their toys and help you clean the table off to get set it for dinner. And they ignore you, and you ask them again and they ignore you. And then you start saying things like, “If you don’t do as I’ve asked, no dessert.” And they say something like, “I don’t even like that stupid dessert.” And then you say, “All right, if you don’t help me out, no TV.” And you just keep upping it. And that finally ends with them running upstairs, slamming the door and saying, “I hate you daddy. Or I hate you mommy.” That’s a resentment flow.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a resentment flow. Why don’t you just call it an argument?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Because, well, I guess you could call it an argument. The resentment is that it starts to damage the relationship because they’re resentful of way that you spoke to them. And you’re resentful of the lack of communication or the lack of support or the lack of harmony or the lack of them doing what you wanted them to do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Is there something specific about a resentment flow that distinguishes it from an argument?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Well, I think the key here is whether it stays past that moment, if it stays beyond, like we just had a disagreement, everything is fine, but when they run upstairs and slam the door and say, “I hate you.” And then you impose the punishment that you said you were going to do, “No TV for a week.” Then not only do they hate you in the moment, but it goes on and on and on. And ultimately the thing was about getting the table tidied, and now we’re so far away from what’s called the primary issue, and everything is now about the secondary issue, which is how I feel about my mom or dad, because they don’t get me. And all they ever do is demand that I do this demand that I do that. And they never see it from my side. They don’t even understand me. It’s a breakdown.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Walk us through that scene, doing it the way a conscious parent, who had done the revolution-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Would do?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, how would she do it?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Okay. So when a child says no to you, a conscious parent looks at the no as a yes to something inside of themself. So, I get curious about when they’re saying no to me and not doing as I was hoping that they would do, why are they doing that? What’s going on inside of them that’s getting in the way of them doing what I was hoping that they would do? I then shift from repeating my side over and over and over again, what I want. And I shift to wondering about what’s going on for them. So it would go something like this. My daughter’s name is Pear. “Pear, it seems like you’re really involved in something on this table with all your toys. And I was hoping that you could tidy it up, but because I see that you’re really into this and you can’t even take my side into consideration. I’m wondering, are you worried that the way you’ve got it set up right now, if we move it, it’s going to wreck your game?”

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And then I would probably get, “Yeah.” I mean, “I got everything set up just the way I want it. And if we move it, it ruins my game.” “Oh, I see. So you’re trying to figure out how to do what you want to do and you can’t figure out how to do that and also do what I want you to do?” “No, mom, it’s like, you always get your way and I never get mine.” “Oh, I see. So you just feel like, I just want you to do what I want you to do, and I’m not ever thinking about what’s important to you?” “Right. You just want me to do what you want.” “Oh, okay. Well actually that’s not what I want. I want your needs to be met and my needs to be met. What do you think we can do so that both of our needs could be met here?” “I don’t know. I don’t have any idea. What do you think I could do? I don’t know. Mom, what do you think?” “Well, I mean, I have a couple of ideas. If I take a picture and we move everything and then set it up, we could use the picture to help us figure out what to, and how to set it up. That’s one thought, what do you think about that?”

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
“Well, I guess we could do that. Or there’s that cardboard box in the garage. Maybe we could just place everything in the box and then I can just move it around the house.” “Well, that would work too.” And then we just kind of go into the problem solving. So we stay on the issue at hand, which is that I just wanted to get the table cleared and the resistance to that wasn’t disobedient or disrespectful or any of those kinds of things. It was someone not being able to figure out how to meet their needs and my needs at the same time. So children are people too. And if we begin to look at resistance as not as defiance, but as there’s something in them that is getting in the way or blocking their ability to cooperate. And as long as there are no built up resentment flows, it’s as simple as they can’t figure out how to meet my needs and their needs at the same time. And so it’s really easy for us to figure out ways to problem solve collaboratively.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I just have such a inner bristle to jargon, but okay, I’ll go with resentment flows. Because what [crosstalk 00:16:17]-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Well, actually it’s interesting that that’s, Thomas Gordon was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times based on his research regarding resentment flows. And so what Gordon discovered is that when you use a controlling form of discipline and you demand that a child do something, and then you punish if they don’t, what you generate is a resentment flow. And that appears as retaliation, rebellion and resistance. So the three Rs and the research around that is what gave him the nomination.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, I get it. And it’s brilliant. And it’s wonderful. I just hate jargon. But resentment flow, fine. He’s introduced the term and used it eloquently. I’d never heard it before. And I always balk at jargon. I would say, why not just put it in plain English, but I think we can all identify with the resentment flow, know what it is, and certainly work around it.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, Carol and her team decided to break new ground and having set the standard for purity, safety and efficacy in the world of Omega-3’s. And they brought that same commitment to excellence to their new CBD supplement. I take it myself. It helps me with my reactivity, my impatience. It just puts a smoother edge. In no way, is it a buzz or a high, anything like that. It’s way more subtle, but it’s a very noticeable subtle effect. And one that I’ve come to really appreciate as I take it every day. So, all right. Get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com and now Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code, podcast 2020. That’s podcast 2020, go to omegabritewellness.com and order OmegaBrite CBD. You’ll be glad you did, just as I am.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What you were saying reminds me a little bit of Ross Greene and collaborative problem solving, do you think there’s an overlap there or not?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Oh, for sure. I mean, there’s so many collaborative problem solving models.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yeah. The spirit is very much the same.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. It’s wonderful. It’s really wonderful. And you have courses on it or how does it work?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yeah, no, I do have courses. I’m in a course right now and I’ve S I’ve literally taught thousands of people over decades, where up until now I would be running courses in schools to parent communities in person. And with the sort of advent of the new world, I just transitioned to doing this online. And I have a group that I’m taking through the process now, and I have another group starting September 28th.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And how long does it take? So if a listener said, boy, I really want to learn how to do this. It sounds so freeing getting out of struggles with my kids. What would they do? They’d sign up for-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
They can sign up, my initial course is a 90 day parenting reset. And so over the course of three months, we do a coaching call every week that I do online with my group. And then every week I also give them pre-recorded sort of lesson with worksheets for them to not just understand it conceptually, but begin to land it in the way they’re changing and shifting their behavior. So, it’s a period of three months where we begin to actually take on the underlying beliefs that get in the way of looking at children as people too. There’s some shifts that have to happen around our beliefs about children should be obedient and compliant. They should do as they’re told there’s something actually around parents not generally looking as their children’s right for autonomy, for example, should be honored because they’re children and they have no right to autonomy, but actually everyone has the need for autonomy, including children. So some of our beliefs about children are getting in the way of actually truly being with them like we would any other human being.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, no, indeed. Having raised three of them, early on we treated them as autonomous beings and they were wonderful. They’re three very happy adults now. In fact, similar to you when we started having kids, I realized here I am a Harvard trained child psychiatrist and I know nothing about how to raise children and particularly about how to instill joy. I was an expert on misery. I knew a lot about misery, but I didn’t know much about how to instill joy. So I did research and I wrote a book called, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness and of my 20 books. It’s my favorite one. It really-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Wow!

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And it’s the manual that we use to raising our kids, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness. And you’re so right. How you treat them really matters and to get into what you call resentment flow. I just call the big struggle and so many families, they just live in the big struggle and it’s damaging on both sides. So if someone wanted to take your course, they go to consciousparentingrevolution.com?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes, they do. And actually, I think I had it in the show notes, or I spoke to Sarah about it that I would give your audience a 20% discount so that there’s some appreciation to you for having me on and that they get to benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And what is the fee?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
The fee is 497. And so a 20% discount, I think puts it at 397 or something like that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Something like that. Yeah.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And it’s for the 12 week course, and it’s truly amazing value. So, it’s really a lot of hands on support over the course of 12 weeks and the gems, the gems from my own experience over 20 years, starting at the beginning, really it’s been longer than that because our son is 25 and he was two. When I started down the journey of recognizing that, how I’m being with regard to sorting out problems, mediation, working together with one soul to another in moving forward to resolve an issue, it’s no different with children than it is with adults. And if I have demand language, I’m going to activate the three Rs, if I have consideration for their needs and I model it, then they are naturally considerate of my needs.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And it’s just about modeling.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. It’s such a beautiful concept. And if they sign up for the course, it’ll be online and how many others are in the course?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
I have a group right now of 17, so it’s a very intimate group.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s wonderful.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And it allows for everybody to learn on Monday when the module is dropped in and they can listen to it as often as they want. A lot of the information it’s the first time they’ve heard about it. I do a whole unit on self-esteem for example, and how we have probably grown up where our worth has somehow been confused with our competence, and breaking that so that children have a sense of feeling worthy, whether they’re good at baseball, whether they excel at tennis, whether they got an A on the test, de-linking competence from self-worth and just all these ways in which we accidentally, and I do think it’s accidental, no one intends to link someone’s competence to their worthiness. And yet when we’re trying to get our kids to be capable and competent, that message somehow does get communicated, that they love me if I’m good at this and they’re not so happy with me if I’m not. And my love and belonging is linked somehow to my capacity to be good at Chemistry or excel at Biology, or be a star on the tennis team.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How do you break that? How do you-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
How do you break that?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Well, you create the ecosystem in your family where the sense of love and belonging, I love you worths and all, I love you, you have to be intentional about it. You have to be languaging, my love for you doesn’t matter. And also break the habit of rewarding the wanted behaviors, because we can’t just give the, let’s go out and celebrate and have an ice cream only if they do the level of performance that we wanted. Let’s go out and have an ice cream if you failed, because I just want to be with you and let you know that I know how hard this is and how disappointing. And I can imagine this is a real struggle for you right now. And let’s go do something that’s enjoyable and fun together, and let’s have a chuckle and a laugh over it. Let’s be there for our kids in all the ways that we think when we’re behavioralists that we only reward the behaviors that we want so we get more of them.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Let’s break out of that mold completely and stop treating our children like their dogs. And we just give them a treat when they’re good so we get more good behavior and we give them a little smack on the bottom when they’re bad, so that they never do that again. That whole world doesn’t work.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right now. Of course, it doesn’t. And how do you counter the messages that society puts out? That you’re only as good as your most recent triumph?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yes, absolutely. I mean, you have to be intentional. You have to be intentional and you have to have the conversations at the dinner table, and you have to have the conversations in the car, and you have to have the conversations every time you see their little faces sink, because they are in the world of external locus of causality. They’re out there comparing themselves to others. They’re out there thinking that if little Johnny next door is better at this than I am, then somehow they’re more worthy than me. So, it has to be languaged. It can’t just be assumed. We have to know how to sit down with our children and say, “I can see you’re really upset and that it’s hard for you to celebrate with other people’s successes,” because somehow we don’t know where the languaging came and the message was delivered, that you look to other people to determine whether you’re worthy or not. We need to stop that, in our family, we’re going to put up big signs that say, “It’s acceptable to fail here.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Absolutely.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
We’re going to put up big signs that say, “If you didn’t make a mistake, you’re not learning.” We’re going to try to overcome the messaging of society, every single turn of the corner, so that the children and our family know that it’s not about that. And that this is not whether, they do well or not. It’s that no matter how they do, how are we with each other and how are you with yourself?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s like the line from the poem, “If.” It’s written on the tunnel heading to the center court at Wimbledon, it goes, “If you can look at triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters, just the same.”

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Beautiful.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And I think it’s, [crosstalk 00:28:45] Yeah. I mean, it’s a wonderful lesson to learn young. I’ve always said to my kids just, “It’s the love of the game. The victories and the defeats are part of the game. And so, as long as you love the game, you win, that’s the victory in life is finding a love of the game.” And just what you were saying, these poor kids think they’re worthless if they’re not number one, and I call it the great Harvard fallacy, that if I can get into Harvard, then I’ve got it made. And if I don’t, then I’m a second rate. And the kind of, well, just what you’re saying. And I think you’re so right. You have to consciously and deliberately oppose that because society is sending out constant messages of, you’re only as good as your-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
GPA?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, exactly. And then-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And it’s heartbreaking. I mean, it’s so heartbreaking as you and I both know in Hong Kong, it has the largest or the highest suicide rate among young women in the world.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh boy.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And there’s so much pressure on these kids that if they don’t, it’s a very, I’m going to call it, I hope I don’t get in trouble draconian educational style, and it’s very much achievement oriented. It doesn’t celebrate all kinds of brains. It just celebrates a very linear, sequential, achieving scientific brain. And for the creative child that thinks out of the box and doesn’t fit into that mold and is definitely not going to do well in that system. There’s a sense of them being made to believe that they’re not as good as other people, that there’s something wrong. And not only that, they’re losing face for the whole family. It’s bringing shame to the whole clan.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yup. And they’re my ADD guys, and they’re going to change the world for the better if they’re not broken through the educational system. And the Chinese are catching on. They want us to come over and teach them divergent thinking. They want us to come over and teach them creativity. And they don’t realize that they’re regimented system literally beats the creativity out of these kids.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yeah. I went to teach it, Hong Jo University in 1983, and I was young. I just graduated and I get to [Hong Jo 00:31:14] And they say to me, “What we really want you to do is teach them how to think.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Exactly.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And I thought, wow. I don’t even know where to begin. And that’s such a part of the American education in so many ways. I think it may still be one of the strengths, is there’s a round table where you do, do a lot of just conversation and thinking, thinking, thinking, and brainstorming. And that is a really beautiful way to just open your mind to possibilities.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Absolutely. I mean, that’s what… I went to a high school at a school called Exeter in New Hampshire and all it was a boarding school and all of the classes were taught at round tables and it was all Socratic. So it was all about open-ended questions. And you were always imaginatively engaged. Is the opposite of drilling and memorizing. And I saw the value of this. I consulted for a few years to the Harvard Chemistry Department because they had a bunch of suicides there. And one of the things I learned during my time there, they get the best applicants from around the world. They have five Nobel Prize Winners on the faculty. In every year a new crop, and it’s a big department, over a thousand postdocs and graduate students. And every year a new crop arrives in Cambridge and the mandate is go into the lab and discover new knowledge.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, one group runs into the lab just eager to mix chemicals and blow up the building, but the other group freezes up and says, “No, you’ve got to tell me what to do. I’ll do anything you want. I’ll run your experiments all night if you want me to, but you have to tell me what to do.” And that’s the group that basically had their imagination snuffed out back around fifth grade when they got the message that do exactly what you’re told. And if you do that, then you will succeed. And it’s just tragic because what you really need in life, as you know as well as I do is the ability to take initiative, is the ability to come up with new ideas, is the ability to, I call it play, and this doctrinaire system just doesn’t allow for that, does it?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
It’s just so sad. And I hear you so deeply that it’s truly this mind boggling turning of the ship, turning of the Titanic and moving into territory where it’s not as measurable, and therefore it’s scary. And there’s also some reality check around children and their brilliance. Isn’t because of, I don’t know. I mean, I have no research for this. It’s not because of learning the three, reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s opening up the mind to allow for the access to that big magic, where all of it is out there for discovery and the more we’re free to make mistakes, the more we’re free to discover and create. And this is, to me, what gets me so excited, is to find the ones that are willing to risk.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. You have to be given permission. You have to know that it’s safe to fail.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yap.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Success has made a failure as you know and if you’re not failing, you’re not trying anything new.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Absolutely. Marshall used to say, “Until your children know that they can say no to you, then they can’t say yes.?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. That’s so true, and mean it. Exactly.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And mean it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yeah. That there’s actually the fabric, the ecosystem that’s been created in the family system that allows for you to say no. And I even extend that a little bit further to the school systems where if you have that authoritarian model again, there’s only one thing that you get to say, and that is, “Sure, okay, I’ll do what you tell me to.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes sir. Exactly.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And this, again, gets in the way of that beautiful autonomous aspect and nature to the human being even the young ones, where they have within themselves, some dignity.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
I remember there was a kid that I got to work with for a while. And he was just always in trouble. And it was a very prestigious Hong Kong family going to the best school. And every day they would walk into the classroom and he was told, “Now, take off your backpack and hang it over here on the hook. And be sure to get that book out and put it on your table.” And he wouldn’t do any of it. And he was just so in reaction to all of this control, and he would just say to me, “If they’re going to treat me like a baby, I’m going to act like one.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Good for you.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
He says to me, “As if I don’t know where to hang my bag.” And he says, “As if I don’t know to take the book out, I mean, seriously?” And I just thought, part of me was just like the dead poet’s society. I wanted him to stand on a chair and just go, “Yeah.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Exactly. Good for you.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And the parents said to me, “What’s wrong with him” And I said, “There’s nothing wrong with him, but there’s something wrong with this school you have him in.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Exactly.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
It wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Because it’s the prestigious school and La, La, La and I was just like, “Make choices.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Do you want to a child who will be a person who can take initiative and use his imagination or do you want to have a robot?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Exactly. Yeah. And I mean, honestly, what’s going on in Hong Kong right now. I mean, really just the robot will be fine.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right. Well, Katherine, you are wonderful. You really are. I can’t thank you enough for coming on. And-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
This has been so fun. Thank you so much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I want to say it again. Katherine Winter-Sellery, and her website is consciousparentingrevolution.com. You can get her free ebook there. Seven strategies to keep your relationship with your kids from hitting the boiling point. And I can tell you for sure, just talking to her in this interview, she’s spot on. She knows what she’s doing. She’s been trained by the best people and she’s been a serious student and she’s got decades of experience. And my gosh, it’s a deal to take her course. If you’re a parent and if you’re having some struggles as most parents do, there is a rational way out of it that’ll be good for both of you, not just your kids, but for you, because you don’t like struggling with your kids any more than your kids like it. And if you’re not careful, it takes on a life of its own.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And as Katherine says, it becomes part of your culture, part of your family culture. And you don’t want that. The good news is, you can change it. You have to be deliberate, but you can change it. And she will show you how, and I can tell just to, I’m looking at her picture now and hearing her, she’ll tell you how in a very warm and a helpful way, she’s not going to sit there and tell you what to do, but she’ll suggest what you might do. And there’s a big difference. There’s a big difference there. So, go to consciousparentingrevolution.com, get the free ebook, sign up for the course with a 20% discount. And my gosh, that’s so modestly priced. I mean, if I were a parent, I’d take advantage of it right away. And the next course starts September 28th, you said?

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yes, it does. Yeah. And it is, it’s priced for access. So that, I’m about the revolution. I’m about giving parents the skills that they need to change their family’s systems if they need to, if there’s resentment, clean it up, and to also be able to go back to that school and say, “I’m actually not okay with this approach. Would you be willing to hear me out?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Not in an aggressive way, because that doesn’t get us anywhere, but in a really sort of open-hearted. “I’m in discovery. Would you go down the road with me?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Well, “Wouldn’t you like to learn something new?”

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Yeah. Just that Mr. Rogers neighborhood kind of thing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Exactly.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
It really is about supporting everybody in learning how to manage their emotions.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It sure is.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
And when kids are under threat and they can’t meet their needs and they’re falling apart, I call it drowning, and they don’t know how to drown politely just like the rest of us. So let’s not get so hung up on how people drown and let’s get really connected to what the needs are that they’re not able to meet underneath it. And if we start to meet the needs, all the behaviors that we didn’t like disappear anyways. So let’s start with the heart.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So they can swim.

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Katherine Winter-Sellery, thank you for welcoming us to your neighborhood. It’s really-

Katherine Winter-Sellery:
It’s so lovely. It’s just been really beautiful to be here with you. Thank you so much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you so much and, please again, go to consciousparentingrevolution.com, sign up for a course, get her free ebook, and remember to reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. We thrive on them. We love them. We eat them up and we turn them into shows of their own. So write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected] That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the amazing talented Scott Persson. And our producer is the also amazingly talented Sarah Guertin. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for now.

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

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Minimize ADHD’s Impact on Your Relationships

Minimize ADHD’s Impact on Your Relationships

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

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

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

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

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

This episode was originally released in August 2019.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Welcome, Sue.

Sue Hallowell:
Thank you, sweetie.

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, you are.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Which is …

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Covered.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Inconsiderate.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Selfish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Her feel.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So you feel bad about-

Sue Hallowell:
You feel bad about yourself.

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Right.

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
That’s exactly right.

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How do they fight them?

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, right.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh yes, yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
Well, of course.

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

Sue Hallowell:
Lots of things.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… lots of things.

Sue Hallowell:
It’s really important.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, right, right.

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right.

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
I surly would.

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

Sue Hallowell:
Well, after 31 years.

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

Sue Hallowell:
Now, now.

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

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

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

Sue Hallowell:
And his wife, Sue …

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

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

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It’s Okay to Acknowledge Problems

It’s Okay to Acknowledge Problems

In this mini, Dr. H reminds us that it’s okay to complain and be upset about a situation (like the pandemic). But then you have to pick yourself up, make a plan and follow it!

Thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Dr. Hallowell takes the supplement every day because it’s safe, 3rd party tested, and it works. Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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

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

This episode was originally released in April 2020.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. As we soldier on through the Coronavirus pandemic that has settled in upon the nation in a sort of viral fog. We get many, many messages reassuring us that things will work out and urging us to be positive in our approach and to buck each other up. And those messages have certainly been coming from me, as well as almost everyone else who offers messages.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But I want it to just sound a little bit of a permission, if you will, to complain. You don’t have to go around pretending that everything’s fine. Everything’s going to work out. Things are terrible. Businesses are failing right and left. People are going out of business. People are losing their livelihoods, not to mention their lives, but short of the loss of life, which is of course tragic, much more common is the loss of business and economic hardship. And I just think, you got to be able to complain about that. Acknowledge it before you get on to the positive thinking and all that. There’s nothing negative about acknowledging a problem. In fact, there’s something very good about acknowledging a problem. And it’s also good for the soul and the nervous system in general, to let off steam, to say, “God. Dang, this is awful.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I don’t like this. And complain. Get mad at God. Get mad at whoever you get mad at. Say, “why? What did we do to deserve this?” And of course the answer is nothing. This is not a punishment. This is a phenomenon of viral behavior that maybe could have been prevented. But whatever. We are in the midst of it, and it’s pretty darn yucky. It’s pretty darn awful. And I just want to reassure you that it’s okay to say that. Feel it. Say it. Complain together. One of my mottos is, never worry alone. Well, never complain alone. You find other people that complain together, raise a protest against nature, against viruses. And then of course, get on with the business of helping each other out and trying to move in a positive and constructive direction. But with this mini episode, I just wanted to give you permission to do the obvious, which is to complain, be upset, acknowledge how up against it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So many of us are. And then look around and try to find the solutions that will, with the passage of time, lead us out of this viral fog. Until then, I look forward to connecting with you soon. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell for Distraction. I’d like to thank our new sponsor. Actually, our new-old sponsor who re-sign up. OmegaBrite CBD for supporting this podcast. I take it every day and I highly recommend it. It’s formulated by Dr. Carol Locke of Harvard Medical School and her company, OmegaBrite Wellness, who have created the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years, which I also take, as does my wife, Sue. OmegaBrite CBD is safe, third-party tested. And I am here to tell you it works. I honestly just started it at about three weeks ago and it is definitely made me feel more even… Find OmegaBrite CBD online at OmegaBriteWellness.com. So you go to O-M-E-B-G-A-B-R-I-T-E Wellness.com and then look for the CBD product.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Remember to reach out to us with your comments. Share your thoughts with us by writing an email or recording a voice memo and sending it to [email protected] That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is, the always impeccable and delightful Pat Keogh. And our producer is the lovely and always full of ideas, Sarah Guertin.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD. Formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E Wellness.com.

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Life Will Never Be Stress Free, But We Can Manage It

Life Will Never Be Stress Free, But We Can Manage It

Nothing stresses Dr. H out like talking about stress, as you’ll hear in this episode! Our host shares several of the methods he uses to alleviate his anxiety in the moment, including the story of how our producer stressed him out while making this episode and what he did to get past it.

How do you de-stress? Share your thoughts with us at [email protected]

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

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

Episode photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction? Last week in our mini episode, I asked for feedback on whether or not you minded if I talked about topics other than ADHD, and this was in response to an email I got from one listener who said, stick to ADHD and don’t go off into other areas where you’re not an expert. And so I thought I’d ask you all how you felt about that. And thank you so much for the feedback you gave me, which was uniformly, please continue to go into different areas. One woman wrote, “it would be painfully boring to avoid any conflict and stay on the beaten path by only discussing safe topics. Please don’t do that to us.”

Well, thank you very much. And then another one wrote, “the individual who wrote to you most definitely does not speak for me.” And another one wrote, “I like it when Dr. Hallowell talks about topics besides ADHD.” And then another one, “love all the different types of episodes on all topics.” And I really appreciate that feedback, because the last thing I want to do is lose listeners because they don’t like what I’m talking about. On the other hand, I really don’t want to bore people or bore myself, so that would definitely be a bad recipe. So our producer, I didn’t know what I should talk about today, and our producer, Sarah, said, why don’t you talk about ways of reducing stress in this very stressful period? Well, her request caused me stress, because I think stress reduction is about the most hackneyed, cliched, overdone, overworked, ridiculously everywhere you look topic in the entire field of mental health.

You can’t go through any mental health grocery store without getting bombarded by stress reduction. And it’s stressful for me to have someone ask me to talk about it for that very reason. And I get impatient and I want to say things like, life is stress, get used to it. Yes, it’s stressful. Okay. Do we really need to have tips on reducing stress? Life is stress. Your heart is beating against stress. You’re dealing with gravity every day, standing up pumping blood throughout your body. You cannot be alive without stress. You simply cannot. What you want to do is maximize good stress, like working out, and minimize bad stress, like my getting worked up over being asked to talk about stress. And then to make matters worse, just before the session began, our engineer asked me if I had a clock in the room that was ticking. Well, yes I do, in fact, have a clock in the room, and yes, it does tick. But I can’t believe he could hear it.

Well, I guess that’s why he’s a sound engineer. So, stressed out, I stood up and went and took the clock into the other room. And then as I was sitting down to do this mini episode, I was so stressed out by having had to move the clock that I went and pushed the escape button, which took me out of my connection with the sound engineer and the producer. So I had to go through the laborious process of logging back in, reconnecting with them so I can deliver to you this episode on stress reduction, totally stressed out. So, now, collect myself, take a deep breath. That’s a good stress reducer. And then I said, okay, Ned, now come on. Think of some ways, honest ways of reducing stress in your life. And so, I did that. I thought of what I did when I used to play squash better than I play now, before my hip replacements. And I do still do play, just not nearly as well. And I’d be in a close game, and it was coming down to the end and I would feel stressed. What would I do?

I would visualize my daughter’s smile. Lucy’s smile. And I would visualize it when she was about six years old looking up at me smiling. So that visualization of Lucy’s smile, I do it to this very day, visualizing Lucy’s smile. So visualize someone you love or visualize a place that calms you down, and you can do it in the midst of a competitive squash game, or in the midst of a stressful meeting, or in the midst of traffic. Visualize a person or a place that you love. Another is simply associate with pleasant people. Pleasant people are stress reducers. Just as obnoxious, annoying people are stress enhancers, stress increasers, stress creators, pleasant people, nice people are stress reducers. Nice people are not boring. When I tell my wife she’s so nice, she says, oh, that makes me sound so boring. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Nice is wonderful. Nice is spectacular. Boring is good. Boring is no stress.

Now it just so happens that we, people who have ADD, we can’t tolerate boredom. Boredom is our kryptonite, so we can’t stick with it very long. But try to associate with pleasant people. Another stress reducer is good news. Oh my gosh. How can we find good news? One way is by not listening to the news, which is almost entirely bad news. And then looking for good news. What’s a nice message that you may have had? I got some good news this morning when I discovered that my daughter’s dog came back with a clean bill of health. We worried she might have some serious illness and she doesn’t, she’s healthy as a clam, or healthy is a healthy dog. Good news. Cultivate good news. Save it and pass it along. Pass it along. We all are starved for good news.

Of course, the near mention of my daughter’s dog leads me to my favorite stress reducer, which is a dog, as I’ve said many times. It’s not for no reason that God spelled backwards is dog. Dogs are the angels God put on this earth to help us get through life with less stress. If you can possibly have a dog, get a dog. Another one of my favorite stress reducers is a shower. I love the shower. So I’ll just stand in the shower for long period of time just letting the water splash my back, and stick my head underneath it, and splash around, and make funny noises and just enjoy the feeling of being in the steam and in the pouring down rain of the shower. It’s a wonderful feeling. And often toward the end I’ll make it cold and it’ll just be so invigorating. Invigorating and refreshing.

And then of course, another favorite stress reducer that almost everyone loves, except people who are hyper sensitive, is a massage. Massage, oh my gosh. If I could get a massage a week, I’d be so happy. But I can’t for any number of obvious reasons. And a final one that came to me, being a writer myself I had to stick this in, a cup of hot chocolate and a favorite book, a relaxing book. The one that came to my mind was a Robert B. Parker detective novel. I happen to love Robert B. Parker novels. And it goes well with a cup of hot chocolate because Robert B. Parker is famous for putting food recipes throughout his books. So there you have a list of stress reducers, and I calmed down enough to do the thing that I hate to do, which is join the parade of tips on stress management. But to sum them up, pleasant people, good news, dogs, a shower, a massage, and a cup of hot chocolate reading a book by someone you really like to read.

Well, that’s it for the mini episode. Before I go, I want to take a moment to remind you to check out Omega Bright CBD. They’re our sponsor and they’ve been doing a great job with us. I’ve been taking Omega Bright CBD for the past three months, and I feel it’s really cut down on my impatience, even though I did get impatient when being asked to talk about stress reduction. You can get Omega Bright CBD online at omegabrightwellness.com. Distraction listeners can save 20% off their first order by using the promo code podcast 2020. that’s podcast 2020. Go to omegabrightwellness.com. Okay. Remember, please do reach out to us. We love hearing from you. Love, love, love, love, love hearing from you.

Reduce my stress and send me an email. Record your thoughts and send a voicemail as a voice memo, and send it to [email protected]. And maybe include one of your favorite stress reducers and we’ll add it to our mini episode next week. Distraction is created by Sound’s Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the brilliant Scott Person. And our producer is the equally brilliant Sarah Guertin. And I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for listening.

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

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Our Pets Get Stressed Out Too

Our Pets Get Stressed Out Too

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

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

Share your thoughts with us at [email protected]

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

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

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

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

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And why would someone give their pet CBD?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s for sure.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

They don’t consider drug interactions?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

[SPONSOR BREAK]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

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

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

[SPONSOR BREAK END]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What do you have yourself?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What are their names?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. Do you have kids?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I do not, just my furry ones.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But a husband.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Is he a vet as well, or is he-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

You take the medical college admission test?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

They do now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Just as if you were applying to medical school?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. And then do you specialize-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

We’ve got a lot more species to cover.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Fish, really? Wow.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what about birds?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Really. Have you taken care of parents?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Parents or parrots?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Both. Obviously, parents, but-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Parents, not so much-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Not so much.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

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

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

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Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Pandemic-life these days can be quite stressful, so finding ways to give your brain a break is key to maintaining a healthy balance. Our host shares a few of the things he’s been doing to take his mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics in this week’s mini Distraction.

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

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

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. During the pandemic, each week, we do a mini episode that touches in some way upon this phenomenon that we’ve all been living within and today’s is going to be a lighthearted one. I want to talk about things that I have been doing myself to divert me from the perils of the day, to take my mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics. I just thought I’d go down the list of what I’ve done either alone or with family members, not an exhaustive list, of course, but just a few things that came trippingly to my tongue or instantly to my mind.

One thing, I have been binge watching Schitt’s Creek. Now, if you’ve never seen Schitt’s Creek, it is funny. I really recommend it to you. My wife started watching it and she described it to me and I said, “I don’t think that sounds good.” It is terrific. It is uproariously funny. It is so, so, so, so funny. If you don’t find the show funny, something’s happened to your funny bone. Just thinking about it, with Eugene Levy, with the big eyebrows, it’s just hysterically funny.

I also made a purchase while waiting in line because we have to wait in line to get into certain stores, and the line outside of Whole Foods happens to have a bunch of hanging flowers for sale. So I bought two of these hanging flower pots, one predominant color pink, the other predominant color violet, and I hung them from hooks on our front porch. Now, when you buy hanging flower pots, you have to water the flowers. So that’s what I’ve been doing each day, and in order to water the flowers, I’m not quite tall enough to reach the watering can up. So I bought a little step stool. So I have my step stool on the porch, along with my watering can and I get up there every day or every other day and water these flowers. I’m telling you, it’s really rewarding to see them flourish and grow and they’re bushier, and hanging downer more, and just lovely to behold.

Also, someone left us a pot of pansies as sort of a gift during this time and I’ve been watering that as well and they are just flourishing. My gosh, there were a few stray strands of pansy in the original. Now it’s just like a pansy bush. So we’ve got the blue pansies, the violet flowers, the pink flowers and the porch, it just lifts my spirits. I also wrote a letter to David Brooks, the columnist in the New York Times. He wrote a column on Friday, the 26th, about five problems that we’re dealing with that I just thought it was a wonderful column.

I’ve also been cooking. I go online and I look for recipes and there’s a gazillion recipes online. They’ll have 32 ways of turning ground meat into a meal or 17 side dishes for the 4th of July, and I love these and I go download them, I print them out and next thing you know, I’m cooking them up. Like tomorrow, I’m going to make a vegetable chicken stew in the crackpot. Tuesdays is my day to make dinner, so I’ll put it in in the morning, and by the time evening rolls around, we’ll have this yummy, delicious stew. Online recipe shopping is another activity that I highly recommend.

Play with a dog. We’re lucky because my daughter is here and with her comes her a little Chiweenie named Layla. As you know, I think dogs are God’s greatest creation. Been playing with Layla every chance I get. Then when my son brings over his dog, Max, we had to play with both dogs and out in the backyard, the two of them rushing around.

Then one final thing I got for my daughter, because she really wanted this, a inflatable pool, above ground obviously, that it’s big enough for her to put a inflatable raft in it so she can lie in the sun, in the water, on the water and to see the smile on her face, when this thing arrived. It didn’t cost a huge amount. It was $300. I know that’s not nothing, but it was affordable and it was joy, joy, joy, joy. This is all along the lines of specializing. That’s my term for making the ordinary extraordinary. Turning what’s a dismal situation into one that’s a playful, fun, rewarding, interesting, engaging.

So that’s my little list. Binge-watched Schitt’s Creek, water the hanging flowers, write a letter to David Brooks, cook up new stuff, play with the dog and get something special for your daughter, in my case, it was this inflatable pool. Let’s try to do these things for one another. Let’s try to stay connected, even though we have to keep our distance. Let’s try to bring each other messages and vibes of goodwill, of joy, of understanding, of harmony. Let’s try to get along.

Okay, before I say goodbye, I’d like to remind you to check out OmegaBrite CBD. I’ve been taking the CBD supplement myself for nearly three months and I have noticed it’s definitely helping with my feelings of irritability and random anxiety. You can get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E-wellness.com, Brite intentionally misspelled. They have a deal for Distraction listeners right now as well. You’ll save 20% off your first order when you use the promo code podcast 2020. That’s podcast 2020. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works.

Please continue to connect with us. Share your thoughts, questions, and show ideas by emailing us at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the multi-talented and several voice levels, Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the impish and brilliant Pat Keogh. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so very much for joining our community and listening to our podcast.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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Be A Weaver, Not A Ripper

Be A Weaver, Not A Ripper

As the pandemic continues, Dr. Hallowell checks in with listeners and encourages everyone to put aside differences and come together to get thru this. Be a “weaver,” as David Brooks put it in his recent NY Times op-ed.

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

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

Episode image by ATC Comm Photo from Pexels

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. In our series of what we’ve been calling mental health updates as this pandemic roles on day after day, week after week, and I wanted today to talk about a very upbeat note in a very downbeat era. It was stirred in me by David Brooks’s op-ed in the New York Times on Friday, May 1st where Brooks talked about, in the world there are weavers and there are rippers. Weavers are people who, no matter what, are always trying to make something good out of whatever’s going on, and then the rippers are the people who delight in tearing things apart and dividing us. Brooks was saying the good thing about this pandemic is the weavers are winning. It suggested to me what I’ve been feeling, and I bet almost all of you have been feeling, that, enough of this hatred, enough of this division, enough of this ripping. Let’s start weaving.

Let’s start taking this disastrous situation and letting it be the watershed moment. Just as Kent State was a watershed moment, let’s let this period, this pandemic be a watershed moment of us coming together. Enough of this blue state/red state, enough of this good guy/bad guy, enough of this white and black and no gray zone in between. Let’s unite. Let’s be weavers, to use David Brooks’ wonderful term, and let the day of the ripper be gone. I’m quoting now from his op-ed. “If you want to be there at one harbinger of the new world, I suggest you tune into the call to unite, a 24-hour global stream-a-thon, which starts Friday,” that was last Friday, May 1st, “at 8:00 PM Unite.us, in various digital platforms. It was created by Tim Shriver and the organization Unite. There will be appearances by world leaders, musicians, religious leaders, actors, philosophers, everybody from Oprah and George W. Bush to Yoyo Ma and the emotion scholar Mark Bracket.”

He goes on to say, “When the stream-a-thon was first being organized,” and he said he played an extremely minor role, “the idea was to let the world give itself a group hug. But, as the thing evolved, it became clear that people are not only reflecting on the current pain, they’re also eager to build a different future. If you tune in, you’ll see surprising layers of depth and vulnerability. You’ll see people hungering for,” in caps, “THE GREAT RESET, the idea that we have to identify 10 unifying ideas like national service and focus energy around them. Americans have responded to this with more generosity and solidarity than we had any right to expect.” That, to me, just, it’s so wonderful, the call to unite on Unite.us. But, I think there’ll be many more similar efforts, platforms, but I think we’re all feeling this.

Isn’t this what we’ve been hungering for? Been trying to find a way to come together to create, and it’s terrible that it took a pandemic and it took, what are we now, about 70,000 deaths to get us to this point. But, I do think the rippers, it’s time for them to go rip somewhere else and let the weavers weave together the kind of connectedness, the kind of tapestry, the kind of well knit society that we really want. That’s who we are as a country. We’re a country of very disparate, different off-beat, out of place, out of whack folks, but we unite around the common theme of togetherness, of freedom, of the right for everyone to be whoever they are. The day of ripping and hating, we don’t have time for that. Life truly is fleeting, as we’ve been seeing, and what we do want, every single one of us I am convinced, deep within our soul, deep within our heart is to love one another, or at least to like one another.

We can’t love one another, that’s too tall of an order. But, we can treat each other as if we loved one another. We can treat each other as if we were loving each other, and then we can call upon ourselves to like each other. Anyone can like someone who was just like you, but it takes a special person to like someone who’s pretty different. But, that’s what we weavers are all about. We weave a way to bring people together. My hope for you today, echoing David Brooks and echoing, I think, probably all of you, is let’s come together. Let’s put the rippers to route and let them go rip each other if they must. But, let’s us set about weaving, and if any of you are rippers and want to join us, please do. Become a weaver and weave the connected, harmonious, loving society that all of us really want. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell for Distraction.

Share your thoughts, questions, and show ideas by emailing us at [email protected]. We love hearing from you. We often devote entire shows to your questions, your comments, and certainly we create shows around the ideas you send us. So, please, we’re a growing and building community. We would love to hear from you. Be a weaver and come to us. [email protected]. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the illustrious and incredibly literate Pat Keogh, and our producer is the constantly creative, always coming up with new ideas Sarah Guertin.

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The Side Effects Of Our “New Normal”

The Side Effects Of Our “New Normal”

Now that the novelty of living life in a pandemic has worn off, we’re finding ourselves feeling more tired, sad and on-edge. But that’s totally normal under the circumstances. Dr. H opens up about how he’s been feeling lately and asks listeners to do the same.

We will all get through this together! Let us know how you’re holding up. Share your thoughts with us by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected].

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

Learn more about our newest sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Dr. Hallowell takes the supplement every day because it’s safe, 3rd party tested, and it works. Shop OmegaBrite CBD online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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

Listen to this episode!

Or if you prefer, a transcript of this episode can be found below.


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

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, with a mini episode of Distraction. As you know, during this pandemic, we’ve been every week giving a what we’re calling a mental health check-in, and this is number six. What I thought I’d talk about today was prompted by our producer, Sarah Guertin, who said, “We’ve been doing this long enough now that the novelty has worn off.” We’re settling into the reality of shelter-at-home and now whatever that means where you are, it means different things for different people in different places.

But for most of us, it’s a radical change from what we’re customarily doing every day. Puts us at home, most of us for most of the time, with limited access to the outside world and that is having interesting effects. I mean, I can tell you personally, I feel more tired every day than I’m accustomed to feeling. I am seeing patients, but all over Zoom or virtual. So I’m not seeing any patients face-to-face. And I do go into my office some days and I see the support staff there, we are essential and they are not infected. So I have some human contact there.

But other than my wife, I don’t mean other than, I mean she’s the center of it all, but it’s nowhere near the person-to-person contact that I used to have. And I really do believe that takes a toll. I talk all the time about vitamin C, vitamin connect, it’s real. And I think if there’s a precipitous decline in the number of living human beings that you come into contact with every day, every week, it drains you. And I think that’s why I’m more tired. I think I haven’t been getting the dose of vitamin connect that I need. I mean, I tried to get it with email and of course my Zoom sessions with my patients and time with my wife and all that.

But I just think the fatigue I’m feeling, and I think it’s because I’m not getting the people that I need in my day. And I’m talking about people at the gas station or people at whatever markets I might go to, not to mention my patients and my friends and the Tuesday afternoon when I’d play squash and go up for a beer with my friend after it. All of that, none of that’s happening.

And I think it’s tiring because of what we’re not getting. I’m not working any harder. I’m seeing roughly the same amount of patients. I’m working on my book roughly the same amount. I think it’s the withdrawal of that vitamin connect that, you can still get it online virtually, but it’s not the same. And there is something about what I call the human moment to be distinguished from the electronic moment, that is just very powerful. And I believe we’re seeing it up close and personal now, how powerful the human moment is and how much we do need each other in person face-to-face.

Now I’m not saying run out and break the protocol and break the rules. Please don’t. We don’t want to have a resurgence of the pandemic. We don’t want to have phase two be worse than phase one. I’m just saying that I think we’re paying maybe an unanticipated price when we give one another up. As much as we complain about each other, as much as we complain about traffic and crowds and crowded supermarket aisles and crowded schools, crowded school meetings, crowded churches, crowded synagogues, I think we need those crowds in some very real and visceral way that we’re discovering now.

I don’t know about you, but I am pretty sure it’s happening to a lot of people, where you just feel more tired because you’re not getting the invigorating effect that person-to-person contact has ,that what I call vitamin connect. And I’m telling you, it’s as important if not more important, in fact, I know what’s more important, than ascorbic acid. We don’t have a name for it, the deficiency, like we do with scurvy when you don’t get enough vitamin C, but we ought to name whatever, this is, not enough of the human moment, not enough of vitamin connect.

It’s tiring, mildly depressing. It’s not depression per se, but it’s a life without that zip, that zest that you get from the smile of the person you’re seeing across the table from you, from the energy you feel in the restaurant or the bar or the barbershop, the hair salon. I don’t know where I’m going to get my hair cut now. Or the street is empty, all of that. All of that that we get from being close to living people. And as I said, as annoying as it can be, I think we’re now seeing how vital it is in terms of our energy, wellbeing, joie de vivre, elan vital, call it whatever you want.

I think we’re really discovering how much we need each other in physical being, present with one another. We’ll get it back, don’t worry. But I think it is a time where we’re discovering the interpersonal force that we don’t have a name for, but how fortifying it is for us and how much we miss it now that we don’t have it.

Well, let me know if that resonates with you all. I’d love to hear your opinion because this is something that I’ve just been thinking about. I’d love to hear your opinion. If you identify with that, please let us know. Send us a note at [email protected]. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and meanwhile stay connected safely, as best you can, and look forward to the day when we can once again meet in person. With all best wishes, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell for Distraction.

Well, since we’re all kind of stressed out these days with the pandemic and the uncertainty that comes with it, I’d like to tell you about a new product that I’ve started taking myself. It’s manufactured by the people who make OmegaBrite Omega-3 supplements. They’ve been around for some 20 years and I take that product myself, as does my wife.

Well, their new product, OmegaBrite CBD, is really terrific. I’ve been taking it for about a month now and it does create a feeling of calm without being sedating. It’s a really good natural anxiety reducer. I recommend it to you. Try it and see for yourself. Go to omegabritewellness.com and order OmegaBrite CBD. Okay, go get it.

Distraction is a project of Sounds Great Media. The podcast is recorded and edited by the marvelously talented Pat Keogh. And our producer is the extraordinarily talented Sarah Guertin.

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

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