ADHD and ADD

Embracing Your Disease


When, exactly, did our society become so obsessed with sickness?

I was just thinking of the many diseases and mental disorders we experience and talk about on a daily basis: Anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, skin disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and the list goes on.

It’s like a restaurant menu: Are you ready to order? Yes, I’ll have some anxiety as an appetizer, depression as the main course and for dessert -- hmm, let me see -- yes, that ADD sounds quite delicious.

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ADHD and ADD

Too Many Preschoolers Getting Medications for ADHD

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just published its first national study on the various forms of treatment used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. The study examined the use of medication, behavioral therapy, and dietary supplements -- and its results were eye-opening.

Almost 1 in 4 preschoolers were treated with medication alone.

That is an astounding number, when you stop and consider that a preschooler's brain is still under active development. Prescribing stimulants to such a young child's brain is a bad idea, given we have no longitudinal, long-term studies demonstrating that these medications won't be harmful in a child's development.

Read on to learn more about the study's key findings.

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ADHD and ADD

Psychology Around the Net: March 21, 2015


Learn more about the stigma of mental illness, how to use your memory to make better connections, the rampant misuse of ADHD medications among college students, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net!

Combating the Stigma of Mental Illness: When as many as "as many as 25 percent of adults and 40.3 percent of adolescents reported suffering an episode of mental illness within a 12-month period," why are we still stuck in a world filled with stigma?

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ADHD and ADD

ADHD Could Lead to Obesity

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could be at greater risk of becoming obese, a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry shows. "We found that ADHD was a risk factor for later obesity," said Alina Rodriguez, a visiting professor at Imperial College London, UK, whose recent study found that children with ADHD symptoms were less likely to engage in physical activity and more likely to become obese as adolescents.

This may sound counterintuitive to the image most people have of a child with ADHD: sprightly and in constant motion. How could someone who can’t sit still ever become lethargic and paunchy?
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ADHD and ADD

Pharmacogenetic Testing May Change Psychiatric Treatments for ADHD, Depression


Prescribing medications has long been a trial-and-error approach for nearly any medication you could take. That's been especially true in psychiatry, where there are dozens of medications that could be prescribed for common mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What if doctors had a better idea ahead of time which medications may work better for you than others, based upon your unique biology and biochemical makeup? They could then make prescribing decisions with a lot more knowledge, finding you a medication that would have a higher chance of working the first time.

This process is called pharmacogenetic testing -- and it's time is fast approaching.

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ADHD and ADD

Adult ADHD and the Medications Used to Treat it

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly referred to as ADHD or ADD, is more than a disorder of childhood. Over the years, doctors have grown to appreciate the fact that many adults suffer from the associated attention and hyperactivity symptoms.

These can range from a mild nuisance to profound disruption in daily life. In fact, in some studies, it's been reported that approximately half of children with ADHD will show signs of attention and impulse related problems later in life. This roughly translates to approximately eight million U. S. adults.

It's important to keep in mind that ADHD does not always look the same over time.
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ADHD and ADD

Improving Your Child’s ADHD with Exercise

Getting in a good run before work keeps us focused and productive at the office. But did you know exercise could also help children with ADHD perform better in the classroom?

"There is evidence that physical activity improves academic performance," said Betsy Hoza, a professor of psychological science at the University of Vermont. Her recent study found moderate to vigorous aerobic activity before school helped children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder become more attentive.

"The immediate effects are that you’re much more alert -- there’s that endorphin rush," said Hoza. That rush has proven to boost mood, help ward off anxiety and depression in adults, and now to improve cognitive function in children with ADHD.

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ADHD and ADD

ADHD Tip: How to Organize Your Family and Household

Running a household takes effort. And it can be especially challenging for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD impairs executive functioning in adults (and kids), making it harder for people to plan, prioritize, organize and follow through with various tasks -- especially boring ones.

Of course, that’s exactly what you need to do when everyone in the family has a demanding job, goes to school, is involved in extracurricular activities, and has other commitments.
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ADHD and ADD

Adults and ADHD: Reminders for When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Clinical psychologist Roberto Olivardia’s clients who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) regularly tell him they feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks. "They feel as if they are in the midst of an avalanche of chores they cannot properly prioritize, organize or execute."

Tasks such as paying the bills, preparing dinner, or getting the car fixed can feel monumental, he said. On top of that, adults with ADHD can feel frustrated seeing others without ADHD accomplish these tasks with little effort, he added. "This leads many with ADHD to feel like they are 'failing at life.'"

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Addiction

My Passionate Plea at the United Nations to End Stigma through Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals


I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak on a panel at the United Nations on behalf of myself, my organization iFred, and a group I am working with called FundaMentalSDG. I'd recently been working with Lisa Nichols and Sandra Yancey on speaking my truth, and decided it was time to tell my story. My whole story.

It is my hope that in doing so, people are inspired to get treatment for their own mental health issues so they can go on to lead productive and fulfilling lives, and also that companies start funding programs so that more have access to treatment.
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ADHD and ADD

ADHD Tip: A Simple System for Managing Paperwork

For people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), paperwork can become a big problem. ADHD impairs executive functioning, making it difficult to make decisions, sort and prioritize. Clients commonly come to psychotherapist and ADHD coach Terry Matlen needing help with paperwork -- everything from bills to receipts to school papers to taxes.

She explains exactly why in her valuable book The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus and Get More Done:

“Your brain’s circuitry finds it difficult to prioritize (Do I pay the bill first or send the wedding RSVP?), stick with ‘boring’ tasks (Paperwork is so boring. I think I’ll play a video game instead) or sort (Do I file under ‘Car’ or stick it in bills paid?).”
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ADHD and ADD

ADHD & Adults: Help for Organizing Your Household

Almost every symptom of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) plays out in the household, said Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and author of the book The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus and Get More Done.

Disorganization and distractibility lead to lost papers, unpaid bills, piles of laundry and lots of clutter, which can negatively affect relationships and spark blowups, she said.

Lack of planning leads to late dinners, leading to both cranky kids and parents, she said. (Plus, many kids with ADHD also are picky eaters, which complicates meal-planning even more, she added.)

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