ADHD stimulant medications are classified as Schedule II medications, which means they have a high potential for abuse and as a result are controlled substances. Medications like Adderal are in high demand on college campuses as a study aid. Many with ADHD are lured by friends to share medications and sometimes sell them, which constitutes a felony act. In a rising trend, many ADHD students are unaware of the punitive consequences of ADHD drug diversion, and it has become a hot topic. Many resources talk at students on the topic which mutes the message.
Having dyslexia, I see the world a bit differently. It is exceptionally difficult to articulate, but I am driven to understand things, to get to their essence, to put things in a context that makes logical sense. Mindfulness, meditation, success, or gratitude journals have always been something a bit nebulous to me. Over the years interviewing experts, I now see each item as an attention exercise with emphasis on exercise. An athlete does repetitive exercise to build muscle, stamina, or skills. When exercise or practice stops, those things atrophy.
Are you worried about the long-term effects of taking ADHD stimulant medications? You should be. You should also be worried about the long-term effects of NOT taking ADHD meds. All too often, I find people demonize medications prematurely or don’t put them in context. Mind you, I’m not pro medication, but I am anti suffering, especially in the face of ignorance.
The decision to take meds is one of quality of life. Like with any drug, there are side effects and consequences of taking ADHD meds, and ADHD stimulants have both side effects and consequences. Continue reading “Worried about the Long-Term Effects of ADHD Meds?”
Frequently, I’m asked, “How do I know if my ADHD medications are working?” This is a fascinating question. I often find that people start taking meds with an expectation that they will magically become organized. Other times, it isn’t like a person is expecting to feel a buzz, but they do seem to expect to feel something cognitively. In excess, the meds can be noticeable. Some describe the experience as a calmness. In any event, you shouldn’t be feeling a buzz. Continue reading “Are My ADHD Meds Working?”
Are ADHD meds addictive? Well, are they? Yes or no? Can’t somebody answer my question? Apparently not. Oh, sure, the ADHD-doesn’t-exist crowd might be quick to suggest the meds are addictive, but I’ve found it virtually impossible to find a definitive answer to the question from a credible source.
For almost two years, I searched high and low to find a subject matter expert who will answer the question on record and then do so in an interview on Attention Talk Radio. But I couldn’t come up with anyone. Why? I suspected that no one wanted to go on record, for fear of what they say being taken out of context, which is almost a liability risk for mental health professionals. They are subject to being attacked or being bogged down in controversy.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. What is Obvious Depends On What We Attend To (what I call a WODOW-WAT). It is hard for most people to “get,” but hundreds of times a day, our own attention obstructs what is obvious. Examples of it are everywhere. The reason you don’t realize it is because you are not looking for evidence that you are attending to the wrong thing; rather, you miss it because you are more focused on looking for evidence, proof that you are attending to the right thing. Continue reading “Is Attention Blindness an Obstacle to Managing ADHD?”
When I was a teen, my mother insisted I be home by midnight. Why? Because after midnight, there was nothing open and nothing to do but get into trouble.
In short, there was nothing to entertain my brain. I think the idea was, if there was nothing to entertain my brain, then my brain was going to find a way to entertain itself even if it had to do so at the expense of getting into trouble.
Let me illustrate. Continue reading “What Your Brain Does to Entertain Itself”
“Relaxing is stressful,” he said.
I said, “Come again?”
“Relaxing just sends me. It is anything but!” After a few minutes of coaching, he said, “The only time I can relax is when I’m moving.” Now, there is an Aha!
Most people associate relaxation with anything but moving, yet, often, I’ve found some with ADHD can truly relax only when in motion.
Moving as a means to relax is easy to solve, or is it? A number of times I’ve coached ADDers to advocate for themselves and design a relaxing environment for them to move and others to sit. More often than not, others (neuro-typicals) resist, insisting the definition of relaxation is to be still, and that’s when the fight starts! Continue reading “Relaxing ADHD Style”
Many of those with ADHD struggle with time management, having a sense of time, being on time, and predicting time. Dr. Russell Barkley refers to it as time blindness.
What’s obvious to many organizers and time management specialists is working with time budgets as an exercise to get a sense of time. Basically, a time budget is an awareness or attention exercise. You go through your day identifying a task, predicting how long it will take, recording the actual time spent and calculating the differences…. and recording them. The repetition over time improves the prediction and a sense of time. Continue reading “What’s Obvious about ADHD and Time Management”
If you know me, I like to measure changes in the mind science of ADHD. I’m always pausing and reflecting, asking what I believe are important questions around diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. In view of so much stigma attached to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it’s important for all of us to quit guessing at it and actually DO something to find what really works… and that means measuring our brain function… but the solution is not the same for everybody.