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Beyond ADHD And Dyslexia: 5 Common Learning And Attention Issues

If your child is struggling with attention, reading, math, writing or coordination, it could be due to a learning or attention issue. Here’s a quick overview of five common learning and attention issues.

1. Dysgraphia: Trouble With Writing

Dysgraphia affects writing skills. Kids with dysgraphia may have messy handwriting and may struggle to hold a pencil, draw or form letters. But this learning issue can affect a wide range of writing challenges. Kids with dysgraphia may also struggle to organize their thoughts and express them using proper sentence structure.

Dysgraphia isn’t related to how intelligent a child is. It’s a brain-based issue that can affect kids’ ability to put thoughts down on paper. See the steps to take if you’re concerned your child might have dysgraphia.

2. Dyspraxia: Trouble With Motor Skills

Dyspraxia causes trouble with planning and coordinating physical movement. It can affect things like fine motor skills (using the small muscles in the hands and forearms), gross motor skills (using the large muscles in the arms, legs and torso), balance, coordination and movement involved with speaking.

Dyspraxia isn’t a sign of muscle weakness or of low intelligence. It’s also more common than you may think. As many as 10 percent of kids may have some symptoms of dyspraxia, such as trouble with grasping a pencil or working buttons and snaps, or struggling with games that require hand-eye coordination. Learn what to do if you think your child might have dyspraxia.

3. Dyscalculia: Trouble With Math

Dyscalculia is sometimes called “mathematics learning disability.” You may even hear it referred to as “math dyslexia.” Dyscalculia causes ongoing trouble understanding and working with numbers and math concepts. But dyscalculia can be missed in the early years because kids learn many basic math skills through memorization.

Although many kids (and adults) have anxiety about math, dyscalculia is not the same thing as math anxiety. Researchers know less about dyscalculia than they do about other learning issues. But they’re looking more at the causes of dyscalculia and ways to help. Find out what to do if you’re concerned your child might have dyscalculia.

4. ADHD: Trouble With Focus and Hyperactivity

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects about 9 to 10 percent of kidsbetween ages 3 and 17 in the United States. ADHD can make it hard for kids to sit still, concentrate, focus and control impulses and emotions. This isn’t because kids with ADHD are lazy—it’s because they have a brain-based medical condition. While the exact cause of ADHD isn’t known, research shows that genetics and differences in brain development and in how the brain processes neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) play a role.

If you think your child is showing signs of ADHD, find out what to do next.

5. Dyslexia: Trouble With Reading

Dyslexia is the most recognized and best-researched learning issue. It’s what’s known as a “language-based learning disability” and is sometimes referred to as a “reading disability.” Dyslexia can cause trouble with reading in a number of ways—including trouble with sounding out words, rhyming or understanding a text. But dyslexia can affect more than reading skills. It can make writing, spelling, speaking and even socializing difficult.

It’s important to know that dyslexia isn’t caused by low intelligence or poor vision. It’s a common issue that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language. Find out what to do if you’re concerned your child might have dyslexia.

SOURCE: huffingtonpost.com

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4 Things That Could Heal ADHD/ADD IN Childhood

A dog offers kids a great pal they can play outside with, and that helps them with exercise as well as making new friends. (Levi Saunders/Unsplash)

A problem stays a problem until it’s fixed. ADHD is no exception. So, while pills and special interventions are being handed out left and right, they don’t address what caused the problem in the first place. On top of that, some ADHD medications pose serious health risks. The FDA would surely refute these claims, but really, ADHD may need nothing more than skill development and lifestyle changes. If you’re looking to heal ADHD; sleep, diet, exercise, and alternative therapies may be all you need.

Exercise

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Group exercise and team sports are especially beneficial because it requires awareness and communication

All kids need daily exercise, but this is especially important for kids with ADHD. Physical activity makes the brain pump out endorphins like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Such brain chemicals are a big help with mood — always a good thing — but brain chemicals like dopamine offer ADHD stable alertness. So, exercise is actually as important for attitude as it is for attention.

Moving around in any shape or form will benefit ADHD, but activities requiring focus (ie martial arts, gymnastics, yoga, and tai chi) can be especially helpful because they help build skills with attention. Group exercise and team sports are especially beneficial because it requires awareness and communication, but they’re also more fun and appealing because of the camaraderie. Professor of Psychology Dr. Betsy Horza says thirty minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise shows a noticeable impact on focus and mood.

Sleep

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Poor sleep may not seem like an obvious answer to the high-energy and erratic behavior associated with ADHD, but if you’ve had a toddler you know better.

A number of studies on ADHD and sleep show that sleep deprivation and troubled-sleep have a strong connection to kids with ADHD. Poor sleep may not seem like an obvious answer to the high-energy and erratic behavior associated with ADHD, but if you’ve had a toddler you know better. The sudden “energy spikes” that happen around naptime and bedtime appear to a stranger as high energy, but a parent knows that it’s really a sign that they’re moments away from crashing into sleep. So while adults may move slowly when they’re tired, a tired child can act the opposite.

Insomnia and restless leg syndrome are common sleep disorders tied to ADHD. Cutting back sugar and caffeine will deliver quick results. Nutrition can actually help with this too. Vitamins and minerals play a big role in well-being because of their role in our heath, and magnesium is one such example. Magnesium deficiency is common among those living with restless leg syndrome, and given its role in muscle function, it’s obviously worth trying.

Avoiding electronics and artificial lighting will also help. Routine is another must because of how well the body responds to it. Couple this with relaxation via warm baths, bedtime tea, stretching, or reading aloud, and the mind and body can easily slip into a calm state. Herbal remedies are also a smart addition to any night routine since herbs like passionflower, valerian, and hops improve sleep and relaxation.

White noise therapy music is another sleep-must, and it can help children, babies, and adults alike. Gemstones may also be worth a gander with stones like amethyst having a reputation for reducing anxiety and improving sleep. I gave my daughter amethyst to help her own sleep troubles, and she stopped waking up the very night I gave it to her. Whether it was the stone or the placebo effect, either way, it worked.

Diet

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Children with ADHD are often deficient in iron, magnesium, and zinc, so those three are especially important.

Modern times have popularized the ancient adage, “Let thy food be thy medicine,” but many of us slack with practicing Hippocrates wise advice. This leads to big problems, because a poor diet creates a cycle of problems that ends up feeding itself. Instead of eating whatever’s convenient, we need to deliberately choose a diet that gives us the energy and nutrition our bodies crave.

Kids should be eating regularly to keep blood sugar levels (and energy and focus) stable. Proteins and complex carbs should be in every meal to keep energy stable without any sudden spikes in blood sugar. And, as is the case with people of all needs and ages — meals free of allergens, food, artificial colorings, preservatives, and sugar will help energy as well as overall well-being.

Vitamins and minerals like L-carnitine, zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6 may reduce ADHD symptoms. Children with ADHD are often deficient in iron, magnesium, and zinc, so those three are especially important. Omega fatty acids are another dietary daily-do. Studies have shown that children with ADHD have lower levels of omega-3’s compared to other children without ADHD. You can start out by following Dr. John Ratey’s advice by getting 2.5 grams of omega -3’s per day (with three times as much EPA to DHA).

The best way to get the above is through diet since it offers nutrition in it’s natural form and promotes healthier eating habits, but supplements still have their place. You’ll want to do your research because dietary supplements like Focus Factor claim to benefit the brain, but a look at reviews and testimonials suggest the claim falls short. Start with daily nutrition and go from there.

Alternative Therapies

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The modality of equine therapy uses therapy horses to develop physical, mental, and emotional skills.

Modern times have caused a surge in therapies free of meds or awkward counseling sessions. Music therapy is one, and it’s as fun as it beneficial. The social component of music pushes kids to listen, and to be present in the moment; thus developing focus and awareness, and promoting structure. But if music therapy isn’t an option, you can turn on music at home. A song’s rhythm has a strong impact on our own physical and mental rhythms. It also boosts production of dopamine; a neurotransmitter tied to attention, memory, and motivation. If you want to make the most of your music time, look into Dr. Jeffrey Thompson. He’s long studied the connection between music and the brain, and he has a list of albums that can promote the brainwaves needed for different states of mind.

Animal therapy is another alternative therapy that kids are sure to love. The modality of equine therapy uses therapy horses to develop physical, mental, and emotional skills. Horses have subtle means of communication, so kids need to learn how to tune in and be present with their therapy horse. It also gets kids out in a natural environment that’s free of the pressures and frustrations they feel at school or at home.

But if horses aren’t in the neighborhood, a family pet can be used to alleviate ADHD symptoms. A dog offers kids a great pal they can play outside with, and that helps them with exercise as well as making new friends. Training a dog also offers a great opportunity for kids to develop patience and responsibility, while developing a sense of accomplishment. However, petting any animal can increase feel-good chemicals that promote happiness and peace of mind. Pets also offer kids a friend that listens without any judgement, and that can work wonders with confidence and mood.

Behavior Management is a must for kids with ADHD, but parents can do this themselves at home. Healthline has a great list of ADHD parenting principles that help kids build awareness and learn how to manage their own behavior. Some of the ideas include; creating clear rules with clear consequences, encouraging kids to think out loud when they’re about to act out, offering children “wait time” so they can work on thinking before speaking, and managing outbursts with time to cool down (I have my son shake off his mood by running laps or doing pushups and jumping jacks). And while children need to learn to manage their own behavior, adults should be doing the same thing themselves. We need to be patient, understanding, and in control of our own outbursts, because our children will mimic, not what we say, but what we do.

 

SOURCE:theepochtimes.com

 

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Oh See What’s Inside the adult ADHD brain?

Brain scans differentiate adults who have recovered from childhood ADHD and those whose difficulties linger.At left, the brains of adults who had ADHD as children but no longer have it show synchronous activity between the posterior cingulate cortex (the larger red region) and the medial prefrontal cortex (smaller red region). At right, the brains of adults who continue to experience ADHD do not show this synchronous activity.
Illustration: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT (based on images courtesy of the researchers)

About 11 percent of school-age children in the United States have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While many of these children eventually “outgrow” the disorder, some carry their difficulties into adulthood: About 10 million American adults are currently diagnosed with ADHD.

In the first study to compare patterns of brain activity in adults who recovered from childhood ADHD and those who did not, MIT neuroscientists have discovered key differences in a brain communication network that is active when the brain is at wakeful rest and not focused on a particular task. The findings offer evidence of a biological basis for adult ADHD and should help to validate the criteria used to diagnose the disorder, according to the researchers.

Diagnoses of adult ADHD have risen dramatically in the past several years, with symptoms similar to those of childhood ADHD: a general inability to focus, reflected in difficulty completing tasks, listening to instructions, or remembering details.

“The psychiatric guidelines for whether a person’s ADHD is persistent or remitted are based on lots of clinical studies and impressions. This new study suggests that there is a real biological boundary between those two sets of patients,” says MIT’s John Gabrieli, the Grover M. Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and an author of the study, which appears in theJune 10 issue of the journal Brain.

Shifting brain patterns

This study focused on 35 adults who were diagnosed with ADHD as children; 13 of them still have the disorder, while the rest have recovered. “This sample really gave us a unique opportunity to ask questions about whether or not the brain basis of ADHD is similar in the remitted-ADHD and persistent-ADHD cohorts,” says Aaron Mattfeld, a postdoc at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the paper’s lead author.

The researchers used a technique called resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study what the brain is doing when a person is not engaged in any particular activity. These patterns reveal which parts of the brain communicate with each other during this type of wakeful rest.

“It’s a different way of using functional brain imaging to investigate brain networks,” says Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli, a research scientist at the McGovern Institute and the senior author of the paper. “Here we have subjects just lying in the scanner. This method reveals the intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain without invoking any specific task.”

In people without ADHD, when the mind is unfocused, there is a distinctive synchrony of activity in brain regions known as the default mode network. Previous studies have shown that in children and adults with ADHD, two major hubs of this network — the posterior cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex — no longer synchronize.

In the new study, the MIT team showed for the first time that in adults who had been diagnosed with ADHD as children but no longer have it, this normal synchrony pattern is restored. “Their brains now look like those of people who never had ADHD,” Mattfeld says.

“This finding is quite intriguing,” says Francisco Xavier Castellanos, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at New York University who was not involved in the research. “If it can be confirmed, this pattern could become a target for potential modification to help patients learn to compensate for the disorder without changing their genetic makeup.”

Lingering problems

However, in another measure of brain synchrony, the researchers found much more similarity between both groups of ADHD patients.

In people without ADHD, when the default mode network is active, another network, called the task positive network, is suppressed. When the brain is performing tasks that require focus, the task positive network takes over and suppresses the default mode network. If this reciprocal relationship degrades, the ability to focus declines.

Both groups of adult ADHD patients, including those who had recovered, showed patterns of simultaneous activation of both networks. This is thought to be a sign of impairment in executive function — the management of cognitive tasks — that is separate from ADHD, but occurs in about half of ADHD patients. All of the ADHD patients in this study performed poorly on tests of executive function. “Once you have executive function problems, they seem to hang in there,” says Gabrieli, who is a member of the McGovern Institute.

The researchers now plan to investigate how ADHD medications influence the brain’s default mode network, in hopes that this might allow them to predict which drugs will work best for individual patients. Currently, about 60 percent of patients respond well to the first drug they receive.

“It’s unknown what’s different about the other 40 percent or so who don’t respond very much,” Gabrieli says. “We’re pretty excited about the possibility that some brain measurement would tell us which child or adult is most likely to benefit from a treatment.”

Scientist Says ADHD is Basically Bullsh*t

 

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, “is a prime example of fictitious disease,” said Leon Eisenberg, the “scientific father of ADHD,” shortly before he passed away at the age of 87 in 2009.

Why would Eisenberg claim that a condition we’ve come to know so well is largely fictitious?  While many have said that Eisenberg’s statement is highly exaggerated, it turns out that numerous doctors are finding conclusive evidence that ADHD is being “over-diagnosed” due to inaccurate diagnostic methods.

Jerome Kagan, a leading expert in child development, says:

Let’s go back 50 years. We have a 7-year-old child who is bored in school and disrupts classes. Back then, he was called lazy. Today, he is said to suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). . . . Every child who’s not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician, and the pediatrician says: “It’s ADHD; here’s Ritalin.” In fact, 90 percent of these 5.4 million kids don’t have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis.”

Today in the U.S., one out of every ten boys aged 10 years old takes some form of medication for ADHD every day.  And as this number continues to rise, those with stakes in the pharmaceutical industry continue to make money.

Lisa Cosgrove, an American psychologist, highlights in her study “Financial Ties between DSM-IV Panel Members and the Pharmaceutical Industry” that 100 percent of members on the panels of ‘Mood Disorders’ and ‘Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders’ have ties to pharmaceutical companies.

The assistant director of the Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, who had over $1 million in earnings from drug companies from 2000 to 2007, is just one example.

And, when we look at the amount of money the United States pharmaceutical industry spent in 2004 on sales promotion (24 percent of sales) versus how much they spent on researching and developing their drugs (13.4 percent), it becomes obvious that selling their drugs is far more important than the drug itself.

So, are these drugs even safe?  Side effects listed on antidepressant black-box warnings are as follows:

  • Confusion
  • Depersonalization
  • Hostility
  • Hallucinations
  • Manic reactions
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Delusions
  • Feeling drunk
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Homicidal ideation

Would you ever give your children these drugs?

Source: Expandedconsciousness.com

An Experiment for People Who Don’t Understand ADHD

Woman stressed out sitting and staring at her laptop.

“All my life I had to fight,” in my Oprah voice of course.

My fight was not with a man or external factors, but with my own mind. It’s like I was constantly digging in a sand pit to find the real me. For those who have never experienced what I am explaining, it may seem a bit wild, but stay with me. Take your computer. Now open most of the tabs, run a couple of programs and, just for fun, turn on all the notifications. OK, now try to work in this manner for let’s say six hours (I don’t want to torture you too much.)

What happens? I will just give you a few possibilities. Your computer slows down, but hopefully it doesn’t crash. It takes forever for anything to open. Your patience grows thin. You grow annoyed and either stick with it or give up. Either way, now you are short-tempered and annoyed by not only just your computer but every and anything around you.  When you do get something to work, you are hyper-focused on that one task. You are so happy you can actually get something accomplished.

What you don’t notice is you have missed everything else. You pretty much work on whatever pops up on your computer as long as you can, until it goes away again. At the end of your six hours, you are frustrated, tired and unmotivated, knowing tomorrow you have to endure this again. You had so many hopes for the day but got nothing accomplished.

In this scenario, my brain is the computer and you are my body. This was my life with undiagnosed adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This example may seem like a bit of an exaggeration, but it is actually downplayed compared to the reality. I remember being so frustrated with knowing all I was capable of, but always being too tired to stay focused and accomplish what I wanted. Always being afraid of success because I was afraid I could not keep up and worried someone would see my flaws. Having to take all my energy to filter my thoughts into speech, only to be told you are speaking too fast or “I can’t understand you.”

In my mind, I am speaking too slow and will never be able to get it all out. Trying not to cut people off or finish their statements because I have already finished the whole conversation in mind with almost complete accuracy. Trying my very best to keep listening because something else has already won my attention.

To add to this, I am very analytical and I see life in patterns. I assume this a byproduct of me coping with my ADHD or maybe it is just me. So when I know everything someone is going to say or what they are going to do, it is because people are creatures of habit. So when someone asks me, “Are you psychic?” I want to say, “No, just a byproduct of 39 years of coping with ADHD.” Instead, I just answer, “Context clues.” This has been one of my ways of organizing my thoughts and my environment all to stay sane.

Now to get to the point of this: how and why I got diagnosed. It was not the unfiltered  thoughts but my recognition of my growing inability to control the increased impulsivity that led to a diagnosis. After many years of over controlling my emotions, I had become dull, feeling nothing. Eventually, I was starting to feel again, but it was all flooding in too quickly and was more than I could handle. I was getting to the point of losing control. I would say and do things without thought, as though my brain’s gatekeeper was on vacation.

After a day of trying to stay focused, my nights were the worst. There were nights I felt like my brain said screw it and that’s if I didn’t just crash. I tried meditation and it helped me think clearly about my life and all the things I didn’t put together before. Meditation helped me focus on getting help, which was the best decision I have ever made. I found a brilliant doctor, who also suffered from adult ADHD, and got medication, which I have never believed in. Today, I am a believer. For me, my medication is a blessing — and this is coming from a person who believes Manuka honey and Braggs apple cider vinegar can fix anything.

I am not sharing my story to promote any drugs because everyone’s struggle is different. I am sharing my story to help me heal and no longer be ashamed. I am sharing my story for anyone that is suffering as I did.

Please, always remember you are not alone. You are not broken. Your mind is complicated and you just need help organizing your brilliance. For those of you who have never experienced what I am speaking of, I have one request. Do not judge another person’s struggle until you have walked in their shoes.

Source: Themighty.com

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Treatment for Adult ADD / ADHD

Are you an adult struggling with ADD/ADHD? There are many safe, effective treatments that can help—and treatment doesn’t necessarily mean pills or doctors’ offices. Any action you take to manage your symptoms can be considered treatment. And while you may want to seek professional help along the way, ultimately, you are the one in charge. You don’t have to wait for a diagnosis or rely on professionals. There’s a lot you can do to help yourself—and you can start today.

Medication is a tool, not a cure for adult ADHD

When you think about treatment for ADD/ADHD, do you immediately jump to Ritalin? Many people equate ADD/ADHD treatment with medication. But it’s important to understand that medication for ADD/ADHD doesn’t work for everyone, and even when it does work, it won’t solve all problems or completely eliminate symptoms.

In fact, while medication for ADD/ADHD often improves attention and concentration, it typically does very little to help symptoms of disorganization, poor time management, forgetfulness, and procrastination—the very issues that cause the most problems for many adults with ADD/ADHD.

What you need to know about medication for ADD / ADHD

  • Medication for ADD/ADHD is more effective when combined with other treatments. You will get much more out of your medication if you also take advantage of other treatments that address emotional and behavioral issues and teach you new coping skills.
  • Everyone responds differently to ADD/ADHD medication. Some people experience dramatic improvement while others experience little to no relief. The side effects also differ from person to person and, for some, they far outweigh the benefits. Because everyone responds differently, finding the right medication and dose takes time.
  • ADD/ADHD medication should always be closely monitored. Medication treatment for ADD/ADHD involves more than just taking a pill and forgetting about it. You and your doctor will need to monitor side effects, keep tabs on how you’re feeling, and adjust the dosage accordingly. When medication for ADD/ADHD is not carefully monitored, it is less effective and more risky.

If you choose to take medication for ADD/ADHD, that doesn’t mean you have to stay on it forever. Although it isn’t safe to bounce off and on any drug repeatedly, you can safely decide to stop treating your ADD/ADHD with medication if things aren’t going well. If you want to stop taking medication, be sure to let your doctor know your plans and work with him or her to taper off your medication slowly.

Regular exercise is a powerful treatment for adult ADHD

Exercising regularly is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADD/ADHD and improve concentration, motivation, memory, and mood.

Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. In this way, exercise and medications for ADD/ADHD such as Ritalin and Adderall work similarly. But unlike ADD/ADHD medication, exercise doesn’t require a prescription and it’s side effect free.

  • Try to exercise on most days. You don’t have to go to the gym. A 30-minute walk four times a week is enough to provide benefits. Thirty minutes of activity every day is even better.
  • Pick something enjoyable, so you’ll stick with it. Choose activities that play to your physical strengths or that you find challenging yet fun. Team sports can be a good choice because the social element keeps them interesting.
  • Get out into nature. Studies show that spending time in nature can reduce the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Double up on the benefits by combining “green time” with exercise. Try hiking, trail running, or walking in a local park or scenic area.

The importance of sleep in adult ADHD treatment

Many adults with ADD/ADHD have sleep difficulties. The most common problems include:

  • Trouble getting to sleep at night, often because racing thoughts are keeping you up.
  • Restless sleep. You may toss and turn throughout the night, tear the covers apart, and wake up at any little noise.
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning. Waking up is a daily struggle. You may sleep through multiple alarms and feel groggy and irritable for hours after getting up.

Poor quality sleep makes the symptoms of ADD/ADHD worse, so getting on a regular sleep schedule is essential. Improving the quality of your sleep can make a big difference in your attention, focus, and mood.

Tips for getting better sleep

  • Have a set bedtime and stick to it, and get up at the same time each morning, even if you’re tired.
  • Make sure your bedroom is completely dark and keep electronics out (even the dim light from digital clocks or your cellphone can disrupt sleep).
  • Avoid caffeine later in the day, or consider cutting it out entirely.
  • Implement a quiet hour or two before bed. Try to turn off all screens (TV, computer, smartphone, etc.) at least an hour before bedtime.
  • If your medication is keeping you up at night, talk with your doctor about taking a lower dose or taking it earlier in the day.

Eating right can help you regulate adult ADHD symptoms

When it comes to diet, managing ADD/ADHD is more a matter of how you eat than what you eat. Most of the nutritional problems among adults with ADD/ADHD are the result of impulsiveness and poor planning. Your goal is to be mindful of your eating habits. That means planning and shopping for healthy meals, scheduling meal times, preparing food before you’re already starving, and keeping healthful, easy snacks on hand so you don’t have to run to the vending machine or grab dinner at Burger King.

  • Schedule regular meals or snacks no more than three hours apart. Many people with ADD/ADHD eat erratically—often going without a meal for hours and then binging on whatever is around. This isn’t good for your symptoms of ADD/ADHD or your emotional and physical health.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough zinc, iron, and magnesium in your diet. Consider a daily multivitamin if you’re unsure.
  • Try to include a little protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal or snack. These foods will help you feel more alert while decreasing hyperactivity. They will also give you steady, lasting energy.
  • Add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. A growing number of studies show that omega-3s improve mental focus in people with ADD/ADHD. Omega-3s are found in salmon, tuna, sardines, and some fortified eggs and milk products. Fish oil supplements are an easy way to boost your intake.

Choosing a fish oil supplement

The two main types of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil: EPA and DHA. Supplements differ in the ratio of each. Your best bet for relieving the symptoms of ADD/ADHD is a supplement that has at least 2-3 times the amount of EPA to DHA.

Relaxation techniques: An effective treatment for adult ADHD

Many of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD can be mitigated by relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. When practiced consistently, these calming therapies work to increase attention and focus and decrease impulsivity, anxiety, and depression.

Meditation

Meditation is a form of focused contemplation that relaxes the mind and the body and centers your thoughts. Researchers say that in the long run, meditation increases activity in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for attention, planning, and impulse control.

In a way, meditation is the opposite of ADD/ADHD. The goal of meditation is to train yourself to focus your attention with the goal of achieving insight. So it’s a workout for your attention span that also might help you understand and work out problems.

Yoga

Yoga and related activities such as tai chi combine the physiological benefits of exercise with the psychological effects of meditation. You learn deep breathing and other relaxation techniques that help you become centered and mentally aware. By holding different postures for extended periods, you can cultivate balance and stillness. When you feel overwhelmed or out of control, you can turn to yoga techniques to refresh you and put you back in mental balance.

Therapy for adult ADHD can teach you better coping skills

Treatment for ADD/ADHD can also mean seeking outside help. Professionals trained in ADD/ADHD can help you learn new skills to cope with symptoms and change habits that are causing problems.
Some therapies focus on managing stress and anger or controlling impulsive behaviors, while others teach you how to handle time and money better and improve your organizational skills.

Therapy treatment options for adults with ADD / ADHD

  • Talk therapy. Adults with ADD/ADHD often struggle with issues stemming from longstanding patterns of underachievement, failure, academic difficulties, job turnover, and relationship conflict. Individual talk therapy can help you deal with this emotional baggage, including low self-esteem, the feelings of embarrassment and shame you may have experienced as a child and teenager, and resentment at the nagging and criticism you receive from people close to you.
  • Marriage and family therapy. Marriage and family therapy addresses the problems ADD/ADHD can create in your relationships and family life, such as conflicts over money problems, forgotten commitments, responsibilities in the home, and impulsive decisions. Therapy can help you and your loved ones explore these issues and focus on constructive ways of dealing with them and communicating with each other. Therapy can also improve your relationships by educating your partner and family members about ADD/ADHD.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy encourages you to identify and change the negative beliefs and behaviors that are causing problems in your life. Since many individuals with ADD/ADHD are demoralized from years of struggle and unmet expectations, one of the main goals of cognitive-behavioral therapy is to transform this negative outlook into a more hopeful, realistic view. Cognitive-behavioral therapy also focuses on the practical issues that often come with ADD/ADHD, such as disorganization, work performance problems, and poor time management.

Coaches and professional organizers for adult ADHD

In addition to physicians and therapists, there a number of other professionals who can help you overcome the challenges of adult ADD/ADHD.

Behavioral coaching for adult ADD/ADHD

Coaching is not a traditional form of therapy, but it can be a valuable part of ADD/ADHD treatment. In contrast to traditional therapists who help people work through emotional problems, coaches focus solely on practical solutions to problems in everyday life. Behavioral coaches teach you strategies for organizing your home and work environment, structuring your day, prioritizing tasks, and managing your money. ADD/ADHD coaches may come to your home or talk with you on the phone rather than meet with you in an office; many coach-client relationships are long-distance.

Professional organizers for adult ADD/ADHD

A professional organizer can be very helpful if you have difficulty organizing your belongings or your time. Organizers can help you reduce clutter, develop better organizational systems, and learn to manage your time efficiently. A professional organizer comes to your home or workplace, looks at how you have things organized (or not organized), and then suggests changes. In addition to helping you to organize your paperwork and bill paying, a professional organizer has recommendations for memory and planning tools, filing systems, and more. A professional organizer also helps with time-management: your tasks, your to-do list, and your calendar.

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12 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Focus When You Have ADHD – life insurance program

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It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You have trouble filtering information. You constantly feel scattered. You can’t seem to manage and plan your time effectively — to the point that you’re constantly late, forgetful, and unable to meet engagements or deadlines.

In today’s fast-pace world, society demands that you’d be on point, meticulous, or productive. Anything but that, you’re put into a box of broken dolls. So naturally, you believe that you’re stupid, that you’re powerless, and that you’re unable to change your life’s course.

Your anger rumbles and you can’t help but wondering: how can others can get things done or move forward so effortlessly? Are you missing that special chip in your brain that allows you to stay focused?

You’ve been lead to believe that if you’re not highly efficient, you’re unlike the norm — you have a disease called “attention deficit” (ADHD). And it’s confusing because ADHD is not an attention deficit. It’s rather a deficit in the ability to control your degree of attention, of impulsivity, and of hyperactivity.

What you need is clever and somewhat unconventional strategies to put in practice. This way, you can manage and improve your focus.

So let’s dive in.

1. Throw out your paper planner

Normally, keeping a paper calendar or planner is a great way to write things down like appointments, reminders, birthdays, your kids’ countless activities…

There’s just one problem, though… You need to remember to look at it!

Sure, you might think that you have a great memory. You do for certain things. But your memory works best when you associate newly received information with a strong emotion or a sensory experience (sound, image, odor). Otherwise, for someone like you, remembering things easily can be difficult — as new ideas constantly race in your head at a thousand miles an hour.

So setting electronic and physical triggers work best. Synchronize your electronic calendars or reminder apps and place reminder objects in strategic places.

2. Stop listing it all

You might believe you need to write down everything that needs to be done in order to remember them. But that’s the last thing you should do. Why? Because people like you can write or rewrite a ridiculous amount of lists. (I know I have.)

The problem is not the list in itself; it’s the implementation. It doesn’t take any effort to write down all the things you should do. But it does take effort to act upon them (even the quicker tasks). Because as soon as a shiny object presents itself, you can easily look the other way.

So only list things that require more than 5 minutes to do and do the ones that can be taken care of in lesser time right away. Seriously! This way, your list will be lighter.

3. Postpone certain tasks

Isn’t postponing tasks a bad thing? It is if you keep postponing them repeatedly. And that’s called procrastination — which I’m not telling you to do. No way Jose. Procrastination is your worst enemy.

What I’m saying is that certain tasks require a lot more time to get done. To know whether some of them require immediate attention or not, you’ll need to assess the tasks. Decide if they fit your context, your availability, your level of energy, and your priorities first.

Here’s another trick. You can postpone certain tasks if:

1) You don’t have uncomfortable feelings, like boredom, guilt, tension, indecisiveness, etc.
2) You don’t say “I’ll do it later” without knowing exactly when.

Write them down on a list (remember: they have to take more than 5 min to do), then review it once or twice a week to get them done.

4. Don’t get stuck in details

Being detailed-oriented is generally a good thing. But you need to watch out. You can focus so much on certain details that you can lose yourself in them and lose track of time. And the next thing you know, you didn’t accomplish all the other things you wanted to spend time on.

People like you are sometimes perfectionists. So the best thing to do is to set a timer, an alarm clock, or what have you, when doing all your tasks. Leave out certain details and come back to them at a later time. Or, delegate them if they’re time-wasters.

Anyway, what does perfection look like? Move on to the next thing. You’ll be much more likely to reach all your goals this way.

5. Forget about decluttering first

It’s always nice to start fresh in a clean, neat environment. This should help improve organization and focus. It’s understandable.

How could you ever get anything done or churn out your best ideas in a cluttered space? But be aware that cleaning your space can be a double-edged sword.

If your space is a big mess, decluttering your space becomes a project in itself. And such a project can last a very long time before accomplishing the first task.

So if time is a constraint, you need to divide your projects into mini-projects and clean your space during times you’re not doing anything important.

6. Don’t take notes to a tee

Nobody will argue that taking notes while someone is speaking allows you to remember things later. But in my experience, I’ve found that I still lose bits and pieces of the conversation. And sometimes, I lose the most important information because I’m too busy taking notes. If that’s your case, I suggest doing this instead.

Record long talks with a dictation app. (If you’re a having a private conversation, make sure it stays private.) Listening to the recordings adds another task to your schedule, but trust me, you won’t regret it.

You can try to pay attention as much as you can and if you wander off, it’s okay. You’ll have your recordings to refer to and will remember things twice as much because of the repetition.

7. Ignore your incoming messages

Of course, the more you can respond to your messages quickly, the more you can keep things rolling. And especially nowadays, with all the technological progress we’ve gone through. Technological progress like voice mails, emails, and text messages mean people expect and sometimes demand immediate answers.

But the world doesn’t stop if you don’t respond right away. You don’t have to be a slave to always having to be available for phone messages or emails. Doing so can distract you and derail you from taking care of your most important tasks.

If you’re prone to distraction, rather than reading and responding to these incessant incoming signals as they come, allocate specific times to respond to people.

8. Break the silence

Most people would say to limit other distractions or work in a quiet place in order to focus better. It’s even highly recommended to turn off or get away from any disturbing sound. The constant signaling of electronic devices (like mentioned earlier) or chatter from other people standing near you can be of putting.

But some people find that dead silence can be even more distracting and, to the contrary, background noise can help drive away distractions. When you’re studying or working, you can turn on your ceiling fan, a white noise machine or music on low volume (more about this later). This gives a constant noise and doesn’t call for your attention.

9. Embrace your least favorite task

If you have trouble getting things done, some people would say to start with the thing you love doing first to get things going. Although, it’s a great starter, it’s also a great killer. Because you leave the things you hate doing the most for last and when it comes to accomplishing it, you can find it even harder to do so.

So when you plan out your day, tackle the things you’re least passionate about first. Tackle all the things that seem tedious or boring to you. Get rid of them once and for all.

Once completed, your focus will improve when working on the other tasks since they’ll be more enjoyable.

10. Schedule time to be idle

Wait a minute. Idleness is the complete opposite of productivity, right? Not if you’re strategic. If you’re easily distracted or impulsive, you can become even more so under stress. And boredom can also ruin your productivity.

That’s why it’s important to take breaks. That’s why, it’s important to give yourself time to regroup. So make it important to detach yourself from your work and schedule time to relax, be it just deep breathing, meditation or visualization.

You can also move around. Getting up to walk around and stretching may be all you need. These things will help you get into a very focused state and help you make well-considered decisions when it comes to your priorities and actions.

11. Talk to yourself out loud

I’ll admit that people might think you’re completely loco if you talk to yourself, akin to the ones who have conversations with themselves in the subway. It’s far better to do it in closed doors. But it’s even better to do it purposefully.

When you put objects in places, voice where you put them. Or when someone says something, paraphrase the conversation. In the first case, this will help you register where you’ve placed your items and lower the risk of losing them. In the second case, this will help you digest the conversation and ensure you understand the other person in order to formulate a response.

12. Continue fidgeting

Restlessness is a sign of hyperactivity or more fundamentally, impatience — whether you can’t stand still in one place or you cut people off when they speak all the time. But if you learn to occupy that urge to fidget, it can come to your advantage.

In fact, you can enhance your focus and improve your productivity in your primary tasks when engaging in mindless secondary tasks. I’m not talking about wriggling in your seat erratically and unconsciously. I’m talking about pacing your movements intentionally. I’m talking about using a “focused distraction.”

For instance, leave your desk to take a walk and listen to ambient music. Use a fidget toy that has interesting shapes and textures — such as pens or pencils, stones, Nerf balls, etc. Or, sit on a large exercise ball by your desk.

How to Be Successful

Paying attention can sometimes be a challenge. Especially in a world in constant movement where you need to conform and be compatible with a stiff lifestyle that isn’t yours, especially the workplace.

You don’t suffer from a lack of intelligence, strength, or talent. Your brain just works differently. You have the same abilities and potential as others. So don’t let that impede your professional or personal success.

Stop being a space cadet. Stop being ineffective. Stop being negligent.

Use the tricks above to boost your productivity. Attack your day in a whole different way and make your countless ideas come true.

Because you are an innovative thinker. You are a visionary. You are a creative genius.

It’s time to show your creative prowess and be a force to be reckoned with.

 

Source: lifehack.org

ADHD and the Interest-Based Nervous System

Secrets of the ADHD Brain

Most people are neurologically equipped to determine what’s important and get motivated to do it, even when it doesn’t interest them. Then there are the rest of us, who have attention deficit.

Learn the secrets of the ADHD brain

ADHDers know that they are bright and clever, but they are never sure whether their abilities will show up when they need them.

ADHD is a confusing, contradictory, inconsistent, and frustrating condition. It is overwhelming to people who live with it every day. The diagnostic criteria that have been used for the last 40 years leave many people wondering whether they have the condition or not. Diagnosticians have long lists of symptoms to sort through and check off. TheDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has18 criteria, and other symptom lists cite as many as 100 traits.

Practitioners, including myself, have been trying to establish a simpler, clearer way to understand the impairments of ADHD. We have been looking for the “bright and shining line” that defines the condition, explains the source of impairments, and gives direction as to what to do about it.

My work for the last decade suggests that we have been missing something important about the fundamental nature of ADHD. I went back to the experts on the condition — the hundreds of people and their families I worked with who were diagnosed with it — to confirm my hypothesis. My goal was to look for the feature that everyone with ADHD has, and that neurotypical people don’t have.

I found it. It is the ADHD nervous system, a unique and special creation that regulates attention and emotions in different ways than the nervous system in those without the condition.

The ADHD Zone

Almost every one of my patients and their families want to drop the term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, because it describes the opposite of what they experience every moment of their lives. It is hard to call something a disorder when it imparts many positives. ADHD is not a damaged or defective nervous system. It is a nervous system that works well using its own set of rules. Despite ADHD’s association with learning disabilities, most people with an ADHD nervous system have significantly higher-than-average IQs. They also use that higher IQ in different ways than neurotypical people. By the time most people with the condition reach high school, they are able to tackle problems that stump everyone else, and can jump to solutions that no one else saw.

The vast majority of adults with an ADHD nervous system are not overtly hyperactive. They are hyperactive internally.

Those with the condition don’t have a shortage of attention. They pay too much attention to everything. Most people with unmedicated ADHD have four or five things going on in their minds at once. The hallmark of the ADHD nervous system is not attention deficit, but inconsistent attention.

Everyone with ADHD knows that they can “get in the zone” at least four or five times a day. When they are in the zone, they have no impairments, and the executive function deficits they may have had before entering the zone disappear. ADHDers know that they are bright and clever, but they are never sure whether their abilities will show up when they need them. The fact that symptoms and impairments come and go throughout the day is the defining trait of ADHD. It makes the condition mystifying and frustrating.

People with ADHD primarily get in the zone by being interested in, or intrigued by, what they are doing. I call it an interest-based nervous system. Judgmental friends and family see this as being unreliable or self-serving. When friends say, “You can do the things you like,” they are describing the essence of the ADHD nervous system.

ADHD individuals also get in the zone when they are challenged or thrown into a competitive environment. Sometimes a new or novel task attracts their attention. Novelty is short-lived, though, and everything gets old after a while.

Most people with an ADHD nervous system can engage in tasks and access their abilities when the task is urgent — a do-or-die deadline, for instance. This is why procrastination is an almost universal impairment in people with ADHD. They want to get their work done, but they can’t get started until the task becomes interesting, challenging, or urgent.

How the Rest of the World Functions

The 90 percent of non-ADHD people in the world are referred to as “neurotypical.” It is not that they are “normal” or better. Their neurology is accepted and endorsed by the world. For people with a neurotypical nervous system, being interested in the task, or challenged, or finding the task novel or urgent is helpful, but it is not a prerequisite for doing it.

Neurotypical people use three different factors to decide what to do, how to get started on it, and to stick with it until it is completed:

1. the concept of importance (they think they should get it done).

2. the concept of secondary importance–they are motivated by the fact that their parents, teacher, boss, or someone they respect thinks the task is important to tackle and to complete.

3. the concept of rewards for doing a task and consequences/punishments for not doing it.

A person with an ADHD nervous system has never been able to use the idea of importance or rewards to start and do a task. They know what’s important, they like rewards, and they don’t like punishment. But for them, the things that motivate the rest of the world are merely nags.

The inability to use importance and rewards to get motivated has a lifelong impact on ADHDers’ lives:

How can those diagnosed with the condition choose between multiple options if they can’t use the concepts of importance and financial rewards to motivate them?

How can they make major decisions if the concepts of importance and rewards are neither helpful in making a decision nor a motivation to do what they choose? This understanding explains why none of the cognitive and behavioral therapies used to manage ADHD symptoms have a lasting benefit. Researchers view ADHD as stemming from a defective or deficit-based nervous system. I see ADHD stemming from a nervous system that works perfectly well by its own set of rules. Unfortunately, it does not work by any of the rules or techniques taught and encouraged in a neurotypical world. That’s why:

ADDers do not fit in the standard school system, which is built on repeating what someone else thinks is important and relevant.

ADDers do not flourish in the standard job that pays people to work on what someone else (namely, the boss) thinks is important.

ADDers are disorganized, because just about every organizational system out there is built on two things — prioritization and time management — that ADDers do not do well.

ADDers have a hard time choosing between alternatives, because everything has the same lack of importance. To them, all of the alternatives look the same.

People with an ADHD nervous system know that, if they get engaged with a task, they can do it. Far from being damaged goods, people with an ADHD nervous system are bright and clever. The main problem is that they were given a neurotypical owner’s manual at birth. It works for everyone else, not for them.

Don’t Turn ADHDers into Neurotypicals

The implications of this new understanding are vast. The first thing to do is for coaches, doctors, and professionals to stop trying to turn ADHD people into neurotypical people. The goal should be to intervene as early as possible, before the ADHD individual has beenfrustrated and demoralized by struggling in a neurotypical world, where the deck is stacked against him. A therapeutic approach that has a chance of working, when nothing else has, should have two pieces:

Level the neurologic playing field with medication, so that the ADHD individual has the attention span, impulse control, and ability to be calm on the inside. For most people, this requires two different medications. Stimulants improve an ADHDer’s day-to-day performance, helping him get things done. They are not effective at calming the internal hyperarousal that many with ADHD have. For those symptoms, the majority of people will benefit by adding one of the alpha agonist medications (clonidine/Kapvay or guanfacine/Intuniv) to the stimulant.

Medication, though, is not enough. A person can take the right medication at the right dose, but nothing will change if he still approaches tasks with neurotypical strategies.

The second piece of ADHD symptom management is to have an individual create his own ADHD owner’s manual. The generic owner’s manuals that have been written have been disappointing for people with the condition. Like everyone else, those with ADHD grow and mature over time. What interests and challenges someone at seven years old will not interest and challenge him at 27.

Write Your Own Rules

The ADHD owner’s manual has to be based on current successes. How do you get in the zone now? Under what circumstances do you succeed and thrive in your current life? Rather than focus on where you fall short, you need to identify how you get into the zone and function at remarkable levels.

I usually suggest that my patients carry around a notepad or a tape recorder for a month to write down or explain how they get in the zone.

Is it because they are intrigued? If so, what, specifically, in the task or situation intrigues them? Is it because they feel competitive? If so, what in the “opponent” or situation brings up the competitive juices?

At the end of the month, most people have compiled 50 or 60 different techniques that they know work for them. When called on to perform and become engaged, they now understand how their nervous system works and which techniques are helpful.

I have seen these strategies work for many ADDers, because they stepped back and figured out the triggers they need to pull. This approach does not try to change people with an ADHD nervous system into neurotypical people (as if that were possible), but gives lifelong help because it builds on their strengths.

Source: Additudemag.com

20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADHD

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It’s a fact; a person with ADD is hard to love. You never know what to say. It’s like walking through a minefield. You tiptoe around; unsure which step (or word) will be the one that sets off an explosion of emotion. It’s something you try to avoid.

People who have ADD/ADHD are suffering. Life is more difficult for them than the average person. Everything is intense and magnified. Their brilliant minds are constantly in gear creating, designing, thinking and never resting. Imagine what it would feel like to have a merry-go-round in your mind that never stops spinning.

From emotional outbursts to polar opposite extremes; ADD presents several behaviors that can be harmful to relationships. ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. However, when they are interested in a specific topic, they zone in so deep that it’s hard to pull them out of that zone. Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge.

True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. Whether it’s your child, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or soon-to-be spouse, ADD tests every relationship. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day.

Understanding what a person with ADD feels like will help you become more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and loving. Your relationships will become more enjoyable and peaceful. This is what goes on in the mind of a person with ADD/ADHD:

1. They have an active mind

The ADD brain doesn’t stop. There’s no on/off switch. There are no brakes that bring it to a halt. It is a burden that one must learn to manage.

2. They listen but don’t absorb what is being said

A person with ADD will look at you, hear your words, watch your lips move, but after the first five words their mind is on a journey. They can still hear you speak, but their thoughts are in outer space. They are thinking about how your lips are moving or how your hair is out of place.

3. They have difficulty staying on task

Instead of keeping the focus on what’s in front of them, people with ADD are staring at the colors in the painting on the wall. Like walking through a labyrinth, they start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out.

4. They become anxious easily

As deep thinkers, they are sensitive to whatever is going on around them. Being in a noisy restaurant can sound like you are standing in the front row at a Metallica concert. A depressing news snippet can set them into end-of-the-world mode.

5. They can’t concentrate when they are emotional

If there is something worrisome going on, or if they are upset, a person with ADD cannot think of anything else. This makes concentration on work, conversation, and social situations almost impossible.

6. They concentrate too intensely

When the doors of their mind open, the person with ADD dives in like a scuba diver jumping into the deep ocean.

7. They have difficulty stopping a task when they are in the zone

And under the deep ocean is where they stay for hours. Even when their oxygen is running low, if they are enjoying the view, they won’t come up for air until they’re almost out of oxygen.

8. They are unable to regulate their emotions

For a person with ADD, their emotions are flying wild, out of proportion and cannot be contained. The tangled wires in their brilliant brains make thought and feelings difficult to process. They need extra time to get their systems up and running properly.

9. They have verbal outbursts

Their intense emotions are hard to regulate. Since they impulsively say whatever they think, they often say things they later regret. It’s almost impossible for them to edit their words before they release them.

10. They have social anxiety

Feeling uncomfortable knowing that they are different, people with ADD are often uncomfortable in social situations. They are afraid they will say something foolish or react inappropriately. Holding back feels safer.

11. They are deeply intuitive

For people with ADD, the surface is an invisible exterior that they penetrate. They see beyond it. This is the most enjoyable aspect of ADD. This inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses. Inventors, artists, musicians, and writers thrive in this zone.

12. They think out of the box

Another wonderful aspect of ADD is that because they think differently, their abstract minds see solutions to problems that the concrete thinker cannot see.

13. They are impatient and fidgety

Annoyed easily, wanting things to happen immediately, and constantly playing with their phones, twirling their hair, or bouncing their leg up and down; a person with ADD needs constant motion. It’s a calming Zen activity for them.

14. They are physically sensitive

Pencils feel heavy in their hand. Fibers in fabric that most people wouldn’t feel can be itchy. Beds are bumpy. Food has textures you can’t imagine. Like The Princess and the Pea, they can feel a pea under twenty mattresses.

15. They are disorganized

Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Once a task is complete, papers related to it are placed in a pile, where they stay until the piles grow too high. That’s when the person with ADD becomes overwhelmed, frustrated, and cleans up. People with ADD have to be careful to not become hoarders. It’s hard for a person with ADD to keep things in order because their brain doesn’t function in an orderly manner.

16. They need space to pace

When talking on the phone or having a conversation, people with ADD think better when they are in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity to their thoughts.

17. They avoid tasks

Making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle. Not because they are lazy or irresponsible, but because their minds are full of options and possibilities. Choosing one can be problematic. It’s easy to avoid making decisions because they are over-thinkers. They obsess and dwell in the depths of their own minds.

18. They can’t remember simple tasks

Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. People with ADD can’t remember to pick up their clothes at the cleaners, milk at the grocery store, or appointments. On the other hand; they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set; their distracted mind is always elsewhere. Visible items are easier to remember. That’s why they have fifteen windows open on their desktop.

19. They have many tasks going on at the same time

Due to the constant activity in their mind, once a task is finished, they are ready to move on to the next task without closing up the prior task. The more going on at once, the better. Multi-tasking is one of their favorite activites.

20. They are passionate about everything they do

The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful. Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. They give it all they’ve got. They are intense, perceptive, and deep. This quality is what makes the person with ADD so lovable.

Basically, a person with ADD/ADHD has trouble controlling their impulses. They also have many awesome qualities that you will enjoy once you understand how they think and feel. Compassion, empathy and patience will carry you through the most difficult times. It’s important to take extra care of yourself; take alone time regularly, do what you enjoy, find a support group, a therapist or a compassionate wise friend, take frequent vacations, meditate, find hobbies and your own passion. Most of all, learn how to breathe.

Some of the greatest inventors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and writers had ADD/ADHD. They succeeded because they had a loved one just like you supporting them through their daily struggles. Replace your anger with compassion. Realize how they struggle to do what comes easy to you. Think of the ADD brain, as one with electrical wiring in the wrong circuits. Next time you think that they are lazy, irresponsible, disorganized, and avoiding responsibilities; try to remember how hard they have to work extra hard to achieve a simple task.

Yes, ADD/ADHD people are hard to love, but once you understand the burden they are carrying, your heart will open up. Love and compassion will take the place of anger. You will see into their sweet and good soul.