The ADHD Homestead

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Tag: Daniel Amen

Firm and kind: A challenge for ADHD families.

I think I speak for most ADHD-affected households when I say, sometimes we don’t bring out the best in each other. In his book Healing ADD From the Inside Out, Dr. Daniel Amen makes a list of games people with ADHD love to play. One of them is, “I bet I can get you to hit me or yell at me.” Sound familiar?

Most of the time, this isn’t even conscious. People with poorly managed ADHD — or those whose medication has worn off for the day — have trouble regulating emotional responses. They also use conflict to balance out their brain chemistry. Yelling, fighting, or needling someone until they explode provides a boost of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in short supply for ADHD’ers.

Without proper treatment and education, these become lifelong behavior patterns.

firm-and-kind-and-adhd

My goal when responding to these behaviors — and I falter often — is to be both firm and kind. Too many people still believe stricter parenting (like we had in the “good old days”) is the answer for kids with ADHD. When we see unacceptable behavior, we read a lack of visible, tangible punishment as permissive parenting. To some, firm and kind feel mutually exclusive.

This attitude isn’t limited to children: I hear the same about spouses and other adult family members. We don’t like to see someone “get away” with bad behavior.

I’m firm, I’m kind, but I don’t consider myself permissive with my family. I’m certainly not a doormat. In fact, people often tell me I’m the only person so-and-so will listen to, or they ask why a certain family member behaves better around me. It goes to show: Firm and kind can be strong, too.

Respect for myself

I first discovered “firm and kind” in parenting expert Vicki Hoefle’s lovely books and this post on her blog. Her words have changed my life. I feel like I have permission to look out for myself while I care for my family. Returning to Dr. Amen’s game of “I bet I can get you to hit me or yell at me,” I wonder how much respect I can have for myself when I’m falling right into that trap. In parenting, as in all social interactions, if someone can goad me into a fight, they can control me. If my child can make me late every time we leave the house, he’s in control. An out-of-control person doesn’t command respect from herself, let alone others.

When I draw a boundary, I show everyone I mean it. It doesn’t matter whether the boundary is big or small. I’m firm about reducing the number of days our family spends traveling around Christmas. I’m also firm about leaving for school at 8:45 a.m., regardless of who’s still in bare feet.

Giving kindness and respect to my family

At the same time, I try to practice kindness without letting others step all over my boundaries. I don’t say, “fine, you spent so long playing around, see how you like freezing your toes on the way to the car!” I say, “okay, time to leave. I’ll bring your shoes to the car so you can put them on while we drive.”

Simple. Matter of fact. Kind.

Hoefle claims that all children modify behavior based on what earns a reaction. We can deduce that children with ADHD do this to the extreme. When we engage in power struggles, allow ourselves to be goaded into flying off the handle, or allow our child’s behavior to control a situation, we set ourselves — and our children — up for more of the same tomorrow. This feels more unkind than letting him get cold toes on the way to the car.

Modeling how I want to be treated

After reading Hoefle’s books, my ears became attuned to how parents all around me spoke to their children. Try this next time you’re in a public place: Imagine the children as adults. What would you think if you heard someone speaking to an adult that way?

“Firm but kind” reconciles my two minds when it comes to parenting. We can be firm. We can refuse to engage in a power struggle. We can also be kind without letting kids ‘get away’ with bad behavior.

In other words, we can be respectful without being permissive. We can be kind without becoming a doormat. I apply these principles to everyone in my family, from ages 3-85. I’ve discovered that the harder it is to get a rise out of me, the more respect and accommodation I get from others. Especially those with ADHD.

Have you struggled to maintain peace and respect in your family? What keeps you grounded?

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Supplements & natural remedies for ADHD

Recently, I received a reader email asking about supplements and natural remedies for ADHD.

My short answer: buyer beware.

People have many reasons to try supplements: older adults may have concerns about taking stimulants with heart problems. Parents may yearn for an alternative to stimulant medications for their children.

Maybe supplements just feel more “natural.”

Natural they may be, but supplements aren’t necessarily safer or healthier than prescription drugs. Some may even be less safe.

ADHD supplements 101

Supplements: safety not guaranteed

The FDA treats drugs and supplements very differently. From aspirin to amoxicillin, medicines are vetted before hitting the market. Manufacturers must prove their drugs are not only safe, but effective for the conditions they claim to treat.

Compare that to the FDA’s treatment of supplements:

Although FDA has oversight of the dietary supplement industry, it is the supplement manufacturers and distributors that are responsible for making sure their products are safe before they’re marketed…FDA does not review supplements for effectiveness (as it does for prescription and OTC medications) before they enter the market. If the dietary supplement contains a new dietary ingredient, the manufacturer must submit for FDA’s review data on that ingredient’s safety—but not its effectiveness.

source: FDA.gov

Vetting is up to the manufacturer, who profits from selling these products. But that’s okay because it’s natural, right?

Wrong.

“Natural” doesn’t always mean “safe.” Remember: arsenic, cyanide, and lead are natural substances, too. Consumers often mix and match supplements, unaware of how those substances will affect their unique body chemistry.

Getting too much of anything, even an essential nutrient, can harm your body. Some supplements will even alter the effectiveness of other medications.

If you’d like to learn more, the FDA provides a Dietary Supplements 101 overview on their website. NIH also offers guidance on using supplements wisely.

Big Pharma isn’t the only agenda in town

For all the conspiracy theories about “Big Pharma,” many consumers seem to trust supplement manufacturers implicitly. However, they’re also big businesses trying to make a profit. And they’re less accountable for the quality of what they sell.

We, as consumers, need to read everything with a skeptic’s eye. Where there’s money to be made, there’s often bias.

For example: I recommend Dr. Daniel Amen’s Healing ADD from the Inside Out to anyone interested in using supplements to help with ADHD. I also suggest reading with a grain of salt.

Dr. Amen is very knowledgeable and his book contains valuable insights. He’s also selling his own line of specialty supplements (among other things). It’s easy to read the literature and feel like the right combination of dietary supplements will solve all our problems.

Dr. Amen isn’t the only one to discover this niche. Sales of dietary supplements in the U.S. totaled over $30 billion last year. A savvy entrepreneur can put a line of supplements on the market quickly, without the research and development overhead of a drug manufacturer.

Are supplements a no go for ADHD?

Hop online or pick up Healing ADD and you’ll find plenty of anecdotal support for supplements. Maybe you’ll even discover they help ease your own symptoms. How we treat a chemical imbalance in our body is always up to us. I’ve written on this blog about my own experience taking a GABA supplement for migraines and mood swings.

However, we lack evidence that supplements can meet or exceed the effects of traditional ADHD medication for the average person. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

As always, it’s important to look at where various messages are coming from, and who stands to profit from us believing what we read.

Have you tried supplements for ADHD? What was your experience?

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Book review: Taking Charge of Adult ADHD

Taking Charge of Adult ADHD book review

Dr. Russell Barkley’s Taking Charge of Adult ADHD provides a rundown of adult ADHD basics that’s comprehensive, yet easy to read.

That said, I took it at a sluggish pace. It’s informative, conversational, and approachable, but the language often feels overwordy. I’m okay with this because the book’s true value isn’t in a one-time, sequential reading, but in the many times I’ll pull it off the shelf for reference. Taking Charge offers a wealth of facts as well as a handy reference section in the back.

Though Taking Charge is a critical volume in my ADHD library, it’s not the only one. Parents and married couples, especially, may want to investigate books that go deeper into those subjects.

I’ve heard Taking Charge described as an ADHD instruction manual. I agree. An instruction manual tells you how something works and provides basic troubleshooting tips, but you need a qualified professional for complex issues.

This holds true for your brain. Taking Charge won’t give you a step-by-step guide for repairing everything that’s broken in your life, but it will tell you where to start.

My biggest disappointment was the cursory mention — or, in some cases, omission — of alternative treatments and supports. Dr. Barkley is pro-medication, in that he believes medication enables us to create and maintain long-term coping strategies.

My own reading and personal experience back this up 100%.

However, exercise and diet are mentioned only in passing, and I didn’t see mindfulness meditation mentioned at all. It would’ve been nice to see a little more on the brain science behind why these things are so important. Where I felt like Daniel Amen’s Healing ADD went too far, Taking Charge may not go far enough.

Criticisms aside, Taking Charge is a necessary addition to your ADHD library. Dr. Barkley is one of the most respected experts out there, and he’s distilled his vast knowledge into language everyone can understand.

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Blame shifting: when someone you love puts it all on you

If you love someone with ADHD, you may know too well how blame shifting hurts a relationship.

There are many ways to shift the blame:

“If you didn’t make me so angry all the time, I wouldn’t explode at you. Would you rather I bottled it all up?”

“I wouldn’t have gotten a speeding ticket if you hadn’t asked a bunch of questions when you knew I was trying to get out the door.”

“I never thought I’d be the type to cheat, but you made me feel so unappreciated.”

“You and Dad never modeled a healthy relationship for me. No wonder my marriage fell apart.”

Daniel Amen blame shifting quote

For the purposes of this post, let’s look at a smaller-scale example:

Suppose you’re having company over tonight. Your husband meant to take pork chops out of the freezer last night, but he forgot. He arrives home from some errands at 4:30, ready to marinate the chops so he can throw them on the grill when your guests arrive.

Upon discovering the meat still in the freezer, he blows up at you:

“Great, now dinner is ruined! You were here all day and you couldn’t have noticed the meat wasn’t in the fridge? Every time I think you have my back, you’re just thinking about your own stuff and doing your own thing. All our other married friends work together as a team. You make me feel like our relationship is just every man for himself…”

And on and on.

In describing this behavior to your friends — or searching the internet — you may hear people call it psychological abuse. But does this mean you’re in an abusive relationship and it’s time to get out?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Why we blame others

It’s easier to blame someone else than it is to accept our own (often overwhelming) faults. It’s also easier to cast ourselves in the role of the victim when faced with a blame shifter. Once we’ve accepted that role, both parties learn to play their part like it’s second nature.

Before we write off a blame shifter as incurably abusive and ill-intentioned, we should take a closer look. The ability to see a situation from multiple angles and experience emotions without being blinded by them is a marker of strength. We can assert and protect ourselves in ways other than walking out the door.

As we seek that steady foundation, we need to remember why people people tend to mistreat others. As a child, I remember my mother telling me bullies picked on me because they felt badly about themselves.

Bullies of all ages use others to shift focus away from their own hurts. In his book Healing ADD from the Inside Out, Dr. Daniel Amen writes, “people who ruin their own lives have a strong tendency to blame other people when things go wrong.” Consider the pain, humiliation, and self-loathing weighing on the hearts of so many ADHD adults. It’s easy to see how blame shifting and other emotionally abusive behaviors become the path of least resistance.

Accepting even a minor failure — like forgetting to take the meat out of the freezer — can feel like too much to bear if ADHD has already decimated your self-image. Allow yourself to own that one misstep and you open the floodgates, confirming your worst fears about yourself and reinforcing your most damaging self-criticisms.

Disarm with compassion and clarity

I’m not excusing bad behavior, but rather seeking explanations beyond “he’s just a bad person.” When you’re feeling wounded by a blame shifter’s words, try to remember they’re hurting, too. This knowledge may make it easier to begin from a strong and productive place rather than simply retreating or attacking back.

And it does take strength. The best first step in a conflict is to acknowledge your own contribution, even if the other person is wrong.

Why? Because this removes the blame shifter’s weapon. You cannot assume a position of strength without making yourself vulnerable. When someone shifts the blame, that’s a good signal that they’re coming from a place of weakness. They will redouble their attacks if you begin by focusing on their faults.

When acknowledging your contribution, don’t dwell on blame or get melodramatic. The idea is to communicate to the other person, “I’m not interested in discussing who’s to blame here” and move on.

In the case of the frozen meat, that means saying, “I’m sorry I didn’t notice when I went into the fridge to get my lunch. If I had, we may have been able to get the meat thawed in time.”

You may fear you’re just rewarding bad behavior. There’s inherent risk in making yourself vulnerable. But consider your options. If you argue, deny, and try to pass the buck back to the blame shifter, you’ll make him feel even more threatened. This makes him even more prone to attack. You could slink away, refuse to engage, and wait for it to blow over, but that makes you an ideal target: a person who won’t stand up for herself, who will allow someone to tear you down to make themselves feel better. That’s not okay.

Be firm and kind, and check your emotions

After accepting your contribution, be firm. Make sure you’re not enabling blame shifting now or in the future. Help the blame shifter see their role in the situation by making clear, non-threatening observations about what happened.

Avoid statements that aren’t about you: “you said you’d be in charge of the meat. I shouldn’t have needed to worry about it.”

Instead, describe only your own feelings, observations, and interpretations: “the meat wasn’t on my radar. I guess I kind of forgot about it after we decided you’d grill and I’d make the side dishes. It sounds like you’d like for us to check on each other a little more intentionally to make sure nothing gets forgotten.”

This shifts focus away from finger-pointing and toward problem solving.

If the blame shifter continues to dump on you, speak up. Resist the urge to get emotional or confrontational. For example: “I feel like I’m trying to look at this from both sides. It’s not okay with me to just focus on how I messed up because that’s not what I feel really happened here. Am I making it difficult for you to have a two-sided conversation about this?”

Once a blame shifter learns that you won’t take the bait and feed the flames with more emotion, they’ll stop seeing you as a viable container for their own bad feelings and low self esteem.

You can’t do it all

Sometimes a loved one will continue behaving badly, especially if his ADHD is untreated or poorly managed. Only you can know — through experience, soul searching, and repeated attempts to open doors to effective communication — if it’s time to remove yourself from a toxic environment.

However, it’s important to remember there’s hurt on both sides, and rarely does responsibility for stopping the cycle rest with just one person.

Much of the advice in this post was gleaned from Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen’s Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. If you’re dealing with a poor communicator, the best thing you can do to make things better is to hone your own skills and lead by example. I highly recommend Difficult Conversations as a starting point for anyone seeking to heal a damaged relationship.

Have you felt victimized by a blame shifter? What did you do? Are you a recovering blame shifter? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

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Trying supplements for temporal lobe ADD

Stimulant medication makes ADHD symptoms manageable for a lot of people, but some will always choose supplements and dietary changes instead.

And some — myself included — will experiment with supplements in addition to stimulants. Stimulants have been a lifesaver for me, but I still suffer from emotional and memory problems.

After reading Daniel Amen’s Healing ADD from the Inside Out, I decided to experiment with a few of the supplements he recommends. It’s been about a month, and I’ve learned a lot.

supplements

The many faces of ADHD

ADHD doesn’t just mean lack of focus: it often comes with emotional disregulation, forgetfulness, and a host of other problems.

When I read Healing ADD, I related to Dr. Amen’s description of “temporal lobe ADD” quite a bit. While Dr. Amen’s ADD subtypes haven’t been adopted by the wider community, they can be useful to guide conversations about common groupings of symptoms.

For example, Dr. Amen describes people with temporal lobe ADD as having a quick temper (often with little or no provocation) and suffering from dark thoughts and unpredictable moods. Some are especially prone to déjà vu, and others experience odd sensory effects: objects changing shape, shadows that aren’t there, buzzing sounds, etc.

In Healing ADD, Amen goes into more detail, talking about memory issues, violent thoughts, and patients whose personalities changed completely following a minor head injury.

My experience with supplements

Intrigued by Dr. Amen’s claims about supplements, I decided to try adding GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and ginkgo biloba to my standard medication routine. GABA can help with mood stabilization, while ginkgo has long been touted as a memory aid.

I can’t really say whether the ginkgo has helped my memory — it’s possible it went from unbearable to pretty bad, but that’s a crude measure — but I’ve noticed some surprising changes since starting the GABA.

GABA is actually an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning it keeps your brain’s activity in check (low GABA levels have been linked to anxiety and panic attacks). GABA supplement supporters claim its calming effects can soothe ADHD, anxiety, mood instability, sleep troubles, and even PMS. In some cases, Dr. Amen suggests trying it before prescription anti-convulsants like Depakote, which works by increasing GABA production.

A science-y aside: now is a good time for a reminder that correlation doesn’t necessarily imply a causal relationship, and there are very few controlled studies on the effects of supplements. Some scientists argue that GABA doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier and, consequently, has no real effect beyond placebo.

Then again, some parents of children with autism or ADHD have reported big successes with GABA.

The reality is, there just isn’t enough science for us to be sure. All we can do is try it, and if it doesn’t work, scrap it and move on.

And what has my experience been with GABA supplementation?

Most noticeably:

  • Increased mood stability; tamer peaks and valleys; fewer “all-or-nothing” moods
  • Reduced intensity and frequency of migraines
  • Reduced morning coffee cravings
    This is similar to my experience during pregnancy, where I could do with coffee or tea in the morning, whereas previously I needed coffee to feel even minimally functional
  • Possibly even reduced overall food cravings
  • Gentle lift in mood; more calm, controlled energy/motivation in the morning after taking supplement

Though I was on the lookout for mood changes, the migraines (or lack thereof) were a nice bonus, if not a surprise. While Dr. Amen goes into detail about the temporal lobes’ effect on mood, memory, and social skills, the temporal lobes also play a huge role in epilepsy and migraines. Interestingly, Depakote is prescribed for all three issues — as a mood stabilizer and to prevent seizures and migraines — so there is a clear link. I wonder how many of Dr. Amen’s temporal lobe ADD cases also suffered from migraines.  (Fun fact: migraines are not all that dissimilar from seizures, so if you find them debilitating, cut yourself a break.)

While I don’t see any way a GABA supplement could eliminate the need for prescription medication, it does provide — for me, at least — a helpful boost. Of course, there’s also a chance I need to adjust my medication and dosage to manage my ADHD symptoms more effectively. There always is. But for now, combining traditional stimulant treatments with a few natural supplements seems to work better than either would on its own.

Have you tried treating ADHD with natural supplements? What was your experience?

Note: hopefully I’m stating the obvious here, but I’m by no means a doctor, and this post is not medical advice. Before starting any new supplement or natural remedy, you should check in with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you — especially if you’re already taking other medications. Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s zero-risk!

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Book Review: Healing ADD from the Inside Out

Daniel Amen's Healing ADD from the Inside OutPsychiatrist Daniel Amen’s work is controversial, to say the least. While Healing ADD from the Inside Out has some good information, readers should also be aware of criticisms from the scientific community.

That said, Dr. Amen provides a valuable perspective on ADHD, coming from a brain science angle that many will find appealing. As his patient anecdotes illustrate, people often open up to treatment after seeing their behavior’s biological roots.

That may be the book’s most important takeawayADHD isn’t a personal failure, it’s a measurable neurological condition.

Common-sense advice for managing ADHD

Readers will also find plenty of common-sense advice. For example: avoid hitting your head and damaging your brain, stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet, and limit TV and video games.

What Amen has to say about head injuries — even minor, forgettable ones — may shock you. Amen Clinics’ doctors ask new patients five times about previous head injuries, even minor ones where the patient never lost consciousness. The degree to which your behavior and personality can change as a result of a bump on the head is startling, and certainly makes me glad I wear a helmet when I ski.

My biggest criticism of Dr. Amen’s lifestyle advice is its severity. He recommends some pretty radical diet changes — for example, eliminating sugar and bread. Don’t get me wrong, I agree refined sugar is terrible for you, but strict elimination diets feel out of reach for a lot of people. I’ve benefited from drastically reducing refined sugar and switching in whole grains whenever possible. Dr. Amen overlooks the benefits of eating brown rice and whole grain breads and pastas for those who aren’t willing to give them up entirely.

Though Dr. Amen’s five ADHD subtypes haven’t been adopted by the scientific community, I found them useful to illustrate the point that every ADHD case — and every treatment plan — is different. Managing ADHD symptoms takes some finesse, not just a quick evaluation and a prescription for stimulants.

SPECT imaging and supplements: buyer beware

Beware, though: Healing ADD focuses heavily on the Amen Clinics’ treatment and diagnostic methods, which cannot be replicated at home or at your local doctor’s office. After reading Healing ADD, it’s easy to convince yourself you’re at the mercy of your brain until you get one of these SPECT imaging scans — especially if you’ve been frustrated by past treatment failures.

However, the Amen Clinics are alone in their use of SPECT imaging in routine diagnosis, and most of the scientific community feels there’s a good reason for that. Bottom line: you don’t need to travel to one of these clinics and pay over $3000 to get better.

Parts of the book also felt more like an advertisement for the Amen Clinics’ products and services than a standalone self-help text. The techniques and advice seem broad and cursory, like Healing ADD is only an introduction to the whole system: DVDs, supplements, an online brain gym, and consultation at a brick-and-mortar Amen Clinic.

Comprehensive but not warm and fuzzy

Healing ADD may pack a lot of advice and brain science, but it won’t feel warm and personable. If you want that, read Wes Crenshaw’s I Always Want to be Where I’m Not. Dr. Amen kicks off Part One by trying to build rapport with readers and prove he truly understands ADHD on a personal level, but he does it by talking about how guilty and embarrassed his ADHD family members make him feel. Maybe this rings true for some readers, but I didn’t need any reminders.

Overall, Healing ADD is worth a read for many people, especially those who doubt ADHD’s biological roots or have complex cases not aided by typical treatment approaches. The book inspired me to try a daily GABA supplement, and I do think it has helped tone down my migraines and mood issues. Certainly it’s a great starter resource for those interested in alternative or complementary therapies.

If you’re looking for in-depth techniques and help for any single facet of ADHD, though, Dr. Amen covers way too much ground for that. For example, the chapter on stopping “automatic negative thoughts” offers a gold mine of easier-said-than-done advice. If you’re truly struggling with these harmful thought patterns, you’ll need to seek professional help.

And that’s okay. Healing ADD provides, at the very least, a comprehensive guide to what you should expect to hear from a therapist or coach (minus the need for SPECT imaging). There’s plenty of bad information out there, and Dr. Amen goes a long way to cultivate educated consumers in his readers.

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Is it ADHD?

is it ADHDIt’s not uncommon for people to tell me, you know, I love your blog, and it makes me think I may have ADHD.

Believe it or not, I enjoy hearing this feedback. I write for an ADHD audience, but I hope the parenting, organization, and other life strategies I discuss will help everyone.

But how do you know if you have ADHD? Taken individually, all of the core symptoms sound relatable. However, if your symptoms cropped up recently or have come and gone over time, it’s probably not ADHD.

In Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?, Gina Pera writes, “an ADHD diagnosis requires more than a symptom or two. Otherwise, everyone would have ADHD! It requires both a certain number of symptoms and significant impairment — for example, in the area of career, money, education, or relationships.”

Isn’t there a test?

Still confused? Several websites offer online self-tests. Though these questionnaires all have their weaknesses and you should never take the results as a clinical diagnosis, they may point you in the right direction. Here are a few to try:

  1. Amen Clinics ADHD Type Test
    This test attempts to suss out which of Daniel Amen’s seven ADHD subtypes describe you. The questions may connect some strange dots in your life and get you thinking about the lesser-known symptoms of adult ADHD. Amen’s book, Healing ADD, is definitely worth a read for a more comprehensive understanding, but the website alone should provide some insight into whether your case (and treatment) will be straightforward or difficult.
  2. Psychology Today ADHD/Attention Deficit Disorder Test
    Doesn’t touch on many relationship and emotional issues, which the Amen Clinics test does much better, but it does provide situational questions. These may be easier to answer than evaluating a blanket-statement description like “procrastinates often” or “easily distracted.”
  3. Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Center of Maryland Online Screening Test
    Perhaps the least in-depth, this test is based pretty strictly on the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. That gives you a good idea of what a clinician might ask you at a first meeting, but don’t expect to shed light into any dark corners here. Test claims you can get a lot of information from Section A alone, but I recommend doing Section B also. While the questions are rudimentary, you’ll probably know by the end whether you need to schedule a professional consultation.

How to learn more about your brain.

While online self-tests are certainly appealing if you’re looking for a quick, easy answer, there are precious few of those in the world of adult ADHD. You’ll learn far more by reading a good book by a knowledgeable professional.

For more insight than I can possibly provide here, I recommend checking out some books about ADHD.

Here are the most approachable, high-impact, easy-to-read books I’ve found. All are available in audio format in case you’re one of the many ADHD’ers who don’t enjoy reading.

  1. I Always Want to be Where I’m Not by Wes Crenshaw
    Dr. Crenshaw’s book is especially handy for the under-30 crowd. We gain a lot of responsibility in our mid-20s: often marriage, household management, financial independence, and a self-structured professional life. This can be a time of great suffering for ADHD adults, and Crenshaw’s case studies will hit home for many.
  2. Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? by Gina Pera
    This book was written for partners of ADHD adults, but I’ve loaned it to several ADHD’ers who’ve found it positively enlightening. Unlike many ADHD books, Pera focuses on ADHD’s impact on our closest personal relationships.
  3. Your Brain at Work by David Rock
    Okay, this one’s not about ADHD, but it gives a great primer on the neuroscience of focus, self-supervision, and success in the face of your brain’s natural limitations. You’ll learn several handy techniques for practicing mindfulness, recharging, and managing your brain’s supply of dopamine (a neurotransmitter critical to motivation and often lacking in people with ADHD).

How about you? What are your favorite resources? Where did you find your biggest a-ha moments?

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