Stimulant BASICS: Ritalin and Adderall


Two BRAND names for medications
known for treating ADD/ADHD
GOOD news or bad?

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
in the Diagnosis and Treatment Series – Part I

How much do you really KNOW?

When I first learned about ADD, as it was named when I was diagnosed at 38, years ago now, I was overjoyed to learn that there was a medication reputed to help.  Tearfully so.

Still, it took me over a year to give psychostimulants a trial – the first-line medications for ADD.

Meanwhile, I did my research, and continue to do so.

I am dismayed (often appalled!) by how much myth and misinformation I found and continue to find today — in the media, on the web, and even out of the mouths of doctors, sourcing so much needless fear and struggle.

SO, I have always been inspired to share what I learned
with as many people who are willing to listen
with an open mind.

Stimulant Basics

While I endeavor to share some important overview information in this particular article in the Diagnosis and Treatment Series, I’m going to hit the highlights, and save a great many of the specifics for another time and format.

Let’s begin here by going over the similarities between two medications you hear about most often: Ritalin and Adderall.

The Related Links at the very bottom of this article are there for those of you who want more specifics about the differences NOW.

On to those basics . . .

The psychostimulants you hear about most often (also called stimulants), are amphetamines (ex., Adderall & Dexedrine) and methylphenidates (ex., Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate & Methylin).

They are similar in chemical structure, and ALL can have different effects – including side-effects (true with any substance).

Psychostimulants are a broad class of drugs reported to reduce fatigue, promote alertness and wakefulness, with possible mood-enhancing properties (Orr 2007).

Don’t let that term scare you. Caffeine, nicotine and some of the non-drowsy allergy medications are also psychostimulants.

Since the early 1930s, doctors have prescribed either amphetamines or methylphenidate to treat various health-related conditions and disorders, among them obesity, depression & other mood disorders, impulse control disorders, asthma, chronic fatigue, and sleep disorders characterized by excessive sleep or excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnolence).

Addiction and Abuse

According to Wikipedia and despite what you frequently read: it is estimated that the percentage of the population that has abused amphetamines, cocaine and MDMA combined is between .8% and 2.1%.[4]

A study published in the Journal Pediatrics*, showed that individuals with ADD/HD who were treated with stimulant medication had a lower risk of drug abuse than ADD/HD individuals who had not taken medication, and subsequent studies have returned similar findings.

* Biederman et al, Pharmacotherapy of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Reduces Risk for Substance Abuse Disorder, Pediatrics, Vol 104, No 2, Aug.’99.

How they are the same?

Both drugs are in the same medication class: psychostimulants, and it is said that they both work in two ways.  While not exactly accurate, this is basically how they work:

  1. They make neurotransmitters last longer in the parts of the brain that control attention and alertness, and
  2. They increase the concentration of neurotransmitters in areas of the brain believed to be under-aroused or otherwise under-performing.

In other words, stimulant medications increase the release or block the reabsorption of dopamine and norepinephrine, increasing transmission between certain neurons. Each stimulant has a slightly different mechanism of action, and each may have similar or different effects on the ADD/HD symptoms of any given individual.

For anyone new to the blog, neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that send signals from one neuron (brain cell) to another, increasing the activity in certain parts of the brain, in this case helping to focus attention.

WHY they might be necessary

Contrary to what might seem logical if you’ve ever spent much time around a diagnostic Hyperactive Harry or Chatty Cathy, an ADDer’s unmedicated brain is less active than a neurotypical brain in the conscious “supervisory” areas that FOCUS behavior — in particular, the prefrontal cortex [PFC]. 

That leads to an under-performance of the brain-based mechanisms that make it possible for human beings to observe the environment and supervise responses, guiding decision-making and directing subsequent action effectively.

Basically, in a person with an ADD diagnosis, the brain’s filtering & focusing areas are not operating well, so its “juggling ability” is limited by the number of “attentional balls” it is forced to juggle already.  These are elements filtered out automatically by neurotypical brains.

Regular readers of this blog may recall that the PFC has “regulation responsibility” for what we term the brain’s executive functions, which include planning, organization, and critical thinking as well as time management, effective judgment, and impulse control.

The “normal” human ability to sift through options, plan ahead, use time wisely, focus on goals, maintain social responsibility and communicate effectively is heavily dependent on a PFC that is up to the task.

Stimulants do just what they sound like they’d do, and seem to work particularly well on the area that most needs it: they stimulate sluggish neuro-perfomance, waking up the PFC so that it can do its job.

Connecting the Brakes

While ALL stimulants are activating for certain parts of the brain, they often seem to help calm a person with ADHD.

That is frequently referred to as the “paradoxical effect” — leading to erroneous claims that ADD meds are “sedating” kids into compliance.

NOT SO – that’s not how they work!

Whenever the PFC under performs, other areas of the brain, effectively, step up to compensate. You can see the difference on a brain scan.

So the filtering and focusing areas are, essentially, down for the count, and there’s suddenly more activity that needs filtering and focusing.

  • See the problem when the PFC’s “offline”?

No filters, MORE to filter = BRAIN CHATTER, distractibility or hyperactivity, problems with short-term memory – swimming upstream!

  • Once the PFC is stimulated to come back on line, the rest of the brain can relax (filters working better – less to filter). Suddenly, we can get things done – swimming WITH the current!

As soon as the PFC is stimulated into action, the rest of the brain can calm down – leading to a calmer individual.

A study reported in the Jan. 1999 issue of Science* suggested that methylphenidate also elevates levels of serotonin, which may account for some of its calming effects as well. Methylphenidate has never worked that way in my own brain, however, it makes me jittery.

* Gainetdov et al., Role of Serotonin in the Paradoxical Calming Effect of Psychostimulants on Hyperactivity, Science, Jan. 15, 1999: 397-410.

So WHICH medication is better?
Read more of this post

Change your Clothes, Change your Brain?


Fashionistas & their Opposites
A brain-based look

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Brain-Based Series
Collaboration with
Jodie’s Touch of Style

Fashionistas First

You’ve seen them on television, on the internet, in the tabloids, maybe even in your own neighborhood, right?

Whatever we think about how they put themselves together, we tend to notice that we see them in a different outfit every time we see them – even if we see them several times on the same day.

Many of us who like to think of ourselves as serious thinkers love to make fun of them.  We frequently believe they’re vapid, self-focused vanity plates wasting time and energy on items that don’t make one whit of difference.

And we’d be wrong.

They might not be changing the world, but they certainly are changing their clothes!  And that’s not such a bad thing, you’ll come to find out as you keep reading.

Frozen Fashionitas

Most of us have met at least one of these ladies.  A perfect example is the college beauty queen who hasn’t changed her style since her heyday, despite the fact that she is now middle aged or older.

Her hairstyle is practically the same, often chemically processed at considerable trouble or expense to remain exactly the same color.  Her wardrobe usually has a slightly “Delta Dawn” feel to it – frozen in time.

Youngsters sometimes point them out in a manner you wish they wouldn’t, and often at the top of their lungs, “Look Mom – that old lady looks just like Aunt Theresa!”

Another example is “Sensible Susie.”

She has decided what is appropriate and what is no longer suitable for any number of reasons: since she’s gained or lost weight, now that she’s older, the kids are in middle school, her husband got a promotion — whatever!

She may well be right, but the problem is that she turns what might have been a good idea into a rule book from which she never varies.

She may be easy to shop for, but nobody would ever accuse her of being “fashion forward,” and she’s often one of the first to point out the supposed flaws in the outfit of a contemporary.

Make way for “Matching Molly”

My own grandmother could have been the Matching Molly poster girl.  If an ensemble was purchased as an outfit, the various items might as well have been sewn together.

Suggesting to her that she could wear the jacket from Outfit A over a dress – or with the skirt from Outfit B – was practically enough to give her apoplexy.

She had a fit if I mixed and matched in my own wardrobe too, especially with items that she had given me as birthday or Christmas presents — there was no such thing as “separates” in my grandmother’s closet or her world view.

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Making friends with CHANGE


Habits, Brain Changes & Brain Aging
Why your brain resists change
and how you can make it do what’s good for it – Part I

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Brain-Based Series
Collaboration with
Jodie’s Touch of Style

“A mind equipped with a wide range of
previously formed
pattern recognition devices
can withstand the effects of neuroerosion
for a long time.”

~ Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, PhD, from
The Wisdom Paradox 

About the Brain that Changes Itself

It took science a long time to agree that an old idea was not only obsolete, but completely WRONG.

Until 1970, it was generally believed that the brain might as well be carved in stone after a certain childhood window of a great deal of change.

What is practically universally accepted these days is that our brains change and grow throughout our lives.

In fact, learning anything new after a certain age would be impossible unless the brain were capable of forming new pathways, which also involves the ongoing creation of brand new brain cells (neurons) and connections (synapses).

Another way to say it

Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain’s Way of Healing and the New York Times best-seller The Brain that Changes Itself (the all-time bestselling science book in Australia) puts it this way:

Plasticity simply means that the brain can change its structure and its function depending on what it does.

And that means, depending on what we react to when we’re sensing and perceiving, our brains will “rewire” depending on the actions that we commit ourselves to, and most intriguingly, depending on what we think and imagine.

ALL of these things can change the structure of the brain.

More about Doidge here: The Brain Science Podcast Turns TEN!

HOWEVER, since the brain is, essentially, a pattern-recognition organ, most human beings kick and scream when we are forced to change. Many of us who would like to change – maybe even those of us who are eager to change – struggle still.

Change is not easy

Change requires our conscious attention to doing things differently. Consciousness is a resource-intensive process. Your brain REALLY doesn’t want to burn up those resources dealing with the same information and making the same decisions over and over again.

Brains like the easy-to-pattern-match same ole/same ole, despite the fact that it’s not particularly good for them long term.

Even though it’s a huge help to put what I like to call the treadmill tasks on autopilot (like laundry, dishes and dusting) – a practice I highly recommend – that old saw about variety turns out to be an understatement where moving through the rest of life is concerned.

Unless spices are the main ingredients in the meals at your house, you are underestimating the importance of change to healthy brain functioning over your entire lifetime.

And still, we resist

Almost ALL of us, ADD/EFD or not, have a small – perfectly “normal” – part of our personalities that balks unless a new idea or different manner of approaching a change in something familiar is totally appealing in the moment we are “supposed” to take it on.  Why?

As I began in an earlier article, Change, Growth and Decision Dilemmas, it is essential to understand a fundamental, psychological truth about all human beings, ADD/EFD or not.

We are conflicted about growth and change.

At bottom, most of us crave safety as strongly as we crave freedom and adventure, although not in equal measure at all times and about all things.

The fact remains that there is a conflicted relationship between making choices at all – and new choices in particular – and preserving the freedom to do whatever we want.  To escape the discomfort of the conflict, it is all too tempting to fall back on “the devil we know” – and so we usually do.

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Take Me Out to the BALLGAME!


Life gets GOOD

Once you understand
how to drive the very brain you were born with
— even if it’s taken a few hits in the meantime™

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the Diagnosis & Treatment series

A lot of people have ADHD,
but they don’t want to talk about it.
But I am who I am,
and I don’t feel bad about it.
~ Major league baseball player Andrés Torres

Late to the Party

I have to admit that, because I’ve never been the world’s biggest sports fan, I’m more than a bit late to this particular party.

Maybe some of you missed it too?

I just read a heartwarming human interest sports story about Andrés Torres, a ball-playing superstar who couldn’t get to first base until he accepted that he needed to get real about a treatment protocol for his AD”H”D.

As the New York Times article began:

“Discerning a fastball from a changeup is difficult enough; imagine doing it with untethered focus, attention meandering.

This was precisely the obstacle impeding Andrés Torres, who stumbled for a decade through baseball’s minor leagues, working for a break, always falling short.

Only when Torres accepted the extent to which he was debilitated by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, finally embracing the medication and therapy prescribed five years earlier, did he begin to blossom as a ballplayer.”

And blossom he most certainly did!

In case you don’t follow baseball very closely either, after many disheartening years of limping along, barely functioning in an arena that was incredibly important to him — no matter how hard he worked — his story took a dramatic turn for the better.

In 2010 Torres helped the San Francisco Giants win the World Series —
before moving on to play center field and bat leadoff for the Mets.

If you aren’t already aware of his story, and especially if you are still struggling yourself or are the parent of a child who is struggling, click to read a few of the links in the Related Content section, always at the end of my articles.

Ring me in

As the founder of the ADD/EFD Coach Training field, co-founder of the ADD Coaching field, an ADD/EFD advocate, coach, trainer & speaker for over 25 years now [and the ADD Poster Girl herself], I can assure you that this article was RIGHT ON in terms of their point of view.

Unfortunately, the scientific point of view is under-reported, most likely because the complex nature of Executive Functioning disorders makes them difficult to recognize and harder still for anyone who isn’t highly ADD/EFD-literate to diagnose.

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Smoking: Additional reasons why it’s SO hard to quit


Nicotine and
self-medication

NOT what you think this post is going to be about!

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another post in the Walking A Mile in Another’s Shoes Series

It’s National Cancer Prevention Month!
American Institute for Cancer Research

A relatively new study on nicotine and self medication (linked below in the Related Content) prompted me to revisit the topic of smoking.

Why do so many of us continue to do it?

WHY does it seem to be so difficult to put those smokes down — despite the black-box warnings that now come on every pack sold in the USA?

Science rings in

The link between self-medication and smoking really isn’t news to me, by the way, but some scientific validation is always reassuring.

An article I published early-ish in 2013 can be found HERE – where I discussed the relationship between nicotine’s psycho-stimulation, the brain, and the concept of “core benefits.”

For those of you who enjoy a bit of sarcasm with your information, it’s written in a rah-ther snarky tone toward the self-righteous – who, because of the way the brain responds, actually make it more difficult for people who need to quit with their nags and nudges.

Even if you don’t, you’ve probably never come across this particular point of view anywhere else as an explanation for why it can be such a struggle to quit — especially for those of us who are card-carrying members of Alphabet City.

I’ll give you just a little preview of what I mean by “snarky” below
(along with Cliff Notes™ of most of the info, for those of you with more interest than time).


HOLD YOUR HORSES!!

Sit on your hands if you must, but do your dead-level best to hear me out before you make it your business to burn up the keyboard telling me what I already know, okay?

I PROMISE YOU I have already heard everything
you are going to find it difficult not to flame at me.

There is not a literate human being in the United States (or the world) who hasn’t been made aware of every single argument you might attempt to burn into the retinas of every smoky throated human within any circle of influence you are able to tie down, shout down, argue down or otherwise pontificate toward.

NOW – can you listen for once?  I’m not going to force you to inhale.  I’m not even trying to change your mind. I would like to OPEN it a crack, however.

If you sincerely want to protect your friends and loved ones while you rid the world of the deleterious effects of all that nasty second-hand smoke, wouldn’t it make some sense to understand WHY your arguments continue to fall on deaf ears?

Unless you truly believe that saying the same thing for the two million and twenty-second time is going to suddenly make a difference —

or unless you don’t really care whether people stop smoking
or not as long as you get to rant and rave about it

 — wouldn’t it make some sense to listen for a moment to WHY some of the people are still smoking?

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The Wisdom of Compensating for Deficits


Brain-Change vs. Compensation
TIME is of the Essence

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Self-Help Series – Part I

Arguing with YouTube

I have been watching a lot of brain-based TED Talks of late – talks from notables like the following:

I added links to those videos above so you can click to watch them too.

Their Advice for Us

Each of them hopes to direct the focus of the world to healing the problem rather than working at the level of symptoms.

That makes A LOT of sense, right?
I LIKE these experts, and applaud their efforts.
I have known about the things they espouse for many years now,
and I think each is a great idea.

HOWEVER, something about each of their talks left me with a sense that something was off, or missing — or that, in the way they came up with their advised solutions, they devalued or overlooked a point of view that was important.

It took me a bit of noodling, but I finally figured out what was bugging me.

Three things:

  1. The advice was presented in an either/or, better/worse, black and white fashion that, in some subtle manner, left me with an uneasy feeling. I was left with an impression that they each believed that their way of working was the best way for ALL individuals to proceed — and that we would be somehow foolish to approach finding a solution to compensate for our challenges instead of “fixing” the root cause.
  2. They seemed oblivious to the reality that, for a great many of us, some of their solutions are absolutely out of reach financially (Do you have any idea how much it costs to get a brain scan for diagnostic purposes, for example?)
  3. They left out the TIME factor altogether – and didn’t quite explain who was going to support us while we set about changing our brains by getting more sleep, changing our diets for optimal brain health and healing, or working through exercises that will improve short term memory (for example).

Few of us can afford to take a year or more OFF while we take advantage of the miracle of neuroplasticity to give our brains a fighting chance at “normalizing.”

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Don’t Drink the Kool-ade


Choice vs. Fear-mongered Reaction

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another Reflections post

 

“Ritalin, like all medications,
can be useful when used properly
and dangerous when used improperly. 

Why is it so difficult for so many people
to hold to that middle ground?”

~ Dr. Edward Hallowell

As I wrote in a prior article, in response to one of the far too many opinion pieces made popular by the soundbite press:

  • You don’t have to believe in medication.
  • You don’t have to take it.
  • You don’t have to give it to your kids.

You don’t EVEN have to do unbiased research before you ring in with an opinion on medication or anything else having to do with ADD/ADHD/EFD.

HOWEVER, when you’re writing a piece to be published in a widely-read paper of some stature, or a book that presents itself as containing credible expertise, it is simply unprofessional — of the writer, the editors, and the publications themselves — to publish personal OPINION in a manner that will lead many to conclude that the pieces quote the sum total of scientific fact

It is also incredibly harmful.

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Balance Balls for On-Task Classroom Focus?


Does sitting on a balance ball help children with ADHD in the classroom?

Guestpost from David Rabiner, Ph.D.
Dept. of Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University
©
ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE; September 21, 2016

Let’s NOT discount the science

Could sitting on a balance ball help children with ADD/ADHD/EFD be more focused and on-task in the classroom?

While the idea may strike many as implausible, several small but interesting studies conducted since 2003 suggests there may be something to this.

Really?

Dr. Rabiner recently received a question from a long-time subscriber and teacher about whether there was any research to support a practice in her school of having children with ADHD sit on fidget cushions when seated on the floor or chair.

The idea behind this approach is that children with ADHD may benefit from more movement in the classroom because being in motion allows their brains to be more fully engaged.

He was not immediately aware of any research on this issue, and it initially struck him as a bit far fetched. When he searched the literature, however, he came across several small but interesting studies that yielded promising results.

Scroll DOWN for his excellent summary
of this small body of work.


Please feel free to forward this content to others you know who may be interested. If you would like to receive Attention Research Update on a regular basis, visit http://www.helpforadd.com for a no-charge subscription.

ABOUT:  I have been a huge fan of Dr. David Rabiner’s ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE since its inception in 1997. Not only do I count on his comprehensive, plain-English explanations of up-to-date research trends and developments as key resources in my drive to keep my information base current, I also archive them for future reference.

I urge any professional working with individuals with Attentional Spectrum deficits and struggles — whether teachers, counselors, coaches, therapists or physicans — to sign yourself up before the idea falls through the cracks.  (Parents and ADD/EFDers themselves can benefit too!)

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SHAME on the nasties who pirate Intellectual Property


Grumpy again today
– another [unfortunate] addition to the languishing Series
Monday Grumpy Monday –

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

AGAIN – Discouraged, Weary and Worried

Our world seems to be rapidly going to hell in a handbag, as they say.

I just read an article put together by Daily (w)rite author Damyanti Biswas.

In it, she takes on the topic of “pirating” in a courageous and thought-provoking article: Are Readers Entitled to Read Books for Free?

Damyanti is one of the many writers who follow and support what I do here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com. It’s my turn to support back, even though this is sort-of “off-topic” when you consider the usual scope of my articles.

Calling out all pirates

It has come to my attention that the beyond nasty practice of “eBook pirating” (let’s call a spade a spade: STEALING) seems to be getting increasingly worse — to the point where more than a few of us are inspired to spend even more of the precious minutes of our lives to call out the perpetrators, adding to the hours we spend to make it possible for us to publish what we write for the benefit and enjoyment of all.

In addition to linking to a site that helps you find out if anyone is pirating your work, Damyanti cites and links to Sarah Madison‘s article taking on the eBook piracy topic as well, in an even more strongly worded fashion: Dear Broke Reader: Your Sense of Entitlement is Killing Me.

There is NO justification for stealing an author’s work. Ever!

As Megan Lembach reminds everyone in her comment on Sarah’s article:

The cost of an eBook is 1-2 cups of coffee at Starbucks and often books are much less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Damyanti nicely handles the “too broke to buy” lame excuses within her article:

“There are various ways of reading books for free or for small change: libraries, Bookbub, Kindle Unlimited to name but a few”

Even if you don’t have time to actually read these posts, I would consider it a personal favor if every single one of you who has ever benefited from anything I post here for free would take a minute to click the links above, then click “like” or leave a quick comment to show support for the respect that article and book creation deserves.

Because, believe it or not, those scummy thieves seem to be receiving more support than the hard-working authors! Internet Trolls have banded together to actually defend the practice, attacking the authors in a number of truly nasty ways.

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Full Recovery after “No Hope” Concussion


There’s ALWAYS Hope

The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life
and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Don’t Miss this Post!

If you (or those you love) are struggling with the results of a physical or blast-related TBI, acquired brain injury, stroke, problems with balance, life-long attentional challenges, learning disorders, sensory defensiveness, MS . . .

If you have been to numerous doctors and failed to respond completely to what you have been told is every available therapy or intervention  . . .

If you have ever wondered if you will ever find a way to function with the ease that the rest of the world seems to be able to take for granted . . .

Take the time to read this short post and listen to the video embedded.
Trust me on this – just read and listen.

When Life Changes Overnight

“You know outside we look pretty much the same,
and if we’re not taxing our brains,
we can even interact in a pretty normal way.
But inside, in so many hundreds of small ways,
we have just been completely changed.”

~ Clark Elliott, author of The Ghost in My Brain

One fateful day in 1999, on his way to teach a class at DePaul University, Ph.D. Clark Elliott’s car was rear-ended while he was waiting for the stoplight to turn green.

It seemed like such a minor injury at the time — but there was nothing minor about his resulting concussion.

Suddenly, everything was different.

Once a cutting-edge professor with a teaching/research career in artificial intelligence, he rapidly found himself struggling to get through the most basic of activities, almost every single day for the next eight years.

The world no longer made sense in many ways. At times he couldn’t walk across a room, get out of a chair, unlock his office door, or even name his five children.  In addition to his problems with cognition, he had balance problems and debilitating headaches that would stop only when he applied a bag of ice while sitting in a bathtub of cold water.

He learned that he had to be extremely careful with resource allocation:

  • How much of what kind of mental tasks he could attempt to do each day;
  • How long he could sustain energy on cognitive struggles, and for how many times; and
  • How much simple walking and standing before he could no longer expect his brain to sustain communication with his body well enough for him to remain upright.

Feeling like an alien in his own skin, he sought treatment after treatment from doctor after doctor. One specialist after another told him that they weren’t even sure exactly what was wrong with him – his brain scans didn’t look that bad.

They all seemed to have come to the same conclusion: there was nothing more to be done but to learn to live with it.  Things might improve a bit more over time, he was told, but he could never expect to recover fully from this kind of damage.  Nobody ever has.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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How to Get your Doctor to Prescribe you Adderall


Promoting Student Amphetimine Abuse
while marketing non-pharms
When profit seems ALL that matters,
then BOYCOTT is our most effective response

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
in the Diagnosis and Treatment
and What Kind of World do YOU Want? Series

Almost impossible to believe!

Irresponsible articles like the one written by supposed student Stephen McLaughlin – with a title the same as this article’s title [How to get your doctor to prescribe you Adderall] – encourages student amphetimine abuse, despite the Limitless Cognition LLC site’s supposed “disclaimer” posted just under the articles sub-title:

“Adderall can be nearly impossible to get, but we have the strongest nootropics available right here in our online store, such as Adrafinil, the pro-drug to prescription Modafinil** (lasts for 12 hours) and has effects similar to Adderall…just…legal;)”

**Modafinil is a medication prescribed for narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder – sometimes used off-label for ADD/AD(h)D

What’s wrong with the article?

In addition to offering other students a detailed description of how he faked ADD/AD(h)D to secure an Adderall prescription, despite the presence of his “helicopter parent” mother, articles like McLaughlin’s also contribute to a significant problem that makes it difficult for those who need and deserve a valid diagnosis along with treatment medication to obtain them.

The article has been published on a dot com site named smartdrugsforcollege – capriciously supported by a company clearly intent upon using any method possible in their attempt to sell non-pharmaceutical alternatives that they claim are “just as good” – along with those that they claim add to or protect from the effects of pharmaceutical stimulants.

It is being passed along on Pinterest as well, pinned and repinned using a [non-site] graphic of a pill bottle with MAKE ME CONCENTRATE on the label, linked to the article.

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Medication Fears


Grumpy again today
– another addition to the languishing Series
Monday Grumpy Monday –

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Discouraged, Weary and Worried

I started my day today on Pinterest, where I came across a pin with a picture of a little girl that brought back memories of myself as a child: sitting on the stairs after doing something “wrong,” head in hands, sad and worried – fearful of what my father’s reaction would be when he heard about it.

The words across the photo were, “Why Punishments Don’t Work for ADHD Kids (But What Works Better!).”

For readers who have not yet explored Pinterest, Pins are graphic snippets “pinned” to a virtual bulletin board, similar to cutting a picture out of a magazine and pinning it to an actual bulletin board.

The biggest difference – and what makes it useful – is that the graphic snippets are automatically linked to the source, which is frequently an article that turns out to be well worth reading.

————————————————————————————————–
I use “ADD” to include AD/HD etc. Check out What’s in a Name for why.
—————————————————————————————————

What an Excellent Idea for an Article!

Clicking this pin led me to a wonderful article on an extremely useful ADD/HD focused blog by The Distracted Mom.

I was smiling broadly as I read her description of a well-reasoned, learning-oriented approach to parenting her son through a melt-down – an approach that many of us who know ADD/EFD well agree is one of the best for ADD/EFD kids.

HUGE on attribution, I was especially pleased with her generous linking to other useful resources (for example, the Lives in Balance website of Dr. Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children).

Having devoted over 25 years of my life to making a difference in this field, it is such a pleasure to read articles like hers, that allow me to believe that perhaps the world is finally changing its attitude toward what I like to call The Alphabet Disorders.

Only later, as I read through the MANY comments to her article, did my hopeful mood slowly to turn to dismay.

Read more of this post

Medications vs. Non-Pharm Alternatives


Educated Opinions
Informing personal CHOICE

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Non-Pharm Alternatives Series

Expanding a Comment

The genesis for this article is my response to a comment left on an earlier article, my first on a recently new non-pharmaceutical alternative claiming wonderful improvements to the brain’s Executive Functioning: entitled  Neuroflexyn: BUYER BEWARE.

By the way, I’m still reserving judgment on the value of Neuroflexyn until I’ve been able to give it a solid one month trial, as promised. Life events interrupted my trial after two weeks, so I plan to begin anew before reporting my experience. Meanwhile, my jury’s still out.

Why expand a response to a comment on an earlier article?

Since my articles tend to be lengthy, I know that many of you seldom read the comments – especially since,  at times, some of my replies seem almost as long as the original posts.

I believe that the particular point I was making subtly in one particular response to a comment cannot be stressed too often, so I have decided to expand it into a blog post of its own, quite a bit more overtly.

Demonizing is Dumb

As I continue to affirm, I believe it is a big mistake to demonize pharmaceutical approaches OR non-pharmaceutical alternatives simply because they didn’t work for us personally.

People are different and brains are different – and each of us has the right and responsibility to decide for ourselves what we will or will not ingest.

Read more of this post

Neuroflexyn: Jury still out


Email reply bodes well
Responsive companies are usually
trustworthy companies

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Non-Pharm Alternatives Series

Not at all fearful of prescription medication when warranted, I have always been ALL FOR effective non-pharmaceutical alternatives when available.

The question in my mind was (and is) whether Neuroflexyn will be among them – and for what segment of the population (since nothing works across-the-board for everyone who struggles.)

FIRST instincts (a summary)

“Preliminary findings: short and not so sweet” is how I began my prior article entitled Neuroflexyn: BUYER BEWARE – Lack of information vs. marketing is suspicious — where I encouraged you, as always, to READ WITH YOUR BRAIN ENGAGED.

SINCE that time, I received an email from someone involved with the company.

As I indicated in a top-of-that-article update, I requested and received permission to share it with you.

I will continue with additional comments following their email.

(The image at left is from the Amazon site, where you will find additional reviews of the product.)

Quick Review for Context

My initial article began with the information below, which will help with context for their reply for any of you who don’t jump over to read that first (which, obviously, I strongly recommend).

Too good to be true?

A plethora of marketing-posing-as-information articles make some pretty amazing claims about the benefits of Neuroflexyn. I’ll admit that I was tempted to purchase as I read them – which is what launched me on the informational research trail.

Product marketing swears that Neuroflexyn has been “proven” to significantly increase IQ as it enhances memory, concentration, intentional focus — productivity practically across the board, in fact.

In addition, again according to their marketing, this new “supplement” dramatically increases cognition and intelligence with NO reported side effects — despite the reality that, as a supplement, this new product currently flies beneath FDA radar, so the manufacturers can pretty much claim anything they want.

Initial Concerns

My initial objection was to current “ask for the sale” marketing approaches that attempt to sweeten response rate by urging readers to take hasty action for fear of losing some advantage or opportunity if they take a day or more to think things over or investigate other options.

According to the email below, this is NOT what Neuroflexyn’s marketing game-plan endorses – actively opposing, it asserts.

My second concern was that there was little to be found from mainstream scientists, doctors, or the credible nootropic community leadership (at least, not that I was able to find in a couple of hours online).

Only time will tell which “experts” will respond — favorably or not — since Neuroflexyn is still a brand new product.

To be CLEAR: Silence doesn’t always indicate LACK of endorsement – but it certainly is a reason for caution and further investigation before jumping on the bandwagon ourselves.

My parting comments were that it will take more INFORMATION to change my mind and that I’d LOVE to be proven wrong about my initial assessment of this product.

It would seem, from the email below, that the folks at Neuroflexyn are willing to do what they can toward the same objective.

If it improves my own cognition substantially I’ll continue to take it – in addition to or instead of my current medication.

Read it for yourselves, immediately below.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

Read more of this post

Neuroflexyn: BUYER BEWARE


Lack of information vs. marketing is suspicious
Read with your brain engaged

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Non-Pharm Alternatives Series

UPDATE 1/9/15: VERY early this morning, I received an interesting email from a member of the Neuroflexin organization in response to this article.

I have replied, seeking their permission to post it online – so say tuned as I check them out further.

BY THE WAY:  It was respectful and seemingly concerned about the sensationalism around the web – which they say they do not condone or promote.  Bodes well, huh?

#2 UPDATE – 1/14/15: They have responded with permission – to be fair, I will put it in a new post with a new (and more hopeful) title, rather than adding it in a comment to a post that begins with “Buyer Beware.”
 — Link now at the bottom of this article in Related Content —

Preliminary findings: short and not so sweet

For those of us with Executive Functioning Dysregulation issues [EFD], a new product on the performance enhancement market touted as the Viagra for the Brain sounds like a nootropic answer to a prayer.

You may have heard about it as EVO, “the Limitless Pill” (E-Huperzine) – credited as the genesis of the idea for the film. The buzz about Neuroflexyn increased rapidly after Limitless became a Box Office smash hit and publicly referenced Neuroflexyn as its inspiration.

Here’s what the folks at smartSMARTER have to say about the product in their introduction to a clearly marked ADVERTISEMENT (designed nonetheless to look like something else):

We expose the truth behind a ground-breaking pill that has many experts furious. Studies have revealed it boosts brain power by up to 89.2%, sharpens your mind and sky-rockets your energy levels. With such overwhelming evidence and media mention, the question is not whether the pill works, but whether it should be legal.

EF_pieChart_brainToo good to be true?

A plethora of marketing-posing-as-information articles make some pretty amazing claims about the benefits of Neuroflexyn. I’ll admit that I was tempted to purchase as I read them – which is what launched me on the informational research trail.

Product marketing swears that Neuroflexyn has been “proven” to significantly increase IQ as it enhances memory, concentration, intentional focus — productivity practically across the board, in fact.

In addition, again according to their marketing, this new “supplement” dramatically increases cognition and intelligence with NO reported side effects.

Ahem! As you may already be aware, the FDA does not currently regulate supplements. Whether or not that is ultimately a good thing or turns out to be a lousy way to attempt to protect the public, it does mean that this new product currently flies beneath FDA radar.

The manufacturer can pretty much claim anything they want
in their attempt to sell their product.

It is up to us to determine how ethical they appear to be, in contrast to any eagerness to part us from our wallets by any means available, in service of corporate profitability.

Not to seem to have joined some Royal Society of Skeptics, my Boomer lifetime of experience has taught me that whenever something sounds too good to be true, it usually is (not true, that is).

NEXT year’s stocking stuffer, maybe

Stocking

Before any of YOU put any of your hard-earned Christmas cash into a product trial – as a gift or for yourself – take a few moments to read what I have to say about why you might want to wait until more results are in.

In addition to other reasons I’m skeptical, I always advise caution any time product marketing attempts to manipulate us into buying — rather than enticing us into that action with information designed to help us to come to a decision.

I DO NOT Heart Scare Tactics

It seems to be a popular “ask for the sale” approach to attempt to sweeten response rate with text urging readers to take hasty action for fear of losing some advantage or opportunity if they take a day or more to think things over or investigate other options.

Neuroflexyn’s marketing game-plan seems to be to set up “Big Pharma” as the bogey-man, supposedly intent on shutting down Neuroflexyn production because it is “competition” for the profitability of their pharmaceutical products.

Uh-huh – so buy now or regret it when
Neuroflexyn is taken off the market?

I guess that implies that one must seriously stock up from the very beginning – just in case it really does work – to ensure access to a continued supply during the upcoming fight for manufacturing rights.  Let’s all go get right on it, then!

Read more of this post

Self-Care Strategy Tips to get you through the holidays


“Non-Pharmaceutial Alternatives”
for ADD/HD, EFD, TBI (etc.)
— Holiday-management —

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC ©1995, 2013
ADD Coaching Skills Series

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays?!

XmasFrazzle

YES, I AM AWARE that in less than half an hour from the time this article auto-posts it will officially be Thanksgiving — and happy Thanksgiving, by the way.

(I’m expressing my extreme gratitude that
it’s not Christmas YET.)

My BIGGIST Boomer birthday is the Friday after the turkey blow-out, and I am taking it TOTALLY off (an entire no-blog weekend, starting Thanksgiving!)

Instead of a yearly reflection on MY birthday this year, I spent quite a bit of time reflecting on my father’s, November 20th (Homage to Brandy – the most amazing man I never knew).

But I’m giving each of you an early present, a jump-start (so that maybe THIS Holiday Season will be a bit calmer than the last). Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to relax and enjoy it this year?

Happy EVERYthing!

Since Christmas is my thing, the name of that particular holiday will be featured most prominently in any of my winter holiday articles.

But take a look at what I’m suggesting, no matter which end-of-year holidays YOU observe:

Hanukkah – Kwanza – Solstice – Ramadan – Shawwal – Black Friday – Cyber Monday – St. Nicholas Day – Boxing Day – Christmas Card Day – New Years – Twelfth Night – Festivus – or even You’re Welcome Day, Fruitcake Toss Day or National Bicarbonate of Soda Day (which, according to the Holiday Insights website, actually exist, along with my personal favorite on November 9th, Chaos Never Dies Day – but most of you probably missed it!)

Read more of this post

The Gluten Sensitivity Summit Speakers Schedule


ADDendum: WORLD’S FIRST
GLUTEN SUMMIT

© By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Self-Health Series

click image for source

click image for source

Quickie Update:

Below is the list of speakers who will be presenting for FREE during the online Gluten Sensitivity Summit.

And it’s NOT too late to register below. 

Although you will have to purchase the downloads if you want to hear the days you’ve missed – as you’ll see in the Speaker Schedule below, there’s still A LOT more to come you can access for free.

If this is the first you are reading about why YOU might be interested in attending this amazing Summit (which began on Monday, November 11th and will continue daily until the following Monday)  — CLICK HERE for my introductory article & registration link.

The rest of you already know about this comprehensive collection of experts sharing the latest gluten-related information, generous enough to give us all what amounts to a free one-hour consultation.

Summit organizer Dr. Tom O’Bryan of TheDr.com asks the questions we would ask if we were there. — with new content available for free, every day for a solid 8 days — through Monday, November 18th, 2013. 

If you registered when I first announced the Summit, you listened for free from the very beginning.

BUT DON’T WORRY – the cost to download the complete set of ALL the sessions – either before they actually air or after the fact – is among the most reasonable of any Summit I’ve ever attended: video, audio and transcript all for one low price, by the way.

  • For those of you have already signed up – please take this as a reminder to continue spreading the word. SHARE with your social networks (buttons below) or reblog. Like I said in the last Gluten Summit post — it doesn’t cost a dime to become known as a resource!
  • If you know all about it, but haven’t registered YET, jump on it!

CLICK HERE
for the Gluten Sensitivity Summit registration page
& more information

Read more of this post

More info on the free Gluten Sensitivity Summit


WORLD’S FIRST GLUTEN SUMMIT
Possibly LIFE changing?

© By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Self-Health Series

click image for source

click image for source

Did you register?

If this is the first you are reading about why YOU might be interested in attending this amazing Summit (beginning on November 11th, 2013)  — CLICK HERE for my introductory article & registration link.

The rest of you already know about this comprehensive collection of experts sharing the latest gluten-related information, willing to spill their guts for free during an ongoing, recorded Summit of interviews — with new content posted every day for a solid week — beginning on November 11th, 2013. 

SAY WHAT? Give up grains! Are you NUTS?!!

Hold that thought just long enough for me to give you the registration information and links – then I’ll let you in on MY thinking in this regard.

If you get in at the very beginning, you can listen for free.  But don’t worry – the cost to download the sessions – either before they actually air or after the fact – is among the most reasonable of any Summit I’ve attended.

  • Some of you have already signed up – so take this as a reminder to continue spreading the word. SHARE and reblog – it doesn’t cost a dime to become known as a resource!
  • If you know all about it, but haven’t registered YET, there’s still time.

CLICK HERE
for the Gluten Sensitivity Summit registration page
& more information

Read more of this post

November Summit on Gluten Sensitivity – No Charge!


WORLD’S FIRST GLUTEN SUMMIT
Could it Change your LIFE?

© By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Self-Health Series

What’s eating you just might be what you’re eating!

no-gluten-symbolDr. Charles Parker (The New ADHD Medication Rules) just sent me an email with a link — to make sure I didn’t miss the chance to learn what experts working in the field have to say about gluten sensitivity.

Apparently there’s an amazing Summit of experts in
gluten-related research willing to spill their guts
– November 11 through November 17 –
online, thanks to the wonders of the internet!
(registration link below)

 I decided to post the registration information here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com so that you have a chance to find out what all the shoutin’s about concerning gluten sensitivity right along with me.

Gluten, for those of you who are unclear, is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

WHAT? Give up grains! Are you NUTS?!!

I know – it sounds crazy, right? Isn’t bread supposed to be the staff of life?

Yet I’ve heard a lot about the increasing number of problems doctors in-the-know are finding that have been traced back to gluten sensitivities.  Some of these include life-long health issues that cleared right up when gluten was eliminated from the diet of those who were suffering.

At a recent conference, I also heard some amazing stories from colleagues who’ve gone gluten-free — and they looked GREAT, btw! (which means younger and thinner, with clear eyes and glowing complexions, to name four)

Still . . . give up grains? 

  • No toast – cereal, cakes, cookies?  Can one even live without pasta?!!
  • Maybe this idea is a bit extreme – perhaps another wonder-diet of the moment?

Read more of this post

Gotta’ love the DSM-5 — NOT?


dsm5-apaRead it and Weep or
Work Around It?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

“Too many people don’t care what happens
so long as it doesn’t happen to them.”
~ William Howard Taft

I have written this article for ADD Coaches, ADD Professionals, and ADDults who are struggling to find a knowledgeable doctor.

I have none of those highly revered statistics to cite, but I believe it is safe to say that the fifth full revision of the DSM (the first significant update in almost twenty years) . . .

  • is the least popular
  • with the greatest number of advocates
  • for the greatest number of disorders and conditions
  • in the history of the DSM!

Read more of this post

Doctor answers ADD/ADHD Medication Questions – LIVE


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Find out how much better you COULD be doing — directly from Dr. Charles Parker

 by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An article in the ADD Advocacy Series

THIS is your shot – free of charge

As I said on an earlier post, Dr. Charles Parkerfellow ADD advocate, is one of the physician crusaders for specificity – of diagnosis and of treatment approaches – and he will be at your service on March 14th, 2013, no matter where you are in the world, at no charge whatsoever.

Neuroscientist, adult and child psychiatrist, Dr Parker is the originator of CorePsych, and the creator of an amazing amount of high-value web content in various formats on the CorePsych Blog.

He is also the author of two books containing information you are unlikely to be aware of or to fully understand unless you got it directly from his books, his blog, or the man himself.

I know I wasn’t, and I didn’t — and regular readers of this blog will attest that I personally know and understand A GREAT DEAL about ADD and the brain-body connection.

Read more of this post

*NEW* ADD/ADHD Medication Rules: 5 Resources


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Free downloads – gifts from Dr. Charles Parker

 by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An article in the ADD Advocacy Series

If you haven’t been over to Dr. Charles Parker’s “new and improved” CorePsych Blog yet – for a wealth of information you won’t find anywhere else – maybe a “bribe” or five might move it to the top of your list.

“There ain’t no IS about ADD” ~ mgh

Fellow ADD advocate (originator of a TON of web content and author of two “Rules” books now), Dr. Parker is one of the physician crusaders for specificity – of diagnosis and of treatment approaches.

He insists that we need to take a detailed look at a whole lot more than
many of his collegues realize, and that the look must be individual specific.

The checklist below is from his download link page — another of my “reblog” work-arounds: a few points to consider as you think about why YOU might be interested in what he has to say.

Full Disclosure: he doesn’t even know I’m doing this, so he certainly isn’t paying me to do it!

Read more of this post

New Study: CBT Looks Promising for ADD Teens


New Study shows Teens w/ ADHD helped by
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Guestpost from David Rabiner, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor;
Dept. of Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University
ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE
August 2012

=====================================================================================
I have been a huge fan of Dr. David Rabiner’s ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE since its inception in 1997. Not only do I count on his comprehensive, plain-English explanations of up-to-date research trends and developments as key resources in my drive to keep my information base current,  I also archive them for future reference.  

For those who aren’t already among the over 40,000 people currently subscribed (sponsored now by CogMed, so no longer a charge to you), at the conclusion of this post I tell you how to get your own monthly copy in your very own email box.

I urge any professional working with individuals on the Attentional Spectrum — whether teachers, counselors, coaches, therapists or physicans — to sign yourself up the second you see those instructions, before it falls through the cracks.  (Parents and ADDers themselves can benefit too!)

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T, MCC, SCAC

Read more of this post

Is Your Child on the TEAM?


TEAMS: A New ADHD Treatment for Preschoolers

Guestpost from David Rabiner, Ph.D.
Associate Research ProfessorDept. of Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University
ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE – April 2012

=====================================================================================
I have been a huge fan of Dr. David Rabiner’s ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE since its inception in 1997. Not only do I count on his comprehensive, plain-English explanations of up-to-date research trends and developments as key resources in my drive to keep my information base current,  I also archive them for future reference.  

For those who aren’t already among the over 40,000 people currently subscribed (sponsored now by CogMed, so no longer a charge to you), at the conclusion of this post I tell you how to get your own monthly copy in your very own email box.

I urge any professional working with individuals on the Attentional Spectrum — whether teachers, counselors, coaches, therapists or physicans — to sign yourself up the second you see those instructions, before it falls through the cracks.  (Parents and ADDers themselves can benefit too!)

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T, MCC, SCAC
=====================================================================================

TEAM Training

In this month’s issue of Attention Research Update I review a recently published study that examined a new intervention for preschool children with ADHD called TEAMSTraining Executive, Attention, and Motor Skills.

The premise of this interesting and important study is that through regular parent-child engagement in games designed to exercise important neurocognitive skills, it may be possible to affect enduring reductions in core ADHD symptoms.

Thus, in contrast to current evidence-based interventions like medication treatment and behavior therapy, the goal of TEAMS is to produce more fundamental and enduring change.

I think this is very important work for the field and I believe you will find this to be an interesting study.

Sincerely,
David Rabiner, Ph.D.; Associate Research Professor
Dept. of Psychology & Neuroscience; Duke University; Durham, NC 27708

———————————————————————————————————
mgh note:
 Although this post is longer than usual, I chose to present the entire April issue instead of writing a summary, in answer to the many requests I have received for more information about non-pharmaceutal treatment alternatives.

Read more of this post

Occupy ADD


by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Is Your ADD-Doc GREAT?

We wanna’ know about competent ADD professionals.

How come?  Sadly (shamefully!), we see mounting evidence of a retreat to the ADD Dark Ages, and we need to jerk a knot in its tail and cut off its ugly head!

I have been disheartened, often appalled, by the accounts of patient/doctor and patient/therapist interactions that have been showing up recently on the ADD sites — in increasing numbers!

To say it plainly:

  • If the extent of ignorance we who are looking for help are finding among doctors and therapists who CLAIM to be ADD-specialists existed in any other field, we’d see malpractice suits and lost licenses!
  • There seem to be few AMA “watch dogs” with eyes on what the ADD doctors are doing.
  • Uninformed, non-medically trained government regulators seem to be more concerned with preventing drug abuse than safeguarding access to pharmaceutical interventions for those whose lives are derailed by legitimate, diagnostic disorders, made manageable through consistent access to medication.  Medication shortages are unconscionable.

THIS is not OK with me — and I hope it’s not OK with you, either.

Read more of this post

Top Ten Stupid Comments from ADD-Docs


The Top Ten Stupid Comments
from
[supposed]  ADD Professionals
by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Ten Unfortunate [and recent]  Examples of Ignorance masquerading as Information — and
uninformed personal opinion presented as medical FACT.

———————————-
The comments on this article add information — take the time to read those too. You’ll be glad you did!
———————————-

First Things First:
Let’s not lump the good ADD doctors and the ones who made these stupid comments together!

They are not the same species AT ALL!

Read more of this post

Distinctions: Coaching vs.Therapy


Some of the DIFFERENCES
between

The THERAPIST
and The COACH

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Dr. Lee Smith,
CTP, MCC  ©1994, ’95, ’02, ’11, ’15

Obviously, the well-being of the client is the context for this discussion, and determining what kind of assistance is appropriate is an important question.

Why?

Because most coaches are not trained therapists and most therapists are not trained coaches.  


•  For potential clients:
 the question is, Which do I choose and how do I decide?

•  For helping professionals: the issue becomes when, what, and to which professional to refer.

• When ADD is part of the picture, (or any of the Executive Functioning** dysregulations), the differences between an ADD Coach and any other kind of coach becomes important as well.

**(Check out the Executive Functioning LinkList
jump to the one you are most interested in reading,
or read them ALL – opens in a new window/tab)

Beginning at the beginning

Let’s begin the process of differentiating therapy and coaching by focusing only on the items in common with all coaches, without regard to specialties.

At the end of this article are some links that will help you understand some key differences that only comprehensively-trained, brain-based ADD Coaches understand how to work with.  In a future article I will address the issue ADD Coaching differences more directly.

Read more of this post

ADD Meds Info for Moms – Part I


 Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Titration Trials!
(Medication for YOUR child)

ADD Med’s Info for Moms Series: Part I
by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, MCC, SCAC

The intent of this series is to provide Moms with information and context — to help you evaluate the risks and the benefits of medication for your children.

I want you to have access to the facts and figures and theories and underlying rationale to be able to come to a decision, rather than jumping one way or another in reaction to the fear-mongering, sound-biting and personal opinion pretending to be information for a while now.

BACKGROUND: (article starts below) The genesis of the information in this series was actually a reply to a thread on the ADDitude Magazine Website.

I’m reposting it here because their site stripped the paragraph formatting at post time, making it WAY too difficult to read.

Since I’m adding it here anyway, I expanded its focus, added new content, and “edited a bit” so that it would make sense to those of you who don’t ever click the link to ADDitude Magazine for context (there’s tons of OTHER great stuff over there for those of you who do).

This series is my response to a number of medication concerns and comments posted in a section supporting Moms of ADD kids. There were various medication concerns, each detailing symptoms and side-effects in their children, hoping to get some advice from the other Mom’s with ADD kids.

Read *ALL* ADD info with your Brain Engaged

Even though I am The ADD Poster Girl, known globally for my ADD expertise  —  working with ADD for a twenty-five years, and even though I:

  • Know, literally, hundreds and hundreds of ADDers, and 
  • Co-founded the ADD Coaching field, and
  • Developed and delivered the world’s first ADD-specific coach training curriculum, and
  • Have helped hundreds of ADDers turn their lives around

I am NOT a doctor or a scientist!! 

This article is NOT what is considered a “primary source.”
Neither is most of the ADD information you will run across on the internet, most of what you will find in books, or anything in the popular press.

That doesn’t mean the info you find there
is not valuable or accurate,
but it also doesn’t mean that it IS.  

Read more of this post

Differential Diagnosis – Part 2


 Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Archery target with arrow in center of bullseye

Differential Diagnosis:
 What is it?

— and why would I care?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part Two of the Differential Dx article
in the Comorbities Series

To answer the first part of the question, click HERE to read the first part of this article.  (Click the link at the end of THAT article to come back here to read why you really need to care.)

The answer to the second part?

In a nutshell: as with everything else in life,
“The Name of the Game™ determines the rules!”

If you don’t have the correct diagnosis, there is NO WAY you will be addressing your problems in a manner that will be successful.

Pretend you are a former college marathon runner in his late 30’s.  Lately you’re having problems completing your morning run.  You can barely breathe after about ten minutes of what used to be an easy warm-up.

Obviously, you’d be headed for trouble if you were treated with asthma medication and the source of your shortness of breath turned out to be a problem with your heart.

Since you aren’t sure what’s going on, you’d want to feel confident that your doctor knows enough about “shortness of breath” conditions to make a referral to the correct specialist, even if your particular doctor specializes in sports medicine, right?

When you’re dealing with a differential diagnosis that has few quantifiable measures to identify it, it becomes all the more important to work with a doctor who has the depth of knowledge it may take to distinguish between a daunting number of possibilities with similar presentations — yet very different treatments.

Read more of this post

ABOUT Non-Medical Alternatives


Alternative Treatment Approaches

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Another delightful Martin illustration of a woman with a question mark on her tee shirt, holding a sheet of paper in each hand, each printed with a single word : FACT or OPINION.Before I begin adding content to the “Non-Pharmaceutical Alternatives” category here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com, I want to take a moment to remind us ALL that, where treating ADD and Attentional Spectrum Disorders is concerned
. . . (drumroll, please) . . .

it is ESSENTIAL to keep your brain engaged!

Don’t Take the Bait!

KEEP IN MIND that ANY “alternative” substance or treatment that positions itself as “an alternative to those dangerous pharmaceuticals is trying to scare you into a reaction, rather than give you comprehensive information designed to offer you a CHOICE.

Whenever you encounter an approach designed to manipulate rather than encourage, take a step BACK and look around some more to see if you can find similar information from a more even-handed source.

If fear-mongering is ALL you can find, it’s probably a good idea to cross that particular “alternative” off your list and move on.

Know Your Flavor

It is MORE than a good idea to have a good sense of the particular “flavor” of ADD you are attempting to treat.  That means you need to be looking at cognitive and functional challenges, of course — but also take time to consider the personal “demographics” you need to consider when seeking ADD treatment options.

Where are you located in the “life is a real struggle” continuum? Make sure you pair your situation and your treatment approach appropriately.

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