The Return of the ADHD Review

I came across a podcast I just had to listen to because it was about the relationship between exercise and the brain, exercise as treatment for ADHD.  I have had an ongoing series in this blog about wellness and the struggle to maintain fitness and I try to throw in there from time to time how my mental health is affected.

Justine Ruotolo talks with Dr John Ratey about exercise and how it improves the Neuroplasticity  of our minds.  Justine and Dr. Ratey talk about rigorous exercise of the body as well as meditation (exercise of the mind) and how our brain is similar to a muscle.  Activities such as dance, martial arts, gymnastics, soccer… exercise that requires constant change of position, all help with brain health.  Dr. Ratey starts by talking about a patient he had in 1981 who had been a marathon runner.  The runner suffered an injury and subsequent depression, and began exhibiting signs of ADD.  His whole life he had essentially been self medicating with exercise.  They also talk about exercise to manage behavior in children by activating their brains instead of putting them on time out.  Exercise is great for all ages and for many disorders or dysfunctions, exercise could help with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

 

Treating with exercise is what I want to do. Exercise increases receptors of dopamine and norepinephrine, and is good for all of us, not just for treating mental of physical illness but for applying our brain and body the way they are designed to be used.  Too easily we get sucked into other dopamine triggers like video games, alcohol, etc., which can damage our brains instead of strengthen them.  Exercise is great for treating aggression, depression, self discipline, self respect, as well as developing our neuroplasticity.

If you want to listen to the podcast, you can find it here.  For more about Justine Ruotolo, click here.

Recommended reading related to this topic:

Spark

 

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ADHD Review – Miss ADD: Transcending the Effects of ADHD in a Relationship

It’s time!  July’s ADHD review is in.  This month there were a few podcasts that resonated with me.  While I would never say any one is better than another, this month we’ll take a look at Justine Ruotolo’s “Miss ADD” podcast.  Justine has been an ADHD coach for 20 years.  She leads a couple of support groups in the L.A. area, and hers was the very first podcast/broadcast I ever participated in.

Miss ADD: Transcending the Effects of ADHD in a Relationship

Mary and Dave start by talking about how they met and fell in love.  Justine then asked how they realized ADHD was a thing, and that it might have been affecting their relationship.  How did Mary accept that David has ADHD?  By the way, their daughter has it too!  They are both certified behavioral analysts which really makes this interesting.  Our ADHD is a gift but it is not perfect and there are sometimes issues we have to overcome and the show explores how this is done.

 

Mary and David speak of the covenant of their marriage, and how prayer and their devotion to each other mix with their analytical approach and allow them to separate the symptoms from the person with ADHD. They also talk about raising their ADHD daughter using their faith and experiences to help.

 

There’s more, and you’ll have to listen to get it all!  I hope you enjoy it 🙂

 

Fear

7-4-2016

FEAR

 

Fear is a force to be reckoned with.

 

Growing up, my main motivation was the fear of letting down my team mates and my family.  I would beat myself up over grades and performance because I didn’t want others to beat me up over it.  I was a pretty good runner, and a pretty good student, but not really all that happy.

I was afraid also to make friends, and had a hard time keeping the friends I had, with a few very important exceptions.  In any kind of relationship, be it friend, family, or romantic, I realize that fear of letting the other party down, or even more so fear that I’ve already let them down drives me crazy.  If I think I’ve pissed off or annoyed a friend, I may not talk to that friend for months, secretly hoping they will say to me “Hey, Andrew, why haven’t you called?  Everything ok?  Let’s hang out!”  Of course, it really just looks like I’m avoiding that friend or those individuals and I look like the bear who shouldn’t be poked.

I wrote the other day about my temper having gotten the best of me one night, trying to get my kids ready for bed.  That night has been gnawing at me.  I am so afraid that I’ve royally screwed up that I can’t help but practically beg for ways to make things better.  Constantly asking my wife if she needs anything, taking the family to a move, trying harder to stay on top of the housework so there’s less for me to get on everyone else about; these are all ways I’m trying to work past my fear.  The anxiety is overwhelming, and I expect that any day, my girls will tell me they don’t like being around me.  That anxiety, that fear that I’m already in the doghouse and it’s just a matter of time before the locks on the house are changed, it’s terrible.  I have only myself to blame, right?  That’s what I keep telling myself.

 

I haven’t been running since last Wednesday.  I have been walking every day but I think that the inconsistency in my running is more detrimental than not exercising at all.  I have had a hard time staying on task and controlling my knee-jerk reactions.  I feel like everything is falling down around me.  I can only do my best to put on a happy face and just keep swimming.  Hopefully getting back into the routine after the holiday will help.  Otherwise, I am not sure how to stop being a nervous wreck.

ADHD Review – June Teaser

As promised, I have begun listening to podcasts and reading blogs, and will be putting up some kind of review or commentary in June.  I plan on providing some kind of monthly commentary on a book or one of several podcasts and blogs I will be catching up on this summer.  I really want to learn more about ADHD, but it will not be 100% technical.  Many of my favorite writers and speakers with ADHD don’t necessarily mention ADHD in everything they do. Continue reading

Chasing Kites

Tom NardoneSome of you may know him, or know of him.  He is awesome.  He is ADHD.  He is Tom Nardone.  If you don’t know Tom, or if you are new to the vast and sometimes complicated world of ADD/ADHD, I suggest you read his book, Chasing Kites.

We all face coming to grips with the fact that we are not “normal”.  We must identify what makes us different, and accept it, before we can take control of our lives and make ADHD a part of our everyday actions.  Until that happens, many of us find ourselves at odds with everything around us; from people to chores, depression to anger, absentmindedness to hyper-focus, and all the other oddities that obstruct any effort at normalcy.

Tom’s story is a “no holds barred” glimpse at one life out of over 15 million affected by ADHD and it’s comorbid disorders.  Oh, and you’ll never see the word “Comorbid” in this book.  In fact, there are no technical definitions or psych terms used.  Nothing to take away from the true story of what Tom went through growing up and also in adulthood; undiagnosed, then diagnosed.  This is the story of childhood, adulthood, employment, marriage, parenthood, and the shenanigans of the man who has become one of my favorite people on the planet.  Read this book, please.  You will be glad you did.

If you’d like to learn more before taking my advice, you can listen to Eric Tivers’ podcast (ADHDRewired) with Tom where they discuss the book here. You can also visit Tom’s website.

He is Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.

Nosey, Nosey, Nosey

Nosey Nosey Nosey

Not only am I easily distracted,  I am INSANELY curious.  With ADHD, I constantly find myself picking up on other people’s conversations.  When they interest me, of course, I become hyper focused and before you know it, I’m asking questions and giving my 2 cents!  Sometimes I get a weird look, others I get appreciation.  It’s a toss-up.  When I see a squirrel running through a yard, It doesn’t just distract me from a conversation I may be having.  I also have to watch the squirrel run through the yard, up the tree, across the branches to another tree… which would all be worthwhile if I could see a hawk swoop down and grab it.  But alas, nothing like that ever happens.  Eaves Dropping?  Continue reading

Gimme a BREAK!

Many of us need to take breaks.  The day is best digested one bite at a time.  So here I am, taking a break from my homework, updating my blog.  It seems like no matter what I do, when I take a break from something, it is hard to get that focus back.  However, I have noticed that when I write an entry in my blog, I can more easily transition back into homework.  Maybe it’s because I’m still thinking analytically?

(When I wrote this entry, I was preparing for a presentation on Egyptian architecture, specifically the pyramids and sphinx at Giza.)

 

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Curse you, desert land!  Get out of my mind!

 

 

I’m not drowning in research of the architectural wonders on the Giza Plateau in Egypt (though I do find myself daydreaming about it from time to time) but I’m still putting my mind to work to make sense of something and write it in an understandable, educated manner.  I wonder, for those still in school, if a routine change in subjects will allow the mind to stay fresh yet still able to retain information.  Maybe this is why high school and college are designed in the manner they are, going from class to class?  This explains why homework is so much less stimulating than school.  Aside from active participation and actually hearing the information provided, a class room environment creates a schedule in our minds, to transition from one subject to another.  At home, I used to spend HOURS doing high school math.  Not because I loved it, but because it took a long time due to lack of interest and thus lack of comprehension.  Had I instead spent 30 min in Math, then 30 minutes reading, than 30 min of Math, maybe I would have muscled through more easily?  Math was about the only subject I had homework in (aside from writing assignments and group project for other courses).  I just had a hard time wrapping my head around it.  And now, looking back, I realize there was always this looming thought that I was stuck doing this crap until it was done.  How much easier would it have been to do it in increments.  To have that though changed to “only 15 more minutes until I can take a break.”

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Sometimes it just takes doing something productive (even if it’s not what you initially intended to do) to get your mind right so you can do what you need to.  That’s what I’m thinking.  In the past, I’ve had to write papers pretty much at the last minute, because of the motivation of the deadline.  But I seem to be trudging through this one a little at a time, stress free.  It’s made a big difference in my level of anxiety!

 

Read the original HERE.