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What two Docs say about meds

Jul 20, 2018

Reasonably good article in my in box this morning from ADDitude. Most of which I've covered in previous posts. But, if you wanted to hear it from a doctor, here's the link and some important take aways (if you don't feel like reading the whole article.)


Some take aways:
  • You don't have to wait forever to go up. When closely monitored by an experienced physician, you can begin go up on your dose as quickly as 3 - 7 days.
  • The ONLY way to know what meds will work for you is trial and error. It is highly likely you will need to try more than one.
  • Stimulant dose is not based on age, gender or body mass. It's really about how your body metabolizes it. I'm 5' 6 1/2" and take more Ritalin than anyone I know. It is what it is.
  • How long it lasts is unique to you. (I have many clients who say that Vyvanse, for instance, only lasts them 7-8 hours, not the 12 - 14 that it is touted as lasting.)

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Summer organizing tip #2: Stay or go?

Jul 13, 2018

I find that often one of the biggest sticking points in getting rid of things is what to do with them. For those of us ADHDers who struggle with clutter, getting rid of things can be very difficult. Not only are there usually psychological underpinnings to why we struggle with the part of getting organized, there are also very practical reasons too. In order to decide what to get rid of, we need to be attentive, persistent, and use multiple executive functions. And of course there is decision making... which many of us struggle with. 

So, what I often see is that a person can't decide what to do with an item(s) so their default is to keep it... which is a total bummer. After examining and assessing an item and considering what to do with it, you're stuck putting it back in the keep or maybe or I don't know pile. And, there is no reason to believe that it will be easier to decide what to do with said item later. This can definitely contribute to a sense of not making progress, partly because it might mean you aren't actually making progress. 

So, what's the solution? Give yourself only one decision to make. When evaluating every item simply ask yourself, "Is this item staying in my life of leaving it?" That minimized your executive function burden as much as possible. And, this is a great place to have your significant other, helpful friend, daughter, grandson, etc. help you. Let them take care of getting rid of the stuff that you decide that is going to leave your life. And let go of controlling that end destination. 

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It's not as bad as you think!

Jun 30, 2018

It has been my experience that, as ADHDers, we tend to get overwhelmed by simple but tedious tasks... like doing the dishes. The underlying brain chemistry reason is that we are tortured by boredom due to our lack of inherent dopamine in our prefrontal cortex. And, beyond that, we have a history of these things being unpleasant and seeming to take forever. But... we aren't so good with time, right. I would suggest an experiment. And, to practice what I preach, I executed said experiment today.

Being the former chef that I am, I took my morning off today to make sausage and duck confit from scratch. The picture below was the result of the preparation. (Bear in mind that I do clean while cooking to not leave a huge mess, but I was essentially using all of this at once while multitasking.)
I found the kitchen overwhelming. Do you? But my experience told me two things. One, it wasn't actually that bad. Two, go the the gym first then clean up when I have more dopamine, serotonin, and a sense of accomplishment on board. So I did that. 

But here's the real experiment. When I got back I made a sandwich, which was delicious but slightly added to the mess. Then I started a timer. In fact, this overwhelming task of cleaning the kitchen, wiping the surfaces, doing the dishes, and making myself a quesadilla for lunch, pt. II took a grand total of 14 minutes and 13 seconds. My reaction to this is: No big deal! I can handle 14 minutes of boring to have the clean kitchen. 14 minutes is concrete and not overwhelming. It is doable for me. 

I will admit that I have the benefit of knowing that it wouldn't be as bad as I thought it would be because I've done this little experiment before. I've done it in several aspects of life, but often as in regards to dishes and clean up. Try it!


Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.


It's not as bad as you think!
It's not as bad as you think!

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ADHD and emotionality

Jun 26, 2018

Good article in ADDitude about ADHD and emotions. I've always just referred to it as emotional dysregulation and thought of it as a symptom of whatever ails our prefrontal cortex. But is definitely a real thing.


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My new favorite fidget toy

Jun 22, 2018

My son brought home this super addictive fidget toy the other day. Of course he got it as some sort of craft in after school. But I promptly appropriated it for fidgeting purposes. Play foam. 

Pros:
  1. It apparently stays sticky and moldable... forever!
  2. It's super fun to smush up.
  3. It doesn't get stuck to anything except itself.
Cons:
  1. I have noticed that after a week of so the color starts to come off a bit in my hands.
  2. It is, believe it or not, a bit noisy. Not great for super quiet environments. 

My new favorite fidget toy

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What's in that box?

Jun 15, 2018

So, I usually like to do a series of posts over the summer. I think I'll start this summer with some quick tips on how to get organized... or more specifically, how to get rid of the clutter. It has been my professional experience that most people who have disorganized homes don't struggle as much as they think with how to be "organized." Rather, they usually struggle with how to get rid of things. Once we get rid of the excess, it is so much easier to organize what's left. So, here's tip number one. 

Most people with substantial clutter have tried many times to get that clutter under control. That usually means boxes, bags, crates, shelves, drawers, or piles of stuff. Often those boxes haven't even been looked through in months or years. Those boxes become sources of stress and anxiety. They feel impossible to go through or deal with in any way. Well, here's a quick tip to make it much easier. 

There are two ways to look at that box of old stuff. First is to think, "That box is full of great stuff. I'll look through it and see if there is anything I can get rid of." Second is to think, "This is a box of junk. Let me check quickly to see if there is anything worth keeping." You might think this is a semantic argument. But it makes a big difference how you approach that box. It's all about the burden of proof. Make those things in the box prove to you that they deserve to stay in your life, rather than keeping them being the default state. This applies even more the longer that box has been sitting around. If you haven't touched it in over a year, consider taking it right to the curb. 


Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.



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