What I Found In My (Mental) Closet

I t’s the end of the year so…this seems like a logical time to rummage through the (mental) closet. Here are some of the things I found. They are listed in no particular order.

  • Life on a Roller Coaster

- There are two blogs that best describe the A.D.D. life: “The ADHD Roller Coaster” and “18 Channels – my ADHD colored life.” The ADHD Roller Coaster offers one of the most clear-headed examinations of the often topsy-turvy A.D.D. life. 18 Channels provides a personal, highly articulate and sensitive examination of life with A.D.D.

- What I consider the best single-post description of A.D.D. was written by Mike Doyle of Chicago Carless. See: Attention Deficit Déjà Vu

- H/T to Bryan Hutchinson. Bryan has built an enormous (1300 members) and vibrant online A.D.D. community. I’m sure it will continue to grow in the coming years.

- Scott’s blog – ADULT A.D.D.?BRAIN DAMAGE?OR BOTH? – and his many comments scattered throughout this website have provided inspiration for a number of regular visitors to this blog (that includes me). We have seen his amazing transformations over time. He is a testament to the ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity.

- Mark, a newcomer to this blog and recently diagnosed A.D.D.er, created this blog – Another Fine Mess – to help explore his A.D.D. Be sure to check out his main website (he’s a freelance cartoonist) at http://nobrowcartoons.com/.

  • Scientific Research

I thank Gina Pera for making me aware of the two websites noted below.

http://www.corepsychblog.com/ – Dr. Parker’s website will introduce you to the intersection of neurotransmitter research and psychiatry. As Dr. Parker notes on his website: “Brain evidence moves from the synaptic to the presynaptic, to extrasynaptic, to presynaptic modifiers, to presynaptic precursors. Neurotransmitters can be measured as biomarkers and specifically corrected.” (See: Neuroscience and the numerous links to additional information provided at the website.)

http://www.russellbarkley.org/ – If we finally have a true theory to explain the underpinnings of the ADHD experience, if we finally have a relevant and measurable set of criteria in the next DSM that applies to adult ADHD, it will be because of the seminal work of Dr. Barkley. Be sure to read his fact sheet on ADHD. In addition, be sure to read herehere the summaries of his theory of ADHD.

  • Reach Out and Touch Someone

- This blog has provided me with the opportunity to get to know a number of people on a personal level. These opportunities have enriched my life in numerous ways and each, in its own way, has left an indelible mark on my soul. A number of times I’ve acted as a sounding board and voice of experience (based solely on my age) for newly diagnosed A.D.D.ers. Recently I successfully helped an A.D.D.er go through a very difficult transition. That experience changed us both. Though circumstances caused us to part ways, perhaps our paths may cross again. [note 1] This particular experience had another interesting effect: it made me realize how important it is to have a supportive family. While helping that A.D.D.er through her transition, I, in turn, received support from one of my family members and from a friend who has become a sort of brother to me. Despite our myth of self-sufficiency, reality makes it very clear that our success in life is, in large measure, a function of the support we receive from others.

- Speaking of support, the richness of this blog is made possible by the thought provoking comments provided by you, the reader. The comments have certainly helped us all to see and understand the many manifestations of our A.D.D. condition.

  • Physical Health

We’ve all read about the beneficial effects of physical activity yet, admittedly, for some A.D.D.ers the thought of going to a local gym is as attractive as eating glass. What I’ve done – with great success – is add small amounts of exercise throughout the day. Each day begins with a 30 minute walk and then, approximately every 3 to 4 hours, I get on a stationary bicycle or do another 30 minute walk. The regular break from work helps to clear up the mental confusion that builds during the course of the day.

  • It’s the Economy, Stupid

I knew back in January of 2009 that my days as an employee were numbered. In preparation for the inevitable I reignited the business that I started in 2000. The transition back to economic independence has been quite successful. Though I am surrounded by piles of unfinished paperwork and unopened bills (the part of business that I hate), I have been able to see how my A.D.D. can contribute in a positive manner to my success. My hyperfocus made it possible to complete a very large and complex project. I have a very happy client who will now be a client for life. [note 2] The challenge for the next year is to find a balance between total immersion (semi-immersed?) and those less interesting but essential aspects of life…like paying bills.


I’m sure there’s more stuff buried in my mental closet (if only I could move those piles of papers) so…if there is something I left out I may discover it (and blog about it) some time next year.


  1. See this post about choices and crossing (forking) paths.
  2. You may want to look at Bryan’s e-book on hyperfocus.
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  • http://markheath.wordpress.com/ mark heath

    I’d wrap up my blog for the year, but it would mostly consist of mentioning your blog and a few others. Thanks for mentioning mine.

    Also, thanks for the more scholarly links. With luck I’ll be able to understand some of what I find.

    And congratulations on your success with self-employment, save for the unopened bills part. I’m not sure what your work is, but I’m sure it’s conducted with the insight and wit you bring to your blog.

  • http://discoveringadd.wordpress.com Jay

    I want to express my thanks to you Jeff for your blog and (more importantly) continuing to update it. :) Your down-to-earth outlook continues to refresh me.

    You’re also my primary inspiration for picking my ADD blog attempt back off the ground. I hope 2010 is a good year for my writing: http://discoveringadd.wordpress.com

    Happy New Year to all!

  • http://www.corepsychblog.com Dr Charles Parker

    Hey Jeff,
    Thanks for your excellent efforts and fresh writing over here thru the last year – I do much appreciate your mention of our efforts over at CorePsych Blog – with all that’s coming up in molecular and cellular physiology, and neurotransmitter science, it promises to be a very interesting 2010 for those working with ADHD! Thanks again!

  • Jeff

    Mark, Jay and Chuck,

    You are welcome… You are welcome… and… You are welcome. Enjoy the night…and please be safe.


  • http://www.ADHDRollerCoaster.org Gina Pera

    Great post, Jeff! I love reading good news from you and others in the ADHD community.

    Kudos for you for posting your “year in review” wrap-up by year’s end. I’m still working on mine. :-)

    Best of new years to you and all your readers!


  • http://18channels.blogspot.com Katy B.

    Merci for the plug, of course, but moreso for the links to additional resources. Started my blog because of the difficulty in finding such things…online sources have been a literal lifeline for me this year.

    See ya later 2009, don’t let the door hitcha in the ass!

  • http://www.adderworld.ning.com Bryan

    Thanks for the mentions Jeff. You sure provided some food for thought this past year :)

    Happy New Year’s to you and congrats on the job! Hope you get lucky and find and hire a very good assistant so you don’t have to worry about those piles of bills quite as much :)


  • http://addmsorboth.blogspot.com/ Scott Hutson


    Thank you for the words about me,and my blog! You and everyone that post’s or comments here,and all the links you provide, have given me a significant amount of the “Human spirit to overcome adversity”, that you see in me!

    Everyone has that “Spirit” I beleive. I am just one of the many ppl that found it, and I hope I can help those that are searching for it in themselves, as you have here!

    Never give up! And it will come!

  • http://addmsorboth.blogspot.com/ Scott Hutson

    As Ringo Starr say’s: “I get by with a little help from my freinds”

  • Pingback: UP yep UP and Daydreaming | ADDER WORLD ADD ADHD Positive Thinking

    • Jeff

      Jennifer, let me first say that, overall, we are in basic agreement. Yes…we should hear all sides (even the tea partiers!) and yes, we should hear other opinions besides BP Oil. The only “however” is that it does reach a point when some opinions or “findings” no longer make sense and that’s really my major point. There are some people who continue to make outlandish claims and such claims should not be given an audience…it legitimizes what should not be legitimized.

      “If you need to depend on an expert, thats your doctor, not any website.” Agreed. However, that’s not the case for many people. They check the internet first and, as you’ve probably already encountered in your practice, they start spouting wrong information.

  • http://www.electrifly.net/ adhd

    um, great post about attention deficit disorder.Have a series of important reason of adhd.These link is very helpful for the community to find the solution of adhd and recover from this serious problrm.
    Thnks a lot. I am also working with adhd.It is such human work.

    • Jeff

      Well…there’s no such thing as “recovery” but there is definitely the possibility of ameliorating its effects. I went to your website and noticed that the information you have, such as the supposed ill effects of stimulant medication is off the mark. Not that there can be no side effects…but you make it sound like there are ALWAYS side effects…that is not correct. In fact, much research has shown positive long-term effects of stimulant medication so, when you write “Herbal supplements, vitamins, teas and minerals are excellent alternatives to taking prescription medications for treating the symptoms of ADHD” this is misleading. (http://www.electrifly.net/reasearch-and-information/53-general-adhd-information/216-natural-treatments-for-adults-with-adhd-.html ) For an extraordinarily tiny group of ADHDers this may work but for the vast majority…this is does not work. If you have some science to back up your assertions…please…share it. I have no problem with being proven wrong.

      I should add that I do agree with you when you mention the positive effects of physical activity (http://electrifly.net/add-and-adhd/38-tips-and-advice/213-children-with-adhd-or-add-will-benefit-from-physical-activities.html ). But then…EVERYONE would benefit from physical activity.

      • Jennifer

        Ive been to electrifly.net and they are very “newsy” they tend to report on EVERYTHING all sides of the issue. I first went there via a link they did with a doctor on the subject ( http://www.electrifly.net/reasearch-and-information/52-doctors-and-other-professionals/124-dr-mintz-talks-adhd.html ) which I found very interesting.

        I get the feeling after spending a bit of time on the site that they just want to be a “news” source, thus covering all aspects, and anything of interest on the site. They used to have comments which have since been removed presumably due to the arguments that took place there.

        I check it every day tho – its my field of work and I find it an interesting read with my morning coffee.


        • Jeff

          Jennifer, while there are times when it is good to report on everything, there are times when one needs to make a judgment. If this were 30 years ago when we didn’t know much about ADHD (certainly not adult ADHD) then reporting everything would make sense. But reporting bad information has the effect of legitimizing it. That’s the unfortunate by-product of the internet. Every theory – from flat earth to the Elder’s of Zion – is “legitimized” simply by existing somewhere on the internet and allowing “informed” readers to make their own decision. Sometimes all of us need to depend on an expert. We just can’t know everything.

          • http://addmsorboth.blogspot.com/ Scott Hutson

            Depending on an expert> Heres just a few(out of the 32) Assement Procedures that my Neuropsycholocical Evaluation involved> Conners’Continual Performance Test II,Mini-Mental State Exam,Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory,Brief Visuospatial Memory Test Second Edition,Rey 15 Item Test,Wechler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third edition….There’s 18 pages in my evaluation, that I am just now starting to read from 11/19/2007(procrastination?LOL). I’m lucky, in a way I guess, to have insurance that payed 100% of it.(long story about how and why).

            But Adult ADHD was the diagnose. And stimulant meds have helped allot. No side effects here. Exercise was recommended (along with a many other things). So I recommend (along with Jeff)> Don’t depend on websites to state the facts about ADHD

          • Jennifer

            Well, Im not talking about depending on anything.

            Nothing on this site in question is anything that hasn’t been covered on cnn, fox, whatever other site. They just provide a convenient place for the ADHD stuff to rise to the top so if you work with ADHD kids, like me, you can see everything – the pharm companies, the weird and crazy ppl with their teas, etc – everything. They (the site) just keep an eye out for the ADHD buzzwords and aggregate what they find.

            Even if the crazy natural remedy ppl get a voice, its ok. The FDA and Pharm co’s shouldn’t have all the say on an important issue like this, parents should know there are options.

            Its interesting reading to me. If they bashed the pharm companies, then I’d feel different. I work with ADHD kids and I have seen parents choose to try the bio-feedback neuro-feedback route and have great success. I’ve seen kids that only the meds will help.

            Its just as dangerous in my opinion to let the big pharm and fda say the “only” way is the meds. I had one child who took a very popular ADHD drug and he ended up with very twisted self destructive thoughts until he stopped the meds. They went with neuro-feedback and hes doing pretty well. Not quite where i think he should be but with the steady improvement i cant complain!

            Some people alleviate their diabetes as well as their need for insulin with diet changes alone. This is no secret. Some people lower their cholesterol and blood pressure with magnesium, oatmeal and green tea.

            As with the ADHD stuff, this wont work for everyone, but why not give ppl the info to try what works best for them?

            It was almost 30 years ago when I was diagnosed with ADHD and the first thing they did was look at my brain waves. Only Ritalin was available then.

            We have come very far since then on the ADHD research, but that is ONLY because researchers looked at EVERYTHING. If a certain “tea” is claimed to show improvements in ADHD kids, its worth looking at – even if only to formulate a new drug that might work better or have fewer side effects.

            I guess to me, it would be like only listening to what BP has to say about the oil spill, or getting all your political information from White House press releases and State of the Union addresses.

            If you need to depend on an expert, thats your doctor, not any website.

            If you want to know what the buzz is on any topic, keep your eyes and ears wide open, and your brain in gear, and you should be ok.

  • http://addmsorboth.blogspot.com/ Scott Hutson

    Jennifer, please don’t take my comments/replies as a debate or disagreement with your opinion. I was only giving my personal experience about reading things via. Internet websites about ADHD.

    Then Jeffs comment that pointed out how some websites can be harmful to people like me, when first searching for information on any subject, reminded of my own naivety. I knew nothing about ADHD before I was diagnosed with it. I’ve learned allot about myself by hearing(reading) the way ADHD has affected the lives of other ADDers. It’s more than a coincidence that many(most) of these life story’s are much the same as my own.

    We are all individuals of course, and have different reaction’s to medication’s, treatment’s and so on. But when push comes to shove for me,..My life depends on the Expert’s (My Dr.(s)).

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