My Forum Comments
It sounds like you could be allergic to it. I echo what Penny said.
When I was in university – 20+ years ago – I took kava before exams. It calmed my nerves, which meant that it treated my test anxiety. As a result, I was able to think more clearly, recall information more easily and performed better.
Look up the book Kava: Nature’s Answer to Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia. It was published in the late 90s.
@diagnosedcoach: If the moderator doesn’t mind me asking (and you have reply notifications enabled), which coaching program did you take to get certified? I’ve looked into certification in the past and recommendations are always good. Thanks.April 29, 2019 at 7:54 am in reply to: The weighted blanket is the best thing that ever happened #115114
This is great. I’ve noticed that I feel comfortable when I’m “swaddled”. I wonder if a weighted blanket would be good for me. I need to find a way to “try before I buy”.
(My dog tries to be my “weighted blanket” but she’s got boney knees and elbows. 😀 )
Both of those are great answers. Something that Bette said resonated with me:
A half hour doesn’t sound like much, but do it gradually, to allow your body to get accustomed to it.
I need 8 hours of sleep. In order to get “more hours” in the day, I recently tried to cut down to 7.5. A half hour seemed insignificant and I know that I can occasionally do it, but not less than 7. However, I found that I was exhausted without that subsequent half hour and so I returned to 8 hours of sleep and felt better instantly. It didn’t occur to me to start with just 10 or 15 minutes of less sleep.
That said, if I need 8 hours, I shouldn’t fight nature.
I’m also going to try implementing some of Bette’s other suggestions that I’d never thought of.
(Peer support. It works!)
This advice comes from a doctor who wrote a book that I have on my shelf:
5HTP can be taken day or night. 50mg in the morning and 50-100mg at bedtime raises serotonin levels.
It’s a good sleep aid when taken at night, one hour before bedtime. If daytime use makes you drowsy, take the entire dose (50-200mg) at bedtime. If it’s too activating, try L-typtophan instead.
Try taking it at night and see what it does to you. Report back, because I’m curious!
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Any idea why? I thought that maybe my reply was too long, so I cut a couple of hundred words from my response and put the original version on my blog – which also helped me see how it looks on the front end after the HTML tags. Is there a character limit?
It might also be my browser, but Chrome is generally reliable. I turned off my ad blocker in case that was causing problems. I’ve never had a problem responding to questions in the forums before, but I also don’t usually write 800-word (now 600) responses. 🙂
I found it calming and it helped me focus. As a supplement, I only take L-Theanine occasionally, but I do drink green tea. Tea is the natural source of L-Theanine. Theanine is what makes green tea taste as it does.
Theanine acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain.October 17, 2018 at 8:08 am in reply to: Can someone run me through the non-stimulant options for treating ADHD #101614
Treating ADHD without meds is my specialty. Here is an answer that I originally shared on another forum and then on my blog. I keep it handy. I’ve slightly edited it for this ADDitude answer and removed all self-promotion and affiliate links because I suspect that neither would be allowed here. If I missed any, a moderator can edit or ask me to edit:
I was diagnosed in my early 20s after my formal education was complete. Up until then, here’s how I coped:
- I observed that I wasn’t like everyone else, and I attempted to be.
- When I did school assignments, it helped to write about a topic that I was interested in. If I had a choice of topic or could take an angle/point of view that interested me, I performed better. When I did English assignments about books that I enjoyed, I got better grades.
- When studying for tests and exams, I highlighted, took notes, drew asterisks and got colourful with my notations. Having highlighters in all colours and those 4-colour pens made a difference in remembering information. I took notes in margins and annotated those.
I’ve never been on meds.
After I got diagnosed, I was recommended the book The ADD Nutrition Solution by Marcia Zimmerman. 20 years later I’m still suggesting that book. It changed my life. Two months into following the plan I noticed myself maintaining eye contact during an interview and thought, “Huh, I can maintain eye contact now.”
Everybody’s needs are different, but there are some basics for ADHD management:
<h3>Nutrition and nutrients</h3>
- <b>Consume lots of good fat.</b> I cannot emphasize high-quality fats enough. Most of the brain is made of fat. It’s essential. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are important for everyone and were probably the biggest game changer for me.
- <b>Probiotics</b>. A healthy gut is necessary for a healthy brain. The gut microbiome is sometimes referred to as the “second brain.” 95% of the body’s serotonin is produced by the gut nerve cells, and every class of neurotransmitters found in the brain is also found in the gut. Microbiota and nerve cells in the gut produce more than 40 neurotransmitters. Also, most of your immune system resides in your gut.
- <b>Zinc</b>. Zinc nourishes the entire brain. It also helps create a lot of the neurotransmitters that help relay messages between neurons. The production of melatonin depends on zinc. It also helps with immune function. Lots of us with brain health issues have problems with inflammation of the brain and inflammation is an immune response. In studies of children, those with the lowest blood levels of zinc had the highest levels of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, impulsivity and other symptoms.
- <b>Vitamin B6.</b> It helps form dopamine. In one study of children with ADHD that was done in 1979, vitamin B6 was as effective as Ritalin at controlling symptoms. (Source: A study published in Biological Psychiatry and referenced in James Greenblatt’s book Finally Focused). In other studies on adults cited in that book, vitamin B6 improved attention and decreased other symptoms. That said, to anyone reading this who is already taking Ritalin, <b>do not stop</b> just because someone on the internet told you about vitamin B6. If you’re interested in stopping meds, talk to your doctor. I am not a doctor and it would be irresponsible of me to give advice about medication.
- <b>Carnitine</b> may help regulate dopamine and ADHD.
- <b>Vitamin D</b> is a neurotransmitter precursor that helps produce serotonin.
- Depending on symptoms and type of ADHD, different neurotransmitter precursors might help. Studies show that the ADHD brain blocks <b>tryptophan</b> and that low levels of <b>GABA</b> cause impulsivity. So, GABA might help people who are impulsive and hyperactive. L-tryptophan helps with sleep problems and anxiety.
- <b>Watch the sugar and caffeine.</b> Low sugar or no sugar. Be honest with yourself about whether or not you can tolerate caffeine. Caffeine helps some people with ADD, providing better focus and clarity. Some people find that caffeine causes anxiety. Some go through periods of each. Some coffee drinkers can have it at night and still fall asleep easily. Caffeine is a drug. If it helps you, go for it.
- <b>Physical activity.</b> Years ago, a gym teacher in the U.S. initiated a program in which students elevated their heart rate before the start of school. As a result, it increased attention and learning. Other schools and school districts followed.
- <b>Adequate sleep.</b> Our brains need the recovery time.
- <b>Routine.</b> Try to keep your necessary items in homes (e.g., keys always in the same place) and try to stick to a schedule. If you have a list of activities that you do every morning, you’ll be more likely to remember if it’s routine.
- <b>Environment.</b> Determine the best environment for you and try to maintain it. You might need absolute quiet or a bit of background noise.
- <b>Mental exercises.</b> Puzzles, meditation, anything that teaches focus.
- <b>Self-compassion.</b> It’s easy to hate ourselves for certain qualities. Also, we tend to be more emotional, and our brains amplify situations. Not everyone with ADD will do this. There are different types of ADHD that affect different parts of the brain. Every human on the planet benefits from self-compassion and love.
Remember, ADHD is a brain health issue. A healthy brain is vital. Medications work on the symptoms, but whether or not you choose to medicate (I don’t make recommendations either way) you need to keep your brain healthy, just like your body.
Seek out the two books I mentioned above. Also, check out Daniel Amen’s website and his books about ADD. These are the three resources that have had the most significant impact on me.
I hope this helps.
I just noticed your reply to me. I hadn’t clicked on the option to notify me of follow-up replies. I hope that your situation has improved!
Kesmith nailed it with their answer. You may have been misdiagnosed and medication is a tool.
I also think that you should look for another job, one at a company with a strong mental health policy and/or wellness mandate. Many companies will have “careers” sections on their websites and many of those sections mention those policies/mandates. There are also websites that allow employees and former employees to leave reviews about the company so you can use that to help gauge what it’s like to work at a company. That said, not every company that claims to have a mental health mandate will practice it. I realize that looking for a job takes energy, which, if you’re like me, you lack when you’re at a job that feels defeating.
ADHDmomma is correct about the legalities. It’s unlikely to happen, but it’s a risk.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling a doctor that you’ve tried the medications and that they work. You have a history of symptoms. I doubt that anyone is going to think less of you for skirting the law to try to help yourself. Accepting medication offers isn’t “abuse”.
Still, if yu’re going to take medication, you need to go through a doctor who can consistently prescribe the same medication and with whom you can discuss your dose. Make sure it’s a doctor with ADHD experience. That doctor will probably be a psychiatrist. Doctors in other specialties have the authority to prescribe, but there’s a good chance that they lack the knowledge or experience to prescribe ADHD medication.
If they suggest other types of medication or treatment before Adderall and vyvanse, take those suggestions and see how you do. A doctor who specializes in ADHD has experience with the treatments.
What other strategies have undertaken to manage your ADHD symptoms?
I often forget to take mine too! It’s one of the reasons I prefer pills over liquid: Liquid needs to be kept in the fridge, which means that my supplements are kept in more than one place. If they’re all together (on the counter or in a cupboard) I’m more likely to take them. (One would think that taking the pills would trigger a reminder to go to the fridge, but that doesn’t happen.)
While you could take those supplements, I’d recommend also taking fish oil. The important Omega3 are EPA and DHA. Fish oils are the only concentrated source of these two. The body can synthesize EPA and DHA from ALA (a short chain fatty acid), but only a tiny bit of ALA gets converted to EPA (articles I’ve read have varied reporting in how much is converted, from 5%-less than 1%), and less than 0.5% of ALA is converted to DHA.
For brain health, a high amount of DHA is recommended. I find it a challenge to find a supplement high in DHA. So many are high in EPA but don’t have much DHA. I was at a health food trade show last weekend and one of my goals was to find the perfect omega-3 supplement. I asked representatives of each product what makes theirs unique & superior, and discovered products from two companies that I intend to watch. One of the products comes from seals and contains DPA, which can boost absorption of DHA and EPA.
To my first comment about liquid vs. pills: Some say that liquid is more easily absorbed and used, but I figure that it’s better to buy high-quality pills and remember to take them than to buy liquid that will sit in the fridge unused.
Remember that “tapering off” and “quitting” are different concepts. Tapering means gradually reducing dosage and then stopping. It gives your body time to adjust. It’s like smokers who reduce the amount of nicotine they need bit by bit.
There is a lot you can do to control your symptoms without meds and a lot you can do to help reduce the likelihood of side effects from meds (if you currently experience them or you switch medication) and to minimize the possibility of withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop taking medication. Whether or not to medicate is between you and your healthcare practitioner.
Medication controls symptoms, but it doesn’t address causes.
I always say nutrition first. Make sure that you’re getting enough fat and limiting sugar in all its forms. Adding essential fatty acids into my life over 20 years ago changed my life, and I’ve seen done a lot of research on nutrition and diets with regard to ADHD. There are other facets to treatment as well, but this is my #1 recommendation. Start with the book Finally Focused and go from there.
THIS. Sadly, doctors aren’t properly trained.
I’m curious about why you think it’s the ADD that causes him to antagonize your daughter. It could be. It’s possible that it is because of problems with impulse and the need for drama to feed the need for an adrenaline rush. It’s also possible that your husband has unrelated issues such as the need to be controlling. Or maybe his father was like that. Or maybe he enjoys being a jerk. It might be the ADD. It might not be. I would recommend that he – or the both of you – get counselling and if he refuses, then you have to take control and take a stand. Let him know that you will not tolerate his behavior.
“Well, she can’t act like that? Neither can you. She’s three. You’re the adult. You’re the one that’s supposed to know better.”