Category Archives: AD/HD

A mad world A diagnosis of mental illness is more common than ever – did psychiatrists create the problem, or just recognise it?


Unfortunate Events

When a psychiatrist meets people at a party and reveals what he or she does for a living, two responses are typical. People either say, ‘I’d better be careful what I say around you,’ and then clam up, or they say, ‘I could talk to you for hours,’ and then launch into a litany of complaints and diagnostic questions, usually about one or another family member, in-law, co-worker, or other acquaintance. It seems that people are quick to acknowledge the ubiquity of those who might benefit from a psychiatrist’s attention, while expressing a deep reluctance ever to seek it out themselves…

…While a continuous view of mental illness probably reflects underlying reality, it inevitably results in grey areas where ‘caseness’ (whether someone does or does not have a mental disorder) must be decided based on judgment calls made by experienced clinicians. In psychiatry, those calls usually depend on whether a patient’s complaints are associated with significant distress or impaired functioning. Unlike medical disorders where morbidity is often determined by physical limitations or the threat of impending death, the distress and disruption of social functioning associated with mental illness can be fairly subjective. Even those on the softer, less severe end of the mental illness spectrum can experience considerable suffering and impairment. For example, someone with mild depression might not be on the verge of suicide, but could really be struggling with work due to anxiety and poor concentration. Many people might experience sub-clinical conditions that fall short of the threshold for a mental disorder, but still might benefit from intervention.

See link for interesting article on psychiatry…and bits about the importance of psychotherapeutic intervention…

What Color Is Your Flower?

Unable to Focus

Unable to Focus

The other day, I read something that spoke about neuro scientific research reporting that the average person spends 13 per cent of their time in a frame of mind that is best described as “zoned out.”

At first I felt upset with this information, considering all the wasted time that this indicated my mind wandered. But as I read on, the tone of the article remained upbeat and optimistic. Why? Because these periods where we zone out and don’t have the cognitive awareness we feel we should possess are actually good for us. Yep, it seems they are vital to our being able to stay imaginative and creative. This is the place where our brains free float through what seems like insignificant streams of consciousness.

The reality is that these places of spontaneous thinking are the birth places of creativity and imagination. They are places where our judgmental selves don’t have a chance of surviving so we are free to just let ourselves go. These zone out times permit us to unleash restrictive, rational thought and just allow whatever comes to come.

I have nothing against rational and logical thinking. Far from it. Thinking logically is totally necessary and a good thing. But giving our brains the ability to zone out and just free-flow is equally necessary and provides us with a healthy compliment to routine, structured and rational thoughts.

Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin

One of my favorite songsters of all time is Harry Chapin. I hope most of you have heard of him and remember him, not only for the songs that were the most popular like “Taxi” or “Cats in the Cradle” although they were good songs with a message or story to tell too. But the song that comes to mind is called “Flowers are Red,” a song with a wonderful message about society’s traditional response to thinking differently and seeing things through a lens that is different than the one most of us see through.

There is a degree of comfort in knowing we are all alike and zeroing in on all the similarities we share with our fellow human beings, but there is also something extremely worthwhile when we celebrate our differences and our being unique. There is so much we can learn from these differences. We can complement each other because of these differences if we learn how to embrace them and value them.

This is still something I am learning how to do better. Sometimes my knee-jerk reaction is to expect other people to think the way I think or feel the way I feel and I get upset if they don’t. I want to feel more connected to them and I mistakenly think if they are more like me then we are more connected.

Embrace Diversity

Embrace Diversity

Relationships take a lot of work because of the differences. We need to learn how to accept and respect people despite them. Even if we are similar to another person in our beliefs, the times when we have our zone out moments may not be the same. We may be experiencing something quite crucial to us when our most trusted and closest confidant is going through a zone out moment and is unable to be there to understand.

We may be zoned out when our co-worker asks us for our utmost attention or when our son or daughter is facing potential danger.

Nobody said relationships were easy, and with some of the newer finding about human behavior, we are able to better understand ourselves and each other; and hopefully help us deal with each other with more understanding and kindness.

And what better time to start than right now as this holiday season begins?

The Cost of Your Disorder



In a 2011 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of almost 100,000 parents, it was determined that 1 out of every 10 children in the United States has been diagnosed with ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. That is 11% of the population, or a whopping 6.5 million American children.

The symptomology of the condition include a lack of focus and attention as well as difficulty controlling impassivity. The disorder which is most commonly treated by a combination of therapy and medication and most prevalent in children aged 4 through 17. Much of the time, the disorder is first recognized in a school setting around the age of six when children are first expected to sit still for structured periods of time in which their focus is required.

The Centers for Disease Control reports the diagnosis of ADHD to be on a continuous rise since the late 1990s. This is the first time the rate of increase for diagnosing the disorder has dropped.
How does a disorder that the average parent never even hear of when Americans thought television shows like “Leave it to Beaver” and “Dennis the Menace” were first introduced and seen as funny, become so widespread and prevalent?

Experts agree it is due to two major factors:
* More parents know about it
* More physicians are looking for it

Let’s cut to the chase. This knowledge that parents and physicians have gained with the prevalence of the disorder converts to somewhere in the range of $12,005 and $17,458 per individual depending on variables such as mental health costs, juvenile justice costs and missed days of work; in 2005 dollars.

The report concludes (with preliminary estimates due to incomplete literature) of a societal cost of illness (COI) to average $42.5 billion annually, or a range of $36 billion and $52.4 billion.

Fortunately, I have not been diagnosed with ADHD, however, I am a licensed social worker with a heart a mile wide and just as deep. But I can’t wrap my brain around numbers like that toward just one mental health disorder that we see absolutely no signs of ‘curing.’

Not when we have so many disorders and so little health care to go around.

ADHD Medication Revisited- Part 1



Are you sure you want to chance those chemicals?

Are you sure you want to chance those chemicals?

There are lots of rumours, lots of gossip going ’round regarding ADHD medication. Some of them, a few at least, are correct. Some of them are worthless and wrong. Some could be dangerous.

The one I hate is the idea that medication is intrinsically wrong. I’ve heard people say that they would never take “chemicals” just because their brain worked differently. This is often followed by a dramatic “involuntary” shudder to indicate the extent of their displeasure with that idea.

I’m a little more open minded, I guess. I like to consider that there is more to this world than just drama and opinions. I do have my own opinions, but I choose to give them as such and accept that they might not fit in with the opinions of others.

But, for what it’s worth …

Lets consider the elemental chemical Oxygen. If you don’t “take” oxygen, your brain will work differently. In fact, you must indulge in this chemical for your brain to work at all.

Okay, kind of simplistic though …

True. That is kind of simplistic. Lets add a different chemical, the elemental chemical Hydrogen. Do you do Hydrogen? I do, I’m addicted. Well, I admit I cut it with Oxygen, that turns it into a liquid I am rather addicted to. It’s called water. If I haven’t gotten my Hydrogen fix my brain is really wonky. I personally consume 3 to 5 litres of this evil chemical concoction on a daily basis. (Don’t start drinking that much all of a sudden, you need to work your way up to that amount gradually)

Well, that’s still foolish, of course we all need water

Quite true, we do. And before you say it, I’ll admit that it is equally true that we don’t need stimulant medications to survive. But the thing I’m pointing out here is that everything we put in our bodies is, in actuality, chemically based. Food, water, the atmosphere we breathe.

Have I mentioned M. vaccae recently?

Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacterium present in soil that you ingest through breathing while working in the garden or walking in the woods or even possibly just lying out on the lawn, acts on the same part of your brain that Prozac acts on. It has been shown to increase serotonin levels and decrease anxiety. It has also been shown to improve learning and performance of activities that require thoughtful presence.

Just like oxygen and water and food and every other thing in this world, living or dead, M. vaccae is comprised of chemicals (not those nasty things again!!!).

But this is natural stuff, right?

So what about taking medication provided by pharmacists? What’s my opinion on that? Find out on the original site of this post

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