Monday, October 24, 2011

OCD and Attention Dilemmas (ADD)

It is well known that many people with OCD have related disorders. For me, one of them has been Attention Deficit Disorder, which has annoyed me since childhood. There are several types of ADD, and they manifest themselves in different ways.

When I was in school, here were several boys who were being extremely disruptive in class. One of them was eventually removed because he would not remain in his seat. I’m betting those boys had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD- the over-active version. With me, it was totally different. I clearly remember being in algebra class and being unable to concentrate. This went on for the entire semester. It got to the point that I was completely lost. As the teacher was explaining formulas and equations, my mind just drifted off to another land. Perhaps, as my sister-in-law Cathy says, I should have been taught in a way that I could understand, because I just could not get it, and fell so far behind that I failed the class. That was just one of my problems focusing as a child. I didn’t realize it until much later, but that was also caused by Attention Deficit Disorder, and a specific type that is mostly found in girls, called limbic ADD.

The symptoms of Limbic ADD can continue right into adulthood, and they are- inability to pay attention (especially to things found distasteful or boring,) mild depression, low energy, procrastination, poor sleep. For those of you who think you may have it, I found this information about Limbic ADD at

“Limbic ADD

The Limbic System:  Includes the thalamus and hypothalamus, regulates emotions, emotional memories, influences the hormone system, has a relay and gating function for sensory information, control of motivation and drives.

Natural Treatment:

• Diet. ADD people have a different metabolism to average people and so do depressed people.

• Omega-3 fish oil.

• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and/or biofeedback training.

• Aerobic exercise daily for 30-45 minutes, preferably outside.

• Supplement formulations specially formulated for the ADD metabolism and depression:

Limbic ADD is another form of attention deficit, but with the added complication of the brain locked into a negative thought pattern. The other forms of real or true ADHD the inattentive and classic types are resilient and can take knocks, bouncing back. However this type tends to give up easily. Therapy to reset the brain or calm the limbic system, such as some forms of meditation might work well. Stimulant medication is likely to make the condition worse in this ADD type."

The following article is helpful for all types of ADD and I got it from AOL. It was written by Beth W. Orenstein…

Manage Stress to Stop Procrastinating

When you’re overwhelmed, you’ll find yourself procrastinating more, says Jennifer Koretsky Korey, a senior certified ADHD coach and author of Odd One Out: The Maverick's Guide to Adult ADD. You can manage stress by slowing down and taking excellent care of yourself. “I recommend that clients take half an hour a day — every day — to relax and recharge,” Korey says. Also, prioritize good sleep habits, good nutrition, and exercise. Even small changes in these areas will make a big difference

Plan Your Road to Success

In order to finish something, you first need to know where to start, Korey says. "If you try to jump into a project without planning, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and shut down.” This is sound advice for anyone approaching a task, but it is particularly helpful if you have ADHD. Korey recommends taking 5 to 15 minutes to step back from the project and plan the steps that you need to take to complete it. “Then when you begin,” she says, “the hard work has been done, and you’re really just following a system.”

Break Tasks Into Small Parts

To best manage your ADHD symptoms, not only do you need to plan, but you also need to break down your plan into achievable steps. “I call them ‘doable tasks,’” says Alice Price, a professional organizer and time-management specialist based in West Islip, N.Y., and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Small successes build on each other. Recounts David Rosenberg, MD, professor and chief of child psychiatry and psychology at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit: “My piano teacher used to tell me, rather than memorize the whole piece of music, to learn it in small sections. That’s great advice for learning to play the piano and critical for children with ADHD and people with adult ADHD.”

Create — and Stick to — a Schedule

You need to set a timeline for accomplishing each and every one of the smaller items on your to-do list. If you leave goals open-ended, you won’t be as motivated to get started. Just putting a date and time for completion next to each step will help you stay on track, says Dr. Rosenberg.

Find Motivation to Stop Procrastinating

When given a task, think about how completing it will improve your life. “Get in touch with why the task is actually worth doing and how it can help you,” Korey says. “You’ll definitely procrastinate if you’re just doing the task to please someone else, and you’ll add to your stress as a result.” For instance, if your mother-in-law comments on your messy house, but the clutter doesn’t bother you, you will resist the urge to clean before she comes over. So focus instead on how having a clean house will make achieving your own goals easier.

Delegate, Don't Procrastinate

Whenever possible, delegate any tasks you find boring. “There’s no shame in paying someone else for their skills,” says Korey. “This might mean hiring a house cleaner, a handyman, or even a personal assistant.” If money is an issue, cut out other luxuries so that you can afford the help you need to handle ADHD and stop procrastinating. “Ask yourself what costs more: the stress of procrastinating on this task or the cost of hiring someone else to do it?” Korey suggests.

Reward Yourself

Treat yourself to something fun when you complete half or even a third of an assigned task, and then again when it’s done. The reward can be just a break to watch a TV show, going out to lunch or dinner, or taking a soothing spa bath (great for relaxing when ADHD symptoms have you stressed). Rosenberg says the biggest reward should be contingent upon getting started, which is often the most difficult part for many with adult ADHD. On the flip side, resist punishing yourself for not completing a job. “Punishments rarely work for procrastination and can make things worse,” he cautions.

Do the Dreaded Deed First

Whatever it is, getting the task you dislike out of the way gives your self-esteem a boost, and that in turn stops procrastination. “You feel good because you did it, and it changes your attitude from a negative to a positive,” Price says. Here’s an example: If you work in sales and dislike the part of your job that requires making cold calls, do them first thing in the morning. “Then you have the rest of the day free from having to worry about them,” Price says.

Manage ADHD Symptoms With Set Routines

If you have adult ADHD, establish a routine that includes all tasks that must be accomplished each day, says Rosenberg. That way, doing them becomes almost automatic, because you don’t have time to sit around and think, “I won’t do this now; I’ll do it later.” Set up a routine for getting yourself and your family out the door in the morning. Have one for your workday and others for your evenings and weekends. And be sure to include the tasks you most often put off.”

Also, this may help your ADD- from the WEB MD, web site-

Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your Brain

Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat breakfast tend to perform significantly better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers' brain fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don't overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.

Also, add fish, nuts, chocolate, avocados, whole grains (even popcorn,) and blueberries to a healthy diet.’

If you have a big day coming up, eat a breakfast of salmon (on a whole grain bagel if you prefer) and drink a glass of 100% pure fruit juice and a cup of coffee

Other habits to pick up that will increase you attention span every day are getting enough sleep, drinking water to combat dehydration, exercising any time you get the opportunity and meditation.’

I hope everyone who is suffering with any mental disorder will be comforted in knowing there is help out there, and it doesn’t always involve medication. You are NOT alone!


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