Sunday, January 19, 2014

OCD and Limbic Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder often co-exists with OCD.

The type of ADD I am addressing today is the lesser-known and often overlooked Limbic ADD, a non-hyperactive type. Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD, often co-exists with OCD, and many times is overlooked in diagnosis. One reason for this is that there are six different types of ADD, and some of these have  very different symptoms than the hyperactive type that people are most familiar with. I  think it is important that people know more about Limbic ADD so they may be able to identify the symptoms in themselves or others. Treatment for Limbic ADD is very different from the hyperactive type- stimulants do not work, and can make Limbic ADD much worse!
Here is some information that I got from:

 •Low energy
 •Frequent irritability
 •Tends to be socially isolated
 •Frequent feelings of hopelessness, helplessness or excessive guilt
 •Low interest in things that are usually considered fun
 •Sleep changes (too much or too little)
 •Chronic low self-esteem"

"People diagnosed with Limbic ADD typically have short attention spans, low energy, are often unfocused and disorganized and suffer from frequent negative thoughts and excessive guilt. They are usually misdiagnosed with clinical depression, but often find that antidepressants increases their moodiness.
Mood problems can occur when the limbic system of the brain is overactive. The limbic system is about the size of a walnut and lies near the center of the brain. This is the part of the brain that helps determine how positive or negative you are in your outlook, and also affects motivation and drive. It controls the sleep and appetite cycles of the body, and affects the "bonding mechanism" that enables you to connect with other people on a social level, which in turn influences your moods."

From all the research I have done, I believe that natural supplements and dietary changes may provide the same results as prescription medication in many cases of Limbic ADD.

"Nutritional intervention can be especially helpful. Our deep limbic system needs a balanced diet of containing protein, "good fats" and carbohydrates to function properly. That means including healthy fats (such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish), complex carbohydrates (which increase serotonin levels) and protein in every meal.

Nutritional supplements can also increase levels of brain serotonin and decrease negative emotional reactiveness. "SAMe (S-adenoslmethionine) is a naturally occurring compound found in all living organisms. SAMe is critical in the maintenance of cartilage and in the manufacture of important brain compounds such as neurotransmitters." According to this site, as well as the site of Dr. Daniel Amen
"Calming Amino acids GABA: 500-1500 mg 2-3 times per day. L-Tyrosine: 500-1500 mg 2-3 times per day." Also, Inositol (which is great for OCD symptoms) and Grape Seed Extract, can help.  "Other alternatives to prescription medication for limbic ADHD patients include the use of soothing natural botanical and herbal remedies such as hyoscyamus, tuberculinum, arsen iod and verta alb."

For foods that help Limbic ADD I found this on:

"Foods that increase Dopamine

Food sources of dopamine increasing tyrosine include almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.

Dopamine is easily oxidized. Foods that are rich in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables may help protect dopamine-using neurons from free radical damage. Many healthcare professionals recommend supplementing with vitamins C, vitamin E, and other antioxidants."

 Also, I read that it may be helpful to substitute regular sugar with Monk fruit raw sugar sweetener (LoHan).

From researching, I read that exercise can also provided much needed relief from distressing Limbic ADD symptoms. Walk as much as possible, and take the stairs whenever possible. Brisk walking, or any aerobic activity done for a minimum of a half hour several times a week is ideal, however, "always, consult your doctor or a certified personal trainer before starting a rigorous exercise program." Getting the proper amount of sleep is important too, strive for 8 hours whenever possible.

Stay away from negative people, bad news, and depressing stories as much as possible! People with Limbic ADD tend to struggle with low grade sadness much of the time, and these things will only make it worse. Uplifting people, great music, anything that is inspiring, and happy or funny movies should be substituted as much as possible.

I hope this helps those with Limbic ADD, and I wish everyone health and much happiness!

I have freed myself from OCD by natural methods, and want to help others find freedom too!
My book OCD and Me, My Unconventional Journey Through Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, published by PlantaPress, is available at: