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Showing posts with label ADHD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ADHD. Show all posts

9 Tips for Managing ADHD Mood Swings | AR NUTRATION

9 Tips for Managing ADHD Mood Swings

manage mood with ADHDShare on Pinterest
Everyone copes with anxiety, anger, and impatience from time to time, but attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tends to magnify those emotions. In some cases, your changing moods can interfere with your job, home life, or friendships, which can make you feel helpless or demoralized. Obviously, this is no way to live your life.
ADHD medication can be very helpful when it comes to focus, anxiety, and mood swings, but it’s not a universal cure. After all, ADHD manifests in different ways, and it can be difficult to get the dosage right to fight off your particular set of symptoms.
If you find your moods are getting the better of you, it may be time to consult a psychiatrist to investigate further. But there’s plenty you can do on your own time to balance out your volatile temperament. Here are nine tips for managing mood swings right away:

1. Schedule time to vent

Letting feelings and reactions bubble up inside can be uncomfortable and will probably end badly. Instead, put aside time every week — or every day, if you need to — to let off steam with a fun, energetic activity.
Dance around to loud music, watch an intense sports match, or join a fitness class at your local gym. Anything that works well as a stress reliever will do the trick.
Although venting your anger or frustration is crucial, it’s also important to put aside time to be calm. In both cases, literally scheduling the activity will help you stick to the plan and not feel guilty about taking time out for yourself.

2. Work on shifting your focus

Once you come to terms with your emotional whims, you can focus on getting through the mood swing rather than on why it’s happened. Don’t waste time on blaming yourself or someone else. Rather, learn strategies to help the problem pass more quickly.
Get into the habit of jumping into an activity when your mood changes. A book, video game, or conversation can be enough to pull you out of your psychological turmoil. Remind yourself (out loud, if necessary) that this mood will pass, and it’s best just to wait it out rather than try to dissect it.

3. Prepare for the days when you get the blues

For many people with ADHD, an exciting or successful event can bring about depressing aftermath. It may seem strange, but once the stimulus has passed and the challenge is over, people with ADHD can miss the conflict and swing to the other emotional extreme.
Knowing this might happen, you can prepare for the blues by keeping some helpful distractions within arm’s reach. Have a list of positive, upbeat friends to call when you need a lift, and keep your favorite movies at the ready.
It’s also a good idea to store your exercise bag or equipment at the front door so you’re ready to hit the road or pop out to the gym and boost your mood as soon as you need the endorphin rush.

4. Take control of your “hyperfocus”

ADHD is often associated with a very short attention span, but that’s not entirely accurate. The condition involves an unregulated attention span, which can manifest in the very opposite way. Children and adults with ADHD sometimes focus very intently on things — and that can be a blessing or a curse.
Learn to use this hyperfocus to your benefit, rather than let it lead you into an emotional ditch. When a bad mood grabs hold, turn to your passion, whether that’s work or a hobby. Find ways to make the tasks around you more engaging so you can shake off the emotional burden and simply enjoy what’s in front of you until the mood drifts off.

5. Exercise often

When you stay active, you stay balanced. Although challenging exercises and competitive sports can stir up energy and aggression, the endorphins released will almost immediately lift your mood. Few therapies can get rid of stress, burn off frustration, and replenish concentration as much as regular exercise.
If you can’t fit a full routine into each day, don’t despair. Studies show that even short workout sessions spread throughout the day can bring similar results as one long workout session. Find an exercise — or better yet, several activities — you truly enjoy and can do easily and often.

6. Put humor first

When you can laugh at yourself, you won’t stay angry for long. Learning to make light of your mistakes and poke fun at your ADHD slip-ups is a huge step toward better relationships and a happier lifestyle.
Impulsiveness, forgetfulness, hyperactivity, and disorganization can be aggravating, but they can also be fodder for jokes. Sure, not every mistake can or should be laughed off — you do need to take responsibility for your own actions — but when you can playfully point out your own faults, you’ll find that the people around you are much more sympathetic and forgiving.

7. Consider a diet change

Your menu can’t necessarily change your personality and emotions, but certain ingredientsmay have more impact than you imagine. Food additives and preservatives should be the first to go.
Many doctors and nutritionists agree that artificial colorings and certain food modifiers (namely MSG) can be detrimental to behavior, especially for children.
You can better balance your blood sugar levels, as well as keep your hormones stable, with a diet full of high-fiber veggies, whole grains, and lean protein to keep you full and energized for longer. Keep in mind that sugar and simple carbs (such as white bread, rice, and potatoes) can spike your blood sugar, and in turn, affect your mood.

8. Set a solid sleep schedule

Sleeping well is just as important as eating well, which means you need to take your sleep routine very seriously. Most people find that their moods, energy levels, and even their appetites are much better after a good night’s sleep.
A strict sleep routine is your best bet for restful and regenerative shut-eye. Go to bed at the same time every night, and don’t keep any electronics in the bedroom. Keep your evening routine low-key so you can gently ease into bedtime mode — some light reading before bed can slow down the mind and help you drift off before you know it.

9. Compliment others

Your ADHD can take up a lot of your attention, and it’s easy to get into a cycle of self-criticism and obsession over little worries. Try to break out of that cycle by turning your attention to the people around you.
Learning to notice others and empathize with their thoughts and feelings can take some practice, but this is well worth your time and attention. When you can focus on the positive aspects of others, it can help distract you from your own feelings, as well as help you build relationships in the process.
It’s important to realize that you have a lot of power when it comes to how you manage your ADHD. Don’t let the world control you and what you have to offer. As you learn how to advocate for yourself, you could find that not only your confidence is improving, but that your moods and interactions are easier to manage.
The symptoms of ADHD may be similar to other conditions, such as bipolar disorder. If you’re experiencing severe mood swings, talk to you doctor to see what you can do and make sure you have a proper diagnosis.

Concerta vs. Adderall: A Side-by-Side Comparison | AR NUTRATION

Concerta vs. Adderall: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Concerta vs. Adderall: A Side-by-Side Comparison
Concerta vs. Adderall: A Side-by-Side Comparison | AR NUTRATION

Similar drugs

Concerta and Adderall are medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These drugs help activate the areas of your brain that are responsible for focusing and paying attention.
Concerta and Adderall are the brand names of generic medications. The generic form of Concerta is methylphenidate. Adderall is a mixture of four different “amphetamine” salts mixed together to create a 3 to 1 ratio of dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine.
A side-by-side comparison of these two ADHD medications shows that they’re similar in many ways. However, there are some differences.

Drug features

Concerta and Adderall help reduce hyperactivity and impulsive actions in people with ADHD. They’re both central nervous system stimulant drugs. This type of drug helps control the constant activity in ADHD, such as fidgeting. It also helps control impulsive actions that are common in people with certain forms of ADHD.
The table below compares features of these two drugs.
What is the generic name?methylphenidateamphetamine/dextroamphetamine
Is a generic version available?yesyes
What does it treat?ADHDADHD
What form(s) does it come in?extended-release oral tablet—immediate-release oral tablet

—extended-release oral capsule
What strengths does it come in?—18 mg

—27 mg

—36 mg

—54 mg
—immediate-release tablet: 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg

—extended-release capsule: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, 30 mg
What’s the typical length of treatment?long-termlong-term
How do I store it?at a controlled room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C)at a controlled room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C)
Is this a controlled substance?*yesyes
Is there a risk of withdrawal with this drug?†yesyes
Does this drug have potential for misuse?¥yesyes
*A controlled substance is a drug that is regulated by the government. If you take a controlled substance, your doctor must closely supervise your use of the drug. Never give a controlled substance to anyone else.
†If you’ve been taking this drug for more than a couple weeks, do not stop taking this drug without talking to your doctor. You will need to taper off the drug slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, nausea, and trouble sleeping.
¥This drug has a high misuse potential. This means you can get addicted to this drug. Be sure to take this drug exactly as your doctor tells you. If you have questions or concerns, talk with your doctor.


Concerta is only available as an extended-release tablet. Adderall is available as an immediate-release and extended-release drug. In the immediate-release form, the tablet releases the drug into your system right away. In the extended-release form, the capsule slowly releases small amounts of medication into your body throughout the day.
If your doctor prescribes Adderall, they may start you on the immediate-release form at first. If you take the immediate-release form, you’ll likely need more than one dose per day. Eventually, they may change you to the extended-release form.
If you take an extended-release drug, you may only need one dose per day to manage your symptoms.
The standard dosage of each drug starts at 10–20 mg per day. However, your dosage depends on certain factors. This includes your age, other health issues you have, and how you respond to the drug. Children often take a smaller dosage than adults.
Always take your dosage as prescribed. If you routinely take too much, you may need more of the drug for it to be effective. These drugs also carry the risk of addiction.

How to take the medications

Swallow either drug whole with water. You can take them with or without food. Some people prefer to take their medication with breakfast so it won’t upset their stomachs.
If you have trouble swallowing Adderall, you may open the capsule and mix the granules with food. Do not cut or crush Concerta, however.

What are their side effects?

Concerta and Adderall share many potential side effects. Some are serious. For instance, both drugs can slow growth in children. Your child’s doctor may watch your child’s height and weight during treatment. If your doctor sees negative effects, they may take your child off the drug for a period of time.
If you have side effects from one drug, call your doctor right away. Your doctor may change your medication or adjust your dosage. Common side effects of Concerta and Adderall include:
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • nauseavomiting, or upset stomach
  • irritability
  • sweating
Serious side effects of both drugs can include:
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • cold or numb fingers or toes that turn white or blue
  • fainting
  • increased violence or violent thoughts
  • auditory hallucinations (such as hearing voices)
  • slowed growth in children
Concerta may also cause painful erections that last several hours in men.

Who should avoid Concerta or Adderall?

Perhaps the biggest difference between the drugs is who should avoid each one. Concerta and Adderall aren’t right for everyone. There are many drugs and health conditions that can change the way the medications work. For this reason, you may not be able to take one or both of the drugs.
Do not take either Concerta or Adderall if you:
  • have glaucoma
  • have anxiety or tension
  • are easily agitated
  • are hypersensitive to the drug
  • take MAOI antidepressants
Do not take Concerta if you have:
  • motor tics
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • a family history of Tourette’s syndrome
Do not take Adderall if you have:
  • symptomatic cardiovascular disease
  • advanced arteriosclerosis
  • moderate to severe high blood pressure
  • hyperthyroidism
  • a history of drug addiction or misuse
Both drugs can also affect your blood pressure and how your heart works. They may cause sudden death in people with undiagnosed heart problems. Your doctor may check your blood pressure and heart function during treatment with these drugs. Talk to your doctor to learn more.
Also, both medications are pregnancy category C drugs. This means that some animal studies have shown harm to a pregnancy, but the drugs haven’t been studied enough in humans to know if they’re harmful to a human pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor to see if you should avoid either of these drugs.

Cost, availability, and insurance

Concerta and Adderall are both brand-name drugs. Brand-name drugs tend to cost more than their generic versions. In general, Adderall extended-release is more expensive than Concerta, according to a review by Baylor College of Medicine. However, the generic form of Adderall is less expensive than the generic form of Concerta.
Drug prices depend on many factors, though. Insurance coverage, geographic location, dosage, and other factors can all affect the price you pay. You can check for current prices from pharmacies near you.

Final comparison

Concerta and Adderall are very similar in treating ADHD. Some people may respond better to one drug than the other. It’s important to share your full health history with your doctor. Tell them about all medications, vitamins, or supplements you take. This will help your doctor prescribe the right drug for you.

3 Things My Daughter and I Love About Our ADHD | AR NUTRATION

3 Things My Daughter and I Love About Our ADHD

susy parkerShare on Pinterest
Health and wellness touch everyone’s life differently. This is one person’s story.
I gave my daughter ADHD.
In the beginning, this revelation almost tore us apart. But as we travelled down the road together, it gave us an unbreakable bond. The more I got to understand the positive sides of ADHD, the more I was able to see it as a gift. Having the diagnosis has helped me to support and empower my daughter as she goes on her own journey of living with ADHD.
However, I haven’t always seen it as a positive thing.
My daughter, Seren, was just six years old when she was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and oppositional defiant disorder four years ago. When the psychologist read out the three main characteristics of ADHD — hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsivity — my heart sank.
As a mother, I had this overwhelming feeling of guilt: Was it something that I did wrong? Could we cure it? Would she live with this forever?
The psychologist handed me a book to read about the condition, and as soon as I started reading it, I had the biggest “lightbulb” moment — I realized that I had ADHD, too. And worse than that, I may have given it to my daughter. Finally, last year, I was diagnosed with it myself.
For a time, I felt broken. I felt so sad for Seren, knowing that she would live with this condition for the rest of her life. We saw a multitude of experts, all who felt that they could “fix” her. It was a time that I will never forget. This is the reason why I wrote my book. I wanted other parents going through the same thing to know that they weren’t alone. And, more importantly, that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Finding the light was crucial for me. Instead of focusing on the negatives, I began looking at the positives of ADHD. I read books, blogs, and listened to podcasts — and I came to realize that if ADHD was managed correctly, it could be turned into a blessing! Understanding this was key to finally getting rid of my guilt and supporting my daughter in seeing ADHD as a positive thing.

How we choose to look at the “negatives”

The three main characteristics of ADHD are hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsivity. Society views these negatively, but thanks to my own experience, as well as my research — including insights from ADHD expert Dr. Ned Hallowell — I now see these as gifts.


Hyperactivity, for example, is simply having high energy levels… and who doesn’t want that?
Having higher energy levels as an adult is a blessing, and these kids will only be children for a very short time. Do you want them growing up feeling like having high levels of energy is a bad thing?
Seren is continually moving. She’s unable to sit still. I don’t encourage her to stop because I am the same. We are both busy, active, and on the go — but that’s amazing, and should never be seen as a negative thing.


When you turn impulsivity on its head, one might say that it gives you creativity. And that is one of Seren’s greatest gifts! You can’t be a creative person and not be impulsive. You can’t plan creativity or say, “Tomorrow, I am going to wake up and be super creative.” You have to just go with it.
Many of the world’s most acclaimed writers and artists are well known for producing their most famous masterpieces in the middle of the night. And speaking for myself, most of my own blog entries have been written in the strangest places and at the strangest times. But when I feel the impulse, I just go with it!
I tell Seren that she has the most fantastic brain, which she can use to do and create wonderful things — which she often does, including painting, writing, and even creating her own contortion moves. (Seren is a self-taught contortionist, and we only have impulsivity and hyper-focus to thank for that!)


Finally, another way I’ve learned to approach distractibility is to think of what it actually means: Curiosity! Seren has always needed to touch everything and anything she sees. It used to drive me crazy, until I realized something: She sees the world in such a beautiful way and wants to explore it. She has such a lust for life, and she feels it through touch.

She’s curious about the world around her, and in most situations in a child’s life, they aren’t allowed to be “curious.” Often, we don’t allow our children the freedom to explore because we’re afraid for their safety, or even afraid what others are thinking. I’ll admit, a few years ago, I myself was finding this side of her hard to deal with. But now I’ve learned to accept that this is simply who she is.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and when I look back on my life, I see those traits in me too. Leaving home early, traveling, changing careers — and I only have “curiosity” to thank for it!

Finding acceptance

When I was able to view these three main characteristics through a positive lens and see them for the gifts they are, our life changed in ways that I could never have imagined.
Indeed, it allowed me to see that the ADHD diagnosis itself is flawed, and that we as a society tend to only focus on the negative sides of labels. ADHD is so much more than that, and knowing and believing this has had such an incredibly positive impact on Seren. We are proud to have ADHD.
I believe that ADHD kids are here to change things. To shift the old-fashioned parenting and schooling systems. They’re here to heal us, and to make us see that we have been given this child for a reason. It can sometimes take time, so be patient with your journey. But I promise you: On the other side of the fear and negativity, you will find acceptance and love.

Why It Wasn’t Wrong to Tell My Kids About Their ADHD | AR NUTRATION

Why It Wasn’t Wrong to Tell My Kids About Their ADHD

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Health and wellness touch everyone’s life differently. This is one person’s story.
“Mom, I need to tell you something that happened at school today,” my third-grade daughter said to me at dinner one evening. “It’s really important. Can we talk privately?”
“Of course,” I responded, not sure what to expect.
Later, we walked into my bedroom, shut the door, and sat on my bed.
“Today, we were in the computer lab and had a timed math test,” she began. “I couldn’t answer the questions. I got really nervous because we were being timed. So, I walked over to Mrs. G and told her that I couldn’t do this if I was being timed.”
A smile spread across my face. At just 8 years old, she’d successfully advocated for herself, something even many adults are unable to do.
“I want you to know that not being able to take a timed test is part of your ADHD,” I explained.
Although she’d known about her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis for a year, I didn’t tell her about possible symptoms that she hadn’t yet experienced. For me, it was important that she shouldn’t expect to struggle with something because of a diagnosis. But if she does, she should understand why.
“Would you like me to talk to your teacher about this?” I asked.
“No,” she responded. “I took care of it.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, Mom. I handled it.”

Why I told them

My decision to tell both of my children about their ADHD, and other diagnoses, may not be popular. But it has benefited them since they were in preschool.
My son lives with both ADHD and developmental coordination disorder, commonly referred to as dyspraxia. It’s a neurological disorder, and the best way I’ve heard of to describe it is: Your brain takes the scenic route to provide information to your body. How dyspraxia affects children varies, but for my son, it’s his speech, general oro-motor strength, fine motor planning, and handwriting capabilities that are affected.
When he was just a baby, he couldn’t crawl. Instead, he scooted around on his bottom. Through early intervention services, a physical therapist taught him to crawl, then walk, jump, skip — all of the things most children learn to do on their own.
And because he wasn’t speaking at all—  no babbling, no sounds — then came speech therapy. I had taught him baby sign language to communicate, and he picked it up quickly. At around 16 or 17 months, he said his first word, “up,” based on a song his speech therapist taught him.
When he finally did begin to speak, he was still very difficult to understand. A happy, easygoing toddler, I felt it necessary to help him realize that others had great difficulty understanding what he said. So, I worked hard to remove any frustration he had when asked to repeat himself.
I didn’t want tantrums to replace the giggles. We regularly discussed his speech challenges, and by the time he was 2 years old, he’d happily repeat himself when asked, and would also point to or pantomime what he was trying to say.
At around the same time, my daughter, who is 2 1/2 years older, was diagnosed as a sensory seeker. She also has emotional dysregulation, which is the inability to regulate your emotions. She began receiving both physical and occupational therapy to help her cope with low muscle tone, as well as a special education itinerant teacher (SEIT) at her preschool so she could learn to properly socialize with her peers.
While her peers could calm down with quieter activities, like reading a book, she’d calm herself down by spinning in a circle for several minutes, or by crashing into the furniture, or asking for an extra-tight hug.
She knew she was different. And as I did with her brother, I explained those differences to her. At 3 years old, she could tell you she was a sensory seeker and needed to jump on the sofa to feel better. This understanding gave her power. While she was too young to control her impulses, her ability to express her needs helped reduce adults’ anger at some of her behaviors.

A little help from Harry Potter

My children are now 9 and 6, and both of them have received an ADHD diagnosis.
As my children have been diagnosed, I’ve shared the news with them, because I believe that understanding their strengths and weaknesses will help them accept and advocate for themselves. While both experience some general anxiety related to their diagnoses, this choice has proven to be a good one for them.
For my daughter, understanding that her inability to focus in the classroom, poor organizational skills, and difficulty with emotional regulation weren’t her fault — but rather a result of the way her brain works — has been a tremendous confidence booster. As she learns more about herself, she understands that while these areas may be a challenge, they aren’t impossible. She simply has to work harder than others to achieve them.
For my son, who was recently diagnosed, the ADHD was easier to understand and accept, but dyspraxia was something we both needed to study. Together, we’ve researched the disorder and discussed what it means for him now and in the future.
This was hard for him at first. He felt like an outcast with this rare diagnosis. But once he learned that Harry Potter himself — actor Daniel Radcliffe, the celebrity he most admires — also has dyspraxia, his outlook changed. He recognizes he can do anything. He simply just has to work harder than others in some areas of his life.

Dealing with the criticism

My decision to be open with my kids hasn’t always been popular. I’ve been judged and criticized by others.
On the day that I finished writing this, I attended a school meeting to hear updates about the school-based services my son receives because of his diagnoses. The woman in charge of the program asserted — more than once — that “he knows way too much.”
I’ve also had parents tell me I shouldn’t compartmentalize my children at such a young age. And a child psychologist explained that attaching labels to my children makes them focus on what’s wrong with them, instead of what’s right.
And there have also been other, subtler comments from other parents, who tell me that their child isn’t old enough to understand, or they don’t want them to know that they’re different.
I always listen to what each person has to say, taking in their opinions, advice, and comments.
But my own experience has shown me that educating my children about their strengths and weaknesses has actually helped remove the stigma that’s frequently attached to labels and diagnoses. It empowers them to self-advocate.
As G.I. Joe famously said, “Knowing is half the battle.” I agree, and so do my children.