Archives for July, 2010
I've always wanted to participate in a study of the mind, but unfortunately I have so many intertwining 'issues' that I have not qualified for any. However, I know the importance of participation for learning about the disease, and think people willing to add to that body of research, both the researchers and the participants, are true heroes. It is through continual observation and learning that we will find better ways to cope with and treat ADHD.
Do you have a child ages 6 to 17 that is healthy? International researchers need healthy participants for an ADHD Research Study. You can participate if you are ages 6 to 17, do not have ADHD, have never taken stimulant medication, and meet the full criteria of this Study. Participation involves a phone pre-screening, two on-site visits, clinical assessments, and follow up interviews. Participation in this study is completely confidential. Do you have a child ages 6 to 17 with ADHD? Or think your child might have ADHD?
Art Therapy is becoming widely used and accepted as an alternate form of treatment for depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It can be a truly wonderful modality, yet I often become disturbed when seeing some of the images that people create when they are depressed. There is so much focus on the darkness of depression, as opposed to the brilliance we obtain from such depth of emotion. I found research that helps explain why, and how if we consciously create positive art it can create an even more intense improvement on stress, tension, depression, and the anxiety that often accompanies ADHD. Art therapy is a great tool for those with ADHD, as it allows a person to express feelings, emotions, and energy through the hands and it releases energy. Anytime ADHDers can do something free flowing and unstructured is wonderful, and art is a really fantastic way. I've read a lot about art therapy, but few have touched on the importance of creating something positive with that energy.
When I used to think of meditation, it would scare me. I would picture sitting very uncomfortably upright for hours on end, trying to relax my fidgety body while I thought of the million other things I could be doing that would be more productive. I thrived on activity and productivity, and meditation seemed to be an experience made for the very calm, so I never learned more about it. After reading so many articles of the health benefits of meditation, my curiosity finally got the best of me, and I went to a Buddhist Temple to just try it. I was scared to death, as I had no idea what to do, was going alone, didn't know any customs of the Religion itself, and thought for sure I would not be able to sit still. But I gave it a shot and loved it.
Most people cringe in fear when they hear the word 'rage.' We envision people screaming, cursing, out of control -- possibly murders and rapists. I personally see my father yelling and cursing and looking very scary. The reality is, if you are human you most likely feel rage at times and it is not rage itself that is a problem, it's what a person does with the rage that can make it have such negative connotations. That is why it's more important than ever to recognize your feelings, all of them, and release them in positive, healthy ways. If you feel rage but feel too much shame for having it, eventually it comes out in less subtle ways such as projection, passive-aggressive actions, and inner harm. This morning somebody hit a trigger in me, and I felt a lot of rage that I haven't felt in quite some time.
Meditation is still a relatively new field of study for scientists, but the practice of meditation is ancient. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., from the University of Massachusetts, studied actual brain movements of people who meditated. He found that through meditation we actually change the brain activity from one part of the cortex to another. This explains the scientific reason behind how meditation improves overall health. Specifically, the act of meditating shifts activity from the right frontal cortex, the area prone to stress, to the left frontal cortex, an area of calm. Meditation also reduces the brainwave activity in the amyglada, the fear center of the brain. So practiced meditation actually helps you become more able to deal with stress, less likely to fall into depression and better at coping with the daily frustrations in life.
Meditation is a fantastic thing to do for your ADHD mind. Although it is not necessarily 'easy,' it can have everlasting rewarding benefits on your mind, body and well being. Deepak Chopra has wonderful videos on meditation, you can see an intro here. There are a number of different definitions for meditation, I found the most common one being: A devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation. However, the most valuable definition I found was 'a self-directed practice for relaxing the body and calming the mind'. One of the most difficult thing for those with ADHD to do is control the mind and impulses, which is why I find meditation particularly helpful.
I'm taking a class with SARK, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy. She insists that you can add joy and delight into everything you do in life. EVERYTHING! Her class seemed perfect for my ADHD, as it showed you how to get projects on track, take what she calls 'micromovements' towards completion of your goal, and score higher on total completion of dreams. Plus, it was inexpensive and in this economy I am on a tight budget. Let's explore the concept that I at first found rather insane, but am now finding quite revolutionary.
I've always known this was important, but not until this day did I realize JUST how important it is and the dire consequences of not doing so. I've been betrayed in a way that feels as if my entire being has fallen apart, as if everything I held true is no more, as if not just a rug but the entire world has been pulled out from under my feet. It has made the need of recognizing and treating ADHD and the impulsivity of relationships all the more relevant and important. I've always been one to fall in love quickly, to establish friendships right away, and to be open and trusting before I know someone. I've always felt many people did not bode well with this, and I did not understand why people would not, until today. For the first time ever I have realized that people don't just have faults and make mistakes, but they can intentionally set out to hurt you in ways you might never imagine.