It is so amazing how organizations are popping up all over the world helping us join forces to tackle mental health diseases. I was privileged enough to speak in Athens, Greece a few years ago about iFred’s rebranding depression work, and learned from countries around the world just how important it is we work together to solve our greatest challenges.
I’ve just recently been asked to join their advisory board, and continue to be amazed and impressed by the work of all throughout the world.
It was celebrated across the U.S. when we were able to get mental health parity law passed. I don’t by any means intend to minimize this work – but do we realize that what we accomplished was to treat the brain in a similar fashion to the heart, liver, and intestines? Should we really have to fight that hard for that? Those that were involved in the legislation understand the intense work, dedication, and challenge this simple piece of legislation involved – and unfortunately the rest of the world is so far behind us in many different ways.
I’ve been talking about the upside a lot – and I think it’s important for friends, family and coworkers to all realize there is a MAJOR upside. There is also something that I think a lot of people would benefit from understanding, in terms of the downside. And if people did, they could save a LOT of painful, ultimately pointless conversations and conflicts.
Just as the ADHD mind has the ability to go on and on, on positive subjects with new, creative, brilliant, juicy ideas… the opposite can unfortunately happen as well. If you aren’t careful and don’t understand this, you can end up making the situation much worse by engaging the ADHD mind instead of finding a way to end the conflict (or save it for another time).
I can’t tell you how many times I get to around 10 or 11am and think to myself, ‘What am I supposed to be doing? I feel like I am running in circles!,’ only to realize that once again I have forgotten to take my ADHD meds. It should not be that hard — I mean I take them every day, yet still somehow I manage to get through 5 or 6 hours of my day before realizing the mistake.
And then if I have therapy, well, what do I tell my doctor? I can’t remember my moods yesterday, let alone a week ago. How am I supposed to know what affected my moods throughout the week?
Diet books are all the craze, and while I don’t know much about red dye, research has suggested it can magnify ADHD symptoms and is hard to avoid. So I thought I would do a mini-series on red dye, looking at what it is, how it affects the brain, what food it is in, and how we can avoid it with diet. In this post, I am simply going to explore the ‘what’ of red dye.
Have you ever wondered this? I know I have, and as an ADHDer it is especially hard, because often times you lose focus and are on to creating the next greatest thing a habit. So you start a lot of great new approaches, but they never seem to stick.
Ann Graybiel of MIT’s McGovern Institute has shown through research that neurons change their firing patterns when habits are learned, and then change them again when unlearned. However, as soon as something kicks back in the habit, they are fired back up. That is why it is so easy to pick back up negative addictions like smoking and drinking, but also why if you establish good habits but lose them, you can kick them back up much easier as well.
Today I saw an article on MSN that I really wanted to share — it’s about eating for your brain. It is amazing how much food affects mood, and I thought it was interesting that the study explained you can be up to 200% more productive with the right food. It makes sense – food is the fuel for your brain.