Focus, Integrity and Guilt, Oh My!

I just realized I had it all wrong this whole time.  I hate it when that happens!  It feels like starting over.

Maybe 9 years ago I came back from a trip and had to buy a car.  I knew the price range, the options (everything I could possibly get that I could afford!), and that I wanted it American-made (as much as everyone says our cars aren't great -- this is officially the best car I have ever had and personally I like it when my fellow Americans are working).  Back to the story.

So I bought a Ford Focus ZW wagon.  It was quick, as sporty as I could be needing room for my big two dogs, had a great warranty, and came with every perk imaginable, but still I could afford it.  But you know what the kicker was?  The name.  Focus.

An Overview of Medications and an Interest in Your Personal Experiences

Medications, in my opinion, get a bad rap. I think it happens for a few different reasons:

Often times a person has to try many medications before finding the right one that works. We spend a great deal more money on heart research than we do on brain research. While it is very hard to get numbers, one source is the National Institute for Health Budget (still can't believe we spend more on 'smoking' than we do 'depression', though depression may be linked up into other categories. Why we spend money proving again and again smoking will kill us when we should be spending it on why people smoke in the first place is baffling to me).
Doctors may prescribe medications without knowing much about the disease. Med school teaches doctors very little about mental health issues. This is according to doctors I have spoken to about the issue, far and wide, although I can't find specific data. Any help?
We do not understand the underlying cause of our problem and look for the quick fix. Most people do not realize it takes a lot of work to improve health issues. We can not just pop a pill and expect to feel better in any disease state -- we need to exercise, eat right, sleep well, and add other healthy lifestyle habits to our daily routine.


Debt, Coffee, and Mental Health Issues including ADHD

There was a recent response about the cost of coffee / those with mental health issues.  I thought it was pretty insightful so I would explore it some more. Are people that have problems paying bills buying coffee? Are we sacrificing our mental health or our electric bill for a $5-7 cup of coffee from Starbucks?  And what, exactly, are the effects of coffee and debt on our mental health?

So I think I will first look at some statistics: We know that about 1 in 4 people are struggling with a mental health issue at any given time. And an article on MSN Money points out that over 43% of households are spending more money than they make, and have an average of $8,000 of credit card debt. In regards to coffee consumption, 54% in the U.S. drink coffee regularly, and 18.4% of those drink gourmet coffee daily.

Mental Health challenges in hard Economic Times

In this economy it is getting increasingly difficult to take care of mental health needs. Medications are increasing in some respects, insurance not covering much, and all the little 'extras' that we have in our lives that keep our brains working well (gyms, vacations, etc.) seem to go by the wayside. Ironically, it is even more important than ever that in stressful times we keep our brain in tip top shape to ward off the stress that hard financial times bring.

So what are some strategies for reducing costs / maintaining mental health under tight budgets?


Never Check E-mail in the Morning?

I know it seems impossible, at least to me. But I just read it in an organization book -- and there is actually a book called Never Check E-mail in the Morning: and Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Life Work. It is written by Julie Morgenstern, a world renown organization expert. Julie is an Oprah favorite, and Cathy Black, president of Hearst, says the book is one of the top five best business books.

Getting Unstuck from Mental Blocks: Tips and Challenges

My mind seems to work with so much data it is juggling and so fast sometimes that it can get overloaded and come to a grinding, screeching halt. A standstill. Where all is quiet because it is just overloaded. Almost like when you flood your car or motorcycle or overheat the engine.

These are times of real challenges because it is often times when I need my brain's clarity the most. When I have so much to do or deadlines to meet and I can't seem to reach up and grab that sting hanging that seems to anchor me and balance my mind.

So what do I do to get it unstuck? Remember the Milk? I start there.

'Remember the Milk' is a Great Tool for Organizing

I'm trying out Remember the Milk, and I really love the application so far. I thought I would share a bit of a review in case you are interested in using the tool. When I wake up I hit the gym / do what I normally do in the morning and then sit down with some tea, I turn on my computer and my Outlook calendar pops up 'Remember the Milk.' (I have it set to a daily task for Outlook.)

I click the link, log in, and can start focusing on my day. I've set it up so that I update it on Sundays / throughout the week as needed, but I pretty much have things planned on Sunday.

So this is why I like it:


What is the H in ADHD?

My diagnoses is ADHD without the Hyperactivity, and I always have wondered what, exactly, is the difference between ADD and ADHD, and how do we know which one fits us? So I did some investigating into the two different yet similar diagnoses, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder, and attempt to clear up any misconceptions here.

ADD was the first term in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), it was in the DSM-IIIR  (the letters represent the 'volume's, so IV comes after III, and the R stands for Revised).  They reclassified it in the DSM-IV as ADHD (Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder.  So you may see it either way.


Getting Organized: A Challenge for Those with ADHD

There is no bigger challenge for someone with ADHD than to get organized. And I mean truly organized — not just stuff in piles that you can't find. It seems that every time I try to create lists in neat fashions or take a room apart and put it back together so I can find things, I am losing the lists and get overwhelmed with the next room. It is a constant challenge.

There are a number things that I have found to be very, very helpful with this. These strategies have saved me a lot of time and energy, and I would like to share with others out there who struggle with ADHD:


Putting ADHD in Focus with an Unexpected Diagnosis

Hi all, and thanks so much for reading.  I have to say when I first thought about writing this — I thought NO WAY would I be able to handle it! Write about ADHD on a weekly basis, multiple times a week, when I already have way too much on my plate?

But then I thought it would be good for me, you, and I had a lot to share about the subject. So I am going to try to do it — and tell you how I do it, so this blog in itself will be a learning tool for the both of us.  It got off to a bit of a rocky start as I already lost the password to my blog account, so I had to retrieve my password already!