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Adult ADHD: The Life-Long Journey of Undiagnosed ADHD

Is this you?

You are sitting at your desk at work, but you just can’t focus. You’re trying to start a project but… you don’t know where to begin. You’re juggling emails, meetings, phone calls, along with all your everyday duties – but you find you can’t keep up. As a result, you feel continuously stressed and stuck.

In addition to work stress, you find you have issues with your relationships. You find there are a lot of misunderstandings, frustrations, and resentment coming from both sides. You feel as if you’re constantly being criticized, nagged, and told what to do – you try your best, but that isn’t enough.

So, what’s going on?

Meet Adult ADHD, a mental disorder that affects around 4.4% of adults averaging to a total of 1,500,000 adults in Canada.

 

Undiagnosed ADHD

There has been a great debate over whether adult-onset ADHD is real. Len Adler, M.D., professor of psychiatry at New York University and one of the leading researchers in adult ADHD, believes that around 75% of adults who have ADHD aren’t aware of it. This lack of knowledge leads to an impact on several areas in one’s life… as we mentioned earlier!

So let’s start at the beginning…

 

Undiagnosed ADHD in Children

Children with undiagnosed and untreated ADHD will most likely experience many issues both at home and at school. They may have bad grades due to their struggles with attention and have difficulties controlling their emotions that affect their social relationships with their peers. Combined, these will increase their risk of developing low self-esteem or even depression.

As they grow into their teenage years and their ADHD still runs undiagnosed, if the children who didn’t perform well in school – it’s likely they aren’t about to catch up. They will continue to struggle with relationships, may not do so well in the dating world, and they may have issues getting along with their parents.

Especially for girls with ADHD, they pose a higher risk of developing an eating disorder that would be linked to depression or low self-esteem.

Having undiagnosed ADHD can harm an individual’s way of life to great lengths. As some symptoms may start to fade with age, it’s a lifelong problem if it goes untreated.

As they grow into their teenage years and their ADHD still runs undiagnosed, if the once-then children who did not perform well in school – it is likely they are not about to catch up. They also will struggle with relationships – meaning they may not have many friends, may not do well in the dating world, and may have issues getting along with their parents.

For young girls especially, they pose a higher risk of developing an eating disorder that would be linked to depression or low self-esteem.

Having undiagnosed ADHD can harm a person’s way of life to great lengths. As some symptoms may start to fade with age, it will be a lifelong problem if it goes untreated.

 

Symptoms of Adult ADHD

If this much time has passed and you think you may have ADHD, we recommend getting it diagnosed so that you can have access to the treatment you need! But before we get into that, do you know what the common symptoms of Adult ADHD are?

 

Adults living with ADHD may:

  • Have time management issues
  • Have difficulty meeting deadlines
    Staying organized
  • Relationship issues with friends and significant others
  • Have issues with their emotional control

If we compare it to whence they were children, their hyperactivity has evolved to a general restlessness; A kid’s impulsivity has masked with time and now comes out through impulsive spending habits, conversation interruptions, and engaging in risky behaviors.

On the other side of things, we need to consider the emotional impact this has on adults. As we’ve mentioned earlier as a response to their symptoms, they’re likely to develop low self-esteem and or depression.

But – what does that mean?

 

ADHD and the Emotional Effects

Living with an unrecognized and undiagnosed condition like ADHD is bound to make someone question themselves – and probably a lot. We’ve encountered many who’ve said that they felt as if a light has been shined down on them bringing clarity and answers once they have received reasoning for their behaviors and reactions.
The most common emotional effects living with untreated ADHD:

  • Feeling inadequate for anything made them feel as if they were running on fumes.
  • Like they were from outer space as they couldn’t relate or make regular things work.
  • Super paranoid – as if everyone is making fun of them.
  • Like they had tunnel vision. They would be so consumed by one thing for years and left other important aspects of their life fall apart.
  • They felt bored and had trouble holding a job long term.

 

Neurofeedback for ADHD

Have you heard of Neurofeedback? It’s one of the most clinically effective ways to alleviate and stabilize symptoms of ADHD – along with Life Coaching and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

And this is all non-invasive and without the use of pharmaceuticals. Once you swallow the pill, you pretty much give up control. Side effects can make you sleepy, nauseous, have an allergic reaction that causes you to break out with a skin reaction… it’s all in the flip of a coin.

With Neurofeedback, you keep your control and train your brain to heal itself rather than teaching it to rely on medication to curb symptoms.

 

The Science Behind It

People with ADHD tend to generate too much of the slower brain waves, known as Theta brain-waves located in the Frontal Cortex. As a result, those with ADHD have a shortage of high-frequency Beta brain waves.

What Neurofeedback Therapy does is that it trains your brain to reverse the ratio of Theta and Beta brain waves.

Beta waves: associated with efficient information processing and problem-solving

Theta waves: associated with creativity, insight, deep meditation, and reduced consciousness.

 

You Got It!

It’s important for you, or if someone you love who you think has ADHD to know that you are in control and you can bring clarity to your life. Symptoms of ADHD can be overwhelming and drowning but it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you want to schedule a Therapeutic Assessment to start your ADHD journey, contact us at any time and we can point you in the right direction

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How Neurofeedback May Alleviate Symptoms of ADHD

The most traditional treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is stimulant medication. However, medication may come with side effects—and it treats the symptoms, not the root cause of the problem.

Think of the common cold. The cause is a virus, and the symptoms are often a sore throat, runny nose, and cough. You can treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medications that will temporarily relieve or stop them. However, they do nothing to actually get rid of the virus.

So, if stimulant medications relieve the symptoms of ADHD, what will treat the actual cause?

Enter Neurofeedback.

 

What Is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is not medication. It is a technique, a learning process, that teaches you to control certain brain functions.

Put another way, once you swallow medication, you are no longer in control of it. You have given up control to the little pill and are subject to its effects and side effects on your body. The pill may make you sleepy; it may make you nauseous. If you have an allergy to it, it may cause you to break out in hives. It could even kill you…

With Neurofeedback, though, you are in complete control. In the process of Neurofeedback, you are retraining your brain to act in different and better ways.

How is this accomplished?

 

How Does Neurofeedback Work?

Your brain is very complex, and there’s a lot of stuff going on up there. One very important part of your brain is brainwaves, which are patterns of electrical pulses that enable the various parts of your brain to communicate with each other.

For our purposes, we’re going to keep it simple, and we are going to concentrate on only five types of brain waves: alpha, beta (BAY-ta), delta, gamma, and theta (THAY-ta) waves. Each of these brainwaves moves at different speeds (frequencies) through the brain and each has a particular effect on the brain. Frequencies are measured in hertz (abbreviated Hz.)

Think of a symphony orchestra. You’re sitting in the concert hall, and the percussionist is beating the timpani (kettle drum) in long, slow beats. This represents the delta waves—the slowest of the brain waves. It’s almost a hypnotic sound—you find yourself falling asleep. Suddenly the flute joins in with very fast, high-pitched notes. Those are the gamma waves—the fastest of the brain waves. Suddenly you’re wide-awake and energized! The other brainwaves correspond to other instruments in the orchestra—not as slow as the drumbeat, and not as fast and excitable as the flute.

Following are the five brainwaves broken down into their frequencies and their general characteristics.

  • Frequency range 1­–4 Hz. Associated with deep, restorative sleep; unawareness; deep unconsciousness.
  • Frequency range 4–8 Hz. Associated with periods of creativity; insight; daydreaming; depression; anxiety; and distractibility.
  • Frequency range 8–12 Hz. Associated with alertness; peacefulness; readiness; meditation; physical relaxation.
  • Frequency range 13–30 Hz. Associated with thinking, focusing, sustained attention; tension; alertness; intensity; excitement.
  • Frequency range above 30Hz. Associated with learning; cognitive processing; intensely focused attention; problem solving tasks; mental sharpness; memory.

You always have some degree of each of these brainwave frequencies present in different parts of your brain. For example, if you become drowsy, more delta waves creep in. If you are inattentive to what’s going on around you and your mind is wandering, theta waves tend to build up. If you suddenly become anxious and tense, an excessively high frequency of beta waves may be present in different parts of your brain.

A person with ADHD tends to have too many slow waves (usually theta, and sometimes alpha) present in the front part of the brain (frontal cortex). As a result, this person will generally have problems with concentration and focus; memory; impulse control; mood regulation; and hyperactivity.

 

Neurofeedback Training for ADHD

Let’s say you have ADHD and want to try Neurofeedback.

A clinician with specialized expertise in brain function will do the testing. Because Neurofeedback is not one-size-fits-all, an assessment of your brainwaves is necessary to find out if you have too many or too few frequencies in various parts of  your brain. Your neurofeedback treatment can then be tailored specifically for your brain.

The clinician will place electrodes at various places on your head, corresponding to various parts of your brain. Rather, the electrodes will measure your brain activity—and you will be able to see it instantly on a computer screen!

Once the assessment is complete, your Neurofeedback treatment can begin. Your treatment may be only 30 or 40 sessions, or may be up to 60 sessions, depending on the severity of your ADHD. Each session lasts about 45 to 50 minutes.

At the beginning of each session, one or more electrodes will be placed on your scalp. You may then be asked to play a video game, using only your brain. You will use your mind to control what is happening on the video screen.

When your brain functions the way it’s supposed to, the computer will give you on-screen rewards. If you get distracted, the computer will let you know that you need to readjust your focus. With a little practice, you can control your brain activity and play the whole game without interruption.

In another example, you may be asked to watch your favorite movie instead of playing a video game. When your brain is focused, the movie plays. If you get distracted, the sound fades and the picture goes black—a signal that you need to refocus your brain.

What you are doing is retraining your brain to exist in a more focused state. You are actually changing your brain! Eventually you will automatically focus and won’t have to be reminded to do so by a black picture or fading sound.

Think of it this way. There was a point in your life when you didn’t know how to ride a bike. When you started out, you had to learn how to balance, how to pedal, how to steer, how to go around corners, and where to look.

Once in a while you may have fallen off the bike, which reminded you to pay more attention to what you were doing. Eventually, though, when you hopped on the bike, you didn’t have to think about pedaling and balance—your brain automatically knew what to do! And if twenty years went by and you had not ridden a bike in all those years, your brain would know exactly what to do next time you got on a bike.

That’s exactly how neurofeedback helps you control your ADHD symptoms. You don’t have to be reminded to focus—your brain just does it.

 

You’re In Control!

Neurofeedback is safe, and gives you control of healing and organizing your brain. You are not a victim of the brain you were born with. You are the master of the brain you have altered with Neurofeedback. If you or someone you love is interested in trying an alternative, non-invasive therapy, or to augment a current treatment, get in touch with Elumind’s Client Care and schedule a therapeutic assessment and start the journey of healing.

 

 

 

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Neurofeedback: A Promising Treatment for Autism

Recent research indicates that, on average, 1 in 68 children (specifically, 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Children with ASD have difficulty functioning in social interactions, in verbal and non-verbal communication, and behavior. They may appear to be insensitive because of their inability to feel empathy or interpret the emotions of others, or understand another person’s intentions.

Some of these children may also have an extreme sensitivity to sounds, smells, and tactile sensations. (For example, one little boy couldn’t stand the feeling of socks on his feet.) Children with ASD may also display peculiar behaviors or obsessions.

The success of Neurofeedback with autistic children has been well researched and documented. It has been shown to improve focus and attention, sleep, social behaviors, and academic functioning; decrease anxiety and impulsivity, and increase appropriate eye contact.

Through a non-invasive, painless technique, neurofeedback creates a “brain map” that identifies where the brain is having trouble processing information. The subsequent treatment sessions, which are created to fit the specific needs of the individual, assist the child in making long-lasting functional changes without any negative side effects.

 

What Symptoms Can Neurofeedback Treat?

A great deal of research has been done on the Neurofeedback treatment of ASD. Results show significant improvements in measures of attention; impulsivity; reading; spelling; arithmetic; and an average 9-point increase in IQ.

 

Following is a list of 10 symptoms of autism that may be alleviated by Neurofeedback. (Adapted from advancedneurotherapy.com):

  1. Often a person with autism finds sensory stimuli overwhelming and uncomfortable. To compensate, the person will often repeat physical movements or sounds, sometimes for hours on end. Neurofeedback works to make the brain function more calmly and efficiently, reducing the person’s perception of stimuli as being overwhelming. If the patient feels calmer overall and the stimuli around her does not seem overwhelming, the stimming can be reduced or eliminated.
  2. Emotional outbursts. Neurofeedback improves emotional control within the brain to help the brain function calmly. Emotional outbursts are often due to feeling overwhelmed, as the brain does not know how to cope with the information being provided to it. When the brain functions more calmly, the person no longer feels compelled to act out emotionally.
  1. Speech issues. Neurofeedback strengthens brain processing, including the areas in the brain that are responsible for taking in sensory information and building a response. Therefore, Neurofeedback sessions can improve a person’s ability to engage in conversation, process what is being said, and then respond appropriately.
  2. Ritualistic behavior. Ritualistic behavior is often performed to deal with anxiety or overwhelming external stimuli, giving the patient a sense of control. Neurofeedback trains the brain to cope with anxiety and external stimuli with more ease, thereby substantially reducing or eliminating ritualistic behaviors.
  3. Intolerance to change. Neurofeedback trains the brain to process information calmly and appropriately, so when new information is presented, the person is able to cope with the seemingly sudden change without feeling overwhelmed.
  4. Hyperactivity. Neurofeedback teaches the brain to function more calmly and deal with anxiety more appropriately, thereby reducing symptoms of hyperactivity.
  5. Impulsivity. Impulsivity can be significantly reduced or eliminated as the brain learns to cope with anxiety in a healthy, sustainable way through Neurofeedback.
  6. Inability to follow directions. A person with autism often has difficulty following directions. Neurofeedback sessions enable the brain to function more efficiently and calmly, allowing the patient to improve information processing, which improves the ability to follow directions.
  7. Anxiety. Many symptoms of ASD are rooted in anxiety. If the brain is flooded with anxiety, processing information can be overwhelming and cause emotional reactions. Once the brain learns to calm itself, anxiety can be reduced or eliminated.
  8. Issues with social skills. When the brain is working at its best, with far less anxiety and better processing, social interaction becomes easier. Parents of autistic children who have had Neurofeedback treatment have reported a significant improvement in social interaction.

 

How Many Sessions?

The number of Neurofeedback sessions varies widely and depends on the specific complaints of the individual. Some may show marked improvement after 15 sessions; others may require 40 or more.

 

Case Studies

The following are real-life stories of two people with autism who underwent neurofeedback therapy (stories courtesy of The Neurodevelopment Center).

 

Sally

“Sally was smart as a whip. But she struggled to understand the social world and to remain calm and in control of herself. She completely avoided playing with other children her age. She was rigid and bossy. After ten weeks and 20 sessions of neurofeedback training, Sally showed very significant improvements in her social functioning… Sally was able to enjoy herself in play with peers for the first time in her life and was much calmer, more flexible, and happier—in school and at home.”

 

Sam

“Sam’s Dad came to us looking for a new approach to treatment for autism spectrum disorder. His son Sam was a junior in college. Although Sam had coped reasonably well in high school, he just could not handle the complexities of life in college. He became totally isolated and very depressed. He had to drop out of school. “Sam responded well to Neurofeedback. In ten weeks, after 20 neurofeedback sessions, his social functioning improved dramatically…His Dad joked at the time that he was afraid his son had become a bit of a party animal. For the first time in his life, being social was as much of a priority as grades! Three years later, Sam continues to do very well socially, with several close friends and an active social life.”

 

Tried and True

Neurofeedback is not a new concept; it was developed over 50 years ago. Decades of research trials have ensued, and the results indicate that neurofeedback is a sustainable treatment with positive, beneficial results for people with autism.

If you want to schedule a Therapeutic Assessment to start the journey, contact us at any time and we can point you in the right direction

 

 

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How To Best Serve a Child With Autism

If you are the parent, teacher, or friend of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and are wondering how best to help him or her, there are several things to keep in mind.

 

Accept Your Child

Your child is different from non-ASD children, but rather than focus on the differences, on what you think your child may be lacking, practice acceptance of their disability—and abilities! Many times, children with ASD—even those who are non-verbal—have special gifts and talents. Encourage your child to develop these characteristics. Just like anyone else, the autistic child will often respond well to positive reinforcement.

Nothing will help your child more than to feel unconditional love and acceptance. Treasure your child for who they are.

 

Learn As Much As You Can

The more you know about ASD, the better equipped you will be to relate to and help the child. Educate yourself about the disorder—and especially about your child. No two children are alike, so pay special attention to what your child’s specific challenges are. Figure out what triggers his disruptive behaviors and what prompts a positive response.

What stresses or frightens your child? What calms them? What do they find uncomfortable, or enjoyable? Once you understand what affects your child, you will be better prepared to create or modify situations that will best serve them.

Children on the spectrum all have different strengths and weaknesses. No one knows your child as you do, so it’s up to you to make sure their needs are being met.

 

Common Needs and Characteristics

Although children with ASD differ from one another, there are certain things that they have in common and can benefit from. Giving special attention to these things can help your child thrive.

Structure:

Children on the spectrum crave consistency, and they tend to do best when they have a highly structured schedule or routine. Keeping regular times for meals, therapy appointments, school, and bedtime will go a long way to soothing your child. Keep disruptions to a minimum. If you do encounter an unavoidable change, prepare your child for it in advance.

Safety:

Set up a “safe zone” in your home where your child can relax and feel secure. If your child is prone to tantrums or injurious behavior, remove any objects that they may access to hurt themselves or others.

Consistent Consequences:

Along with needing structure, make sure that your response to your child’s positive and negative behaviors is consistent. If praise is given, be specific about which behavior you are praising. Likewise, if they have exhibited negative behavior, be specific about which behavior you would like them to change.

Sensory Sensitivities:

Many children with ASD are extra sensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. By the same token, some children are “under-sensitive” to sensory stimuli, and may, for example, enjoy being in crowded, noisy places, or banging doors and objects.

Some children are sensitive to textures in food or clothing. For example, they may wish to eat only “smooth” foods, such as mashed potatoes or ice cream, or they might refuse to wear socks or long sleeves. If such is the case, don’t force your child to eat food or wear clothing that they are uncomfortable with.

Communication:

Depending on where they fall on the spectrum, children with ASD often find it difficult to communicate with others. They may not understand social rules or cues, or may not be able to feel empathy. Some can speak; others are non-verbal.

When communicating with a child with ASD, it may help to keep your language simple or to use pictures or symbols. Sign language is often helpful. The child may take longer to process information; they may not understand rules or instructions. Be patient. It is probably just as frustrating for the child as it is for you. Praise them when they understand or when they’re able to successfully communicate something to you.

(The subject of communication with a child with autism is far too complex to discuss adequately here. Consult with your child’s doctor or therapist to develop a treatment plan that will best suit your child’s specific needs.)

Play:

Play can be difficult for children with autism. They may prefer to play alone, rather than with other children. They may want to play with others, but not know how. They may find it difficult to choose what to do. Nevertheless, it is important to provide playtime for them. Let their specific interests be your guide.

Stimming

Everyone “stims,” or self-stimulates, to some degree. Common stimulating behaviors include:
  • Biting your fingernails
  • Twirling your hair around your finger
  • Cracking your knuckles
  • Drumming your fingers
  • Tapping your pencil
  • Jiggling your foot
  • Whistling

Most stimming behavior is not annoying to others but if it is—if your constant clicking of a pen bothers someone—you generally pick up on the cue by the look on their face, and you stop the clicking.

 

But the stimming of a person with autism often take much more noticeable forms. These might include:
  • Rocking back and forth
  • Flapping hands or flicking or snapping fingers
  • Bouncing, jumping, or twirling
  • Pacing or walking on tiptoes
  • Pulling hair
  • Repeating words or phrases
  • Repetitive blinking
  • Staring at lights or rotating objects, such as a ceiling fan
  • Licking, rubbing or stroking particular objects
  • Sniffing people or objects
  • Rearranging objects

An autistic person will continue these stimming behaviors until he or she is calmed or consoled—which may be hours. More serious behaviors, such as head banging, hitting, biting, rubbing skin or scratching, or swallowing dangerous items, can cause physical harm and necessitate an intervention.

 

Take Time Out For You

Living with or helping an autistic child can be draining and overwhelming—for you and the child. You are vital to your child’s success. Therefore, your well-being is of the utmost importance.

Make arrangements for respite care for your child so you can take care of yourself. Engage in hobbies, go for a walk, take a class, have a spa day. Or, just sit quietly and listen to music, read a book, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

You may find it helpful to seek therapy for yourself. It’s a good place to discuss all the emotions that arise because of your circumstances.

And if you have a partner, make sure that you make time for him or her. Be sure to build a “date night” into your routine. It is vital that the two of you are a team and that you nourish your relationship. And since caring for an autistic child can place strain on a marriage, marital therapy may give you and your partner some welcome relief.

 

Famous People on the Autism Spectrum

The autistic child is not doomed to live an unaccomplished life. Many famous current and historical figures are on the spectrum (hint: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates!) Do an Internet search for “famous people with autism.” You’ll no doubt be surprised at the names you see.

Take heart. No matter where on the autism spectrum your child falls, he or she is wonderful, lovable, and can enrich your life.

 

 

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The Surprising Effects of Depression On Your Thoughts and Senses

Like the rest of our bodies, our brains change as we grow older. We become more forgetful; We have a more difficult time remembering what we had for dinner last night, or the name of the person we were introduced to last week. We used to remember appointments without writing them down, but now we have to keep an organizer.

The words on a page start getting fuzzy when we approach the age of 40, and we say “What?” more often as we ask people to repeat what they’ve said to us. Food we used to enjoy might start to smell or taste different.

It’s all a normal part of being human.

Did you know, though, that depression could have these same effects on us, no matter our age?

 

Cognitive Decline

“Cognitive” refers to the intellectual skills of our brains, such as memory, decision-making, judgment, attention, and reason. There are several areas of our brains that assist in cognition, and they are fueled and maintained by chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, that travel with lightning speed along a path of trillions of nerve cells.

When we are depressed, the journey of the neurotransmitters from one nerve cell to the next is interrupted or slowed down, which has a profound effect on our thinking.

 

Executive Function

“Executive function” is your brain’s air traffic controller. It takes a jumble of thoughts and impulses and steers them in the appropriate directions, resulting in safe and productive outcomes. It allows you to plan, focus your attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks.

Executive function consists of three primary parts:
  • Working memory—allows you to process information, solve complex tasks, and understand deep ideas
  • Inhibitory control—allows you to concentrate, regulate your emotions, and control your behavior
  • Cognitive flexibility—allows you to adapt to new tasks quickly, and change your perspective. If you can’t adapt, you get stuck in old thought patterns, and people might think you stubborn and uncooperative.

Now let’s break these down.

 

Memory

If you’re suffering from depression you may have trouble remembering things—where you put your keys, the name of that person you were supposed to call, that really important dentist appointment that was—oops, last week… or someone takes the time to explain how to do something and you when you try it, you can’t remember a thing…

 

Attention

People with depression are more likely to experience problems with attention. You start a task, but just can’t concentrate enough to complete it. You get distracted easily and can’t focus. You just started a new book by your favorite author—and you’ve read the first page ten times but can’t recall a single word.

And then you lose patience and explode in anger or dissolve in tears.

 

Decision Making

Depression may render you unable to make even the smallest decisions. You can’t decide what to have for breakfast, what shoes to wear, or whether it would be better to run errands after work today or to wait until tomorrow. Such simple choices completely overwhelm you and you feel so paralyzed with indecision that you don’t make any choices at all.

When you arrive at work your boss lets you know that he’s decided to take a different approach to that project you’ve been working on for three weeks. He wants you to start over. You resist and begin arguing with him. You just can’t bear the thought of making the change. The very thought of starting again makes you feel absolutely exhausted, and you simply don’t know how you’re going to handle this…

And once again, you lose patience and explode in frustration…

 

And Now To Your Senses…

Scientific studies have shown that depression affects all five senses.

Sight

A Harvard University study revealed that when you experience depression, you’re not always able to detect differences in black and white contrasts, so the world takes on more of a grey hue. And the more depressed you are, the greyer the world seems.

Depression may also cause you to be more sensitive to light. This means that light levels that other people find normal can feel almost blinding or painful to you.

Smell

In the brain, olfactory bulbs are responsible for the sense of smell. Scientists have discovered that olfactory bulbs in depressed people are smaller than people who are not depressed. And the more depressed you are, the smaller your olfactory bulbs are likely to be.

Taste

Even your sense of taste can be altered by depression. Food you once loved now tastes bland and unappealing. So you add more seasoning a dish you’re cooking, and your family complains that it’s too salty or spicy (it tastes just fine to you).

Sound

When we feel depressed, many of us are more sensitive to sounds and noise. Everyday sounds can thus be difficult to cope with, resulting in more depression, irritability, and anxiety. Turn down the volume on the television or radio. To dull bothersome sounds you can’t control, you might want to wear ear protectors—the kind construction workers wear when they are using a jackhammer—or the spongy earplugs that fit in your ear canal.

Touch

When you live with depression, it’s common to feel more sensitive to pain and touch. An otherwise-welcome hug may be unpleasant or even painful to you. Different types of textures may seem intolerable. If this is the case, try to make your environment more acceptable and comfortable. If the texture of your clothing bothers you, wear a thin cotton layer under clothes that are more abrasive. Wrap yourself in a fluffy throw when you read or watch television.

Often being under something heavy can help you feel calm. Weighted blankets are great for this. Put one on your bed and snuggle underneath it. It’s liable to make you feel safe and restful.

 

There Is Hope

If you live with depression, don’t despair. There are ways to mitigate the effect it has on you.

 

Feed your brain

The link between diet and good mental health is growing. Eating a balanced diet and high quality foods will nourish your brain and give it the fuel it needs to keep your cognitive processes in top form.

A brain-friendly, mood-boosting diet includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and limited amounts of sodium, saturated fat, and sugar. A diet high in refined sugars and carbohydrates can impair brain functions and worsen symptoms of depression.

 

Move Your Body

If you are someone who is depressed and finds it difficult to get out of bed, exercise is the last word you want to hear and the last thing you want to do. But if you force yourself to get up, get dressed, and get out the door—whether to a gym or on a walk around your neighborhood—you will feel better. Exercise stimulates the neurotransmitters in the brain whose job it is to make you feel good. You’ll be glad you made the effort!

 

Engage in Therapy.

Seeking therapy is not a sign of weakness; quite the opposite. Those who recognize they need help are the strongest among us. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you don’t need therapy, or that all therapists are “quacks,” or that you should be able to handle your problems by yourself. If you feel you could benefit from therapy, make the call and set up an appointment. Just doing so will make you feel better (it’s called “pre-session change”), and you’ll be on your way to living your best life.

 

Try Neurofeedback Therapy

The good news is that this is an exciting tie for neuroscience.  For example, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) recently studied the effectiveness of Neurofeedback as a complementary treatment of depression. Their results suggested that Neurofeedback treatments helped those patients feel well again and positively engage with life. Elumind is having great success with treating people through this therapy. So, brain-based therapies are also part of the solution to helping people with their experience with depression.

We understand what you are going through and are ready and willing to assist you.

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How To Help Your Child With ADHD

If your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), there is one thing that you can do for him or her that is more important than anything else: Make sure your child knows that there is nothing wrong with them. They are not flawed or bad. They is not inferior.

Your child has just as much worth—and just as much potential—as anyone else. If your child believes this—if this is his bedrock foundation for everything else in life—it will assist him in overcoming self-doubt and managing ADHD will be so much easier for him.

That being said, parenting a child with ADHD is not like traditional childrearing. Depending on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms, normal rules and routines can be nearly impossible to carry out. You will have to modify your behavior and learn to manage your child’s behavior. But there are a number of things you can do that will make life much easier, both for you and for your child.

 

Structure

Consistency and structure are vital. Make a routine for your child and stick to it. A child with ADHD does not always adapt to change and uncertainty as well as others. Knowing what to expect can be calming for your child and can limit challenging behaviors.

 

Impulsivity

The ADHD brain does not lend itself well to thinking of consequences before acting. Therefore, one of your child’s characteristics may be impulsivity, which can lead to challenging or inappropriate behaviors. Such behaviors can present a problem in a school or other setting where you are not present. Your child may face bullying and teasing because of his outbursts, which can leave him feeling lonely and left out, exacerbating the problem he may already have with feeling “different.”

Jill, an intelligent 8-year-old in Grade 3, was experiencing some difficulty with peers at school. With her permission and the permission of the teacher, Mum gave a talk to the class about ADHD. Mum explained that Jill had a type of disability, and while it wasn’t visible, as it would be if Jill were in a wheelchair, ADHD is disabling, nonetheless. She explained that nothing was “wrong” with Jill, but that her brain just functioned differently from others in the class. Mum was glad to answer the children’s questions to help them understand Jill’s challenges.

From that point on, what had previously seemed like odd behaviors became an accepted part of Jill’s personality. The teasing and bullying stopped, and Jill was embraced as an important and welcome member of the class.

 

Rules

It’s important that you establish rules at home, and that they are simple and clear. Just as important are clearly established consequences for breaking the rules. Encourage your child to think of the consequences before he chooses an inappropriate behaviour. When they obeys a rule, be sure to give them positive feedback. And be specific: Don’t just say, “Good job.” Define what it was that you appreciated: “I am so happy that you did your homework before turning on the television.”

 

Simplify and Organize

The ADHD brain is easily distractible—subject to the so-called “shiny object syndrome.” Regulate television, video games, and computer time as these interfere with concentration.

Simplifying and organizing your home will reduce unnecessary distractions. Provide a quiet place for your child to do homework, read, or take a break from everyday life. Keep your home neat and organized so your child knows where everything is. Chaos and uncertainty are adversarial to the ADHD brain.

 

Pick Your Battles

Your child’s impulsive and hyperactive behaviour can be challenging. Don’t attempt to correct every problem. Let the smaller things go, as it will alleviate stress—yours and your child’s—in the long run.

Maybe your child finished only two out of three assigned chores. Congratulate him on having focused on the two he did complete, and don’t criticize what he was not able to accomplish.

 

Pay Attention To The Basics

As with any child anywhere, it’s important that your child get enough nutrition, sleep, and exercise. If they balks at exercise, remind them that many great athletes have ADHD. Search the Internet for “famous people with ADHD.” You’re bound to be surprised—and your child will be encouraged.

 

Who’s The Boss?

Many parents and children use ADHD as an excuse for poor behavior. ADHD is not the boss here. Your child is the ultimate boss of their behaviour, and are capable of learning appropriate responses to life. It may take some extra work, but it’s important to conquer it.

Many famous people have ADHD and are highly successful. In fact, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison both had ADHD. At no time did Edison say, “I can’t invent the light bulb. I have ADHD.” Neither he nor Einstein—nor thousands of others—ever let their disability get in the way of their accomplishments. Reinforce this to your child. He can do anything he sets his mind to. It may take more concentration and effort, but he is eminently capable of achieving his goals.

 

Time Out

As a parent dedicated to helping your child, you will undoubtedly face times of exhaustion. Don’t feel guilty for needing a break! You’re only human. It’s vital that you take time out to rejuvenate and replenish your energy.

And don’t make the mistake of assuming that other parents of kids with ADHD are coping so much better than you are. This is not a contest. Each parent and each child are in unique circumstances. They are doing their best, and so are you.

 

You’re Not Alone

Your journey with your child with ADHD may seem lonely at times. Rest assured; you are not alone. ADHD is the most prevalent and the most treatable childhood psychiatric disorder in Canada. Though statistics vary somewhat, the Ontario Child Health Study reports that 6.1% of children ages 4 to 16 have ADHD. Likewise, the Quebec Child Mental Health Survey reports a 5.4% prevalence among children ages 6 to 14.

Canada has support groups country wide—both for parents and for their children with ADHD. Check with your child’s health care provider, or contact your local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Learn all you can about ADHD. Each child is different; learn how it affects your child.

 

What Shall I Tell My Child?

Sometimes parents don’t know how much the child should know about their ADHD. Be honest. Explain to your child that having ADHD is not her fault, that it doesn’t make her a “bad” person, and that she can learn ways to improve the problems it causes. Explain to him that for people with ADHD, the skills that control attention, behavior, and activity don’t come naturally.

Don’t overwhelm your child with information, though. Tell him just enough to satisfy him. As he gets older, he will be able to understand more of the specifics of the disorder.

 

Professional Help

Be sure to stay in close contact with your child’s primary healthcare provider and keep abreast of new developments in the treatment of ADHD.  Individuals under medical supervision, who have undergone Neurofeedback therapy, have been able to reduce some of their medication, strongly reduce impulsivity symptoms and gain control over concentration. Your child deserves the best, and so do you.