Archives for March 2012

Are Computer Games Bad For ADHD?

When we tend to think ‘computer games = bad for us”. Usually because they involve sitting still for long periods with zero social interaction and they eat up time when there is something more productive to be done. However, there is a new breed of games that is good for you, your brain and your ADHD.

Here are 3 that I recommend:

www.lumosity.com

Lumosity is a web-based cognitive training program designed by neuroscientists that allows you to improve your mental abilities by playing games. The games are based around 5 cognitive functions: memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving. Based on the areas you particularly want to focus on, Lumosity creates a personalized training program just for you.

Are Computer Games Bad For ADHD?P.S. it has a 3 day free trial so you can test it out.

www.attengo.com

Like Lumosity, Attengo is a web-based cognitive training program. However, the key difference is that it was specifically designed for people with ADD and learning disabilities. The emphasis of the training is on memory and attention. When you sign up, you are assessed on both of these areas and then a program is created for you.

www.brainage.com

Brain Age is played on The Nintendo DS. The premise behind the game is that the opium brain age is 20 years old. Your brain’s age is assessed when you start (I was horrified to find my brains age was 87. Over twice my biological age!). However, with fun games and problems you can quickly lower your age. Brain age was designed to stimulant your prefrontal cortex the anterior part of the frontal lobes and home to executive functions. It is thought that by using this area of the brain with these games you can sharpen intelligence.

As more is learned about the brain, we realize that just like the body, we need to exercise the brain to keep it in good shape. These programs help to develop and improve the cognitive functions that  ADHD adults struggle with…and what better way to do this than by playing games!!

Can you have ADD and ADHD?

ADHD ADDCan you have ADD and ADHD? Great question! The short answer is no; it isn’t possible to have ADD and ADHD as both terms describe the same condition.

However you can have ADHD-Combined Type: Where characteristics of both inattentive and hyperactive / impulsivity are present.

There is a lot of confusion around this topic, so let’s explore it a little deeper.

Because there has been a lot research in the last few decades about ADHD, its official name has changed over time to reflect this new knowledge. However, it’s these name changes that are the reason for the confusion.

Here is the historical timeline of those changes:

1980

ADD: described a person who had Attention Deficit Disorder.

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder described someone who also experienced hyperactivity.1987

ADHD is used for anyone who was diagnosed with what was previously ADD and ADHD.

1994

ADHD is divided into 3 subtypes:

ADHD-Predominantly Inattentive Type: characterized by mainly inattention; people who have problems focusing, completing tasks, are easily distracted and seem forgetful, disorganized, and careless.

ADHD-Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: characterized mainly by hyperactivity and impulsivity. Paying attention is not a major problem; however, you might seem to act and speak before thinking; have lots of energy and always on the go.

ADHD-Combined Type: Characteristics of both inattentive and hyperactive / impulsivity are present. It is the most common type of ADHD. Between two thirds and three quarters of people diagnosed with ADHD,have the characteristics of inattentive and hyperactive / impulsivity ADHD.

I think most of the confusion stems from the memory of the 1980 definition of ADHD. For example, if someone was diagnosed today with ADHD-Combined Type, but used the 1980’s description of ADHD,then it would seem you have both ADHD and ADD.

Even though ADHD is now the official title and ADD / ADHD are the same thing, confusion is made worse because many people, professionals and medical journals use the terms ADD and ADHD interchangeably. This reinforces the idea that they are separate conditions. In addition, people who were diagnosed in the early 1980′s with ADD, identify strongly with that term not ADHD, since in their mind, it would mean they had hyperactivity.

It‘s good to have facts so things are clear in your mind. However, to quote Juliet from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

 

 

How To Eliminate Clutter When You Have ADHD

How To Eliminate Clutter When You Have ADHDADHD and clutter often go hand in hand. Yet clutter in your life, is very damaging. It makes focus and concentration hard, (even if you don’t think it doesn’t effect you it does!). It makes you late because you struggle to find things. It eats your time because belongings need maintenance, even if it’s a dusting once in awhile. A disorganized and cluttered environment keeps you socially isolated because you don’t want to invite people into your space. A disorganized environment makes you feel overwhelmed and anxious and there is a direct link to clutter and depression. These are all compelling reasons to attack your clutter. Yet, it’s very hard to do. It is time consuming and hard on your emotions.

I seem to be on a constant quest to find ways that help adults with ADHD declutter their life…and I have just found a new way! Declutter by numbers.

I don’t know about you, but I love numbers. I find numbers are a great way to monitor progress and success. For example, when writing my book I would religiously record how many words I had written each day. I like to see how many visitors get to my website each day. At Kung Fu, I count the number of push ups I do and when I run I like to know how many minutes I have been running. These sorts of numbers appeal to my competitive side and I try to beat myself the next time.

However, it’s only been in the couple of weeks that it occurred to me to link getting rid of clutter to numbers. Here are 2 great ways to declutter by numbers:

Gail Blanke wrote a book called ‘Throw out fifty things’. The idea is that you walk around your house and throw out or donate fifty things. What I love about this idea is that you have goal 50 things. This turns a seemingly endless task into one where there is a beginning, middle, and end.

She gets you to keep a track by having a scorecard. For example:

3 belts
1 radio
7 books

The idea isn’t actually to throw out 50 belongings rather to throw about 50 categories of belongings.

Gail’s method makes it easy to part with things and she says when you reach 50 a “wonderful momentum takes over; before you know it, the throwing out thing becomes a habit, an ongoing mindset”

The second idea is by Alison. Alison decided to declutter her life one day at a time. Every day she is throwing out one item every day so by the end of year she will be 365 items lighter. This is a great idea because 1 item every day seems very do-able and not overwhelming. Plus, my guess is some days you will want get rid of much more than 1 item. You can learn more about this project at http://clutter365.com/

Whichever declutter by numbers idea you choose good luck and let me know how you get on!

 

Here is another declutting article you will enjoy An Organized Environment

 

Get Things Done Coaching

New Coaching package

I am launching a new coaching package. It’s perfect for you, if you have lots of things you want to get done, and need support while you are doing them.

The Get Things Done’ coaching package is different from the other private coaching packages I offer. Rather than 1-60 minute coaching session every week, or every second week. There are 2- 30 minutes coaching sessions every week for 10 weeks. At the end of each session we write a manageable to do list for you to achieve for the next coaching session.get things done coaching package You never go longer than 4 days without speaking to your ADHD coach (me) and you can email me too. The benefit of this package is that we focus on you creating momentum in your life, getting things done creates success. Success breeds success, and increases your confidence and self esteem.

Sign me up for ‘Get Things Done’!

To see all the coaching options, visit the Coaching page or send me an email at Jacqueline@untappedbrilliance.com