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Dr Hallowell ADHD and mental and cognitive health

A resource about ADD, ADHD, and mental health




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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

December 16th, 2014

Holiday Message from Dr. Hallowell

Dear Friends,

So now we are in full-bore holiday mode.  Like most people, I love parts of this time of year, and dread other parts.

On the downside, we see the rapacious commercialization that has come to infest the month of December.  We see shopping malls crowded to the point of being almost impossible to get to, let alone shop in.  We see lonely people surrounded by celebrations that only leave them feeling more lonely.  We see office parties that reek of hypocrisy as people feel they have to attend, even though they may quite dislike the place where they work. We see people getting triggered by memories of unhappy holidays from their childhood, or even just last year.  In short, we see a ton of misery under the mistletoe, amidst the Hanukkah gifts, or around whichever tradition you might choose.  Even if you are part of no tradition, that creates its own peculiar sorrow.

On the other hand.  There’s always that other hand.  The older I get, the more sorrow I see, but also the more courage I witness.  I have a niece who is one of the bravest women I know.  She would kill me for saying so, so please don’t tell her.  But she is a true hero.  Nearly killed in a childhood accident when she fell down a laundry chute at age 5, she went on to become a world class equestrian, participant in the World Championships, after which she said to herself, “Well, I can’t do this forever, so I better get a job.”  The “job” she picked was to go back to school, take pre-med courses, go to medical school, and become a doctor.  Now she is an Emergency Room physician, married to a major player in the equestrian world, and mother of an adorable little girl.

She’s known tragedy.  Her mother died at the age of 58 of cancer.  And just two years ago her brother, an orthopedic surgeon, died of ALS, still in his 30’s.  Devastated by these horrible losses, my niece soldiered on, making the best of a life she’d seen shattered in profound ways.

Now she faces difficult and painful back surgeries to correct the damage done by her childhood fall.  Her attitude?  Brave, determined, positive.  Told she’d be out of commission for two months, she replied, “You don’t know me.”

Where does that come from?  The “you-don’t-know-me” gutsy, gritty grip on life?  Wherever it comes from, that’s what I want to celebrate this month.  The will to live.  The push to prevail.  The refusal to be knocked out, even after you’ve been knocked down.

I look at my niece and feel inspired and emboldened by her example.  She is not the least impressed by herself, which just makes her all the more impressive.

Friends, let us all find the impressive in each other.  Let us all be there for one another this holiday season.  Let us all make the most of whatever situation we are in, much as my niece is doing now.  Let us take inspiration where we find it, and provide inspiration where we can.

This holiday season, at its core, rings in hope.  It is a celebration of hope, of the triumph of the will to live over the forces that oppose life, of possibility over impossibility and despair.

Rejoice in one another and in hope.  Be there.  Look up, look homeward, look for the best in all you see and take in.

My warmest, most hopeful wishes go with you.


December 15th, 2014

Academic Resuscitation with Executive Function Coaching.

Report Card S.O.S. - Emergency Academic Recovery Service (EARS) was developed after years of training middle school to college age students to ramp up their school performance in very short periods of time. Often, executive functioning is the culprit — planning, organizing, initiating, emotional regulation, working memory, inhibition and the ability to shift between tasks and emotional states. Everyone has some executive functioning strengths, but it’s the weaknesses that can cause havoc in school performance. This is not traditional tutoring. EARS enables your student to develop the skills and habits for long-term success.  Read more at Hallowell Sudbury Center.


December 11th, 2014

ADHD and Executive Function Coaching Now Available via Phone or Skype at Hallowell Centers

Hallowell Centers offer coaching via phone or Skype. Especially valuable for those who live far from a Center. Please contact us for a free inquiry at 978 287-0810. Makes a great gift!

December 10th, 2014

Dr. Hallowell, The Focus Doctor, Helps with Work Distractions in Latest Book

I am a focus doctor. “Attention deficit trait” or ADT, is a term I coined in 1994 to describe an increasingly common problem in the modern workplace. My latest book “Driven to Distraction at Work”, now available on Amazon, thoroughly describes the 6 most common distractions and how to handle them. Available for the holidays. Who doesn’t love someone struggling with workplace demands?

The reason I am so excited is that this book hits a bullseye. It brings together, in one place for the first time, a comprehensive plan to fix one of modern life’s most frustrating and challenging problems: the lack of focus most of feel as we are pulled in a thousand directions all at once every day, peppered with messages and plagued with unplanned interruptions. Delivered to Distraction at Work offers practical solutions you can use right away.

This new book is not about ADHD; as you know, I’ve dealt with that elsewhere. But I do bring to bear my 30+ years of experience and knowledge as a “focus doctor” to offer a plan to treat the uniquely modern condition I call Attention Deficit Trait or ADT. While perhaps 5% of the population has ADHD, I’d guess from 50% – 75% of us feel as if we have true attention deficit disorder as we struggle to focus every day and master our own ADT.

Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed, distracted, pulled off course, if not all the time, at least often enough that we’d say sustaining focus is a chronic challenge in our lives?

In the book I define 6 different patterns of ADT, each deriving from your own situation and individual psychology. There is an online quiz you can take to determine which type you are.

For example, chapter 1 addresses perhaps the most common type of ADT, that of the “screen-sucker, the person who can’t break the habit of excessive use of screens of all kinds. Another type is the person who is distracted by excessive worry; another the person who is excessively conscientious and is distracted by a chronic need to do for others first. Taken together the 6 types cover the most common patterns of distraction at work.

Most people can see themselves in one or more of the 6 types. With each type I offer a set of practical solutions to solve the problem, regain focus, and get back to a more productive daily routine.

I urge you to take ADT seriously. If you don’t, you risk falling into the common, modern trap of being frantically busy without being innovative, deep, or as productive as you otherwise could be.

In this new book I address ADT head-on, a problem that tens of millions of people face every day without even naming, let alone solving.

The solutions I offer are practical, individualized, time-tested, and rooted in current scientific research from various disciplines.

With this note, I am hoping to get your help to get this new book off to strong launch. As the readers of my newsletter, you are my most loyal and well-informed audience. I know you as a group, and I am sure this book will prove to be both useful and enlightening, as well as entertaining. If I am correct, please tell others, as books depend upon word of mouth. If Driven to Distraction at Work does sound interesting to you, please order it–at a discount–on Amazon.com, and tell your colleagues and friends to do the same.

November 26th, 2014

Dr. Hallowell Describes ADHD On Boston’s WCVB The Chronicle

Dr. Hallowell was on Boston WCVB’s The Chronicle program last night. Did you see it?

Dr. Hallowell describes how ADHD can take a toll on marriage here.

Dr. Hallowell describes how ADHD can be a blessing here.

Dr. Hallowell describes how lifelong ADHD can pose serious risks here.

Dr. Hallowell describes what happens when adults discover they have ADHD here.

November 24th, 2014

Dr. Hallowell Live Google Hangout 11/25 on Understood.org

On Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at noon Eastern, Dr. Hallowell and Shelly London will join Devin Thorpe of Forbes.com for a live discussion about Understood. Tune in here to watch the interview live.

Understood is a comprehensive free online resource that empowers parents through personalized support, daily access to experts, specially designed tools and a secure community.

Learn more here.



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