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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

May 1st, 2019

Removing the Stigma of ADHD

Dr. Hallowell says, “Fear and shame are the major learning disabilities.”  Getting rid of shame and fear are key! Kids, and this includes kids with ADHD, Dyslexia or any learning challenge, need to feel emotionally safe in the classroom and at home.

In Ep 35, Perfectly Obstinate People with Kathy Kolbe on Removing the Stigma of ADHD, Kathy Kolbe and Dr. Hallowell discuss their views on ADHD and the importance of removing the stigma associated with ADHD. Dr. Hallowell shares his tips on how to harness the power of ADHD.  Listen now using any of the links below:

Perfectly Obstinate People website: https://perfectlyobstinate.com/25

iTunes: https://apple.co/2IS9FYv

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2GROYIN

Learn more about ADHD here.


April 27th, 2019

ADHD Advice for Middle Schoolers

In S3 Mini 29, Dr. Hallowell offers up tips for helping your  6th, 7th and 8th graders manage their ADHD so they can thrive during these critical years.

If you just found out that your child has ADHD, learn more HERE.

April 17th, 2019

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED: Wanted: Women Who Have Not Been Diagnosed with ADHD

We are no longer accepting applications.  THANK YOU to everyone who volunteered.  The producer is still reviewing applications. When a final decision is made, we will notify everyone who applied.

Note from Dr. Hallowell below:

When I sent out the invitation to participate in my upcoming documentary, I didn’t know what kind of response to expect, since I had never sent out such an appeal before.  I knew it would take some courage to reply, because appearing on screen before an international audience is no small exposure, and I also knew I was restricting the invitation to women over 24 who believed they had ADHD but in whom it had not been diagnosed.  For all I knew, I’d get only one or two responses.

Well,  we have received over 1000 responses and counting!  I can’t thank you enough.  I am so moved.  It is a testament to the courage, generosity, and desire to help others of this community, and proof of your ongoing willingness to stand up and be counted.  I am so very, very impressed.  It’s easy to remain silent in anonymity, but it takes real guts to say, “OK, I’ll give it a shot, I’m willing to share my story on an international stage if it will help others.”  

Honestly, your response gave me a huge shot of faith-in-human-nature, a massive drink from the cup of people-are-there-when-you-need-them.  None of you had to reply, there was nothing in it for you, nothing but the chance to help others and share what you’ve lived through.  It proved to me what I’ve known all along, that this community if full of hugely generous, giving, trusting, good people.

We hope this project, this documentary, will advance the strength-based model of ADHD that I’ve been building since I learned about ADHD back in 1981.  The time has come to demolish the deficit-based model.  Yes, as my friend and greatly respected colleague Russell Barkley has shown, untreated ADHD can ruin your life, costing you on average 13 years, but if you take care of your ADHD can treat it properly, it can take you to the top, as it did for Tim Armstrong, as it did for David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue, or Heather Reisman, CEO of Canada’s Indigo Books, or Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines, or so many of the entrepreneurs who built this country and other countries and are making the world great today.

Thank you all for joining this great effort. The time has come for us to rise up victorious, stigmatized and shamed no more, and stake our claim as the brilliant, innovative, and valued creators we can be.

With my heartfelt best wishes,

Ned Hallowell


               Hello my friends. In this note from Ned I want to make an unusual offer.  I am in the middle of collaborating with some wonderful people in making a documentary about ADHD.  We want it to present this condition with emphasis on the strengths that so often accompany it, as we hope the documentary will go a long way toward combating the terrible stigma that still prevents both children and adults from getting the help that could change their lives forever.

              While we will be emphasizing strengths, we will also portray the terrible dangers inherent in not taking ADHD seriously, the great risk of addiction, of unemployment in adulthood, of poor school performance, of medical problems due to lack of follow up, and the host of other problems that have led Dr. Russell Barkley to conclude that untreated ADHD costs on average 13 years of life.  It’s a high risk proposition.  We want the public to understand that this condition can ruin your life or it can make your life great.  We want to blow away stigma and replace it with knowledge and truth so that people can take advantage of the upside.

               My offer is this.  If you’d like to be part of this truth, if you’d like to appear in the documentary, please get in touch with me.  Because adult women are the largest undiagnosed group, we are looking for adult women who have not been diagnosed before with ADHD but believe they might have it.  If you are such a person, or know such a person, and if you’d like to be filmed for a documentary that will be released internationally, then please contact my assistant, Dianne, at hallowellevents@yahoo.com.

               The producers will screen you to see if you are appropriate, and if you are, I will do an evaluation free of charge and begin treatment, also free of charge.  This entire process, after the screening, could be filmed.

                Obviously, this is not for everyone.  But if you are the kind of person who’d like to appear on screen and make a difference by showing what ADHD is really like, by showing the strengths and the power it packs, as well as the frustrations, and if you are a woman over 24 years old and you believe you might have ADHD, then contact Dianne.

                 We hope this documentary will make a big difference.  It won’t come out until January of 2021, so there’s a lot of work yet to be done.  Let us know if you want to be part of it.

                  With all best wishes,   Ned

April 5th, 2019

Your ADHD Brain is a Ferrari

My goal is to help people master the power of ADHD while avoiding its pitfalls. When the diagnosis of ADHD emphasizes what is wrong with a person, that person immediately starts to see himself in those negative terms. Shame, fear and self-doubt grow. However, when the treatment of ADHD begins with an effort to find what’s good in a person by using a strength-based approach to ferret out their hidden strengths and emphasizes what is positive, then the person sees himself in a positive light.  

When explaining ADHD to a child, I say, “you have a turbo charged mind – like a Ferrari engine, but the brakes of a bicycle, and I’m the break expert.”   When ADHD is properly treated, the person can achieve great heights: doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, dreamers, innovators, explorers and even Harvard grads.   Founders of our country may have had ADHD. The flip-side of distractibility is curiosity.  

Read my ADDitude article “Your Brain is a Ferrari,” to learn more and watch my “RaceCar Brain” video below:

If you just found out your child has ADHD, learn more HERE.

April 4th, 2019

ADHD and Addiction

Of the many masks that ADHD wears, substance abuse is one of the most difficult to see behind because the substance abuse itself causes such problems. When someone is alcoholic, abusing opiates, or vaping, we often become so preoccupied with the problems the drug use creates that we fail to consider what purpose the drug must be servicing for the user. ADHD is one of the underlying causes of substance abuse that is particularly important to look for, because it can be treated.

For those addicts who do in fact have ADHD, it is essential that the ADHD be treated as well as the addiction. By treating the ADHD one reduces the likelihood that the individual will go back to abusing the original drug.

Those with ADHD are 5 to 10 times more likely to develop an addiction to a chemical substance or to an activity, or both. In Distraction S3 Ep 28,  ADHD coach and advanced practice nurse, Kristin Seymour, joins me to discuss the very real issue of ADHD and addiction in young people. Kristin specializes in treating adolescent boys and has seen firsthand the devastating consequences that vaping, opioids and other substances can have on young lives.

LISTEN NOW  to my podcast with Kristin and learn more about ADHD and addiction, the harmful effects of juuling and the advice you should stress to your kids about pills.

Statistically only 10% of people with addictions, get help. That means 90% of addicts don’t seek treatment. If you or someone you know are struggling with addiction, I encourage you to seek help for yourself or the person you know now.

Learn more about ADHD treatment HERE

Learn more about getting help for addiction at the:

National Institute on Drug Abuse

National Drug Helpline

This episode is sponsored by Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more HERE.

March 20th, 2019

Varsity Blues – What Do You Really Want for Your Children?

Dr. Hallowell’s Reaction to the College Admissions Cheating Scandal:

When I feel as much contempt as I felt for Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, et al., I stop and ask myself, “And how pure are you?”  This current trick of buying the offspring of the wealthy an admission to college particularly enraged me because I’ve just put our three kids through college, after seeing them gain admission the honest way, and as a child psychiatrist, I work with many families who are going through the process right now. It can be an arduous, stressful process full of fear, uncertainty, and disappointment.  To see some select few buy their way around it is disgusting at best.

But moral outrage always makes me think twice.  As I said, how pure am I. Every Sunday in church I confess to God that I have sinned in many ways and have once again not lived up to my promise to love my neighbor as myself.  That these various wealthy people used their money to do what they now, I would imagine, are thoroughly ashamed of having done, makes me think of them, if I stop and think, rather than simply react as the primitive man I can so easily be, that they are ever so human.

A snake-like character (who has his own all-too-human qualities) tempted them with one of the most alluring and appealing of all prizes a parent can be offered, a plum college admission for their son or daughter, thus sparing said child the pain and possible humiliation of the highly competitive college admission process. The snake’s wealthy target couldn’t resist a guaranteed admission to a desirable college (knowing nothing of the true value of competing to get in, or the true value of college in general, or probably the true value of just about anything in life any longer) and so he jumps for offer.

His or her son or daughter has it made, right?  Little does the wealthy person know that even had the bribe not come to light, the transaction nonetheless would have cast a curse upon the child’s life forever.

These wealthy people were blinded by what they took to be love, were they not, and they saw a way they could afford to help their child, or so they thought, not knowing that this help was crippling, just as it had likely been ever since the child was born.  Good parents do not do this kind of thing, regardless of their wealth, but I go off track.

My main point is Loughlin, Huffman, et al. are guilty of being human.  Sure, I sat in judgement of them when I first heard of this and thought it represented everything venal and detestable about wealth and privilege and underscored the hypocrisy of so many people who pretend to be one person but are in reality another.

But then I thought of my own little hypocrisies, my own little sins, and I reminded myself maybe I hadn’t done what those folks did simply because I didn’t have that kind of money and that snake had never approached me.  I don’t know Felicity Huffman.  I bet if I sat down and talker with her I’d like her a lot.         

I just think that judging people is a really dangerous habit to get into.  I sure don’t want other people to judge me.  So I’m going to try to look at the humanity of the Varsity Blue scandal and learn from that, rather than heap more scorn and contempt upon people I don’t even know.

Right now, I encourage you to take a few moments and think of your children. Bring their faces to your mind. Then ask yourself, “What do I really want for them in their lives?”

Don’t assume you know. Before you spend another day as a parent (or as a teacher or a coach or anyone else involved with children), try to answer this deceptively simple question: What do I really want for my children?  Is it admission to the most prestigious college? Is it trophies and prizes and stardom? Is it….READ MORE HERE!


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