How ADHD Affects Relationships

Overview of How ADHD Affects Relationships:  In couples where one or both partners have ADHD, one of the biggest challenges  is developing mutual empathy and understanding. Without that, couples slip into the blame game.  They struggle and fight. The non-ADHD spouse comes to feel as if she is the parent, not the spouse, of her ADHD mate.  The ADHD spouse feels as if he is the naughty child, always being reprimanded or scolded, always slipping up, always causing problems.  This is what my wife and I call “The Big Struggle,”  which often becomes the standard pattern of interaction.

If “The Big Struggle” isn’t addressed, it can disrupt the relationship and leave each partner frustrated, angry and exhausted.

How to Improve Relationships when ADHD is part of the picture:

The following guidelines or “tips” might be helpful in dealing with other issues of concern to couples in which one partner has ADHD. These tips offer a starting point for discussion between the partners. The best way to use them is to read them out loud together. Pause over each suggestion and discuss whether it might hep you. As you do this, you can begin to set up your own way of dealing with ADHD in your relationship. The keys to it all, as is the case with most problems in couples, are improving communication and resolving the power struggle.

First, make sure both partners understand what ADHD is.

Likewise, make sure that it is properly treated in the ADHD partner by a doctor who really knows what he or she is doing, i.e., someone who has extensive experience with adults who have ADHD.

Set aside time every day to discuss and plan. 

Build a boundary around this time.  No interruptions!  Make a rule that during this time there is to be no blaming, fighting, or leaving the room.  The purpose of this time is to discuss–not argue–and to plan what has to be done that day, that week, that month.  As you do this, you will gradually learn how to communicate rather than struggle, and solve problems rather than create more of them.

Try to understand conflicts from the other person’s point of view. 

This is often difficult!  But doing it gradually leads to mutual understanding, better communication, and deepening of love and respect.

Remember what it is that you like about the other person.

Keep it in the back of your mind for those moments when you’re angry.

Respect, respect, and more respect.

Try always to treat your partner with respect.  Repeated put-downs can become a habit and mark the beginning of the end of a relationship.

How to Avoid the Big Struggle

Attack and defend, defend and attack.   This can become a habit, a very demoralizing and destructive one.

When you see an argument or fight getting started, try to catch yourself and say to yourself, “Let me try to do this a little differently this time.”  If you usually yell, fall silent.  Or if you usually get quiet, speak up.  If you usually cry, don’t.  Likewise, if you usually rage, try negotiating or listening instead.  Just try to vary your usual way of responding.

Have fun together.

Do it however you want to do it, but make time to have fun. Sounds obvious, but many couples don’t do this.

Try to keep up an active sex life.

Distractibility subverts romance and eroticism, but ADHD and sexuality can absolutely co-exist in a healthy relationship. Learn how to revive intimacy, intrigue, and excitement with your partner in this ADDitude article “When ADHD Disrupts (and Ruins) the Romance” by Dr. Hallowell.

Finally, remember, no relationship is constantly happy, perfect, and blissful.

When times are tough, hang in there with each other.  Get some alone time, but don’t go into hiding.  You need each other.  It is easy to be there for each other in good times, but in hard times, this is when you really need one another.  This is when you just plain do it—whatever it is—for the sake of your partner and for your own sake as well.  Don’t give up.  There is always, always hope.

CLICK HERE to learn more about ADHD and Relationships.

In this Distraction Podcast, Dr. Hallowell sat down with his wife Sue for a heartwarming conversation about his own ADHD and their marriage. Sue doesn’t hold back and gives listeners a clear picture of what it’s like to be the only one in their house without ADHD.

ADHD Effect Marriage Seminar Starts September 16th.  Turn around your struggling relationship with this wonderful seminar, given by ADHD relationship expert, Melissa Orlov.  The seminar lasts 8 weeks, is given by phone, and Hallowell readers get a special discount.  Use the code HALL16 at registration checkout for $30 off.  Get more information at this LINK!

 

Hope’s Up

After what you would have thought was an unthinkable, impossible, can’t-happen-here murder, George Floyd’s death hangs over us all posing, among many other questions, the most important one: what now?

I came of age in the late ‘60’s and early 70’s, an era of protest and reform.  We marched against the Vietnam war, and we protested for civil rights, led by Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, both of whom were assassinated.  We made progress, or so we thought, but it turns out the shackles of racism and ignorance are not so easily broken.

I have a friend who emailed me shortly after Floyd’s murder, “When my husband & I immigrated here in 1977 after leaving South Africa because of our anti-apartheid stand, we were looking forward to a new life in a non-racist society.  The long-standing lack of true equality here as reflected in recent events, bring back so many scary reminders of our previous lives with unfettered police violence & police power. Let’s hope that this situation results in some long-standing change & racial justice!”

Let’s hope indeed.  But hope is not a strategy.  Still, the horror we all witnessed as we, so many millions of us, watched one white man wearing a police uniform choke the life out of a hand-cuffed black man as he lay face down on the ground by kneeling on his neck in apparent indifference to the consequences has set off righteous outrage the like of which we desperately need.  We need outrage.  Not violence, not mayhem, not an eye for an eye, but we need outrage. 

And not feckless outrage, the outrage a person might feel over something he or she cannot influence or change.  But outrage that leads us all to take whatever actions we can.  One step I can do is speak through my podcast and write to you all.  Think to yourself what you can do because this is a battle we all need to join.

Start by looking within.  I’ve wondered to myself just exactly what was I thinking when in medical school in New Orleans I would drive by a towering statue of Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle every morning on my way to class.  That it didn’t phase me today makes me feel ashamed.  How could I not have taken exception, if not umbrage, to a statue commemorating a man who led armies whose stated goal was to protect and preserve the most evil, unjust, and shameful institution in our history, slavery?  How could I not have noticed?

But now I, like millions of others, am starting to wake up. Rather than avoid conflict, make peace at any price, I want to stoke and maintain my own outrage, at myself first of all, but at the appalling Doublethink, to use George Orwell’s term, that has allowed me for so many years to look the other way at Lee’s statue, and at the many other bits of racism I commit without even noticing.  It would be hypocritical of me to condemn racism until I root out the racist in myself.

But there’s hope. For me, for you, for this country and the world. I daresay, we may right now in the U.S. be in transformation, ushering in momentous change for the better.  Of course, all the returns are far from in.  But how’s this for an amazing start?  Three bastions of American society, mainstream, universally popular, and as American as proverbial apple pie have stepped up in a major way.

The National Football League has admitted it failed to understand the plight of the black athlete and blacks in America in general. It has endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement.  We wait and hope that an apology to Colin Kaepernick will come next.

NASCAR, as down home and populist an organization as you can find, has banned the Confederate flag from its cars and tracks.

And in country music, Lady Antebellum has dropped Antebellum from its name, becoming just Lady A.

The NFL, NASCAR, and country music—a trifecta at the heart of the American grain.

Here’s, not just hoping, but insisting we keep this movement growing.  How better to give us all what we need most, peace, justice, and love across a nation that’s striving to grow.

I challenge you all to take a risk in the face of injustice. Take a look at what you read, watch on TV,  and listen to on the radio or internet. If they all reside in domains of your own personal makeup, step outside of your bubble and learn from someone or something that looks different from yourself. It’s a small, small step, but a step nonetheless. We all have a responsibility here to:

  • listen,
  • learn, and
  • take action.

So let’s go out and do it.

Warm regards,

Edward “Ned” Hallowell, M.D.

Sharing the following post from our Hallowell Todaro ADHD Centers located in Kirkland, Seattle and Palo, Alto:

Black Lives MatterRacism, Outrage and Grief: Helping Kids Make Sense of it All

By Peggy Gomula and Sally Kidder Davis

The last ten days have been difficult for all of us. Not only are we dealing with the COVID pandemic but we are also witnessing events around the country that are tough to see and talk about.
Children are witnessing scenes on TV and across social media that we have not seen on this scale before. Children are naturally curious and may be asking questions about what they have seen. If finding answers is difficult for adults, imagine what’s going on in the mind of a child.
In our effort to help parents with these difficult conversations we stumbled upon a recent article, “How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism,” in which the authors discuss ways to help children understand the issues of race and racism.

How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism via ParentToolkit.com

There’s no question: talking about race can be sensitive, and yes, even a bit messy.“And “choosing” whether or not to talk to your kids about race is an option many parents, specifically those of color, don’t have; some children may inevitably learn about it by confronting racism in their everyday lives.
This can make the “conversation about race” even trickier, as what is discussed can change depending on a variety of factors, such as a family’s make up, their socioeconomic class, or the community they live in. Therefore, the context will vary, depending on who is talking and what their personal experiences are with race and racism. (Read the full article here.)
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For additional information, check out these resources:

Anti-racism resources

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If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, anger or other issues, The Hallowell Centers are here to help.  We’re offering remote therapy to help you take care of yourself.

Read my blog post on Race and Privilege.

The Big Struggle – ADHD and Family Dynamics

What often develops in families where one child has ADHD (or one adult for that matter) is what I call the Big Struggle. The child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) chronically fails:

  • to meet obligations,
  • do chores,
  • stay up with schoolwork,
  • keep to family schedules.
  • get out of bed on time,
  • arrive home on time,
  • be ready to leave the house on time,
  • keep his or her room tidied and,
  • doesn’t cooperatively participate in family life, and, in general,
  • “get with the program” at home

What Happens When A Child Doesn’t Cooperate?

The behavior described above leads to the big struggle.  The parents set chronic limits with increasingly stringent penalties and increasingly tight limitations on the child. This, in turn, makes the child more defiant, less cooperative, and more alienated. As a result, the parents feel more exasperated with what increasingly appears to be an attitude problem, under voluntary control, rather than the neurological problem of ADHD.

As parents become more fed up with the child’s behavior, they become less sympathetic to whatever excuses or explanations the child may offer. Furthermore, they’re less willing to believe in promises to do better.  This leads to stricter consequences in a usually futile effort to control the child’s behavior. Gradually, the child’s role in the family solidified around being the “problem child.” Consequently, he or she becomes the designated scapegoat for all the family’s conflicts and problems.

The Designated Scapegoat

There’s an old saying about scapegoating that the process requires a mob and a volunteer. In the case of the Big Struggle, the family forms the mob, and the ADHD behavior volunteers the child. Virtually anything that goes wrong in the family gets blamed on the ADHD child. Over time the child is draped with a kind of blanket of derision and scorn that smothers his or her development of confidence and self-esteem.

Quashing the Big Struggle takes work – work on a daily basis. Like weeds, it will come back if allowed to.

Here are some tips on quashing the big struggle:

  1. Get an accurate diagnosis. This is the starting point of all treatment for ADHD.
  2. Educate the family. All members of the family need to learn the facts about ADHD. This is the first step in the treatment. Many problems will take care of themselves once all family members understand what is going on. The education process should take place with the entire family, if possible. Each member of the family will have questions. Make sure all these questions get answered.
  3. Try to change the family “reputation” of the person with ADHD. If you are expected to screw up, you probably will. While if you are expected to succeed, you just might. It may be hard to believe at first, but having ADHD can be more of a gift than a curse.
  4. Make it clear that ADHD is nobody’s fault. First of all, it is not Mom’s or Dad’s fault. Furthermore, it is not brother’s, sister’s or the grandparents fault. Finally, it is not the fault of the person who has ADHD. It is nobody’s fault.  This is extremely important for the whole family to understand.
  5. Give everyone in the family a chance to be heard. ADHD affects everyone in the family; some silently. Try to let those who are in silence speak.
  6. Try to break the negative process and turn it into a positive one. Applaud and encourage success when it happens. Try to get everyone pointed toward positive goals, rather than gloomily assuming the inevitability of negative outcomes.
  7. Make it clear who is responsible for what in the family. Everybody needs to know what is expected of him or her. Everybody needs to know what the rules are and what the consequences are.

Learn more about balancing ADHD and the family, finding professional support, and how separating the person from the problem can help your family dynamic in my ADDitude article on: Make It A Family Affair.

 

Race and Privilege

In this Distraction episode on Race and Privilege, I discuss the attack and murder of George Floyd and racism. I also acknowledge I am a privileged white man. Certainly a part of the problem. Even though I like to think I’m not part of the problem, but part of the solution, Yet, I have without doubt in unconscious ways, continued the problem. So I ask:

“What can we do about it?”

Listen Now

 

 

I’m resolving to do everything I can moving forward in my own life, to rectify the situation. To build as many bridges as I can. I hope you will join me in reaching out and building bridges. Let’s get to know one another. Let’s have a little dialogue so we can understand what needs to be done.  Together we can turn the terrible murder of George Floyd into something redeeming, enlightening, uplifting and transforming.  Please join me in reaching out and building bridges.

Read the article referred to in this episode: A conversation: Retired African American MLB players on race, baseball, America

Read my blog on Hope Up’s about our responsibility to listen, learn and take action.

Talking to Your Children About Racism

It is critically important that we talk to our children about racism, the death of George Floyd, race and privilege, and the protests and violence that have spread across the country. Read these articles on:

Want to help?

Support the Black Lives Matter Movement with a donation to one of the organizations below:

The Racial Inequity of ADHD Treatment

Evidence shows that people of color — Black and Latino in particular — are much less likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD,) even though they show symptoms at the same rate as white people. Furthermore, when a person isn’t diagnosed, he isn’t as likely to receive the treatment that can change the arc of his life. Treatment to help him manage everything from schoolwork to relationships to career. Certainly these are critical areas where people of color often face already-strong disadvantages. Learn why this is happening and what needs to be done to fix it in this ADDitude Magazine article on Children Left Behind.

How to Reconnect in a Disconnected World

Reconnecting Disconnected WorldDuring this time of physical distancing, loneliness and isolation, Dr. Hallowell addresses “How to Reconnect in a Disconnected World.”  Whether you’re learning how to work from home in a job that has always relied on face-to-face interactions, helping your children with their schoolwork with technology limitations, or trying to juggle the basics of life within the new rules of COVID-19, we live in a time of immense stress and worry. Dr. Hallowell is here to help.

In this YouTube video created by the Outspoken Agency NYC team, Dr. Hallowell also discusses worry and toxic worry. He says, “If you don’t worry at all, that’s call denial.” He’ll also share practical and effective tools to eliminate toxic worry and instill structure and confidence into your daily lives.

Physical Distancing and The Other Vitamin C

Dr. Hallowell discusses why we all need to take a dose of the other Vitamin C: Vitamin Connect through creative means while physical distancing. (Dr. Hallowell prefers the term “physical distancing” instead of social distancing.) If you don’t get enough vitamin connect, you do get sick. Studies show that social isolation is as dangerous for your health as cigarette smoking.

Learn practical tips on:

  • how to maintain your connections with others during these times;
  • ways to reconnect with others; i.e., friends, clients, make up with that relative, etc.;
  • keeping yourself and your children focused and productive while working; remotely; and,
  • specific steps on how to manage anxiety and stress.

Dr. Hallowell will help you better manage your merged environments of work and home and feel more confident in tackling the challenges you’re facing right now.

Click here to WATCH NOW!

For more information on hiring Dr. Hallowell to speak at your virtual or live event, learn more at: www.outspokenagency.com/ned-hallowell

Connection is like the keys in the ignition. The keys are there, waiting to be taken. We only have to reach in.”

What to know more about harnessing the power of connections? Click HERE!

 

Tired? Sad? On Edge?

Now that the novelty of living life in a pandemic has worn off,  we’re finding ourselves feeling more tired, sad and on-edge. Likewise, it may seem strange to be so exhausted after doing “nothing” all day, but it’s totally normal under these circumstances.

In this Distraction podcast on: “The Side Effects of Our New Normal,” Dr. Hallowell opens up about how fatigued he’s been feeling lately. He asks listeners to do the same. One of the reasons he cites for feeling so tired is a lack of Vitamin Connect – the other vitamin C.

This is a great Distraction episode on the side effects of social distancing. You’ll also learn the importance of why we need to stay virtually connected even during quarantine.

Click here to LISTEN.

We will all get through this together! Let us know how you’re holding up. Share your thoughts with Dr. Hallowell at Distracting by sending an email or voice memo to connect@distractionpodcast.com.

If you’re feeling stressed out, worried, preoccupied, and otherwise twitched and bewitched by what my friend Ken Duckworth calls “The Thing”, read my blog post on The Force of Each Other.

The Force of Each Other

The Force of Each Other

So here we are, everyone’s stressed out, worried, preoccupied, and otherwise twitched and bewitched by what my friend Ken Duckworth calls “The Thing”. It’s all anyone talks about on TV or radio, and it’s pretty much the driver of most conversations elsewhere. The Thing.

But even before “The Thing” there was life interactive. Back then, BTT, before The Thing, we went to:

  • restaurants,
  • movies,
  • church (well, my wife and I went to church, you may have gone somewhere else),
  • hair salons (how on earth am I going to get my hair cut now?),
  • we milled around in malls, and
  • flew long flights in supersonic jets,
  • we saw dentists and doctors for the now cancelled elective procedures, and
  • lastly, we pretty much elected to do whatever we wanted.

Before The Thing – BTT:

  • we did not fear other people within six feet of us, unless they were malodorous or menacing;
  • likewise we did not fear making a transaction with cash;
  • nor did we fear going to the dry cleaner or the cobbler or the fruit stand;
  • we did not fear aerosols, droplets, or every sneeze and cough, at least most of us did not.
  • finally, BTT we could breathe free.

But now, In the Age of The Thing, ITAOTT, pronounced eye-tah-ott, which rolls off the tongue more trippingly if you pronounce it EYE-dah-yott, now we see the face of things quite changed. The Thing has worked its way into our lives more intimately than any of us could ever have imagined. It’s changed our daily lives far more than 9/11 did. It’s the first global natural disaster most of us have ever lived through.

What to Do?

I wish I could tell you how to squelch The Thing. But I can only tell you what you already know: keep physical (not social!) distance; wash hands; wear a mask if you can find one or create one; and do your best not to leave your house.

It’s difficult to “fight” an invisible enemy against which your most powerful weapon is avoidance. We are accustomed, when we fight, to engage, to confront, and to battle, either physically or verbally. But now the very last thing we want to do is engage physically with this enemy; our verbal engagements only serve for us to blow off steam, fear, and anxiety.

Each day, we read the daily dismal stats. We get angry at policy-makers with whom we disagree, and we get inspired or at least comforted by policy-makers with whom we agree. Of course, we all love Dr. Fauci, so we all thank God that he is on the case. But even Dr. Fauci can’t wave a magic wand and make it all go back to BTT. We are left ITAOTT.

People  Rising to the Occasion

Still, I can’t help but say this has all the makings of our finest hour, as:

  • more and more people rise to the occasion,
  • while more and more people put their lives on the line in high-risk essential jobs,
  • and more and more people stay at home, find ways to secure additional income or make provisions for lost income;
  • they manage to keep peace in the house and food on the table as the days march by, one at a time, with no real notion of an end-date.

We worry over and pray for the people who live in crowded housing who have no choice but to all but be on top of each other, or crowd into the one elevator in the fifteen story building that works. Additionally, we worry over and pray for the people we could normally roll up our sleeves and go help, but who we now have to steer clear of.  Finally, we worry and pray also for our friends, our communities, and ourselves, knowing that even the safest among us is not safe.

What we have is what we’ve always had, only now, ITAOTT, it is different. It is called each other. Friends who do not usually call me or text me have been calling me and texting me. They have no idea what a pick-me-up that gives me. The patients I’ve been seeing remotely still engage with me, only remotely, and we get the work done without missing much of a beat. But it is different, and we both know it. I don’t know how my patients feel for sure, but I think we both feel proud of our ingenuity and glad that we haven’t let the virus stop us dead in our tracks.

Turning to Each Other

Fully mindful that is has stopped an awful lot of people dead, period, I still remind myself that it is each other to whom I turn. To whom we all turn. Imagine, wherever you are, turning your eyes around the world in your imagination, bringing to mind the billions of us who are all rooting together for each other. When was the last time that happened? The collective each other all rooting together for each other?

I don’t know about you, but I think that kind of rooting sets in motion a special kind of therapeutic force, a force of positive energy that can’t but do us all a pack of good. Let’s add to the force of science, the force of each other.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

Figuring Out A System

Dear Friends,

That’s what we’re all doing now in the corona era, isn’t it?, figuring out a system. Trying to take care of ourselves while making sure our loved ones are taking care of themselves or being well taken care of, wherever they may be. Applying for a loan. Asking landlords for temporary rent reduction. Trying to stay sane and not buy out the store on toilet paper.

Here’s my update from the front.

We’re all on the front, so no matter where you are or where I am, we’re all engaging on the front in this war against an enemy we can’t even see. We’re all trying to figure out a system that works for us and our group, whatever that group, team, family, business, or community may be.

How are you doing on your front? Are you home? Alone? With kids? With dog (I hope!)? I’m still coming into my office, but “seeing” all my patients via phone, face time, or Zoom. Pretty soon I will stop coming into the office altogether and work entirely from home once we figure out a system for how to manage the logistics of scheduling, writing prescriptions, communicating with each other, billing, and making what-if-this-happens contingency plans.

How about this freakin’ contingency? Was the corona virus on anyone’s list of contingencies to plan for last Thanksgiving? It’s like the old joke, How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.

Time to Give Thanks

But this is a time to thank God for lots of things, for the Internet, social media, the telephone, and television to name a few. As much as we complain about how these devices preoccupy our children and us, during this crisis they are true life-savers. One piece of advice though: do not over-dose on news. It can poison your system, not as badly as the virus, but it just is not good for you to O.D. on negative energy, which is what too much news does.

But we do need facts, hence some access to news is essential. Then, based on the news, we figure out a plan, a proverbial system.

Here are some tips on figuring out a plan:

  • Consult with others.
  • Be open to all suggestions.
  • Get creative.
  • Prioritize what matters most.

Financial Concerns

In terms of prioritizing, next to our health, the biggest worry most of us share is financial. Whatever out jobs might be, we’re all trying to figure this one out, not just for ourselves, but the people we care about as well as our businesses. My work as a writer can be done anywhere, thank goodness.

But my work as a doctor, and the work all the clinicians who work in my office do, depend upon contact with our patients. Fortunately, 90% of this contact can be gained off-site, remotely, so we’re “figuring out a system” for how to do that most efficiently, but also with the warmth we believe is so important in our work. Right now I am saying, Thank God for Zoom.

Always do what my mother and likely yours taught me and you and look for the blessings.

You are much more productive, useful, and energetic if you stoke up on positive energy. Yes, we are living in a crisis, facing potential disaster, the world temporarily falling into shambles. But we are not without power, resources, and wit. If we keep those wits about us, we will, every day, solve one problem after another and come up with, you got it, a system!

Your system will not appear instantly. It will evolve day by day, minute by minute. We’re forced to grope in the dark these days, bearing with the inner churning uncertainty creates, looking for whatever flashlights or matches we can find to light our way. But the lights are there, paltry though they may be, and every inch of progress we can make makes us feel better, more confident. And feeling more confident—whether the feeling matches up with reality or not—is a super-power these days.

Build Confidence and Maintain a Positive Attitude

Confidence—informed confidence, not ignorant bravado—works wonders in times of crisis and distress. Hand-wringing, moping, and foretelling doom is not only counterproductive, it is bad for you in myriad ways.

So, to build confidence and maintain a positive attitude in these ominous and upsetting times, try the following

  • reach for each other, from a distance;
  • stay in touch with your friends and people you love;
  • call people often, just to buck each other up and hopefully laugh;
  • bake a cake or cook up some goody you really like;
  • remember, we’re all in this together;
  • call whomever you call to get a loan or get food or inquire about a new
  • mortgage now that rates are so low;
  • find humor wherever you can; it’s impossible to worry and laugh at the same time
  • start a new project you can do at home, like start that novel or memoir you’ve been meaning to write or at long last straighten up the basement or attic or both!;
  • read entertaining books of all kinds;
  • don’t read or watch upsetting stuff;
  • watch your favorite movies on TV;
  • try popcorn; it’s a good, low-cal comfort anti-anxiety food
  • play with your dog if you’re lucky enough to have one; if you don’t, remember dogs you’ve known and loved, and if there aren’t any, get a box of Kleenex and read Old Yeller; or rent on Amazon to watch.
  • most people are going to be kinder these days, believe it or not; try to be one of those
  • lend a hand where you can; it is a proven fact that in giving we receive
  • stay in touch

I can promise you, better days await. But, and I can promise you this as well, we can find hidden treasures and make unexpected gains during this time, especially if we buck each other up.

Warm regards,

Edward (Ned) Hallowell, M.D.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus: Myth vs. Fact

How the Hallowell Centers Can Help You: We are all concerned about safety with COVID-19, which is why The Hallowell Centers are closely monitoring the current situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19.) We will remain open, but all sessions will be conducted remotely.

Fortunately, psychiatry does not usually require the professional and the client to meet in-person. To that end, we want you to know at our offices in Boston MetroWestNew York City and San Francisco, are geared up and ready to offer remote sessions to anyone who wants them. READ MORE HERE!

Need help managing your mental health during these uncertain times? Even if you are not a regular client or patient of ours and you’d simply like to have an appointment to check up on your mental health during these stressful times, our clinicians are here to help. Just reach out to the any of The Hallowell Centers  to set up an appointment.

Working From Home? If you don’t want the Coronavirus to Infect Your Productivity, then CoreCoaching is the antidote! Learn more HERE.

Looking for strategies on parenting your ADHD child? Learn how our NYC Parenting Coaches can help you HERE.

Dr. Hallowell Recommends:

During these trying, uncertain times, Dr. Hallowell’s book: Worry: Hope and Help for a Common Condition, is filled with practical solutions, anecdotes, and insightful guidance on how to manage worry.

Need help managing your stress during these tumultuous times? Then listen to Dr. Hallowell’s podcast on Reducing Anxiety.

Digital Summit

The Live Digital Summit is over. However, you can still get an all access pass to Dr. Hallowell’s session and some of the most recognized thought-leaders from around the globe in the field of ‘Technology and Parenting.’

The Digital Sanity Summit features in-depth interviews with 18+ leading global experts discussing classic issues such as:

  • parent controls
  • cyber-safety
  • using tech to cultivate social relationships
  • talking with kids about tech without conflict

LEARN MORE…

If you think the “right help” for ADHD begins and ends with medication about, read Dr. Hallowell’s blog post on Busting ADHD Myths on Medication!

When tragedies strike or bad news is at your doorstep, you may wonder how you get through this. In Dr. Hallowell’s blog on “How Do We Do It?”, he offers a solution.

Are you struggling with reading or poor attention? Looking for a non-medication treatment for ADHD, learn more about the Zing Performance Program.

Disclosure: I may be an affiliate for products recommended and may earn a commission if you purchase.

Managing These Uncertain Times

I want to take a moment in these uncertain times to tell you what we are doing in my centers in Sudbury, MA and in Manhattan to address the issues created by the threat of Covid-19, as well as what my wife, Sue, and I are doing at home.

First of all, we are following my first rule, “Never worry alone.”

We are all talking with each other, and listening to what our friends and various experts are reporting, day by day, even hour by hour.

Second, we are trying our best to get the facts.

Most of toxic worry is rooted in lack of information, wrong information, or both. As, as we worry together, we are pooling what we each judge to be the most reliable and pertinent facts, a pool that expands and changes not just hour to hour but minute to minute. Thank God for the Internet and television.

Coronavirus Myth vs Fact

Third, based on the facts that we share, we make a plan.

Toxic worry—and all the bad decisions it foments—subsides when you have a plan. Toxic worry results from a heightened feeling of vulnerability combined with a diminished feeling of power and control. When you have a plan you automatically feel less vulnerable and more in control. If the plan doesn’t work well—and all plans have flaws—you revise it. That’s what life is all about—revising plans. So we are constantly reviewing and considering revising our plan.

The Hallowell Centers Update

Hallowell CentersAs of now, 9:45 a.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020, the plan in both my MA and NY office is to remain open. We rarely have more than 15 people—clinicians and patients combined—in either office at any one time. And the offices are large enough that we can keep 4-6 feet between people, obeying the command to keep social distance.

We have hand sanitizers on the counters and good liquid soap in the rest rooms. We have signs summarizing best practices during this pandemic, and we ask all who enter the offices about fever, headache, respiratory distress, sniffles, and any other illness, as well as recent travel.

Offering Remote Appointments

Furthermore, we offer remote appointments, conducted via the HIPPA compliant platform VSee, for all our clients and patients. Since, with the exception of testing, all our work can be conducted remotely, this provides an excellent and totally safe option which many are taking us up on. However, for those who do want to see us in person, we remain open and available as of now.

Personal Update

Personally, Sue and I have semi-quarantined ourselves. We do go out to buy food, and we have resisted the temptation to buy out the store. While we do have enough food to last us 2 weeks if the absolute need arose, that is not the most tasty food—canned goods like canned beef stew, which Sue deems “nasty” and canned veggies, which no one much likes—and since there are only 2 of us we do not need nor do we have much toilet paper!

Our three children all live elsewhere. Our 30 year old daughter works for the National Football League, whose offices in Manhattan, where she works, have closed for the time being, so our daughter works from home. Our youngest, who is 24, also works in Manhattan for Inkhouse, a p.r. firm, who is requiring all employees to work from home. And our middle child, our 27 year old son, lives near us outside of Boston. He works as a carpenter, out of doors, but his projects are temporarily on hold. His dog, Max, is not a carrier, but does stay inside.

There you have it. We are all living in the midst of uncertainty, and like most uncertainty, this uncertainty feels ominous, dangerous, and possibly lethal. It already has proved itself to be all that, so we have good reason to worry.

But passive worrying soon becomes toxic. I outlined above the best way I know of to turn toxic worry into active problem solving. In the active mode, you are at your best and you reach the smartest decisions.

Remember, we are all in this together.

This virus knows no race, creed, color, or class. It does target older, weaker people over younger stronger people, and it does preferentially target people who choose ignorance and denial over gaining knowledge and acting upon it.

So, let’s band together.

#1Never worry alone.

#2 Get the facts.

#3 And make, and revise, plans.

Our most powerful allies are the positive connections between us, and knowledge. By using those tools, and replenishing them all the time, we will survive, and thrive. Yes, the danger is real and can be lethal, but the solutions are equally real, time-tested, and life-saving.

My heartfelt and most loving wishes go out to you all. Let this crisis bring us all closer together through cooperative action, and shared reflections.

Edward (Ned) Hallowell, M.D.

P.S. If you’re feeling stressed, listen to my podcast on How to Feel Less Stressed.

One of the bright and shining lights in the current dismal viral fog is the beam of human altruism. Read more in my blog post, Altruism Lives.

Safety with COVID-19

We are all concerned about safety with COVID-19, which is why the Hallowell Centers are closely monitoring the current situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19.)

Since the health and safety of our clients and employees is of utmost importance to us, The Hallowell Centers will remain open to meet your needs, but during this crisis and for your safety, all of the services will be provided remotely for the foreseeable future.

Please note that all of our clinicians in Boston MetroWest, NYC, SFO, Palo Alto and Seattle are geared up to work with clients through virtual platforms, or even just the telephone, although having a visual does enhance the experience. Call your center to get instructions to set this up (it’s WAY simple if I can do it, believe me!) so we can remain connected and provide the hope and help we’re in the business of providing. Learn more about Therapy in the Age of Quarantine.

For the most up-to-date news that relates to the center you visit, click their link below:

BostonMetroWest

New York City

San Francisco

Hallowell Todaro – Palo Alto and Seattle

Our staff and all clients are highly encouraged to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) safety for Covid-19 guidelines (see below) to appropriately respond to the potential public health threat posed by the virus.

Steps to take:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash immediately.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

If you do get sick, please call your primary care doctor for instructions before going to their office or to an urgent care or ER. If there is a real risk that you have COVID-19, they will order that test and direct you to a specialized testing site. This will protect you and others from unnecessary exposure.

Here are are some useful links for the latest information and guidance in this still-evolving situation:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

World Health Organization

Dr. Hallowell's Coronavirus Advice

Dr. Hallowell shares some basic facts about COVID-19 and practical advice on prevention and reducing anxiety in his podcast.

LISTEN HERE! Remember to stay safe, be careful and never worry alone!

Dr. Hallowell takes a moment in these uncertain times to tell you what his centers in Boston MetroWest and NYC are doing to address the issues created by the threat of Covid-19, as well as what he and his wife, Sue, are doing at home in his blog post on Managing These Uncertain Times.

How to talk to kids about the coronavirus, Hallowell Todaro blog post.

Stuck at home? Activities to Keep Kids Busy