Adult ADHD: Adam Levine, Channing Tatum, And Fixes For You

    March 2, 2014
    Ashley Olds
    Comments are off for this post.

“When I can’t pay attention, I really can’t pay attention,” says Adam Levine.

The Maroon 5 singer recently revealed that he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in a “Own Your ADHD” PSA. Levine wanted to share his struggle to encourage others going through it to seek help. The disease, often characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness, inability to focus, and a short attention span, reportedly affects about 3% to 5% of children and adults in the United States.

The frontman isn’t alone in the realm of ADHD celebrities. Channing Tatum, diagnosed as a child with both ADHD and dyslexia described his experience with prescriptions, “For a time, it would work well, then it worked less and my pain was more. I would go through wild bouts of depression, horrible comedowns.” He added, “I understand why kids kill themselves. I absolutely do. You feel terrible. You feel soul-less. I’d never do it to my child.”

Tatum is joined by Michael Phelps in the group of public figures with ADHD who nixed scripts. The Olympic swimmer and 18 time gold medal winner eventually opted to pass on the pills and manage his condition via workouts and a low-sugar diet.

Indeed, Gen. Arthur Dean, chairman and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, reported that ADHD drugs can be habit-forming with grave side effects. He explained they can “cause hallucinations and raise heart rate too quickly,” adding that, “the longer you’re on them, the more problems they can cause.”

While some pass it off as a “fabricated disorder”, many medical professionals tend to disagree. In her article for Maclean’s Magazine, Kate Lunau interviewed specialists on this issue, saying, “You know, ADHD is a real condition.” She went on to add:

“It is chronic, it can last a lifetime, and it can be very serious. But I think increasingly, there’s a lot of concern that at least some of these kids are being misdiagnosed.”

What can people do, then?

Habit Hacks
For those who want to address this affliction head on without potential repercussions of prescriptions, a few lifestyle tweaks might be helpful. Dr. Oz indicates “Treatment proceeds with a re-structuring of one’s life. Usually, disorganization is a leading problem in the life of the person who has ADHD. Often an organizational coach can help enormously in developing new habits of organization and time management.”

Diet Mods
It sounds simple, but we often fall prey to our own poor diet and exercise habits. Among supplements suggested have been: essential fatty acids, flaxseed oil and vitamin C, magnesium, B vitamins, fishoil, and probiotics.

A few dietary modifications, include less sugar and more vitamins and minerals. It might sound daunting, but don’t let the price tag on the organic produce send you sprinting to the sanctuary of the golden arches. Just as Michael Phelps weaned off his ADHD meds, we can slowly wean off bad foods like drinks with artificial sweeteners, additives, and processed gunk (however magically delicious it might taste for the moment it’s in our mouths).

Try label-checking, too. When you hit the fruit aisle, observe those little stickers on your fruit. The ones that have a “9” and five digits on them are the organic labels. Do you like eating cows? Make sure you know what they eat! Grass-fed is optimal, as a creature chock full of artificial stuff can’t be good. Seeing as cannibal-cows were said to be how mad cow disease began, beef eaters might research what their dinner itself is dining on –ADHD affliction or not.

Even on a healthy diet, too much of a good thing is still a bad thing.

When I went vegan the first time, I gained ten pounds in ten seconds. That’s when the obvious truth hit me: there are no easy fixes, moderation is key and (surprisingly) that after binging on the healthiest fridge remnants at midnight, waking up feels reminiscent of the morning after your 21st birthday.

For more active hacks on your disorder, physical exercise, 4 times per week, is said to be a great help. Dr. John Ratey’s book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, describes physical exercise as being among “the best treatments we have for ADHD.”

Or… you could try meditation.

Wait, what? A hyperactive human sitting in stillness? Am I crazy? Lidia Zylowska, M.D, a psychiatrist and founding member of the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) doesn’t seem to think so. It might sound counter-intuitive, but after a study done on ADHD patients, she reported:

“It is feasible to teach people with ADHD mindfulness. On the surface it looks like a contradiction, but if you look at it, if you look at the nature of self-regulation, it’s not.”

It’s really not so insane a concept. They asked participants to just start with five minutes at a time. From there, they slowly increased it to 20 minutes. The thing is, there’s more than just one type of meditation. You don’t have to wear special garb or sit with crossed legs or (and this part’s important) you don’t have to even sit still.

Yep. There’s something called “walking meditation” for those who feel the proverbial ants in their pants. There’s actually a plethora of different types of meditation out there, which is great because everyone responds to different kinds of treatments. In this same study, even children benefited from mindfulness meditation, according to their parents.

Reach Out
This combination of advice is fantastic, but we should never self-diagnose or suffer in silence: anyone dealing with symptoms should involve a third party and seek medical advice before jumping into a treatment plan.

Image via Youtube

  • Kristina Pettersen

    Yep celebrities know best, they even know more than doctors
    and experts. I remember how smart Jenny Mcarthy was about autism.

  • Jim Park

    It definitely is a made-up “disease” by the drug companies and their doctors, who have been trained by them. How come nobody had it when I was a child going through school? And now they want adults on the drugs, too. Anything to make a buck and get people hooked. Most kids are very energetic and want to play instead of study.

    • josie

      It is most definitely not made up, however I do believe it is often misdiagnosed and I dont believe they know all there is to know about it. It is not just a hyper child.. that is normal.
      I have ADHD.. have had it since childhood. Before they diagnosed me at 9, I was told as a child that I needed to be in special ed. I read in a 4th grade level in kindergarten and was incredibly bright, and bored, but I wrote many letters upside down or backwards, had terrible retention skills, and it felt like I was always racing. I learned to hide my adhd out of self preservation so I wasnt teased at school, Im sure many in the past had to as well. Ive heard many stories of relatives before me with similar issues, who were called lazy, or not bright student, and only went so far in school. Those skills were eventually learned. I wasnt “hyper” as most people would recognize, as most girls arent, but I had forced speech… I was a polite child but had trouble recognizing cues when to hold off. The older I got, I had more anxiety, insomnia, racing thoughts I couldnt seperate, it was like a party of thoughts going off in my head constantly at once, I had to carry a notebook around and jot down assignments or chores and figured out ways to hide it from my peers and cope. I did well, but still went through so much pain. I never lived up to my potential… quit everything I was in or did, as is very common, risky behavior, increased anxiety and worry. Some can be over sensitive too, like myself. Too much stimulation, noise, activity, ideas etc at once starts to overwhelm and eventually become too much to handle. Those dont have it, dont understand and never will how painful it is, or how painful it is to be told that it doesnt exist. Maybe they have the wrong name going, maybe they havent found the direct cause (studies have shown its neurological) but it is real! I could not hold attention in the same ways other kids could, I could focus sooo hard on what someone was telling me and still miss more than 1/2 of it. As an adult it hindered school, relationships, jobs, etc. and though I have learned great coping skills and kept off meds always, it still does at times.

    • Lindsay23

      Jim, nobody had it then because the amount of industrial toxins in our environment — the types that affect the neurology of living beings — was much, much lower. For instance, did glyphosate (herbicide) and GMOs exist when you were a kid? There are countless studies on ADD and through brain imaging work such as SPECT, the areas of low activity (neuronal firing and blood flow) can now be seen in the brain. Left untreated, ADD ruins lives… and even when it is treated, its often ineffectively. Rather than push it aside as a made up issue, perhaps ask “WHY” it’s occurring. Here is a link to just ONE of the recent reports on the matter, by an expert in the field of neurotoxicology: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140214203938.htm

  • The Truth

    The Truth is it is a real disorder. It is very unpleasant and the medications do work very well. Meditation does help to learn to quiet the mind and focus. Meditation alone is not sufficient. I have not noticed diet EFAs etc. having much effect besides sharpening senses. If you have a bad memory Ginkgo Biloba will help. In order to Focus and not go off on all kinds of irrelevant tangents all of the time, Ritalin and Adderall work well. Vyvanse does not work. Those are the only ones I have tried. Unfortunately most doctors are not reluctant to prescribe Adderall since so many teenagers and college kids misuse and abuse it. That is the truth, and you certainly do NOT feel soul-less. I am more in touch with my soul than ever. I am so much happier after seeking treatment.

  • Yoyo

    For me, “Mr. Miyagi” the fictional character from The Karate Kid movies has been my ADHD helper, he is the exact opposite of ADHD and therefore always inspired me to focus and calm my mind.