ADHD And Substance Abuse


Some have worried that by giving stimulant medication to children and teens with ADHD, we increase their risk to abuse substances in adolescence and adulthood. However, there really is no research to support this, and in fact, long-term studies of those with ADHD show the exact opposite. Do Stimulants Increase Risk for Substance Abuse in Adolescents? Biederman et al (1999) studied a sample of over 200 Caucasian boys who were at least 11 years old. They followed them for four years (meaning all... more


ADHD and Driving


There are still some professionals who doubt that ADHD is a “real” disorder, and cite poor parenting practices, for example, as an alternate explanation for the attentional and behavioral problems of ADHD children. However, many, many studies over the last 30 years have consistently shown that both teens and adults with ADHD show difficulties driving. None of those who doubt the diagnosis of ADHD have offered plausible explanations for how parenting practices in young children can affect... more


The MTA Study


The NIMH funded the Multimodal Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA) study. It was a study of several treatments for almost 500 children with ADHD, including medication only medication and therapy combined therapy and community support, without medication The study spanned many sites, and entailed collecting follow-up data for several years (read more). The One Year Results In 2007, Jensen and a team of researchers (Jensen et al., 2007) explain that the 14 month results of... more


ADHD Treatment


The AACAP has offered several recommendations for treatment of ADHD (Pliszka, 2007): The treatment plan for the ADHD patient should be comprehensive and “well-thought-out”: This requires providers to recognize ADHD as a chronic disorder which presents different developmental challenges over time. Thus, exploration of the many treatments (including medical and behavioral) and combinations of treatments that are available (for ADHD children, teens, and adults as well as for parents and... more


Is There A Genetic Cause For ADHD?


Is There A Genetic Cause For ADHD? What we know is that ADHD is associated with problems in dopamine receptors, or the neurons in the brain that respond to the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are five kinds of dopamine receptors (that have been identified) in the brain, and five genes (that have been identified) that code for the construction of these neurons. These kinds of neurons are simply numbered D1 through D5, and the associated genes that code for building these neurons are simply numbered... more


How Does ADHD Work? (Part II)

midline brain

Model III – Deeper Brain Structure Dysfunction Another explanation for ADHD is a problem with the basal ganglia, and the corpus callosum just above the basal ganglia (Biederman et al, 2004). These are deeper brain structures, which serve as “switching stations” for information. In a typical brain, information passes through these structures, and a decision is made. If the information is important, then it is re-routed to the appropriate areas of the brain for processing; if it is... more


How Does ADHD Work? (Part I)


There are three basic models to explain ADHD: Model I – Frontal/Pre-Frontal Lobe Dysfunction The frontal lobes, and especially the pre-frontal lobes, are involved in executive reasoning and inhibition of responses(Biederman et al, 2004). To explain, when you weigh possible solutions to a problem, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each possible solutions and finally choosing one, you are engaging in executive reasoning. ADHD can be thought of as a deficit in focusing, or a difficulty... more


Diagnosis of ADHD


Is ADHD Real Estimates vary, but the rates of ADHD fall between 3 to 5% (APA) and 7 to 12% (CDC) of children, with 60-85% continuing to meet criteria in adolescence, and 60% continuing to meet criteria in adulthood. Some authors debate whether ADHD is a real disorder, or simply a problem resulting from poor parenting, carbohydrate consumption and food additives, learning environment, etc…. ADHD is a “real” disorder, and many professional organizations have made clear statements... more


Vedantic Philosophy and Psychology


What is Vedantic Thought? Vedantic thought is based on the vedas – the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and Brahma Sutras. These are the holy books of the Hindu or Yogi belief system. This philosophy has been developed for centuries, from Adi Shankara (800s), to Vivekananda (who came to Chicago in 1893), to Ramana Maharishi, to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (who the Beatles sing about). Two core concepts are the Self and Consciousness. Self The self that we think of in Western thought is made of... more


Buddhism and Psychology


This is what I offer to my students when I teach diversity courses. It is my personal understanding, which is based on my own readings, experiences, and insights, as well as my own intellectualizations, blind spots, and misunderstandings. Thus… don’t take this as a comprehensive and scholarly review of the concepts, but rather an incomplete introduction to this way of thinking. Why Are We Talking About Buddhism And Psychology? At one level, Buddhism represents a cultural difference or... more

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