ADHD in adults and children

On Saturday April 7th our guest Dr. Peter Jensen joined us to discuss ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder) in children and adults.  We discussed what causes ADHD, how it manifests differently in each age group, and talked about some “best practices” and prevention strategies for the patient.

Medical Edge Weekend 4-7-12


  1. Posted April 2, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I got addicted to Ritalin and drove me into a severe depression requiring 29 ECT treatments. This was about 9 or 10 years ago and I’m alright, but my ADD is still effecting me and making life hard on me as it always had. Now I’m alcohol and drug free, not taking any medications, but I still have depression, ADD, and chronic fatigue. I eat very healthy, ride a bike vigorously, but things are not going as well as I expected for all the effort I put in to being healthy.

    • Tracy
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Dr. Jensen says, “Hang in there. We don’t know that Ritalin causes severe depression, so you may have gotten it anyway. People with ADHD are at risk for getting depressed, just because of how life beats them down. For treatment, first get treated for your continuing depression and fatigue. SSRI’s such as Prozac or Zoloft, or Venlafaxine can often be useful. Also, find a therapist you can like and trust who konws how to do CBT ot ACT (Acceptance and Commitment therapy.)”

  2. marjorie jones
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    I have ADHD,generalized anxiety disorder,and PTSD. I have had problems taking any kind of stimulent drugs,even when drugs for anxiety are ordered to counter side effects. I am so discouraged and suffer socially as well as in any type of jobs that I try . Suggestions? Also,I don’t cope well with discrimination from people who are misinformed or that joke about ADHD- In job interviews is it best to remain silent on subject? I have taken alot of abuse for my condition. Unlike race or sexual orientation ,there is little protection from cruel bosses and co workers when you have ADHD!THANKS DOCTOR !

    • Tracy
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Dr. Jensen says, “Other medications can help that are non-stimulants, such as Clonidine (Catapres or Kapvay); Guanfacine (Intuniv); and Atomoetine (Stratterra.) These may also benefit the anxiety and PTSD.

  3. marjorie jones
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    a few people in my family have ADHD-we all are so tired all the time,everyone describes sleep that is never refreshing ..I heard many years ago of questioable sleep disorders being linked to ADHD- regarding REM sleep? Heard nothing about after that one article..

    • Tracy
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Dr. Jensen says “There is still no agreement that ADHD is caused by sleep problems. It certainly is worsened by sleep difficulties, however.”

  4. Marie
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Hello Dr. Jensen,

    What do you suggest for an 8 year old child with ADHD for whom NO treatment has worked (e.g., Feingold diet, no sugar, animal therapy, behavioral modification, vitamin therapy, caffeine, medication, etc.). All tests have shown child AT or ABOVE in all subject areas and intelligence. Don’t know what to do. Tried 20 different interventions and NOTHING works. Teachers said child would be straight A student if child could only focus. HELP!

    • Tanis
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      If none of the traditional treatments work, the child may not have ADHD (other conditions can mimic symptoms). If tests reveal above average intelligence and teacher says straight A’s are possible if the child focused, maybe the child needs more challenging work. Bright kids can have a great deal of trouble focusing if the work is too easy. Ask your child’s teacher to try enriching him/her, and if the teacher isn’t willing (because of “lack of focus” issues), then do it yourself at home.

      • Dru
        Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        I agree with this entirely. I was diagnosed ADHD in third grade after a teacher recommendation for evaluation. My mother sought a second opinion and the finding of that therapist was that I was bored. His treatment recommendation? Move me to fourth grade.

        I stayed in third to remain with my friends but I never had ADHD. I start medical school in July. Perhaps your child is simply not engaged enough in the classroom!

      • Tracy
        Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Dr. Jensen says “I fully agree.”

      • Tracy
        Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Dr. Jensen says “True; good points.”

      • Marie
        Posted April 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, all, for the helpful comments. There is no doubt he has ADHD-inattentive. I have personally observed him take tests or do work and he plays with pencils, erasers, paper clips, notices every movement, every sneeze, etc., EVERYTHING but the work. He struggles on work and can’t get it done and does not know much of it. Teachers and experts say that it isn’t because of intelligence or abilities, it is because of lack of focus. As such, over the years, there is so much classroom lecture, etc. that he has missed because he hasn’t focused on it. A teacher can read a story or I can and, even though a short story, the child cannot recall any of it. Yet, ask him a map sequence on a video game, and he is crackerjack. If he got more challenging work, he would be lost because things he should be able to do now (divide, multiply, curvsive writing) he can’t do because he can’t focus on the lessons.

    • Tracy
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Dr. Jensen says, “First of all, find an ADHD expert, and go online to http://WWW.CHADD.ORG and find a local support group of parents closest to you and get to know their opinions about “who is really good.” You need a caring doctor that will continue to work with you and seek solutions. Second, have hope and find a way to keep a good relationship with your child. That relationship is the best predictor of who does well over the long-term, not any single treatment. Third, find areas of skill or competence, so that your child can feel s/he is “good at something,” even if not at school.”

  5. Posted April 7, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I have ADHD, am a successful young professional (Master’s Degree at 21, 24 now) and have been treating it for about 15 years now with diet, exercise, medication and a lot of will power. Staying up too late or eating too much sugary foods (not soda and candy but like even white bread and other natural sugar-rich foods) always messed me up, and still does.

    • Tracy
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Dr. Jensen says, “Seems to happen in some cases; so find a doctor you can work with, whom you like and trust and hang in there.”

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