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PinkPanther_04 08-26-04 02:00 PM

Opinions on Dr. Daniel Amen's technique for adults with ADD?
I was diagnosed yesterday. Well, I guess it's not a definitive diagnosis, because my therapist wants me to read "Healing ADD" by Dr. Amen and take another self-report questionaire to determine which of his six subtypes I fall into.

I'm not really familiar with the basis for Dr. Amen's technique so I was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on the subject. Is it well supported scientifically? Is it widely used to treat ADD? How definitive is the subtype diagnosis?

sLiPpY 08-26-04 06:20 PM

Amen's work is a bit controvesial in that it's cutting edge. However, his credentials are impressive, and his suggestions through the book have been very helpful to me.

I've got the Inattentive Type, and am applying all of his suggestions...excepting medication. The supplements alone, seem to meet my needs. I can't really speak to the other subtype possibilities.

Piupau 08-27-04 12:03 AM

Slippy: Is that your kid? What is he doing???? :o :D :D :D

sLiPpY 08-27-04 11:56 AM

Well, mmm...*blushes* I err...was bobbing for apples?

pwease no flusha d'slippy! :eek: :D

Cendrine 08-27-04 12:25 PM

Trying to process what I'm seeing...
:confused::eek: :p That's interesting...I've never experienced laughter and nausea at the same time before!! :)

Piupau 08-27-04 08:38 PM

*G* :D Kids are funny! :D

RmCL 08-28-04 09:33 PM

My husband told me a funny one about our son yesterday (refering to sippy's picture). He said that my son will use the toliet paper and then roll it back up on the roll. Ewwww! Now I have to check everytime! Lol!

Ackkk! I thought slippy's name was sippy...that is too funny!

PinkPanther_04 08-29-04 12:09 PM

Um, okay, besides comments on Slippy's avatar, does anyone else have any opinions?

Piupau 08-29-04 12:17 PM

Sorry :) You know, easily distracted adhd ;)

Does your doc say YOU have to find out what sub-type you have? I did Dr Amen's online test and the result was the same my doc told me when I was ready with the testing and stuff. I got combined hyperactive and inattentive, exactly what my doc told me a month later. But I live in Sweden and they don't use Dr Amen's tecniques here. Don't know much about what he does or if it works.

I do though believe many cases of adhd can be helped by eating right, or adding the right nutritions that are missing because your body or brain can't absorb enough of it therough your food. My friend became "normal" after injecting vitamine B12 every day at the hospital, she didn't have enough B12 in her system. All her sleepingproblems and pains disappeared, also she got more focused. Too bad not many docs check for B12 here, you have to try yourself and see if you feel better or not. She has been fighting a lot to get that far. She also medicates for adhd.

PinkPanther_04 08-29-04 01:51 PM

That's okay, I understand. I just kept getting my hopes up every time I saw a new response and it was never for me. :( :p

My therapist wants me to take the self-evaluation and then talk to her about it and I guess she'll have me do some other tests or something. I'm really new to the therapy thing so I don't know exactly how it all works quite yet.

I haven't taken the sub-type evaluation yet, but from reading the book it looks like I'm the overfocused type (type 3). At one point years ago I had thought that maybe I had OCD, but ruled it out because there was more to it than that, so this makes sense.

Piupau 08-29-04 03:29 PM

Much of the questions on Dr Amen's site were the same questions I got on my self evaluation from my psychiatrist. You should do that sub-type test and see if it matches you or not. :p

Have to add that the areas I have problems with according to Dr Amen's site is Frontal lobes, Left temporal lobe and Basal Ganglia, and the symptoms of that are pretty much the same my doc told me when all the tests and stuff were done :)

On his site you can also read about what you should eat to feel better. :)

moxee33 09-20-04 02:08 AM

Dr Amen

Originally Posted by PinkPanther_04
I was diagnosed yesterday. Well, I guess it's not a definitive diagnosis, because my therapist wants me to read "Healing ADD" by Dr. Amen and take another self-report questionaire to determine which of his six subtypes I fall into.
I'm not really familiar with the basis for Dr. Amen's technique so I was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on the subject. Is it well supported scientifically? Is it widely used to treat ADD? How definitive is the subtype diagnosis?

Hi Pink P,
I went to a 7 hour symposium yesterday by Dr Amen. I went there a bit sceptical because my Dr doesnt believe in what he says. But I left totally convinced he is onto something. His scan is $1000-3000 and he has 4 clinics in the US, but to get his diagnosis you have to pay the 3K. otherwise you take the scan to your own Dr. That may be fine too, but check with his clinic if you want to make sure your Dr is qualified. Apparently a lot of Drs have no idea how to read the scan and never do anything with it.
He said if you do the questionaires in his books, the chances of you getting the same diagnosis as him are very good! so if you cannot afford the quizes.
His lecture was on anxiety, depression and ADD. It was put on by the Kitty Petty institute. the material he went over is covered in his book Change your Brain change your Life. he also sells a DVD on a lecture he did that covered the bookl. I have not read the book or watched the DVD. However I bought a DVD (to be mailed out in a few weeks) of the symposium I just went to because I want my husband to see it. It was $95. If you want one you have to buy it through the Kitty Petty website. The other DVD's of his lectures can only be bought directly through his website not amazon.

I know he is controvertial. His explanation of why he is still thought of as an outsider in the psychiatrist community is that back when he started doing the scans, he did not know there were 6 subtypes of ADD. So they took 100 people with ADD and scanned them. They expected that all their brain scans would look the same because they all had ADD. But the brain of the inattentive type is different than the hyper type etc. So they basically said he is a quack.

There was soooooo much material covered that I really wouldn't even know where to start or what part you are interested in. I can try to answer any questions you may have....hopefully I'll remember. In a tiny nutshell, the theory is that different parts of your brain can work normally or be underactive or overactive. depending on the part of the brain and whether its over or under active, you will exhibit different symptoms. I have inattentive type ADD.....I don't remember which part of the brain he said was involved, but I remember it was underactive therefore the stimulants are supposed to work for me in ther right dose etc. The over focused type has a part of the brain that is hyperactive, therefore stimulants may not be for you. There are subtypes however, where they need stimulants and prozac together!!!
He is very pro supplements and vitamins and good "brain" food. this is the website he suggested to check out the brand of vitamis and fish oil you buy.
Dont get cheap fish oil! It has to be pure pharmaceutical grade to do you any good. I've heard that many times before and I know its true.

I would strongly suggest you get the DVD of yesterdays symposium if you can afford it. It really was well worth it.

If you are new to ADD and have not spent thousands YET on Dr's visits (believe me, you will eventually):rolleyes: I would suggest you really think about paying for the scans at his clinic, especially if you live close to any of them. He lives in Irvine, but he is the only one to read the scans, so they would all do the same thing. I have only known of my ADD for about 6 months so far and I am sure I've racked up very close to 3K!!! Every 2 weeks you have to come for a visit to adjust your dose. I have had many visits that were a total waste of money. here is typical dialogue.
Dr: how do you feel? any improvements?
Me: Ummm I'm not sure, I can't really tell any difference.
Dr: Ok, lets keep the dose the same for now, I'll see you in 2 weeks
Dr: lets take the dose up by 10mg,I'll see you in 2 weeks

So you end up paying the same or less with the scan. Unless you get lucky with the medication and dose from the beginning.

Ok my carpel tunnel is killing me, so I have to stop and use my reserves to surf Ebay for 30 mins;)

moxee33 09-20-04 02:19 AM

Dr Amen transcript of an interview talking about 6 types of ADD
Here is a good link that is a transcript of an interview.
I am cutting and pasting the part I thought might be most relevant but the whole thing is very interesting reading if you have the time.:)
Moderator: You mentioned that there are "types" of ADHD? Can you explain?

Amen: Here is a quick list:

  • Type 1 we call Classic ADHD. A type 1 has all the hallmark features of ADHD we discussed earlier, plus they're hyperactive and impulsive. They respond nicely to stimulant medication.
  • Type 2 we call Inattentive ADHD. They have all the hallmark features of ADHD but are never hyperactive. They also respond to stimulants.
  • Type 3 we call Overfocused ADHD. They have all the hallmark features of ADHD, plus they get stuck on things, hold grudges, are oppositional, and if things don't go their way, they get upset. It's like the gear shifter in their brain is stuck. They do not do well on stimulants. Their brain needs a little more serotonin.
  • Type 4 we call Limbic ADHD, which looks like a combination of ADHD and depression. They do not do well on stimulants; stimulants make them sad, make them cry. They do better on stimulating antidepressants, such as buproprion.
  • Type 5 we call Temporal Lobe ADHD, which is due to abnormalities in the temporal lobes. They have the hallmark features of ADD plus they're irritable, sometimes aggressive, and often have memory and learning problems. They respond better to anticonvulsants. Stimulants, if started first, often make them worse.
  • Type 6 we call The Ring of Fire, which we think may be a cross between ADHD and bipolar disorder. What we see in the scan is overall increased activity in the brain, the same that we see with people who have bipolar disorder. They are often irritable, sometimes aggressive, and they worry; it's like they have too many things going on in their head. Stimulants usually make them much worse, and we use anticonvulsants or the newer novel antipsychotic medications.

Member question: I suspect that my husband has ADHD. What are some classic signs of it in adults?

Amen: Adults really have very similar symptoms. Now, they show up a little differently, but the good news is adults get better, like children get better, with the right treatment.

Adults with ADHD:

  • Tend to get distracted easily
  • Can only do things if they're really interesting
  • Have levels of disorganization; if you look at their desks, their filing cabinets, they're often a mess
  • Are frequently late or behind because they do not organize their time well
  • May have problems with impulsivity
  • May struggle in their relationships
  • May struggle financially
  • Frequently drive fast
  • Procrastinate until it makes you crazy
  • Often struggle with sleep. They have trouble going to sleep at night and waking them in the morning is sort of like trying to wake the dead. It's really hard for them to get up in the morning, often.

Member question: Do you have any tips for living with an adult with ADHD?

Amen: Yes:

  • Be patient
  • Go to their doctor appointments so you can understand and help them follow through
  • Never yell at an ADHD person. Many people who have ADHD are conflict driven. They play this game called "Let's have a problem." Whether at home or at work they may stir things up to get stimulated, and if people take the bait it can end up in a chronically conflicted relationship.

Member question: I have heard that adults that have ADHD are more prone to addictions such as alcohol or nicotine. Is this true?

Amen: Untreated ADHD adults have a much higher incidence of alcohol and drug abuse. In one study it was up to 52%. When we treat people effectively we decrease their risk for substance abuse, but there is a huge connection between ADHD and substance abuse.

Member question: For a child diagnosed with classic ADHD, is there a drug on the market that does not have to be taken orally? My child cannot and will NOT swallow a pill.

Amen: Most of the standard drugs for ADHD need to be taken orally. There are some other drugs, such as Clonidine, that sometimes works, that you can wear as a patch. There are also companies that are looking into making patches for the stimulant medications.

Member question: What is the relationship between ADHD and depression? ADHD and bipolar disorder?

Amen: They go hand in hand. In one study 50% of teenagers with bipolar disorder also had ADHD, and depression also runs commonly with ADHD. We really don't know about the connection between ADHD and bipolar, as to why that is.

With depression, the theory is people who have ADHD struggle quite a bit and they get chronically demoralized. If you try and it doesn't work and you try and it doesn't work, pretty soon you feel helpless and you give up, which sets the seeds for depression.

Member question: I am 33-year-old woman who has been having increased trouble concentrating on my work. I am a freelance graphic designer and work at home. I recently took your online ADHD screener at your web site, which said I might have ADHD. I then completed the type checklist, which said that it's highly probable that I am ADHD Inattentive Type. What should I do next? I am kind of embarrassed to bring this up to my family physician because part of me wonders if it's not just a fact of life, and my tendency to space off is a product of work-related stress or living in today's world. My friends have often kidded me that I have ADHD, but because I am not hyperactive or impulsive I have always laughed it off. How do I know when I need to take the next step? And how can I bring it up to my physician without appearing like I was just brainwashed by TV adds touting ADHD meds? Or should I just read a book about it and try to chill out?

Amen: I think the first thing you should do is investigate it. Reading my book, Healing ADD, or another good book, Driven to Distraction, by Dr. Hallowell, would be a great next step.

ADD is very common in adults, and it's something that if you have it you should pursue it. When the treatment works, it's usually very helpful.

We have two web sites: and They're linked. You can see 300 color 3-D spectral images related to ADHD and a host of other problems.

Member question: I have recently been diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 42 after an episode of losing my temper at work. I have been prescribed Concerta and Trilepital and want to know what else I should be doing to get a handle on myself, as this has been a real eye opening into my past.

Amen: I hear this story every day. From the combination of medication it sounds like our temporal lobe ADHD type, so for sure you want to read about it and learn about it. In addition, watch what you eat, incorporate physical exercise into your day, and I would also consider learning some relaxation techniques that will help you if you're getting upset and you've forgotten your medicine. Look for ways to be in better control.

Member question: You said when it works it's usually very helpful; what if the treatment doesn't work?

Amen: That's a great question. When the treatment doesn't work you have to think if you have the right diagnosis, or you might have a type of ADGD that does not respond to traditional treatment. There might also be interfering factors, such as another medical problem or other medications or taking medicine with orange juice, which tends to deactivate its effectiveness.

Member question: Is it just orange juice that decreases effectiveness or any citrus beverage, and how soon after taking your dose can you drink OJ?

Amen: It's any citrus beverage, so I recommend you don't have it an hour before or an hour after you take your medication.

islandgrrl 05-05-11 09:01 PM

Re: Opinions on Dr. Daniel Amen's technique for adults with ADD?
I like this article on Quackwatch because it is not inflammatory, but does raise a few questions to consider when evaluating the Amen approach:
I thought there were a few good points.

I must admit that I had never heard of Dr Amen until this thread. I checked out the website and was a little put off by the design. It was a little too slick for my comfort, and I kept clicking on the option for taking the test, and it kept just taking me to another page, until it finally asked for money to take the test. Yes, it's only a dollar, but the whole thing just left me a bit cold. Maybe it is just a cultural thing. I am Canadian and am not used to profit-driven medical service providers.

tudorose 05-06-11 03:41 AM

Re: Opinions on Dr. Daniel Amen's technique for adults with ADD?
My Dr reckons that using Dr Amens scans can make anyone look like they have adhd if you induce a state of anxiety first. Apparently on the scans it shows the same way.

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