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  #1  
Old 02-06-17, 04:18 PM
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Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

Hi everyone!

I recently got diagnosed with ADD and I strongly identify myself with the overfocused subtype.

I'd like to try natural supplements first before ever taking medication again (18 years ago I was misdiagnosed with bipolar I and was on lithium for 14 years - so I got many side effects for nothing!!!).

Are there any overfocused ADDers out there who take supplements to control their ADD? What are your experiences? And if you have your symptoms under control, which supplements and what doses do you take?

I'm 5.7 feet tall, weigh 130 lbs and currently I'm not on any medication.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ANSWERS!
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Old 02-06-17, 06:26 PM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

There isn't an overfocused subtype. Those subtypes are essentially a promotional gimmick for one particular doctor, because they don't hold up under scientific scrutiny.
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Old 02-06-17, 06:47 PM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

By over focus do you mean that you hyperfocus? That you can't tear yourself away from unproductive time wasting pursuits?

I didn't find any supplements useful for any adhd symptoms though a good multi vitamin helped me a bit with energy ajd mood. Some people have had decent results with omega 3.

The only thing that helped me with almost all symptoms was stimulant medication. However hyperfocus and procrastination are two things which were impacted the least by meds. Behavioural strategies worked better for those. However I could only implement yhose strategies with medication.
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Old 02-06-17, 06:52 PM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

Over focus isn't actually a subtype. But as Fuzzy points out, you can "hyperfocus". This is when your interest in something is so intense that you can't peel your attention away from it, even when you know you need to be concentrating on other things.

The best treatment for this type of problem are usually SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) which are commonly prescribed for OCD.

Stimulants would be best avoided for this type of problem.
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Old 02-06-17, 07:02 PM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

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Originally Posted by Fuzzy12 View Post
By over focus do you mean that you hyperfocus? That you can't tear yourself away from unproductive time wasting pursuits?

I didn't find any supplements useful for any adhd symptoms though a good multi vitamin helped me a bit with energy ajd mood. Some people have had decent results with omega 3.

The only thing that helped me with almost all symptoms was stimulant medication. However hyperfocus and procrastination are two things which were impacted the least by meds. Behavioural strategies worked better for those. However I could only implement yhose strategies with medication.
The 'overfocused subtype' is an unofficial subtype of ADD, as described in Dr. Amens book 'Healing ADD'. For people with this type, the core ADD symptoms are compounded by tremendous trouble shifting attention and the tendency to get “stuck” in negative thought patterns and/or behaviors.
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Old 02-07-17, 11:49 AM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

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Originally Posted by Flowinpeace View Post
The 'overfocused subtype' is an unofficial subtype of ADD, as described in Dr. Amens book 'Healing ADD'. For people with this type, the core ADD symptoms are compounded by tremendous trouble shifting attention and the tendency to get “stuck” in negative thought patterns and/or behaviors.
Unofficial is the operative word here.
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Old 02-07-17, 12:04 PM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Unofficial is the operative word here.
... "Unofficial" in this case meaning "cooked up by Dr. Amen as a way of selling books and drawing attention to himself". The evidence for it is nonexistent.
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Old 02-09-17, 02:03 AM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flowinpeace View Post
The 'overfocused subtype' is an unofficial subtype of ADD, as described in Dr. Amens book 'Healing ADD'. For people with this type, the core ADD symptoms are compounded by tremendous trouble shifting attention and the tendency to get “stuck” in negative thought patterns and/or behaviors.
That sounds pretty much the same as the "primarily inattentive presentation." ("Overfocused" is probably a slightly less inaccurate term for it than "inattentive." I think it's called "inattentive" because ADHD kids are often inattentive to the specific stuff their authority figures want them to attend to. Also, authority figures think when a kid does one type of activity in one place for a while, he must have been "focused" the whole time.)

Alas, supplements only seem to help much when the problems are caused by nutritional deficiencies. I've heard a lot of good anecdotes about fish oil though. And caffeine, which can sometimes be called a supplement, can be a little helpful just because it's actually a stimulant drug.
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Old 02-09-17, 11:46 AM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

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Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post
That sounds pretty much the same as the "primarily inattentive presentation." ("Overfocused" is probably a slightly less inaccurate term for it than "inattentive." I think it's called "inattentive" because ADHD kids are often inattentive to the specific stuff their authority figures want them to attend to. Also, authority figures think when a kid does one type of activity in one place for a while, he must have been "focused" the whole time.)
Thanks for your answer Cyllya, but by overfocus I meant obsessive thoughts as in OCD. I tend to get locked into negative thoughts, having the same thoughts over and over again. So I'm basically searching for a supplement treatment that can improve both my ADHD and OCD symptoms.
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Old 02-16-17, 06:58 AM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

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Originally Posted by Flowinpeace View Post
Thanks for your answer Cyllya, but by overfocus I meant obsessive thoughts as in OCD. I tend to get locked into negative thoughts, having the same thoughts over and over again. So I'm basically searching for a supplement treatment that can improve both my ADHD and OCD symptoms.
I am not anti-supplement but I look at them as just that- supplements. I take meds and supplements and they are both helpful.
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Old 02-16-17, 07:03 AM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

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... "Unofficial" in this case meaning "cooked up by Dr. Amen as a way of selling books and drawing attention to himself". The evidence for it is nonexistent.
I think you can accuse all of them for that to be fair.
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Old 02-16-17, 10:29 AM
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More Threads and Discussion on Supplements Under Alternative Treatments (scroll down)

Hola, Flow, and welcome.

I don't share the dogmatic attachment of my fellow posters to the 2 + combined DSM classification, which I might describe as having been "cooked up by bureaucrats to cover the ground without actually illuminating it," either theoretically, etiologically, or treatment-wise. And whether in terms of symptoms or impairments, many experts have noted the DSM criteria continue to be woefully inadequate to describe the ways ADHD presents in adults.

At least Dr Amen has made an attempt to observe and distinguish some symptom clusters, correlate them to a recordable imaging technology (which I hope will eventually become part of the public record), and advocate a full range of more or less self-evident healthy lifestyle changes, as well as the controversial supplements people tend to "focus on."

No, there is no peer-reviewed evaluation or replication of Dr. Amen's classifications, let alone his claimed results. But AFAIK there is no peer reviewed support for the DSM classifications either. Does anyone think that any of the current work going on in genetics, epigenetic gene expressions, autonomic function, imaging, or tests of cognitive performance is tending to support the 2+combined DSM model of ADHD? Or will it more closely resemble Dr Amen's 5 or 7 symptom clusters? Only time will tell.

And supplements? Well, obviously they don't help everyone. Do they help anyone? Some may guess not; I would guess so. Sharing and figuring out what worked for whom is one of the great potential benefits of a forum like this.

But to get back to OP's question, more threads on this can be found under Misc Treatments & Approaches or Scientific Research way at the bottom of the page. You do have to pick through the forest of "No Scientific Validity" posts to find posts where people actually share their experiences with supplements. Maybe searching the thread (or even the whole forum) by supplement name would help locate more actual experiences.

Last edited by 20thcenturyfox; 02-16-17 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 02-16-17, 05:58 PM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

Since ADHD meds are stimulants, I'd imagine that "supplements" that act as stimulants would probably also help. I think that makes the lines extremely blurry between self-medication and supplement but if you really, really want to stay away from doctor-approved medication for some reason that's probably a good place to start. So, like, caffeine or guarana, that kind of thing?
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Old 02-16-17, 07:34 PM
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Re: Treatment with supplements for overfocused ADD?

Maybe I missed it, but what did Dr. Amen say to do?
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Old 02-16-17, 09:27 PM
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Amen's Recommendations for Type 3 "Overfocused" ADHD

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Maybe I missed it, but what did Dr. Amen say to do?
Taken from ADDMag, referring to Type 3 "Overfocused" (not to be confused with Type 2 "Inattentive"), each with a more detailed symptom cluster described therein, Amen says
The treatment for this type is not ADHD stimulants, which, when taken by themselves, usually make a person more anxious and worried. We use supplements or medications that boost both serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin-boosting supplements include 5-HTP, saffron, L-Tryptophan, and inositol. When we use medications, we use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). People with Over-Focused ADD do not do well on a high-protein diet. It will make them mean.
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