ADHD,ADHD Children,Adult ADHD,Depression

The Miracle of Medication – Another success story!03 Dec

One of the greatest gifts of working with people with ADHD is that the treatment, if done correctly,  can really work quickly and the results sometimes seem nothing short of miraculous.  It never ceases to amaze me how much a person’s life can be changed in just a few months if they just “lean in” and stick with the treatment plan.

There is such joy in being able to hear patients say that “My life is really good Doc, I’m getting A’ and B’s in college now, my parents and I are getting along well and I actually got a part time job and my life is pretty great!”.  Those are the things that make my job worthwhile as psychologist who specializes in ADHD.

All of this because we were able to see what so many previous psychiatrists had failed to notice.  Instead of just looking at the depression and anxiety that were on the surface, we did a comprehensive evaluation and found out that this young man was struggling with Inattentive ADHD.  He was depressed because of all of the things he just couldn’t seem to accomplish in his life.  He was anxious only because he felt something was different about him, and he thought he would never get ahead in his life.  It was hard for me to remember that this was the same person who only a few short months ago was shy, uncertain,  and was really struggling to be successful.  Now thanks to medication, a little ADHD therapy, and a few coaching sessions with his parents, his feelings of discouragement and hopelessness were now nothing more than distant memories.

He, like so many other of our ADHD clients, is excelling in his college courses, noting that for the first time he could actually focus in and comprehend what his professors were lecturing about.

Now, instead of anger and resentment at home, he and his parents talk about the miracle of what this treatment has done to bring peace and cooperation to the family, good grades in college, and most of all he is confident and motivated to be the person he had always wanted to be.

ADHD,ADHD Symptoms,Adult ADHD,Overwhelm

Why is my ADHD Life so Damn Hard?26 Jul

Dr. Richard Ferman, Robert Wilford, Ph.D. and Sarah Ferman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T.

Having treated thousands of people with ADHD, I find one question that comes up over and over again. That question is “Doc, why is my ADHD life so damn hard?” Now there are variations of this question, such as “I thought the medication would take care of all of this ADHD stuff” or “Shouldn’t I have outgrown all this?” This is when I remind my patients that ADHD is a life long condition.  It requires a lifetime of learning and managing from many different angles in order to be successful.  Just because we get some relief from our medication, we still will always have to battle against those three primary traits of ADHD we have been dealing with all of our lives.

The good news is you’re probably familiar with the “Big 3” ADHD traits.  You have just probably forgotten how they look when you are older.   Remember those of us with ADHD tend to be: 1) Impulsive, 2) Inattentive and/or 3) Hyperactive

If you think you are going to outgrow these traits, or they are going to disappear now that you are taking medication, that just is not the case for most of us with ADHD.  I usually find that most of what is making ADHD life hard falls into three categories:

Being too impulsive:

“The Inability to Hold back, or think before making a decision…”

-We tend to make quick decisions.  Later those quick decisions only come back to “haunt” us.

-We make quick decisions without giving ourselves adequate time to carefully consider the possible effects or results of our actions.

-We sometimes don’t think about the possible alternatives which could serve us better.

Inattentiveness or Zoning out of life:

“Difficulty staying present and focused on what is right in front of us…”

-Inattentiveness can cause us to act on a quick decision without taking adequate time to look at possible negative results of our quick decisions.

-To some people it looks like we “just don’t learn from our mistakes.”

-We tend to operate on the principle:  Ready – Fire – Aim!

If, all your life, you have been told that you underachieve, sometimes it just feels better to shoot the gun now and aim later. This is akin to “acting without thinking”.  So, we miss our designated target and set in motion, a series of results that we did not foresee and do not want. This is where our impulsivity, not paying attention to what is around us or thinking about other positive possibilities or options becomes really clear. Often those of us with ADHD prefer to just spring into action without thinking.  This causes us to miss out on other aspects of the situation. Not taking a minute to think about those other possibilities means we miss out on many less obvious options.  That is the rub about ADHD. We may have wished we could have taken the time to think things through, but without some sort of assistance, like that which medication and proper nutrition provide, that option is simply not a possibility.

Battling our own inner Hyperactivity

“That feeling that we just need to keep moving, or are driven by our own motor that just won’t turn off. “

-As kids, we ADHD hyperactive kids got into heaps of trouble for being so hyper and impulsive. We did not see ourselves as others saw us. We felt excessively criticized and put down for just being who we were. Inside we felt happy and “normal’, and in a rush. The constant criticism took its toll on our self-esteem. We saw others as “too slow”. We felt very unique, loving and happy, but often our teachers and parents did not appreciate us for who we felt we were.

-We tend to grow out of the gross, physical, hyperactivity.   This obvious hyperactivity changes into more fine motor hyperactivity: i.e., jiggling our legs, swinging one leg over the other, tapping or drumming etc.  Adult hyperactivity can evolve and make an appearance in a more subtle way such as blinking, raising eyebrows, shrugging our shoulders, etc.  It’s as if the childlike hyperactivity moves more into a feeling of inner restlessness.

This is what I remind myself and my patients to be reminded of anytime they ask the question “Doc, why is my life so hard?”  These core traits are part of the hardwiring of the ADHD brain.  They require monitoring and management even when you just want to give in and let everything in your already overwhelmed brain just fall apart.  Resist that urge, as it usually just makes things worse. Instead, there are things that we can do to offset these “Big 3” ADHD traits.  Here are just a few suggestions to help get your ADHD life back in control:

  1. Give yourself a break and expect to feel overwhelmed and plan for it. The question is not if you get overwhelmed, but when you get overwhelmed. If you know that it is just a natural part of a brain that is built like a Ferrari, then you can go easy on yourself.  Setbacks and misfires are just a part of what makes us human. Even people without ADHD feel overwhelmed sometimes. Give yourself a “get out of jail free card” every own and again. You might find it is just what the doctor ordered to help you stay on track.
  2. Get enough rest. Sounds simple, but those of us with ADHD know just how difficult this can be.  Your ADHD brain just needs all the energy it can get. A sleepy ADHD brain is a useless ADHD brain.  Try to limit the amount of stimulation you have the 2 hours before you go to bed. This means no heavy talks, no super activating television shows, or thought provoking discussions two (2) hours before bedtime.
  3. Eat enough protein!!  The same chemicals that your ADHD brain craves and gets in medication are made from the building blocks found in the protein you eat.  Without enough protein in your diet, all the medication in the world won’t help.
  4. Drink enough water. Did you know that people who are dehydrated actually look a lot like those of us with ADHD? Dehydration can really cause you to not be able to think clearly.  If you find yourself heating up during the day, or have a dry mouth, reach for the H2O. As much as soda and coffee may taste good, soda leaches precious calcium from your body and coffee actually dehydrates you. So remember to drink two waters for every soda or coffee you drink.
  5. Take your medication and your supplements. Many of us with ADHD think we are better or more free when we are off our medication. That may be how we “feel”, but that’s not usually the time when we make our best decisions and are in fact least effective.  If you are supposed to take medication or you are able to take supplements like Omega-3 fatty acids, do it! Omega -3 fatty acids really do impact the way in which our brains work. Anything that we can do to improve our ADHD brains is usually a good thing.

Next time you find yourself chasing after a life of what feels like out of control ADHD, remember that you can get control of your mind, and you can get control of your ADHD.  Take a minute and remember to keep an open mind. If something feels too extreme and out of balance—move on and look elsewhere. Find that place where your mind and your heart guide you to your best choices.

Take a moment to post a comment and tell me about how hard your ADHD life is and share any tips or strategies you found that have worked for you.

Till then—God bless.

ADHD,ADHD Symptoms,Adult ADHD

ADHD May Not Be Real in Teenagers and Seniors20 May

Before you assume that your inattention, lack of motivation and inability to stay focused are actually caused by Attention Deficit Disorder, you must first ask yourself about the quality and quantity of your sleep.  Insomnia or even a few nights of poor or too little sleep can be a serious problem.  Lack of sleep can lead to increased risk for depression and/or anxiety, substance abuse, and yes, symptoms that look like ADHD.

Of particular interest to me, as an ADHD Doctor, is the similarity in symptoms that ADHD and Insomnia have in common.  Both cause (more…)

ADHD,ADHD Symptoms,Adult ADHD,Time Management

ADHD Power Bursts: Miracles in 10 minutes or Less!11 May

Prorastinating, Putting off doing things, wasting time, etc. well try ADHD Power Bursts – Miracles in 10 minutes or Less!
For people with ADHD there is a very real sense of dread that comes over us when faced with a daunting or big task!! Today I looked at my messy home office today and thought to myself,  “I don’t know where to begin”, followed by,  “I will never be able to get that done!”.  Some people with ADHD steer that dread right into avoidance,  or disinterest.  It is as if something takes over my thinking, and before you know it, I am mesmorized by some small part of the task, and then it is two hours later and Im still no closer to getting started on the real task at hand”, says a friend of mine who also has ADHD. (more…)

ADHD,ADHD Children,Adult ADHD


Who can you be?

Don’t be put off achieving your destiny, even if you have experienced failure in your life.

This video mentions well known people who had failed, and kept pressing on until they became successful.
Click to watch >> Famous Failures

Tell us your dreams that are worth pressing on for…




Young men with early or heavy use of Marijuana appear to have a 70% greater risk of Testicular Cancer.  This risk is even higher the younger the age of first use.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research center in Seattle found an association with Nonseminoma, a fast growing and aggressive subtype of testicular cancer.  Of all testicular cancer, 40% is Nonseminoma and the rest are slower growing.

It appears that hormonal changes during puberty make young men more vulnerable.  The findings were independent of other known risk factors, such as family history, cigarette smoking and alcohol use.  It appears that the testes, like the brain, have receptors for tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical component of marijuana.

I found this information very interesting.  In our center, we have seen so many young people with ADHD attempt to self-medicate with Marijuana.  It appears the dangers of Marijuana are greater than we initially understood.



For many years people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have struggled with the negative way in which the name presents the condition.  The current label for ADHD includes both the terms Deficit and Disorder. We asked some of our online friends the question “What is a good analogy to use to describe the creative chaos of the ADHD mind to neuro-typical people?  Here are a few of the responses we received:

“A friend of mine calls it “Eclectic Free-Ranging Focus”, not liking the pejorative sound of the words “deficit” and “disorder”. I kind of like that….”

“Extra thinkers. Thinkers plus? Bonus thinkers.”


“I like Attention-Surplus…because nobody can focus like and ADHD’er (when we are interested!)

IF you have another name for ADHD or another analogy or metaphor for how you think of ADHD we would love to hear about it. So please take a minute and post your best ADHD analogy and share it with all of our blog readers.


Ways to Manage ADHD Stress During the Holidays28 Dec

Robert Wilford, Ph.D. and Sarah Ferman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T.

There are two distinct conditions being discussed here. ADHD is one and stress is the other. Both are fairly easy to define and if you are a parent with a child who has ADHD it’s probably fair to say you know a bit about stress. The problem here though is that dealing with ADHD can be a tough task at the best of times, so if you throw stress into the mix, that task just got tougher.

Then, if all that is not hard enough, you add an extra ingredient of the holidays. Travel, visiting folks, having folks visit you, cooking, more cooking, the weather and all these things may make your stress levels soar to new heights. Stress has a way of upsetting the sufferer in many little and large ways. If you are stressed you will not sleep well, you may lose your appetite, you may feel like giving up and are likely to pick up colds and headaches more easily. It’s wise to get rid of stress.

So what else do we know? We know what usually happens during the holidays and even what may happen. So you are forewarned in that area. So we know about your ADHD child, you know about your spouse, you know about the holidays and you know that ball will suffer if you suffer from stress. But it is really possible to reduce or even remove your stress. And that simply has to happen because, let’s face it, a hyperactive child, or overzealous spouse plus the holidays do not need you suffering from stress. Simple. Get rid of the stress or the things which create the stress.

Here are some ways to do just that. Meditation. Now some people react to this idea with scorn and derision. It’s a waste of time, it doesn’t work and I’ll make a fool of myself. And those sorts of comments are usually from someone who has never tried meditation or never been serious in trying it. There are different philosophies and approaches to meditation but it all boils down to you stopping, being still in a quiet place and not doing anything other than relax. That in itself is a big help. For someone who is constantly on the go, constantly looking out for your ADHD child or spouse, putting on the brakes and doing nothing is good for your body, mind and soul. Make it for five minutes every day. Try it for ten minutes. It could mean the removal of your stress. Studies have shown that sitting doing nothing for 30 minutes a day, reduces cholesterol significantly and improves heart functioning. Imagine what a few minutes each day can do for you.

Then there’s logic. This involves you taking out a pad and pen and writing down, one topic at a time, the thing which is causing your stress. Don’t tackle more than one issue at a time or else you will become stressed. How ironical is that?

So let’s say you are behind in your study program. Your latest assignment is due and you haven’t found the time to do the necessary work. Just writing it down is helpful in itself. Then you need to list why this situation has arisen. Why are you behind? Well, obviously it’s because you are busy with other things, many of them essential. And once again, writing down the reasons is helpful in itself. And, now you must make a decision. List the way or ways you can find time to complete your work. Now that you have a plan, follow through, one step at a time. And presto, you feel better already.

Leave us a comment on how you handle Stress…


Pharmacy Shame and Adult ADHD16 Dec

Robert Wilford, Ph.D. and Sarah Ferman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T.

At first, the pharmacy tech was all smiles when she took my prescription and went to check if they had the medication on hand.  Then it started, “Oh really, it says here twice a day – I think that is too much.” “Oh yes, I will have to do some checking. Oh no, No- I don’t think that is o.k.” “This is for you?” she said surprisingly, with a scrunched face of disbelief on her forehead. “We will need to call and speak to the doctor, to make sure he knows about this dose for sure.”  “We can not fill this for you, without first consulting the doctor. You will have to come back tomorrow.”   I told her that I had just been to my psychiatrist, a 30 year Specialist in ADHD, and Yes, he did prescribe 1-2 capsules per day, and yes I was a high metabolizer, and yes that dose was what my licensed psychiatrist believed was required to provide relief from my ADHD symptoms.

“Still no, no, I will have to speak with him.  After all  this ADHD is still (more…)

ADHD Symptoms,Adult ADHD,Time Management

ADHD Adults Los Angeles – Plan Twice As Long As You Think You Will Need20 Nov

ADHD Adults Los Angeles  – Plan twice as long as you think you will need

You will probably just make it

Any adult who has ADHD will not be surprised when they hear someone say that their life is in turmoil. That is often a good description of someone with the condition, an ADDer or ADHDer. They find the following types of behavior or words to be commonplace in their life – procrastination, impulsive, poor time-management, easily distracted and inattention (actually-surplus attention). In fact those words are par for the course with many who have ADHD.

And of course if you do keep putting things off, if you tend to rush into things or find yourself running late or going overtime, your life can be pretty frustrating at those times. But there is a way through the difficulties.

The good thing about being an adult with ADHD is that you can (more…)

ADHD Symptoms,Adult ADHD

ADHD Symptoms Los Angeles – The ADHD Mind Has No Internal Clock18 Nov

ADHD Symptoms – How 5 minutes quickly turns into 2 hours

When we face a task or a chore at home say like painting the fence, mowing the lawn or baking a cake, we should know approximately how long that chore will take. And this is especially so if we have baked that cake many times before or mown the lawn fifty times a year. But what if we were to get our timing wrong? What if we thought we could paint the fence in two hours and six hours later we were still not through?

Well as crazy as that sounds, guessing the time it takes to do something is a major problem for many people who suffer from ADHD. Their brain simply doesn’t compute the same way a non-ADHD brain computes.

People have what is called an internal clock. They are able to (more…)

ADHD,ADHD Children,ADHD Symptoms,Adult ADHD,Time Management

Adults ADHD in California – Being Late is one of the chief complaints of Adults with ADHD17 Nov

Sarah Ferman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T.

Adults ADHD in California – what is the main complaint?

Attention Disorder Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is believed to affect about 8% of children and about a half of these sufferers will continue with the disorder when they grow into adults. So ADHD is a significant part of the life of millions of people and of course their disorder will impact on their family, friends, teachers, fellow workers, etc.

In recent years rapid progress has been made particularly in dealing with adults who have ADHD. Professionals are better at diagnosis, understanding the full spectrum of the disorder, as well as treatments be it with medication, psychotherapy, coaching or other alternatives.

With adults, one of the major signs of their disorder is their inability to (more…)

ADHD,ADHD Children,Adult ADHD,Time Management

ADHD Symptoms Los Angeles – ADHD Brain has difficulty understanding how long things take in life12 Nov

Sarah Ferman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T.

ADHD Symptoms
The ADHD brain has problems doing all sorts of things and we’ve really only just starting to find this out. The ability of scientists such as neurologists and neuroscientists to take photos of the human brain and then analyze what is happening, means we are better able to discuss, define and treat people with ADHD.

The brain is divided into sections and one of these is known as the pre-frontal cortex. Photo imaging or a kind of x-ray of the brain shows that there are (more…)


Just been diagnosed with ADHD – Now What?22 Oct

Getting diagnosed with ADHD can be a confusing thing to handle. For many people it is a combination of relief and regret. Finding someone who knows and understands your type of ADHD is crucial.

The diagnosis of ADHD is a mixed blessing for most. It often explains years of missed deadlines, unopened mail, and interpersonal difficulties. The good news is that 70% of people respond well to medication and see a decrease in symptoms in a short time. What is difficult is that “pills don’t teach skills”. Medication is only (more…)


Could Kids with ADD/ADHD just need more Sleep?23 Aug

sleeping girl with alarm clock iStock_000008772524XSmallIN THE NEWS

There is a high incidence of both children and adults with sleep disorder problems who also have ADD/ADHD.

In a study by Ronald Chervin, a neurologist at the University of Michigan, he found that 30% of boys younger than 8 years of age that snored were identified with hyperactivity, while only 9% of non-snorers were found to be hyperactive.

The study is not suggesting that sleep disorders cause ADHD. The study rather reminds us that children can express daytime sleepiness as hyperactivity as a way to stay awake and adults can express daytime sleepiness as irritability or loopyness.


Genes Responsible for ADHD Identified04 Jul


Once again the myth that ADHD does not exist is busted…..

By Redaksi Web
Harian Global — Published: Saturday, 04 July 2009

Hundreds of variations in genes which more frequently occur among attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) sufferers have been identified by researchers, many of which were known about previously as crucial for behavior and learning.

The variations seen have a broader impact on DNA structure, involving copy number variations (CNVs) which involve repeated or missing stretches of DNA. Many diseases, including schizophrenia and autism, are known to involve CNVs.

Psychiatrist Josephine Elia, M.D., said: “Because the gene alterations we found are involved in the development of the nervous system, they may eventually guide researchers to better targets in designing early intervention for children with ADHD.”


Your 21st Century Brain on Facebook28 Feb


We all know that individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder are challenged with more than attention or multi-tasking; and yet the premise of the article is accurate in expressing how the speed of technology can affect individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder.  Read the article and let us know your thoughts and feelings…

By Bridgitt Robertson  

Atlanta Web Examiner  - Published: February 28, 2009

Are you experiencing short attention spans? Do you have difficulty empathizing with others? Well, according to one neuroscientist, this might be the result of your visits to social networking sites like Facebook.

According to Professor Greenfield, a neuroscientist at Lincoln college, “It might be helpful to investigate whether the near total submersion of our culture in screen technologies over the last decade might in some way be linked to the threefold increase over this period in prescriptions for methylphenidate, the drug prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.”  Methylphenidate, or Ritalin, prescriptions have also increased in the US. Interestingly, college students in the U.S. who were already on Ritalin, Prozac and other psych meds and in need of additional counseling rose from 7% in 1992 to 18% in 2000. Could there be a link to their online activities?

Some experts suggest that excessive exposure to new digital technology can be problematic for the brain’s ability to respond. In fact, there are some studies that suggest that not everyone can handle multitasking and that the demands of today’s technologies may result in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

While we applause the vast technological changes taking place in our society, some experts say that such technologies prevent us from paying full attention to one thing. That technologies like instant messenging and Twitter require quick responses versus depth and sublety in our thinking.

According to Dr. Greenfield, who spoke of one Facebook user claiming 900 friends,”that you can’t see or hear other people makes it easier to reveal yourself in a way that you might not be comfortable with. You become less conscious of the individuals involved [including yourself], less inhibited, less embarrassed and less concerned about how you will be evaluated.”

Given the brain’s exposure to roughly eight hours of technology every day, it is likely that our high-tech revolution will have some sort of impact on our behavior. In fact, initial results indicate important links between extensive brain exposure to new technology and mental disorders.

So the next time your attention span is short or you feel you’re lacking emphathy, perhaps that’s the time to turn off the computer and your other electronic gadgets and go outside and get some good fresh air.


ADHD Success is a Result of…04 Feb

“Success is a result of good judgement…
Good judgement is the result of experience…
Experience is the result of bad judgement… ”

Mark Twain

I recently found this quote in my notes.  It triggered some thoughts about my clients that I wanted to share with you.  Clients frequently and mistakenly have a magical belief that good judgement just happens.  Let me clearly state that good judgement comes from the learning experiences of life.  We are so afraid of what others think and the way others view us, those thoughts drag us down and frequently add to our stressers.

Emily did not have enough money to pay for her car insurance.  She was embarrassed, she didn’t want anyone to know about her financial situation.  Emily needed about $150 to pay the $400.00 auto insurance. Emily’s auto policy lapsed and she had a car accident.  Because she had no insurance, her license was suspended, she had fines for driving without insurance and of course the cost to fix both cars.  This experience taught Emily to always maintain her auto insurance.  A year later Emily found herself in the same situation.  She questioned whether to let the auto policy lapse or borrow the money. This time she reached out and borrowed the money she needed to keep her auto policy in effect. A week later, her son was in a minor accident.  She was thrilled that she had made the decision to maintain the auto insurance, rather than let it lapse.

Ironically, we only learn through our experiences and it is those experiences that help us make good decisions.  Let me know your thoughts and experiences relating to how you used the learning from bad judgments to do something successful.  We will post your comments and stories.

ADHD,ADHD Conferences,ADHD Parents,Adult ADHD

Meditation may reduce ADHD symptoms02 Jan


CEC SMARTBRIEF, January 02, 2009

A small group of middle-school students who practiced transcendental meditation twice daily at school reduced their stress and anxiety by 50% and improved ADHD symptoms as well, according to a new study published in Current Issues in Education. The changes after three months were much more dramatic than researchers expected, including better attention, memory, organizational and behavioral skills, said lead researcher Sarina J. Grosswald. WCVB-TV (Boston) (12/31)


Problems Sensing Time?02 Jan


ADHD expert Russell A. Barkely, Ph.D. notes that “recent research suggests that those with ADHD cannot sense or use time as adequately as others in their daily activities, such that they are often late for appointments and deadlines, ill-prepared for upcoming activities, and less able to pursue long-term goals and plans as well as others. Problems with time management and organizing themselves for upcoming events are commonplace in older children and adults with the disorder.” This is confirming evidence of the tyranny of time faced by so many us and our children today.


Most medical doctors who treat ADD/ADHD do so as part of a larger practice. ADHD Specialists focuses primarily on only treating ADD and related conditions. This intense focus allows us to continually sharpen our clinical skills, attend specialized training, utilize the latest therapies, and build our process to meet the specific needs of our clients.

Often medical, testing and counseling services are all separately owned and located practices. It just does not make sense to have to travel from one location to another to treat the same condition. Besides the issue of time and travel, how cohesive and effective is care being delivered in multiple locations by multiple, unrelated providers who don’t have time to talk to each other?

We Are Conveniently Located

in the Northern area of Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, in the City of Encino, near the 405 and 101 freeway interchange.
15720 Ventura Blvd. #503

Encino, CA 91436
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