All in the ADHD family: Diagnosis in kids can spotlight parents' own condition

“All in the ADHD family: Diagnosis in Kids can Spotlight Parents' own Condition”NBC News, Rock Center11 min, 55 secThis video profiles two people who were not diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood. It is not uncommon for someone to first consider that they may have ADHD after one of their children has been diagnosed.NBC's Kate Snow also talks to a woman who conducted a study where she examined a cohort of children diagnosed with ADHD and then followed up with them 33 years later.In addition, she speaks with a researcher about the differences that have been found between ADHD and non-ADHD adults in brain neuroimaging studies.

And the Secret to Happiness Is…

CNN: “And the Secret to Happiness Is…”by Sanjay Gupta, MD2 min, 0 secDr. Gupta makes a number of interesting points in this video.

  • Happiness can help you live a longer and happier life.*
  • Much of our happiness is related to our social connections. So having no social connections is correlated with less happiness and a shorter lifespan.
  • Telomeres are the caps on our DNA chromosomes that measure our cellular age. The older we get, the shorter the telomeres. Someone without any close social ties will have shorter telomeres than someone of the same age with at least one close friend.
  • People who tend to have a lot of negative thoughts are three times as likely to develop health problems as they age. But research indicates that even just pretending to be an optimist can help reverse this trend. In addition, changing the habitual way we think is one of the core skills that you develop in cognitive behavior therapy.

* Those of you familiar with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy will understand that happiness is not as straightforward of a concept as it may seem and being fixated on being happy actually make you miserable. But that's a whole other discussion. But a very interesting topic. If you'd like to read more you can check out Russ Harris's book "The Happiness Trap."

CNN: How Your Smart Phone Affects Your Sleep

CNN: “How Your Smart Phone Affects Your Sleep”By Sanjay Gupta, MD1 min, 31 secDr. Gupta explains in this video how using our smart phones before bed can hurt our chances of a good night’s sleep. He says that looking at emails or other content on our phones can "take our brains from 0 to 60" (in terms of arousal) very quickly. In addition, the light from the phone (and other electronics) can disrupt our circadian rhythms. The light can inhibit the production of melatonin, a chemical in the body that's involved in helping us fall asleep. The vast majority of the ADHD clients I work with have problems with regulating sleep and oversleeping or insomnia also is frequently a symptom of depression or anxiety.

Your Brain on Multitasking

CNN: "Your Brain on Multitasking"By Sanjay Gupta, MD2 min, 1 sec.Dr. Gupta explains in this video why effective multitasking is a myth for the vast majority of us. When you are working on activity A and then begin to work on activity B, attention is diverted away from activity A to activity B (so you are not doing both at once), slowing down your speed and quality on both tasks. Even though you can switch very quickly from one to the other, your bandwidth decreases so you're doing the two tasks less effectively than if you were only focusing on one at a time. He references a study that shows that when you look at the brain activity of someone who is driving, adding paying attention to something you are listing to will decrease the bandwidth for driving by 37%.He acknowledges that 2% of the population are genetically gifted and able to multitask. But if you think you're one of them, you're probably wrong. Because he also points out that people who think they're the best at multitasking actually are usually the worst.

NPR, The Colbert Report, & the Myth of Multitasking

Researchers continue to find that multitasking actually makes tasks take longer rather than help you be more efficient with your time. For people with ADHD it supports the importance of learning skills and strategies to help reduce distractibility and maintain focus. NPR had a recent broadcast on the topic and noted that, “Clifford Nass, a psychology professor at Stanford University, says today's nonstop multitasking actually wastes more time than it saves—and he says there's evidence it may be killing our concentration and creativity too.” for a more humorous take on the topic can watch this 5 minute video where Stephen Colbert comments on the NPR broadcast.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Myths and Facts

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Myths and Facts (3 min, 6 sec)A discussion of the common myths associated with ADHD. A few of the mythsdiscussed include:

  • Does treatment with stimulant medication lead to drug addiction?
  • Is ADHD over-diagnosed?
  • Does ADHD mean you are set up for a lifetime of failures?