Does this sound like you? Fleeting thoughts, forgetfulness, procrastination, easily distracted, lack of follow-through, blurting in conversations, difficulty waiting your turn, impulsive. You might find yourself irritable when you are interrupted once you are finally able to settle into a task, or anxious when you realize that you dropped the ball. You may have difficulty sitting still.
The DSM describes three kinds of attention deficit disorders – a predominantly inattentive kind, a hyperactive/impulsive kind, and a combined presentation. However, many brain dysregulations can interfere with our ability to pay attention, and so it is important to determine whether something else is actually the cause, for example, intrusive thoughts from a trauma or obsession, a mood disorder such as depression or anxiety, or a lack of sleep from insomnia.
The artwork suggests both the inability to remain still and many competing thoughts.
It was a relief when I was diagnosed at age 43. A lot of my life now made sense. I wasn’t lazy or a bad person. I can read a book to the end now and I can sit still through meetings. I no longer like a loser.
One brain dysregulation common to attention issues is an elevated theta-beta ratio in the frontal and central areas of the brain; we need more beta activity to focus and problem solve. By giving your brain rewards for lowering this ratio, for example, in the form of a video game of increasing duration, we can teach you and your brain how to attain and maintain an attentive state. We also have a fun 3-D tracking game called Neurotracker that enhances attention, executive function, working memory, and processing speed. A number of professional sports teams use this with their players to improve performance. We may also suggest working with your naturopath to find supplements, rather than medications, to boost your brain’s ability to produce dopamine and epinephrine.