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ADHD and Depression -- More Common Than Thought


"Thanks for Noticin' Me" says Eeyore. He walks slowly. He looks sad. He doesn't accomplish much. He's just glad to be noticed. This is Eeyore, the stuffed donkey who is so often in need of his tail being pinned back on.

Eeyore is a good picture of life is like for those who are impacted by the type of ADHD that includes sadness, or depression. It is estimated that as many as 25% of all those with ADHD have to battle depression as well. This type of ADHD is called "Limbic System ADHD" by Daniel Amen, and for good reason. SPECT scans show that when the brain is at rest, there is increased activity deep in the limbic system, in parts of the brain called the thalamus and hypothalamus. There is also a decreased level of activity in the underside of the pre-frontal cortex.

When the brain is placed under a work load, as during a homework assignment, we would expect the under-active pre-frontal cortex to increase activity and get to work. But instead, nothing changes. The over-active limbic system remains over-active, and the under-active pre-frontal cortex remains under-active.

Those with this type, or style of ADHD are often very inattentive to details, and are easily distracted by unimportant things. They have a chronic sadness or low-grade depression to deal with every day. They seem to be negative, or apathetic, and have low energy levels. They just do not seem to care. They often feel worthless, or helpless, or hopeless. As you can see this type of ADHD looks very much like a combination of ADHD and Depression.

Our specific treatment strategy for Limbic System, or Eeyore style ADHD, begins with our recommended Eating Program. In addition, experts recommend DL-Phenylalyne (up to 600 mg per day for adults), 5-HTP, and B Vitamins and St. John's Wort (up to 600 mg per day for adults).

We think that best way to approach this problem is by using the nutraceutical medicines Attend, Extress, and Deprex, which are available over the counter. The Attend contains over 70 ingredients, including GABA, DL-Phenylalyne, Ginko, Pycnogenol and Grape Seed Extracts, 5-HTP, pregnenolone, DMAE, and more. The Extress contains GABA, DL-PA, 5-HTP, and St. John's Wort. Deprex contains more GABA, and just 2 capsules of DEPREX contain 320 mg of St. John's Wort and 420 mg of DL-Phenylalyne. When combined in a targeted treatment strategy like this, the individual with limbic ADHD can expect to see improved and stabilized moods, improved concentration, and improved memory.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.


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