Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD

Overview

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a national health crisis that continues to grow—yet it remains one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly treated illnesses today. Now, using breakthrough diagnostic techniques, Dr. Daniel Amen has discovered that there are six distinct types of ADD, each requiring a different treatment.

With recommendations for prescription drugs, nutraceutical therapy, cognitive reprogramming, parenting and educational strategies, biofeedback, ...

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Overview

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a national health crisis that continues to grow—yet it remains one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly treated illnesses today. Now, using breakthrough diagnostic techniques, Dr. Daniel Amen has discovered that there are six distinct types of ADD, each requiring a different treatment.

With recommendations for prescription drugs, nutraceutical therapy, cognitive reprogramming, parenting and educational strategies, biofeedback, self-hypnosis and more, Dr. Amen’s revolutionary approach provides a treatment program that can lead sufferers of ADD to a normal, peaceful, and fully functional life.

Sufferers from ADD often say, The harder I try, the worse it gets."  Dr. Amen tells them, for the first time, how to get well.

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Editorial Reviews

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Every parent of a child diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) knows the pain and frustration of attempting to apply one-size-fits-all solutions to their kid's specific condition. Dr. Daniel G. Amen, an internationally recognized authority on the disorder, maintains that there are at least half a dozen distinct types of ADD, each requiring a different treatment. This moderate, detailed book offers recommendations about therapy, prescription drugs, and reprogramming techniques for ADD people of all ages.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425183274
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/4/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel G. Amen, M.D., is a clinical neuroscientist, a psychiatrist, and the director of clinics in California, Washington state, and Virginia. In addition to operating a private practice, he is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine. He is the author of Healing ADD, Healing Anxiety and Depression, and Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1ADD in the Real World Stories Through the Life Cycle ADD may not make someone look different, but you can see it plainly if you know what to look for. The following case histories demonstrate what ADD "looks like" throughout the life cycle. These stories are real. The names and details have been altered, as they have been throughout this book, to protect the confidentiality of my patients. Children Billy Billy, age 9, had trouble in school since starting kindergarten. The teachers seemed to call his parents at least once a month to complain about Billy's behavior. He frequently interrupted others, they said, and he had problems with distractibility, a short attention span, and hyperactivity, and he couldn't stay in his seat. Again and again Billy was told that he was impulsive and did things without thinking. The teachers reported that he got into many fights with the other children, because he "seemed to take things the wrong way." Additionally, Billy's work was sloppy, he often forgot or lost assignments, and his desk was an absolute disorganized mess! His parents knew most of these problems firsthand. Billy was a difficult child to parent. He said things without thinking, often argued when told to do something, and became angry with little provocation. Homework was always a struggle with Billy. Work that typically took their other kids thirty minutes to finish took Billy three or four hours. While doing his homework, he was up every five minutes looking for food or bothering his older sister. In the first three years of school, Billy was labeled a willful, defiant child. He was often sad and frustrated, and he had a tendency to blame others for his problems. His parents didn't know what to do. They had known of the problems for some time, and they alternated between blaming Billy, blaming the "lousy" school, and blaming themselves. When Billy was 5 years old, his mother took him to the pediatrician because of his high activity level and difficult nature. While she was talking to the doctor, however, Billy sat perfectly still and he was very polite and attentive to the doctor. The doctor told Billy's mother that there was nothing the matter with the boy and that she should take parenting classes. The mother left the pediatrician's office in tears because he confirmed her worst fear: She was a defective parent who caused Billy's problems. Despite the parenting classes, the problems continued. When he was in third grade, Billy came to my office for an evaluation. It was clear from watching him that he had difficulty concentrating and was distractible, active, and impulsive. Billy had Classic ADD: He was inattentive, distractible, disorganized, hyperactive, and impulsive. I placed him on medication, talked with the school on effective classroom management techniques, and had his parents attend a parenting group designed for dealing with difficult children. I also taught Billy some specialized biofeedback techniques. Six months after ADD treatment, Billy was a different child. He was less impulsive, his attention span had increased, and he appeared calmer. Even his grades had improved. Four years later he likes himself, is effective at school, and has healthy relationships at home and with friends. Shortly after I placed Billy on medication, I asked him about the time in the pediatrician's office when he had been 5 years old. I asked him why he had been able to sit so still during the interview. He told me that he thought the doctor was going to do brain surgery on him. You would sit still, too, if you thought someone was going to open up your skull! Melissa Melissa, age 5, had been affectionately labeled the "pink tornado." Ever since she could walk, she ran. Everywhere. Her parents were always on edge, wondering what she was going to do next. She climbed. She swung on cupboard doors. She ran into the street as soon as her mother's back was turned. She was her own "little wrecking crew" when she went shopping with her mom or dad. Her parents brought her to see me after she was nearly run down in a parking lot after she opened the car door and ran into a store. Her parents also reported that Melissa was moody, irritable, oppositional, extremely talkative, and able to throw monumental tantrums. Her mother complained that she could not take Melissa anywhere without a commotion. In restaurants she wiggled, yelled out, and screamed if she didn't get her way. Other adults would stare at Melissa's parents with a look that said, "Why don't you beat that bratty child into submission!" Lord knows they spanked this child more than they thought any child should be spanked. That didn't seem to be the answer. In fact, the more they spanked Melissa, the more she would act up-almost as if she was driven for more punishment. Melissa had a very short attention span, never playing with anything for longer than a few minutes. She could tear her room apart in a moment. Her parents actually put a lock on the outside of her room to keep her out when her parents were not supervising her. Melissa tore up my office too. She climbed up my bookcases, messed up the papers on my desk, and screamed at her parents when they asked her to settle down. It seemed that she invited her parents to spank her in front of me. Melissa had never been abused and no obvious emotional trauma was evident in her life. The parents, who cared for each other very much, wondered how long they could last as a family. Melissa had a severe case of "Ring of Fire" ADD. It probably had genetic roots. Her mother's father was an alcoholic and her uncle on her father's side was in jail for assault. Melissa also had an aunt with bipolar disorder (manic depression). She became more active and aggressive on Ritalin. Dexedrine did the same thing to her. With the atypical response to medication, I ordered a brain SPECT study, which showed multiple overactive areas across the cortical surface of her brain. With this information, I placed her on Depakote-an antiseizure medication often helpful for cases like this-and a higher protein diet. Within several weeks she became more settled, more cooperative, more playful, more attentive, and much more relaxed. Her mother was amazed at how little she was yelling at Melissa now. The parents also took a parenting class, which helped them gain the skills necessary to deal with a very challenging child. Teenagers Louanne Louanne's mother came to one of my lectures. When I described ADD, she started to cry, knowing that the symptoms I had listed fit her daughter's life. Shortly thereafter, she brought Louanne to see me. Louanne had a short attention span, was easily distracted, and often did not finish her assignments. She had low self-esteem and she talked incessantly without saying very much of substance. Louanne complained of low energy and no motivation. She had always wanted to be a music teacher, but she began to believe that she couldn't do the work to succeed in college. She thought that she was slow and different from her friends. She sat in my office, already demoralized at age 16. Louanne had Inattentive ADD, a common but rarely diagnosed condition in females. I started her on Dexedrine, had her increase her exercise and protein intake, and worked with her on self-esteem and school strategies. Within a month of starting treatment, Louanne dramatically improved. I remember her coming into my office so tickled that she could finally get her work done. In the semester after she started treatment, her grade point average went from a 2.1 to a 3.0. She was especially pleased that she could compete with her friends at school and no longer thought of herself as "dumber than them." The demoralized girl I had first met was developing into a hopeful and forward-looking woman. Her mother commented that she was more thoughtful when she spoke and voiced the secret feelings of many parents: "Just knowing that this is a medical disorder, with signs, symptoms, and treatment, has given us immense hope for Louanne." Gregg When Gregg first came to see me at the age of 14, he was a wreck. He had just been expelled from his third school for fighting and breaking the rules. He told off teachers for fun and picked fights with other kids on the school grounds. He also never did his homework and he talked about dropping out of school, saying he didn't need an education to take care of himself. At home he was defiant, restless, messy, and disobedient. He teased his younger brother and sister without mercy. Anytime his parents would speak to him, he'd get defensive and challenging. His parents were at their wits' end, and their next step was a residential treatment center. When I first saw him he was a "turned off" teenager with averted eyes and nothing much to say. He told me that he didn't want to be sent away but that he wasn't able to get along with his family. He found school very hard and thought he was stupid. When I did a test of verbal intelligence on him, however, his demeanor started to change. He liked the test and seemed challenged by it. His verbal IQ score was 142, in the superior range and far from stupid. Looking back in Gregg's history, it was clear he had had symptoms of ADD his whole life. He was a fidgety kid with awful handwriting and a messy desk. His desk at school was always a mess. He had trouble waiting his turn in school, and endured being called stupid because he had trouble learning. Due to the severity of his problems, and the potential departure of Gregg from the family, I ordered a brain SPECT study to evaluate the functioning of his brain. The study showed that he had two problems. When Gregg tried to concentrate, the front part of his brain, which should increase in activity, actually decreased. This is the part of the brain that controls attention span, judgment, impulse control, and critical thinking. His brain study also showed decreased activity in his left temporal lobe, which, when abnormal, often causes problems with violent or aggressive behavior. I diagnosed Gregg with Temporal Lobe ADD. As I explained these findings to Gregg, he became visibly relieved. "You mean," he said, "the harder I try to concentrate, the worse it gets for me." He responded very nicely to a combination of medication (Ritalin and Carbatrol) to correct the problems in his frontal and temporal lobes. In addition, I placed him on vitamin E and ginkgo to enhance overall blood flow to his brain and did biofeedback over his left temporal lobe. He was able to remain at home, finish high school, and start college-a far cry from the stupid troublemaker he and everyone else thought he was. Adults Brett Brett, 27, had just been fired from his fourth job in a year. He blamed his bosses for expecting too much of him, but it was the same old story. Brett had trouble with details, he was often late to work, he seemed disorganized, and he would miss important deadlines. The end came when he impulsively told off a difficult customer who complained about his attitude. All his life Brett had similar problems, and his mother was tired of bailing him out. He dropped out of school in the eleventh grade, despite having been found to have a high IQ. He was restless, fidgety, impulsive, and had a fleeting attention span. When he was in school, small amounts of homework would take him several hours to complete, even with much nagging and yelling from his mother. Brett had mastered the art of getting people angry at him, and it seemed to others that he intentionally stirred things up. Brett had had lifelong symptoms of Classic ADD that had gone unnoticed, even though Brett had been tested on three separate occasions. With appropriate treatment at last, his life made a dramatic turnaround. He returned to school, finished a technical degree in fire-inspection technology, and got a job. He has kept that job for eight years now and feels that he is happier, more focused, and more positive than ever before. Larry Larry, 62, came into therapy because his wife threatened to start divorce proceedings against him if he didn't get help. She complained that he never talked to her, he was unreliable, he never finished projects that he started, and he was very negative. He tended to be moody, tired, and disinterested in sex. As a child, he had mediocre to poor grades in school, and as an adult he went from job to job, complaining of boredom. Larry was referred to me by his marital therapist, and rightly so: Larry had Limbic ADD, with problems that looked like a combination of ADD and depression. Larry's SPECT study showed decreased prefrontal cortex activity and increased activity in the deep limbic system of his brain. Seeing his scan convinced him of the need for treatment. He started on an intense aerobic exercise program, took nutritional supplements, and changed his diet. Within a month his mood was better and he felt more focused. As Larry improved, the couple learned quickly in marital therapy and have been happier than when they were first married. Lindy Lindy, 37, was ready to leave her husband when she first came to see me. "We fight all the time," she said. "Not over big things...but it sure gets old." Lindy also complained of being moody, often irritable, and short with her children. Furthermore, she had trouble getting to sleep and couldn't get out of bed in the morning. In school she was easily distracted, and keeping up with taking notes was almost impossible for her. Lindy's husband had the same complaints of her. She was irritable, she seemed to provoke fights with him or the children, and she had to have things a certain way or she'd become very upset. "Everyone takes off their shoes and socks before they come into the house. And if she sees a strand of hair on the floor, she becomes very upset! She's the only person I've ever met who vacuums the house at 11 P.M. on Friday night." He said that there were sexual problems. When they were making love, she'd often become distracted and lose interest. She'd then tell her husband to "just get it over with." The husband often felt that she was having an affair. Lindy's grandfather, father, and brother had problems with alcohol. She also had a niece and a nephew who were diagnosed with ADD. As I listened to her story, along with the comments from her husband, it was clear that Lindy had Overfocused ADD, where she had trouble shifting her attention. This caused her to have to have things a certain way at home and made it hard for her to take notes in school. She responded nicely to a combination of Ritalin and Prozac, exercise, and increased complex carbohydrates in her diet. After several months she was more relaxed at home, school was much easier for her, she was better with the children, and her relationship with her husband was more positive. —Reprinted Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. By Permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons, A Member Of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (C) 2001 Daniel G. Amen, M.D. All Rights Reserved. This Excerpt, Or Any Parts Thereof, May Not Be Reproduced in Any Form Without Permission.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Part I: ADD Uncovered
1. ADD in the Real World: Stories through the Life Cycle
2. The ADD Story
3. Looking into the ADD Brain: The Development of SPECT Imagery in Psychiatry
4. The Amen Clinic ADD Type Questionnaire
Part II: The Six ADD Types
5. Type 1: Classic ADD
6. Type 2: Inattentive ADD
7. Type 3: Overfocused ADD
8. Type 4: Temporal Lobe ADD
9. Type 5: Limbic ADD
10. Type 6: "Ring of Fire" ADD
12. Soft Brain, Hard Skull: Head-Trauma-Induced ADD
13. Self-Medication, Self-Pollution: ADD and Substance Abuse
14. The Games ADD People Play
15. The Impact of ADD on Relationships, Families, School, Work, and Self-Esteem
Part III: The Amen Clinic's ADD Brain Enhancement Program
16. Enhancing ADD Brain Function: Effective Interventions for Treating ADD Types, Including Diet, Exercise, Medications, Supplements, and Behavioral Interventions
17. Dietary Interventions for ADD Types
18. Medication for ADD Types
19. Supplement Strategies for ADD Types
20. Neurofeedback Strategies for ADD Types
Part IV: Optimizing the ADD Life
21. Parenting and Family Strategies
22. School Strategies
23. Sleep Strategies for Getting Up and Going to Bed
24. Killing ADD ANTs: Thinking Skills for Overcoming Past Trauma, Fear, and Failure
25. Focused Breathing: The Immediate ADD Salve
26. ADD Coaching
27. Self-hypnotic Reprogramming for Success
28. What to Do When ADD Treatment Doesn't Work
29. How to Find the Best Help: A Resource Guide
Index

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    Dr. Daniel Amen started using biofeedback and behavior modification as an army psychiatrist in the late 80s. While attending a lecture, he became aware of the use of electroencephalograms (EEGs) in treating children with ADD. This gave Dr. Amen a ¿critical insight: the importance of looking at the brain in different states¿. Thus Dr. Amen became a pioneer in the field connecting ADD and the use of biofeedback and brain imaging. Soon he was introduced to brain SPECT (single proton emission computed tomography) imaging and started using it in his practice. He tried the SPECT on one of his patients at the time and discovered normal brain activity at rest but decreased activity when problem solving. Treatment with Ritalin corrected the problem AND it was all documented by the tests. The patient was thrilled ¿Having ADD is not my fault. It¿s a medical problem, just like someone who needs glasses.¿ Despite continued success, there was still a great deal of resistance to the use of imaging and biofeedback in the medical community. This was frustrating to Dr. Amen and made him angry. ¿How can we not look at the brain? Cardiologists look at the heart. Orthopedic doctors have bone x-rays. We (psychiatrists) deal with the most complex organ in the body. How can we treat it without having information on how it functions? We are the only medical specialists that never look at the organ we treat!¿ Thankfully Dr. Amen was not dissuaded from his continued use of SPECT and biofeedback. For each of the 6 types of ADD described by Dr. Amen, there are real life clinical studies as well as SPECT images of actual patients and the varied treatment for each type. Treatment for each of the types includes dietary changes and supplements, physical exercise, pharmacological medications, environmental changes and behavior modification suggestions. The clinical studies include males, females, children, teenagers, adults as well as brain trauma victims. In addition to dealing with the myths, facts and core symptoms of ADD, Dr. Amen also discusses why ADD is increasing in the population and is underdiagnosed and undertreated. In this book, ADD is recognized as a psychological, biological and social disorder. As such Dr. Amen recognizes that treatment must also be on all levels. The nine chapters on optimizing the ADD life offer a plethora of strategies on parenting and family, school, work and sleep. Also discussed is EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), as well as focused breathing, self-hypnosis and ADD coaching. Despite the extensive `science¿ in this book, it is an easy read. It provides proven practical suggestions to help those with ADD to lead full productive and satisfying lives.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2007

    Buy this book first!

    Has your child been recently diagnosed? Looking for a 'not just meds' solution? Look no further than this book for thorough insight and a positive future for your child and your family living with ADD.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2004

    way to go

    It was very indepth and gave very practical soultions that really work. I especially liked the section on the ANTS (automatic negitive thoughts) I never realized how much I kept myself from suceeding in life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Good except for the 6 categories

    My daughter has a very serious problem sustaining attention but none of the 6 categories Amen describes her at all. The 6 categories group unrelated symptoms together, and I do not think they are valid.<BR/><BR/>Nonetheless, I found the book fascinating, informative, and helpful.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2004

    Helped Me To Identify My Son's Specific ADD Type

    Good day all. I highly recommend this book, especially if you're looking for the latest information on ADD, and the six individual types. I guarantee you that by page 15, you'll have already gotten your money's worth... The book starts off with a bang. The information contained in the book will help you in your self-assessment and information gathering processes; it has been worth the less than $20 price I paid.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great for those of us with ADD!!!

    It is wonderful to find a book and writer who puts ADD in a positive light!!! Living with ADD can be hard for the individual(s) who has it and those whom deal with us. It has allowed our family to understand our ADD w/o the negativity that is associated with it. We can see the brain and understand that our brain is different. I would say read this book even if you don't have ADD, it will help you understand people with ADD. As Galileo Galilei said, "All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

    I have ADD >:(

    I was almost insulted by the description. I am a 13 year old with ADD and the description made it sound like ADD is a disease. It isn't! Plus, why would I want to "cure" my ADD? It's a part of who I am, and my friends, teachers, and family still love me for it. Plus, I can get out of awkward situations by just changing the subject and blaming my ADD. I am proud of my ADD. And it's pissing me off that some of the reviews are saying stuff like "it helps us understand them". We aren't aliens, or animals. We're people. We are just as easy to "understand" as everyone else. ADD AND PROUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    Great read

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2007

    Interesting!

    The ideas are certainly interesting, but they are too neat and tidy for the real world. I think books like this complicate things and make ADHD more mysterious and complex than it really is.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 21, 2013

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