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Is It Possible to Cure ADHD?

Is it possible to ‘cureADHD? To answer that we need to time travel…

Our documentary, ADD & Loving It?! is a surprise hit on PBS. The network is delighted. I am stunned and sent reeling. (I’ve yet to recover. I wake up reeling. And I love it!)

ADD & Loving It?! tells the story of comedian Patrick McKenna and his wife Janis, dealing with his mid-life diagnosis of ADHD.

It was hailed by the critics as, “Unique, different, and ground-breaking.” And these are real TV critics, not my family members using made-up Facebook profiles.

Within days of the first broadcast we are flooded with messages of gratitude, relief…and calls for help. Heartbreaking pleas from desperate adults.

I finally understand that what we had created was beyond anything I’d ever expected, or anything I’d ever done before. (And I’ve created almost 700 episodes of radio and television.)

Naturally, everyone wants a sequel.

“Give us Something Original. Like The Last One.”

We have a hit. PBS is eager for us to deliver a follow up.

What’s more, thousands of people are having their lives turned around by ADD & Loving It?!, or at least turned upside down, and they asking us, “What now?”

They’ve recognized themselves in Patrick & Janis’s story. They see their own struggles and challenges; their failures, pain and frustration.

For the first time they realize, “I’m not weak-willed, lazy, a failure…There was a hidden saboteur at work, and there’s a name for it, Atention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD).”

Now that they can see, “Yes, this is what’s going on with me,” they are eager and impatient for solutions. “Okay, what do I do about it?”

They want help. And thanks to their ADHD, they want it now, quickly, lots of it, in short, easy to remember chunks. With laughs. And did I mention ‘Now!’

A Ton Can Be Done

Luckily, Patrick and I are able to offer a lot of good advice from our own experience, the books we’ve read, the experts we’ve interviewed, coaching, and so on.

I assume the sequel is going to be a breeze to produce. In fact, it takes a year of blood, sweat, tears, and laughter…Or rather two months of work spread over a year because, we also have another unexpected hit… TotallyADD.com.

Finally we deliver the sequel: ADD & Mastering It!

Patrick McKenna and I, along with twenty ADHD experts, explore 36 strategies for managing ADHD, and playing to your strengths.

When the program debuts on PBS, I tour the country, visiting a slew of stations to appear on camera and talk about the show. Bouncing between airports, hotels, and TV studios for days on end.

PBS Call Ins, ADD and Mastering It“We’re live in 3, 2, 1…”

At WETA in Washington D.C., their well-organized producer and director have prepared a whole script for me to follow. I thank them, vowing to stick to the message they’ve laid out…

You can guess what’s coming.

Once I got going with the amazing Patrice Pascual, poor folks in the control-room quickly gave up, tossed the scripts and plans aside, and let us run with it.

Fun! I have ADHD. I can do that.

And Patrice is a professional interviewer. She was in her element.

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

The most distressing part of creating and launching this new program? Waiting. Waiting for the program to debut. Wondering, “Will viewers pledge, and support us? Maybe we just got lucky with the first program.

Once it is done, edited, finalized and sent to the broadcaster… it’s agony.

Doubts. Fears. Second thoughts. Regrets, “Oh, you know what we could have done?!”

Eventually, thankfully, realizing, “Yes, we could have done more, but it wouldn’t have made it any better.”

It reminds me of waiting for a baby to be born. Lots of labour. One final push… and there it is! (Only this time, I did the pushing.)

A Labour of Love

And I can tell you that ADD & Loving It?! and ADD & Mastering It! are the most nerve wracking things I’ve done.

I suspect because they are so personal. And such a departure from anything that I or my wife (the co-producer & editor) have ever produced before.

The doubts and fears about doing a ‘sequel’? They vanished once it aired and viewers embraced the program, and took on the solutions and strategies for themselves.

Hope! Relief! Tangible things you can do today, right now.

It’s been amazing to share the 36 strategies that Patrick and I use (Download the free ‘Cheat Sheet’ here).

ADHD Strategies For Every Situation

Some of the 36 practices, like Patrick’s habit of journaling every single day, are ongoing and will probably be life-long. Other strategies will lift you to the next level, and then are no longer needed.

Others are ones I only draw upon when life gets hectic.

And if a strategy stops working, I switch to a different one. (Novelty. It works for the ADHD mindset.)

This is why there is no ‘cure’ for this mindset.

ADHD is situational. And your situation is always shifting and changing.

Ideally, we train our minds to notice the shifts and changes, and we adapt our strategies to deal with what’s coming at us.

Change Things Up. Keep It Fresh.

Rick on PBS, ADD and Mastering ItThat’s why we have 36 strategies ADD & Mastering It!

You won’t use all of them at once. You might start with ONE.

But I guarantee that the strategies you use will change over time.

That’s why it’s a good idea to watch ADD & Mastering It! over and over, from time to time.

Tools & Tips & Tricks are Time Sensitive

It’s ironic that one of the most powerful ideas in the program is to understand that not everything will work for you.

And it’s not your fault! If something doesn’t help you, doesn’t stick, and isn’t making a difference… even after you tweak it and experiment with it, simply acknowledge that, “This one isn’t for me, at least not right now,” and let it go. Drop it without guilt and move on to the next tool, tip, or strategy.

What’s more, a strategy that didn’t work for you a year ago, may work now. Doing Mindfulness exercises was impossible for me at first. Now they’re easy and really effective.

Oh, and by the way, do you have a strategy that you LOVE?  Do share it with us all in the comments below!



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  1. ruthie October 17, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I happened to purchase your ‘ADD & Mastering It’ video and the two strategies that have made the biggest difference for me are having one calendar. Rather than keeping track of things on my phone, computer, etc.. And having a paper calendar helps me see my days more clearly. My daughter has tried to set me up with electronic versions on my phone and computer but I don’t remember to use them. Perhaps because I grew up with a calendar on the wall, and later, an agenda that I carried with me.
    The other strategy I have found helps with both procrastinating and with feeling all in a tizzy at the amount of work involved, is to Start Small. I do one small thing. And as you suggested in the video, once I get a toe in the door I tend to keep going.
    One strategy I’ve developed on my own, even before I’d been diagnosed, helped me prevent my habit of overcommitting. Instead of saying yes to a request, an idea, a project, or even something as simple as attending a show, I will say, “That’ sounds wonderful. (Or fascinating. Or exciting. Or charming) Let me check my schedule and see if I can do that.”
    I thought people would be frustrated with me, but they actually appreciate that I’m taking time to ensure I am able and available. Then, after I check, and that initial burst of enthusiasm has abated somewhat, I’m able to say “Yes,” or, “I’m so sorry but I simply cannot as much as I’d like to.” And I’ve found people are quite respectful of that.

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