Category Archives: ADHD

How do you know your ADHD meds are working?

Medicine can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally.

It helps to have a clear appreciation about what that is–exactly– for you.

Download and print out the McConlogue Med Monitor.

Fill in the blanks for a days or so. Stimulant meds go in and out of your system pretty fast. So if you don’t make it thru one whole day, try again tomorrow.

It will help you see clearly how your meds are affecting you.

Take it with you when you next see your doctor.  They seem to like papers!

It might help you be more specific with your information.

Another way to get up in the morning

“So,” they said, “If you run this app on your phone,
use the app’s alarm,
then sleep with the phone under your pillow,
it will wake you up at the perfect time within about a half hour window.”
AND it would also show a chart how deep your sleep was and how many times you woke up in the night.

I was skeptical about the alarm part. Seems a little like waiting for the tooth fairy!

But that last part about how many times I awake in the night was something I was really curious about.  It seems like I wake up hundred times each night. Turns out not nearly so many. AND it also shows how LONG I’m awake or nearly awake in that night.

And here’s the thing.

I didn’t read the directions quite right. So I didn’t realize I had actually SET the alarm. I had the phone on silent so it only quietly buzzed at me in the morning.  And man, it was spot on! I was actually ready to get moving.

If I were a crazy heavy sleeper like my son, I could have made the alarm as loud as my phone goes… and set off right under his head?  I bet THAT would do the trick!

Check it out.  At press time it cost $.99 for iPhones only, I think.

Support Group for Adults with ADHD

These often informal groups offer low cost or free avenues for information about living with ADHD.

I run one specifically for adults with ADHD in the Baltimore area, sponsored by the Baltimore Regional Chapter of CHADD. You can find information about those meetings, as well as other chapter meetings in Maryland on the calendar listing page of the chapter’s website.

If you’re not in Maryland, check the website of the national CHADD for chapters near you. (the map to find a chapter is WAY at the bottom of the page!)  Also check on the ADDA website for support groups for adults with ADD.

Time just slipping away?

photo by Schnuffel from
photo by Schnuffel from

Time management and prioritizing are two issues that many of my clients share. I’ve got two tips that might help:

Say I’ve got five things ToDo on my list. Yea, I can pick the most important one… but the others sometimes mush together. Here’s a little application that helps you sort through which of the five things on your list really IS the most important. You list the five things and then choose which one is more important a given “other one.” In the end, it spits out your ordered list. Check it out at the

The other idea is about looking with a different perspective at managing your work schedule.

Traditionally, people advise blocking out time each day for the big project. “My prime work time is from 10 am til 2 pm. So I’ll work on the Johnson report today until it’s finished. I’ll worry about the Fredericks report next.” Or you block all the computer jobs together. It’s a very linear way of approaching tasks. And perhaps it works well for very linear people, which, of course, I am not.

I stumbled on this alternative method of arranging my days: Time Striping.

In time striping you look at a week at a time. I started to write an explanation, but it’s already so clear at So what’s the point? Check it out here.

How to wake up or how to get better sleep?

I wrote a while ago about how to get up in the morning. But now I am reminded that it’s particularly hard to get up if you didn’t get enough sleep. I’m not talking about the get-to-bed-earlier issue, but rather what if you really don’t sleep when you think you do?

Sleeping bull dog by Edalisse from MORGUEFILE.COMPeople with sleep apnea stop breathing while they sleep. According to, it could be hundreds of times during the night.

And your body, not wanting to DIE, wakes up a little to kick start the breathing.  You might not notice that little up-from-sleep place, but your day time performance could suffer.

My dad had apnea, although we didn’t know it back then. I just remember the stories about his snoring and then … stopping… So my mother would kick him to start breathing again.  Didn’t get her the best sleep either!

All kinds of things in life are worse with out sleep.

According to a report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and posted on the website of the National Sleep Foundation,

Less visible consequences of sleep conditions are far more prevalent, and they take a toll on nearly every key indicator of public health: mortality, morbidity, performance, accidents and injuries, functioning and quality of life, family well-being, and health care utilization.

And besides what you’d expect from not enough sleep–stuff like, oh, tiredness,no energy, irritabity and difficutly concentrating–it might also show up in  higher levels of depressed mood, anxiety, behavior problems, alcohol abuse.  And almost all those things might either look like ADHD when it’s not, or make your symptoms of ADHD much worse.

If you sleep with someone, ask if they think you might stop breating in the night.  If you snore, it might be easier to tell, but you might have apnea even if you don’t snore.

Check out the for more information. And ask your doctor if it might be a problem for you.