Adult Attention Deficit Disorder

I am happy to announce the opening of my Slidell office exclusively for the treatment of Adult ADD at 112 Village Street, off Brownswitch Road.

The journey back to Slidell, where I originally opened my medical practice in 1979, is an ongoing learning extravaganza. I am an Internal Medicine specialist with additional Board Certification in Nutrition. I have a national reputation in nutrition, publishing scientific articles and books, mostly related to Nutrition.

The organ that governs nutrition, physical activity, and health in general is the brain. I have always been fascinated how quickly I could help remit terrible diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular illness simply with changing diet and exercise. I was equally frustrated by constant relapse of patients who simply could not avoid toxic food and drugs – to their detriment and even death. I simply had to understand the brain better and how it was affected by the body.

In the 1990’s, we discovered that fat cells make hormones. In fact, over 200 cytokine peptide hormones have since been identified made by fat cells, the intestine, and liver. Most of these hormones have profound effects on the brain, immune system, and other endocrine organs. In 2004, I enrolled in a two year course in psychopharmacology by the Neuroscience Education Institute. I had to choose a subspecialty. The reason I chose ADD for my subspecialty is I had detected a strong link between dietary and exercise behavioral compliance and the ability of the patient to focus, task, and organize their diet, home environment, and exercise program – they simply could not comply. It became very apparent that hormones are more powerful than willpower and that impulsive behavior is a hallmark of ADD and nutrition-related disease.

ADD children grew into ADD adults with the same life-failures as the adult Internal Medicine patients I was treating: obesity, drug abuse and dependency, failure in school and work, ostracism, and even incarceration. Those kids who were successfully treated with behavioral and medication strategies were markedly less likely to have these experiences. Moreover, ADD kids do not outgrow their ADD – it only morphs into adult life and adult problems.

ADD in adults is much more complex than children as there are limitless illness and drugs that can impair brain function. A short list is obesity, Type 2 diabetes, drugs of abuse, sleep apnea, mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and Bipolar disorder. Then there is head trauma and concussion, vitamin, endocrine, and hormone deficiencies. Each are fixable! Each is measurable! Each is usually accompanied by many of the others – very complex!

I can truly say treating Adult ADD and brain dysfunction the last 5 years of my 46 year practice have been the most rewarding. I look forward to 20 more. Please visit my website for more information or to make an appointment. Follow me monthly in Slidell Magazine for articles on Adult ADD.

ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder is often thought of as a condition of childhood affecting only school. Research shows that children never “outgrow” their ADD, only transform it. Problems with attention and memory are serious and costly conditions of adulthood. The many factors that affect adult brain health make diagnosing and treating adults even more complex than children.

There is a myth that kids “outgrow” ADD. Most kids take their concentration, tasking, and organization disability into adulthood. Those inadequately treated in childhood have a marked increased risk of drug abuse, bankruptcy, marital conflict, unemployment, depression and anxiety. Those never diagnosed are much less likely to achieve advanced degrees or high incomes. Even those who do achieve “success” may well have achieved more with proper treatment.

I have a patient considered “successful” on many fronts by his family and peers. He became a multimillionaire after proper treatment improved his concentration, organization, and task completion, allowing him to compete on complex bids and negotiating contracts. He attributes all of his later success to proper ADD treatment. His wife finds him more attentive to her needs after treatment—he listens! His children, none of whom were diagnosed previously, were all assessed and treated, with similar outcomes in school, work, and family affairs.

Many common conditions or drugs cause or worsen ADD: Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and dementia (to name a few). Recreational drugs and alcohol dramatically worsen ADD – especially marijuana, benzodiazepam (xanax, clonopin, ambien), over-the-counter sleep aids, and even antihistamines.

There are seven types of ADD*

  • Type 1 (Classic ADD)
    Inattentive, distractable, disorganized, hyperactive, restless, and impulsive.
  • Type 2 (Inattentive ADD)
    Easily distracted with low attention span, but not hyperactive. Instead, often
    appears sluggish or apathetic.
  • Type 3 (Overfocused ADD)
    Excessive worrying, argumentative, and compulsive; often gets locked in a
    spiral of negative thoughts.
  • Type 4 (Temporal Lobe ADD)
    Quick temper and rage, periods of panic and fear, mildly paranoid.
  • Type 5 (Limbic ADD)
    Moodiness, low energy. Socially isolated, chronic low-grade depression, frequent
    feelings of hopelessness.
  • Type 6 (Ring of Fire ADD)
    Angry, aggressive, sensitive to noise, light, clothes, and touch; often inflexible,
    experiencing periods of mean, unpredictable behavior and grandiose thinking.
  • Type 7 (Anxious ADD)
    Anxious, tense, nervous, predicts the worst, gets anxious with timed tests,
    social anxiety, and often has physical stress symptoms, such as headaches
    and gastrointestinal symptoms, conflict avoidant.

If you think you or a loved on may have ADD, read more at

Dr. Daniel Amen,

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