ADHD as a superpower, how essential oils can support people with ADHD?

Did you know that with your ADHD you can do something most people can't?

“Your husband has ADHD. That means, as his wife, you have been asked to arrange your life so that he can function better. After all, he can't do that himself. He needs you.” I remember looking at the blood young therapist and thinking, ‘Did she get ripped off the potty? How can she pile more hay on my already full to-do list?' She probably saw that I was not happy and set her jaws together. Then she repeated it again, only more slowly.
I looked at my husband. He had his hands on his lap and was looking at the tips of his shoes. When he felt my gaze on him, he looked at me. And the switch in me flipped. All resistance fell away. “Ok,” I said, “how do we handle this?”.

There is a good chance that you are neurotypical. That means you can function neurologically in a way that makes it easy for you to determine what is important. You can, if you have multiple tasks, determine which ones are most important and you can then complete them in an order of importance. Also, you will usually be able to do those tasks you don't really feel like doing. You also do things because you understand that someone else cares (parents, teacher, boss, partner). Just because you can get over it, that you're not exactly motivated for it, but now it has to be done. “After all, someone has to do it, right!

It is then quite difficult to cooperate with a colleague who cannot do that. Or living with a partner who “always forgets everything.” Or having a child who never wants to do homework or learn or go to school from himself.
One is therefore – and with you a lot of other “neurotypical” people – very quick to pass judgment on those “lazy” people with their “scatterbrains” and therefore like to assume a negative intention behind their behavior. Because you outright cannot understand, how it is possible, that after repeated reminders, someone still has not finished something.

Is it any wonder then, that people with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or also a form of neurodiversity) usually have poor self-esteem and often suffer from feelings of depression and fear of failure? You can blame “the system” for that, or “the society” in which we live and where things have to be finished in a certain way and often by deadline. But that is not the main culprit in the misery of people, who are neurodiverse. The culprits, unfortunately, are the majority of people in our society, the neurotypicals, with all their (pre-)judgments and expectations. People, who apply their yardstick to people, who function neurologically in a completely different way than most do. Often that's because we don't know enough about ADHD.

A person with an ADHD nervous system is unable to use the idea of importance or rewards to begin and successfully complete a task. The inability to use importance and rewards to get motivated has a lifelong impact on the lives of people with ADHD:

  • People with ADHD do not fit into the standard school system, which is built on repeating what someone else thinks is important and relevant.
  • People with ADHD do not thrive in the standard job that pays people to work on what someone else (namely, the boss) thinks is important.
  • People with ADHD are disorganized because just about every organizational system out there is built on two things – prioritization and time management – that people with ADHD are not good at.
  • People with ADHD have a hard time choosing between alternatives because everything is equally unimportant. For them, all alternatives look the same.

Therapy for people with ADHD attempts to level the neurological playing field with medication so that the ADHD person has the attention span, impulse control and the ability to be calm inside. However, ADHD medication is often not enough. A person can take the right medication in the right dose, but nothing will change if he still approaches tasks with neurotypical strategies.

The ADHD nervous system regulates attention and emotions in a unique and special way that is very different from the nervous system of people without neurodiversity. This also has many positives. So we are not talking about a damaged or defective nervous system. Therefore, the word “disorder” is completely inappropriate here. The ADHD nervous system works perfectly, with its own set of rules.
Did you know, on the one hand, that people with ADHD often experience problems in school but are usually people with higher than average IQs? They also use that higher IQ in different ways than neurotypical people. They are able to tackle problems that others struggle with by coming up with solutions that no one else has seen. I have since been able to learn that people with ADHD are born with a kind of “superpower.” And I'd like to shine a light on that, too!

If neurotypical people have an attention scale of 0-10, then you could say that someone with ADHD has one of 0-5 and one of 12-20! They fail big time in the area of 5-10, but from 12, that's where they go all the way! The “normalos” will never be able to come there.

People with ADHD do not lack attention. The thing is, though, they pay too much attention to everything. They have four or five things on their minds at once, giving inconsistent attention. Add to that the inability to choose which challenge deserves priority et voilá! Thus a problem arises.

From no focus to super focus

Everyone with ADHD knows that they can get “in the zone” several times a day. Then they are hyper-focused on what has their attention! When they are in the zone, they have no restrictions, and the executive function deficits they may have had before they entered the zone disappear. Often they then even function at a remarkable level! People with ADHD know they are smart and intelligent, but they can never be sure if their abilities will emerge when they need them. The fact that symptoms and impairments come and go throughout the day is the hallmark of ADHD. That's pretty frustrating.

People with ADHD get into the zone primarily by being interested in, or intrigued by, what they are doing. You can say, then, that they have an interest-based nervous system. So this may come across as untrustworthy or selfish. The ADHD nervous system wants to do those things it enjoys. This is why procrastination is an almost universal impairment in people with ADHD. They want to get their work done, but they can't start it until the task becomes interesting, challenging or urgent. Most people with an ADHD nervous system can engage in a task when the task is urgent – a do-or-die deadline, for example.
ADHDs also get in the zone when challenged or thrown into a competitive environment. Sometimes a new or interesting task catches their attention. However, novelty is short-lived and everything gets old after a while.

If you have ADHD, a positive approach to your challenge is the best thing you can do for yourself. Instead of focusing on where you fall short, figure out how to get into the zone. Start to write down how you get into the zone. Have a notepad with you or use your smartphone to do it in the moment. After a while, you will have collected several techniques that you know will work for you.

Ask yourself:

  • How come I'm in the zone now?
  • Under what circumstances do I succeed?
  • When do I have successes in my present life?
  • Am I in the zone because I am intrigued? If so, what, specifically in this task or situation intrigues me?
  • Is it because I feel challenged? If so, what in the situation brings out my competitive spirit?
  • You can also do this together as a parent for or with your child. Ask questions of your child when you see that he or she is completely engrossed in a game or activity. In this way, your child can get to know his nervous system better and thus see his strengths better. And it's also going to help you as a parent, to see your child in a better light and thus better support them.

You cannot turn someone with ADHD into a neurotypical person. They are NEVER going to function like the rest of the world. The sooner you make your peace with this, the better.

I would be crazy if I stated here now that we can heal people with ADHD by letting them smell essential oils. That's really not true! But we can use essential oils usefully to guide someone with ADHD.

How can essential oils support people with ADHD?

Aromas engage a quick and strong connection with your nervous system and your emotions. Smelling a particular aroma can influence your emotions! Similarly, you can connect certain aromas to a situation and your feelings during that situation.

This is what we do when we recommend, for example, a “going to bed” ritual for small children.

Turn on the diffuser in their room 30 min before bedtime. Each time with the same aroma. Soon the nervous system makes the connection that after perceiving this aroma, rest follows. Thus, this same aroma can help you, to switch off better in the evening or unwind in a stressful situation during the day.
Of course, you can do this in other situations as well and use it very helpfully for yourself: suppose you find that a certain activity (drawing, listening to music, walking) makes it easy to get into the zone. Then combine this activity with a particular oil you like in your diffuser, or give 1-2 drops in your hand or use the oil in a roll-on on your skin and inhale and do this every time you do that activity.
That way you can get “in the zone” more easily and perhaps even make an unpleasant task more pleasant. It is also an idea to switch to other flavors more often, to stimulate the feeling of “new” that can motivate you.

Agitation and emotional outbursts in ADHD

There are many ADHD characteristics that make it difficult to control anger. Perhaps the strongest is impaired executive function and inhibition, which leads to hasty responses to frustration and impatience. People with ADHD also feel emotions more intensely than neurotypical people, causing them to overreact to situations or experiences that most people would react to reasonably. When you combine poor working memory skills, typical of people with ADHD, with emotional impulsivity, a person may not say the right things or take the right actions when frustrated or angry. Add poor self-image to the mix and insufficient sleep and you can well understand, why people with ADHD have a harder time regulating their emotions or stay “stuck” in a particular emotion longer.

Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that plays a role in the regulation of cognition, memory, motivation, mood, attention and learning. Dopamine levels can affect a person's mood, attention, motivation and physical activity. Dopamine also regulates the brain's reward system, increasing its levels in the brain when a person experiences something pleasurable. People with ADHD may have a higher concentration of dopamine transporters in the brain. These transporters remove dopamine from brain cells. When there are more transporters in an area of the brain, they do so too quickly, giving dopamine less time to exert its action. This can cause dopamine levels to plummet.
Symptoms of low dopamine levels include loss of pleasure in things you once found enjoyable, lack of motivation and apathy, difficulty making decisions and sleep regulation.

Because of the lack of dopamine, people with ADHD are more prone to eating sweet and salty snacks because it creates the feeling of “satisfaction.”
You could argue that people with ADHD are “chemically programmed” to seek “more.” Eating carbohydrates, for example, triggers a surge of dopamine in the brain. The urge to feel “satiated” can lead to binge eating.
As a result, people with ADHD may be more susceptible to obesity.

The 3 most important tips to prevent obesity in people with ADHD:

  • Eat several mini meals throughout the day (grazing) to provide a source of continuous stimulation, which can reduce feelings of restlessness in people with ADHD.
  • Prevent impulsive eating by setting up an “eating environment” that promotes healthy eating. That means ridding your home of chips, chocolate and other snacks that promote binge eating, while stocking up on nutritious meals and snacks that require little preparation. Half-fat mozzarella sticks, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, protein bars, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, apples, and oranges are all great choices.
  • With regular exercise, ADHD adults can increase baseline levels of dopamine and norepinephrine by spurring the growth of new receptors in certain brain regions, further regulating attention and reducing the temptation to boost dopamine through food.

The most important micronutrients for people with ADHD

The use of nutritional supplements is a game changer. Getting more nutrients is important for everyone, whether neurotypical or not. You can find many different studies and almost everywhere you read the conclusion, that conflicting evidence about the efficacy of supplementation can be seen. However, that is exactly what I would expect. Why? Because no two bodies are the same!

Two people with ADHD symptoms may have different nutritional deficiencies. They may also respond differently to supplementation due to differences in their genetics and digestion. They may have been given a different form of the same supplement. They will even respond differently to supplements depending on the amount of stress they experienced when they took them.

This makes it difficult to treat ADHD with nutrients when looking for a general protocol that fits everyone.

So this shows why, if they do not have time or expertise for an individualized approach, physicians usually do not advise on nutrients as a tool for treatment. But that doesn't mean it can't be done.

People with ADHD, like neurotypicals, may benefit from natural nutrients that support emotional balance.

Perhaps it is even more important for people with ADHD to choose natural support because deficiencies on top of neurological (dys-)function can cause even more irritability.

There are many different micronutrients, which have been examined in studies.
Vitamin B12 and folic acid are required for the production of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Noradrenaline and serotonin are neurotransmitters in the brain that influence mental behavior patterns and moods.

Iron, vitamin B3 and vitamin B6 can also help increase dopamine levels.

The dietary supplements omega-3 fatty acids, inositol, and N-acetylcysteine have all shown improvements in symptoms of emotional dysregulation.

Probiotics, Ginkgo Biloba, Kurkumin, Oregano oil, Magnesium, Vitamin D all have a positive effect on dopamine metabolism. Ginseng may also increase dopamine levels in humans, especially those with ADHD, but more research is needed.

Do you have to buy all those fabrics separately now? No, it can be much easier! doTERRA's Lifelong Vitality Package is a comprehensive daily nutritional supplement that gives our bodies an extra boost for lifelong health.

The composition of each of the three parts of the Lifelong Vitality package address specific aspects of our nutritional needs.

MicroPlex VMz is a balanced formula of 22 essential vitamins and minerals. So this is a multivitamin that provides just the right balance without overdosing. It also has a well-balanced combination of minerals such as zinc, iron and selenium.

Among other things, the xEOmega provides omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids essential for cell building in the body.

Alpha CRS+ is doTERRA's patented composition of cellular-supporting botanicals. Simply put, this is a powerhouse of adaptogens, antioxidants and plant polyphenols, which provide protection for the body and support key cellular systems.

My tip is to combine the LLV with doTERRA's TerraZyme; these are enzymes that help you get more out of your food and your supplements. Hence, it is also a smart idea to take a capsule of Terrazyme with every meal to get even more nutrients from your food.

Nutrient deficiency is an invisible stressor on your body and nervous system. If you can eliminate this, then you are already a long way to a calmer self, to being more in balance with yourself.

The composition of your microbiome can also influence many processes in your body and certainly affects your mood and ability to cope with stress. PB Assist+ is a patented formula containing prebiotic fibers and six strands of probiotic microorganisms in a unique double-layered, plant-based capsule.

You can make solid progress by examining key pillars of body function and adding nutrients, removing irritating foods and improving gut health to support them.

Nutrients can help with ADHD.


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