Very Difficult ADHD

Douglas Cowan Psy.D. MFT's picture
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There is another, more difficult type of ADHD that you should be aware of. There are no Winne the Pooh characters for this type of ADHD, as the creator of these children's stories would never have created a character with these challenging, difficult traits. This type of ADHD can be very severe, and will require significant treatment, and great patience on the part of the parents. It can involve dark moods, and intense anger.

The Temporal Lobes and ADHD

temporal lobes and adhd imagePeople with Temporal Lobe problems and ADHD can be very hard to live with. They can have gigantic mood swings, get very angry for almost no reason, and be nearly impossible to live with on a daily basis. The key to look for with this type of ADHD is anger outbursts for little or no reason, and that seem out of control.

Brain scans show that the temporal lobes are the problem. Decreased activity in the left temporal lobes causes problems with temper outbursts, aggressive behaviors, and even violence toward animals or other people. Temporal Lobe ADHD is characterized by:

  • Inattention, just like in other kinds of ADHD because during concentration there is a decrease in activity in the pre-frontal cortex;
  • Being easily irritated or frustrated;
  • Aggressive behaviors;
  • Dark moods, big mood swings;
  • Impulsivity;
  • Breaking rules, in trouble a lot, in fights a lot;
  • Defiant toward authority, disobedient toward parents and others;
  • Can't get along with others, can be anti-social or just in trouble a lot;
  • Often has terrible handwriting and problems learning;
  • You expect him to be arrested at any time.

Individuals with this type of ADHD are often treated with a combination of stimulants, like Ritalin, and anti-convulsants.

You can see that this type of ADHD looks very much like Bipolar Disorder. See our discussion on ADHD vs Bipolar Disorder. Research shows that about 15% of those diagnosed with ADHD actually have an early onset bipolar disorder. Physicians and therapists must be very careful in making their diagnosis.

Alternative Treatment : Temporal Lobe ADHD

For someone who wanted to try an alternative treatment approach to this type of ADHD, or an "additional treatment" approach, we would recommend considering the following - but don't let things get out of hand. Try it for 30 to 45 days and if it doesn't work, do something else. Some situations require strong medications.

  • GABA (an inhibitory nerortransmitter) to act as an anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety agent;
  • Phosphatidyl Serine (and other phosphatidyls), DMAE, Pregnenolone, and Ginko as memory enhancers to help with the learning problems;
  • Strange as it sounds, these people sometimes are helped by Ibuprofen in moderate doses. In fact, this may help in making a "kitchen diagnosis" of temporal lobe involvement.
  • Do NOT use St. John's Wort or Hypericum, as it could make things worse.

Using the VAXA nutraceutical product line, our recommended protocol would look like this:

  • ATTEND, 2 capsules per day
  • NEURAN, 4 capsules per day

Two capsules of the ATTEND contain GABA (33mg), and DL-PA (16mg) for mood stabilization, plus L-Tyrosine (67mg), Ginko (33mg), Phosphatidyl Serine (0.5mg) and other phosphatidyls (200mg) and DMAE (33mg) and Pregnenolone (8mg) for learning enhancement. There are over 70 total ingredients in ATTEND to help with learning, performance, and mood.

Four capsules of NEURAN contain GABA (240mg), and DL-PA (32mg) for mood stabilization. Consult your healthcare professional. As you can see, using the Neuran along with the Attend can enhance the mood stabilization components without adding either St. John's Wort or Hypericum, two ingredients that some experts believe could make the problem worse.

Together the Attend and Neuran can also enhance learning and memory, and therefore school performance or work performance.

This type of ADHD is very difficult. It may be early onset bipolar disorder in children, or bipolar disorder in an adult. It may be very serious, so please get a good diagnosis, be careful, and if you need to just skip to medication because the situation is so bad, do it. If things are bad, just do what you need to do to stabilize the situation.

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Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Tehachapi, CA who has been a counselor to children, teens, and adults helping them to overcome ADHD, find relief for depression or anxiety, and solve other problems in life since 1989. He served on the medical advisory board to the company that makes Attend and Extress from 1997 through 2011, and he is the Editor of the ADHD Information Library online resource at His weekly ADHD Newsletter goes out to 9,500 families. Visit his website at for more information on achieving greater health, personal growth, Christ-centered spirituality, stress management, parenting skills, ADHD, working out the stresses of being a care-giver to elderly parents and also being a parent to teenagers, or finding greater meaning in retirement years, Dr. Cowan can be a valuable resource to you.

Counselor counseling Tehachapi for ADHD, depression, anxiety, and more.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT
27400 Oakflat Dr.
Tehachapi, CA 93561
(661) 972-5953

Temporal Lobe ADHD

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