I may have ADD. I’m pretty sure I can’t chalk up the numerous side-steps and half-done projects of my life to being distracted by others all the time. Some of these loose ends are perhaps my nature, but some of them are things that, left undone, leave me worse-off. A lack of focus, or a compulsivity to anti-work, combined with a desire to really, truly WANT to finish something is a fantastic step towards the maddening of everybody who depends on me in some way. Like Family and Work, you know… no bigs. New baby, longer commute, less sleep, oh yeah, recipe for success, folks.
Whatever level of ADD I have, however it’s categorized, isn’t like a form of mental illness, for me. There’s a point of medication a “crazy” person can take that dials down the crazy to a level where they can function as a person, but perhaps not a spouse or parent or friend. I feel for those people, having seen my own father lose a battle with dementia at too early an age. I’m not crazy; more like my brain runs 10,000 RPM most of the time, and it’s shooting sparks and ideas and things I ought to go do, but nothing is there to put it in gear. That’s where my new adventure comes in. I am positive and happy that a lot of people in our lives have a cocktail of brain chemicals that are better off stirred with a little extra shot of this-‘r-that. But that’s not where it stops, in the doctor’s office.
The past few months have been somewhat cleaner, mind-wise. First, I was turned on to something called “Alpha Brain” via Joe Rogan’s tweets. I’m skeptical of most things, but imagine playing a game of bumper cars with your ideas every day. DO THIS, I’M DOING THIS RIGHT AFTER I DO THIS, BUT FIRST I’LL DO THIS AND THAT WILL BE THERE LATER… what was I going to do again? Then just a period of unproductive screen staring. Go into a room to get the laundry. Clean the room. Forget the laundry.
Seriously, this cannot be just boredom with life. Plus there was a feeling as if I had a fog, a layer of fuzz in the middle of my head that was like the fog of a hangover without the pain. I feel most days like my brain is holding its breath all day. So when I saw Alpha Brain, I was willing to try anything. Plus it’s a natural supplement. I can’t be staunchly anti-pharma when trying to medicate myself back to normal wavelength, but I do believe that Nature holds a cure for nearly every human ailment. And holy shit, folks, Alpha Brain is the REAL DEAL. The fog was gone. The acuity was razor. The 3-steps-ahead thinking was automatic. I’m not talking “Limitless” starring Bradley “A-List Ass All Day” Cooper, but the closest I’d ever get. I have a few Alpha Brain left for some of my more important days coming up. $35 plus shipping.
It was a bit pricey for me to keep re-upping at the time, so I researched NOW Foods, and found 2 of their supplements close to what Alpha Brain delivered. First, Brain Elevate, and also, True Focus. Natural supplements, not loaded with lab-borne items.But the cocktail of BE and TF have served me very well in the past 2 months. Most days I’ll take 2 BE and a TF in the morning with water and a cup of coffee. There’s not only a focus but also a calmness; I’m not buzzed, I’m just There. No panic, no mental ping-pong. Focused and cognisant of what I’m supposed to do. True, this is a medicated version of me, and probably a laconic one. But I’ve also performed comedy after “dosing,” and I’ve never felt sharper or more in-gear than those sets. Total investment, $22 through www.Netrition.com.
So now I’m about to start trying something called Concerta, a.k.a. Methylphenidate. Yeah, this stuff costs $153 on my Aetna plan, thanks a ton for the NoPremium/HighDeductible plan! Concerta may help me a bit better or worse than where I am. It may zone me out. It may dial me in. I don’t really know. But for $153, it either has to work all the way or I’ll be incredibly pissed off. This is a prime example of why BigPharma is going after supplement companies in Congress. See the giant gap in the Supplement Price vs. Concerta? $100 less for all-natural ingredients. Still not sure I’m gonna go on this stuff. I fear mostly the zombie effect that these drugs can throw into the day. If anybody has any experience with it, lemme know. For the most part I feel as happy and dialed-in as ever without something like this, not knowing how strong it is.
But I ain’t losing sleep over it.
I stumbled across your article while trying to find opinions of AlphaBrain, and I was shocked at how similar our brain activity was. I was also skeptical about trying this supplement, but judging by your experience I think I’ll give it a go. I absolutely enjoyed your article and even found myself laughing out loud towards the end. Thank you so much!
Yep, AlphaBrain gave my thoughts kind of a “superconductor” feeling. I didn’t always go full-speed but the rail was always live. Very organized. I had some funky dreams, but nothing overly intense, except one with Sofia Vergara that I still can’t shake, nor do I want to. And the NOW supplements are great, also, but AlphaBrain’s great. Onnit has a lot of specials, too, if you follow them on Twitter or Facebook.
Hey i also have ADD and I’m turning 19 soon, I’ve experienced a lot of what you said with being scatterbrained and all. So this article got me really jacked up for my shipment of Alpha Brain that I’ve ordered already! I’m happy to hear that it’s kept you “all there” all the time, because thats what I’ve been wanting, especially with school approaching. My ADD meds I took when I was young gave me side effects of loss of appetite and being a bit depressed; did you ever notice any weird side effects while taking AB?
Hey Colin – I didn’t have any weird side effects of AB, honestly. Not getting paid from them, btw… The only issue I ever had was taking it on a somewhat empty stomach with a cup of coffee. Got a little wiggy during a few conversations, like overly-engaged in a topic I didn’t really want to discuss. My thoughts weren’t necessarily more organized, just more easily recalled, more quickly.
I also highly recommend researching the components of AB and what they do. Their synergy cannot be denied, and blood chem of individuals will play a role, of course.
I am not on AB right now – kinda pricy for this dad of 2, but I highly recommend it.
Yah I used to take adderall, but i couldn’t stand the side effects so i stopped taking it. After a bit of research I found out it does the same type of thing as AB (increase in dopamine) and such. So far from all the reviews I’ve read, nobody’s had any adverse side effects; something about how all the ingredients are water soluble so they wash out of the system. But thanks for the reply! really appreciate it. And yah I don’t think I’ll be using it daily because of the price, but for days where i have a test or a lot of work.
I’m ADHD. I’ve been on Concerts since Feb this yr. For me it took away that fog or preverbial covering on my eyes. It actually helped me quit smoking. But nevertheless I had started at 18 and now I’m on 27’s. May need an increase. My memory is pretty much going away again so I thought to try alpha brain or ginko biloba. Thoughts?
You nailed it, Anthony, that “fog” many of us never noticed, or most likely, learned to cope with.
I’m learning how important the dopamine response to any medication or altering of our systems is. I want to know WHAT and WHY my brain is doing this, as well as how I treat it.
First, just get as much sleep as you can. Drive cortisol down, take Omega3 oils daily, and I have to lay off sugar or I’m a wreck.
As for memory recall, that’s tough for any of us. Dopamine likely is a potentiator for memory storage and recall. AlphaBrain, not sure how/if it synergistically works with dopamine. But, the times I’ve taken it were always a razor-sharp recall, non-stimulated mind, a very organized thinking. If cost is no issue, I highly recommend it. If cost IS an issue, I still recommend it, but also encourage people to look at a few other supplements.
L-Theanine is a dopamine precursor that helps some folks stay mentally on-track, likely needs to be stacked with L-Tyrosine or L-Dopa (Mucuna Pruriens), all 3 of which are quite inexpensive.
I’d say, invest in yourself, invest in your life a bit and get a 30-day supply of AlphaBrain. If it doesn’t work, now you know. If it does, now you know.
Come back and let us know how ya do. Wish you the best!
Hey Anthony, have you ever tried this Bacopa-Ginkgo from Planetary Naturals? Great stuff, very inexpensive.
As with any Rx, we develop a tolerance, and it helps to go off it for as long as you can. 72 hours off may help clear things up if you can stand it. And titrating back up a bit may find a new path of treatment. But again, this helped me, and I’m not a doctor.
Just read your post, what are you using now? What’s working for you now?
I use a combo of 1000mg L-Tyrosine & 250mg Phosphatidyl Serine, and a combo pill of Bacopa-Ginkgo from Planetary Herbals, daily in the morning with coffee. And the Omega3s for sure, which have cascading benefits. I tried it with a Vit-B complex but got a little too jittery, which might come down if I hit the B enough to develop tolerance. The Tyrosine helps keep the dopamine level pretty steady, PS helps keep things firing, the Bacopa mix helps to prolong the steady state of focus.
Every now and again I’ll take a 5 or 10mg Concerta, especially if I have something heavy to stay dialed-in on. Plus I find 5mg helps counteract some of the introverted/antisocial tendencies, I get a little more engaged than usual. Hope this helps.