Posts Tagged ‘bottle of wine’

Sex and ADHD: Part 1, Ranking my Obsessions!

June 23, 2012

Pretty much I accept that the cause of obesity from ADHD is direct. MRI studies show a decrease in dopamine in the brain for people with ADHD. Prescribed stimulants increase dopamine, but for those who never were treated or diagnosed with the disease, there are other ways to self medicate and increase dopamine levels. Sex, eating, taking risks, exercising or achieving goals all increase dopamine. Alcohol, cocaine, nicotine and other addictive substances have a remarkable ability to elevate levels of dopamine. Falling in love, buying lottery tickets, eating chocolate also increase dopamine. We get a much bigger blast of dopamine eating high-calorie foods than we do low-calorie foods.

If I had to rank my obsessions in order, my choices would be difficult because some obsessions seem to always be able to top other obsessions in my body and depending on  factors, some rise and fall on the list.  I have self medicated over a lifetime and have serious long term and short term obsessions. The only addiction that I really believe I encountered is cigarettes as there was no such concept as controlled usage which I believe I have mastered with food and alcohol. Since I quit smoking in 1984, I will rank my current obsessions in the order that they have guided my life and indulging in them gave me the ability to focus, preform well in society and control my ADHD without medication.

Family Love: I learned about the love of family from my mother. She had four children and was devoted to them. My father had his problems which he self medicated with Valium and Alcohol and did the best he could with family love but was simply not as active. 

Romantic love: My wife suffered a lifetime of depression but there was far more good than bad. When she occasionally made poor decisions, I deleted them from my official vision and lived with my perfect romantic image of her which was still true the majority of the time.

Sex: During some periods in our marriage, my wife would lose all interest in sex with me and rather than wander and cause disruptive problems, I suppressed my sexual desires while there were children in the house and focused on the love of my family and my image of our Romantic Love. The power of sex over everything below it on this list, was covered in my First Fat Savage blog which was obsessed in a crude way with losing weight because I was too obese to engage in sex and wanted that part of my life back.

Eating: This is the first of my obsessions which had a negative impact on my body, if I am allowed to ignore a few STD’s among close friends. Actually, it is this obsessive crutch which allowed me to get focused and organized and make a pretty decent living and be a pillar of my community for 40 years.  In my second Fat Savage Blog, which I have not yet organized for publication, I learned to control the timing of my meals and what I ate, in order to balance mid-range obesity  with my sexual performance, ability to do physical labor and mandatory office time. The next two obsessions can temporarily suppress my eating but I am lucky to find many goals or risks that obsessively possess me for any length of time.

Achieving Goals:  Every now and again, an almost impossible intellectual challenge comes into my life and I become obsessed with the solution. On the few occasions this occurred, the goal becomes more important than everything except family love, but once accomplished the goal was forgotten and there was no afterglow of success as there is with food, sex and my vision of romantic love.

Taking Risks:  Taking risks is low on the list because my family loves adventures and risk taking so these turn out to be great adventures where everybody has fun, socializes and gets their adrenalin flowing. The same is true of starting a business ,investing in the stock market and other financial risks which always get the family involved. There is no such thing as a solitary risk in our family.

Purpose driven manual labor (Goal Driven): This is on parity with Alcohol but occurs earlier in the day when I am programmed not to drink. The harder I work to finish a project in my house or yard, the more tired I am and the more likely to go to sleep and feel less of a need for alcohol.

Alcohol: My bottle of wine every night has elements of both social crutch and sedative. In terms of a sedative, I have never been able to beat the narcotic effect on my body after the first two glasses, and I don’t enjoy socializing and banal conversation without those two glasses. I have always recognized that when I drink a bottle of wine I will pass out within the hour and sleep soundly for the next eight to ten hours.  If I don’t drink a glass or two of wine at a party, i will go find something beautiful to stare at and ignore every living person at the party. If I drink the whole bottle and my wife was having a good time, I would find some place and go to sleep until she was ready to go. I don’t fight, argue, drive fast, chase women, have sex, say rude things or swear when drinking, I do that when sober.

Exercising: I really don’t like exercise where I have to go at fixed times to a gym or act like a hamster on a treadmill in a cage.  I would rather find something productive to do and go do it but since that is so low on my list of obsessions, it doesn’t make the cut very often. Still, when enraged in a situation with no answer, I find it easier to walk home six miles than to either drink or drive both of which I enjoy and which I do  not consider mutually exclusive. Finally, I developed “Walking with Wonder” and exercise is part of my new lifestyle.  Still, hardly an obsession.

Driving Fast Cars:  I have had a Toyota MR-2 which takes some skill to drive especially with big winds coming at you and potholes. I know for a fact it will start to go airborne where you lose all control at a combined speed and headwind speed of about 100 MPH especially if you hit  a bump or pot hole the wrong way. My fastest driving is during the day and after my two glasses of wine while socializing, I go home have a couple more and go to sleep. There is a thrill in being able to control a dangerous beast.

Eating Candy especially chocolate: I haven’t quit nor do I believe that I have been on my last binge. I still gain from one candy bar in some circumstances, but there is no benefit at all from binging, but what the hell, it’s an obsession.

Buying Lottery Tickets:  Playing the lottery is a fools game for the math challenged and at one level I know this. On occasion when I am poor, I get obsessed with spending my last $500 on tickets.  When challenged by friends and family, I point out that from Dante’s Inferno, the sign over the portal to hell is “Ye who enter here,give up all hope.” and in my mind, False hope is better than no hope. If you don’t play, you can’t win so you have no hope at all and you are living in hell. If I have quit, it will have been last week, probably because I have no more money.

Marijuana: Quit in 1971 the day my son was born without concern and have been around people who smoked ever since with no temptation. Contrary to most medical reports, I smoked because it kept me awake and allowed me to drink for a longer period of time in social gatherings without falling asleep.

Dangerous Obsessions that caused actual withdraw:

Nicotine: Quit in 1984, worthless addiction that when continued prevents the pain of withdrawal. Very serious withdrawal symptoms which lasted three to six months with several close calls to relapse and flashbacks for years.  I could only do it for love of my daughter.

Caffeine: Coffee in very small amounts had been my friend, however, too easy to increase the quantity in social gatherings and large amounts ruin my day.  Serious short term withdrawal symptoms for one week, with no flash backs. I quit for love of my mind.

I am amazed that Religion did not make the list of items that raise dopamine level because 50 years ago before being kicked out of church for heretical beliefs, I would have included it well above the middle, well maybe not higher than alcohol because I had started drinking a few years before and was discovering my limits at that time.

The Short Term Effects of Alcohol, Protein and Spices on my Body and ADHD Mind.

June 21, 2012

I can tell when my focus is improving because I don’t get distracted from my mission, when my computer or in this case Open Office wipes out everything I have created in the past two days. Even though I am beginning to feel like Job, I also appreciate that I have regained enough of my focus to identify the cause of the problems and solve them.  While it certainly is a challenge when focus and diet have only returned for a few days, at least I am focused enough not to get frustrated and quit.

The biggest thing I learned in my first 9 days of detox is an affirmation of how evil caffeine has become to my body and the change is so dramatic and important, it deserves it’s own post because I ditched the caffeine before I started this detox and eliminated all refined sugar, and alcohol. The former has been discussed in three posts; junk science, my relationship with sugar and what I consider a valid experiment on the effect of sugar on children. Since I don’t eat sugar very often, except for a few times a year when I binge, it really has no major impact on either my weight or my mind. 

Alcohol is a separate issue and few will believe I am telling the truth. After the first three days there is no effect from quitting alcohol at all except for the calories. Now part of the reason is that I know I have a diet that hampers my ability to focus and I am working on that. I also know that if I start compulsively eating I can regain focus.  Perhaps I don’t feel any additional effect because the symptoms of food withdrawal are the same as alcohol withdrawal so I really don’t feel any difference. 

I compensate for missing happy hour by being more social during the day, being more physical during the day and watching a movie during happy hour. Since I am used to drinking my bottle of wine everyday before bedtime, it acts as a sedative and I go right to sleep.  When I quit, I have a problem with sleeping for three days and then I am back to sleeping soundly. When on detox, I intentionally don’t eat more so that when I start back drinking, I wont have problems with the extra calories. Perhaps living on 1500 calories or 600 below normal is why I worry more about food than wine.

I only hope to God when I stabilize on a diet that helps me focus and reintroduce wine that it doesn’t have a negative effect. Oh well, it wont be an issue. My mind is more important to me than socializing and drinking wine so if I find the wine to be detrimental, the wine will go.

The most important fact I am rediscovering is the critical impact of protein and the time of day that I consume it. It is beginning to appear that I need more than 100 grams a day just to hold the wild and woolly things in my mind at bay.  I am also finding that I need half right before I start mind tasks and the other half during the course of the day. Vegan and vegetarian are OK at night as long as I load up on ham and eggs before sitting down at my desk. 

It’s ironic that after a year of suffering the ill effects of lack of organization and focus I am  rediscovering something that I routinely discussed in my second Diet blog.  That is, if I wanted to do manual labor, go to work hungry and it was easy to focus on work. If I needed to spend time at the desk, go to work walk around and check everything that needed to be checked, do the little chores that needed to be done and then go have a big egg and bacon breakfast before sitting at my desk for the rest of the day.  Of course back then, 2006 to 2007, I was more concerned about work than I was about my weight and hovered in an obese range between 215 and 235 pounds.

The other thing I have learned in my first 9 days is highly speculative and has nothing to do with ADHD. I have also been loading on healthy spices which fight inflammation and have referred to this as my “Spice Right Diet.” I have been documenting my Inflammatory Factor using the data from NutritionData.Self.com and comparing it to the happy face pain scale for my next day pain level. In the past 9 days that I have been on my “Spice Rite Diet”, my pain has been dramatically lower than before I started but my pain is always lower in  summer than it is in winter. Before jumping from conjecture to conclusion I will wait until next winter to see how I do.  Besides, I never think about pain when I am totally focused on research and writing so that could be another reason for lower apparent pain.