Missing the ADD diagnosis, what does this feel like for a child?

Missing the ADD diagnosis, what does this feel like for a child?


I was 27, at home, couldn’t work, had a burn out, and my psychologist suggested to go to the ADHD clinic to take a test. Tadaaa. At age 27, the ADD centre gave me the ADD diagnosis.

Though I had some problems as a child, nobody ever thought off ADD. ADD in girls is highly underdiagnosed.

After this ADD diagnosis, I took some time reading about ADD.

read book about add adhd child
Think you or your child might have ADD? Don’t go to the doctor and give him or her Ritalin. Start reading 🙂

‘DUH, that is soooo me’, I thought.

It explained my whole life. It made me cry. On the other hand, it made me laugh so hard. But mostly it made me cry, from both sadness and happiness.

One ‘little’ add diagnosis made me feel like ‘finally, someone understands me’.

All hyperactive kids have ADHD now, right? 

ADHD has probably the highest ‘diagnose-rate’ at the moment, when you talk about ‘mental disabilities’. Some people argue that doctors are giving this diagnose too quickly. This might be true, but I think that statement is a little too black and white.

I read a lot about ADHD, and about the neurology of this ‘disorder’. I think the name Attention Deficit Disorder is wrong. It’s not a disorder, and it shouldn’t be treated as a disorder. It also shouldn’t be treated with medication, because there are other solutions. Solutions which treat the source instead of the symptoms.

I guess people with ADD/ADHD just have a different type of brain, and this brain doesn’t fit perfectly in our society.

But this is another story… Let’s stick to the subject: What does ADD feels like, for a child, without having the ADD diagnosis?

ADD is less obvious than ADHD

ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder (without hyperactivity) is not so obvious, because kids with ADD, mostly girls, are not hyperactive.

The symptoms are more subtle. Not for the kid, but for the outside world.

What’s an ‘ADD kid’ like?

Children with ADD aren’t especially hyperactive, as kids with ADHD are.

Kids with ADD are more dreamy, impulsive, unpredictable, chaotic.

Highly sensitive, often overwhelmed by their surroundings.

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How to concentrate on studies for long hours? Here are my 10 tips… 

How to concentrate on studies for long hours? Here are my 10 tips… 


I used to be the worst when it comes to concentration. Now, after a year of ADHD therapy and a lot of practise, I can easily concentrate for a whole day. How did I manage this? By being determent to change my brain, by training it nearly every day. In this article I will share my secrets on how to concentrate on studies for long hours.

Diagnosed with ADD at age 27. 

I’ve got a wandering mind (called ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder), so concentration wasn’t my strongest quality. I got diagnosed at age 27 and since that time I made it my life mission to find out how to be able to concentrate.

During my adult life, I’ve started at least 6 studies/courses and finally, after years of failing en quitting, I completed 3 of them. How? By following these guidelines (with a little help of vitamins, as I write about in this post)

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Vitamins for ADHD – Vitamins can be a good substitute for ADD/ADHD medication

Vitamins for ADHD – Vitamins can be a good substitute for ADD/ADHD medication

ADHD/ADD Healthy body Healthy mind

From the moment I found out I had ADD, I wanted to find a more natural solution than medication. I read a lot about nutrition, vitamins for ADHD/ADD, so I wanted to try vitamin supplements. My doctor didn’t agree. Vitamins can be dangerous, she said, and there was no proof that it works. A year later, I (always been a bit of a rebel) tried. Can vitamins be a substitute for medication for ADHD/ADD? You’re about to find out 🙂

Note: I’m not a medical specialist, doctor or dietician. I write from my own experience.

I was using AD(H)D medication for a year

I got the diagnose ADD when I was 28, during my burnout. Immediately, I started with therapy. I was really impressed by the quality of this ADHD centre, and they suggested me to use medication. My first response was ‘no way, I’m nog going to use medication for the rest of my life’. I hate medication. It’s unnatural, and most of the times they don’t know much about the long term effects. I immediately thought of solutions like diet or vitamins for ADHD, but I wanted to listen tot the professionals for a change.
One of my best friends, who’s a doctor and who’m I really trust, said I should give it a try. I was really happy about the help I got at the ADHD centre and I was kind of desperate at that time, so because of those two, I decided to give it a try. Also, I was really curious how other people, without ADD/ADHD feel. Can it changed your life completely, as I had heard people say?

Dex methylphenidad Retard, Ritalin, Dexamphetamine.

I remember the first time using Dex Methylphenidad Retard. At that time, I was dog sitting. After taking the first pill, I took the dog for a walk. I looked at the trees and they were so bright, so green, so sharp. My focus was absolutely amazing. Everything was beautiful. My first car-ride was awesome too. I drove to school, as I did twice a week. Many things I saw on the road were new to me. That was so weird, but astounding.

So this is how ‘normal people’, without ADD feel? WOW!

The first weeks of using medication were amazing. I was working on my thesis at that time. And wow, I could focus for longer than 5 minutes. It was so easy to organise all the data that I collected. My house was tidy, I had so much energy, I knew where my stuff was. Another great benefit was the fact that I could be in a crowded space (festivals or birthday party’s) without the feeling I wanted to run away. Normally, I was exhausted after a social event with lots of people. My energy was gone. Not with medication. It was easy. I could participate in conversations without my mind wandering off, or while hearing 4 conversations at the same time.

The side effects of ADHD medication that I experienced

You’re probably wondering ‘why did she use so many types of medication, when it worked so well?’
Well… It was great in the beginning. The side effects weren’t so bad the first weeks. I had a dry mouth, a dry skin and not much apetite. That was it. It was worth it.

After a few weeks, the really bad side effects came. With some types of medication I had extreme rebounds (mostly with Ritalin). That means that when, after a few hours, the medication got out of my system, the ADD symptoms became double as bad as they are without medication. I had a high hart rate, was extremely anxious or just pissed off. Everything was blur. I got a bit of a fever. I couldn’t do much for about half an hour, besides lying on the couch feeling miserable. When that happens every day, it sucks.

White poo, ‘I don’t care about whatever’ and blackouts because of the ADHD medication.

Dexmethylphenidad Retard got to my liver, up to the point where my poo was white. And I lost weight. I only used Dexamphetamine for about two weeks, because it made me feel like ‘I don’t care about anything’. In traffic I didn’t care about other people on the road or about traffic lights. I didn’t feel happy, I didn’t feel sad. I just didn’t care. At one point, I had a complete blackout. I was in the train, at a station where I wasn’t suppose to be. I don’t know what happened or how I got there. The next day, my doctor told me to reduce the dose. I told her I wanted to stop. It wasn’t me anymore.

I decided to stop using ADD/ADHD medication

After a year, The ADHD centre ‘released me’ because I learned enough. At the last session with the doctor I told her I decided I wanted to stop using meds. After trying 4 types of medication over the year, I was at a point where I didn’t recognise myself anymore. Where was my creativity? I wasn’t spontaneous anymore, lost my creativity and didn’t enjoy the things I enjoyed before, like playing music. My body felt week, I wasn’t fit like I used to be.

Let me state this: though I personally disagree with the way in which doctors describe medicine so easily and quickly, I’m really happy for the people who do feel good while using those meds. It’s just not for me.

After I stopped using ADD medication. The ‘Oh crap, I really miss the benefits of the medication’-stage

The first weeks without meds were okay. Probably, there were still some after effects. After a few weeks, I was back where I was before the meds. It was weird, I’d forgot how I felt without medication. It was terrible, I was totally upset. What to do? I don’t want to use that sh*t anymore, but I don’t want to feel like this either.

Google, your friend in need

In the Netherlands, there’s a diet for kids with ADHD. I heard about that and thought well, when it works for kids, why not try it out for myself. Unfortunately, the insurance companies don’t pay for ADHD solutions based on diet for adults, and since I had no job, I had to find a cheap solution. There must be other people struggling with this, I thought, so I tried Google.

New Zealand research about vitamins for ADHD

A New Zealand research came up in the results, which showed results in where people with ADHD or ADD had good results using vitamins. ‘More research was needed’, but I didn’t care. I gave it a try. I thought, budgetwise, let’s start with only a few. So I start using:

This was about 9 months ago. I was ‘house-sitting’ (taking care of my sister and her boyfriends cat) and writing another thesis, this time for the online marketing course I was following. Their neighbours were really loud.. kids, music. I couldn’t focus. I had no energy.

After only a few days of using vitamins, among which Omega 3, B12 and Zinc, I already felt the difference.
The vitamins made me more clear in my head. The neighbours didn’t bother me anymore and I could focus on my thesis.

So, do vitamins for ADHD work?

I’m taking the vitamins for about 9 months now, longer than I stopped eating Gluten, as I wrote in my previous post. For me, it makes a huge difference if I take them or not. I have way more energy and focus. My head is more clear. My concentration improves, and because of that I don’t lose my stuff, I can be in crowded spaces, I’m more organised, and so forth… I wouldn’t say they give me the same results as the medication like Ritalin, but about 80-90% of it, and without side effects. I would recommend using vitamins for ADHD.

More research about vitamins for ADHD?

Scientists, pharmacy and doctors would say: ‘There’s not enough research to state that vitamins can help reduce ADHD symptoms’. They might even say that it’s not healthy to take vitamin supplements.

I’m surprised that there’s not a lot of research published or even done in the field of vitamins for ADHD. But on the other side, it doesn’t surprise me. Because who would benefit from this? Not the pharmaceutical industry, who are mostly the sponsor for medical research and who supply the medication.

What’s your story? Would you try vitamins, to help reduce ADHD symptoms?

I would love to hear your experience, so please share your story below! There’s so much information about ADHD, ADD, medication and natural solutions. Let’s help each other make the most out of our life with ADHD or ADD.

If you would like to try vitamin supplements for ADHD, this is what I’m using:

Note: buying cheap vitamins might not be the best choice, because your body can’t always absorb it or it contains things that are unhealthy. During my burn out I went to a doctor who not only studied medicine, but on top of that alternative medicine. He recommended the brand Lamberts. 

ADHD medication substitute vitamin supplements magnesium

How I (ADD) decided to go to New Zealand, indefinitely

How I (ADD) decided to go to New Zealand, indefinitely


Is impulsiveness a symptom of ADHD/ADD? The people who know me well, might have the answer to that question 😉
The issue that I’m contemplating over the last year is, is it a bad symptom, or a gift? And how did I decided to go to New Zealand?

Let’s find out…

ADD on the mountainbike

One day, a little over a year ago, I was mountainbiking in Meijendel, The Hague and Katwijk (The Netherlands) with my friend Barbara. We did an awesome trail through woods, dunes and the beach. I just got my GoPro and I was excited to take some good cycling shots. (unfortunately those shots are missing at the moment, due to another symptom of ADD: losing stuff all the time).

And of course, we got lost

Barbara and I were discussing which way to go, because we were kinda lost (like we always are, both in life and on the road). We were driving on the road, not on the mountainbike track we were supposed to be on. At one point, she said: ‘I have to tell you something’.

Okay, that sounded kind of exciting but scary at the same time. Is she pregnant? Moving back to Rotterdam? Is she quitting her job? No.. she said:

‘I’ve decided to go to New Zealand next year.’

Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand (Our clock was ticking, nope, not the biological one)

‘Whaat? Thats awesooomeeee!’, was my response of course. But it sucked at the same time, because then I’ll have to miss her, I thought. I had millions of questions and she was explaining me her plan. She was about to go there with a Working Holiday Visa (which you’re able to get until you are 30, and yes, we were almost 30.. so our travel-to-New-Zealand-clock was ticking).

Her mission was to stay forever. That was the plan. She wasn’t lost anymore. She had a direction.

Me, impulsive? ADD? No way!

We were talking and cycling, and getting lost, and finding the road again. After a while I said, impulsively like always: ‘I wanna go too! YES, I’ll go!’. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I thought.. ‘Oh boy, my family and some of my friends are not going to like this. I didn’t think this through’, but at the same time it felt so right.

I thought Barbara’s response would be: ‘okay, but are you sure? because I’m going alone and I want to do my own thing’, instead of that she said: ‘ARE YOU SERIOUS? OMG? JOOS? REALLY? YOU’RE COMING? YAYYYYYYYY’. She was so happy. And I was happy. And she said ‘but you’re not making me happy now and making up your mind later, aren’t you?’

I didn’t.

And that was that..

I decided that I was going to New Zealand.

My ADD-coach

At that time I was still in therapy for ADD. I had a session with my coach and she was so exciting for me. ‘This will be a great ending to your therapy and an awesome new beginning for you’.


Almost a year later.. I was on the plane.

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Impulsiveness… a bad ADD-symptom or a gift?

I’m totally happy with the decision I made. It was the best thing for me to do. After a period in my life that has not always been easy, I feel like I live again. I’m learning, I’m developing. But the most important thing.. I feel happy. Here and now.

I wouldn’t state that my impulsiveness is always a good thing, but in my opinion, 90% of the time it is. Like many other people ‘with ADD/ADHD’, I have a strong intuition. A strong connection to my intuition, or however you want to call it. I’m learning now, to listen to that intuition, instead of doubting it, like I did before. Because I’ve been called crazy and impulsive many many times.

No, I don’t have a fulltime job in a fancy office. I don’t have a big carreer. I didn’t buy a house. I don’t earn a lot of money. But there’s a lot of stuff that I do have, thanks to my impulsiveness, and that I value way more than a house, a job and those other things.

How do you feel about this? Are you impulsive as well, and how does this work for you? I would love to hear about your experience in a comment!

ADD & Gluten free.. how I accidentally found out that my body doesn’t like gluten

ADD & Gluten free.. how I accidentally found out that my body doesn’t like gluten

ADHD/ADD Gluten free Healthy body Travel

Is there a correlation between ADD and gluten? This question came to my mind a couple of weeks ago, while couchsurfing and living the vanlife in New Zealand. So why not write my first blog post about this. Because that’s what ADD’ers do. They start somewhere in the middle of a story.. and the story never ends.

Welcome to my world 🙂

Medication and vitamins

In the beginning of 2016, after a year of using medication (Ritalin and more), I started using vitamins instead. According to New Zealand research, vitamins can help reduce the symptoms of ad(h)d. I started taking 7 different types of vitamins and minerals, among which Magnesium, Zinc, Omega 3 and Calcium. After a week, I already felt the difference. I’ll write about this discovery in another post. Almost six months later, I found something different that helps me a lot, to reduce the ADD symptoms.

My first ADD gluten free experience

During my first months on the South Island in New Zealand, I spend a lot of time at Johns place in Christchurch. John does Couchsurfing. He welcomes many amazing people into his lovely little relaxing home. We shared a nice time, did a lot of painting, played games, and we shared meals.

John is mostly vegan and doesn’t eat gluten, and so didn’t we. We were having a lot of rice, potatoes, soups, salads, vegetables, nuts and seeds, instead of bread, noodles, pasta, etc. This was different from what I was used to. I used to eat a lot of pasta and bread. But I absolutely loved the food we made at his place. He/we made the most delicious dressings, deserts, and other meals with rice or potatoes.

My energy was increasing, but I didn’t immediately think it was because of the gluten. Johns’ place is so calming, and because he’s such a lovely person and I felt so relaxed and welcome, I thought that must be it.

The gluten road trip, HELL (called ADD) 😉

After some time at Johns place and other places, I went for a road trip on the South Island with Tanja, one of my best friends in Holland. The first week, I stayed on my new ‘diet’, trying to be gluten-free as much as possible. I felt good and I wanted to keep it that way.


Tanja and I both love healthy food and we were cooking each night. Cooking was a (mostly) enjoyable part of our #vanlife. But one day, we were driving many miles and we’re very tired. We decided to have pancakes for dinner. Soon after dinner, we went to bed. The day after, I had bread in the morning, with Pics Peanutbutter (yummie, the absolute best peanutbutter brand in the world) and in the afternoon we ate wraps (made from wheat).

My head exploded

We were heading to Abel Tasman. I was driving, and I was absolutely a horrible person at that moment (Sorry Tanja!!). We needed to get Diesel and drinking water, and I was almost screaming at Tanja, who had no clue of what was happening. I was totally raised, almost angry, not at Tanja but at the whole world. I wanted to scream, or hit someone, or do both at the same time. At some point, I almost wanted to drive my car into a tree. It felt like my head exploded. It felt like ADD+.

I couldn’t focus on driving, which annoyed me. I didn’t want to check where the petrol station was and where we could get some water. It was all just too much. I felt like screaming and crying at the same time. It wasn’t a new experience, I had that feeling before… but it was a while ago.

Tanja said ‘calm down.. you don’t need to act like this’. She knows about my ADD-stuff, but she wasn’t used to that behaviour (anymore). When we arrived in Tasman, we had a good conversation and I started thinking about why I was acting like this. Then it dawned on me.. that it might be the gluten.

‘Is there a correlation between ADD and gluten?’, I thought.

Gluten and refined sugar

It started to become clear to me that gluten have a similar effect on my body and brain as refined sugar. A year earlier, I already noticed that I can’t handle refined sugar, especially at night. I get hyperactive, not necessarily physically but in my head, but also hypersensitive and annoyed. In Dutch we would say ‘I get long toes’ (so people can easily step on them.. and you don’t want to know what happens next).

After a few weeks of trying to eat gluten every now and then, it became more and more clear to me. For me (!), eating gluten worsens the side effects of ADD. So I’ll stick to my gluten free diet (with tini tiny exceptions.. for cake, or deserts, when there’s a special occasion).

A gluten free diet, easy peasy!

Is it hard to be gluten free? Absolutely not. You just eat different things. I eat rice crackers, rice pasta, rice noodles, gluten free bread. My diet consists of a lot of vegetables, nuts, seeds, salads. You can have cheese, meat, eggs. Anything but cereals, especially wheat.

It can be hard when you are Wwoofing or Couchsurfing at a place where they have a lot of gluten. And I’m sure that, when I’m going back to Holland and have dinner with friends, they don’t want to cook gluten free all the time. And I just don’t want to be a difficult person. But my current experience is that most people are more than happy to provide gluten free meals.

Vitamins or gluten free?

The less gluten I have, the less I ‘need’  the vitamins. I take the supplements maybe every 4/5 days now, instead of every day. It saves me money (although eating gluten free can be expensive as well), and I don’t want to be ‘dependent’ on vitamins (though it’s better to be dependent to vitamins than to Ritalin or Concerta, is my opinion).

Dealing with the symptoms of ADD on a natural way

I’m so happy, because when I found out that I ‘have’ ADD (whether it is a disease, a hormonal imbalance or anything else), I didn’t want to deal with it the same way my doctor did. She wanted me to take Ritalin, Concerta, Dexamfetamine or Dexmethylfenidaat Retard on a daily basis. When the side effects were too bad, she wanted me to try other medication. She wanted me to try anti-depressants because these have shown good results in ADD research as well. Anti-depressants, seriously?

Now I’m encountering almost the same result that I had while using this crap, in a natural way.

I couldn’t be more happy:)

DAMN..this blog post turned out way too long.. and all over the place. Welcome to my world again 🙂

And please share your experience below!