The Truth About ADHD in Adults: Harvard’s Dr. Chris Palmer Explains the Research


The Mel Robbins Podcast with Dr. Chris Palmer


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Have a hard time staying focused?

Do you start projects and never finish them?

Are you frustrated with your hyperactive brain?

Your brain simply needs help, and today you’re going to learn exactly what to do about it, thanks to the expert advice of today’s guest Dr. Chris Palmer.

Dr. Palmer is a psychiatrist who has practiced at Harvard’s McLean Hospital, the #1 psychiatric hospital in the nation, for almost 30 years. He is also the Founder and Director of the recently launched Metabolic & Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital.

In this episode, you’ll also learn:

  • What ADHD really is.
  • The simple (and sneaky) signs of ADHD.
  • What your doctor will be looking for to diagnose your ADHD.
  • What ADHD meds actually do in the brain.
  • How a person on the autism spectrum could improve their symptoms.
  • What to look at before jumping to medication.
  • How an elimination diet works and why you should try it.
  • The specific types of exercise your brain needs to get you out of a funk.
  • What you need to stop doing to make your brain healthier.

To listen to Dr. Palmer's first appearance on The Mel Robbins Podcast, check out the episode right before this one, Reset Your Mental Health: The Diet & Nutrition Protocol from Renowned Harvard MD

For more resources, including links to Dr. Palmer's work, studies, and tips to implement everything you learn, click here for the podcast resources page.

Listen to the episode about Mel’s deeply personal story of her own diagnosis of ADHD: 6 Surprising Signs of Adult ADHD

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In this episode, you'll learn:

  • 7:13: The #1 message you need to hear today and every day.
  • 8:50: What is ADHD and what are the signs I should look for?
  • 12:10: What’s going on in your brain with ADHD?
  • 17:30: What does it look like when you go to your doctor for ADHD?
  • 21:00: Wait. Food, sleep, and exercise impact ADHD?
  • 23:40: What do ADHD meds actually do in the brain?
  • 26:30: The parent guilt is real when your kid has ADHD.
  • 31:30: Can a person on the autism spectrum see improvements?
  • 36:40: How is it possible to improve your ADHD symptoms?
  • 37:50: The one question to ask yourself BEFORE you try to change.
  • 44:00: What are the research-backed treatments for mental disorders?
  • 47:20: Before jumping to medication, consider first-line assessment.
  • 50:30 The connection between food and your mental health.
  • 53:00: How an elimination diet may be the answer to better focus.
  • 55:00: How long do you need to be on an elimination diet?
  • 58:15: Why you have to get your butt to the gym for resistance training.
  • 59:30: Examples of Zone 2 Cardio to improve your cellular health.
  • 1:00:30: Consider eliminating these substances for good.
  • 1:01:00: Dr. Palmer’s incredibly hopeful message.
  • 1:06:05: The bloopers you love!

Resources and go deeper:

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In The Mel Robbins Podcast, Mel takes you behind the scenes in real-time. Every episode is packed with tactical advice, hilarious screwups, compelling conversations, and the tools and inspiration you need to create a better life.