Katherine wolf 2010-05-26 10:46:25
Hi Guys –
I’ve been going through the process of having caps put on some chipped front
teeth the past few weeks. What does this have to do with adrenaline, or
ADD? Let me explain.
There are different formulations of novocaine, and some have epinephrine, or
adrenaline, in them. This is to constrict the blood vessels around the
injection site to hold the anesthetic in the tissues longer. This past
visit I needed quite a bit of novocaine to get numb enough to work on, and
that meant I had quite a bit of adrenaline running through my system as
I had not had any Adderall that morning, so I was pretty fuzzy going into
the dentist’s office. But as I sat in the chair waiting to get numb, I felt
the same sensation of my mind slowly coming into focus as I would from the
Adderall, as the novocaine started to work.
Now that’s an interesting thing. I’ve always been great in a crisis – put
me in a situation where normal people panic and I’m cool as a cucumber.
When a woman was shot in front of my apartment building, for example, I
walked into the middle of a crowd of frantic people, got everybody calmed
down, got the victim calmed down, rendered first aid (not that she needed
much, it really was just a flesh wound), and had her all ready for transport
by the time the EMTs showed up. I was organized, efficient, effective,
calm, and focused. In fact, I was exactly like I am on stimulant
So, now I’m wondering – does everyone with ADD, or a significant subset of
us, respond to adrenaline in a similar way?
If people wouldn’t mind weighing in, I’d be really interested to know
whether you get more focused in emergencies, or less. I I don’t mean the
daily stress of a high-pressure job, but rather those sudden moments of
danger when you or another person is at risk. In those kinds of situations,
do you generally tend to hyperfocus, or panic?
Morph grrl 2010-05-26 10:46:35
This is definitely an individual experience. Because I have another
condition that’s comorbid with my ADHD, it will depend on the
situation. If it’s something that I’m in control of or feel in control
of, then I will calm down if there is an adrenaline rush.
But if another person is in danger I can’t calm down. I worry too much
about what will happen to the other person. I think, though, if I knew
how to help them and knew what to do, then it would change and I could
probably calm down.
Not knowing what to do make me really nervous.
Tom boland 2010-05-26 10:46:57
It is a common reaction. I was an EMT for 7 years while not on meds. Didn’t
need them for that job at all.
Hedda 2010-05-26 10:47:26
I have noticed that similar affect although I’ve never had anyone
be shot in front of my house (thank God), when it comes to other people’s
trauma I can remain very focused. However if it were someone I was
emotionally attached to or affected me /my life directly (I.e. my children
or my husband etc.)? Who knows they may need another squad for me. I think
you may be on the right track though with the connection.
A few years back I saw a holistic Doc (she was an iridologist) for
numerous symptoms and she gave me herbs to get my adrenal gland working
so maybe people with Add lack adrenaline in the same way a diabetic
definitely food for thought
Lee & cathi th 2010-05-27 20:46:26
I have what I think is a related question. Does anyone have any experience
with AdderallXR plus natural adrenaline? My son has been having fantastic
results with his medication academically – latest grades were 3.85, but he
had a scary experience athletically. He’s a wrestler and his first match of
the season (and his first while on medication) he found he could not catch
his breath, his heart was racing, and he felt like he could not move his
legs. He was fine during practices and scrimmages so the only thing we
could attribute it to was the adrenaline from an actual match. His doctor
couldn’t come up with a concrete answer, but felt it could be his own body
chemistry. It took about 2 hours for him to feel better, and he was fine
for the rest of the day. Anyone having anything similar?
Vashti 2010-05-27 20:46:28
Well, I’ve got panic disorder as well as ADHD(not boring at all
and I tend to hyperfocus *during* a crisis and panic afterwards.
Apparently this is quite common as panic comes more “easily” when
you’ve got time to think yourself into that state, many panic/anxiety
sufferers seem to do fine in an actual crisis.
I don’t think focussing during a crisis is ADHD behaviour, just a
survival trait inherant in most humans. When we’re attacked or in
danger our bodies will react: our eyes will allow more light and
detail to enter, our hearts beat faster, blood will be redirected
from non-immediate tasks like our digestive tracts to more important
things like running away or dealing withpotential injuries all in
order to give us the best chance of survival.
I don’t know why some people flap around or scream in a crisis, I
think that screaming may be learned behaviour; maybe the flapping
Sam ende 2010-05-27 20:46:29
yeah, it’s what made me good at my job which was dealing with
challenging behaviour in autistic adolescents.
Nknisley 2010-05-27 20:47:02
Hi, Vashti! Just dropping in for the holidays?
I don’t know if I’m a “typical” person w/o ADHD, because I am, well,
unique, but I have also been in crisis situations in which I have been
so incredibly calm, clear thinking, unemotional, and focused that the
whole situation didn’t feel entirely real, both as it unfolded or
In some cases, because my reaction was so different from the panic and
hysteria of others at the scene, I felt very, very odd about it.
Unique, like everyone else
Nknisley 2010-05-27 20:47:05
I don’t know about the Novocain connection. I don’t recall seeing or
hearing that discussed in connection with ADHD before.
But, in the past, ASAD has had posts from posters with ADHD who have
mentioned how well they focus/react in a crisis, to the point that
others have faulted them for their lack of emotionality.
I’ve sometimes wondered if the adrenaline rush that might help focus is
behind the chronic procrastination of some ADHDers: they are unable to
focus on important activities until a crisis/panic situation is reached,
when, fueled by adrenaline, they finally can take action. (But, the
whole subject of procrastination and ADHD is probably very complex,
involving more than the “thrill” of the last-minute rush, so I’m not
saying that this is the only reason for chronic procrastination by ADHDers.)
And, the focus from an adrenaline rush of high-risk activities, say,
extreme sports, would help explain why such a large percentage of
ADHDers seem to be drawn to them, when most NT’s would say, “You’re
crazy to do that.” 🙂
And, then there’s the lure of high-stim jobs that certainly must produce
their share of adrenaline….
Unique, like everyone else
Vashti 2010-05-27 20:47:08
Hehe! Not really here for the holidays , but you wouldn’t normally
notice me when I *am* here: I tend to read quite regularly…I just
get caught up in the reading and miss the replying bit
I’m reading I get interrupted by “real” life or just get lost in
threads and forget the posts I read earlier that I wished to reply
to if you know what I mean.
This time I happened to be edgy enough not to read further since
I was waiting for my sister to collect me…I’m not terrifically
good at waiting funnily enough! 😉
And that would be the perfect way to survive a crisis!
Yup, I know that feeling all too well, it always surprises me since I
have been known to truly panic over “silly” things like too much noise,
the concept of running out of coffee or cigarettes or simply the physical
survival traits I mentioned earlier.
Katherine wolf 2010-05-29 06:28:34
I don’t think there is really a Novocaine connection. I’ve had Novocaine
without epinephrine (works even less well on me than the kind with), and
never felt more focused from it. It’s definitely the epinephrine, because
about the time my hands started shaking I was feeling like I could laser my
way right through a calculus textbook. It was really quite wonderful – too
bad I had to waste it getting my teeth drilled. 😉
My Dad and my sister are like this, too, very calm in an emergency. Not at
all calm other times, but you can really count on them in a crisis. It
almost seems like ADD somehow cushions the brain against the effects of
adrenaline – where a “normal” brain’s frontal lobes shut down a bit under
the influence of adrenaline, ours seem to actually function better under those conditions.
Yes, that makes sense – you manufacture crises to give yourself the
adrenaline rush you need to get things done. I’m not certain anything about
ADD is straightforward, but if you were only at your best when you had a
little adrenaline running around, you might not particularly want to get
things done in advance. Where’s the pressure in getting things done early? 😉
Probably every “adrenaline junkie” I’ve ever met also has problems staying
organizing, following through on things, sitting still in boring
meetings…in short, all those typical ADHD things. Of course this doesn’t
mean that all ADD people are that way, but there’s definitely an allure
Julian9ehp 2010-05-29 06:28:38
Just glanced over the “Wayfarers All” chapter of _The Wind In The Willows_.
Tell me that’s not adrenaline rush. 😉
Katz heitmann 2010-05-29 18:40:08
Thanks for the tip. I never had a problem with sedation. They nitris
me and I’m out like a light. They have trouble with my veins sometimes.
Katz heitmann 2010-06-05 05:20:57
When it isn’t a crisis then I’m a mess I cannot get anything right.
Shakey nerves crappy concentration a complete mess. When you drop me
into a pot I do great. I guess it’s my bad frontal lobe. Under
adrenaline the frontal lobes shut down ours don’t work anyway so it
doesn’t matter to us. We normally live with one or both shut down so it
doesn’t matter to us. We normally live without it so when adrenaline
shuts down our upper brains we are used to living without them it
doesn’t make much of a difference the extra energy to our lower brains
and body helps a lot. Since we are used to our frontal lobes not
working we don’t miss them when they shut down. It leaves us in trouble
when there isn’t a catastrophy but thankfully there are meds to correct
That’s why I want to either be a cop or an EMT I’m trying to decide
which I want to be.