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High-risk Behaviors Linked to Attention Deficit Disorder

By Bobby Kushner / November 25, 2016

GUELPH, ONT. – Feeling overwhelmed by ever-growing responsibilities at home, sudden changes at work and lack of sleep – Thomas Johnston destroyed everything in his home.

When police arrived at his residence, he looked at his wife.

“I want the police to kill me,” Johnston said before grabbing a replica gun, charging out the door and pointing it at police.

Thomas Johnston , 45, was arrested then taken to a psychiatric hospital in Guelph.

“When overwhelmed, I have sometimes reacted this way since a 12-year-old boy,” Johnston says.

A growing number of people, admitted to psychiatric hospitals for high-risk behaviors, are being diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) instead of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

“When someone’s not hearing voices, doesn’t have racing thoughts and isn’t awake for days – a more logical explanation for these behaviors is ADD,” Dr. Shuang Xu says, a psychiatrist at Homewood Health Centre. “especially if these individuals struggled with impulsive behaviors since childhood.”

According to information from the Canadian Mental Health Association, impulsive behaviors begin in childhood for ADD patients. But for schizophrenic and bipolar disorder patients, they begin in adulthood.

Dr. Xu explained, ADD is often difficult to diagnose in adults because most patients aren’t forthcoming about their struggle with impulsive behaviors during childhood.

“This is frequently why many adults with ADD are misdiagnosed as being bipolar or schizophrenic,” Dr. Xu says.

“Uncontrolled anger, mood shifts and other impulsive behaviors are also key traits in biopolar disorder and schizophrenia, not just ADD.”

Johnston is learning to cope with his disorder by attending dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) programs at Homewood Health Centre.

He is also prescribed Concerta, a stimulant used for treating ADD.

“An uncle of mine told me. I’ll live a hard life,” Johnston says. “if I continue destroying the things I’ve worked very hard to get when overwhelmed.”

THERAPY OPTIONS Two therapy options for ADD individuals wanting to better manage stressful life events

- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

MEDICATION OPTIONS Five medication options for ADD individuals lacking norepinephrine in the body

Nonstimulant Form
- Atomoxetine (Strattera)
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Stimulant Form
- Methylphenidate(Ritalin, Concerta)
- Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
- Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine (Adderall)

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Affordable Shelter Units for the Homeless and Refugees

By Bobby Kushner / June 17, 2018

GUELPH, ONT. -- Two companies manufacture affordable shelter units for the homeless and refugees.

1. InterShelter Inc sells a basic-model Intershelter unit for $7,500

Don Kubley, the founder of InterShelter, began retailing the geodesic dome in efforts to provide housing for homeless-military veterans.

Kubley bought the rights to the dome’s design from Craig Chamberlain, an architect who recreated the shelter from an invention by Buckminister Fuller.

The basic-model InterShelter unit spans 154-square-feet and stands nine-feet.

The 21-piece unit takes two hours to assemble. Each piece weighs 53 pounds and fits into the back of most pickup trucks.

The pieces are made of aerospace plastic, which lasts 30 years, never discolors and withstands temperatures of -70 and +120.

The unit allows for the addition of extra living spaces when combined with other units.

> Click here to learn more about Don Kubley's InterShelter unit

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2. Reaction Inc sells the basic-model Exo unit for $5,000

Michael McDaniel, the founder of Reaction Inc, designed the Exo unit after observing the government’s inadequate housing plans for the displaced people in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

The basic-model Exo unit spans 72-square-feet and stands nine-feet.

The two-piece unit takes five minutes to assemble. Each piece is made of fire-resistant plastic, which lasts 10 years.

All basic-model Exo units come with these features:

- fold out beds, desks and shelves

- electrical outlets

- circuit breakers

- interior lights

- recessed fans for heating, cooling and ventilation

- a digital door lock

- and a smoke alarm

> Click here to learn more about Michael McDaniel's Exo unit

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Chen Si Thwarts Over 300 Suicide Attempts

By Bobby Kushner / December 3, 2016

GUELPH, ONT. – Chen Si has stopped more than 300 individuals from throwing themselves over the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, a widely known suicide site in China.

Since 2004, Si devotes his weekends to patrolling the bridge ready to help anyone in distress.

According to a story by Louisa Lim, Si offers those whom he has saved a place to stay in his two bedroom apartment.

"When I save people, I don’t want to just cheat them into living another day,” Si told Lim.

Louisa Lim’s NPR feature story “Samaritan Patrols Bridge for China’s Lost Souls” tells more about Chen Si’s efforts in helping those in distress.

> Read Louisa Lim’s NPR feature story about Chen Si by clicking here

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