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Finally Focused: Review of the Breakthrough Natural Treatment Plan for ADHD

For over a decade, Ms. Dora has been sharing poetry, creative writing, positive quotes, and reflections online. Her aim is life enrichment.


ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactive disorder) is not a “behavior problem” or a “discipline problem,” according to authors James Greenblatt, M.D. (and Bill Gottlieb CHC).

It is primarily a neurological condition. It is also a nutritional-deficit disorder and a sleep-deficit disorder. It is really one disorder with many names, but it is not a disease.

Data of Parent Reported ADHD Diagnosis

Percent of US Youth Aged 4-17 Ever Diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder by State: National Survey of Children's Health (2011)

Percent of US Youth Aged 4-17 Ever Diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder by State: National Survey of Children's Health (2011)

Purpose of the Book

There are 6,000,000 children (11% of those between ages 4 to 17) and another 8,000,000 adults diagnosed with ADHD. Dr. Greenblatt intends to help many of them by sharing his approach which has been effective in thousands of cases.

He believes that each patient has a unique pattern of deficiencies and excesses which cause an imbalance in the brain. His Plus-Minus plan is tailored to the needs of the individual, to add to the deficiencies and subtract from the excesses.

He uses natural treatments first and medications only when necessary. He claims that his natural treatments restore attention and minimize hyperactivity in ADHD patients and also offer relief from the side effects of medications. He presents case after case demonstrating his success and he includes testimonials of gratitude from his satisfied clientele.

"Finally Focused"

"Finally Focused"

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (May 9, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451496590
ISBN-13: 978-0451496591
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
Amazon Rank: #5 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Children's Health > Learning Disorders

James Greenblatt MD. has treated thousands of children and adults with ADHD over the past 30 years. He has trained and supervised medical professionals in integrative strategies for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia. He currently serves as the chief medical officer and vice president of medical services at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, Massachusetts.

His previous books include Breakthrough Depression Solution, Answers to Binge Eating, and Answers to Anorexia.

There are three outstanding features of Finally Focused which makes it commendable.

The Plus-Minus Plan

The majority of the book is dedicated to the demonstration of this approach. Greenblatt begins by proposing that a plus for every ADHD patient is magnesium which nourishes the brain. He explains how the stimulant drugs prescribed to help patients often deplete this mineral from the body, resulting in side effects like irritability and anxiety. Scientific studies have proved him right, citing that 96% of the children they studied were magnesium deficient, and correlating with his own finding of 90%.

For every case, he begins with the symptoms, tests for lack and excess, and devises a treatment plan. Some of his plus nutrients include iron, zinc, probiotics, digestive enzymes, protein, and omega 3s, according to the patient’s needs. Exercise and mindfulness are also on his plus list. Some of his minus items include phosphorus, copper, sugar, and foods that contribute to intestinal imbalance. He makes his prescriptions age-appropriate, recommending adjustments as necessary.

Scientific Support

In every chapter, this is a section devoted to the support of Greenblatt’s proposed treatment. He presents statistics and other scientific findings from reputable medical journals and university studies. He includes his own clinical experiences which give his readers confidence that there is a correlation between his work and that of other scientists.

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His chapters also contain inserts that explain the uses and benefits of herbs and other items he recommends – one of them being dark chocolate. They tell success stories of patients who show behavioral improvement after they add items on his plus list or decrease the use of items on his minus list.

Step-by-Step Action

The sub-heading as the final section of every chapter is Step-by-Step Action Plan for Healing ADHD. It lists the plus and minus items previously mentioned. Then he introduces the steps with a sentence, sometimes worded differently, which essentially says, “Here’s a practical, step-by-step summary of the actions discussed in this chapter.”

In an attractive bulleted layout, he lists reminders of the important points in that chapter. They may be easy to remember, but it is not advisable to extract them from the book as a list of instructions without reading and understanding the benefits, the dosage, the options, and other relevant information in the chapter.

Personal Recommendation

For parents and guardians who have ADHD children in their care, Finally Focused may be a second Bible. Greenblatt asks questions to help adults discover from the children’s symptoms what could be their lack or excess. He guides them through the treatment recommending medical professional help where necessary. The evidence in favor of his Plus-Minus treatment stacks up impressively against stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall.

Chapter 9 might be the only challenge for readers (like me) who are not very familiar with the names of drugs. The chapter explains neurotransmitters (chemical messengers that transport signals between brain cells) and presents neurotransmitter precursors as a plus for ADHD children. It demands focused attention to learn what supplements in various formulas turn these precursors on or off. However, it is well worth the extra effort to fully understand the process.

Altogether, the book is an easier read than expected. Starting with minimal knowledge of the topic and gaining reasonable clarity about it after one read, is evidence for me that this is a great presentation.


I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for Books ( The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Other Book Reviews

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2017 Dora Weithers


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 30, 2018:

Thanks, Christie. I hope that other readers will read your comment. You might also want to share with Dr. Greenblatt. I appreciate your feedback.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 04, 2017:

Nicole, the doctor explains very clearly the importance of magnesium in the diet. You will learn much about this diagnosis if you decide to get the book.

Nicole K on November 03, 2017:

How very interesting. I did not know about the importance of magnesium with this diagnosis. I will definitely have to look into this more and perhaps purchase the book. It may help a loved one. Also, a big congratulations on earning the award of Most Trusted Hubber! That award is much deserved :)

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 06, 2017:

Peg, so many parents share your experience of having this disorder aggravated by inappropriate diet in the children. Parents can help themselves to help the children by reading and learning from this book. thanks for your feedback.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on October 06, 2017:

Certainly this much needed guidance by Dr. Greenblatt is the better option than medication, particularly in those who refuse to give it to their children. Your explanation was thorough, easy to understand and well written.

When my six year old stepson was diagnosed this disorder was still known as Attention Deficit Syndrome. His bouts of hyperactivity were difficult to deal with and caused him lots of trouble in school. I discovered those many years ago that his condition grew worse when they fed the children hot dogs and Kool-aid, products with a lot of additives and red food dye. That always had him bouncing off the walls and made it impossible for him to concentrate. As a result, he spent most of his days on a time-out and away from the benefits of the teacher's lesson.

When he had a lot of outdoor exercise and a controlled diet he performed much better. I wish I could have read this book back then.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 22, 2017:

Shauna, I have heard of others who claim that marijuana works for their condition. Not sure if it can be used with guidance from a medical authority, but that might be useful. Wishing him the best remedy and the best of life going forward. Thanks for sharing.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 22, 2017:

Dora, I wish I'd known about this book when my son was young. He was diagnosed with ADHD and put through a myriad of medications, not to mention therapy. He finally took himself off the meds when he was in high school and started smoking weed instead (I wasn't aware of it at the time). Oddly enough, weed works for him.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 10, 2017:

Jackie, true that we need to spend more time counting our blessings. I also pray that those who suffer will take advantage of the natural remedies available, and that the rest of us will be as compassionate and helpful as possible.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on August 09, 2017:

I do think natural is always best and even if we must get on a chemical treatment to start, natural things can then be tried. I have been using lemon and vinegar to keep my sugar in check and it has been working for months now. I was not on any insulin with just some high readings so I wouldn't recommend anyone go off their insulin but the earlier we try all these things the better. I honestly think God gave us medicine for all things.

This is a very important article for those suffering with ADHD. We just don't know how lucky we are to not suffer with some of these bad things. God bless those that do.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 05, 2017:

Rachelle, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to hearing how you like the book. Praying that it helps you significantly.

Rachelle Williams from Tempe, AZ on July 05, 2017:

I have Adult ADHD: Inattentive Type, and it has had a huge negative impact on me all of my life. I wasn't diagnosed until my early 40's, and I was put on Adderall once diagnosed. The Adderall made me sleep less (My normal sleep pattern was already only about 4 hours a night anyway - the medicine made it even less), my appetite was all but gone and I lost wight to the point people were concerned, and it made me loopy - the Adderall also, however, allowed me to focus, and that was something AMAZING for me.

In the end, I didn't like the way I felt, and I was afraid of side effects from any pharmaceutical that had the power to rearrange my thought process as it did, so I stopped taking it, and settled for the negative effects of Adderall.

I've been seeking natural remedies, but so far, noting has worked. Based on your recommendation, I'm going to purchase "Finally Focused," by Dr. James Greenblatt. Thank you for the tip, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 04, 2017:

Mary, I highly recommend the book, if only because it suggests treatment other than the usual drugs. The research points to nutritional options and this may also be good for some of those special needs other than ADHD. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Wickison from USA on July 04, 2017:

I have heard that a change in diet can help those with ADHD, it sounds like an excellent book to have as a resource of information.

When I helped in schools, I was surprised at the number of children they listed as 'special needs', many of these were labelled with ADHD.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 01, 2017:

Devika, you're right. Reading this book was the first formal effort on my part to learn about it. Interested to learn more.

DDE on June 30, 2017:

A well-informed hub on this problem. It is never too late to learn about ADHD.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 26, 2017:

Thanks, Allie. I feel the same way about the book. You and everyone else who prefer natural treatments will find it very useful. Best to you!

Allie Brito on June 26, 2017:

Dora, I think this book is absolute GOLD. Thank you for giving us a little break down of what to expect before we read. I wish that many of my friends parents in the 90s would have understood the implications of putting their small children on medication without knowing what the side effects are or how to combat them. I will be purchasing and adding to my summer reading list!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 25, 2017:

Bill, it's a pleasure to read for you. However, I can only relate so much in a review. Hope your headaches go away; that might free you up to read some more. Thanks for your input.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 25, 2017:

I've been taking a magnesium supplement for some time now for headaches. I've always believed in the natural approach as compared to the "drug" approach. Sounds like an interesting book, but I don't know if I'll ever get time to read it. Thanks for reading it for me, Dora!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 24, 2017:

True, Alicia. The author provides instructions and prescriptions for adults as well. I highly recommend the book. Thanks for your input.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 24, 2017:

You find some great books to review, Dora. This one sounds as though it could be very helpful for both adults with ADHD and parents of children with the disorder.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 24, 2017:

Tamara, this book will be helpful to you. So glad that I recommended it. His methods of diagnosing and prescribing makes good sense. All the best to you going forward!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 24, 2017:

Thanks, Manatita. This topic was very interesting especially being in a field somewhat unfamiliar to me; but it was a clear presentation. Thanks for your kind comment and your helpful encouragement now and always.

Tamara Moore on June 24, 2017:

I just came to the realization that sometimes I comment on people's posts 2-3 times because I have forgotten that I had already commented in the past on the same

Tamara Moore on June 24, 2017:


I am indebted to you for this article concerning Natural Treatment Plans for ADHD! I will plan to purchase this book through your life-saving referral. I am not exaggerating, (even though, as a writer, I tend to do just that); I have severe ADD/ADHD, and sometimes even have to rewrite my poems over and over, before submission, due to them coming out incessantly backwards.

I have been troubled with ADHD since I was a child. I don't like the idea of pharmaceuticals, but I must take them in order to focus, keep my thoughts from wandering into fragments, ETC.,.

This is so wondrous that you just posted this article, as I, only last night, posted a new Rhyming Poem on My Ongoing Relationship With ADHD And Spock!

I am so happy that I found your article this morning, and will email it to myself so that I can refer to it, and also purchase this book.

My thanks and gratitude to you!

manatita44 from london on June 24, 2017:

Ah, Dee,

yet another great review. It is a topic that interest me very much as I'm into natural and alternative medicine. Yes, most Kinesiologist, worldwide in fact, find that zinc and magnesium or at least one, is always in short supply. The other nutrients also make sense. America is ahead in this field.

Well presented and informative Hub.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 23, 2017:

Chitrangada, I join you in expressing my concern for parents who have to deal with this condition in their children. Hope they take the time to read this review and obtain the book. Thanks for your input.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 23, 2017:

Tim, thanks for your very helpful comment. True, armed with information from these books, we make our doctors aware that we are not totally ignorant about what they're doing. We also show them that we care enough to do our own research. Thanks for adding this observation to the benefits of reading these scientific findings.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 23, 2017:

Very nice book and great review!

It is sad that many are affected by ADHD and there is lack of information about it. Hope this book through your review spreads the word. I can imagine how difficult it must be for the parents whose children are affected by this.

Thanks for sharing this well written and informative hub!

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on June 23, 2017:

Great article and review Dora opening many doors for me. First, is how amazing our bodies are including the brain even with its woes. Then appreciation for those who dedicate their lives within science pursing causes and solutionss for those woes. Next, they offer those findings as book to the public to at least kick start the healing process, which may be a lifetime. I know the books on diabetes I have read allowed me to have dialogue with my doctors while knowing they would never have been able to explain the why's and how's for their recommendations in 15 minutes.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 22, 2017:

Bill, too late for some, but I pray it would be on time for many. Parents and teachers do need the help. Thanks.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2017:

I wish I had this book when I was teaching. When we first became aware of ADHD, as teachers back in the mid-Nineties, we were stumbling blindly through the days trying to find a solution which would work for each child. Anyway, great information here, Dora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 21, 2017:

Flourish, I'm happy for you that you and your child does not have to deal with this condition. I wish everyone who needs this book will find it. It sounds like it could be a great help. Thanks for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 21, 2017:

Eric, I can tell that you're parenting is in the top percentile. God bless you and your son going forward. Thanks for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 21, 2017:

Sally, ADHD patients are all around us. Hope some parents find the book. Thanks for your comment.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 21, 2017:

Lori. that means you had both hands full of boy activities. You must have prayed a lot. Glad you made it through. Thanks for your feedback.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 21, 2017:

I have only one child and she does not have this condition but I know plenty of parents who are navigating the maze of doctors, mere, and behavioral remedies. This sounds like a worthy place to start for someone who needs help.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 21, 2017:

With my elder 3 it was meds time. Thank God they are all doing great. With my younger it is "dad slow your butt down and sit still with the boy". It is so fun to sit with him and get him to bounce around in his head. Parenting is wasted on the young.

100 questi0ns in 5 minutes will drive you nuts. But if you take the time to jump into the first one it is bonding at a level times 1 billion.

Thanks for this article at a time when I was a bit insecure. Friends like you are a treasure beyond human get.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on June 21, 2017:

Very interesting MsDora, I personally know a few people who have been diagnosed with AHDH. I think they might well find this an interesting read, thank you for sharing.

Lori Colbo from United States on June 21, 2017:

I wish I had had this book when my boys were little as I had two boys with ADHD. It was very challenging and stressful. Thanks for sharing this book with us.

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