ADHD drug results 'astonishing'
Tim Webb's mind used to be like a bus exchange.
"You couldn't stop the thoughts from coming in and out," he said. "They were just coming thick and fast, and once the buses had left you couldn't bring it back."
Life is calmer these days.
The 32-year-old started taking micronutrients more than three months ago as part of a Canterbury University trial for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) sufferers. He says the difference is "phenomenal".
In the past, he would get home from work and either do nothing or try to do so many things he found himself in a tangle.
He can now concentrate on separate tasks and follow them through, allowing him to finish the many projects at home that had been in progress for years.
"Evidence of my past is all in my house," he said. "The whole property is covered in unfinished things, but the things I'm doing now I'm finishing."
The father of three has gone from part-time to fulltime employment and has the concentration to cook dinner and clean the house when he gets home.
"It was pretty hard on my wife – fun for the kids sometimes – but I was also short-tempered. I have been much calmer lately," he said.
His ADHD had prompted severe anxiety and panic attacks. He had suffered depression, lost confidence and began to self-harm before taking the new pills.
Webb said he had tried medication, but it made him feel "dull", and since starting on micronutrients his other symptoms had virtually disappeared.
"It's improved every aspect of my life and my self-esteem.
"I'm starting to have faith in my abilities. I have always had talents; now I feel I can channel them into something I can succeed with."
Canterbury University associate professor of psychology Julia Rucklidge led the micronutrients study and said the results were almost unbelievable.
"There are some people who benefit enormously from conventional treatments, but for me to see such a consistent response from people [on micronutrients] has been astonishing."
The pills being trialled contain a mix of 36 minerals, vitamins and amino acids, such as magnesium, calcium and vitamin C.
Rucklidge, whose research was published this month in the Journal of Attention Disorders, said there was growing interest in the effects of diet on mental illness.
She is conducting a trial to test the pills against placebo and wants more participants.