You lose your keys almost every other day.
You did the homework but forgot to hand it in – again.
You’re securing new clients, but you can’t get the invoices completed.
You’ve got 5 creative projects started, what's the priority?
Your closet is overstuffed but you can never find anything to wear.
You are busy all day, but feel you've accomplished nothing.
You don’t like big parties because you just can’t follow the small talk.
...Does this sound like you?
That’s the ADHD – it is not an excuse, it’s an explanation!
On Proudly ADHD at Work & Business podcast, Barbara Luther,
offers an explanation of living & working with Inattentive ADHD.
There are many ways to define ADHD. (scroll down for definitions from leading experts) It could be called a challenge of executive function since the brain is inefficient in planning, organizing, remembering and self-regulating. These executive functions, including impulse control and managing emotional reactions, are controlled by the prefrontal cortex which is weaker in ADHDers. So, the ADHD brain is more emotional, wired for interest, lives in the now. Approximately 11% of children are now diagnosed with ADHD, 3 – 5% of teens and 4.4% of adults, according to the CDC. The numbers for teens and adults will increase since many are diagnosed later.
It's about Interest, Impulsivity, & Distraction
The impact of ADHD...
It is important to know there is not “one” version of ADHD; it manifests in different ways for each person and changes over time. For many, because they process differently than the standard rules required in schools and workplaces, they see more failure than success. There is a shortage of attention because the brain can’t tolerate being bored and will do anything for stimulation. Impulsivity (action without foresight) is what gets them into trouble as well as always questioning authority, questioning the rules, and frequently changing jobs. For most, the working memory is weak which causes the forgetfulness. Think of working memory as a 2x2” Post It stuck to your forehead for everything you need to remember now. For someone with ADHD, that Post It is the size of a small postage stamp with room for just one or two things to remember now.
People with ADHD require a lot of patience, forgiveness and love. Remember, just because they made a mistake doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. When your student or husband or daughter forgets or behaves impulsively (even after a promising to behave) don’t get mad, get curious. Don’t assume they are lazy – maybe their working memory wasn’t strong enough to take in all the information. Or maybe they lost focus at that critical moment when the instructions were being given.
Is there a solution?
Aside from medication, working with a trained ADHD coach helps you understand how your ADHD has impacts your life. A coach will be your partner to improve how you learn and to confidently manage attention, distractions and impulsivity.
By reducing frustration and stress, and working from a positive strengths-based approach, a trained ADHD coach helps you get past the obstacles. Together we strategize how to tackle the roadblocks, create new habits and build an insightful plan that works for you and empowers you to experience a balanced and productive future. It does require a commitment to try something new, even if it means feeling uncomfortable at first.
4 Definitions Of ADHD from Leading Experts
1. ADD Coaching Academy:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a unique brain wiring which requires engaged interest with a clear, purposeful intention in order to activate and access attention so an individual can manage the brain’s executive functioning.
2. Dr. Edward Hallowell:
ADHD is a neurological condition that is usually genetically transmitted. It is characterized by distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness or hyperactivity. These symptoms are present from childhood on, and with a much greater intensity than in the everyday person, so that they interfere with everyday functions. I like to describe having ADHD is like having a powerful race car for a brain but with bicycle brakes. Treating ADHD is like strengthening your brakes – so you start to win races in your life.
3. The Child Mind Institute:
Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) find it unusually difficult to concentrate on tasks, to pay attention, to sit still, and to control impulsive behavior. Some children with ADHD exhibit mostly inattentive behaviors and others predominantly hyperactive and impulsive. But the majority of those with ADHD have a combination of both, which can make it very difficult for them to function in school and create a lot of conflict at home.
4. Dr. Russell Barkley:
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the current term for a specific developmental disorder seen in both children and adults that is comprised of deficits in behavioral inhibition, sustained attention and resistance to distraction, and the regulation of one’s activity level to the demands of a situation (hyperactivity or restlessness). This disorder has had numerous different labels over the past century, including hyperactive child syndrome, hyperkinetic reaction of childhood, minimal brain dysfunction, and attention deficit disorder (with or without hyperactivity).