ADHD

Imagine a symphony orchestra in which each musician plays his or her instrument very well. If there is no conductor to organize the orchestra and start the players together, to signal the introduction of the woodwinds or the fading out of the strings, or to convey an overall interpretation of the music to all players, the orchestra will not produce good music. Symptoms of ADHD can be compared to impairments not in the individual musicians, but in the orchestra’s conductor.

 

— Thomas E. Brown (2005)

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ADHD Can Look Like:

Academic

  • Discrepancy between perceived abilities and actual performance

  • May be an “A” student, but frustrated with how long it takes to complete assignments

  • Procrastination and perfectionistic qualities that often lead to late assignments

  • Lack of motivation (not to be confused with laziness)

  • Difficulties initiating and following through with tasks and/or assignments

  • Difficulties engaging in “boring” or mundane tasks

 

Occupational

  •  Frequently late to work

  • Easily overwhelmed with multitasking or with high-paced environments

  • Forgetfulness

  • Inattention to details or careless mistakes

  • May need instructions repeated several times, resulting in frustration from their employer or themselves

  • Difficulty following through with tasks (many browser tabs open)

Home

  • Messy living environment (or overly organized to compensate)

  • Piles of “clutter” (i.e. mail)

  • Feels overwhelmed when entertaining or cooking complicated meal

  • Often forgets keys, wallet, phone

  • Roommate, partner, or family member may express frustration at the situation

Social/Emotional

  • Perceived as “spacy” or “ditzy”

  • Emotional volatility or sensitivity

  • Excessively interrupting others

  • Making important decisions without consideration of long-term consequences

  • Often feels like “too much” (especially salient for women who are socialized to take up less space)

  • Difficulties in large groups – often feeling “lost” or “out of place"

Definition and Symptoms
Tips and Skills
Evaluation and Medication

Many of those who struggle with executive functioning struggles end up feeling bothered, shamed, and different which can contribute to feelings of low self-worth, frustration, hopelessness, depression, interpersonal struggles, and anxiety. Undiagnosed ADHD can affect many areas of life including interpersonal relationships in both personal and professional spheres. Because ADHD has many secondary symptoms such as those listed above, it often is misdiagnosed leaving the surface problem to be dealt with, but not the underlying concern. The strengths of ADHD are often minimized by our society, leaving those affected by it to again feel unappreciated and misunderstood.

 

 If you believe you or a loved one could benefit from further exploration in this realm of care, please reach out to us for an initial consultation.

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