FYI
Nowell Neuropsychological Services, Inc. - David D. Nowell, Ph.D.
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Q; How can I get past that perverse joy I take in getting good grades while barely working?
Finally! A "foolproof" test for ADHD!
I occasionally go on "kicks."
Q: I keep misplacing things! Any ideas?
Q: What Do You Do When Doctors Cannot Agree on Whether You Have ADHD?

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FYI

Q; How can I get past that perverse joy I take in getting good grades while barely working?

Q: My biggest struggle with ADHD right now is my tendency to just do the bare minimum. I'm in law school and I know I should be working harder, but I don't. I do way less than I should, get B+'s and call it a day. I want A's but can't find the strength to sit down and work for hours or even one hour. I want to be able to do it, but every time I try, I seem to fail.

I spend most of my time participating in hobbies, with not much to show for it. I want to find a way to perform better, but I take such pride in barely working and still doing pretty well.

Finally! A "foolproof" test for ADHD!

Okay, not really.  Or at least I'm not holding my breath.  Because ADHD is a) a clinical diagnosis requiring some time and skill; and b) not a constellation of bizarre symptoms but is rather a more-severe-than-is-developmentally-expected variability of motivation, focus, and sustained effort, there is constant pursuit to find more objective criteria for the condition.  

Most clinicians familiar with ADHD are aware of the neuroanatomical correlates and even "minor physical anomalies" which are statistically associated with the condition.

I occasionally go on "kicks."

Q: Hi Dr. Nowell,

I was recently (as in yesterday) diagnosed with ADHD. I occasionally go on "kicks." I don't really have a better term for it, but every few months, I get really interested in something, and read or watch as much about it as possible, to the point of spending days on end reading and thinking about whatever it is. A few days or maybe even a week later, I get bored and go back to my normal self. Is this just me, or is this a trait common to many people with ADHD? 

Q: I keep misplacing things! Any ideas?

Q:  Dr. Nowell, do you have a strategy for helping in the day to day circumstance of recovering what I was thinking or trying to do, or where I put the object I just put down before something interrupted my thought process.  I often find that I'm SOOOOO in the moment - or maybe it's because I'm running on autopilot(?) -  that I'm not paying attention to all of the details of my current situation.  Like not paying attention when  I'm putting something down, so I'm not laying down the memory to recall when I'm ready to go back to what I was doing.

Q: What Do You Do When Doctors Cannot Agree on Whether You Have ADHD?

Q:  I've been to a psychologist (who said I was negative), and two psychiatrists (who both said I was positive).  I don't know who to believe. I feel like I might be a fraud and taking medication and getting school accommodations and such non-legitimately.  I'm hoping to get another, hopefully final diagnosis, but I don't know what to look for in a psychologist/psychiatrist.
 
A:  This is an interesting but frustrating scenario – 2 clinicians suggest you DO meet criteria for ADHD and one determines that you do not.

Y'know How Men Are Always Chiming in on Women's Health Issues?

Hey you know how men are always chiming in on women's health issues? Sounds fun! So I thought that I would join in as well, but in a good way.

In myclinical workthere's very little which is more satisfying to me than this: After the feedback session which follows neuropsychological evalaution, the client will frequently do his or her own research.  They ask questions of others, or experiment with tips and strategies on their own.  

And then, having lived with the feedback and personal research and exploring for a few weeks, my client and I will meet later for what I call a "post feedback follow up session.

Any Teachers/Speakers Using Backchannels Effectively?

I had a great experience a couple of weeks ago with teachers at theCollaborative Learning Summitin Warren, Ohio.   And I was introduced to a cool app calledTodaysMeet.  A simple web-based way to create a backchannel for lectures or trainings.  Some suggestions for applying TodaysMeet in the classroomhere andhere, and a similar post about usingSocrativehere.  And a comparison of 5 popular backchannel toolshere with classroom benefits of backchannelshere.



I liked the experience of reading other attendees postings during the Summit I attended, and have thought of using backchannels in my own

Questions about Risk Assessment from Yesterday's Workshop in Philly

Yesterday I had the chance to spend time with the staff ofPHMCin Philadelphia - our topic wassuicide risk assessmentand our objectives were identifying best practices for identifying and managing clinical risk and documenting those decisions well.

Lots of good discussion and clarification - and a couple of questions in particular I thought I'd present here and hear your perspective:

  • How best to manage a client's resistance when the clinician has determined he needs to be seen by EMH or other crisis assessment setting?

Update on my new year's resolution about Gmail

I got a Gmail account back in 2004 or 2005 when the beta was released but was so accustomed to my Yahoo mail that I never really switched over and did anything with the Gmail account.  

So after a bit of frustration with security and spam filters with my old email provider, and with all the cool kidsswearing bytheir Gmail, I made a resolution back on January 1.  I'd make the switch and I'd give it a few months.

And now, six months in, I'd call it a huge success.  It's saved me time, and I haven't seen spam going out from my account (which was a fairly regular occurrence with my previous email).

Maintain Your Focus, Maintain Your (Emotional) Appetite

It has always seemed to be that at the heart of time- and distraction-management lie central spiritual issues.  What matters?  What's important? Who am I at my deepest levels?  And what am I here for?

And I was reminded of this last Sunday on reading anOp-Ed pieceby David Brooks:

The information universe tempts you with mildly pleasant but ultimately numbing diversions. The only way to stay fully alive is to dive down to your obsessions six fathoms deep. Down there it’s possible to make progress toward fulfilling your terrifying longing, which is the experience that produces the joy.