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
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.
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 must have seen this illustration before but I stumbled upon it this morning and *sigh* it's just such an elegant and quick overview of two important neurotransmitter systems for our purposes as clinicians and coaches and teachers.
Susan agreed to respond to my questions about the work of Professional Organizer. My curiosity comes from my own experience with clutter and from the concerns voiced by my clients and attendees at ADHDworkshops. By the way if you decide to meet Susan or get to hear her speak, you will find that her bracing optimism and laser-sharp problem solving skills bump your energy level up about 8 notches!
Okay, here we go:
Question:Susan, I know that you strongly
believe in the connection between our overall well-being and our personal
organization, and is there a difference between cleaning and decluttering?
An adult with ADHD tells me that he sometimes runs into challenges with his wife and other important people in his life because of what others interpret as "thoughtless" behavior. He explains that he will verbally agree to do something or be somewhere by an agreed-upon time. And he willmeanit. His heart is in it, hefully intends to stick with these commitments.
But he says that the red hot second that he has moved on to the next conversation or task, it's like the commitment never happened.
My class,"Understanding the Neurotransmitters and Everyday Behavior"is scheduled for Thursday October 10. Here's an overview:
Every experience and
sensation and decision takes place in our brain, and is accompanied by tiny
electrical signals initiated by chemical communication between brain
Q: So many courses of treatment seem to
be skewed towards children and young adults.
As a 50-year-old who was undiagnosed until my forties, the standard recommended changes
in lifestyle/habits are themselves overwhelming. Is there anything that is being done to
address mid/late-life diagnosis and treatment, especially on compensating for
reduced learning plasticity and deeply ingrained habits?
A: You sound understandably discouraged, in a
way that I’ve particularly heard from adults diagnosed with ADHD later in
Q: Hi Doc.
I have been treated for ADHD for over 15 years through medication,
but I've never sought behavioral treatment. And I'm getting to the point where
personal projects and lifelong dreams are being undermined by anxiety-fueled
porn binges and video games which is ironic, because I want to become a video
game designer and a trailblazer in the field. I know I have the skills to make my
dream a reality, but I suck at the discipline. It was easier when in high-school,
because the immediate threat of my dad chewing me out always kept me motivated.
If you are asking a student with
ADHD to do a task which is harder than a three out of ten on a ten-point scale
(where one is “super easy
” and ten is “the most difficult thing in the world
you might be asking too much. Many
times, our frustrations with students or family with executive challenges are related directly to our expectations that
they complete a task which is simply harder than a three on a ten-point scale.
Don't Expect Me To Do What's Typical If I'm Not "Typical"
Q: David, there was a quote on one of your slides at the Atlanta workshop. It began, "The best defense against the manipulation of our attention..." I didn't get the rest. Can you email that to me? JW
A: I sure will, JW, and I'll share it here on my blog because I think it's worth repeating. One hundred times! From the rooftops!