August 4, 2012
We ADHDer's (yes, I include myself) are an interesting lot of people. We all have our own set of "symptoms," or quirky ways and manage or mismanage them uniquely. When our goals constantly fall short of that good outcome, we most often have gotten in our own way!
Understanding how you or your loved one manifests ADHD is paramount in finding a means to intervene successfully. Let's look at some of the hallmark symptoms of ADHD (inattentive type previously know as ADD), and later talk about how they get in our way and what we can do to halt some of the discouraging outcomes.
* difficulty paying attention to details
* easily distracted
* inability to sustain attention
* shifts in attention
* failure to complete tasks
* frequent shifts in conversation or not listening to others
Each of these categories relates to attention, and our brains are prone to have these scattered patterns of focus, which make it challenging to begin a task or conversation with follow through needed to hit the mark.
In the most simple example; your girlfriend, Jane, calls and asks you to pick her up on Thursday at 5:00 PM outside the lobby of her apartment building. You of course want to be helpful and agree to be prompt. Your favorite song comes on and you go back to what you were doing. An hour later you remember the conversation with Jane, but forgot if it was Thursday or Friday. . . No problem you'll call her later. Later turns into Thursday, and your out running errands with no cell phone service. Jane can't reach you so she calls someone else for the important ride to her job interview.
Which of the above symptoms are demonstrated in the senerio? Do you see yourself?
Yep you failed again, frustrated yourself and the conversation that continues about your irresponsibility brings a variety of bad feelings. The wrong answer to this ongoing discussion of lack of follow through is the poor me answer, " I know I always screw up. . ." or an attack, "let it go already, you know how busy Iam, and I said I was sorry." The right answer is "I have to get to the bottom of this and find ways to solve this problem."
Getting that we have a problem with attention and follow through (cause and effect), is the very first step in finding solutions.
Next blog post (upcoming) ADHD impulsivity and hyperactivity
Next blog post (upcoming) Current trends in treatment
Next blog post (upcoming) Monitoring and managing ADHD for success