ATTENTION-DEFICIT/ HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
If present, ADHD symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity can make it difficult to perform in school, home, and social settings. Dr. William Dodson’s work with ADHD has revealed the hallmark feature of ADHD to be the “inconsistency--inconsistent engagement,” inconsistent performance, inconsistent moods, etc. Activities that were done beautifully yesterday are terribly done today.
Usually this is presented in a very judgmental way that the person with ADHD is “flighty, unreliable, unpredictable, or intentionally not trying.” It is only in the last few years as children with ADHD became articulate adults with ADHD that we have come to understand that there is a consistent pattern to the inconsistency. In a limited number of circumstances people with ADHD could “get in the Zone/get in the Flow” and not have any impairment at all. When an ADHD person is Interested, Challenged, or finds the task Novel or Urgent they snap into the Zone and can literally do anything they try to do. When they lose that sense of ICNU, they are back in La La land again. The conditions that engage, organize, and motivate the other 90% of human beings (Importance, Rewards, and Consequences) never ever work for people with ADHD.
Individuals with an ADHD nervous systems ALWAYS use Interest, Challenge, Novelty, and Urgency and can NEVER use Importance rewards and consequences in daily life to get the tasks of their lives done. The second defining feature of ADHD is like the first. People with ADHD nervous systems ALWAYS have an intense, almost catastrophic emotional response to the perception that someone has withdrawn their love, approval, or respect and non-ADHD folks NEVER do (or at least not to the disruptive extent that ADHD people do).
Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and an Interest-Based Nervous System together can explain virtually all of the manifestations of ADHD. So, in the end the only person who sees the evidence of ADHD firsthand is you. In the end the only person who must completely be sure that you have an ADHD nervous system is you as well (APA, 2013).
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