Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Adult ADDers Need To Accept Their Brain Styles

Recently, I met a college student who saw me for couples counseling and school issues. The couples issue was easily resolved. However, the school problems were still troubling her. All along, this bright student had been telling me that often she’s not motivated to finish a paper or do tedious parts of the class requirements, and was risking academic probation. At one point, I asked her whether this had been a longstanding problem, and she replied that until college, her mother stayed on her case. Now, neither her adviser nor any professor holds her accountable.

I had been suggesting to her that she has an ADHD-like brain style. I thought she was starting to feel stupid and lazy, because she wouldn’t accept her brain style, and had no external source to hold her accountable. Early on, she found my reframing her issue as ADD-like annoying, and it was childish to look for external controls. However, I told her she has to work with her brain style rather than fight against it and wait to be motivated. But in our recent visits, she told that she found two professors in courses she was having trouble with , and they agreed to meet with her weekly and hold her accountable for producing her work. She felt amazed that with external contingencies she could get through all her courses . After all, before college, children and adolescents, experience accountability with external contingencies provided by teachers and parents.

How do I know this? Because I’m ADHD and felt bad about my underperforming, until I accepted my brain style and worked with it.

The young woman I treated profited from coaching and counseling using strategies that are often effective with ADDers.

1 comment:

Mungo Says Bah! said...

Fascinating. I find that reframing my behaviours and knowing that they are part of me, and that they can be used for good and evil(!), depending on the circumstances, is key to managing this.

I'm going to create one of these for my new blog. I'm recently in the midst of an assessment for Adult ADHD, and find your site a great source of information.

I'm going to add your site to my blogroll.



Mungo's Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)