Ask Dr B – about Co-Existing ADHD & Executive Function Disorder - 046

Hey ADDers!  I’m so glad you could join me today, and hope that you’ve taken the time to listen to a few key episodes that seem to be on the minds of many of my listeners; perhaps you are one of them:  Episode 036, Ask Dr B About The High Cost Of Not Knowing About Executive Function, Episode 027, Figuring Out Where To Start When So Much Needs Your Attention Now, and Episode 001, It’s Not Your Fault & You’re Not Off The Hook Either.  If you’ve listened to all three of these episodes, you know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t I highly recommend that you listen to them soon.

Today, I want to talk about how ADHD and Executive Function Disorder or EFD co-exist and what that looks like.  I feel it’s important for me to talk about this because I keep hearing people talk about their ADHD symptoms and they are confusing their ADHD symptoms with their EFD symptoms.  So, I want to shed some light on EFD symptoms, ADHD symptoms, how they co-exist, and what you can start to do about this very complex challenge.

Before I give you a brief overview of the EF skills, if you’ve ever wondered what the purpose of the EF skills is; in brief, it’s to organize and act on information.  So, here’s an overview:

  • Impulse control (or inhibition) helps you think before you act.  Without it, you might blurt out inappropriate things.
  • Emotional control (or self-regulation) helps you keep your feelings in check or alter how you feel about things.  Without it, you might overreact, as well as have trouble dealing with criticism or regrouping when things go wrong.
  • Flexible thinking helps you adjust to the unexpected events of life.  It also helps you shift your attention from one thing to another.  Without it, your thinking is “rigid” and you can’t roll with the punches.  You might even get frustrated when someone wants you to see things from their point of view. 
  • Working memory (non-verbal) helps you keep key information in your mind while you are learning something new.  It also helps you to multi-task and to remember what you are doing in each task or project.  Without it, you could have trouble remembering directions or steps in a project, even if you’ve taken notes or repeated the information to yourself many times; it just falls away.
  • Working memory (verbal) helps you direct your life via self-speech or an internal dialogue.  “Self-Talk.”  I prefer to externalize this speaking.
  • Self-monitoring (or self-awareness) helps you assess how you’re doing.  Without it, you might be surprised when things turn out as they do because you aren’t accurately tracking yourself and how what you do or don’t do impacts other people or outcomes.
  • Planning and prioritizing helps you set a goal and a plan to meet your goal.  Also known as “self-play” which is how you play with information in your mind and come up with new ways of doing something.  You experiment with combining parts of things in different ways to come up with the best solution for you.  Without it, you might not know which tasks are most important to get done first or which parts of a project are the most important or which information you are reading is the most important; since not everything you read is the most important.
  • Task initiation (or self-motivation) helps you take action and get started on something; it’s what activates you, particularly when there is no immediate external consequence.  Without it, you might freeze up and have no idea where to begin with a task or project; you could feel lost or overwhelmed.
  • Organization helps you keep track of things; both physically and mentally.  Without it, you could lose things as well as thoughts; just draw a blank.

Today’s episode is all about answering the questions you have about issues or challenges you experience as an adult living with ADHD, and offering you hope.  I have one story for you today about the complexities of ADHD and Executive Function Disorder plus action steps.  How much time do we have?  Not much.  So let’s get to it.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this information and feeling that you’re going to need some help working with the complexities of ADHD and Executive Function Disorder, so you can develop the skills you need to increase your happiness, productivity, and success, I suggest you put your name on the Waitlist for my online program, ADDventures in Achievement.  Enrollment closed the end of August and I’m not planning on opening up again until later this year, however that could very well change.  So, be sure to get on the Waitlist now if you’d like to learn more about this program and what it can do for you.  I plan on recording some informative videos for those of you on the Waitlist so you can benefit while you’re waiting for enrollment to open up again.  I’ve been adding some exciting new content to the program about Executive Function skills and look forward to you benefiting from it.  ADDventures in Achievement is definitely the place to be if you want help understanding what’s been holding you back and want to learn the skills to break free of your stuckness.

WAITLIST for ADDventures in Achievement

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A Favorite Quote:

William James said, “Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.” The question I have for you at this point of our journey together is, “Are you willing to take an honest, yet non-judgmental inventory of your strengths and weakness, and start doing something about both of them?”  I hope so because it will make all the difference in the quality of your life going forward.


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