ADHD and gifted – what do we really know

ADHD and gifted – what do we really know

Though I try to focus on adults in this blog, it can be useful to remember that adults are just children who have lived longer.


Unrecognized Giftedness: The Frustrating Case of the Gifted Adult

Unrecognized Giftedness: The Frustrating Case of the Gifted Adult

The beginning of this article is confusing and hard to get through, but there is gold to come, just keep reading:

where employment is concerned, gifted adults exhibit an intensity, an insistence on the integrity to do the work at its best, as well as chronic impatience with shoddy work and slow thinkers. 

Gifted adults work too quickly, get bored, and show it. They raise the standards for everyone else, and that is always resented. They have odd approaches to things, which irritates their coworkers. They ask for more work and make enemies. 

The idealism of the young person is still there, and can cause problems with authority figures or with fellow executives. In addition, the bright mind has difficulty in accepting the illogical and may be very stubborn in expressing doubts about a project or in criticizing others. 

And yet, because of heightened sensitivity, this same person may be unusually vulnerable to peer group rejection. College degree or not, gifted adults carry around in their feisty minds questions the boos cannot answer . 

And sometimes they threaten the boss, because that odd approach turns out to be better than the boss’s idea.

Which is why, when the downsizing begins; and this is not a new phenomenon, the smartest employees are often the first to go.”

ADHD in Adults The Invisible Rhinoceros

ADHD in Adults The Invisible Rhinoceros

“Patients with depression that is parisito-morbid to ADHD often, when asked, do not express the global existential features of major depression, but rather feel that if their frustrated attempts to accomplish certain goals were met with a degree of success commensurate with their innate abilities (e.g., intelligence) and the effort they are putting forth, they would not feel depressed. Sometimes this can become apparent by asking a few well selected questions. For example, “If you did not have the difficulty you are experiencing (keeping a job, succeeding in school, passing your board exams, etc.), do you think you would still feel as depressed as you do now?””

“people whose anxiety is derived from their ADHD tend not to be generalized worriers and may be quite positive in outlook on the whole, but will have fairly circumscribed worry directed at some productivity demand placed upon them (e.g., school, work, etc.). Rather than an unrealistic worry, their apprehension stems from an implicit or explicit awareness of their ADHD-related limitations. The student with ADHD will become anxious about school, the employee about work. Furthermore, episodes of anxiety will commonly arise at times of increased demand or expectations (e.g., following a promotion).”

Some good news

Today I’ve seen the therapist again, after almost a month off. The ADHD assessment shows some clear symptoms in the areas of impulsivity and executive function, but I don’t quite meet the rest of the criteria. To be on the safe side, we went through a checklist for personality traits today. This, incidentally, was what I was referred for two years ago (things take time!) by my GP. I found the checklist strange, there were so many instances where my response was: “No! Rather the opposite!”. Then it turned out those things were on the list of symptoms of narcissism, or antisocial behaviour…

My total score for personality disorders was a big, fat 0.

There were only three questions that I could say “yes” to, two concerning impulsivity, and one about unstable sense of self. That makes perfect sense to me, given my history.

All that remains now is one more session to talk out my childhood, probably mainly about all the years of bullying. The therapist has already referred me to a neuro-psychologist, who will do the final assessment. Apparently, part of this assessment is a test of abilities, or what people in other countries (less egalitarian societies) would term IQ. Whoopie! Finally!

Giftedness Should Not Be Confused With a Mental Disorder

Giftedness Should Not Be Confused With a Mental Disorder

“Throw away the idea that normal must be defined by a narrow set of criteria. Not everyone processes information and sensory inputs in the same way, nor does everyone develop along the same expected timeline. Variability does not automatically indicate a disorder. Be insistent that both weaknesses and strengths are equally acknowledged and supported.”

Ego Depletion

Very interesting!

You Are Not So Smart

The Misconception: Willpower is just a metaphor.

The Truth: Willpower is a finite resource.

In 2005, a team of psychologists made a group of college students feel like scum.

The researchers invited the undergraduates into their lab and asked the students to just hang out for a while and get to know each other. The setting was designed to simulate a casual meet-and-greet atmosphere, you know, like a reception or an office Christmas party – the sort of thing that never really feels all that casual?

The students divided into same-sex clusters of about six people each and chatted for 20 minutes using conversation starters provided by the researchers. They asked things like “Where are you from?” and “What is your major?” and “If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?” Researchers asked the students beforehand to make an effort to learn each other’s names during…

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