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Inside the ADHD mind

Nearly a third of adolescents and adults with ADHD list emotional instability as one of the most impairing aspects of the condition, yet its diagnostic criteria don’t even mention emotions. Here, Dr. William Dodson explains the most common emotional impairments associated with ADHD.

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Emotions: The Hidden Symptoms

There are 18 diagnostic criteria for ADHD, and not a single one mentions emotions. Instead, they list outwardly visible symptoms that can be observed, counted, and easily cited in research statistics – like difficulty listening, distractibility, and forgetfulness. The out-of-control feelings that (very often) come with ADHD are ignored for three main reasons:

But any clinician knows it’s the emotional impact of ADHD that most commonly brings people into the office. That’s what is really causing problems. 30% of adolescents and adults with ADHD list their emotional instability as the most impairing aspect of the condition. This emotionality is nearly universal, yet in manifests in many distinct ways.

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1. Flash Emotions

Many people with ADHD are blindsided by their own emotions, especially when they change at lightning speed — without any time to reflect, think, or feel. In these cases, they act on or express emotions without a chance to filter them.

The sudden emotion that gets people with ADHD in trouble the most is the flash temper . As one patient told me, “You go from zero to FU in an instant.” Medications can treat this symptom, and give people with ADHD the same two seconds that everybody else has to feel an emotion coming on and decide, “I really shouldn’t express that.”

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2. Alexithymia/Dyslexithymia

More often than not, people with ADHD will use a description like “ anxious ” to explain how they are feeling, but mean something entirely different. People with ADHD commonly have either alexithymia (no words for feelings) or dyslexithymia (the wrong words for feelings). From the beginning, physicians have to learn how that unique individual is using the words, and what they really mean by them.

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3. Low Frustration Tolerance

Most people with ADHD have a very low frustration tolerance. They're easily overwhelmed by their emotions and the stresses they experience. They don’t have a barrier that allows them to set aside uncomfortable emotions, and they often become completely flooded by a feeling, making it unbearable.

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4. Unaware of Others’ Emotions

People with ADHD can be Black XL Belt VETEMENTS jLWlXI
and overwhelmed by everything that's going in a room. Or, they can seem very cold, very insensitive, or blissfully unaware of the feelings of others. When they disengage — whether due to lack of focus or because they’re overwhelmed — they can seem callous or narcissistic.

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5. Sensitive to Rejection

People with ADHD are exquisitely sensitive to rejection and criticism. They can experience hopelessness and demoralization because they try to succeed by imitating the paths to success of people without ADHD, and then fail over and over again because the same paths don't work for them.

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6. Overreaction/Easily Overwhelmed

One of the biggest problems with ADHD is overreaction, where the Celtic Engraved Buckle Belt in Black Saint Laurent EVkPlWl3Dz
doesn't match the nature or the seriousness of the trigger. People with ADHD can have a great deal of difficulty distinguishing between dangerous threats and minor problems. So many times they overreact and, as one of my patients says, “Need to be talked in off the ledge.” The hyperarousal of ADHD means that most people with ADHD never experience peace. Their minds are always going 100 mph until they are exhausted.

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7. Shame and Guilt

The average child with ADHD hears 20,000 additional critical or corrective messages before their 12th birthday, far more than a kid who doesn't have ADHD. That criticism can have a significant impact on the self-image and self-worth of a person with ADHD.

People with ADHD have a hard time being aware of social appropriateness and interactions, so they end up being socially ostracized and, as the saying goes, they are the last picked but the first picked on. Consequently, most people with ADHD grow into adulthood with a profound feeling that they are less than everybody else in some way. They feel uncool and unwanted, and sometimes even profoundly defective. The term you'll hear very commonly is "damaged goods," and that the person with ADHD feels generally incompetent in the world.

The resulting Statement Clutch Marylin amp; Lichtenstein by VIDA VIDA zA7OUm7Suj
often produce a situation in which positive feedback just slings right past them. They never even notice it. They're much more in tune to the negative feedback they get. Consequently, the shame almost always dominates all the other emotions. As Freud said, "Shame is the master emotion." It's the only emotion that doesn't seek expression and it can determine whether other emotions get expressed or even acknowledged and dealt with.

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Ring Video Doorbell

In “Shark Tank” season five, Jamie Siminoff pitched DoorBot, a new take on the doorbell that allows users to see and speak with someone at the door through their smartphones. Siminoff asked for $700,000 for a 10 percent equity stake in his company, but the sharks turned down his offer. Despite not making the deal, the show’s appearance helped revitalize the company and garnered $5 million in sales.

The company has since stopped producing DoorBots in favor of the newer, sleeker Ring Video Doorbell. In 2018, the app was acquired by Amazon for $1 billion.

Sworkit

Ben Young, CEO of Sworkit by Nexercise Inc., and Greg Coleman, president and chief operating officer,received an astounding $1.5 million investment offer from Cuban for their Burning Skull Zirconia Earring Trendhim jeidtB8
Sworkit in season seven of “Shark Tank.” Cuban’s investment would have snagged him 10 percent of the business and $1.5 million worth of unsold ad space on the app.

Young and Coleman entered the Tank offering 8 percent of the company for the $1.5 million price point but decided to accept Cuban’s offer. However, the deal ultimately fell apart due to a difference in vision.

Sworkit was voted one of the best fitness and health apps in 2016, and over 25 million people use the app, according to the Sworkit website.Sworkit is available as a paid subscription plan with a 30-day free trialfor both Android and iOS users.

Spikeball

In season six, Chris Ruder pitched Spikeball — a two-on-two game that resembles volleyball. Daymond John offered Ruder $500,000 for 20 percent of the company, but the deal ultimately fell apart. John wanted Ruder to allow Marvel Comics to make a Spider-Man Spikeball set, which Ruder had no interest in doing, and the deal was defunct before the episode aired in May 2015.

Apparently, Spikeball didn’t need that deal. Its 2016 revenue landed in the $5 million to $10 million range, according to Inc.

Zuvaa

In the most recent season of “Shark Tank,” Kelechi Anyadiegwu pitched her company, Zuvaa,a global online marketplace that features African designs. Anyadiegwu wanted $460,000 in return for a 10 percent stake in the company. Kevin O’Leary stepped up and offered her a $460,000 loan at a 12 percent interest rate in exchange for 10 percent of Zuvaa, which Anyadiegwu decided to decline in order to maintain control of her company.

Click through to keep reading about money-making inventions .

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