The Fear of Functioning with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning Concerns

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the things I’ve noticed with some of my 20 something clients is what I am starting to believe is a fear of functioning. Life hasn’t been easy and the idea of giving up is entering the individual’s mindset. There are a few reasons for this attitude…

Behind the Curve: Many individuals in his or her early 20s is beginning a career. Most have graduated college and are beginning the journey of life. Individuals with ADD, ADHD and Execucutive Functioning concerns have fought many difficult battles and are finally starting to find his or her niche in the world. This development curve becomes more obvious when one’s friends have careers and the individual with concerns isn’t quite at that level. I always tell my clients that it took me a LONG TIME to find my niche in the world. Many individuals when he or she graduate college aren’t doing the things he or she envisioned. Just because one has what appears to be a full-time job doesn’t mean it is a good one. One of the things I tell my clients is to not get in the habit of thinking that his or her friends are enjoying the ride. Being in the real world is difficult, and making sure one is prepared for it is better than feeling trapped.

Continuing the Journey: School is a struggle for individuals with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns. When college is finally over, the sense of relief can come at a much-needed time. Looking for a job is another pain-staking process and one that can be very overwhelming. It is not like a job is just handed to an individual (OK, so sometimes this happens, but for the most part…), there’s much work to be done. I advise my clients to get a plan in place first before looking for a job. It’s important that the process is understood and worked-through before the work begins. Individuals with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns do not work well with surprises, so having a map for the journey is essential.

Maturity: Being a certain age and acting a certain age are two entirely different things. There’s been research to show that individuals with ADD and ADHD are four-years behind his or her peers in maturity. While this isn’t always the case, there’s some validity to this belief. Many of the clients I work with seem to fit in with this concept. The inability to function like an adult and act more like a teenager is common. Parents sometimes don’t help by enabling the child, but that’s what parents can do sometimes. I usually tell my clients and families that graduating in four-years from a college (unless graduate school is in the picture) isn’t always the more important thing. Just because you finish the race doesn’t mean you did it well if you catch my drift.

Focus: Finding a job and finding the right job are two completely different things. Going to graduate school and going for the right major are also two completely different things. The individual needs to identify a focus and work towards it. The idea of getting a job or a degree doesn’t mean it is a fit. Working towards identifying that fit is a key to this process.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdcoachchicago.com. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com and www.iepexperts.com. I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

Comments

  1. Debbie Brown says:

    When my doctor said that the symptoms I was describing to him sounded like Adult ADD, and I read the book he reccommended, Driven to Distraction, the question my doctor asked me, “has the thought of quitting your job seem like an idea?” At the moment, my answer was, “no, I have responsibilities”. After reading the book and reading other articles, one main theme kept coming up. Find something that fits you, something that interests you, just don’t work at something for the sake of work. Now I have a Plan B formulating, but weighing out the pros and cons. Scary thought, but also exciting.

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