Overfocusing: Cognitive Inflexibility and the Cingulate Gyrus

Stubborn? or Stuck!!

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

A bit of Review to Catch You Up

As I said in the previous article entitled ODD & Oppositional Rising: Most of us know somebody who seems to have an argument for just about everything — somebody who almost always has to “go through NO to get to yes.”

I likened those individuals to old television sets with stuck channel changers (way back before the days of remote controls).

Almost ALL of us, I addedADD or not, have a small  — perfectly “normal” — part of our personalities that balks unless a task or idea is totally appealing in the moment we are “supposed” to take it on.

We don’t WANT to change the channel — we want things to keep on being the way we thought they were going to be – NOW!

ADD and Oppositional Rising

A subset of those who qualify for an ADD diagnosis seems, a bit more than average, to struggle with changing that channel. (be sure to click ODD and Oppositional Rising for more on the concept)

A subset of individuals who do NOT qualify for an ADD diagnosis struggle similarly.

  • ADD or NOT, these individuals are not diagnosically Oppositional Defiant [ODD], but it can try your patience mightily to work and live with these guys.
  • In the previous article, I explained why I referred to that change-averse group as being at the effect of ODD Rising.

In THIS article, we’re going to take a look at what being “stuck” looks like, and to begin to look at what has to happen in our brain to be ready-willing-and-ABLE to “change our minds,” which is not too very different (in concept) from changing a channel on an old television set.

The Sticky Channel Folks

The genesis of my list of cingulate behavior problems, below, came from conference notes taken at a session by Dr. Daniel Amen, well over a decade ago.  It illustrates the range of behaviors that have, at their root, lack of cognitive flexibility due to communication glitches involving the cingulate gyrus.

Cingulate Behavioral Problems

  • worrying “by default”
  • holding onto hurts from the past
  • uncooperative, argumentative
  • automatic tendency to say no, deliberately uncoorperative or oppositional behavior
  • rumination (over-focusing on thoughts — can be/don’t have to be obsessions)
  • stuck on behaviors (can be/don’t have to be compulsions)
  • hair-trigger anger/frustration response (either “over the top” or “freezing you out”)
  • road rage
  • addictive behaviors (eating disorders, alcohol or drug misuse or abuse, chronic pain)
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or OCD spectrum disorders
  • cognitive inflexibility

So what is Cognitive Flexibility?

Cognitive flexibility is a term used to describe a person’s ability to deal successfully with new situations. If we expect to navigate life’s transitions successfully, learning how to shift rapidly and gracefully to adapt to new systems is a critical skill.

Most of life’s tasks and domains are easier for those who are adaptable, but there are many situations in life where cognitive flexibility is essential.

Starting a new marriage, a new relationship or a new job, changing schools (or changing classes) requires those involved to incorporate new systems.

Some people have a great deal more difficulty with change than others, even changes of the types above, that the rest of us navigate with relative ease.

State Management

Even if we aren’t crazy about the idea, most of us understand intuitively the need to be flexible in differing situations because “the rules” change.

For example, we tend to behave one way at the office, another at a football game, and still another in formalized situations like church services, funerals and weddings. As long as they are not pervasive – or deliberate – most of us can manage even sudden changes in expectations with emotional ease.  

If we suddenly see our boss approaching at the football game, or if, in the middle of a spousal disagreement, unexpected guests were to ring the doorbell, most of us would be able to shift our emotional state as necessary, and practically immediately.

Those with cingulate problems are likely to remain “edgy,” however, even if only in ways that those of us who know them well can pick up.  More than a few of my clients have described a feeling of “walking on eggshells” when they pick up those “edgy” signals, hoping to avoid the explosion that is likely to follow in private.

What’s going on that some of us can bob and weave with life’s ebb and flow and others can’t seem to change the channel whenever it becomes necessary or appropriate?

A channel changer in our head: the cingulate gyrus

Commonly associated with cognitive flexibility, stimulation studies have found a particular structure in the brains of mammals to be responsible for bodily responses to associated emotional sensations (pleasure, as well as fear and anxiety). Not surprisingly, feelings of safety and security are frequently attributed to this part of the brain.

Signals from this structure seem to help us understand how to alter behavior in a variety of situations or in different surroundings, especially of a social or cultural nature

Attribution: Thanks to Gray727; Wikipedia Commons

Regulation Responsibility

The cingulate gyrus is an area of the brain that is commonly associated with communication and sociability. Interestingly, it is also associated with maternal bonding.  In fact, the more highly developed the cingulate gyrus, the more clearly attachment is expressed.

A brain with a highly developed cingulate gyrus is also more likely to express language. This makes sense when you consider that the cingulate gyrus is considered a part of the limbic system, in the innermost part of the brain, involved in memory, emotion, arousal, and learning.

However, the primary function of the cingulate gyrus in human beings seems to be facilitating cognitive flexibility. This is the part of the brain that allows us to adapt to change — to shift our attention from option to option, idea to idea — to go with the flow.

When functioning properly, the cingulate gyrus promotes future-oriented thinking in ways that help us organize actions to be able to attain realistic goals, helping us to continue to grow and change throughout our lives.

Cingulate gyrus dysfunction (improper functioning in this area of the brain) is not its own unique medical diagnosis, however — it becomes part of the diagnostic pattern recognized in other disorders. Improper functioning in the cingulate gyrus contributes to any number of disorders related to cognitive inflexibility.

  • Instead of learning from those frustrating, embarrassing, or painful experiences that we all encounter from time to time, those with cingulate problems are more likely to get “stuck,” dwelling on the negative feelings.
  • As a protective measure, an individual with an overactive cingulate gyrus tends to exhibit an emotional developmental level similar to a two-year old child, saying NO without thinking, frequently without even listening to the question.

Another Site, another explanation (and some great suggestions)

Using the characters from Winnie the Pooh to illustrate the various types of ADD, Douglas Cowan Psy.D. explains it in the manner below in his ADHD Information Library:

Since the Cingulate Gyrus helps us deal with thought patterns, cognitive issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders and addictions are frequently linked to this neurological component, sharing a common “stuck” quality that is indicative of overactivity in this brain structure.

Abnormal functioning in the cingulate gyrus and its related structures might have been brought on by chronic stress or trauma. Some research has indicated that this area of the brain is abnormally stimulated in individuals with characteristics of the autism spectrum.

Thanks to Coloring Drawings for the Winnie the Pooh gang

BY THE WAY: Since stimulant medication frequently used for ADD can exacerbate problems related to the cingulate gyrus, “over-focused” ADDers are often treated with antidepressant drugs.

There are other types of [non-pharmaceutical] alternatives that are frequently effective as well – so while you are waiting for the second part of this article, jump over to Doug’s ADHD Information Library to take a look at what he has put together about “over-focus” (the page includes a video by ADD icon Dr. Russell Barkley).

Cowan’s site presents a well-balanced look at  [non-pharmaceutical] alternatives as well as medication, so be sure to check it out.

There is helpful information in my previous article entitled ODD & Oppositional Rising, so if you haven’t read it yet, you might want to.

Meanwhile, stay tuned.  In the next part of this article I am going to include some client stories that may sound  all too familiar to some of you who are still struggling in ways that they have learned to manage.


As always, if you want notification of new articles in this series – or any new posts on this blog – give your name and email to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right.

(You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too) STRICT No Spam Policy

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

64 Responses to Overfocusing: Cognitive Inflexibility and the Cingulate Gyrus

  1. mihrank says:

    simply classical and elite!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mihrank says:

    you have such amazing, great post, informative!!

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. -Eugenia says:

    This is very informative. I get an education every time I read your posts. Your attitude is always encouraging.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lwbut says:

    Very informative post Madelyn, Thank you!

    I’ve been attempting to improve my own cognitive functions recently (there is ALWAYS room for self-improvement, i think) and to that end i have a ‘sticky note’ on my computer desktop with short memes to help me keep on track and keep focus on my goal. Right at the top is “Tune your Radio”, which, basically, is telling me to align my conscious thoughts with the larger picture of what i want to achieve and to eliminate any distraction of ‘sticking’ to previous channels/radio stations of thought. Great minds…? 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Love. Great minds indeed! When my i’net went down (earlier tonight – just back up thanks to some time with a very helpful phone tech who worked some magic at his end) I was in the middle of a post on epigenetics – and the import of aligning thoughts and actions consciously, “resetting” unconscious brain pathways that get in the way of changes we want to make.

      Sorry for tone – way behind now and rushing since it is now after 4:30 AM here.

      I am trying to respond to all comments quickly and then head to bed, since I may not be available again until late afternoon/eve Friday – personal problem that MUST be handled. So I’ll say good night after I hit send.

      Say a prayer for me that all goes calmly – and WELL before and during a *very* early AM appt. Friday – and that I am able to prepare all needed documentation (which means inet keeps working!) Thanks!

      Will connect again with a more thoughtful response when I can focus online once more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lwbut says:

        Completely understand Madelyn, no need for sorry.

        Prayers coming long distance from Down Under for a successful and peaceably agreeable resolution.
        Hope to be able to read the epigenetics post in the not-too-distant future! 🙂


        Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting and informative, Madelyn. Hugs.


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  12. The Hook says:

    Fascinating stuff, Madelyn.
    Incredibly-timely given the state of our society.


    • Thanks, Hook!

      I’m glad I’ve been blogging about the reasons why people get “stuck” for years now. (i.e., cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, the brain’s dislike of uncertainty, etc.)

      While these topics are certainly relevant to recent political developments (in the US and Britain especially), I don’t have to beat that drum personally – lol. I think many people are avoiding the political posts due to over-saturation. 🙂



  13. I must be a very lucky fellow. My cingulate gyrus and I have joined a mutual admiration society; our planets are always in alignment. (Well – – – most of the time anyway).
    Thanks for a great post.


  14. Very effective delivery of topic points. Thanks for your recent visit to my blog.


    • Thanks Carl. I’m not sure how you found this older article, but I’m always happy when that happens, since they are designed to build on one another.

      And you’re very welcome for the visit. Your blog is very clever – I wish I had your artistic talent. The comments are fun too. I’ll be back.



  15. Debbie says:

    Thank you for this great article. I tend to ‘over worry’ , get much too sensitive, dont like change too much – but on the other hand, have had to deal with a lot of changes and very stressful situations. i tend to overthink past hurts but have learnt to let go. Right at this point in time I have just been thru a very big health scare and am still a bit stuck in that moment, but releasing it minute by minute. So its all the cingulate gyrys’ fault hey? .. no, just kidding. I think its the fault of our consciousness, and I feel i personally need to be aware of not overindulging in emotions and just letting go of the past, no matter how painful…. or especialy the painful bits.

    so thanks for this very informative article. i wonder if there are any specific meditation strategies to empower this part of the brain and support us in ‘not being stuck’….



    • What a great comment – and I’m sorry to hear about your health scare. I’ve had a few of my own, so I know how hard it can be to recover emotionally as well as physically. And NO, it’s not all the fault of the cingulate. Take a look at Are we hard-wired to focus on the bad news? for a bit more about why it’s so difficult to let go. When Fear Becomes Entrenched and Chronic explains it from a PTSD point of view (not that I’m saying that is what you are struggling with – it’s simply a way of understanding it better – scroll down to read the part following the picture of Bonnie & Clyde if you’re short on time).

      You have no doubt discovered through your probable exposure to Chinese Medicine, there are quite a few effective techniques that western medicine is still “studying” for efficacy (lol) – and you are already “changing your channel” simply by looking for ways to do so. By bringing it into your awareness you have indeed moved from the unconscious to the conscious part of your brain.

      “NOT thinking about” something only makes it more difficult to let go – we need to replace the thoughts with something more positive – developing the habit of replacing the cue with a different response. As you suggested, meditation is one way to do that (and prayer for some people). Journaling and Gratitude lists are another, and reframing is a third. Encourage your brain to get “stuck” on something that takes you where you want to go. It sounds silly to most people when I suggest it, but it does work if you do it consistently.

      #1 – start with what we call “a pattern interrupt” – every time you notice your focus flits to the negative (or you feel that glitch in the gut), thank your mind for sharing and replace the thought with a positive – aloud, if you can, reframing the experience. Example only: “Yes, it was a scare, but it has reminded me of how precious life is and how important it is to take care of myself, and I am doing so much better at Self-care.” (or whatever).

      Then DO something positive – like go take a quick gander at your gratitude list to distract your mind in the direction you want it to move, or down a glass of water or take your vitamins, if those are some of your health goals.

      #2 – When you meditate, focus on the healthiest parts of yourself with gratitude, then visualize that health like a light and radiate it slowly into every cell of your body. End by placing your well-being into the hands of a higher power – the universe, God, or whatever system you embrace. You want to encourage your mind to let it go.

      Hope this helps a bit – and thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It has reminded me to do more of this myself. (great article in response to the Face prompt, btw – you are a wonderful writer and I love your blog).



      • Debbie says:

        HI Madelyn, thank YOU for your comprehensive reply!
        most of the techniques youve suggested I’ve practiced in one way or another, maybe using different terminology – but its always good for a reminder. when i find myself thinking negative thoughts – and I teach my daughter this too – I try to, and advise her, to “turn it around”. just think of the exact opposite and say that. but thinking of it as “play that track” makes it fun, doesnt it – I like that thought!
        Funny you should mention Chinese medicine as I thought I might make a post about that shortly and was googling videos on that subject last night – to no avail – so I might just write something about my experiences here.

        Thanks also for the lovely complements about my blog and the blog follow 🙂


        • You are most welcome. Your daughter is a lucky girl to have a mother like you — wise enough to know to make it fun — to teach her how to “talk herself down” before negative thinking makes a home in her subconscious mind.

          I look forward to reading your post on Chinese Medicine. If I don’t find it on my own and like or comment, leave me a link here (under any comment – relevant or not.)
          xx, mgh


          • Debbie says:

            :)… and Im a lucky Mum to have such an incredible daughter. I’ve taught her about lucid dreaming before, and after the health scare there were a couple of nights she had some pretty scary dreams. after the first one i reminded her to lucid dream and “turn it around” – she only had one more scary dream then and that was that! phew! …


          • Debbie says:

            well, i guess cause i have drummed this technique into her from a young age, she’s used to it, and could turn the negativity around in her dreams so easily this time. Just as well! Putting it all firmly in the past bag! 🙂


            • I repeat – she’s a lucky little girl! My mother was completely overwhelmed much of the time I was growing up (yearly moves, 5 kids close in age, etc), so she had little time to teach techniques and systems to her oldest. I had to learn practically everything the hard way, oops after oops, and am STILL learning to make some things habitual that I wish I’d been taught at a young age. 🙂


          • Debbie says:

            Well, you wouldnt be the only one in that boat Maddie 🙂 … me too, learnt many things the very hard way, trying to make sure she doesnt have to go thru the hard yards to learn….. 🙂


            • I think that’s why I blog, too. Whether is actually helps anyone else, it rewrites things for me. Healing to share, yes?

              btw-I don’t use nicknames — long story about why “mgh” is okay and all others not (even longer story there – somewhere on the blog, actually in an o-l-d post). There are only 2 people on earth who call me Maddy without making me skeeve – from my mother’s childhood. I have learned to tell everyone else right away, otherwise they won’t know and will keep using it. (I hope that won’t change how you feel about being blogging buddies).


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  17. PorterGirl says:

    It often amazes me how sometimes even the most experienced and well-lived people can suffer from this – I see it as a fear of change, maybe. Now I know a bit more about this, I shall deal more carefully with those people who always respond in the negative initially. It’s tough to handle people whose first response is always ‘no’ or ‘it can’t be done’, but at least I understand it a little better now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also find them tough to handle (especially when one must work with them!)

      Sometimes they can be managed simply by realizing that they must go through NO to get to yes, leaving them alone to get to it on their own. In many ways like children going through “the terrible twos,” if we try to force them, they become all the more intractable. When we let them think it was their idea to begin with (and don’t remind them of their initial “no way”), they frequently come around.


      Liked by 1 person

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  21. jeg700 says:

    When I was in therapy it ended with the psychologist writing in her diagnosis/report that I was beyond help because my responses and beliefs were over conditioned and reinforced throughout my life! Stuck beyond belief😄


    • GRRRRRRRRRRR! MY reaction, when I hear about attitudes like that of your former therapist (and coaches who say a client is uncoachable) is: do not blame your client’s lack of response for your own lack of skills!

      There IS lack of fit – but in that case, refer don’t “fire.”

      IMHO, the *only* “uncoachable” human being is the one in active addiction — gotta’ get that monkey off your back first.

      But don’t get me started on those who label thoughts “beliefs” – THEY need to take another seminar and listen more closely!

      Methinks that final report was more CYA than dx. Pu-leez!

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeg700 says:

        Thank you…my thoughts exactly at the time. But lately I vacillate between thinking she was right and feeling angry at her. Bummer😁


        • Lou Powers says:

          Hello – can someone please help me find the next part of this article with the stories of people learning how to manage the over-focused ADD behaviors?

          Liked by 1 person

          • If there are no links below, check back “shortly” – I can’t add them before the comment is on the site. (Links are lighter than surrounding text – kind of a dark grey. They don’t jump out so that it’s easier to focus on the article that you are currently reading.
            Hi Lou – glad you’re interested. Welcome, and thanks for commenting.

            I hope I can point you toward some info that will be useful (tho’ not always in *exactly* in the format you’re hoping for).

            I’m assuming you scrolled down to the Related Content and followed the links there already, or clicked the links within the article itself. I spend a great deal of time on context and linking supporting content, so I’m sure you’ll find more than a few articles among the over 400 I’ve written that are helpful in the way you need. Given time realities, I determine my writing agenda by the number of comments that request certain content – AND I must aim my articles to as wide a circle of interest as possible. I’m a one-man-band here!

            I derive no income from this site and have no sponsors, admin or tech help (I actually pay a fee to WordPress to keep ads away) — despite the fact that I still have to eat and pay my own bills, spend time on research, fix whatever’s not working, write, edit, code, approve & respond to comments, etc.

            If you know any philanthropic billionaires who want to support me so that I can use ALL of my time to support the community served by the site, send ’em my way!

            You are one of the few who mentioned an interest in client stories (altho’ Can This ADDer Be Saved? is Part-1 of a 4-parter that outlines the ADD coaching process through the eyes of two friends (both a composite of several of my clients through the years). If you read the comments, you’ll find your polar opposite – he wasn’t a fan of client stories.

            ANYWAY, to sort of point you to some help, as long as you’re not talking about coping with diagnostic OCD (or ODD), the best place I can send you on my site is probably the Black and White Thinking Series <==link to list of links to B&W Series articles. (You may also find some help in the BOGGLE articles, the Transition articles – or any of the Challenges Inventory articles.)

            For link to MASTER LINKLIST, CLICK HERE.

            I also pointed the person commenting below to someone who specializes in OCD. He reports amazing success, and has written a book (or several) that I’m sure you can get on Amazon.

            I hope this helps – I really do wish I could do MORE, but I'm maxed.

            (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
            – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
            "It takes a village to educate a world!"


          • jeg700 says:

            Go to MadelInes pic and press. It will bring you to her comment section, then just press on her pic again andirons will bring u to her article.

            Liked by 1 person

  22. valerie king says:

    wht are the treatment for this


    • Jeffrey Schwartz has had great success with cognitive retraining approaches (basically, specific ways to tell yourself that “my mind is not the boss of me,” in a manner that your unconscious mind BELIEVES it)

      He made his name as one of the few doctors who successfully treated OCD (Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder), even in fairly “advanced” presentations and in kids.

      Google him — he and his colleagues have websites, videos – LOTS of support for free. in addition to books for sale.

      It does take some dedication, however. It is not a quick fix – but it does seem to be a “fix.”

      Thanks for your interest.


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      NOW, I would be interested in a targeted article about closet organization that would link to the wardrobes in a way that would NOT be spam. EVERYBODY on this site could use help organizing their “Attention to the Darned Details™”

      Get in touch if you’re up for it.


  24. MindBody says:

    You know Madelyn,
    I think this whole “overfocussed’ conversation has gotten way too overfocussed on the cingulate gyrus!

    What is the difference between “overfocus”, “hyperfocus” and autism spectrum “savant” type phenomena?

    Maybe not very much……

    Fine detail, close up, narrow focus is primarily a LEFT BRAIN phenomenon. Big picture thinking leading to overwhelm and emotional chaos is primarily a right brain phenomenon.

    Look closely at Dr Daniel Siegel’s review of these phenomena:

    I have always thought that ADHD is primarily a phenomenon of high emotional sensitivity.

    We know that the corpus callosum, that connects left and right, is very narrow gauge, and that high activity in one hemisphere supresses activity in the other hemisphere.

    So maybe this issue is much more one of loss of fluid communication between left and right hemispheres than a specifically cingulate gyrus issue?


    • LOL re: Overfocused on the cingulate! In some communities, yes, but it seems to me that the ADD and ADD Coaching community has been “overfocused” on the PFC – so this info is unfamiliar to many of my readers.

      I agree that we are finding -more and more- that the brain’s processes are DISTRIBUTED. The Cingulate is an area where “overfocused” problems frequently get stuck, so it gets the press.

      Alas for us, few in the general public are as fascinated by neuroscience as you or I, so there’s only so much I can focus on at a time before eveybody Boggles and stops reading (and more than a few insist that I am *already* over that line!) Frustrating for the writer — and you are certainly right to point out that this is not the whole story.

      I LOVE Siegel’s stuff (no doubt you have read Mindsight) – he makes so much sense to me. I haven’t seen this particular video, so thanks! Depending on how things go re: leaving town to-dos, it may have to wait until I return from Atlanta (ACO conference next week). I have SOOOOO much left to do before I can leave, and I KNOW I won’t be able to handle it there — I can never seem to manage juggling anything but conference doings in a hotel full of fascinating ADDers! (grin)

      Also want to kick around the question you posed above – “What is the difference between “overfocus”, “hyperfocus” and autism spectrum “savant” type phenomena?” I believe there is a behaviorally subtle but functionally significant difference – but that’s at least a blog Series – maybe even a book.

      Signing off until Wednesday evening, 4/17/13



  25. Reblogged this on Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind and commented:
    This is a great writeup on “getting stuck” – it explains a lot. See anybody you know? I can think of some folks, including myself.


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  27. A lot of great info…thanks. ADD/ADHD seems to be very misunderstood as there is not one set way people act or are affected by it.


    • You got that straight! I say, “There ain’t no IS about ADD!”

      AND, there are a lot of myths about it that are simply not true. Sometimes they are based on old science, sometimes old fears, sometimes misuderstandings due to neurology/psychology differences, etc.

      Bottom line: if you want to know how you work, you have to pay attention to how YOU work!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

      btw, Kara – I lived in NYC for 20 years (upper West); my first career was acting/directing


      • Do you miss acting/directing or NYC? 🙂


        • Like a LOVER! Heartache City to see NYC photos even.

          I’m working my way back, but it’s taking longer that I EVER expected. Don’t EVER give up your apt!

          A long-time friend I did summer theatre with at the beginning of my career is a picture takin’ fool – and lives a stone’s throw from the Towers (on 9/11 too) – so her FB foto-feed is bittersweet. Still many friends there – if you run into playwrite Michael Russell, he’ll fall down dead if you say these words, “Madly-One misses you madly – and made me promise to say it just like that!”

          So now YOU must keep me up to date too – feed my Jones! What are your projects, who are you studying with, who are the good photographers these days? Where does everybody drink anymore? — ALL the good stuff! Do you have an agent? What kind of roles do you go up for? Theatre only, or film and tv too? Spare not a detail ::HUGE grin::

          Ten words a decade, it seems, I’m working on a one-woman show re: ADD, “Passing for [almost] Normal” – but life keeps getting in the way of completion, so I may have to do the geriatric version! (and I thought going thru undergrad on the 10-year plan was forever!) Time and money are always the stoppers – don’t ever start an Institute (it will EAT YOUR LIFE!)

          Seriously, I DO love what I do, and it’s totally cool to know I’m leaving a legacy, but I REALLY want to strut my stuff on a stage again while I’m still young enough to strut!

          Goal is to debut in Manhattan, then take it on the road as a companion piece to one of my seminars. (Black box, so totally doable.) You look WAY too young to have seen any of my models – but in the vein of Whoopie’s big break-thru crossed with Tomlin’s “Intelligent Life” – but all of the characters have over-the-top ADD, including an ADD Coach character that is a send-up of me and Nancy Ratey combined – Nancy’s hyperactivity and my hyper-organization systems.

          THANKS for asking. You made my night! Sending White Light to you and your HUGE success in the biz.


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