Impulsivity & Anger: Don’t Believe Everything You Think


Cognitive/Emotional Impulsivity

Managing the gap between impulse and reaction,
on the way
to putting a lid on “Response Hyperactivity”

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

Driving Lessons

One of nine areas of concern measured by The Challenges Inventory™, the Impulsivity category measures impulse control, in many ways the indication of our ability to contain (or at least tolerate) the frustration of waiting.

In other words, the condition of our emotional brakes.

  • Individuals who are relatively balanced where impulsivity is concerned manage risk and drive behavior by weighing possible rewards against possible losses — which implies a brief moment of reflection between impulse and action.
  • Some individuals who say they prefer staying with what’s comfortably familiar, avoiding risks and risky behavior are ABLE to make that choice because they have what I like to call a relatively “low idle.”

In other words, activation takes more energy than the norm, so they often spend more time in the gap between impulse and action than the rest of us — the opposite end of the impulse control dynamic.

While I’m sure they’re grateful for small favors, avoiding a ready-fire-aim-oops situation, their lack of decisiveness costs them dearly in some arenas. Same tune, different verse.

  • At the other end of the impulsivity scale are individuals frequently described as “risk takers,” supposedly because they are strongly attracted to and excited by what’s new and different, lured into action by the call of the wild. These are the folks who are normally labeled IMPULSIVE!

I have observed that individuals who are repeatedly reckless have emotional brakes that have never been connected or, in the presence of the excitement of the moment, brakes that fail.

Good news/bad news

Impulsivity, while certainly a nuisance at times, is an important personality characteristic.

Giving in to impulse without pause for reflection can result in some fairly unfortunate outcomes, of course, but it would be just as unfortunate if that trait had been bred out of our species entirely.

We’d probably all be dead!

The trait of impulsivity is believed to have evolved as part of our fight or fight mechanism that kicks in automatically when our lives are in danger.

The survival of our genetic ancestors depended upon their biological ability to respond effectively to circumstances where strength and action needed to be marshaled immediately.

Since our cave ancestors who did not stop to reflect during life-threatening situations were the only ones left alive to pass their genes on to us, it would seem as if impulsivity is “hard-wired” into the human brain.

In appropriate doses and situations, it is actually a good thing. Not only does it help save our bacon when we find in ourselves dangerous situations, it’s what gives life those moments of spontaneity that make it fun to be alive.

Still, depending on its intensity, a tendency toward action with little to no thought or planning can get us in a heap of trouble. That’s usually when others refer to our behavior as impulsive – and it’s usually when life is suddenly not so much fun (for us or anyone around us!)

Impulsivity in the Emotional Arena

Most of us who have an impulsivity component to whatever else is going on with us have a pretty good idea of where our problems with impulsivity are likely to show up.  If not, we can always ask our loved ones – believe me, they know!

But the most troubling manifestations are internal – what we think about what’s going on around us.

A balanced degree of impulse control implies that we are ABLE to take a moment to control observable behavior, of course – and that we DO that – but there’s more to the story.

It also implies that we are able to monitor and moderate our thoughts and emotions with a moment of reflection between impulse and reaction.

That’s where things get tricky.

When our thoughts jump from item to item (often referred to as cognitive hyperactivity – a mind in overdrive or a “busy brain”), many of those thoughts quickly lead to emotional reactions.

As clinical psychologist Ari Tuckman, PsyD, and author of More Attention, Less Deficit: Successful Strategies for Adults with ADHD reminds everybody, some individuals  “tend to feel and express their emotions more strongly.”

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Suicidal Kids linked to ADD/ADHD more than Depression


New Study on a “hidden” problem
Kids who kill themselves

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

an edited reblog for ADD Awareness Month
from Devon Frye, September 20, 2016

Looking at the overlooked

Children under the age of 12 are often overlooked in conversations about suicide and suicide prevention. The sobering reality is that a small number of U.S. children between the ages of 5 and 11 kill themselves every single year.

A new study finds that ADHD* — not depression — is the most common diagnosis for children who commit suicide between the ages of 5 and 11.

The study adds another dimension to the story of suicide’s youngest victims: more of them lived with ADHD* than any other mental health diagnosis — even depression.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* The original article uses “ADHD” — even though I avoid that “H”
unless I am quoting others or directly referring to gross motor hyperactivity
only one symptom in a profile that is only sometimes part of an ADD diagnosis.

About the Study

The study, published September 19th in the journal Pediatrics, looked at 87 children between the ages of 5 and 11 who took their own lives between 2003 and 2012.

They were compared with 606 adolescents, between the ages of 12 and 17, who committed suicide in the same period.

Data was drawn from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), a U.S. database that collects information from coroners, police officers, and death certificates to track violent deaths.

All the children hailed from one of 17 states that participate in the NVDRS and allow outside researchers to access the data. Approximately one-third of the children overall had a documented mental health diagnosis.

Age seems to matter

In adolescence, children who committed suicide were most likely to be suffering from depression — nearly two-thirds of teens who took their own lives showed depressive symptoms before their deaths.

But in children under the age of 12, depression only showed up in a third of the children. An overwhelming majority — more than 60 percent — had ADHD (primarily hyperactive type).

CDC Statistics & Strategies

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The Virtues of Lowering your Standards


Consider this a “Track-back Tuesday” post

Late last night (or early this morning, depending on where you are and how you track time), I received a comment from an extremely frustrated ADDer struggling with cellphone and I-pad impulsivity. Most of us can relate, huh?

You can read her comment HERE (my coaching response follows).

Double-checking one of my older articles that I suggested she read, I notice that it received fewer “likes” or comments than I thought it would when I wrote it. It struck me that MANY of you who read ADDandSoMuchMore.com only occasionally probably missed it, and it’s a goodie. It contains more than a couple foundational concepts that create issues that most people find problematic, and those of us in Alphabet City frequently find debilitating.

SO . . . I am reblogging my own post,
hoping it will provide a few keys to turn a few of YOUR locked doors.

If you want to add velocity to your self-coaching efforts, take the time to read the articles linked within that post as well. They will open in new tabs/windows, so you can click them as you come to them and keep on reading.

Enjoy!

ADD . . . and-so-much-more

click image for sourceclick image for source

 When “Good enough” is Good ENOUGH!

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

Let’s delve deeper into a couple of foundational problems,
particularly for those of us with Executive Functioning dysregulations:

* struggles with activation,and
* the perils of falling victim to black and white thinking.

Hand in hand, each exacerbates the other,
until it’s truly a miracle we ever get anything done at all!

To the neurodiverse AND the neurotypical

On a very different kind of blog, post-production supervisor and self-professed Edit Geek Dylan Reeve shared his thoughts on the very topic I planned to write about today (the image above is his). He began and ended his relatively brief article with a wonderful synopsis of exactly what I am about to tackle in this article.

In Defense Of ‘Good Enough’

For many people . . . ‘good enough’ is a dirty word…

View original post 2,887 more words

From Impulsivity to Self-Control


Self-Control increases as the brain develops

(but science isn’t exactly sure HOW)

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

Self-control is a developmental process.

Self Control — none of us are born with it, and very few of us are able to banish acting on impulse completely. A percentage of us struggle to manage our faster-than-a-speeding-bullet emotional responses for our entire lives: those who retain high levels of what is termed impulsivity.

Not surprisingly, some of the most comprehensive understanding of impulsivity comes from the study of children and teens.

Laurence Steinberg of Temple University, the neuroscientist who led the team testifying during the Supreme Court case that abolished the death penalty for juveniles [Roper v. Simmons], is well known for his research that has illuminated some of the underlying causes of reckless behavior in teens and young adults.

He explains impulsivity as an imbalance in the development of two linked brain systems that he describes in the following manner:

  • the incentive processing system, regulating the anticipation and processing of rewards and punishments, as well as the emotional processing of society’s behavioral expectations, and
  • the cognitive control system, orchestrating logical reasoning and impulse regulation – two important skills that make up what is termed our Executive Functions, which depend on neurotypical development of the PreFrontal Cortex [PFC]

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Low-grade Impulsivity Ruins Lives Too


Identifying “Garden Variety” Impulsivity

The first step on the road to change

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

Garden-Variety Impulsives

Serious Impulse Control issues cannot be resolved by attempting to follow advice gleaned from a quick trip around the internet — or any Series of articles written to help you improve your level of self-control and accountability.

If you suspect that your problem with impulsivity is severe enough to need professional help beyond ADD Coaching, THAT is one impulse I encourage you to act on immediately!

But that is NOT what this article is designed to help you identify.

I want to encourage those of you whom I call the “garden-variety impulsives,” to stop comparing what you do to the far end of the impulsivity spectrum.

I’m hoping to be able to convince at least some of you to stop fooling yourselves into believing that you don’t really have a problem, as the joys of life that could be yours remain forever out of reach.

Because “low-grade impulsivity” is something that can be changed relatively easily in a “self-help” fashion or with some focused work with a private ADD Coach or in a Coaching Group.

Life looks up when you do the work.

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Do you love THIS Raymond?


Everybody Loves Raymond

(from an upcoming book, The Impulsivity Rundown © – all rights reserved)

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

It’s impossible to keep a straight face around Raymond – he can make anybody laugh! Where does he come up with all the craziness that comes out of his mouth?

The sky’s the limit for this guy — TONS of potential — they say he really should be a stand up comic or a talk show host. He’d make a million.

People would pay just to hear him laugh.  Really.  He is the essence of fun.

He’s smart, can DO practically anything, and has tried to do practically everything.  He is just the nicest guy you’d ever wanna’ meet.

He got so many responses to his profile on “Find Your Soul-mate” he barely had time to meet any of them because of the hours and hours he spent following up online. Most of the dates he did make started out badly when he was so darned LATE, but Ray was able to turn things around (that date, anyway).

Talk about selling snow to Eskimos — Ray wrote the book!  He seems to be able to talk anybody into ANYthing (as long as they don’t get to know him too well!)

Even his exes find it hard to find a bad thing to say about the guy.  Except that, Nobody could live with him.  He’d drive anybody crazy.”

That’s a real shame, too, because Raymond would really like to find his soul mate . . .  and his ideal job . . .  and a group of friends that isn’t always trying to change him in a million little ways (or help him get into hot water).

  • He has no idea how he keeps messing up one good relationship after another.
  • He’s always surprised when he finds out that his job is on the line . . . again.
  • He doesn’t understand why his friends and family are so angry;
    he said he was sorry. And he really IS, every single time
    even when he doesn’t really understand exactly what he DID.

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The Impulsivity Rundown™


Widening the gap between Impulse and (re)Action

(from an upcoming book, The Impulsivity Rundown © – all rights reserved)

Impulsiveby Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

Garden-Variety Impulsivity

Let’s be really clear about the focus of The Impulsivity Rundown™.

While ADD is included among the list of diagnostic Impulse Control Disorders, we’re NOT going to focus on the more extreme end of runaway impulsivity.

Impulsivity that leads to the kind of serious harm where you are likely to spend some time in an Institution, or spend more than a few years on an analyst’s couch, or wind up on a first-name basis with every Police Precinct in your area, is beyond the scope of ADD Coaching or this Series — things like:

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ABOUT Hyperactivity


Looking More Closely at Hyperactivity

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

Phillip Martin - artist/educator

Do you know hyper like I know hyper?
. . . Oh, oh, oh what a term!

Well, the DSM-5 has seen fit to ignore the likely consequences of keeping that darned “H” in the official name of that attentional disorder many of us would prefer to see named EFD (Executive Functioning Dysregulation), or returned to “ADD, with or without hyperactivity.”

Since, if history repeats itself, we might well be stuck with it for another 20 years before the next full revision of the DSM is published, I thought it would be a good idea to take time to explore some parameters of the meaning of the terms “hyperactive” and “hyperactivity.”

Again, if history repeats itself, we may need to explain them to the
non-expert doctors left to grapple with the diagnosis and care of most of us.

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Working with Impulsivity


Peeping at the gap between impulse & action

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

(from an upcoming book, The Impulsivity Rundown © – all rights reserved)

Peeps

The Marshmallow Study

No, he didn’t use Peeps, either like the ones in the photo above OR those in the Easter Basket that I couldn’t resist as I drafted this article, but the well-known longevity study of the relationship between self-control and life-success, initiated by Walter Mischel in the late 1960s, is often referred to asthe marshmallow experiment” or the marshmallow study.

Why? Because marshmallows were one of the treats that were used to test the ability of preschoolers to delay immediate gratification in anticipation of a greater reward.

Additional research with the original participants examined how well a preschool ability to delay gratification predicted the development of self-control over the life span.

It also examined how closely self-control related to successful outcomes in a variety of  the venues of life.

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ADD-ADHD/EFD & Underfunctioning: Einstein at the Patent Office


Swimming Upstream

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
ADDendum to the  5-Part  ADD Overview Series

salmon_upstreamQuoting loosely from the  ADD blog authored by Yale’s Dr. Thomas E. Brown, on the website maintained by Psychology Today. . .

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back when it was believed that anyone with ADD would outgrow those problems by the time they were about 14 years old, ADD was seen as simple hyperactivity, not as a problem with attention and EF (executive functions).

Longer term studies have shown that for about 70-80% of those with ADD, attentional symptoms tend to persist into adulthood.

This is true even in those individuals where former problems with [gross motor] hyperactivity can no longer be observed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This more recent research indicates that, while there ARE about 30-80% of the ADDult population who do not continue to struggle with ADD to the degree seen in childhood, they are over-represented in the literature.

Since they are functioning better than 70-80% of us, they are ABLE to run their own lives with enough time left to blog, write books and articles, develop websites and blogs, and organize and speak to podcast audiences – while the rest of us work twice as hard for half as much, as ADD expert author Dr. Edward Hallowell continues to say.

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Brain-Based Coaching Secrets Beat Back Overwhelm Q&A


Getting Over Overwhelm:
Free Q&A Round Two

(Decription of the  Early Summer’s TeleClass and Link to replay below)

OVERWHELM!
NOT just for ADDers!

[Don’t forget: links are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
– they turn red on mouse-over]

Dr. Monique Y Wells and I are SO excited about our mutual decision to open our follow-on Brain-based Q&A TeleClass to ANYONE-and-EVERYONE who wants or needs a bit of help Getting Over Overwhelm — our gift, no charge to you.

AND, we’ve decided to make the replay of the original call available below, so everyone can review it (and those of you who missed it can listen as well) — absolutely free, but ONLY until September 27th, the day of the SECOND ROUND of live Q&As.

Keep a pad and pencil handy!

I’ll be taking questions about the content of the first call [replay below] AS WELL AS using what I’ve learned about overwhelm, attention, activation, and the brain to answer your questions about what’s going on in your lives, the lives of your loved ones, even the lives of your clients – whether you have diagnostic ADD or NOT!

CLICK HERE to register NOW to call in for this Q&A
on THIS Thursday, September 13, 2012.

DON’T MISS IT!

CLICK HERE to Register NOW!
for ROUND 2 – September 27 at 4 pm Eastern!

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Play Podcast: ADD and S-E-X


Creative Commons; Wikipedia

Ways ADD impacts sexuality:
an ADD Coaching approach

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

(Scroll down to play podcast)

As I said in the “coming soon” announcement —

Sexuality is one of the not-so-surprising areas affected by Executive Functioning Dysregulations of ALL types, including ADD.

Factors effecting physical intimacy is an arena that is rarely thought about in terms of ADD specifically. The topic of ADD’s impact on sex is even less frequently spoken aloud and in public — at least not seriously!

So, of course, I wanted to discuss it – and we DID!

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ADD and S-E-X


ADD & Sexuality: an ADD Coaching Viewpoint

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

Creative Commons; Wikipedia

Sexuality is one of the not-so-surprising areas affected by Executive Functioning Dysregulations of ALL types, including ADD.

Factors effecting physical intimacy is an arena that is rarely thought about in terms of ADD specifically.

The topic of ADD’s impact on sex is even less frequently spoken aloud and in public — at least not seriously!

So, of course, I wanna’ discuss it!

The Back Story

During a break betweeen sessions at last March’s ACO Conference in Atlanta, I was chatting with a few of the other speakers about the key issues that our clients bring to coaching. The question of how (and how often) we are called on to handle the topic of sexualty came up for discussion.

One of the participants in the conversation was the founder of ADDClasses.comTara McGillicuddy, an ADD Coach, advocate and speaker who is the host of the most popular ADD podcast series on BlogTalk Radio: ADHD Support Talk.

So, of course, WE made plans to have a conversation on the topic of the impact of ADD on sexuality for her show.

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Sort of a SITE-MAP


Scroll down right sidebar for direct links to 25 most recent posts ==>
====> Click HERE for The Master LinkList — a better way to find older posts on this site (by topic too!)
– repeated again below, btw

Last Addition below: Sunday, May 25, 2015 – 12:25 am Eastern

Links by type of article on ADDandSoMuchMore.com 

with gratitude and props to artist/educator Phillip Martin
for allowing me to use the amazing artwork you’ll see
on a great many of the posts here —
CLICK HERE to read all about the incredible things HE’s up to!

Unfortunately for all of us, there doesn’t seem to be an automatic way to generate a site-map for you on this site with this template in WordPress.** Ay me!   So I set up my own version.

Scroll down and I’ve categorized links for you manually.

Below a bit of verbiage and a plea for help is my whenever-I-get-time-to-do-it attempt to organize some of the content to help you navigate to what you are most interested in reading.

PLEASE help me spread the word that my 25 years of reading and research
is posted here for free!

• Tweet  • Reblog  • Link  • Email  • Alert your Social Networks

It takes a village to educate a world

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ADD/EFD Overview 101


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover
Hover before clicking for more info

———————————————————————————————————————————–
I use “ADD” to include AD/HD, ADHD etc. Check out What’s in a Name for why.
———————————————————————————————————————————–

ADD/EFD BASICS: A Brief Overview

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
First article in a 5-Part  Series

Brain graphic surrounded by the following terms in various colors: disinhibition, hyperactivity, forgetfulness, inattention, distractedness, disorganization

If you are one of the many ADD/EFDers who struggles to stay focused when you read . . .

You may find that the beginning of this article is a little more slow going than most of the articles on this site — unfamiliar technical terms are always a bear!  

If you can possibly read through it, the information will be worth your effort — if only to have a bit of science to throw back at those opinionated nay-sayers who pooh-pooh the existence of ADD or EFD as valid diagnoses.

It will also help you hold your own in response to hearing or reading some idiot popping off with sound-bite logic-that-isn’t, like: “ADD is not caused by a Ritalin deficiency.”

The information “builds on itself” – the reading gets easier as you go — and I do my best to explain terms in “plain English” — well, plain-ISH, anyway!!

The rest of the articles in this series aren’t “tech-talky” – so if you CAN’T get through THIS one, don’t let it keep you from clicking through to the others.

Click HERE for the next article in this series

For those who read easily: There are tons of links to additional information on this post (dark gray, remember, so they’re not distracting while you’re trying to read what’s here) – scroll your mouse over the page and the links will almost jump out at you.  Hover for a moment before clicking and a bit of info will appear. (BTW- ALL links on THIS page will open in a NEW window or tab)

NOW, what’s up with ADD/EFD, anyway

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ABOUT The Challenges Inventory™


A Snapshot of Your Functional Profile

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

Graphic of a grid on which an arrow traces downward progressThe unique relationship of NINE functional Challenges in YOUR life!

Discover the extent to which your
Challenges Profile is making life difficult:
unique-to-you categories-combinations where understanding can lead to prediction, which can skyrocket an upside down profile!

Once someone has been diagnosed with ADD, it is especially useful to have a snapshot of their particular functioning.

Although each of the challenges are difficult to some extent for most human beings as well as most ADDults, the degree to which each challenge causes trouble RELATIVE to the remaining eight Challenges — and how to approach change and growth — is quantified in a Challenges Profile.  Woo hoo!

Quantification provides a MAP to assist ADDer, client, coach, parent, teacher, or any individual who will take the time to understand what they are looking at, that enables them to strategize progress steps — focusing effort and activity so that evidence of success very quickly replaces evidence of failure.
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