Our lives are a product of all the choices you make over an extended period of time. These decisions good or bad, have the possibility to impact us over a lifetime. There are “Four Pillars “ of bad decision making that consistently challenge ADHD’ers due to their unique brain wiring. Let’s take a long look into each of these “Four Pillars “in a little more detail.
Pillar # 1 – Lack of Dopamine in the Pre-Frontal Cortex – This is the well documented neurochemical basis for all of the symptoms and manifestations of Adult ADHD. Dopamine serves as the “ fuel “ to providing clarity, improved focus and concentration . Lack of these three traits can lead to decisions that may emphasize the “ hear and now” as opposed to looking at the long term implications.
Pillar # 2 – Temporal Discounting – This is a fancy term for saying lack of looking into the future. An ADHD starts setting money away out of each paycheck for the down payment on a new car in 18 months. The store neighbor comes over and offers this ADHD’er a dream vacation for $ 3,000.00. The ADHD person takes up the offer to withdraw the money now, and doesn’t stop and realize what impact and delays it will have on delaying the purchase of the new car. Instant gratification for luxury with long range implications on delaying a very important purchase.
Pillar # 3 – Overcommitment to avoid hurting others – This is very common among ADHD’ers in the workplace. Their goal is to come across as a dedicated hardworking and high performing worker , but instead leads to a frustrated burned out and stressed out employee who has a lot of upset coworkers due to several incomplete projects that may impact business numerous departments in several ways.
Pillar # 4 – Poor Time Management – Those with ADHD have a warped sense of time passage. This can lead to attendance problems in the workplace, Missed personal appointments and business meetings and a poor performance in several aspects of life.
Strategies to better decision making with ADHD :
- Identify the “true problem “ – Make sure you’re getting to the real heart of the matter and not just a major manifestation.
- List ALL the possibilities of solutions and options – If its not an ultra important matter that needs to be discussed immediately, take the time you need (suggested no more than 48 hours) to suppress impulsivity and make a very clear and well thought out decision.
- List the “Pros and Cons” of the top 2 or 3 choices- once again the goal is a well thought decision.
- Choose the option that you feel the “most comfortable “with- Your conscience, gut feeling and intuition will be “speaking “ to you please listen when they may be alerting you of “ Red Flags”
- Discuss your choice with others if you feel the need to. Limit it to no more than 3 more people. Too many opinions will delay you making the final decision.
- If necessary, give yourself “one more night to sleep on it.” But do make and reveal your choice early the next morning. Instead of acting on impulse, make sure you are in a relaxed and peaceful state of mind, so that the best decision can be made with the best possibilities for the immediate future and long term. You have the right to time to think it over. Avoid falling prey to the techniques of “ limited time only “ and other high pressure sales tactics.