Oftentimes, when people talk about the symptoms of ADHD, they focus on the DSM label – Attention & Hyperactivity. Unfortunately, this gets in the way when people look to treat the symptoms. Namely, a medication-only approach to the treatment of attention and/or hyperactivity can be incredibly underwhelming and can delay effective treatment.
The symptoms that get overlooked in this process most often are the social and emotional consequences of ADHD. Those with ADHD are readily identified by their peers and then selected out for their differences. This happens with teachers, other parents and in nearly every environment that they exist. Identification increases the likelihood of bullying by peers and then oftentimes consequences from the school for family systems that they are in because of their impulsive behavior. On the other side of things, it is not uncommon for the bullies to have ADHD. Impulsive behavior or reactions without incorporating the subtle social cues of the environment can lead to unintended consequences or reinforcement that comes from this bad behavior.
These problems exist as well for the adult with ADHD. Ideas of laziness or other such descriptions become more ingrained as how someone describes themselves. There is never an opportunity to look at life through a lens that doesn’t overvalue sustained attention and limited creativity.