ADHD and Procrastination
Clinical and non-clinical methods to treat ADHD has gathered momentum ever since, the syndrome of this disorder began to surface alarmingly in children. ADHD is mostly associated with emotional and behavioral disorders and because of this, professionals find it difficult to diagnose. It can therefore be said that ADHD is more than the inability to focus; it is a self-regulatory disorder. Such symptoms as inattentiveness and impulsiveness occur across a range of childhood problems and can be misleading. We see that most people behave in a conscientious manner, because of which these people are well organized, efficient and responsible.
Understanding conscientious behavior is relatively simple. Take for example people working in offices or those who run their own business. They are very calculative and do things only after evaluating and understanding a situation. They have a relatively high level of conscientiousness. These people are in complete contrast to those who have ADHD. These people are easy-going and careless in their attitude. It is because of their low level of conscientiousness that they tend to procrastinate. These ADHD affected people see too many choices and try and take everything that comes their way without filtering their choices that ultimately leads to ambiguity. Because they face too many possibilities at the same time, they lack focus and end up doing nothing. What could have led to the development of ADHD? It’s quite complicated to pinpoint the exact cause for such disorders developing. But scientific research has revealed that toxic chemicals that are found in food, carpeting and flooring, cleaning agents and even toothpastes can cause mental disorders. There’s a spectrum of possibilities that cause ADHD. Commonly, it is said to start at an early age and if left unattended, could cause serious problems in adult life.
Several governmental and non-governmental organizations and groups have attempted to develop techniques to counter and heal children affected by ADHD. Be it clinical or non-clinical, results drawn from various research has shown the positive and negative sides in clinical and non-clinical treatment. ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Deficiency is a major cause for worry among children in their early years of growth. If this is not treated early, this could cause severe damage to that person’s mental condition in his/her adulthood. Just as the name indicates, “children with ADHD are prone to hyperactivity. They are restless, and are constant movers. They find it difficult to remain static or concentrate in any particular situation. They squirm and fidget in their seats or roam around the room. Or they may wiggle their feet, touch everything, or noisily tap their pencil. Being impulsive, these children are unable to control their emotions or actions and are likely to blurt out inappropriate comments, display their emotions without restraint, and act discontentedly without understanding the consequences of their outburst. Their hyperactivity is such that they can be at times unmanageable and cause hurt to others around them unintentionally. This is the reason why such children should be handled with care and understanding” (NIHM, 2006).
Due to the complexity of this disorder, it has been observed that in the event of suspected ADHD, diagnosis is entrusted to qualified professionals with training in ADHD, such as child psychiatrists, psychologists, developmental/behavioral pediatricians, behavioral neurologists, and clinical social workers. After a systematic evaluation of the symptoms, and ruling out other possible reasons for the child’s behavior, the specialist check the child’s school and medical records, interact with the affected child’s teachers and parents, before they are asked to fill out a behavior rating scale for the child. Only after completion of the positive evaluation will these experts consider diagnosis. The best way forward is to make them focus on one particular activity and ensure that they complete it before moving on to another set of activities. Don’t try to enforce anything on these people. In most cases, they would find the activity boring as they are made to follow a certain activity and not many as they would ideally do. People with ADD/ADHD require constant stimulation.
There have been cases reported where people with such disorders have been said to be physically uncomfortable when forced to pay attention to a ‘boring’ task. Even employees working in an organization, when asked to continuously work on a particular job, find it boring and tend to lose interest. In order to stimulate them, managers ensure that they go through a rotational program where every employee takes on a different job periodically so that boredom doesn’t creep in. Therefore, even for those with ADD/ADHD, to stimulate them, there has to be a structured procrastination, wherein, a task can be done using time crunch pressure/creativity which ultimately does ensure that the task at hand is completed successfully. The focus should be on completing a task that is given. Other than using any form of pressure, organize the activity in such a way that it ensures fun and stimulates the mind to the job in hand.
Stimulant medicines can improve attention and reduces hyperactivity and impulsiveness, but this is not a long-drawn solution as it may not help an affected person to communicate or interact socially with other people. It is important to understand the correct level of medication required by a person affected by ADHD. Dosage varies in children and adults and the reaction of children and adolescents to medication should be monitored carefully and the dosage reviewed regularly, to identify the best level for a child” (Chacko et al., 2005).
Just as hard it may seem to understand the complexity of ADHD; some parents do see signs of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in their children much before they even go to school. Signs such as, losing interest in playing or watching TV, and walking around without direction are all too common among children affected by ADHD. But because children mature at different ages and have diverse personality, temperament, and energy levels, it’s hard to tell whether a child is normal or is ADD/ADHD-affected. This is because parents tend to take the behavior of their children as part of the growing up process and neglect cases which need immediate attention. Such behavior is often passed off as being immature or unusually exuberant.
ADHD being a complex clinical disorder of the brain, not much has been witnessed in the treatment and research in this field. Most treatment has been spontaneous and in accordance with standard procedures. These practices need to change, and a proper approach must be mandated to cure and relieve conditions of the mind. Though many practices are in vogue, no set pattern is followed. While interventions such as psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and social skills training are available and are said to be the safe options to treat ADHD, many practitioners continue to prefer medication as the most preferred option, as it offers faster relief and control. The idea of introducing structured procrastination to stimulate these ADD/ADHD affected individuals is a safe option and reduces the chances of any side effect that medicines could have on them. Also, the idea of prioritizing work and activities will give more focus and ensure that these people gradually enhance their conscientiousness level
Chacko A. et al. (2005), Stimulant medication effects in a summer treatment program among young children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 44(3), P.249-257
NIMH, (2006), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Web, Retrieved December 4, 2013, from www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/adhd.cfm