The emotional components of ADHD have been largely ignored by research in spite of being one of the most troubling and disruptive aspects of ADHD. People who have an ADHD type of nervous system lead intense, passionate lives. The trouble happens when both they, their significant others, and their clinicians start with the premise that their moods and emotions are the same as those experienced by neurotypical people when, in fact, they are totally different.
- People with ADHD tend to use the wrong words to describe their emotional experiences.
- Clinicians who work with people with ADHD tend to try to understand them as being the same as non-ADHD patients and make the wrong diagnoses and prescribe medications that don’t work.
- People with ADHD tend to be overwhelmingly sensitive to their perception that they have been rejected, criticized, or that others have withdrawn their love and approval. They respond with either an instantaneous depression or a rage at the person or situation that wounded them so deeply. People attempt to protect themselves by being “people pleasers” or by giving up trying things in which they may fail or be embarrassed.
- This emotional “storm” is genetically and neurologically hardwired. As such it does not respond well to psychotherapies but may be relieved with medications such as the alpha agonists or MAOI’s.
Objectives include learning:
- To better understand the differences in how people with ADHD experience and express emotions.
- To Better appreciate the effects of rejection sensitivity for people with ADHD.
- To be able to discuss with their clinician possible medication treatments that are unique to people with an ADHD nervous system.
Who: William W. Dodson, M.D.
Dr. Bill Dodson is a board certified adult psychiatrist who has specialized in adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder for the last 25 years. While Dr. Dodson has been on the faculties of Georgetown University and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center he is primarily a clinical practitioner who tries to combine evidence-based practice techniques with practice-based evidence.
In recognition of his clinical contributions to the field of ADHD he was named a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2012. He was the 2006 recipient of the Maxwell J. Schleifer Award for Distinguished Service to Persons with Disabilities. He is one of two experts from the US to the World Anti-Doping program for the development of guidelines for the use of ADHD stimulant medications in the world’s athletes.
Dr. Dodson has a private practice in Greenwood Village, CO, specializing in adults with ADHD.