The Neurobiology of ADHD

There is another point to consider when evaluating a person with traits that have been present for much of their life. There is a ‘footprint’ that these traits leave, not only on the person’s life, but also on their personality and life views.

Assessing Personality Type and Emotional Responses

Neurobiological traits over time cause tendencies that coalesce into life approaches and eventually into personality styles. Two classic default ADHD personalities are the ‘class clown’ and the ‘shy’ personalities. There is nothing wrong with being a little shy or telling a good joke now. However, a person with ADHD can have a diminished range of personality richness that results in diminished flexibility.

Several emotional responses are typical of a person with ADHD when exposed to change or conflict. One approach is avoidant. Here the person may be able to recognize conflict coming a mile away and subsequently develops the ability to ‘head it off at the pass’. People often marvel at how such a person is able to 'keep the peace'. When conflict cannot be avoided and they must 'face the music' they tend to become overwhelmed. Often they give up, back away or leave even when at great personal cost. They may be excellent at helping others but they tend to struggle when the conflict is brought to their front door.

Assertiveness to the point of aggressiveness is another conflict avoidant strategy. What they lack in finesse, they make up for by being loud, argumentative, one sided, accusatory thus not allowing others to speak.  Why might this be so?

The Neurobiology of ADHD Explains Personality Type and Emotional Responses

In ADHD, the connections between the conscious and unconscious mind are underdeveloped. Studies have found that neurological systems running through the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex do not provide the necessary support to our dorsal cognitive areas. The more encompassing issue is that they can not reach into their unconscious resources to automate more informed perceptions and responses. This leads to a condition that is something like having plenty of ROM but not having enough RAM in our otherwise very nice computer.

A person with ADHD can handle some things very well until involved in change or conflict which requires a more flexible perception and response.  Someone using such a computer might be able to do some tasks very well, but they may not realize they don’t have enough ‘RAM’ and, rather unpredictably, they may ‘crash’ their computer. A person with ADHD defaults into feelings anxiousness, anger or extreme overwhelm when put into these types of situation that unpredictably require more than they can handle.

Discovering the neurobiology of ADHD and how it plays a role in the actions and reactions of a person can help you understand more of what is happening to you and to others around you!

If you wish to know more please read the other articles on ADHD or join us as a 'Patient of Oneness'!

Taking a Wholistic Approach to ADHD
Challenges in Diagnosing ADHD
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