The Faith Middleton Show
1:14 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

ADHD and Managing Emotions

Credit lord amit/flick creative commons

We focus this hour on one of the nation's most respected clinicians and researchers working with teens and adults who have ADHD. Dr. Thomas E. Brown is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders. (There is sometimes a link between ADHD and autism.)

Dr. Brown's new book, Smart but Stuck, looks at how managing emotions plays a key role in the lives of those with ADHD, including those who have high I.Q. scores.

A pair of articles have dueling viewpoints about ADHD and its treatment. Some believe a war is being waged on ADHD pharmaceuticals, while others believe children are being mis-diagnosed and becoming pawns of a "profit-hungry" drug industry.

Adults and children with ADHD are frequently "stuck" at work, home, school, and in social relationships. Dr. Brown has guidelines for patients and families about getting "unstuck" through understanding the ways in which emotions link to behavior, performance and success.

Among Dr. Brown's key findings:

  • It is a myth that everyone with ADHD is super intelligent, though the world is filled with highly successful people with ADHD.
  • The smarter a person is, the less likely it is that he or she "will get timely help for ADHD. Some very bright people fail in school or lose jobs, not for lack of smarts but because of inadequately treated ADHD."
  • It can be as difficult for people with ADHD to handle "positive" emotions as it is to handle "negative emotions."
  • It is not helpful for parents and educators to tell a child with ADHD that he or she can do anything they set their minds to, since ADHD is not about willpower. Creating a "realistic" encouraging and supportive environment, however, is very important.
  • Studies show that a combination of drug therapy and counseling from experts in ADHD is effective.

Join the conversation by email, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

GUEST:

  • Dr. Thomas E. Brown is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and Associate Director of the Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders. 

MUSIC:

  • “Gne Gne,” Montefiori Cocktail
  • “This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds),” Peter Gabriel featuring Laurie Anderson
  • “I Want a New Drug,” Huey Lewis and the News
  • “Dawn Patrol,” Portico Quartet

Listen to the full show.

Related Program