Nutrition articles

Best of 2021 in ADHD: Must-Read Articles on ADDitude

1. “DESR: Why Impaired Emotional Self-Regulation Is at the Heart of ADHD (and Widely Neglected)”

Coined by Dr. Russell Barkley, the term impaired emotional self-regulation (DESR) refers to difficulties with emotional self-regulation, including emotional impulsivity (EI), that have long been observed with ADHD – by patients, clinicians and Researchers. Despite its known association with ADHD, emotional dysregulation is absent from the diagnostic criteria for the disorder.

Dr. Barkley presents compelling evidence, from early ADHD concepts to available research in areas like neuroanatomy and psychology, to demonstrate that DESR and EI are fundamental aspects of ADHD and should be part of the diagnostic criteria and treatment practices for the disorder.

Read the article here.

Additional DESR resources:


2. “The Ages and Stages of ADHD: A Special Report”

This 5-part series details essential skills and milestones through major developmental stages – childhood, adolescence and adulthood – and the ADHD-related challenges that may appear along the way. Each article also provides effective strategies, treatments and interventions at each stage.

Ages and Stages Part 1: Children with ADHD need positive reinforcement (and other interventions that work)

Ages and Stages Part 2: Teens with ADHD need scaffolding and structure: How not to be a helicopter parent

Ages and Stages Part 3: ADHD in Young Adults: Avoiding Symptom Collisions in College, First Job and Beyond

Ages and Stages Part 4: Adult ADHD is Misunderstood: Realistic Solutions for Managing Life, Time and Emotions

Ages and Stages Part 5: The Ultimate List of ADHD Medications

Download the full ADHD ages and stages booklet


3. “Why ADHD in women is routinely dismissed, misdiagnosed, and inadequately treated”

ADHD is not a male disorder, but men and boys are diagnosed much more frequently than women and girls. Why? Persistent stereotypes, referral biases, internalized symptoms, gender role expectations, comorbidities, and hormonal fluctuations all complicate the presentation of ADHD in women. Here, Dr. Ellen Littman summarizes the common signs and symptoms of ADHD in women, as well as the barriers to thorough evaluation and effective treatment.

Read the article here.

Additional resources for women with ADHD:


4. “TikTok is my therapist: the dangers and promises of viral #mentalhealth videos”

ADHD, like other mental health topics, is hugely popular on TikTok. While this exposure helps build ADHD awareness and community, some social media content oversimplifies the disorder and allows unqualified content creators to spread incomplete ADHD information. This article reviews the benefits and risks of #ADHDTikTok and discusses whether the pros outweigh the cons.

Read the article here.

Further reading on social media and mental health:


5. “ADHD and Autism in Adults: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Interventions for Both”

Research on adult autism and ADHD is sparse, despite the fact that these conditions, often identified in childhood, are lifelong for most people. What is known is that autistic adults with concurrent ADHD face unique challenges, and there is growing clinical consensus on diagnostic and treatment approaches for this population. Here, Dr. Benjamin E. Yerys reviews the symptoms of autism and ADHD in adults, explains how clinicians might tell the conditions apart, and recommends effective supports to improve quality of life.

Read the article here.

Additional Adult Autism Resources:


6. “Rejection sensitivity is worse for girls and women with ADHD”

“Rejection sensitivity is not a diagnosis or a formal disorder, but many women report that the inability to control their reactions to rejection is one of the most undermining aspects of their ADHD.”

In this article, Dr. Ellen Littman reviews rejection sensitivity (also known as rejection-sensitive dysphoria) in women with ADHD and how gender constructs, emotional dysregulation, and other factors contribute to this common experience.

Read the article here.

Further reading on rejection sensitivity:


7. “Why we need to ensure equitable ADHD care for African American and Latino children”

Inadequate diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in children of color, coupled with systemic racism and other barriers, can lead to serious and detrimental outcomes later in life. In this article, Dr. Tumaini Rucker Coker discusses the various historical factors and contexts that contribute to these inequities – including the school-to-prison pipeline and medical biases – and how clinicians can provide equitable and culturally relevant care. for ADHD.

Read the article here.

Further reading on equitable care for ADHD:


8. “How to manage time in a disorienting pandemic: 4 steps to restore order and productivity”

If you’re still feeling lost and disoriented because of the pandemic, you’re not alone. Finding balance and order is about getting back to basics – developing a solid routine, honing awareness of your energy levels, managing distractions, and organizing your day around your brain. Learn how to execute these and other strategies from Linda Walker, PCC.

Read the article here.

Additional pandemic resources:


9. “The Roots of ADHD Motivation Problems – and How to Engage Students in Learning”

Motivation is erratic and fleeting for many students with ADHD, who often struggle to start and stay focused on schoolwork they find less engaging. As motivation declines, academic performance can suffer, which further decreases motivation and contributes to a self-destructive cycle.

Lack of motivation is closely linked to the neurobiology of ADHD and how the brain perceives challenges. In this article, Jerome Schultz, Ph.D., explains the science behind motivational issues in children with ADHD, and how parents and educators can increase their interest in learning.

Read the article here.

Additional resources to motivate your child:


10. “Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of OCPD”

The OCPD is do not obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is a personality disorder characterized by an intense need for perfectionism and order in virtually all aspects of life. Additionally, people with OCPD rarely see their symptoms as problematic; they believe their way is the “best” way.

Learn more about OCPD, its signs and symptoms, and its relationship to OCD and ADHD.

Read the article here.

Additional reading on comorbid conditions:


11. “When Children with ADHD Explore Gender Identity: A Guide for Parents”

Exploring gender identity is a healthy and natural process. When ADHD is in the picture, it can influence the journey in many ways. In this article, Sharon Saline, Psy.D., and Julie Mencher, MSW, discuss the intersection of neurodiversity and gender diversity and provide advice for working parents to support their children.

Read the article here.

Additional gender identity resources:


12. “You are worthy of self-compassion: how to break the habit of internalized criticism”

“Self-compassion allows you to be good enough as you are, with your warts, your faults, sometimes unbalanced, sometimes more reactive than you would like, sometimes disorganized, but fundamentally perfectly imperfect as a human being, just like everyone else.”

Here, Sharon Saline, Psy.D., explains four ways to practice self-compassion and undo negative thought patterns.

Read the article here.

Further reading on self-compassion:


13. “How to deal with your child’s most difficult behavior problems”

In this guide, Dr. David Anderson offers a hierarchy of techniques—from parent-child relationship building and positive reinforcement to reward systems and more—that are proven to curb unwanted behaviors in children.

Read the article here.

Additional behavioral resources:


14. “The antidote to ADHD fatigue and exhaustion? Stacking (and spooning) habits”

Why are you tired all the time? The mental energy needed to live with ADHD leads to fatigue and exhaustion in many adults. The solution? Building better routines by stacking habits – because the more tasks we automate, the more bandwidth we have to tackle everything else. Here, learn 8 strategies for creating useful new habits from Dr. Michele Novotni.

Read the article here.

Additional resources for building habits:


15. “After ADHD Diagnosis: The Experts Answer Your Top 10 Questions”

“An ADHD diagnosis often answers big lifelong questions. Then it quickly raises new ones: What exactly does this mean? What are our options? Where do we go from here?”

Here, the world’s leading ADHD experts answer your most common questions about available treatments and interventions, how to tell if ADHD medications work, how to explain ADHD to a child, and more.

Read the article here.

Additional resources for those newly diagnosed:


16. “What is Integrative Medicine for ADHD? A Holistic Guide to Health and Wellness”

ADHD doesn’t just affect attention and concentration. In fact, writes Dr. Lidia Zylowska, it’s linked to chronic stress, sleep problems, mood disorders, and other issues that, in turn, further exacerbate ADHD symptoms.

In other words, ADHD impacts the whole self. That said, treatments and interventions should do the same – address symptoms beyond the obvious and strive to improve overall health and well-being. Enter integrative medicine. This article provides an overview of complementary therapies and approaches that promote holistic wellness.

Read the article here.

Additional wellness resources:


17. “The return from in-person learning is largely good – and stressful”

While the return to in-person learning has been largely positive, the transition has introduced new challenges for some students with learning differences. This article describes these challenges, as well as the importance of maintaining flexibility and patience as students adapt to new and different classroom demands with helpful accommodations and supports.

Read the article here.

Additional resources for in-person learning:


More interesting ADDitude articles in 2021:


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