When you look at what ADHD stands for—attention deficit and hyperactivity—it doesn’t necessarily address one of the major symptoms of it. ADHD impulsivity drives much of the behavior of those living with it. As a child, impulsivity has consequences, which are usually negative and in the form of punishment. For a child with ADHD it’s hard to make sense of this. As an adult, the consequences aren’t always so black and white. ADHD impulsivity can put a real strain on your life.
ADHD Impulsivity and Decision-Making
Decision-making is part of the prefrontal cortex, which is the thinking part of the brain behind your forehead. It is the last part of the brain to mature, not reaching this until a person’s 20s. Because it’s still developing, People with ADHD have an even greater delay in the maturity of this part of the brain, which may explain some of the impulsive traits that they have. Knowing that the ADHD brain is different than those without it, sheds light on these on-going impulses.
Impulsivity Across the Lifespan
Three types of impulsivity effect a person’s lifespan, including impulsive experimentation with alcohol and drugs. There is impulsivity related to driving, which can lead to a higher number of accidents. Sexual impulsivity could cause a person to be more promiscuous. Verbal impulsivity, which is cutting people off in conversation, can hinder social relationships and be frustrating to friends and family.
Managing ADHD Impulsivity
Can you manage impulsivity? Yes, there are ways to get this symptom of ADHD under control so that you can live a more stable life. First, you should know your impulsive risks. Do you talk over others? Do you always speed and dart through traffic? Are you tempted to binge on things? These are all moments of impulsivity.
Second, you’ll need to understand when these critical moments occur. What is the context of the impulsivity. Are you overly emotional in certain situations? Do substances like alcohol exaggerate this impulsivity?
Next, you need to learn how to “pause” yourself in these scenarios. That’s easier said than done but working with an ADHD coach can offer a good framework to look at the behavior and the choices you are making. The more you expose your impulsivity in coaching, the better you’ll get at culling it.
Instead of just following your impulsivity, it’s time to think about it and make a more informed decision. ADHD impulsivity can be a real threat to a balanced life. Learn how to manage it with help from Live ADHD Free. Contact us today to learn more.