The Emotional and Economic Challenges of Self-Regulation for Adults with ADHD

A recent National Study covered by the American Psychological Association, estimated the economic cost of adult ADHD in the USA as billions of dollars lost in productivity each year. The study conducted by Stephen Faraone, PhD, and Harvard Medical School researcher Joseph Biederman stated that “in the workplace, we know from studies of work productivity and income that adults with ADHD are unlikely to achieve as well as their peers”. The article focuses on the emotional and economic challenges that Adults with ADHD experience, the issue centres on the difficulty of self-regulating, managing their behaviour, emotions and attention. The definition of self-regulation or self-management in society is generally based on being able to follow through on things, being reliable, completing tasks on deadline. While society views self-management skills as positive aspects of one’s character, oftentimes people may not be aware of how cognitive impairments can radically affect an individual’s ability to self-regulate, and may cause emotional distress for adults with ADHD who have no access to clinical intervention. The individual’s struggle to self-regulate can lead to emotional distress following the constant failure to measure up to social expectations and standards. The ability to regulate and manage one’s emotions, attention and behaviour is hugely advantageous, and enables individuals to maintain most aspects of our lives. In contrast, J. Russell Ramsay, PhD, notes the emotional challenge of self-regulation for Adults dealing with ADHD:

An individual going through life with ADHD often ends up saying, ‘I must not be good enough. I must be lazy. I must be stupid.’ These negative beliefs get reactivated and strengthened and may lead people to start giving up or limiting themselves.

The National Comorbidity Survey Replication stated that neurological impairments are associated with greater economic and workplace problems. Whether through difficulties at work or frequent absences, it is important to understand how ADHD affects the cognitive and professional development of working adults. One way it can be explained is everything goes about 1,000 miles an hour faster than (for) everyone else, as one 19 year old reveals about her ADHD diagnosis earlier this year, and the impact it has on her financial situation, due to the negative effect on her self esteem. The young woman expressed that she often feels she should quit [her] job because [she is] not good enough. Adults coping with ADHD may require significant pharmacological aids as well as behavioural or cognitive training (or a combination of all 3) to achieve a sustainable level of self-regulation and to mitigate the emotional distress arising from the ADHD symptoms.

Gender Gaps as Barrier to Adult ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment Access

Additude Magazine published an article stating that unrecognised ADHD can lead to years of low self-confidence and psychological damageFor individuals who have long-term undiagnosed ADHD, the Cleveland Clinic revealed in an article that there is a greater increase in the risk of negative life-long consequences – socially, psychologically and economically- for people affected by the condition. There are often barriers preventing or delaying individuals suffering ADHD symptoms access to standard diagnostic and treatment services in order to manage their cognitive and behavioural difficulties. According to Additude Magazine, a core aspect of the problem of accessing ADHD diagnosis and treatment options for Adults Attention deficit sufferers is the disparity of ADHD diagnosis in female and male sufferers. In the US, the ratio of ADHD diagnosis in boys and girls stands at 1 to 3, which contributes to the misconception that ADHD is a diagnosis for hyper little boys. Women and girls typically suffer more from inattentiveness than hyperactivity – which is the less noticeable, yet equally detrimental symptom of ADHD. Thus girls presenting with inattentiveness often go unnoticed or ignored by mental health practitioners due to the pervasiveness of the “hyper little boys” ADHD stereotype. Long-term undiagnosed ADHD in women often may lead to the development of negative defence mechanism such as obsessive compulsions, perfectionism and antisocial behaviour that mask and distract from their inattentive ADHD symptoms. Clearly, more alternative intervention strategies are necessary to address the issues associated with cognitive impairment, especially ADHD, and this is where digital therapeutics can help.

CereBrill – The Digital Platform for an Attentive Mind

Our founder, Dr Áine Behan, PhD Neuropathology, combines her extensive experience in neuroscience and brainwave technology to create digital solutions for a more resilient mind. At Cortechs we have identified a significant problem of access to standardised cognitive impairments diagnosis and management options, especially for adults with ADHD. Cortechs is devoted to improving the cognitive well-being of Adults with ADHD through digital therapeutics. Our digital therapeutic applications, games and wearables are powered by neurofeedback, and present solutions to improve the symptoms of cognitive impairment. We are leading the development of the digital therapeutic market in Ireland and expanding competitively in Europe, USA and Canada. We are dedicated to connecting with clinical experts in brain-research to bring our clients the best diagnostic and management tools for their conditions. That is why we have created the CereBrill platform. CereBrill is a management platform for people with ADHD.

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CereBrill platform connects you to clinicians who provide a comprehensive digital report of your cognitive progress. The platform integrates your brain-wave data into attention-reports and treatment-plans guided by a clinician. CereBrill Attention Reminder Application is connected to your smart-watch and helps you set actionable goals and stick to them. The application creates pop-up prompts of the tasks for your daily routine. Our digital solution helps you avoid being distracted during important tasks and avoid forgetting crucial appointments. Cortechs creates engaging content, providing insights on relevant ADHD and Neurotech Industry research through our blog and email updates. We offer our customers free trials, as well as alerts to digital health events and support groups to help you connect with healthcare professionals and researchers. Join the community of people transforming their cognitive well being through neurofeedback, visit Cortechs.ie for more information on our products and vision.