Depending on the job someone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can find work boring and finishing a task challenging. Such an experience can lead someone with ADHD to feel frustrated and depressed. To help further understand what type of impact work challenges can have on someone with ADHD and what someone with ADHD can do to handle those work challenges, I have interviewed therapist Cristy Lopez Ph.D.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I have a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Missouri at Columbia. I completed my BA from the University of California at Berkeley. I also completed a clinical internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a post doctoral fellowship at Arizona State University. I am a published author as well as a contributor to magazine and newspaper articles. I have appeared on local news and information programs as well as serve as a treating psychologist for the Dr. Phil show. I am currently in private practice in Phoenix, AZ, and work with individual adults, couples, and families to overcome a variety of problems.”
What are some challenges someone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has to deal with at work?
“Often working under externally imposed conditions by a supervisor, for example, can prove challenging. Adults with ADHD may find it difficult to adhere to a schedule such as sitting for a few hours at his/her desk to get a potentially uninteresting project done by a 5pm deadline. Similarly, sitting through long meetings, which often are required in the workplace, may present a challenge.”
What type of impact can challenges at work have on someone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
“Adults with ADHD may feel restricted by others and frustrated with themselves for difficulties at work. They may feel undervalued and down on themselves if performance evaluations highlight their challenges with organization and meeting deadlines. This may be reminiscent of feedback they received in school. Often, receiving this type of feedback can lead to feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, and low self-esteem.”
What can someone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder do to effectively deal with those challenges at work?
“If finding a better workplace match is not an option at the moment, talking with your supervisor about your strengths and challenges may help. Being allowed some flexibility such as being allowed to take breaks to walk down the hall, come in earlier or later than others, or choose projects of interest may prove helpful. Also, working with a professional may help those with ADHD learn a variety of skills to better deal with their challenges.”
What last advice would you like to leave for someone with who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and wants to succeed at work?
“Choosing a career or workplace environment to best match your strengths and talents can be a win-win for a company and the person with ADHD. Those with ADHD are often very creative and can, at times, become super focused on tasks of interest that others without ADHD may find challenging. Many successful entrepreneurs have ADHD and have learned to play to their strengths as well as to team with others who have strengths in the areas they find challenging.”
Thank you Dr. Lopez for doing the interview on how someone with ADHD can handle work challenges. For more information on Dr. Lopez or her work check out her website on www.cristylopezphd.com.
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