The core process in ADHD is a neuropsychiatric pattern of “response inhibition deficiency,” or “RID.” So, you may ask, what exactly is “RID”? Well, effective brain functioning depends more than anything else on our brain’s ability to inhibit excess or extraneous neurotransmission. That’s how we manage to separate the signal from the noise and focus on a single task until it is completed. In fact, the majority of neural activity in the brain is inhibitory, rather than excitatory, for this very reason. Without adequate response inhibition, you would not be able to successfully read or comprehend this paragraph, because you’d already be distracted by ambient sounds in the Starbucks you’re sitting in, or some other sight, sound, memory, mental association, or impulse would distract you away from reading this blog (as fascinating as it is, notwithstanding). At its heart, ADHD is the result of Response Inhibition Deficiency, and a better name for ADHD would be “RIDD” or “Response Inhibition Deficiency Disorder.” Stimulant medications work by stimulating the neurons that normally inhibit the ‘noise’ or extraneous stimuli, in order to permit more sustained focus, concentration, and impulse control.
We love acronyms in medicine, and herein I present an acronym for ADHD called “FIDDLE”, as in, “don’t FIDDLE around with ADHD, get some help for it.” Or maybe “FIDDLES” as seen below. FIDDLES lists the symptoms and features of ADHD:
F for Fidgety
F for Forgetful
I for Inattention
I for Impulsivity
D for Distracted
D for Disorganized
L for Lateness
L for Losing things
E for Emotional Consequences of the above behaviors (self-doubt, self-criticism)
S for Some Other Diagnosis (I.E., common co-morbidities of anxiety, depression, OCD)
People with ADHD (or, RIDD) are just as intelligent, creative, or empathic as boring, normal types, often even more so. So if the elements of “FIDDLE” describe you or someone you know, you might benefit from treatment with medication and/or from developing non-pharmacological compensatory strategies.
©2023 Larry H. Pastor, MD. All rights reserved.