Introverted and Inattentive

I have been blogging lately about the differential diagnosis for Inattentive ADHD and I thought it might be helpful to explore the symptoms of introversion to show how it is that parents and teachers may confuse introversion for inattentiveness.

Introverted people are not merely shy.  This is a misconception.  People who are introverted are fundamentally different with regards to how they interact with the world.  Whereas extroverted people gain energy from being around people.  Introverted people are energized by being alone.  Their energy is drained when they are around a large group and they enjoy spending time in their inner world exploring their own thoughts and feelings.  Being with people, even people they know well and like can be draining for an introvert who needs time to recharge by introspecting.  Introverts make up only about 33% of the general population and 60% of the gifted population.

When you read this definition it is obvious how individuals who are introverted could be seen as possibly Primarily Inattentive.  Researcher have explored the similarities in symptoms and have found a connection.  In the February 2010 issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, researchers divided children with ADHD into 6 categories by asking parents to rate their children on scales for perfectionism, intovertion, extroversion, disagreeable, well adjusted, and poor self control.

Inattentive children scored disproportionally high on the introverted scale where as children with the ADHD combined type could be sub-divided into a groups that could be described as 'combined type with extroversion and disruptive conduct disorders" or "combined type with extroversion and no co-morbid disorders". The researchers felt that in many cases a "person centered personality approach may be one promisingway to capture homogenous subgroups within the ADHD population.

Whereas most inattentive ADHD children are introverted.  Most Introverted children are not inattentive.  Making this differential diagnosis distinction is imperative.  Knowing the personality traits of an ADHD individual can make the differential diagnosis fairly obvious.  Primarily Inattentive individuals have issues with disorganization, time management,  and task completion that are not issues for individuals who are just introverted.   The motivational difficulties are also not present in introverted individuals.

Inattentive ADHD individuals are similar in many ways and share the main characteristics of  all introverts.  What makes individuals with Primarily Inattentive ADHD different is the added difficulties with time management, organization, and task follow through and it is these other symptoms that make Primarily Inattentive Individuals unique.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.