Behavior Modification Case 2

This case involves a 40 year old male from the United States who was told he had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and was looking for help as things were getting worse and it was starting to have a negative effect in his professional life as well as his personal life.

When he first came to me he told me he had been diagnosed with ADD and given medication to take. However the medication was having no effect and he said it was making him feel off and more or less dysfunctional. As this was having a negative effect on his income and his professional reputation, he was desperate to find help.

As the initial discovery session continued, it became increasingly apparent based on his description that he did not have ADD and was most likely mis-diagnosed. I asked him what ADD tests he took and he said that he had taken none. What had happened was he described his symptoms to a doctor and the doctor prescribed him medication for ADD simply based on the description. As it turned out to be, what had happened was driven by his health insurance company and not the choice of the doctor as they did not cover the ADD testing and evaluation.

As we dug further into the behavior, it was disclosed he was in the music industry and worked behind the scenes in production. With each assignment he had to do several tasks to get the finish product ready. His involvement was in everything including album cover design, mixing and mastering the music and so on. All in all there were about 20 things that needed to be done before the release.

He also had some personal projects going on as he had expressed an interest in making his own business and not working for one of the big record companies. So as he was trying to do both more or less at the same time the real issue became clear. He did not have ADD, what he had was over tasking himself. Of the 20 or so things he had to do at work, he was trying to run them all at the same time in an effort to free up time. Then when he added in his personal tasks, it was too much and the quality of everything went down, and complaints started rolling in from the places he did not want or need to hear complaints from.

I suggested that he did not need the medication and he should check with the doctor who gave it to him. He agreed about the medication but he said he felt the doctor was pill crazy and just stopped on his own. He felt that he would have just been given a different medication to treat the effect and not the cause.

From here it became easy and positive results were seen the next day as the cause was addressed. As therapy progressed he changed from excessive multi tasking to only multi tasking if something had to wait for something to be done by someone else. While he was waiting for the project to return, he would start on the next.

This only took about 4 sessions to bring about this change. However some damage was done on his personal side that involved his love life and he needed some emotional support and therapy to get through that as that too had a negative effect on the quality of his work.

Dealing with that took longer as it involved another person, however in the end that too was sorted out and he was back at the top of his game.