What is Executive Function – How it Relates to ADHD

This is part one in a series of videos talking about managing ADHD symptoms with medication. Because ADHD can be thought of as a disorder of executive functioning so understanding this is an important lead in to making behavioral changes.

Executive function is a set of cognitive or thinking skills that are responsible for
• Planning, organizing and prioritizing
• initiating actions
• Self-inhibition
• Self-monitoring your behavior
• being able to shift your attention between tasks
• Working memory

The control for your executive functions occur in the frontal part of your brain that includes the frontal lobes and other structures such as the basal ganglia which are further down from the lobes. Executive function is also controlled by your pre-frontal cortex.

There are many conditions that could impair your executive functioning. Some of these are depression and a traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury occurs when you have an injury to your head that disrupts your brain tissue. Alcohol temporarily impairs executive functioning. And if you have a stroke that occurs in the frontal part of your brain, you can have trouble with some of these functions.

The stimulant medications like Ritalin and Adderall used to treat ADHD work to increase dopamine in the pre-frontal cortex. But even with medication, many people are still left with difficulties managing some of these functions. Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on managing some of these executive skills.

Want to know more about mental health and self-improvement? On this channel I discuss topics such as bipolar disorder, major depression, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), relationships and personal development/self-improvement. I upload weekly. If you don’t want to miss a video, click here to subscribe.

Disclaimer: All of the information on this channel is for educational purposes and not intended to be specific/personal medical advice from me to you. Watching the videos or getting answers to comments/question, does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. If you have your own doctor, perhaps these videos can help prepare you for your discussion with your doctor.

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