My Photo




  • FREE e-Letter

    Tips from
    The Queen of Rejection®

    Your First and Last Name:
    Your Email Address:

Entries categorized "Avoidance"

Intention Deficit Disorder – New Kid on the Block

By Elayne Savage, PhD

#192 © Can Stock Photo:Sangoiri

©Can Stock Photo/Sangoiri


I’ve been fascinated by each of my new discoveries about ADHD ever since I realized several years ago that my brain seems to function a little differently and I began to understand that I have been creating ‘work-arounds for school work and projects and chores to help me get by.


For years I’ve been taking copious notes during a lecture or training, I make lists constantly and there’s always an array of post-its around my house!. Folks tease me about my lists.


Then a few years ago I was seeing a neuropsychologist for a concussion and I started joking around, “Oh that’s just my ADHD!”

She was quick to say, “You think? I can test you.”


And guess what, I am ADHD. Now all my work-arounds make perfect sense. I was actually taking good care of myself all those years without knowing why.


One of the most interesting factoids I’ve learned is how ADHD is often missed in girls. With boys’ often disruptive acting out behaviors teachers spot it in the classroom. But girls get missed because it is more ‘quiet’ – presenting as moodiness/depression and anxiety.


I’m always so delighted to make a new ADHD discovery. Actually because I specialize in rejection, self-rejection and taking things personally I figured out decades ago that there seemed to be a connection between these challenges and ADHD. And in the last few years there have been studies linking all this up. There is even a term for it: ‘Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria’ - RSD.


So I’m excited about my most recent ADHD discovery and wanting to share it with you.

I’m on the email list for an absolutely terrific resource, and spotted this article in a recent edition.


Intention Deficit Disorder: Why ADHD Minds Struggle to Meet Goals with Action

 Psychologist Russell Barkley writes about Intention Deficit Disorder – an ADHD trait that gets in the way of not accomplishing goals.


“Intention deficit disorder is not a real diagnosis but a term Russell Barkley, Ph.D. uses to describe what he believes is a central struggle of ADHD: difficulty accomplishing goals. Learn how this trait is tied to executive dysfunction, plus ways to meet your goals with action"


“Intention deficit disorder is not a medical diagnosis but a helpful way to frame a persistent ADHD challenge: the inability to further goals with timely action. Here, learn about the executive function deficits that give rise to “intention deficits,” plus ways to bridge the gap between objectives and tactics.”


“Think of ADHD as a performance disorder. People with ADHD know what they need to do, but they struggle – greatly, at times – to transform intention into action, whether that’s preparing for a test or finalizing an important project at work. It’s an issue directly tied to the executive function difficulties inherent in ADHD. And yet, this very real challenge of ADHD is often mistaken for laziness and lack of motivation, which many breed low self-esteem and even depression.”


(And I'd like to add so many descriptions come to mind from my observations as a therapist and workplace consultant and from my experiences with my own ADHD: Procrastination, Perfectionism, Ambivalence, Avoidance, Anxiety, Fear of failure and even Fear of Success!) 

I've written lots of blogs on these topics - see the categories archive list on the right side of this page.)


On a personal note, it helps me to think of ADHD as related to Intention – and keeps me from getting caught up in the cycle of disappointment that too often feels like rejection.


Here are some highlights and tips from Russell Blakely:


Unpacking Intention Deficit Disorder: The ADHD Struggle to Perform

Executive Dysfunction Affects Behavior and Performance Executive

1.   Dysfunction Muddles Time

2.   Intention Deficit Turns Everything Into a Crisis

3.   Intention Deficit Looks Like Laziness



Intention Deficit Disorder: Turning Intention Into Action

1. Externalize time by using external representations of time — like calendars, white boards, visual timers

2. Bring the future to the present –– Dividing long-term goals into smaller, contiguous steps is one way

3. Ensure motivation along the way –– some ideas:

  • short breaks in between longer bursts of work
  • body doubles, or accountability partners
  • visualizing rewards and positive outcomes


Here is the link for the complete piece:

(By the way, on a personal note: one of my favorite paths to success is working with the company of another person!)


And some links to a whole bunch of articles on Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria


Would love to hear your responses to all this!

© Elayne Savage, PhD


Until next month,



Elayne Savage is the author of ground-breaking relationship books published in 9 languages.
Both books are now available on Kindle!




You can reprint any blog from 'Tips from The Queen of Rejection'® as long as you include an attribution and, whenever possible, a live link to my website. And I'd really appreciate if you'd notify me where and when the material will appear.

The attribution should include this information: Elayne Savage, PhD is a communication coach, keynote speaker, and trainer, practicing psychotherapist and author of Don't Take It Personally! The Art of Dealing with Rejection and Breathing Room - Creating Space to Be a Couple.

To find out more about my speaking programs, coaching and consultation services visit: // or call 510-540-6230 if you or your group can benefit.

Contacting Elayne
I welcome your feedback as well as suggestions for topics you'd like to see addressed in this e-letter.
Here's how you can reach me:

For more communication and rejection tips, you can follow me:



August 31, 2023

August 09, 2012

November 09, 2006