Frequently Asked Questions About Executive Dysfunction

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I was among the many little girls in the world who believed in princesses, true love, and happily ever after. This belief started when my mother allowed me to watch Disney movies on our old TV decades ago. I could not honestly relate to any of the princesses. I did not have crazy stepsisters like Cinderella, I did not need to live with the dwarves like Snow White, and I did not fall asleep for a long time like Aurora. However, the fact that they all had a handsome prince to save them from their misery was too romantic.

Because of that, I looked for my one true love for years.

The Downside Of Looking For Love

The primary downside of looking for love instead of waiting for it to come my way was that I had to deal with awful guys through the years. I started dating around 16 years old, hoping that one of the popular boys at school was my Prince Charming. When they all turned out to be duds, though, I still did not lose hope. I finished high school and went to college with searching for love as one of my main goals. 

Once I was officially a college student, I honestly did not care much about studying. It is shameful to admit now, but it’s true. I was more focused on getting invited to different frat parties. I realized that the quickest way to do that was by becoming a sorority member, so I went through hell to be a part of the Alpha Phi Zeta sorority. My efforts eventually paid off because I had free passes to every party and had a chance to look for that special man who could sweep me off my feet. At least three times a week, I had a party to attend. I would still go to classes, but my mind would often drift off to what dress to pick, how to do my eyeliner, etc. 

In all fairness, I found a few potential boyfriends during my first two years in college. However, all of them had something in common – they were not ready for a long-term relationship. I was not too bothered about it when I thought that I had enough time left to find love. When I graduated, got a stable job, and remained loveless, though, I began to worry big time.

My inability to snag an incredible man ate me up slowly. It did not prevent me from going on blind dates, but the more I failed to connect with my dates, the worse I felt. It did not help that I had a head-on collision with a sedan one evening after going home from another failed date. Thank goodness I did not get any physical injury, but I dealt with a terrible concussion that left me dizzy for weeks. Then, one morning, I woke up feeling like there was no hope for me to fall in love with the right man.

More Chaos Ensued

The downward shift of my emotions acted as a catalyst for the awful situations I found myself in for a few weeks. I started to forget how to schedule my daily activities, causing my work-related projects to overlap and get delayed. When I went to meetings, my usual knack of remembering even the littlest details about previous discussions evaded me. Worse, since I could not recall my mistakes, I kept repeating them, much to my colleagues’ frustrations.

All this time, my boss and friend Karen had been patient with me. She forgave my shortcomings and believed that I could bounce back soon. However, she had no choice but to perform an intervention when the company almost lost a high-paying client due to my growing incompetence.

“I was so close to firing you today, but I knew how effective you used to be at your job. I am willing to give you another chance – one last chance – if you promise to see a psychologist and determine what the heck’s wrong with your brain.”

Grateful, I did as my boss told me. I scheduled an appointment with a psychologist affiliated with the company and eventually learned that I suffered from executive dysfunction

What are the signs of poor executive functioning? 

  • You cannot control your emotions effectively.
  • Your planning and organizational skills become poor.
  • You find it challenging to pay attention to anyone talking.
  • You deal with memory loss for a short time.
  • You can no longer multitask.
  • You forget how to behave appropriately in a social setting.
  • You tend to make the same mistakes.
  • You cannot absorb new information.
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Is executive dysfunction a symptom of anxiety? 

It is still undetermined if executive dysfunction is a symptom of anxiety. However, the mental disorder hinders your attentional control.

What are the seven executive functions? 

  • Concentrating
  • Controlling feelings and actions 
  • Multitasking
  • Planning and organizing
  • Problem-solving
  • Processing information
  • Recalling details, big or small

What are executive dysfunctions? 

Executive dysfunctions refer to behavioral and emotional challenges that people experience after their frontal brain lobe gets injured.

What causes poor executive functioning? 

Traumatic injury or any damage to the frontal brain lobe or basal ganglia causes poor executive functioning.

How do you fix executive dysfunction? 

  • Take a systematic approach to everything.
  • Use organizational materials like calendars, to-do lists, and even watches.
  • Decide on how you will shift from one activity to another beforehand.
  • Try writing notes if you have trouble remembering things.
  • Subdivide your tasks.

Is executive dysfunction a symptom of depression? 

Yes, executive dysfunction is a symptom of depression.

What is the difference between ADHD and executive function disorder? 

The main difference between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and executive function disorder is that the former has been proven to be a real mental illness while the latter is not. Most people see executive function disorder as a symptom of another condition, particularly depression.

Can an executive function be improved in adults? 

Yes, the executive function can be improved in adults, even though it is most common in young adults. People achieve that by doing aerobic exercise.

What does executive function disorder look like in adults? 

When adults experience executive function disorder, they have trouble with the following:

  • Finishing basic tasks
  • Tracking time
  • Meeting goals
  • Organizing tasks
  • Focusing 
  • Changing activities

Is executive dysfunction a disability? 

No. Since executive dysfunction is not an official mental disorder, it is not considered a disability.

How do you test for executive function in adults? 

Doctors typically use various tests (e.g., VFT, TMT, etc.) to determine adults’ executive functions.

Can an executive function be improved? 

Yes, any executive function can improve.

What is an executive function test? 

An executive function test is a mental evaluation that assesses an individual’s ability to process various information.

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What is executive function disorder in adults?

In adults, executive function disorder refers to neurological deficits that keep them from analyzing, planning, organizing, and completing different tasks.

Final Thoughts

Executive dysfunction was the effect of one crazy accident that I did not realize would affect me my entire life. I had to get therapy and counseling and focus on finding mental and emotional stability again. It was a long, arduous process, and there were still days when I would slip up and feel down. Despite that, the situation allowed me to stop looking for love incessantly and taught me how to love myself.