Personal Observations of a Psychologist
Roslyn, Great Neck, Jericho and surrounding area

Throughout my career as a Psychologist, beginning as a College Professor, then as a Hospital Staff Psychologist and currently as a Psychologist in private practice in Roslyn Heights, New York, I have been impressed by the degree to which problematic behaviors can be demystified by rational explanation. I have selected the following examples as representative of some of my observations and thoughts:

Roslyn, Great Neck, Jericho, and surrounding area – Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD or ADD)

ADHD (previously known as ADD) can be characterized by what appears to be an individual’s almost insatiable craving or need for stimulation. For most of us, under-stimulation appears to be a direct precursor to the experience of boredom and distractibility. For the non-ADHD individual, satisfying the need for stimulation in any given setting is relatively straight forward. For someone with an attentional problem, such as ADHD, the issue become more complicated; the ADHD individual appears to require a great deal more stimulation than the non-ADHD individual. Gratifying such a heightened need or craving for stimulation often proves daunting, predisposing the individual to be continuously fight off feelings of boredom. Distractibility may be considered as an attempt by the individual to locate alternative sources of stimulation capable of satisfying his/her craving and alleviate the feeling of boredom.

Distractibility, or in this context, “serial-distraction”, may be viewed as an ongoing search for new sources of stimulation rich in novelty, meaningfulness and intensity, often leading to a lack of focused attention and a resulting cascade of uncompleted tasks. Sometimes the attempt to satisfy this heightened need for stimulation results in problematic or maladaptive behaviors: for example, daydreaming, fidgeting, and various forms of animated, disruptive and/or reckless behaviors may result.

Roslyn, Great Neck, Jericho, and surrounding area – Behavioral Economics and Self-Defeating, Accommodating Behavioral Styles

Behavioral Economics and Self-Defeating, Accommodating Behavioral Styles: Social or transactional behaviors often seem to follow the general economic law of supply and demand (the more available a commodity, the less it is worth, the less available a commodity, the more it is worth); an accommodation may be regarded in this context as a commodity. An accommodating behavioral style, where generosity prevails often to a fault, may lead to the generally unexpected and undesirable consequences which happen to follow from this economic “law.” Accommodating behavior seems motivated toward winning acceptance and/or appreciation, and avoiding confrontation. Yet, it seems that the more we attempt to accommodate the needs of others, the more is being expected of us; further, and the more our efforts seem taken for granted rather than appreciated. One added undesirable by-product of this behavioral style is evident in the way psychological stress can escalate and become overwhelming, as we feel compelled to do more and more to achieve the appreciation we seek.

Roslyn, Great Neck, Jericho, and surrounding area – Expectation and Disappointment

Expectation and Disappointment: By setting expectations without regard to realistic limitations, environmental contingencies and our own past experience, but instead, on the basis of our wishes, desires, or intentions, we almost certainly create the conditions leading to disappointment. To avoid disappointment, we must develop our expectation on the basis of what is likely to happen rather than what we would like to happen.

Roslyn, Great Neck, Jericho, and surrounding area – Refusal to Accept Complements and Praise

Refusal to Accept Complements and Praise: The tendency to avoid accepting Praise, Complements or Recognition seems to derive from a fear of disappointing others, and low self-esteem; the obvious avoidance of praise, complements and/or recognition tends to discourage others we deal with from “raising the bar of expectation.” By encouraging others to have more “reasonable” (translate: “lower”) expectations of us, we reduce the risk of disappointing them and as a result we tend to feel safer.

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Robert M. Cristal Ph.D