271: Russell Barkley on Life Expectancy and ADHD Part 1

Russell Barkley joins me for the third time as a guest on my podcast.  He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children and Virginia Commonwealth Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. Board certified in three disciplines: clinical psychology, clinical child and adolescent psychology, and clinical neuropsychology. Russell is a clinical scientist, educator, and practitioner with 23 published books and 41 editions, more than 290 scientific articles and chapters related to the nature, assessment, and treatment of ADHD and related disorders. He is the founder and editor of the newsletter “The ADHD Report”. He has spoken at over 800 events and has been recognized for his contributions.

ADHD and Russell’s work has sometimes been considered “over pathologizing”, however, his message is to get the science out for those with ADHD so these individuals can get proper treatment and lead healthy lives.

Russell has learned how ADHD is a bigger factor in life expectancy than the big five killers put together. His goal is to get people to take ADHD more seriously to avoid negative outcomes which are correlated with not treating ADHD. Genes related to nicotine addiction and smoking, which are identified as ADHD genes, in and of themselves reduce life expectancy. Your lifestyle habits with ADHD are modifiable and, with positive changes, can expand your life expectancy. The higher the level of conscientiousness, the better lifestyle choices, and higher life expectancy.

Your Resources

Russell Barkley | Dr. Barkley’s website
The One Thing Book | How you can make a difference on outcomes
When An Adult You Love Has ADHD | Russell’s book for those who live with adults who have ADHD

You’ll Learn:

  • [04:02] Russell is welcomed to the show and explains his “why”.
  • [05:45] Why ADHD is considered the “diabetes of psychology”.
  • [07:15] How Russell conducted research for his book “ADHD for Adults” and why this led to his research on life expectancy and ADHD.
  • [10:35] Reduction in life expectancy based on time of diagnosis.
  • [12:41] Putting reduction in life expectancy in focus related to other health care factors.
  • [14:48] How ADHD genes reduce your life expectancy, outside of the other factors studied.
  • [23:30] Conscientiousness is stopping to contemplate the outcomes of your actions to effect and self-regulation as a factor of a healthy lifestyle.
  • [26:36] The best predictor of your lifespan is conscientiousness.
  • [27:38] Self-regulation and executive functioning measures and how this affects life expectancy.
  • [29:10] Creating cues in your environment for self-talk, self-imagery which creates self-regulation.
  • [31:12] Addressing the underlying problems of self-regulation and self-control to create the basis for change.
  • [32:22] Develop self-compassion in order to move forward and obtain your goals.
  • [33:33] Message which resulted from Dr. Barkley’s research.
  • [35:12] Primary care physicians need to understand the underlying problem and take a different approach to changing behavior.
  • [38:16] How you can bring this information to your primary care physician’s office.
  • [40:10] It’s OK to be vulnerable in disclosure and have the courage to talk to others about ADHD.

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