Impulse Control
October 12, 2021

Jamal's Story

Jamal's Story

Meet Jamal

Jamal is a businessman who struggles with ADHD and Impulse Control. As a child, his parents denied his disorder and shamed him for his impulsive behavior. As an adult, Jamal harbors guilt for his ADHD, but is uncomfortable seeking out a specialist. His impulsive decision-making has enabled him to take risks others wouldn’t, which has both helped and hindered his company. But when one risky decision costs his company thousands, Jamal is desperate to get help for his ADHD.

He Struggles With Impulse Control

Friday afternoons are Jamal’s favorite time of the week. Work is winding down, paychecks are being distributed, and everyone in the office is excited for the weekend. After a particularly good quarter for his tech company, Jamal is looking forward to celebrating this success with a group of colleagues later that night. But before he can celebrate, he has one more meeting to close off the week – a potential acquisition of a smaller startup.

Jamal struggles with impulse control due to his ADHD, and because of this, he doesn’t always make the most well-thought-out decisions. This meeting could be critical for his company, and he knows that sometimes he jumps the gun on investments. Although his impulsive decision-making has brought on some success, Jamal can’t help but harbor guilt for his lifelong disorder.

As a child, he frequently got into trouble at home and at school for speaking out of turn, and he was often grounded for acting on his impulses. In second grade, Jamal was taken to a specialist for a psych evaluation to help explain his erratic behavior. However, despite a formal diagnosis,
Jamal’s parents refused to accept that their son has ADHD. Instead, they chose to believe that Jamal’s impulsive behavior was intentional disrespect to authority and punished him harshly for it. Not only was Jamal denied treatment for his ADHD, but he also learned to be ashamed of his disorder, harboring guilt whenever his impulsive behavior backlashed.

As an adult, Jamal is excitable and mild-mannered, sensitive to his own actions, albeit still prone to impulsive decisions. For the most part, his risky decision-making has brought his tech company great success – but it doesn’t always pay off.

Right before he enters his final meeting of the week, Jamal receives an email from the company accountant. The email is short, but urgent: a high-risk investment has gone under, and Jamal’s company is now thousands in debt.

Although Jamal is normally quite confident, the email rattles him, and he enters the next meeting with racing thoughts. He is distracted and riddled with self-doubt, resigning to silence instead of enabling conversation. By the end, no decision is made, and the potential acquisition is left hanging.

Later that night while he’s supposed to be celebrating, Jamal’s mind is focused on the earlier email. His employees notice that their typically talkative boss is silent at the celebratory dinner. When they pry, Jamal tries to brush off their concerns, but the more they push, the harder it is for him to hold his tongue. Before he can stop himself, he lashes out, yelling at everyone to be quiet. The party is stunned silent, and Jamal is left red in the face. He hastily leaves the restaurant, already planning out an email apologizing to everyone for his outburst.

Jamal puts on a wellness podcast while he drives home. He tries to quell his thoughts, but they are relentless. He eventually pulls over, allowing himself to cry as he comes to terms with the earlier email and how one impulsive decision cost his company thousands.

As he starts to calm down, the podcast’s sponsor for the episode grabs his attention: Eachday, an app that helps people manage their ADHD by addressing the executive functions their disorder inhibits. Still tense, Jamal pulls over to the side of the road and downloads Eachday on his phone. He briefly browses through the app’s library of expert tips, tricks, and learning strategies aimed to alleviate ADHD symptoms. He is relieved to find content specifically related to impulse control and mindful decision-making.

In the following weeks, Jamal uses Eachday to educate himself on ways to manage his impulse control, and his racing thoughts. He has trained himself to “bust a moment” when feeling impulsive, prompting him to step back and chew on a decision before committing to it. He has also grown to accept that not all impulses are bad, and that it is still okay to trust his gut when he feels strongly about something. 

Jamal has also learned to be kind to himself when reflecting on his ADHD. Whenever he logs into Eachday, he sees a user count of all the other people with ADHD working to self-manage their disorder. He knows not alone in his struggles, and he knows he shouldn’t be ashamed of his ADHD. Jamal may not be perfect, but he takes comfort in his ability to better control his impulses and understand his mind through Eachday.

“Jamal uses Eachday to educate himself on ways to manage his impulse control, and his racing thoughts. He has trained himself to “bust a moment” when feeling impulsive, prompting him to step back and chew on a decision before committing to it. He has also grown to accept that not all impulses are bad, and that it is still okay to trust his gut when he feels strongly about something.”

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