Focus Bear for Desktop

We're working on the Android App. In the meantime you can signup for the waitlist and we'll email you as soon as it's ready for download.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Also available for other platforms:

The iOS app is still in beta (but it works pretty well). It's a two-step process to download the app:


First, download Apple Test Flight
and then come back here
to get the redeem code


Download and install
the Focus Bear App

Let's do it

Click here to download
Apple Test Flight

Remember to come back here afterwards for the redeem code

Done installing Test Flight

Sweet! Now you can download Focus Bear with this link


ADHD vs VAST: Thriving as a Neurodistinct Adult

Jul 6, 2023

When it comes to ADHD vs VAST, understanding the differences and similarities between these two conditions is crucial for individuals who struggle with attention deficit issues. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the world of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Variable Attention Stimulus Trait (VAST), providing you with valuable insights on their definitions, symptoms, diagnosis methods, and key traits.

Furthermore, we will explore the distinctions between ADHD and VAST in terms of symptomatology, treatment approaches, and how they impact daily life. This information can be vital for those seeking appropriate support or intervention strategies tailored to their unique needs.

In addition to that knowledge base, we'll introduce you to the Focus Bear app - a powerful tool designed specifically for people with ADHD or VAST tendencies. You'll learn about its benefits and features that can help improve focus and productivity in your professional life.

Last but not least, we've compiled a list of resources including online support groups, books about living with ADHD or VAST conditions as well as guidance on seeking professional help. By equipping yourself with this essential information on ADHD vs VAST , you're taking an important step towards better managing your attention challenges while unlocking your full potential.

Try for free today
Download Focus Bear
7 day trial, $4.99/mo afterwards
30 day money back guarantee
No Credit Card Required Upfront
Table of Contents

The Inaccuracy of ADHD Terminology

ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, has become a stigmatized term that can carry negative connotations. The disorder is often portrayed in popular media as a negative attribute, which can lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment for those who have been diagnosed with it. This stigma can be particularly problematic for individuals who may not have the classic symptoms of ADHD or who may have the disorder in a milder form. A more appropriate descriptive term for this condition is "variable attention stimulus trait" (VAST), which allows us to de-medicalize ADHD and focus on its positive aspects. In this section, we will explore the history behind the ADHD label and discuss reasons for adopting VAST terminology. By adopting VAST terminology, we can shift the focus from the negative aspects of ADHD to the positive aspects, such as the ability to be creative and think outside the box.

The History of the ADHD Label

First coined in 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has since become a widely recognized mental illness that affects millions worldwide. However, many experts argue that this label does not accurately describe key traits associated with individuals who have it. For example, people with ADHD do not necessarily suffer from a deficit in attention but rather exhibit variable attention patterns depending on their level of interest or stimulation.

Reasons Behind Adopting VAST Terminology

  • Avoid stigmatization: The terms "disorder" and "deficit" can be stigmatizing and may lead to negative perceptions about those living with it. By using VAST instead of ADHD, we can reduce stigma around this neurodiversity.
  • Promote understanding: Using VAST helps emphasize that these individuals have unique strengths alongside their challenges - such as creativity, resilience, and empathy - rather than just focusing on deficits.
  • Inclusivity: As our understanding of neurological differences expands beyond traditional definitions like Attention Deficit, embracing terms like VAST ensures inclusivity for all who experience these traits regardless of diagnostic labels.

By adopting the term VAST, we can shift our focus from viewing ADHD as a mental illness to recognizing it as a unique set of traits that come with both challenges and strengths. This approach promotes understanding, empathy, and acceptance for those living with variable attention stimulus traits, which can help treat ADHD tendencies and extreme emotional sensitivity.

The inaccuracy of the ADHD label has led to a shift in terminology towards VAST, recognizing that these individuals have unique abilities and strengths. With this positive recognition comes an opportunity for those with VAST to be rewarded and celebrated for their skillset rather than judged negatively.

Key Takeaway: The term "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD) is considered inaccurate and stigmatizing. Instead, experts suggest using the term "Variable Attention Stimulus Trait" (VAST), which promotes understanding, inclusivity, and recognition of unique strengths alongside challenges for those living with these traits. By adopting VAST terminology, we can shift our focus from viewing ADHD as a mental illness to recognizing it as a neurodiversity that comes with both positives and negatives.

Embracing the Benefits of Variable Attention Stimulus Traits

Understanding your variable attention stimulus traits helps leverage your ADHD brain for success by finding the sweet spot that leads to optimal performance. If leveraged properly, the positive aspects of ADHD or VAST can lead to innovation and creative problem-solving.

Creative Thinking Fueled by Neurodistinct Brains

Individuals with ADHD or VAST often possess a unique ability to think outside the box. Their neuro-atypical brains allow them to approach problems from different angles and come up with innovative solutions. This creative thinking is an asset in various fields, such as entrepreneurship, art, technology, and more.

Research has indicated that those with ADHD demonstrate more creative tendencies and a greater capacity for divergent thought than people without the condition. By embracing these strengths instead of focusing on perceived deficits, individuals with ADHD or VAST can unlock their full potential.

Strategies for Optimizing Performance

To harness the benefits of variable attention stimulus traits effectively, it's essential to implement strategies tailored specifically for those living with this condition:

  • Prioritize tasks: Break down larger projects into smaller tasks and prioritize them based on importance and deadlines.
  • Create routines: Establishing daily routines can help provide structure while allowing flexibility when needed.
  • Leverage hyperfocus: Use periods of hyperfocus to work on high-priority tasks or creative projects.
  • Minimize distractions: Create a workspace that minimizes external distractions and encourages focus.
  • Take breaks: Schedule regular breaks throughout the day to recharge and prevent burnout.
  • Seek support: Connect with others who have ADHD or VAST, either in-person or through online communities, for advice and encouragement.

Incorporating these strategies can help individuals with ADHD or VAST optimize their performance by leveraging their unique strengths while managing potential challenges. By doing so, they can achieve success in various aspects of life, including personal growth, relationships, academics, and professional endeavors.

By embracing the benefits of variable attention stimulus traits, individuals with ADHD or VAST can optimize their performance and reach their full potential. By understanding how to best harness their neurodistinct brains, these same individuals can develop effective strategies for achieving success in both professional and personal pursuits.

Key Takeaway: Embracing the benefits of ADHD or VAST can lead to innovation and creative problem-solving. Individuals with these conditions possess a unique ability to think outside the box, which is an asset in various fields. To optimize performance, prioritize tasks, create routines, leverage hyperfocus, minimize distractions, take breaks and seek support from others who have ADHD or VAST.

Techniques for Harnessing the Potential of Neurodistinct Brains

Individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Variable Attention Stimulus Trait (VAST) possess unique cognitive abilities that can be harnessed to achieve great success. By employing certain exercises, meditation practices, and other techniques tailored specifically for neurodistinct brains, you can create an environment that enhances creativity while providing effective treatment options.

Exercise Routines Tailored for Individuals with ADHD or VAST

Research has shown that regular physical activity is highly beneficial for people living with ADHD or VAST. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which are known to regulate mood, focus, and motivation can be stimulated through exercise. To harness the full potential of your neurodiverse brain:

  • Create a consistent exercise routine involving aerobic activities such as running, swimming, cycling, or dancing.
  • Incorporate strength training exercises to build muscle mass and improve overall fitness levels.
  • Add balance and flexibility exercises like yoga or Pilates to enhance mental clarity and emotional well-being.
  • Schedule short breaks throughout the day for quick bursts of physical activity like jumping jacks, pushups or stretching to maintain focus during work hours.
Screenshot of ADHD App: Focus Bear's reminder feature, prompting users to take a break for enhanced productivity and well-being.

Meditation Practices Suitable for Neurodiverse Minds

Meditation is another powerful tool that can help individuals with ADHD/VAST manage their symptoms more effectively. However, traditional meditation practices may not always suit those who struggle with maintaining focus. Instead, consider trying the following alternative meditation techniques:

  • Moving Meditation: Engage in activities like walking, tai chi, or qigong that combine physical movement with mindfulness to help calm your ADHD brain.
  • Guided Visualization: Use audio recordings or apps that guide you through a mental journey, allowing you to visualize calming scenes and positive experiences.
  • Breathing Exercises: Practice deep breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing or alternate nostril breathing to reduce stress and improve focus.

Incorporating these tailored exercise routines and meditation practices into your daily life can significantly enhance your ability to harness the potential of your neuroatypical brain. Gaining insight into how to bolster yourself mentally and physically can aid you in achieving success across the board.

By implementing tailored exercise routines and meditation practices, neuroatypical brains can be better harnessed to their fullest potential. Additionally, enhancing focus through play and exercise is a great way to further manage ADHD symptoms while also building social connections.

Key Takeaway:

Individuals with ADHD or VAST can harness their unique cognitive abilities to achieve success by incorporating tailored exercise routines and meditation practices into their daily lives. Regular physical activity stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, while alternative meditation techniques like moving meditation and guided visualization help manage symptoms more effectively. By understanding how best to support themselves mentally and physically, individuals with neuroatypical brains will be better equipped for success in all aspects of life.

Building Social Connections Through Shared Interests

Fostering healthy relationships is vital for anyone's mental health; however, it is particularly crucial for individuals with ADHD who may struggle to maintain friendships due to their extreme emotional sensitivity. Engaging in activities that align with personal interests can help create a supportive social network and promote positive connections.

  1. Hobby clubs: Joining local clubs or groups focused on shared hobbies such as photography, gardening, or cooking can provide opportunities for meaningful interaction and camaraderie among like-minded individuals.
  2. Volunteering: Offering time and skills to community organizations not only helps others but also fosters new relationships while providing a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Social media platforms: Online communities dedicated to specific interests offer an opportunity for connection without the pressure of face-to-face interactions. This allows people with VAST traits to build confidence in their communication skills gradually.

Incorporating regular exercise into daily routines and actively seeking out social connections through shared interests are essential steps towards managing ADHD symptoms effectively. By doing so, those living with VAST will be better equipped to harness their unique abilities and thrive both personally and professionally.

Core Symptoms and Debates Surrounding ADHD

The core symptoms of ADHD have been debated for decades, ranging from strong attributes to significant deficits. There is some agreement that the core features of ADHD are attentional control, impulse control, and motor control, with emotional control being an additional core feature. However, many people with these traits also struggle with anxiety, depression, OCD, oppositional behaviors, and trouble inhibiting strong emotions.

Attentional Control as a Key Feature in ADHD/VAST

One key trait shared by individuals with both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and variable attention stimulus trait (VAST) is difficulty maintaining focus on tasks or activities that do not hold their interest. This can lead to problems at work or school when they need to concentrate on less engaging subjects. However, it's important to note that this does not mean those living with these conditions lack intelligence or motivation; rather, their brains simply function differently, requiring more stimulation in order to maintain focus.

To help avoid going down rabbitholes, distraction blocking software like Focus Bear can be helpful.

Screenshot of ADHD App: Focus Bear's website blocking feature in action, preventing access to distracting websites for enhanced focus and productivity

Emotional Regulation Challenges Faced by Those Living With the Condition

In addition to difficulties with attention and impulsivity, individuals diagnosed with ADHD often experience extreme emotional sensitivity. This heightened sensitivity can manifest itself in various ways such as feeling overwhelmed easily during stressful situations or having intense reactions towards criticism. To manage these challenges effectively, it's crucial for individuals with ADHD to develop strategies that help them regulate their emotions. Some helpful techniques include practicing mindfulness, engaging in physical activity, and seeking professional support from therapists or coaches who specialize in working with neurodiverse populations.

  • Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness can help those living with ADHD/VAST become more aware of their emotional state and learn how to respond appropriately. Techniques such as deep breathing exercises and meditation can be beneficial in promoting emotional regulation.
  • Physical Activity: Engaging in regular exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety levels among individuals diagnosed with ADHD. This is because physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins - chemicals responsible for creating feelings of happiness and relaxation.
  • Professional Support: Seeking guidance from a mental health professional experienced in working with people who have ADHD/VAST can provide valuable insights into managing emotional challenges effectively. Professionals may present interventions, such as CBT, that are designed for individuals with ADHD/VAST to help manage emotional issues.

In summary, understanding the core symptoms associated with both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and variable attention stimulus trait (VAST) is essential for developing effective coping strategies that promote personal growth while mitigating potential challenges these conditions present. To truly harness the unique strengths inherent within an ADHD brain, one must first acknowledge its complexities before embarking on a journey towards self-improvement.

Comprehending the multifaceted manifestations and disputes concerning ADHD is essential for supplying suitable aid to those living with it. Additionally, recognizing recognition responsive euphoria versus rejection sensitive dysphoria can be equally as crucial when providing care.

Key Takeaway: People with ADHD and VAST struggle with attentional control, emotional regulation, and impulse control. Mindfulness, physical activity, and professional support can help manage these challenges effectively. Realizing the potential of an ADHD brain necessitates a comprehensive understanding prior to embarking on any journey of self-improvement.

Recognition Responsive Euphoria vs Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD)

People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Variable Attention Stimulus Trait (VAST) often experience a behavioral tendency called Recognition Responsive Euphoria, which is nearly the opposite of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD). Understanding both aspects allows individuals with variable attention stimulus traits to thrive in work, relationships, and personal life.

Defining Recognition Responsive Euphoria

Recognition Responsive Euphoria refers to the intense positive feelings experienced by people with ADHD or VAST when they receive praise, recognition, or validation. This intense, positive reaction to appreciation and recognition can be so powerful that it serves as a driving force for individuals with ADHD or VAST. The key traits associated with this phenomenon include:

  • A strong desire for approval from others
  • An increased sense of self-worth when receiving compliments
  • The ability to perform exceptionally well under pressure if given encouragement and support

This heightened sensitivity to positive feedback can serve as an asset for those living with ADHD/VAST since it drives them towards success and happiness.

Strategies for Managing Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

In contrast, Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) is characterized by extreme emotional sensitivity and vulnerability to criticism or perceived rejection. People experiencing RSD may feel deeply hurt even by minor negative comments. To manage RSD effectively while harnessing the power of Recognition Responsive Euphoria, consider implementing these strategies:

  1. Maintain open communication: Discuss your emotions openly with friends, family members, and colleagues. This will help them understand your needs better and provide appropriate support.
  2. Seek professional guidance: A mental health professional can offer valuable insights into managing RSD symptoms through therapy or medication. Consider exploring options like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
  3. Create a positive environment: Surround yourself with people who appreciate your strengths and are supportive of your goals. This will help you focus on the positives rather than dwelling on negative feedback.
  4. Practice self-compassion: Learn to accept that everyone makes mistakes, including yourself. Treat yourself kindly when facing setbacks, and remember that progress is more important than perfection.

Incorporating these strategies into daily life can help individuals with ADHD/VAST strike a balance between their emotional sensitivities while capitalizing on their unique abilities for success in various aspects of life.

Key Takeaway: People with ADHD or VAST often experience Recognition Responsive Euphoria, a positive emotional response to praise and validation that can drive them towards success. However, they may also struggle with Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD), extreme sensitivity to criticism or rejection. To manage RSD effectively while harnessing the power of Recognition Responsive Euphoria, individuals should maintain open communication, seek professional guidance, create a positive environment and practice self-compassion.

FAQs in Relation to ADHD vs Vast

Are VAST and ADHD the same thing?

No, VAST (Variable Attention Stimulus Trait) is a proposed alternative term for ADHD that focuses on the positive aspects of neurodiversity. While both terms describe similar symptoms and challenges, VAST emphasizes strengths like creativity, adaptability, and hyperfocus instead of framing it as a disorder.

What does VAST stand for with ADHD?

VAST stands for Variable Attention Stimulus Trait. It's an alternative way to describe individuals with attentional differences traditionally labeled as ADHD. The term highlights their unique cognitive abilities rather than focusing on deficits or dysfunction.

Can a child with ADHD lead a normal life?

Absolutely. With appropriate support systems in place—such as therapy, medication if needed, and educational accommodations—children with ADHD can thrive. Fostering resilience and self-awareness also helps them navigate life successfully.

What is a healthy coping mechanism for ADHD?

A few healthy coping mechanisms include:

  • Mindfulness meditation practices
  • Daily exercise routines tailored to individual preferences
  • Breathing exercises during moments of stress or overwhelm
  • Time management and organizational strategies
  • Building a support network of understanding friends, family, or professionals


ADHD and VAST are two conditions that share some similarities but also have significant differences. ADHD is a widely-recognized condition marked by lack of focus, hyperactivity and impulsiveness; yet VAST, or Variable Attention Stimulus Trait, is less well known but no less important.

In this blog post, we discussed the definition, symptoms, diagnosis of both ADHD and VAST as well as their differences in terms of symptoms comparison, treatment comparison, and impact on daily life comparison. We also introduced Focus Bear as a tool to help people with ADHD or VAST manage their condition more effectively.

If you're struggling with ADHD or VAST or know someone who does, it's essential to seek professional help. Don't hesitate to join online support groups or read books about living with these conditions. And remember that tools like the Focus Bear app can make your journey easier.

Try Focus Bear today, the ultimate productivity app designed specifically for people with ADHD or VAST.

Jul 6, 2023

More Reading

This website uses its own third party cookies. By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Cookie Policy for more information.