It’s time to debunk some ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) misconceptions and unravel the science behind it.
Let’s talk about one of the most prevalent misconceptions: the belief that ADHD isn't a matter of self control, not neuroscience. We’ve heard it a hundred times, “ADHD is a mere fabrication.” This misconception reflects a broader issue, a lack of understanding of what ADHD is, and how it impacts the day to day lives of those with it.
It is a difference, from a neurobiological level, in how the brain functions.
While we’re not neuroscientists or therapists, we have dedicated an immense amount of time to understanding ADHD for ourselves, but also for those we serve. In that pursuit, we’ve learned to understand how to navigate life a little better and support our neurologically differentiated situation. So let’s dig into the neuroscience of ADHD.
One of the key differentiators between ADHD and neurotypical brains is the regulation of dopamine. ADHD individuals encounter challenges in both producing and regulating dopamine, the "feel-good" hormone. This dopamine deficiency often leads to a higher susceptibility to addiction as individuals seek external sources to compensate.
Dopamine's Role in Focus
Dopamine also plays a pivotal role in transitioning between focused and creative states (“Default Mode Network” and “Positive Task Mode”) within the brain. Contrary to the misconception that ADHD solely pertains to an inability to focus, Stephanie contends that it's more accurately characterized as an inability to control focus.
Managing ADHD Through Dopamine Regulation
While we fully understand that not all individuals dealing with ADHD can regulate without the support of medicinal intervention, there are some things we can do to help. Stephanie is our strongest advocate for things like controlling sugar intake, avoiding rapid blood sugar spikes and crashes, and engaging in physical activities to support dopamine regulation.
Rewards and Dopamine Release
Beyond controlling intake and physical activity, another way to spike dopamine in the brain is through the use of rewards. One strategy we’ve learned to use to help put ourselves in focus mode is to give ourselves the reward in advance. This does two things:
- Releases dopamine immediately - making it easier to get into focus mode in the brain
- Creates a sense of obligation to complete the task because you already got the reward
As a note though, because of the challenges they can cause in dopamine regulation, we do not recommend sugar-based rewards.
The Importance of Self-Knowledge
Here at Grow Disrupt, we encourage individuals with ADHD to embrace self-discovery and learn about their unique brain functioning. ADHD is a real condition that demands understanding rather than dismissal. Medication is one potential solution, but self-awareness and informed self-guidance are equally crucial.
Understanding the differences between ADHD and neurotypical brains is a crucial step towards breaking stigmas and fostering a more inclusive and supportive society.
If this feels like you, we encourage you to consider joining us at a future event! They are literally built for how your brain works and unlike anything you’ve experienced before. You will love it!