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Clinical Breakdown: The Link Between ADHD & Addiction

Uncategorized Apr 07, 2022

I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Tamara Rosier recently, one of America's leading experts on the subject of ADHD, specifically from a neurological perspective. She shared something in our interview that really shocked me. The ADHD brain will get addicted to something. Period. No questions asked. As I started to poke around, it turns out that the wiring of the brain is different when you have ADHD, and these differences are subject to addictive and compulsive behaviors.

If you have ADHD (or speculate you have ADHD), you may be thinking, "Oh great. Guess that's it for me." But there's hope, and lots of it!

For starters, protective factors can often mitigate the impact of ADHD on someone's life in the early years, and ultimately reduce their propensity for addiction. What is a protective factor? Here are some examples (this is not a comprehensive list but hopefully gives you an idea):
-Growing up with two parents in the home
-Having an educated parent/parents
-Unconditional care/support from a loved one
-Permission to make mistakes and explore surroundings
-Being part of a larger community (i.e.. church, neighborhood, clubs, etc.)

What we know for sure is that the ADHD brain functions differently than a neurotypical brain. So if you have ADHD, there are a few things you can do immediately to help you account for the differences in your wiring:
1) See a professional and consider medication. The research on ADHD medication is extensive and professionals (for the most part) seem to have this part of the equation dialed in. Make sure you see someone who specializes in this area.
2) Develop self-awareness. This is a big one (and it is our first pillar of recovery at DeepClean for a reason). You must understand the beliefs, thoughts and emotions that are driving your responses and behaviors before you work to correct them.
3) Slow down. The ADHD brain moves a million miles a minute, often making it difficult to carry out #2 with any success. Nature is particularly useful, but talking to someone you trust, journaling, breathing exercises, and hobbies can be great ways to slow your brain down.
4) Remember that God doesn't love you less because you have ADHD. He loves you as you are and will always be beside you as you learn to better manage ADHD.

If you're looking for more guidance, I highly recommend checking out Dr. Tamara Rosier's book, Your Brain's Not Broken.

Cheering you on,
Sathiya

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