ADHD Brains – How to Become More Motivated

Technology is giving us a bigger window into the neurological bases of the disease. We now know that there are differences in structure, function, and activation. Understanding the needs and wants of your brain is the key to understanding your behaviors. Learning how your brain works will explain your actions if friends and family can’t.

Rules of ADHD Engagement

The brain regulates our responses to stimulation and needs to be engaged in order to function well. Optimal arousal allows brains to be alert, receptive and ready to learn. The skills necessary for effective response selection are cueed by executive functions. Goal-directed behaviors can be fine-tuned without distraction. The non-ADHD brains are aroused by the daily life stimulation. The brains can operate with sustained focus even when stimulation is low. They can self-control with relative confidence and have enough control over their behavior.

The brains of the people with attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder do not adapt as quickly as others. They are motivated by their search for stimulation, not by what others think is important. Their degree of arousal depends on whether the request for attention comes from an internal desire or an external demand. The owners tms depression of these brains are not making conscious choices to ignore external demands. More dopamine becomes available when internal motivation is more meaningful to the brain. The pursuit of pleasurable reinforcement is more important than the time or consequences. The owners of the ADHD brains are compelled to engage in stimulation through sensation or activity. When mundane tasks can’t be avoided, the brains of the ADHD sufferers may be compromised.

More Dopamine, Please

Learning from experience is the basis for sound decision-making and the promise of reward is a factor that affects the motivation to learn. The Incentive Loyalty Model describes a dopamine reward system that is responsible for motivation, positive reinforcement, and pleasure. dopamine-increasing behaviors are more gratifying to the brain of an adult with attention deficit disorder.

The reward system is hard to derive from ordinary activities because of the under active part of the brain. The dopamine- deficient brains experience a surge of motivation after a high- stimulation behavior. They return to baseline levels with an immediate drop in motivation after the surge and reward.

Secrets of Your ADHD Brain is a free resource.

The significance of tasks is decreased when dopamine is reduced in the sphinx. It is difficult to attend to the most important task if most stimuli are equally compelling. The stimuli need to be more relevant to the brain of the person who is watching them. Reward deficiency syndrome is a proposal to explain why the brains of people with attention deficit disorder need stronger incentives. Deficits in the reward pathway can affect motivation. When rewards are mild, the brains of the ADHD sufferers struggle to sustain motivation. The brains of people with attention deficit disorder are looking for stimulation that can increase dopamine. The pursuit of pleasurable rewards may become a form of self-medication. The dopamine reward system is similar to that of dependent brains.

Food, sex, exercise, competition, and music are all behavioral rewards that amplify dopamine production. Driving fast, motorcycle riding, and waterskiing are high-risk activities that motivate the brains of people with attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Dopamine is the brain’s most intense reward, and it can be elicited by some extreme activities. Emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and ER doctors are some of the high-risk careers that have benefited from the greater dopamine involvement in their brains.

Dopamine increases even more when nicotine, alcohol, opiate, and risky sex are present. All substances that can lead to dependency have the ability to increase dopamine release and reduce the effects of serotonin.

The Search for Stimulation

The balance of stimulation that enables optimal functioning is what motivates the brains of the people with attention deficit Hypersady. Moderate stimulation that falls in the gray area is rarely engaged by the brains of the people with attention deficit disorder. Most of the time, the brains of the people with attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder respond at one end of the continuum. The opposite routes explain how a high-energy, outgoing, talkative, over-subscribed individual and a shy, low-energy, passive, and withdrawn individual can have an ADHD brain.

[Click to Read: ADHD Neuroscience 101]

The more intense the stimulation, the better for some people with attention deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit. The owners of these brains have a common complaint. It is uncomfortable for them when their brains are not fully engaged with their environment. If there is no other way to high stimulation available, restless brains may compel their owners to increase the intensity level with noise, laughter, or conflict. If some stimulation is good, more is better for these more impulsive ADHD brains. The philosophy of brains is to choose immediate rewards over long-term satisfaction.

Too Much Stimulation

In their desire for more stimulation, the brains of people with attention deficit disorder can become over-arousal. Egged on by their need, most can’t anticipate an impending crash. The fun suddenly gets out of control, the laughter gets out of control, and the sights and sounds bombard them until they are overwhelmed. They become restless, angry, or upset when they are overwhelmed by the overload of their psychic energy. Their brains demand respite so that they can regroup. Their sudden and total withdrawal is a source of confusion and concern to those who know only the spirited stimulation-seeker.

There are brains that can barely tolerate stimulation at the other end of the continuum. These brains are on the verge of sensory overload and are trying to escape from the bombardment. It is a common experience to experience unexpected stimulation as an ambush.

Hypersensitive brains reduce stimulation by avoiding group activities, tuning out conversations and isolating themselves. They prefer to stay in places where they can control the level of stimulation, and shun busy stores and loud concerts. The brains find comfort in the world of video games. They choose games with rewards that are strongly reinforcing their brains because of the internal structure that gives them complete control over the kind and amount of stimulation. These rewards are a way for people to have fun, but not be in the middle of personal interaction. Video games have a habit-forming potential for the inattentive ADHD brain.

Carbs, Chocolate, and the Brain’s Glucose Metabolism

Food has a dopamine reward center in all of the brains. It leads to a daily self-regulation challenge for the more impulsive brain. The low levels of dopamine interfere with focused self-regulation, which increases the likelihood that the brain will be inattentive to the factors that affect eating behaviors. The attention center in the prefrontal cortex is less energy efficient due to the decreased metabolism of the glucose in the brains of the people with attention deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit The owners of the brains that are affected by the condition suddenly crave sugar and food that can be converted into glucose in a matter of minutes. Brains experience pleasure and calm because of the increase in dopamine and serotonin. Many people with attention deficit disorder don’t like themselves for eating pasta and cookies because their brains are demanding more salad. Chocolate has the added stimulation of caffeine and increases the amount of sugar in the blood.

It is no wonder that those with attention deficit disorder struggle with diet and nutrition. When they self-medicate with food, their brains get a surge of dopamine, an increase in energy that improves attention, and a calming of restless legs. The perfect storm of rewards increases the likelihood of over eating.

Sleep and the Reticular Activating System

The brainstem is responsible for regulating arousal and sleep. The brain of an adult with attention deficit disorder is affected by the dysregulation of the RAS and the skew of the cycles of the melatonin and cortisol hormones. Many people with attention deficit disorder celebrate when they have time to themselves late at night. They are attracted to internal activities like watching TV, engaging with social media, and playing computer games. These brain-pleasing behaviors are reinforcing because of their greater arousal. Studies show that the blue light from screens increases the amount of melatonin in the body. Delayed melatonin production makes it difficult to be an early riser because the brain is flooded with both internal and external stimulation into the early morning.

Neurology Explains a Lot

The struggle for self-regulation is neurological and has nothing to do with character deficiencies. Imagine that your partner asks you to pay the electric bill, and you say to yourself, “OK, I have time to do that today.” You keep getting distracted when you sit down. The brain of the person with the ADD is not as stimulated as it should be in order to complete the task. Your brain says that the task is too boring and you can’t focus on it. I will work with you if you find something that interests me more and gives me a bigger dopamine reward. If your brain won’t engage, it’s an ugly standoff. Maybe after a day of being too lazy to pay the bill, your brain will start to feel a crisis and you will pay the bill.

The owner of the brain with attention deficit disorder and his owner are at odds. It is difficult to get a brain to engage. Learning to suck out the brain is one of the things that the treatment for ADHD involves.

Applause increases compassion and acceptance for one’s hidden struggle. There is some comfort in knowing that there are neurological explanations for seemingly incomprehensible behaviors, as they are often mislabeled and misjudged by society.

Everything you never knew about the brain of the ADHD patient.

Ellen is a member of the medical review panel.

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