By Fatima Malik
Where does Dopamine lead you?
Alice followed a white rabbit down a hole in the ground.
Don’t ask me why or the messed up psychological issues behind willingly going down what was basically a grave, but she did.
In the end, she was exactly where she was when she started her journey – which tells me she was just maladaptive daydreaming, which is a symptom of ADHD, and the ‘white rabbit’ in this case can be referred to as the dopamine she was ‘following.’
Hence the title, “Following the Dopamine.” Kids with ADHD have low dopamine, meaning that they do not feel the same kind of pleasure that neurotypical people feel every day.
So when they do feel the dopamine, they are encouraged to ‘follow’ it. Why? Because the amount of productivity that comes from someone with ADHD following their dopamine is insane.
They will perfect the project they are concentrating on just because of the dopamine hike. For example, a kid following his dopamine for a new skill like art will keep following it until it ‘runs out,’ and that’s okay. When they are done with that art project, they would have learned skills enough to pursue it professionally if they wanted.
Dopamine and Impulsive Eating
Things like carbs and sugar encourage a dopamine hike, which leads to impulsive eating.
While trying to keep the diet healthy, it’s essential to find other ways to get that dopamine hike by encouraging the child’s projects or interests that can increase dopamine for them.
For help with a healthy family diet, please consult a nutritionist at Positive Kids.
Dopamine and obsessive repetition
You may notice your teenager with ADHD listing to the same song on repeat for hours. They do that because they are following the dopamine, and that song may help them concentrate on other things/projects.
Another trait of a child with ADHD is staying productive, and following the dopamine helps them remain productive and happy.
They usually don’t sit ideally, so it’s important to facilitate your child’s interests and encourage them to pursue them – who knows, maybe they find their passion which can lead to good long-term mental health.
Talk to your child’s psychologist or psychotherapist to see how you can facilitate what’s in your child’s best interest.
If you need additional help parenting a child with ADHD or need professional advice, please contact us at 1-866-503-7454
Vancouver, British Colombia