View Full Version : Does medication change your hobbies/interests?

08-09-14, 12:50 AM
I'm brand new to all of this and am recently self diagnosed as ADHD-I (Though I've assumed I've had ADD my whole life). I'm hesitant to go on medication, even though it seems like large parts of my life would be improved by doing so, for one reason. I am very fond of video games and I realized that one of the reasons I enjoy them so much is that I am able to focus on them in a way I cannot focus on anything else. I think this is because so many senses/thought processes are being engaged at the same time when you are playing games that its difficult for my mind to get bored. My worry is that if I get medicated I will find myself able to focus on other things and games will lose their appeal. There are lots of other things I love about games and so much of who I am and how I present myself to other people is tied up in this one hobby that I would hate for it to fade into the background just because it isnt unique in holding my attention. Does anyone else have an experience with this and would in like to chime in with what happened to them after going on medication? What type of medication would also be nice to know. Thanks in advance!

08-09-14, 05:31 AM
My opinion is that if any med changes you that much then its the wrong med.

08-09-14, 06:29 AM
If a medacine does change you that much, you should ask your provider for other options. I don't think any of my favourite interests have changed. Its harder to be creative in a random way but easier to plan art and such. It all down to circumstance really. It doesn't change my passion or my drive to do what I love.

08-10-14, 06:09 AM
I only found that hobbies I already loved became more interesting. I tried out a couple of other ones and picked one up.
I found hobbies to can be beneficial when coming down off meds.

I take Concerta.

08-15-14, 11:43 PM
Hmm. I'm less likely to go for a run or ride my bike when I'm on the meds. I just don't feel the need - I'm more "chill" I guess. I never understood why no one else felt the insatiable need to do exercise until I tried Ritalin.

08-21-14, 05:23 AM
I'm also a huge gamer, and am (at the moment inconsequently) taking Ritalin.

I don't know if I've written it before here somewhere, but to me Ritalin makes my attention like a strong tentacle that's hard to move and latches onto something. If I'm at school I really get into the class or group discussion. If I'm at home and there is nothing I really have to do I get really excited to play certain video games (that being my main hobby). The way Ritalin works for me, it can make me feel that the game I'm playing is the best thing in the world ever and I want to do more than playing. I get ideas to start a Twitch account and start livestreaming or start making 'let's play' videos. In a way these are things I also really want to do, but just don't. Ritalin makes me super-excited for things I already love, so in a way it activates me.

The downside to this is a sense of mania (as in a manic episode). Things are too awesome, and coming down from that can be depressing. What's also a downer is the realisation that the feeling of happiness and activity is chemical. Feeling it's fake and not really me, can make me sad.

I have to add that the way Ritalin is making me feel, seems unfitting. I am still in a phase where I'm trying to find the right medication for myself. I strongly suggest reading my story as an abnormality for now and suggest you wait for more reactions from others.

I have not noticed any changes in the type of things I want to do. Things are more intense.

08-21-14, 06:00 AM
On concerta, I find it easier to let go of my interests. Without medication, I can immerse myself in a new hobby, and it then feels like nothing else feels has any value; it makes me feel neurotic and frantic. When I'm around friends, I will have trouble to keep my thoughts and concentration with them instead of the hobby or interest that is occupying my mind.

But, like I said, on medication I'm able to see the bigger picture a bit better. I can prioritize better, do the things that are important for sustaining myself, but are considered boring without medication.

08-28-14, 01:05 AM
No it doesn't, it just made me a appeal less of an airhead. Most people who met me for the first time think I'm half my age, or at least ten years younger, and very likely holding a job that doesn't require much braincells.

08-28-14, 04:03 AM
I take Concerta xl and it hasn't changed my tastes or preferences even just one bit. I took Wellbutrin (didn't work for me and I had some bad side effects) and it didn't change me either.

I don't see how medication can change your hobbies. If you like video games, you'll only focus on them more. If you don't really like them that much, but you play them because you can't focus on anything else or you're lousy at anything else, then yes, you'll do what you like to do better.

08-28-14, 06:10 AM
I reckon things that lessen a gaming addiction are a good thing to be honest.

Maybe on meds you would realise how much of your life the games suck away.....

My son is game addicted and it frustrates the cr*p out of us. Even me who is untreated ADD.

08-28-14, 01:39 PM
With Adderall, my hobbies did not change. However, I became much more proficient at my hobbies. Having more mental clarity can do a lot of good.

I wouldn't hesitate to talk to a physician and explore options. If you don't like a certain medication, you don't have to stay on it. Also be aware that when starting a medication it's best to start with a low dose and slowly increase. As always, a new medication is an adjustment so don't get discouraged if you have some initial side effects.

08-29-14, 01:25 PM
Thanks for all the information everyone! I feel a lot more comfortable and will be looking into it... If I can ever remember to call a doctor.:D

08-29-14, 08:43 PM
Glad you're looking into it. Even if by some outrageously weird chance a drug does affect your hobbies, you just stop taking it (try another drug) and your interest will be back.

I agree with RobboW though. If you choose not to get treatment that will help you function at work/school/life cause you value gaming more - I do wonder if you have issues prioritizing (which is common for us ADHDers).

08-30-14, 10:09 AM
I have never found the medication change my hobbies all that much per say, most of the time with or without medication the intensive of me being involved in them changes.

08-31-14, 02:38 PM
I think this is because so many senses/thought processes are being engaged at the same time when you are playing games that its difficult for my mind to get bored.

Actually, there's a Russell Barkley video out on youtube somewhere in which he states the primary reason many adhd folks like video games (although they may not realize it) is because they provide a constant, instant reward system (points, explosions, etc)

Studying a math book? Not so much instant reward.

Otherwise, growing up, my hobbies were "high dopamine" things like dirt bikes and playing drums. If I didn't have adhd, I probably wouldn't have had much interest in those things. (and to be honest, I wish I never had... I would have been so much more productive without thrill seeking hobbies)

08-31-14, 03:25 PM
It doesn't change them it makes them more accessible to me an more enjoyable, giving me the sticking power and patience that I wouldn't ordinarily have