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Old 04-20-12, 07:36 PM
zeldarocks zeldarocks is offline

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Personal Musings on the Correlation Between Motivation and ADHD

*I wrote this up maybe 1-2 years ago and recently modified it a bit; I thought some of you might find it at the least slightly interesting:*

Disclaimer: The following assumes that ADHD may be caused by fluctuating levels of Dopamine, not solely abnormally low levels of the neuro-chemical

ADHD and Lower Dopamine Levels:

Dopamine, as a neuro-chemical, is produced by the brain in response to an event warranting a reward; perhaps in anticipation of said reward, as such, ADHD-afflicted individuals lack the drive and motivation to get things done --they lack perspective on what the end result will bring-- as a result of lower levels of Dopamine. An Individual with ADHD is able to 'Hyperfocus' because said individual sees a justifiable end --or reward-- in doing what he or she DESIRES to do --doing something that brings pleasure or self-gratification or reward-- again as a result of increased levels of Dopamine when engaged in said activity.

Dopamine is produced in anticipation of an event, in foresight of a situation; when on Stimulant Medication, the brain of an individual with ADHD is given the ability to foresight --Dopamine levels are increased-- and said individual is able to predict the outcome of a situation, thus the ability to plan accordingly (individuals with ADHD are very disorganization-prone) Such is the reason why individuals with ADHD are often easily excited and stimulated.

In Summary:

Individuals with ADHD never get anything done because they do not anticipate the end result (whether excelling in school, failure to anticipate cause and effect in general, or otherwise); this may be as a result of lower Dopamine levels; thus the lack of motivation and drive.


Alternatively, it is possible stimulant medication may not serve to merely raise Dopamine concentrations, but may instead facilitate overall regulation of said neurotransmitter; it has been my observation that when an ADHD-afflicted individual already exhibits a natural drive and motivation to reach a certain end, it will only become easier to work towards that end when the medication is coupled with the individual's natural desire and determination.

There may be several factors behind this: one possibility attributes the aforementioned theory that Dopamine may be regulated --not necessarily lowered or raised-- when medication is administered. This would be exhibited in the above instance of the medication working in concert with the individual's natural drive and motivation: the individual is clearly able to work at achieving a particular goal, this would mean that Dopamine concentrations could well be at, or near, optimal levels; the medication takes the natural drive and motivation one step further, providing the extra output of Dopamine necessary to 'sync' the brain and perhaps working as a sort of 'regulator' of Dopamine.

Furthermore, it has also been observed that when individuals not suffering from ADHD are exposed to stimulant medication, that they become almost ADHD in their behavior; this could serve to support the theory that ADHD might also be caused by overly-stimulated Dopamine receptors, as opposed to under-stimulation of receptors.
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