Sunday, July 19, 2009

ADD and Addiction

There is evidence pointing to a “novelty” gene which is thought to be present in both ADD and addiction. Both addicts and ADDers seek high levels of novelty and stimulation. Although addicts seek drugs, ADDers can find other avenues to high arousal activities .ADDers can also become addicts in a number of other stimulating activities.
As an ADD coach, I had difficulty at first finding strategies for clients who are trying to start a project, because they will spend most of their time on Face Book, Twitter or My Space and get none of their tedious work done. For these clients, I now use a model which is similar to the first step in addiction treatment.. .that is, “detoxing”. Typically they need to be in withdrawal completely from the Internet for several days. This means that they need a partner or friend to change their password temporarily. If they need the Internet to do research, it is essential that either a friend gets them material, or, believe it or not, they can go to the library with a friend as a monitor.. After the withdrawal period, they can use the Internet contingent upon completing 80% of their planned tasks ( which are planned in consultation with me).
This approach works with many ADDers.


ADHD Mom said...

I was just wondering if instead of the "detoxing" it was possible to make the project more appealing to the person with ADHD.

Like possibly making the task into a challenge. Maybe putting a time limit on it?

If something is appealing and exciting to a person with ADHD - then they are likely to do it well and not waste their time on social media.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Great idea, but I tried that strategy and it didn't work in many cases. Strangely,"cold turkey" works well bcause ADDers respond well to high arousal negative contingencies.

Thanks for your comment