Newsletter #13: The brains of novelty seekers
May is here! Spring is in the air! The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming — and, best of all, the ADaptHD newsletter is landing in your inbox, bringing you one study, one news article, and one coping tip for ADHD.
Study of the month: The brains of novelty seekers
If you have ADHD, there’s a good chance you have a brain that craves novelty and stimulation. Psychologists call this tendency “novelty seeking,” and we’ve written before about how it has a good claim to being the ADHD personality trait.
Now, researchers are finding that brain differences associated with a high desire for novelty can predict behaviors and conditions related to how people process rewards, such as smoking, drinking, and having ADHD. A study published this month found that brain characteristics associated with high novelty seeking in teenagers could be used to make surprisingly strong guesses as to people’s tendencies in these areas and could distinguish between people with ADHD, depression, and schizophrenia with 87 percent accuracy.
Those findings suggest that brain patterns linked to novelty seeking could be useful for eventually improving diagnosis of ADHD and other conditions in which people respond to rewards in atypical ways.
News article of the month: Discovering ADHD in lockdown
If there’s one story I never get tired hearing, it’s the story about people realizing they have ADHD — about the “aha” moment that leads to other new insights you can use to improve your life.
For many, their personal version of that story has played out in the past 1+ year of pandemic living, as old coping routines have fallen apart, bringing about new realizations. A new article from SELF Magazine features the stories of women who discovered their ADHD diagnosese during the pandemic, which has “amplified all ADHD challenges to unprecedented levels” according to one doctor interviewed for the article.
Another woman interviewed in the article describes a path that will resonate with many who were diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood: “The traits I consider to be my biggest flaws were spiraling to a point that I felt they were no longer manageable.”
Coping tip of the month: 1 spring-cleaning task, today!
Forget spring cleaning. Any kind of cleaning can seem daunting with ADHD. The problem with tasks like cleaning is that we procrastinate on them, and they pile up, and as this cycle continues they start to seem more and more formidable.
So rather than trying to take on everything that’s on your to-do list all at once, here’s our challenge: pick one tedious chore you’ve been putting off that you will do today. Right now, as you’re reading this, even! Think of something overdue that you can take care of today, no matter how simple or trivial, and enjoy the feeling of finally getting that task out of the way.
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