Transitions Treats and Dopamine Redirection with ADHD
In this episode, we’re shifting gears from our prior focus on games to delve into the world of transitions, particularly from the perspective of individuals with ADHD. The first area we explore is the concept of micro transitions. These are small changes that occur throughout our day, whether it’s switching tasks, moving from one conversation topic to another, or even everyday activities like waking up or moving to a different location. Despite their seemingly minor nature, these transitions can pose substantial challenges for those with ADHD.
One of the central discussions in this episode centers on why transitions are often so hard for people with ADHD. The difficulties stem from the fact that ADHD can negatively affect executive functions. This can manifest as time blindness, difficulty in starting and stopping tasks, hyperfocus, and poor working memory. On a practical level, this might mean an individual with ADHD struggles with moving from a fun, dopamine-producing task to a boring or avoided task, remembering the reason for moving from one room to another, or leaving for work on time due to difficulty transitioning from waking up to getting ready.
Our conversation takes an intriguing turn as we propose a novel way to think about transitions: not as a change in contexts, but in rewards. This perspective encourages us to be aware of the hidden rewards of our current activity while also reminding ourselves of the potential rewards of the upcoming task. Poor transition management can lead to chronic lateness, which can impact jobs or relationships, and even a decline in health and wellness due to inadequate sleep.