ADHD and Distractions
With contributions from Alex B.
Do you want to know the four real reasons why you get distracted because of your ADHD? Of course you do! So brace yourself. The truth I’m about to reveal will set you free while taking you down an unforgiving path.
Disclaimer: This article is written for ADHDers by an ADHDer. If you don’t have ADHD, you read this at your own peril. When I refer to “us” or “we,” I’m referring to everyone with ADHD.
I wish I could tell you the reason why you get distracted is because of TV, social media, or your phone. However, we won’t though because we're in this together. And we won’t lie to you.
It’s true that distractibility is much more common for ADHDers. We get so into life that we forget about our responsibilities, our hopes, even our dreams.
So the question is, why?
ADHD and Distractions: Why Curiosity, Challenges, Urgency, and Interesting Things Distract You
What if we told you this heading contains the four reasons why you get distracted?
We'll explain everything after we educate you on the medical science behind ADHD. However, this knowledge is essential to your happiness and success!
We have a shortage of a chemical called dopamine. Anytime you do something enjoyable, and your brain releases dopamine. It makes you feel good. Dopamine also helps you focus, control your attention, and even elevates your critical thinking abilities. Yes, that’s right, dopamine is the best thing that can ever happen to you.
Too bad we have a shortage of it due to our ADHD. This shortage causes us to have a crappy executive function, which means we’re not good at carrying out a mundane task on time or in the right way.
Depending on who you are as an individual, certain activities and circumstances can produce huge amounts of dopamine. That dopamine lets you thrive and achieve success.
While that last sentence can apply to anyone, it’s life-changing for ADHDers. There are four elements:
We have no idea what you like or do for fun. But we guarantee one of these elements is involved. And when you find yourself distracted, none of these four elements are involved before you got distracted.
So the reason you get distracted isn’t because you have ADHD. It’s because you’re not feeling curious. You feel unchallenged. You don’t feel a sense of urgency. You have little to no interest in the task at hand.
Let us put everything we just said into a hypothetical scenario:
- You are doing something that is boring, uninteresting, not urgent, not challenging.
- You encounter or notice something that makes you curious, is urgent, is challenging, or interest you.
- You get distracted.
- You realize you got distracted.
When you encounter or notice something that does involve one of the four elements while doing something boring, you get distracted. To sum up this entire section in one sentence: The real reason why ADHDers get distracted is because we’re doing something boring.