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There’s something missing from the discussion about ADHD as an “interest based” nervous system. Meaning it focuses (or hyperfocuses) best, when engaged in activities it finds interesting and rewarding.
“Interesting”, is typically defined as activities that are preferred, pleasurable, and lead to bursts of dopamine which feels rewarding.
But the pendulum swings the other way. Adrenalin can feel rewarding as well. A nervous system interested in avoiding threat, may find focusing on everything that could go wrong, to be very rewarding.
Rewarding in that you believe if you’re always on the look out, you’ll be ready. Feeling prepared, safe is something you’re interested in. So you focus on the thoughts and habits that will reward you with feeling that way.
Interest for an ADHD nervous system can quickly become a preoccupation, such that you develop hyperfocus on it. Your tunnel vision can make it difficult to think or do otherwise.
On the positive side, this is a powerful ability when working in your area of giftedness. Not so much when using that ability to guard against threat, versus embracing what you love.
There is a balance here. It’s found in being able to manage your emotions. So even when they get swept up by your hyperfocus leading to hyper emotions, you know how to calm down.
It’s a process to learn of course, but something I’m amazingly skilled at teaching. Just ask the women in my membership group.
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