It shouldn’t come as a surprise that digital media has been linked with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A recent study points to a significant correlation between digital media use and the symptoms of ADHD: hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness. Of course, genetics and psychosocial factors also play a role in the development of ADHD, but the connection between digital media use and the development of ADHD is undeniable.
Those struggling with ADHD may have an especially difficult time stepping away from the bottomless hole that is social and digital media. Social media platforms are overflowing with vivid colors, enticing visuals, and intriguing noises. These elements ultimately trigger the release of dopamine—a feel-good neurotransmitter—in our brains. Eventually, the brain associates this “happiness response” with social media use and has you coming back for more.
An ADHD brain is less sensitive to dopamine, which means it needs more than the normal person to feel satisfied. Social media is an easy way to gain endless access to sights and sounds that the brain associates with happiness.
So, how can someone with ADHD—or anyone beginning to feel dependent on social or digital media use—kick the habit and reclaim control of their brain? Below, we have 4 ways to break free:
1. Talk to yourself. Yup, tell yourself, “I have a big presentation at work tomorrow and can’t waste any more time on social media.”
2. Set social media limits on your phone. Most phones will allow you to set daily limits for certain apps. Limit your use to 30-minutes, and don’t look back!
3. Let your friends know you’re not ghosting them. Social media can be a great way to connect with friends and family, especially during the pandemic where in-person hangouts are more complicated. Let your network know that they’ll be hearing from you less online, but to pick up the phone and call or text you if they want to chat!
4. Form a habit. Breaking habits is never easy, so just take it one day at a time. It may be hard at the beginning, but eventually, you’ll find your groove…sans social media.
ADHD can be a challenging mental health disorder, especially in today’s day and age where we are pummeled with bright-and-shiny marketing messages everywhere we look. ADHD, social media, and depression go hand-in-hand. If you are struggling with a mental health disorder that leaves you feeling out of control, or too sad to engage in everyday activities, please contact our Modesto area ketamine clinic. We are happy to help you learn about innovative treatment options that may alleviate your symptoms.
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