ADHD and lack of motivation can really put a cramp in your day, your week, or your year. It’s not enough that you have ADHD, but now you also have no motivation to manage the symptoms or to do much of anything. Even without dealing with ADHD symptoms, many of our lives tend to be overwhelming and chaotic.
You want to get things done. You want to have goals and aspirations. For some reason, though, you overtimes feel little to no motivation to even get out of bed in the morning. This unfortunately is a too common tale with ADHD and lack of motivation.
What causes ADHD and lack of motivation? How can you address the down feelings and get back to your life? Lets first look at some of the root causes and then identify some helpful strategies to tackle ADHD and lack of motivation.
Root Causes of ADHD and Lack of Motivation
Surprisingly, many sources once did not list lack of motivation as one of the prominent symptoms of ADHD. Recent studies, though, have helped change this. Now you will more often than not find a lack of motivation on lists of signs of adult ADHD. What causes it, though?
Dysfunction in Brain Chemistry
A study conducted a few years ago found that adults with ADHD had decreased function in the brain connected to the dopamine pathway. They attributed the motivation deficit in ADHD to this dysfunction.
Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter that drives reward and pleasure in humans. It makes you feel good. It also helps your mind recognize a reward and want to find a way to reach the reward.
Adults and children with ADHD have lower levels of dopamine, which limits their brains ability to both recognize rewards and seek them out. This results in a lack of motivation. Without recognizing rewards, the body is unmotivated to act in any direction.
Tendency to be Overwhelmed Easily
Not only do adults with ADHD have to deal with lower dopamine levels they also tend to be overwhelmed more easily than their peers. ADHD and lack of motivation can start by giving in to the feelings of being overwhelmed. This leads many adults with ADHD to give up before they start.
Adults with ADHD get overwhelmed because everything that is going on distracts them. They find it difficult to find the right path from point A to point B. With all the distractions and their brain jumping from one thing to another, it’s easy to just throw in the towel.
Lack of Interest
ADHD and lack of motivation evolves out of a lack of interest or inability to remain focused enough on one task. ADHD minds are constantly filled with new distractions and new directions. Many adults with ADHD find it difficult to take particular interest in any direction since their minds are being pulled in so many directions. Lack of interest leads to lack of motivation and a failure to launch.
Strategies to Tackle ADHD and Lack of Motivation
One way to start talking ADHD and lack of motivation is through setting goals. Most of your issues surrounding a lack of motivation revolve around the inability to focus. Goals help you focus both your mind and your energies.
If you find yourself struggling with a lack of motivation, start with a simple goal for your day. Goals don’t have to be life-changing accomplishments. They can be simple and straightforward such as search and apply for one job today.
Simple goals that are achievable and measurable are the best. Simple goals will keep you from being overwhelmed and help you move on to bigger tasks.
Inertia tells us that an object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. ADHD and lack of motivation lie in low dopamine levels. Exercising releases dopamine in your body. Exercising makes you feel better overall and help you want to be more active.
If you don’t know where to start to get motivated, start by going for a run or going to the gym. Ultimately, physical activity improves ADHD and helps get rid of a lack of motivation. Just the action of movement will produce inertia towards more and more movement. By getting out, you will want to go and accomplish more. Getting active will change your outlook and set you back towards being productive.
As with so many issues with ADHD, we would recommend above everything else to get some accountability. ADHD and lack of motivation won’t go away without effort and work. It will be difficult if not impossible to do it all on your own.
Your friends and family want to see you succeed and motivated. Put them to the challenge and bring them to the table. Ask someone close to help you be accountable. Let them know when you are feeling particularly down or unmotivated. They know you the best and can help encourage you to get out and to follow through on your goals. Find success in limiting a lack of motivation by managing your adult ADHD symptoms and getting help from those you love.