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ADHD Minor

OK, so in the last post we broached the topic of ADHD, its ubiquity, what it means, what it does, and all that jazz.

To elaborate: People suffering from ADHD, particularly children, will have trouble censoring themselves, often blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. And the amplified trouble with focus, or applying themselves to tasks that aren’t fun or interesting, makes homework and chores more of a headache than such tasks already are for unafflicted kids.

It’s a serious neurocognitive disadvantage but, far as disadvantages go, it’s one of the more manageable. It’s certainly one of the most-discussed. And while we can attribute that open discourse to the ubiquity of sufferers, there’s also the pharmaceutical component. Mother Jones anticipates Americans will spend spend nearly $20 billion a year on ADHD medication by 2020. The recreational (ab)use of ADHD medications like Adderall and Vyvanse, particularly on college campuses and among young professionals on Wall Street, is a hot topic, and recently gave rise to a popular Netflix documentary called Take Your Pills (Which we highly recommend).

    A conversation on the ADHD subreddit (r/adhd) about different ways sufferers keep themselves on task reveals strategies like not using the bathroom for a while before bed, so that the urge is what gets you up in the morning. Also apps galore for alarms that require you to wake up and solve a math equation or get up and take a picture of your toilet before it’ll turn off. All of these are designed to help you focus. We guess. Probably. Right?

But one of the most popular strategies, aside from alarms on alarms on alarms, is studying with music. As this conversation on r/ADHD shows, lots of people with ADHD have found music (or, in an interesting case, playing the same movie on repeat every day) has a tremendous influence on their ability to focus.

So maybe you’d find aid in playing the theme from Bill Nye the Science Guy on five-hour loops. Or “The Trouble With Tribbles” episode of Star Trek three times a day for several years until it becomes entrained in your brain.

User wolffanghameha, someone after our hearts here at Focus@Will, says, “If your mind wanders off, a new song can bring it back after say, three minutes, rather than the 30 minutes it might take if you didn’t have that external alarm of sorts.”          

And there’s more than a cup of science behind that user’s intuition here. As concerns the role music can play for listeners with ADHD: Music ignites the release of dopamine in the brain. That’s the neurotransmitter chemical whose dearth is associated with the disorder. So music can do the same thing stimulants like Adderall and Vyvanse do-without turning you into a coked-up concentration monster.

The second bit of science is what Focus@Will has been employing in its playlists from the start. That tightrope between habituation (playing a song so innocuous that it doesn’t distract us) and distraction (playing music that’s just interesting enough to keep us from getting blown off-task by the winds of our thoughts).

Focusatwill developed a proprietary methodology for focusing the ADHD brain. Curious how our ADHD channels might work for you? Visit focusatwill.com to try them out today!

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