The Hamster Wheel Complex

Raising awareness of all things ADHD! - ADHD hamster wheel g7562e6761 640

Anyone have a hamster growing up? Sadly I did not! I always liked watching them though as they are curious little things. I got bite by one at a friends house once and let me tell you it flippin hurt like anything; how can something so small pack such a big punch or bite in that case? You’re probably sat there wondering what hamsters have to do with ADHD but don’t worry; I’ll get to my point eventually.

Let’s start by talking about why having ADHD is one of the hardest things ever; I’ve often talked about ADHD being all or nothing, we’re either going for something at 100% or we not doing it at all. There is no in between!! Let me explain why that is; when we do achieve something we’re passionate about, that we go for at 100mph it gives us a dopamine release. Dopamine is a feel-good mood booster chemical and the lack of it is associated with ADHD.

“ADHD brains love a good Dopamine hit, but getting it is where the problem lies!”


Well, sometimes once we get that hit of dopamine, our brains suddenly think wow that’s great that is what else can I do to get a little bit more of that stuff? Hence when we start and achieve something, we don’t want to stop, we want to carry on and on. Like a hamster on one of those wheels! If you watch them carefully sometimes they are pedalling so fast you think they’ve forgotten how to stop and can’t get off.

Without that hit of original dopamine to motivate us and keep us going, it takes massive effort to convince ourselves to go for something or get ourselves in the zone. Those of us who have tired many times to achieve something and failed may think what’s the point? Like a hamster on the wheel they think what’s the point in starting that, I’m not going to get anywhere. Take that in to account with low self-esteem which usually comes with ADHD, and all the other worldly factors where people let you down and life punches you in the gut every now and again and you can see where they are coming from.

“Smaller steps leading to a bigger goal are important for us ADHDers. We usually only see the bigger picture and it can be overwhelming!”


This is why the best thing to do with ADHD is to break things down into smaller manageable steps; mini goals that you can achieve that give you that dopamine fix and inspire you to keep going. Unfortunately, we’re not great planners either so perhaps getting somebody else to help with that would be an idea.

You may think this article is depressing; that I’m just telling us this is how we are and that’s the end of it. The thing is I’m not hit to sugar coat what having ADHD is, it’s difficult and frustrating, the negatives far outweigh the positives and just getting through one day can be a mammoth task. However, I think the important thing to remember is that there are a lot of us out there, that we’re not alone and we’re all stuck on that hamster wheel trying to get somewhere, just don’t stop trying. Till next time ADHDers!


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2 thoughts on “The Hamster Wheel Complex

  1. Thank you for being here for all of us on the hamster wheel ❤
    -Chelsea, adhd-c 4 Life😜

    1. Wouldn’t be here without all of you readers 🙂 ps. sorry for the late reply…ADHD brain missed this for a while then forgot to respond.

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