My clinical background as a psychiatrist started in treating addiction
disorders. I was attracted to this field because it acknowledges the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual context of where the
problems arise. Some of biological predispositions such as impulse
control, distraction, attention problems, and attraction to novelty and
high intensity circumstances (these days there’s a lot of
talk on dopamine seeking) fall on the same spectrum
as the core neurobiological specifics of ADHD. This has implications in the
treatment as well, as we utilize various methods including medications
to manage ADHD symptoms. It takes clinical experience to monitor proper
use versus misuse or potential addictive use of stimulant
medications. Many of the behavioral addictions also are the misdirected self managements of core ADHD symptoms. Some of my patients become frustrated with me and call me over cautious in
prescribing stimulants, but my decades of experience with addictive
illnesses and their treatments give rise to this caution, and I do
believe it is ultimately serving my patients well.
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