Written By:Amber Hollingsworth,LPC
To my fellow ADHD peeps,
We are SUPER PRONE TO BINGE BEHAVIORS, so let’s take a look at how that happens to us. I’ll bet you’ve heard of the term “addictive personality” before. I think that’s just code for “individual with ADHD.” Yes, anyone can get themselves into a binge cycle, but no-one does it like we can.
You have no doubt heard of “Binge Drinking,” but lots of things are binge-worthy! Here’s how binging sneaks up on you…
My personal favorites are binge shopping and binge Netflixing (yes, I made up that term!)
Occasionally we intentionally set out to binge shop, like during the holidays or for some other sort of special occasion, but other times it just sort of happens. Afterward, we feel frustrated with ourselves and vow not to let that happen again. OF COURSE, it happens again and again.
Did you know that once you decide to spend money on one thing, you are very likely to just keep spending. It has to do with the way that willpower works in our brain. Sometimes it’s easier not to buy anything than it is to “moderately buy” or “manage our buying” (to put it into recovery terms :). When you decide to let down your guard and buy something, your guard is already down so it’s easy to just keep adding accessories or other interesting items to your cart.
#I got an amazing deal: That’s why so many businesses use coupons, specials, and sales. You might go into the store to pick up some ground beef that’s on sale this week, but as you walk around the store, you see lots more stuff that “you need.” Before you know it, you leave with $50 worth of stuff when you just went in to buy a package of ground beef.
OMG, Netflix is the master of creating addictive behaviors. They’ve got it down to a science that works every time. Don’t take me wrong, this isn’t a slam to Netflix, it’s more like an homage. Love, Love, Love them; best drug dealer EVER! Even though I completely understand their tactics, it still works on me. I’ll explain it to you, and maybe you can break free from the chain of addictive Netflixing.
#I want it all: I never watch regular TV series on regular TV because I have no patience to wait to see what happens from one week to the next. By the time a week goes by, I’ve already forgotten about it. I won’t start a new show unless it’s on Netflix. I’ve heard people tell me that they won’t start drinking if they don’t have access to more than a couple of beers. They just don’t see the point. That’s the way I am about Netflix. Seeing one interesting episode of anything is just going to tick me off! It’s only gonna make me want more, so I’m not gonna mess with it unless I can have it all.
#Cliffhanger: Many network TV series will end episodes on a cliffhanger, but all Netflix series end on cliffhangers. Good news… You can just watch the next episode because it’s on Netflix! So the show ends, and your brain is left with a huge question mark, and you say to yourself that you are just going to watch a few minutes of the next episode to see what happens. But… of course, you get sucked into that episode and it happens all over again. Next thing you know, your morning alarm is going off and you have to get up for work. You haven’t even been to sleep!
This has all the ingredients for creating addictive behavior. It’s the same thing that happen in any process addiction (addictions other than chemical), like gambling, sex, or gaming.
#What’s the harm? If it sounds like I’m talking from experience, it’s because I am. This can definitely start to interfere in your daily life. Not sleeping will cause a pretty huge impact on your work or school performance. You can get so sucked into it, that you don’t get things done, or make yourself late to appointments, etc….
If you are like me, you are gonna find it’s easier to not start than it is to stop once you get started.