I’ve often said that I picture a little hamster running on a wheel inside my ADHD partner’s brain, constantly churning out random thoughts and ideas.

This is why a lot of ADHDers have trouble falling asleep at night, especially if they don’t take time to relax before bed. They suffer from Hamster Wheel Brain (HWB), more commonly referred to as “racing thoughts.” Thanks to the incomparable ICHC, we now have a visual illustration of the ADHD Brain:

The best thing you can do, as the partner of someone with HWB, is to be a calming presence. Keep your energy low and encourage your partner to join you in relaxing activities. Eventually the little hamster will take a break from the wheel.


Erin Korey About Erin Korey

Erin Korey is the Managing Partner and Chief Operations Officer of the ADD Management Group, LLC and ADHDmanagement.com.


  1. A Hamster Wheel Brain says:

    Ha ha! That is so me. Thanks for the laugh. Sharing this with my wife.

  2. fiance of a hamster…..like the calming remark….i’ll try to be the calmer, not the wheel spinner….

  3. I’m glad so many of you can relate! Yes, Debbie, be the calmer. Did you ever think you would identify yourself as “fiance of a hamster”?

    • no erin i did not…..divorced for 15 years, off the dating market for 8 yrs. i must’ve bumped my head? sure do like the roller coaster never boring life of the hamster…. just have to remember to pull back and regain the calm.

  4. Hi !

    Try to imagine this HBW like a comic of video. Got it ?
    Now try eyemovments (like EMDR) looking to the right and left 10 times (or tapping on your right and left leg).
    Look at the wheel or image.
    Usually the wheel will slow down.

    We “invented” this imagination skill for ADHD clients in Germany and I love to work with this combination of creativity and bilateral stimulation . We call it emoflex(R). Rather unique neuropsychiatric approach without any scientific studies yet. But it helps a lot !

    Best wishes to you and your readers. I love your pages.

    Dr. Martin Winkler

  5. Erin Korey Erin Korey says:

    That sounds really cool, Dr. Winkler! Thanks for sharing and thanks for your kind words.