Are jigsaw puzzles good for ADHD?
Jigsaw puzzles are mind teaser games while ADHD is a mental health disorder. Bringing those two together will produce improvements in the mental state of ADHD patients.
For all we know, jigsaw puzzles are one of the mind games we used to play to kill off some time.
The keynote to that is it’s a “mind” game meaning it has the ability to train minds to enhance their cognitive skills and abilities.
As for people who are suffering from disorganized thinking and thought, like patients with ADHD, this will help them to sort things out in their heads to make it more clutter-free.
So, let’s discuss and find out how would that be possible for them below.
What is ADHD?
ADHD literally stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
This is a type of mental health disorder by which the affected person has attention inadequacy, hyperactive, and has impulsive behavior.
To put it in a simpler way, patients with this condition suffer from mental issues where they can’t control the processes inside their heads.
The information is stored in a disorganized manner which is why they behave as if they need to accommodate that scattered information all at the same time.
Now, what happens to people with “scattered information” in their minds?
How do they behave and process things on a daily basis?
You see, if you are an organized type of person at home, and suddenly all of your stuff are messed up like a tornado, what would you feel then?
Of course, you will feel agitated, and may feel distracted and mad on the situation because it shouldn’t be like that in the first place, right?
You’ll feel the urge to fix everything all at once so you can live peacefully like it was before.
Well, that’s how people with ADHD feel like every single day of their lives.
Attention deficiency is one of the consequences of ADHD. As a result of having a disorganized thought and thinking process, their inability to focus on one task alone is difficult.
Having the inability to organize their thinking process properly inside their heads makes them feel hyperactive to this and that, that’s why they behave inappropriately for they can’t do the things that need to be done in the way they wanted it to be.
Their impulsive behaviour results in their “living in the moment” type of life. The sense of time is not so important to them at all. They need to do things now or never. That’s how they function and it’s quite hard and sad to look at for they don’t own their minds at all.
To put things in one equation, having a disorganized thinking process leads to an inability to concentrate (attention deficit). With that, they also have the urge to juggle things all at once so as to accommodate each scattered idea entirely, which ends up in impulsive behavior patterns for not getting in control of what they intended to do in the first place.
How do puzzles help with cognitive development?
Cognitive development is the ability of oneself to process ideas in their minds through logical thinking, understanding, perception, and even retention of information meanwhile, jigsaw puzzling is a form of play therapy where cognitive skills are exercised.
Putting these two together means enhancing the cognitive skills of the participant.
People with ADHD have problems with their cognitive abilities. Since that is the part where they suffer a lot, it should also be the parts that should be addressed properly.
Jigsaw puzzles, on the other hand, is a type of board game invented to teach children their geography subjects.
With that, we can say that this pastime board game could have the potential to exercise the cognitive part of the brain of any player.
Patients with ADHD are treated with medicine that is used to stimulate their brain activities (cognitive skills) such as, FDA-approved amphetamines.
These prescribed medications are mostly in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy to which gives positive effects.
One of the cognitive-behavioral therapy that is used play therapy.
Play therapy is an activity where the patient is assigned with a tasked to express his/her feelings while playing.
One example of a game that can be used is a jigsaw puzzle.
As I have mentioned in my previous article about the benefits of jigsaw puzzles in my own experience, playing jigsaw puzzles could ease up noisy things inside our minds and this too is also the thing for patients with ADHD.
With jigsaw puzzles, their disorganized thoughts are all set aside for a while to make room for the task before them.
It is true that their attention to the game won’t last long enough but the main key is to make them think more clearly as to what they are feeling while playing the game to address the main cause of it.
With that, they may be able to realize things on their own and can develop self-awareness one step at a time.
It’s like a natural type of stimulant that will help their brain to be rewired properly when engaged on it.
This self-awareness thing is also what I have emphasized in the article about the effects of the jigsaw puzzle on mental health.
You see, when patients with ADHD have realized where their feeling is rooted from, they will be able to assess little by little how to cope up and deal with it on their own in the future.
Sorting things out, may it be physically, mentally, or emotionally is the main goal of play therapy for patients with ADHD.
How does puzzling help patients with ADHD?
In playing jigsaw puzzles, your physical, mental, and even your emotional being are all working hand in hand.
Physically speaking, your eye-hand coordination needs to work all together to match each piece with one another.
On the other hand, for you to accomplish the task of matching things up, you will obviously think which is which. That is when your mental exercise takes place.
And lastly, when you have successfully figure things out and be able to complete one, the sense of accomplishment in your emotional aspect will take place for having a job well done.
The same goes for patients with ADHD.
Jigsaw puzzles help them by making things organized not only in their heads but also in the the task before them.
You see, when things inside our minds and the things outside our minds are aligned properly, it’ll make orderliness and a sense of control in both aspects.
Like for example, having a clean and organized home will make you feel at peace and in control of everything unlike if it is messy, right? This holds true for them as well.
With these, jigsaw puzzles provides beneficial effects to ADHD patients. Meaning, it is therapeutic.
Why are puzzles therapeutic?
How can you say something is therapeutic?
Well, we all know that something is therapeutic if we benefit from it right?
It’s like we have gathered some remedies or solutions to the problems that we have.
In playing jigsaw puzzles, you’ll be tasked to sort things out in an orderly manner before you start the game.
Once done, you’ll be matching each piece until you get the whole picture out of it.
Simple and easy as it sounds right? But for patients with ADHD, it is not.
Being organized, specific, disciplined, and goal-oriented in their routine lives takes a lot of effort and time.
As I have mentioned a while ago, their minds are in total chaos where they are not in control of sorting things out properly.
If they’re engage with the game and with their inner self for some time, eventually they will learn and realize things on their own by having the connection within themselves.
You see, they needed help and support from other people in making this happen for the sole reason that they can’t find and solution within them.
They need guidance that’s why external factors such as their family, friends, and their environment should be aware of their condition to take part in their development.
Patience and understanding in their condition will come a long way aside from their prescribed medications and therapy will, in turn, give positive outcomes.
What do they learn from puzzles?
Jigsaw puzzles are a type of brain teaser game where a sense of time and space will be manifested when combined with proper talk with their therapists during their playtime.
It helps any Puzzler to activate their sleeping “special” cognitive abilities and skill to make things correctly.
As for patients with ADHD, this game will help them to train their attention to their specific task and goals one at a time.
Also, it’ll help them engage to connect with their inner self to gain more self-awareness as to why they are thinking and doing that way.
Moreover, this will also help the people around patients with ADHD, to understand where their loved ones are coming from.
You see, playing jigsaw puzzle is a type of bonding to other people as well you know.
ADHD people lack self-awareness, a sense of time, and a sense of control over their minds.
Luckily, this mental disorder can be treated with right medication and support.
Medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy can stimulate their brain activities to align properly but the catch is, this can’t be done by themselves alone.
They needed support, kindness, understanding, and a lot of patience from those people around them to make the treatment successful.
Jigsaw puzzling is not a cure for this mental disorder. This is only a type of therapeutic activity that can boost the effects of prescribed medications for them.
Let’s just say that jigsaw puzzles are like cheese in your burgers, whipped cream in your coffee, glitter in your makeup, and accessories in your outfit. They add up to enhance what you already have.
So there you have it, so what do you think Puzzlers?
Are you also one of the people who used this game for this cause? If so, care to share your story so that others will be inspired to you as well.