Methylphenidate Facilitates Hypnotizability in Adults With ADHD: A Naturalistic Cohort Study

Impaired attention may impede learning of adaptive skills in ADHD. While manipulations that reduce competition between attentional processes, including hypnosis, could boost learning, their feasibility in ADHD is unknown. Because hypnotic phenomena rely on attentional mechanisms, the authors aimed to assess whether stimulants could enhance hypnotizability in ADHD. In the current study, stimulant-naïve patients seeking treatment for ADHD-related symptoms were assessed with the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale (SHSS) at baseline and during methylphenidate treatment. Methylphenidate dose and SHSS increase were negatively correlated with baseline SHSS scores. Upon reaching effective doses, mean SHSS scores increased significantly. All patients who had been poorly hypnotizable at baseline demonstrated moderate-to-high hypnotizability at follow-up. The data support methylphenidate enhancement of hypnotizability in ADHD, thus highlighting novel treatment approaches for this disabling disorder.