Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fish Aware of Water Here (ADHD Rant)

Comment I left someplace:
Sorry, most people just do not get that ADHD is a brain condition related to expression of dopamine. This is fish aware of water talking, so listen, please. When a child is not given adults to bond with emotionally, who remain emotionally calm and emotionally available, that child does not get the knack of using their dopamine. Plain and simple, we grow up with no instructions to follow, but an inate need to experience dopamine, but no context of which pathways are natural to our species (relationships for one, that’s where we learn the knack, or are supposed to, prayer for two, it’s the poor-man’s tool-box for creating dopamine pathways, and includes a social aspect which supposedly re-inforces the framework for re-experiencing it over and over).
Again, let’s frame this correctly, scientists now say that dopamine alone is associated with our species ability to focus and pay attention for very long, and that it’s a self-reinforcing process (a programmer focused on a problem creates their own dopamine at those places activated in the brain).
So, in the absence of successfully maintained emotionally-bonded relationships, humans experience a sort of withdrawal, and are driven to self-medicate. Self-medicating for dopamine can look like watching five hours of television a day. And people who watch television like that, and I did for 49 years, also tend to vote according to what we see between the lines of paid political advertisements, instead of through personal research, for our perhaps shared learning disability of having developed an “aversion” to reading most types of books. I have ADHD, and have only found it out since being exposed to the narratives of Dr. Gabor Mate, through Democracy Now ( and their daily news show that only runs on viewer-supported satellite TV channels (which I was stuck with after being laid-off, so just by chance). Anyway, you’ll find the narratives for really understanding oneself, if you have ADHD, are curiously absent from corporate television, almost like they know who’s effected by their political ads, and aren’t giving them up, no way.
So, this isn’t academic for me, and I have through much focus developed a real grip on the dopamine experience, and can through a short meditation, get myself into a “dopaminergic state” but it’s short-lived. And, it’s more pronounced since my marriage and job fell away, but I’m more hopeful now, and for more realistic reason, than ever in my life.
Dopamine is the one thing that makes everything else easier, and even just the memory of it is enough sometimes, if it’s a powerful enough experience you’ve had recently. My rabbit has taught me more about my dopamine, and my ADHD, than all the counselling I’ve ever had. It’s the experience I used to associate with certain moments at Church, before I stopped going.
ADHD is all about not learning the knack, and then forming pathways which are not considered natural to our species, and have in some cases become criminalized. But for thousands of years we as a species have had these hiccup children, and we haven’t known how to help them. Get them to experience their reward system, in relationships or Zen Mudita, or Church…enough to also learn control and responsible use of it (not attached to specific activities, or emotions).
When you are experiencing dopamine you connect more easily to people, just plain conversation contains jewels of dopamine as you encounter human narratives that intersect…it’s the meanings that propagate the dopamine, as your mind retrieves emotional memory from another place than the data.
ADHD is when a child grows up not knowing how to love, and it creates stress they are not aware of. Then they develop aversions, and patterns of behavior to cover up the negative effects of not being able to concentrate, and having to many things pushed to the back-burner than a person can deal with.
From our society’s ADHD community, we derive ALL of our Pedophiles, Gambling Addicts, Alcoholics, Drug Addicts, HOARDERS, and people with other paraphilias. In my humble opinion, these are all natural, and should not be criminalized, but instead dealt with as the health issue they represent. These people are not ADHD 24/7, and with the right learning they can stop their addictions and replace them with more natural expressions, so please give them your inclusion, not the current exclusion, as we are rounded up and stuffed into private prisons where absolutely no emotional progress can be made. Our drug laws are human rights abuses. Sorry, it should be a simpler thing to tell if someone in front of you is able to experience their human reward system or not, and I think most people can tell subliminally, but they recoil, somewhat, instead of being urged to help.
Parents of children who they find are using drugs should thank god for such a clear indication of what is going on internally for their child, and such a clear outline of how to help them. Heroin and cutting indicate pain that needs to be dealt with. Meth and marijuana have very different actions, but are both used to augment or temporarily replace the need for the human reward system – get them to excercise their dopamine, take them to church, meditation or yoga classes, or going to the beach and getting out in the water, and physical activity helps.
And push back when you hear false narratives, like drug addicts just want to get high. Just so drops out the experience part. I know it’s very hard for people who are normal to acknowledge this, but without dopamine everything, that you’re not obsessed with, becomes enormously difficult. Remember, in the famous and wise words of the American-deposed President of Haiti, “Exclusion is the problem. Inclusion is the answer.” Treat the 17% of Americans with ADHD, and you lose the corporate swing-vote, but probably open a hundred thousand new businesses.
People with ADHD form coping skills, like it’s what gave me my 135 IQ, and my enhanced memory. Just saying, we’re not all bad.

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