Excitable? Oh yeah!
Hyper? Umm … okay??!?
Punctual? Uuuuuuh … well …
Suffering from anxiety? Errr, sometimes …
We’re all the same, right? Wrong!
We are all different pots of chemical soup simmering on the stove of evolution and environment. We’ve all been seasoned differently. What we share is a cerebral development that gives us all a similar base.
To flog this culinary analogy to its bitter end, if all humans are soup, we belong to the cream soup category of persons with mental health issues.
Furthermore, perhaps it’s the cream of potato soups that represent ADHD. But some of us contain onion, while others have chives or garlic and still others have combinations of two or more of those ingredients. Perhaps the onion family represents inattentiveness, the different types represent how that inattentiveness manifests itself in each of us.
And then there’s the bacon. Some of us, after all, are vegetarians while others are omnivores. That simple difference in itself points up the truth of our being different, but back to the analogy. The bacon bits might be our hyperactive behaviour. Some of us drive fast and hard, some of us exercise to the limits of our physique and beyond, some of us hum and vibrate quietly, drumming fingers, bouncing feet and tapping toes. Is that maple cured bacon? Is it smoked? Was it diced and fried? Or was it fried and crumbled? Was it drained or added to the mix, grease and all?
Always, but lets look at something more relevant. The human body is a structure that runs on chemical reactions. There are chemicals within us, and there are chemicals we put into ourselves in the form of food and drink.
Some of the chemicals in food are used to create energy by way of well documented chemical processes. Others are used to facilitate the extraction or manufacture of … you guessed it, still more, needed chemicals for Central Nervous System (CNS) communication.
Just as your computer or your smartphone or tablet runs on electrical impulses, your CNS communication with itself and your body utilize similar chemical and physical reactions.
We are constructed from a genetic blueprint that is contained in our DNA. No two individuals, with the exception of monozygotic or identical twins, have the same blueprint. And even Identical twins develop differently from the time the zygote splits into two embryos. So no two of us with ADHD are going to be the same chemical soup.
And no two of us experience the environment the same, nor do we experience the same environment. Part of our environment is the things we consume, our food and drink. Additionally, there are activities and consumables that we avail ourselves of, whose effects are not required for maintenance of life. These are the things we use to medicate, either prescribed or not. They alter our reactions to, and production or extraction of, chemicals used for CNS communication.
With all the differences between you and I and the next person, genetics, environment, upbringing, it’s a wonder we recognize each other as the same species.
Yet we do. And further more, we often recognize and sympathize with those who share our diagnosis, the members of this tribe who have ADHD, our family.
Thank goodness we are not all alike. But thank that goodness again, that we are enough alike that we can listen to each others woes, cry on each others shoulders, laugh at each others foibles (in an empathetic way), share each others successes, and even offer each other advice.
We’ve got each other, if little else, right?
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Last reviewed: 7 Jan 2013