AM or FM

radio dial
Dialing in the differences

Radio waves are broadcast in two different ways, FM, frequency modulation, or AM, amplitude modulation.

I won’t bother to explain the difference between the two, if at one time I had even a tenuous grasp of what this meant, even then I was in no position to be able to educate anyone about it.

Also, those of you who know the difference, good for you. It has nothing to do with this post, other than the fact that, on the surface, the same thing seems to happen, though it happens in different ways.

And so it is with humanity. We all appear to be the manifestation of a genetic plan that produces relatively identical individuals.


No, relatively identical. That is to say that you would not look at a human being and mistake it for an ostrich or a horse, or, for that matter, even an ape.

But, in most cases you would not mistake one human for another, hence “individuals.”

So, AM? FM?

The whole AM or FM thing popped into my head when a discussion ensued online about the internal monologue. Apparently there is some question about whether neuro-typical people have such a thing. Many of us feel that they likely do. Some are now wondering.

I wanted to know so I asked the nearest NT and was told that the monologue was there.

I was also told that it maybe goes away when they are busy or stressed, or perhaps it doesn’t go away but they are able to ignore it, the respondent was unsure, but the result was effectively the same.

ADHD isn’t …

Well, my ADHD isn’t like that. In fact, it might be the opposite.

When I’m busy or stressed (there’s a difference?) my inner voice gets louder, more demanding.

And then …

Then I realized that people were talking about an inner monologue. How singularly boring is that? In my head, there is dialogue. Maybe it’s me taking all the parts, but there are parts to the conversations in there. Questions are asked, answers are given, observations are made and are sometimes praised, or ridiculed. Certain characters are sometimes made to take a time out … have I said to much?

The point is, that I think that this aspect, like all aspects of ADHD is a symptom that is present in the entire human population, and that having ADHD means that we experience it with greater frequency and intensity than others do.

Thus …

While all humans look “relatively identical” you can’t tell by looking at them whether they have ADHD or not, any more than you can listen to a hand held radio and be able to identify whether the transmission it is replicating is the result of amplitude or frequency modulation.

I strongly feel that, although these symptoms we experience affect our lives negatively, that negative effect is the result of how often and how much we have to deal with these things, not just that we have to deal with them.

I believe we are not so different, we’re just having to deal with more.

Well, that’s what I told myself.

AM or FM

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2019). AM or FM. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 17 May 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.