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Stimulation, First Responders, and Pandemics

no pandemonium
Keep calm and … oh wait, we are

On Friday I wrote “Having ADHD means constantly coping with the myriad little issues that make up our disorder. We compensate for one thing and three more things pop up in our lives.”

I was talking about how those of us with ADHD seem to be less agitated, less “freaked out” over the COVID-19 virus pandemic than the neuro-typical population is.

And in fact, a discussion ensued in one of my favorite online ADHD communities about this very thing.

And one person had a brilliant insight to offer.

They pointed out …

They noted the stimulant effect of this kind of stress.

And I immediately saw the reality of that.

It is the adrenaline producing emergent stress that happens in incidents of war and accidents and emergency medicine and first response jobs that attracts many of us to the life of the soldier and paramedic and fire fighter and police officer.

We thrive while others fail

Okay, maybe they don’t FAIL fail, but they do not do as well as we often do in such situations.

The stimulation that comes from being in an unusual situation is exactly what we need to help us focus and keep calm.

Creating drama

Many of us have learned that creating dramatic situations helps us function.

And sometimes we have utilized that in order to feel good. It does nothing for our social lives, no one wants to be around us when we are being dramatic weirdos, but some of us know what it does for us and we’re willing to make the trade of acceptance for feeling better, focused, in control even if we’re only in control of making life hellish.

But in these times?

In these confusing and trying times, the stimulation of the whole pandemic social strangeness, that’s enough drama for us to be able to relax and let these times be our medicine.

Now, I’m not saying this is a good thing. But I am saying this is our time to shine and it is our turn to look after others if we have the opportunities.

We can be social first responders

We can defuse situations, diffuse negative dialogues, calmly answer the questions that are asked out of fear and anxiety.

We can help other people out when they can’t be calm, by being examples of calm in a storm.

And we can surprise them with being the go to people we know we can be, when they had no idea we were the ones they could rely on in times like these.

And times like these are times full of stimulation, first responders, pandemics, and people with ADHD.


Stimulation, First Responders, and Pandemics

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 on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of 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 am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with 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

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2020). Stimulation, First Responders, and Pandemics. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Mar 2020
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