ADHD….What is it all about? Why are there so many misconceptions about it? Why do some people find it such a negative thing? Probably because of the myths and lies that have been bandied about by people who simply don’t want to admit to it being a neuro-diverse condition or use it as an excuse for something they don’t want to address.
Let’s start with the first part…..
What is it all about? Well…for anyone who knows me I see life in pictures and always try to explain ADHD in a picture….so here goes…
The brain transmits information using dopamine. That is point one.
The brain is like a shower….bear with me…..
The shower head is the dopamine transmitter…the bit that send the information off to tell another part of the brain or body to do something….get ready for school, eat, tie your shoe laces….whatever…..
The water is the dopamine….gushing out of the shower head carrying all that information.
The shower tray is the dopamine receiver….pulling the water down the plug hole and sending it off to the right place.
In a neurotypical brain (a non ADHD brain – I won’t say normal as that is insulting and “normal is boring”) the shower tray works perfectly. It collects the water in the bottom and pulls it through to send it off.
In an ADHD brain the hole is partially blocked or only very tiny. This means that water that should be going down its pipes is simply bouncing back of the base and back into the downpouring of water….splashing back up adding information that hasn’t been processed into more information being sent to process….a mess of information that is too much to decipher and sort.
So here we come in with medication…..a lot of people have the misconception that ADHD medication is a sedative….I did originally….and that is partly fuelled by the likes of Oliver North publicly blaming “zombied up ADHD kids for mass school shootings” (this is a downright lie and there has been no proven link or diagnosis but it adds to the myth and misconception).
Anyway..I digress….I do that!
Back to medication and our shower….
ADHD medication is actually a stimulant…..and it makes the receptors work harder…essentially it drills holes into the shower tray or unblocks the plug so that more water can be pulled away from the tray.
The reason it has a calming effect is because there is less water (dopamine/information) bouncing around. The brain is a calmer place now meaning that the person is calmer.