Dopamine Deficiency Disorder
To my followers, I wish to say sorry this departs from the usual blockchain-related posts; you don’t know this, but I have ADHD; it’s evident to those of you that know me and put up with my texts.
Since this summer, I’ve been on a journey of discovering what ADHD is, how it affects people and its various impacts on individual characters.
If you don’t know me very well, you will think I’m some crazy guy with good ideas, passion and drive. If you know me well, you think I’m lazy, make stupid decisions, and riddled with self-doubt. You can say I’m Schrodinger’s genius, simultaneously brilliant and dull.
I’m writing this today as I realized that Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder has the wrong name. Although, since summer 2020, I’ve been following various ADHD bloggers, I’ve read countless books for and by ADHD and realized that my peers share many symptoms of ADHD, but how we adapt to it is entirely different.
This is why rebranding ADHD is essential; more people would get the diagnosis they need for a more fulfilled life.
So what is ADHD
According to the DSM-V, the textbook of brain variation and disorders published by the APA (American Psychological Association):
ADHD is a ‘persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development’.
These are the five traits that would determine if you have ADHD:
As you can see, according to the main description of ADHD, someone is on too much coffee or with poor eating habits. Yes, poorly balanced nutrition can also cause people to develop ADHD symptoms, thus the need for entire patient history when making the diagnosis); basically, anyone can seem like they have ADHD; this is part of why it is a target by scientifically illiterate people who have claimed that it’s just an excuse to sell medication by big pharma. I will not discuss this.
Okay, that’s nice, Alex, but what is ADHD to you?
Well, I’m an incredibly focused person, either on one person, ‘hi, to all the women I’ve crushed on and scared away throughout the years.
Or on one subject that is abandoned a few years later: nuclear energy, woodworking, explosives, travelling, languages, etc.
It’s hard for me to focus, and when I start doing something, I can get furious at being pulled out of it because ADHD is like driving in a snowstorm at night with random lights everywhere and some dubstep yelling at you.
I’m sorry if you ever were the victim of my focus departure rage.
All my teachers: you’d be brilliant if you applied yourself, but ADHD people do use ourselves, like AI’s we master 80% of a new topic in a short time, but the effort to stay with it, like the dopamine reward it gives us, diminishes exponentially. Most people, not just ADHD brethren, will agree New is good exciting; what differentiates us is that we depend on new for our dopamine fixes, and that’s the reason for our change in passions.
Alright, Alex, it’s a lot of words you’re writing to say you’re crazy; what’s the point (I hear my dad’s voice)
The point is, dear reader, that ADHD is a catch-all term; the moniker is a net that says, okay, you have this, but currently being debated by different researchers in the field is sub-variants of ADHD. I learned this from a book recommended to me by one of the best people I’ve ever met; Scattered Minds by Gabor Maté. This book, albeit a bit long for casual reading, will give you great insight into the ADHD mind (the book also claims knowledge to reverse ADHD, I wouldn’t go as far, but for its insight into what ADHD is and how it manifests worth it.
So you keep talking, but what’s wrong with a catch-all term?
Creating a massive category like ADHD makes it lose its focus, simply put, it would be like Procter and Gamble having the P&G name in front of their millions of offerings. P&G Soda with your PG cleaning solution, anyone?
ADHD isn’t inclusive, and it lumps people together by name who aren’t similar. For example, colleagues and friends of mine have ADHD but aren’t neurotic. Some of us are artists; others are mathematicians, scientists, doctors and soldiers.
By lumping us into one category, people who aren’t diagnosed may only know partial information and think, this isn’t for me, I’m not like this, or have masked so well, they forget that it is them.
I’m sorry to divert to masking now. I won’t stay here long.
Here are seven ways people mask ADHD. I know my friend reading this will text me to Frigg off, sorry bud.
Most of us with ADHD will recognize ourselves in a few if not all of these.
You can read more about masking from here. This brings be back to what’s wrong with the term ADHD.
Moving Away from ADHD:
The first time I thought of calling ADHD something besides my curse/superpower was from this video by one of my favourite ADHD influencers, Connor DeWolfe, who calls it DAVE. I will post it here hyperlinked the URL to his link tree. If you live with or have friends with ADHD, Connor makes some of the best informative and amusing ADHD content right now. Please give him a follow on Insta or TikTok.
Dave is a pretty good start, but it still focuses on the outward appearance. Although branding wise, saying #imwithdave or #Davehasme works well, it still focuses on symptoms people may or may not know how to cope with-it.
A 1/4 of D12 baby!
I propose Dopamine Dysregulation Disorder ( I think I may have gotten this from a book, maybe Scattered Minds, if I did, please email me the title, page of the name and publication date, and I will credit you)
I will never refer to ADHD again as such. D³ is in, baby!
Living with DDD is mainly categorized by people doing extreme things for dopamine. Everyone craves it, but people in our category cannot regulate it.
Many people would welcome a name like Dopamine Deficiency Disorder because it doesn’t immediately label people with negative personality traits; it would be the same as saying I have impaired vision. But unfortunately, many terms for non-neurotypicals associate symptoms to names, making it harder to accept. So that’s my conclusion.
Thanks for reading!
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