Friday, June 9, 2017

ADHD Mini Essay

ADHD was actually an evolutionary advantageous adaptation to hunter/gatherer societies. The ADHD brain needs constant stimulation and short-term rewards. Hunting and tracking an animal, or searching for food/resources is full of stimulation, sensory data, and great reward. In other words, people with ADHD were amazing hunter/gatherers, and it started to become more genetically common because hey, people who can bring food home were sexy back then.
When we moved towards an agricultural society, aka very boring, repetitive crop and animal care with long-term instead of short-term rewards, ADHD started to become a "problem." Watering crops and weeding each day is boring, with very little reward on a daily basis. Feeding an animal, breeding it, waiting for it to give birth, and waiting for it to reach maturity for eating takes a very long time too. People with ADHD do not thrive in these kind of jobs. It's boring, it isn't stimulating, and has a low reward factor.
In our society ADHD is no longer an advantage, because we are all expected to do the same shit every day, keep the same routine, etc... Wake up, go to school, sit still, graduate, get a job, wake up, go to work. It's a terribly boring routine. This is unfortunately why so many kids and adults with ADHD look for outside stimulation. Some become addicted to tech like video games (constant stimulation and rewards), drugs (instant reward), or high-risk behaviors (high stimulation and rewards). They get punished or drugged for trying to seek what their genetics and brains crave.
This is why people with ADHD need to throw away other people's expectations and do what they know they enjoy, and schools need to stop expecting every kid to "sit still, shut up, and learn."
I have ADHD, really fucking badly. Meds gave me really scary heart palpitations and sent me to the cardiologist, because my heart rate shot up to 140. That's not normal. It was so hard to make it through school. But you know what? Now that I'm done with it, I finally figured out what my real talents are. I love mycology, the study of mushrooms and fungi, and hunting for them out in the wild. I love dogs and taking care of them. I love herping... literally hunting for amphibians/reptiles. I love making art. What I really want to do is breed pacman frogs. Can't do it now because of my living situation, but it's a legitimate job that a lot of people can't handle or can't be bothered to do because it's a shit load of work. For me though, that constant stimulation sounds like a dream.
So fuck the system, and fuck society trying to make people with ADHD fit into their idea of what a "normal" person should be. Drugging people with ADHD isn't the answer. We're just good at different things. We just need to stop being told that different is bad.

- originally a comment I was making on Facebook, but it devolved into an essay

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