we gotta get out from under the thumb of the DSM
I think framing neurodivergence as a adaptable response to environmental makes me feel more connected and part of the world, which is part of what the problem is, right? Takes all the acronyms out of the mix and names the fact that we, like other species, are going to adapt and respond to the changes in our environment.
A species stops ignoring the sensory information it gets from its environment and because of this causes harm to self & environment? Turn up the sensory information - do you hear/feel/see it now? A species puts certainty in place of responding to cycles and change in their environment? Turn up the radar.. notice the changes... stop being distracted from what your body needs and feels moment to moment.
Remember when they said animals getting covid could die if they lose smell/taste because those are survival mechanisms? What is happening to us in a world where we ignore our own needs and feelings and don't acknowledge others either? Numbing our senses hasn't helped.
Sorry, a bit of a rant. But I am all about making sense of myself in the world. I belong here. My neurodivergence is supposed to help me and all of us. Trying to make us all linear thinkers who cannot be in community has led us right to climate change. Maybe those of us who can't ignore the information we are getting anymore will eventually help us start responding to ourselves, one another and nature in a way that is interdependent and needs-based.
And if not, may we at least be able to connect with ourselves and those who also see this and us. Having that available to at least some of us is better than none.
Thank you Jess. Your articulation of the cultural prison we inhabit is exquisite, poignant, and opens my eyes to the way out. <3
"But I refuse to feel bad about these things or call them disordered. The problem is society’s rigid, narrow rules for what is an acceptable way to be a person, not the fact that I fall outside of them." - this would sit fine with me apart from the fact I am responsible for other people (my children) and regularly fail them and make their lives worse due to my lack of executive function. maybe I'm hypersensitive at the moment (recently diagnosed with ADHD after a lifetime of feeling lazy and stupid) but your definition seems to minimise the struggles that we face by defining them as just our unhealthy internalising of an unrealistic societal standard – i.e. something that is our responsibility to change.
This is fascinating. I don't meet any clinical criteria for ADHD, but it's possible I've just been accommodating myself so long and so well that it's just not a *problem* for me, so I don't think about it that way. But I definitely don't live my life anything like "normal". I often have no idea what time it is, what day it is--I rely on calendar alerts and reminders for that. I do dozens of different tasks all day, based entirely on what I feel like doing moment by moment, because I've set up my whole life to allow me to live like that. Following my intrinsic motivation became a non-negotiable for me a long time ago, because living any other way feels terrible. School *always* felt terrible. Jobs felt terrible. The only thing that doesn't feel terrible is doing whatever I want, whenever I want. Which I guess at this point just feels like an *obviously better way to live* to me (if you can manage it), and it feels very weird to call it "time blindness" and label it a disorder. But, "I am my sensitivity to stimulus, my prolific ideation, my spiral style of doing and being."...yeah, that sounds like me. 🤷🏼♀️
The meme = *chef kiss*
Could you make that meme a print LMAO it's amazing. I also love your words around the acceptance of self and strongly resisting pathologizing things about yourself for no reason other than capitalism disapproves.
i love this article so much. i have sent it to many people. I have so much to say about it!! but for now.... what about that name.... Are there any better contenders out there? I really dislike the name ADHD. I feel that we can all just choose to call it something more accurate...
ADHD as identity v disorder Or, v a very valid way to understand the bigger pictures of the universe.
I am starting to see that the many and various points of interest that loop in around me while distraction, are not mere distractions, they are very often the bits of information needed to build a meaningful picture. Very often the pictures, or the issues I'm trying to grips with, are defined quite tightly by other people - put within a clear 'scope' with other factors intentionally excluded. Those limitations infuriate me. I want to bring in 'what if's and 'what about's and ask, what actually is the point of what we are doing? Is it upside down and inside out? Are we understanding trees by looking for wood to burn, or have we stood back and seen the whole tree and do we know there's a whole root system too.
I drive people mad at work and, in some ways, I have the same effect on myself and I think that shame is an outcome of so often being told to focus, to get my head out of the clouds and so on. Well, to be honest - quite often they are wrong. They 'fix' problems based on an assessment of a range of factors that is too limited and which will fail because of other factors that they ignored (I work for the UK government - no worse than most apart from us having elected for our leader, one of the rejected characters from the Muppets).
They are demonstrating what I have nicely defined for them as Normal Person's Narrow Perspective Disorder (NPNPD). It's a state in which people wholeheartedly and determinedly believe that there is only one, pretty narrow, perspective and that others who claim to see in more of a 3 dimensional web that is moving through time (imagine a spherical rather than flat disk for a world.. absurd..) are experiencing some sort of disorder of expanded thinking.
And, what is worse is that those with NPNPD are in the majority and they are the ones in authority backed up by diagnosis, pathologies and books to buy. They define their untwisty, straight wee line views of the universe and require us to try to balance on them line tightropes when what we could be doing is standing on the ground, on the earth saying - just look at this whole fucking amazing universe!
But - we must get in boxes that are too small, persist with arguments that are too narrow, and be diagnosed for the pain we feel when that all just gets to be too much. Try to climb out, or just fail to be able to be contained and the disorder that forms part of the label becomes an action - a cause of disorder and we get fired, or punished, or shouted at to Pay Attention!
Identity - not NPNPD.