By Callum Golding
Apr 22, 2015
There are three main components that make up ADHD and in varying degrees I can see these being applied to a vast majority of humans growing up in today’s toxic culture.
Poor impulse control
The word cortex means bark, like that of a tree, it is a thin layer of the brain and it is where the most evolved activities are processed. The right pre-frontal cortex includes the functions of impulse control, social and emotional intelligence and attention. EEG is a test that scans electrical activity in your brain. EEG studies have shown that children with ADD, when asked to perform certain activities, record brain waves that are slow during these tasks. Other children monitored were recorded to have much faster waves under these conditions. The contradiction is that hyperactivity of the mind and body is likely caused by an underactivity of the cortex. The cortex in ADD, or in fact anyone who suffers from poor impulse control is lacking the inhibitory or restriction process, the part that helps us not to act on urges. The brain often gets flooded with sensory data, thoughts, feelings and impulses. The cortex is effectively operating at a semi-dormant level for most sufferers hence the efficacy and benefit of using stimulant prescriptions. Stimulant drugs arouse the inhibitory function, therein allowing an individual to think clearer and deal better with impulse. These drugs wake up the under developed circuitry and have the identical effects of cocaine insofar as they increase levels of dopamine, alertness and productivity. Dopamine is the natural reward and motivation hormone that appears to be lacking in many areas of mental health. So how can we combat this without self or professional medication? Why is there a drastic rise in mental illnesses? What is stopping our development as human beings? The National Institute of Mental Health did studies between 2001 and 2003 and found that at some point in their lives, 46% of Americans met the criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association for at least one mental illness.
ADD is almost certainly a problem of development as opposed to that of pathology or illness. When looked at this way it sets us off in a much more useful direction unlike that dictated by the narrow medical approach. Illness models are not useful as we look exclusively for biological or physiological answers. If we choose not to see this as a medical disorder or illness the question of causation can be flipped around. If we can recognize that self-regulation and self-motivation are nature driven then we can start to look at ways to deal with this much more effectively. It is becoming increasingly obvious that this worldwide development disorder is deeply rooted in nature, environment and society as a whole. The questions we should be asking are, what conditions do we need for psychological maturation and improvement? What conditions would hinder this process? What conditions allow unfettered development and what conditions obstruct it? Medication can certainly arouse the higher brain centres and release the needed dopamine but using these drugs is turning our back on the reality we are facing. It is an ugly world out there and society is going to need to change but we can only make these changes when we feel brave enough to stand up.
There is one simple way to start boosting your dopamine levels today and changing the world from the comfort of your own home, and that is, meditation. The benefits of meditation have been proven in thousands of studies. Not only can it naturally increase dopamine, improving focus and concentration, but regular meditators experience enhanced ability to learn, increased creativity, and deep relaxation. I have a prerogative to attest to these truths and state how my life has changed to an unrecognisable degree in just over 7 months of practice. It is by no means an easy task to maintain and most days you will make every excuse under the sun to avoid it. But therein lays the necessity for repetition. Just 20 minutes of your day can reprogram your entire brain circuitry. It really is that simple. We are going to need everyone to be the strongest version of themselves in order to bring about the change that the world desperately needs and if you are looking for a free and guaranteed way to develop that energy look no further than within yourself. As the great Greek philosopher Socrates once said.... 'Know thyself'