ADD / ADHD: Distress Call of a Trapped Soul
My take on ADD / ADHD
I myself have been diagnosed with ADD. Initially, I was happy with the diagnosis. After all, I was convinced there was something wrong with me and could only be helped in a targeted way with a label. But the search for appropriate help only led to more frustration and an increase in symptoms. Until I started looking at it from a completely different point of view. This is how I look at it now.
Science's approach to ADD / ADHD
Is it genetic? Is it an abnormality in the brain? Is it mainly triggered by environmental factors/education? A combination of all that? And what is the appropriate treatment? Medication (and which ones?), behavioural therapy, supplements, homeopathy, neurofeedback, meditation? Everyone has an opinion on it. Each a different experience. Experts everywhere try to convince us: ?come to me. I have the solution! Look I have statistics/numbers that prove it???
However, by always looking at it through a scientific lens, we never get to the heart of the matter. At best, our symptoms are suppressed and we learn to cope with our so-called 'disorder'. The problem is that science views us as mere physical creatures. Sort of like a computer encased in flesh. And if a person experiences problems in his/her functioning, there is something wrong with the hardware. Then there are connections that are wrong, substances that are missing and so on. What we often seem to forget is that we ARE not our body, but that there is something much more essential in that body: a soul, energy, vibrations? That is our essence. But it is not tangible and therefore elusive to science (and everything that is not tangible is nonsense in the eyes of many).
From free soul to trapped human being
When we came into the world, we did not see ourselves as physical entities, separated from our surroundings. We were not delineated. Our bodies were not a barrier within which we felt trapped. We were pure and unconditioned. With no awareness of a separated I.
But soon we felt we needed to adjust our behaviour to a certain socially desirable pattern. And the older we got, the more rules/responsibilities/social expectations. Our free spirit thus became more and more circumscribed. The energy that used to be mostly positive, and free to flow in and out, became charged and largely internalised . Where before we saw life as a voyage of discovery, we learned that everything had already been discovered and our path had already largely been mapped out.
?The world is not a playground! We will tell you what is important! Reading, maths, solving problems, science! That's what's important! Are you a creative conceptual thinker (which is what all so-called AD(H)Ds are)? Tough luck! We think linearly here! Above all, don't take risks, opt for safety and security. Change is bad? And so you sit there behind the classroom window dreaming away. A body full of energy, a head full of ideas. But you have to sit still and remain silent. The teacher thinks you're disinterested, lazy... But you're just bored. The energy accumulates and settles. A head full of fears, a body full of restlessness. "What is it with that child! He can't sit still, often dreams away, can't concentrate!"
Meanwhile, you are thrown into a vat of knowledge. Above all, you are not allowed to explore too much yourself (suppose you come to insights that differ from the prevailing view: you would become an outsider, a ?weirdo?). Don't think, just digest and reproduce. Your head overflows, the knowledge evaporates. You don't understand a thing but other kids seem to understand. So you pretend to understand it all too. Even though you often think to yourself, "this isn't right, it doesn't feel right..." you play the game. Otherwise, they're just going to think you're an odd duck. And you manage it too, albeit with great difficulty.
You learn to repress your dreams because they distract you from 'reality'. Everything is so abstract. To others, it all seems logical. How does it make sense anyway? Am I stupid? Am I different? I read, and read and read. But nothing sticks. I do feel this is very unnatural for me, but my parents and teachers tell me it's the way it should be. So it must be. I have to keep up, or I'll be left behind.
Quest for the cause...
Some of us manage to play the game. At least for a while. Because your essence cannot keep pushing you away. We cling to rules and structure because that is the only grip we seem to have. We need the manual because otherwise we get lost (we think). The idea that we might lose that grip makes us anxious. We keep feeling a kind of restlessness, because somewhere we do know that this is not our way. But we want to be accepted, certainly not to be different. Meanwhile, we believe ourselves that we need lots of money a respectable job, a nice house, pretty smart kids, etc. We no longer see the beauty of the world around us. That energy we had in abundance as children has taken root in our bodies.
We get all kinds of psychological and physical complaints. Where do these come from anyway? You think : "I have everything I should have to be happy. Yet I feel increasingly anxious, restless, tense, I can't sleep, can't concentrate? What is wrong with me anyway? It must be a burnout are. Getting me ff put home?" But the thoughts remain. The anxiety intensifies. "I feel like everything is tottering. That everything could collapse at any moment, that the ground under my feet is going to disappear?"
"What is wrong with me!!! Can someone give me a diagnosis! Can someone please give me medication so it stops!? I'll just enter my symptoms in the search engine: restlessness, difficulty concentrating, sleep problem, forgetfulness, impatient? What does it say: AD(H)D! That's it! It totally matches! Doctor I found it! I have ADHD! Quickly give me an official paper so I can take medication! Just ask me questions, I know what to answer."
The redeeming label?
"I finally have a label! Now I can justify my peculiar behaviour. It's not me, it's my ?disorder? Thank you society for making sense of it all. Thank you science for inventing labels (disorders) so that we can be helped! So that all the rest can get on with the serious game nice and undisturbed."
You may decide to keep taking this game seriously. But because you are in a kind of hypnotic state, you think there is no other way. And you are constantly fighting with yourself. The mind against the feeling. And that internal conflict causes many psychosomatic complaints we experience. That way, however, you will never really get rid of your complaints. There is an alternative: recognise that it's all 'just' a game. Play it along, but don't take it seriously. Follow the rules if you really have to, but above all, follow your own path. Free your soul from the straitjacket! The energy will loosen up and start flowing back. Life will feel much lighter.
Rediscovering the essence: The true redemption
Stop, press the pause button. See the absurdity of the game we are all playing. Reflect on who you really are, and what you really want. Let go of everything you cling desperately to. Because it only makes you restless because you are afraid of losing it.
That is what I am doing now. And really, I experience a peace that I have never experienced before. A sense of freedom! I no longer try to swim against the current of my intuition but float in it. Somehow, I knew for a long time that forcing myself to play the game was making me unhappy and sick. But I thought there was no other way. That I would crash if I let go. But you don't die, on the contrary. It's like being reborn and seeing the world through the eyes of a baby: full of wonder.
My final point: if you want to lump the range of symptoms you experience under one heading for convenience, OK. But don't call it a disorder. That is a fallacy of a society who would rather the individual adapt than admit failure. The complaints we experience are due to the fact that we are free, creative, energetic souls who do not easily allow themselves to be pushed in a certain limiting direction. A conceptual thinker obliged to think linearly. Our minds tell us that we have to (to function ?normally?). And so we suppress our nature, and bottle up our energy. Try what it does to you when you look at the world this way. What happens when you let go of what your mind has made you believe all along and learn to trust your intuition.
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Who am I? It is expected that I will then say: Mathieu Wouters, 37 years old, police inspector, father of two children, married, Belgian, ... Combined with my photo, you then have a superficial idea of who I am in our shared physical reality.
Having never felt at home in this 'reality', I thought I needed an extra label that would explain why I was different. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ADD. An extra label to shape my identity, delineate myself more strongly and be able to seek help in a targeted way.
But it didn't bring me the peace I was looking for. What eventually did is the realisation that beyond this physical world that we all continue to shape every moment, there is a deeper reality. A reality that is much broader and where the soul is at the core. In that reality, I do have the space to be who I am, I don't have to conform to a 'norm'. This is the space we need to experience peace, space we don't get enough of in the physical world.
I used to resist, often unconsciously, the society that was so foreign to me. But that resistance created negative energy that crystallised in my body.
Now I realise I shouldn't hold on. I should not fight. Because that fighting causes suffering. For yourself and often for others around you.
My advice: don't take life too seriously. See it as a game and trust that your soul will bring you to your destination.
I have become a guest blogger for ADDcharacteristics.net to share my views on the collection of traits placed under the AD(H)D banner. After all, I don't really believe in the conventional, limiting explanations :)
What a good text .
It touches me.
And the realisation that I am not the only one who feels this way .
Strengthens me ,
I can do something with this .
Beautiful story! Beautiful realisation that you are now taking a big step forward, some call it an 'awakening'... I myself am not bothered by the word 'disorder'. I feel different from most, if society calls that a disorder, whatever.
living by intuition I already did, now as a father it can be a bit less but still. To keep that intuition focused on what is good for me, that is the trick. Good luck and enjoy your path, vr gr Andres
Ooh wow, what a recognisable article, it does so much good to get words for a feeling I couldn't quite get clear for myself. Thank you for sharing this????
I think the same way sometimes... I'm 21 and studying. Maybe I should become a carpenter or something instead of studying. Sometimes it feels like I'm going against the grain indeed. Why am I doing this? People around me don't understand me.... I am quiet because I have no idea what they are talking about in large groups. I am often not myself because I can't relax.
Wow, beautifully written. Really gets to the heart of my views on those F.. labels. :)) have been working with children and young people with labels for a long time and have 1 myself, and so often it is unhelpful that they think there is something wrong with them. I love helping them on their way to experiencing freedom and being themselves again. Thanks
for your writing. Very Inspiring.
Thank you for your response Jessica! I can imagine the great satisfaction you get from being able to apply your vision in your work, helping children/young people.
On another ADHD forum the other day, I had a discussion about whether or not to label a child.
Perhaps of interest :
First of all, everyone's ALL BEST wishes for 2020
What a wonderful article, very nicely articulated Mathieu!
Your blogs are something I look forward to and totally agree with your views.
In the end, it is all about who we are IN HIS WHOLE and we are NOT the AD(H)D'er , the autistic, the HSP. I look at and treat everyone I work with from an open vision and see them as a TOTAL person. This is also how I see myself. I see my high sensitivity and ADD above all as one of my strengths and talents.
Monique van de Laar
how beautiful, how lovely
I too was diagnosed at 33, after many frustrations....
but now 2020 will be my year, I have already learnt, changed and discovered so much. there can be silence in my head... and with my almost 45 lengths I am happier than ever.
hard work, but so worth it.
I wish it to everyone
Thanks for your response! Super that, after those years of frustration (which we can all imagine), you are so positive about it.
In what way can you get tested for ADD? Do you go to a GP for this or rather to a neurologist? Is it possible to give some more concrete tips on 'how' to let go of everything? How to discover what you really want.... do this through meditation, therapy, being creative, others....? Thanks in advance! Would really help me already!
First of all, Mathieu! Thank you for this incredibly well-worded piece! I experience it the way you describe it.
And @Els, I have benefited immensely from Access Bars treatments from Access Consciousness. Just Google it :) Love!
Thanks Els for your response!
How to let go : I find one of the most difficult questions to give a clear answer to. I'm going to try to answer it from my own experience. First, I think you have to have reached a point where you think : It can't go on like this. I am tired of being unhappy/anxious, of feeling restless all the time and so on. But to turn that around, you have to know where those emotions are coming from. In my case, for example, it had a lot to do with a conflict between external reality and the way I felt about things, fear of change, searching for a higher purpose in my life, feeling trapped, etc....
The problem is the oversupply of possible treatments....You can choose stimulant drugs, behavioural therapy, neurofeedback, all kinds of supplements and so on. Especially when you start looking on the internet, you drown in a sea of information. One 'expert' says this, another says that. And all do their best to convince you (often out of self-interest). As a result, my anxiety worsened. I really felt lost after my diagnosis.
It's hard for me to fill in for you. But I finally decided to follow my own path to healing (insofar as you can speak of healing when you realise that symptoms are mostly not caused by a 'defect' in our body). At some point, my attention was drawn to books on 'consciousness'. Books that deal with living in the 'NOW'. Books by the likes of Eckhart Tolle, Alan Watts, Penney Pierce, etc... Those books gave a very different view on reality/life than the one instilled in us from childhood. While reading those books, a peace overwhelmed me that I had never experienced before. What I read was so enlightening, refreshing and aligned with how I had always intuitively sensed things.
Getting back to your question 'How to let go'. For me, it came down to the following insights : Don't live in the past or in the future. Everything that has happened cannot be changed. Sometimes it is important to know where certain things come from (trauma and the like). But after that, it is also important not to dwell on it. By continuing to think about it, you keep feeding/energising negative thoughts. At the same time, you should also not fixate on the future in the hope that it can bring redemption. By fixating on the future, you place everything in function of it and forget to live in the moment. The only moment that exists is the NOW. At the same time, see the relativity of everything. Everything is constantly changing, nothing is permanent. So don't cling to things, people, beliefs... Try to go with the waves of life. And try to trust that your soul will bring you to your destination. Because it will. And if you don't resist what is, don't swim against the current, you will get to that destination faster.
As for a possible diagnosis : ask yourself the question 'Is a diagnosis, a label going to give me what I am looking for?' If, like me, you are looking for peace of mind, it is not going to help you immediately. AD(H)D is not a disease, not a disorder and therefore cannot be 'cured'. Because of the label, you are going to get therapy/medication that will suppress your symptoms. But at the core, nothing is going to change (in my opinion).
Note Administrator: Your above comment had accidentally ended up in the spam folder. When this happens I manually restore it. Your comment is now there. Thanks for your extensive responses Mathieu :)
I had just typed a very long reply, but it suddenly disappeared :o
I'm going to try to summarise.
I think the question of how to let go of everything is one of the hardest questions to answer. First and foremost, it requires that you have reached a point where you say : I'm tired of being unhappy, anxious/ restless all the time/frequently. Often you have to reach a low point or go through a long hard period before you reach this point.
After my diagnosis, I was looking for appropriate treatment. But I felt like I was drowning in an oversupply of possible treatments : cognitive therapy, supplements, neuro-feedback, stimulants... It made me many times more restless.
I decided to give up my search and then 'accidentally' came across books on consciousness. Books by the likes of Eckhart Tolle, Penney Peirce, Alan Watts,... that paint a picture of a very different reality from the one we are instilled with from childhood. Those books are about limitless consciousness, energy, living in the NOW and so on.
The main insight I got from those books :
Letting go is done by realising that you should not live in the past or the future. The past can no longer be changed. It is important to know where certain things come from (trauma and the like). But by constantly paying attention to the past, you keep feeding negative thoughts. And by pinning your hopes on the future, on a moment that will bring redemption, you forget to live in the NOW. Trust that your soul will bring you to your destination. Don't swim against the current, you will get to that destination more quickly and suffer less pain. Everything changes, nothing is permanent. Therefore, don't cling to people, things, thoughts, beliefs... Go with the waves of life and don't cling....
That's the best advice I can give (right now :) )
As for those tests for ADD : ask yourself what you want to achieve with them. If you want medication and appropriate therapy to alleviate the symptoms, it may help you further. But real healing (insofar as you can cure a disorder that doesn't really exist) starts, in my opinion at least, only with changing consciousness.
Dear Mathieu, how brave of you to be so open and honest!
I am convinced that sometimes/often we all go overboard with labelling and diagnosing, partly due to the perverse incentives in our healthcare system that rewards getting extra help or reimbursements through a diagnosis, etc!
The pressure of an increasingly complex society with its abundance of information and choices often only makes it harder for people with AD(H)D characteristics, etc!
It's clever when you can come back to yourself and your own identity in a very unique way!
Hello Mario. Thank you for your response.
You are right about that pressure from society and the abundance of information. Whereas I used to think I should let those pressures define my life, I have now come to realise that you can also let those pressures pass you by. By not clinging to certainties... seeing change as something positive... seeing the relativity of everything....
I solve this information overload by consciously choosing the sources of information myself and no longer letting myself be paralysed by the deluge of (often insufficiently verified, or coloured) info we receive through all kinds of channels.
Thanks for your very pleasant presentation Mathieu! A particularly nice feature of AD(H)D is to look further and deeper than mainstream does. And you do. You articulate almost exactly my thoughts. I myself was diagnosed with mostly ADD 3 years ago and started my search. In daily life, I run a coaching, counselling and couples therapy practice. The remarkable thing is that about 30-40 % of my clients are on this spectrum, a lot of whom I have referred because they didn't know it. When they come in, I feel it; the energy, the hunger for meaning and significance, the creativity and impulsiveness and the 'all over the place' ability to concentrate.
I am also long past the stamp of 'disorder'. When judgement, fear, shame and guilt are allowed to give way and the emotions can be regulated more and more, an enormous source of potential is released that still amazes me almost daily. What a wonderful person that AD(H)D'er is!
Fun fact Mathieu is that I quit 2 years ago after 19 years in the Marechaussee and became self-employed. I have been told that the AD(H)D percentage in Police or Defence is many times higher than civilian society. And that does not surprise me at all given the profile :)
Nice of you to keep blogging. I look forward to seeing your insights!
Best wishes for 2020 and, above all, a free and maladjusted life. Even in the police system.
Ewout van de Groep
Hey Ewout. Thanks for your nice comment! I took a look at your site... What a career change! In any case, I think your vision is super.
Especially the phrase 'judgement brings separation, empathy connects'. However, when I was still doing interventions, I found that very difficult to apply in practice all the time. As you put it, it was mostly a case of 'conflict management on the outside'. And that brings no long-term solution.
Also recognisable that you had to go through a tough period to reach that tipping point. Looking back, I am very grateful for that. It led me to many insights, which in turn provided the peace I needed so much
Greetings, and all the best for 2020!
How well written so clearly and so recognisable.
I was diagnosed with ADHD/ADD that I was 55.
Everything puzzle pieces suddenly fell into place.
As a child, I was often slapped by my mother,because I was unruly(she thought)
I felt different from other children..What was wrong with me,I didn't understand anything....
And then,many years down the line the diagnosis..Medications I do not use.
Some supplements though..It is still busy and restless in my head though.
On top of that, I also have fibromyalgia..Well believe me,these 2 conditions are no friends to each other..But,such is my life, and I manage quite well..I do have a lot of support from my 3 dogs....
Thank you for your nice comment. That of the 'unruly child' is also recognisable. They are often children who intuitively sense that something is not right. That the rules that are imposed restrict their freedom too much and stand in the way of their development (that's how I feel).
I am glad my two daughters have temperament and are not too docile :)
Good that you can manage without medication!
AD(H)D Yaa Beautifully written.
Diagnosed at 55, a DNA test by Prof VERHOEVEN in Venray of the Gogh clinic showed that there was something wrong with me or that I always felt different, but I also had this examined because I felt I was failing in this life...
On chromosome pair 16...there is a "flaw" there and it is hereditary.
Am 60 have son with autistic to related problems..and had a daughter with Williams syndrome.....
People with such an AD(H)D defect...
more easily get children with pre-said problems...etc.
At the genetic institute for heredity research, they explained it all to me...but just as well...despite some help too...I continue to find it difficult to find my place in society...ps my creativity keeps me going....
Hello Hilde. Thank you for your response.
Still, somewhere I think it's unfortunate that you still feel that something is 'wrong' with you. Indeed, we experience many obstacles because we are wired differently. But it is mainly mainstream science and medicine that wants us to believe that this 'being different' is a disorder.
I also feel out of place in this society. But I don't want to fit in. I have my own view of the world. And this, like that of many AD(H)D-ers, HSP-ers and relatives is much broader than the narrow view of reality that is rammed down our throats. We can transcend this instead of letting our fears bring us down.
Top Mathieu! Incredibly beautifully worded and very recognisable. Thanks to my meditation and playing the ridiculous social game nicely, I manage to hold my own a bit. I am now 43 and feel more Child than ever. It only gets more fun? Good luck with everything amigo! Greetings, Hendrik
Hey Hendrik. Thanks for your response! I think that's what it comes down to : not wringing yourself too much into the role of 'serious adult', but maintaining or rediscovering the spontaneity, playfulness, fantasy, wonder of the child in yourself.
However, many take life far too seriously, cling to it, and let negative emotions get them down...
Very recognisable all... beautiful your openness and how you find your way.....
Great blog. Totally true and nice to see it articulated so clearly for once
I know I was a war victim in my past life and all those fears and emotions are still in our dna. This makes us confused from all the impressions here. Many adhd people are reincarnated war victims.
Hello Margit. Am curious though how you know this... Regression under hypnosis? Am also quite interested in the topic of reincarnation. When we talk about trauma, too often we only think about traumas suffered in the present lives. While traumas from past lives can just as easily leave their mark.