Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reflection: Whelment Issues

I found a book Fidget to Focus on the lobby bookcase and have been read it intensely. Ever since college, I have been aware that I identify with some ADHD behaviors characteristics (again) others are simply the polar opposite of me. A relatively new theory, based on brain research: that a person with ADD has some brain systems that process stimuli so poorly that it results in constant boredom, or underwhelment.

I not only sleep well with caffeine in my system -- I seem to sleep better with all around lousy sleep hygiene. I know there are people who can remember me sleeping on the couch of a 16 bedroom co-op, amidst the chaos and the activity. I wonder if anyone sees some humor in the following passage. "Fidget strategies work for falling asleep, just the way they do during the day, the goal being to help us achieve optimal arousal for a given activity. One mother reports that her daughter, who occasionally declared herself too bored to sleep, experimented with different sleeping venues: the floor, the couch, and once even the bathtub."

On the next line, though, I cease to identify with the phenomenon: "Changing where she slept created just enough novelty that the strategy worked every time." There's a general assumption that the chronically bored seek out novelty... But what if one's brain processes novelty so poorly, on an emotional level, that they simply fail to experience normal 'whelment' from it? What if, in order to experience 'optimal arousal' or 'whelment', they have to get a good rhythm going?

To be continued...