Some History: Data, Knowledge and other Details...
Updated: Jun 10
Eight years ago, on April 11, 2011, I submitted my research thesis, “ADHD: Does it have a Neurophysiological Basis or is it a Social Construct?”
Writing that paper re-oriented me on my life path.
Accumulating the knowledge and the depth of information required to submit, and do well, shifted my frame of thinking.
At 24 years old, all I thought I wanted was to graduate from university, find a boring job and lead a life of pleasant normality. (Yes, this would include marriage, children, a dog, maybe a hypo-allergenic cat, a Japanese fighting fish named “Gin no uraji”and a white picket fence).
I started constructing my paper, expecting to find a concrete black or white answer. Which is a typical, or shall I say, fairly standard expectation given that I was researching a clinical diagnosis that involved drug interventions to (drum roll, please) children.
Suffice it to say, I finished my research alarmed by the amount of grey that existed… on a topic that impacts several million future generations of people. The pattern of grey persisted in such a way that part of me felt, and continues to feel, that there is an insidious logic and rationale behind the construction of ADHD.
I became that annoying friend at dinner parties, with friends who still had no children, broaching the topic of the social political implications of power inherent in our broadly utilized and seldomly criticized North American Diagnostics Statistics Manual.
Asking to those who would indulge me, “What do you think it means, really? The implications that exist when generations of people are medicated and socially conditioned to think they are broken, when really, we have no data to suggest any truth-validity in that understanding?"
Cue fear-stricken stares and a mix of eyes glazing over, “Rachelle, you need to chill.”
In any case, that was eight years ago. I am wiser now (maybe), and my friends all have children (mostly). So, now when I initiate these conversations, my friends’ contributions have much more clout than back in the day, when it was simply armchair philosophizing about a life stage that seemed far away and mostly triggered commitment-phobia.
I’ve also reached a stage in my life where I’m done talking about implications and I’m ready to do something about, what I believe is, a true epidemic. I am passionately and vehemently an anti-drug interventionist advocate for children. I use the word, “vehemently” with much intention.
I am passionately against the idea that one should medicate their child to treat behavioural manifestations not concretely rooted in an actual major mood disorder: neurophysiological or neuro-chemical disruptions. I am of the opinion that if your child does NOT have a major mood disorder, all else can be treated with alternative methodologies that play on the duality between neuro-behavioural interactions.
What are neuro-behavioural interactions?
They are the interactions that allow one to reasonably deduce that some behaviours that we see, are driven by what is happening in the brain, and therefore conclude that some of what we do, influences the orientation of neural pathways in the brain.
With that logic in mind, we can create methodologies that are meant to draw out behaviours that positively impact our neurophysiology. Specifically in ways that helps us be more autonomous, demonstrate higher degrees of self-efficacy and become more compassionate.
This is my mission.
I know too much about this information, and have seen enough in both my personal and professional interactions, to not at the very least try and bring something into existence.
If you are a parent who wants to focus on their child's intellectual and character development, or who is dealing with a child who suffers from low self-esteem, or a child’s diagnosis of ADHD, or simply struggling with a child that is hard to raise, I really need you to know that you have an alternate choice that does not include drug interventions. You have Project Purpose.
Welcome to our community.
Check out my thesis: