9/13/2009

It's all about the Dopamine, even this.

I don't know about you, but I get a rush of energy when I wake up in the morning with something I want to write about. I feel a tug almost in my belly that pulls me towards that keyboard. I've got things to say, and I feel it in my bones, in my body, this yearning, pulling tug towards that activity. Sort of like shoe shopping, if you will.Writing is my shoe shopping (well, when I'm not actually shoe shopping). It's what gets that dopamine pinging in the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens.

It sets me off, fires me up, makes my day. It fuels me. I'm sure you can see where I'm going on this. We all have something that does that for us (people in the deep recesses of a depression do not have this, cannot imagine having this, don't believe they ever did, but that's another essay for another day). Even those folks who all they do is bitch, whine, and moan. They're doing it for the dopamine. I'd guarantee. I'd even run a study on it if I could get the grant to run funtional MRIs on them as they engage in the behavior. I'd hypothesize those two areas of the brain light right on up when they are in mid rant.

What am I saying?

Those folks over at AoA  and Huff who seem to be on a ceaseless rant about how awful their lives are and how it's big government and pharma's fault everything has gone wrong and it's a giant conspiracy? Huge dopamine releases. Has to be. Calling people sheople dogs and in the process mentally elevating oneself to a superior position? Dopamine.


Dopamine is a major motivating factor in why we do things. Major. And it isn't even so much about the event itself, but the anticipation of doing the event that leads to the dopamine rush.

Those diehards locked in a constant battle of one-liners, insults and some serious BS (of course on the anti-vaxxer side): dopamine. It's a heady rush. That's why they keep at it. It's obviously better than stamp collecting for them.

And in and of itself, there isn't anything wrong with doing what gets your dopamine flowing. The problem arises when your dopamine rush hurts other people. And I mean really hurts. When it hurts society. Drug abusers, in their almighty pursuit of that god dopamine, hurt their families and hurt society.

Rabid anti-vaxxers (and ping there went some dopamine for me) hurt their children, their families, and society. All for that dopamine rush they get from feeling morally superior, righteously angry and convinced that they know the truth and everyone else are sheeple and sheople dogs. They cast themselves as the heroes in their epic battles, the underdog who has been spat at, the lone maverick that the government and industry want to stamp out, the martyr who has sacrificed a child at the alter of big business who must now avenge that child.

To be fair, I'll acknowledge that those rabid anti-vaxxers (and no, not all AoA loyalists are) would say "I know you are, but what am I" because that is their mentality level. Have I not cast myself in the lone hero role, the lone blogger who takes on the giant autism "newspaper"? Nah, not even. First off, I'm not alone; there are many voices of reason (see, I'm not the lone voice) working together to promote critical thinking and logical evaluations of claims. I don't think there is a conspiracy of folks in a conglomerate out to get me, even if my laptop suspiciously crashed while looking at a frenemy's family photo.

About the only thing in common is that delightful dopamine rush. I'd say we have autism in common, but, no we don't. See, they've created a whole different explanation of why their kid is the way he is and take the label of autism they have been given for the child and twist it to fit their epic hero battle. They've lost the child, not from vaccines and not from autism, but in their pursuit for martyrdom. The child's actually right there, watching. You'd be amazed at what autistic kids actually observe (even those lower functioning ones). My three, even my bright boy, take in and absorb and hold onto for years, and I mean years, things that most folks wouldn't have even noticed let alone remembered as if it were yesterday.

I'm looking forward to seeing what these children of the anti-vaxxers have to say someday. Especially since so many of the loyalist AoAers and editors have high functioning autistic children who they write are recovered. I know that not all AoA loyalists (you can sure be a reader and not a loyalist) have kids who are high functioning or recovered, but it would appear that more do have children with less severely impaired children than do not, based on the comments and the articles. So, yup, your kids are going to be the autistic adults who get to blog and advocate for autism. I think society will be surprised in the next couple decades with the continued rise in the autism culture and how it morphs to become primarily about and by the autistic individuals themselves and not about the parents.

If you're doing it right, it was never about the parents in the first place.

And how can that not be kick ass kumbaya right there?

13 comments:

kathleen said...

Nope-it isn't about the parents..it is however about BEING a parent..not a marty-but a parent. I guess victim hood just feels good to some. That sense of entitlement, the "Look at all I have to do to help my child!!! Feel bad for me!!" Parenting is hard. Parenting ANY child is hard. Wish more people realized that before they decided to have children.
What scares me the most-is how these children will view themselves when they are adults. As a burden..or somehow less? I hope that by that time there is a place for them to land-a strong and accepting place.

KWombles said...

Kathleen, I know you and I are going to work hard to help to see that there is a safe accepting place for them. We won't do it alone; we'll do it at the side of those who are autistic or otherwise differently-abled adults now.

And we'll do it in part through the change in language. As long as we use dis-abled terminology, society will see those who have different challenges as somehow less.

And we'll do it through a whole lot of kick ass kumbaya, too. :-)

KWombles said...

I should have also added at the side of like-minded parents, as well. We've got a fine group of woo fighters, as well. :-)

Corina Becker said...

I'm looking forward to hearing/reading what a lot of their kids have to say. In my opinion, I think that either they are going to be crippled by self-pity and negative attitudes, or else be royally pissed off at their parents.

But yes, we will do everything we can to make the world a better place for them.

Roger Kulp said...

You do understand that for a lot of people with autism,myself included, the only way they can get to the point where they can sit down at a computer,and write for any amount of time,and write something halfway lucid,is because they have been taking all sorts of supplements for years. Antipsychotics and SSRIs that mainstream pill pushers use to treat autism aren't going to do it.

Roger Kulp said...

And yes, being against the antivaxers seems to mean you are anti-biomed

KWombles said...

Roger,

You're a sample of one. One. So, you'll forgive me for taking you to be exactly that. You have no idea whether the majority of autistic adults who are able to communicate via the computer had to be on supplements or medications to do so.

And you're completely incorrect that the utilization of medicine has anything to do with whether you believe vaccines cause autism or not.

But, hey, you and I both know you'll never respond directly to my responses to you. I might as well be pissing in the wind for all the good it will do. I've stated my positions on medication and nutrition and the various treatments that are out there. I see no need to rehash my position yet again.

Corina Becker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corina Becker said...

(sorry, major grammar error)

Mr. Kulp, you do realize that the ability to type is a skill that everyone has to learn and that no amount of pills in the world will help a person to type unless they actively learn to do so? There is no magic "typing skills" pill and we do not live in the Matrix where one can instantly download skills into our brains.

Also, summarizing autistic people in the way that you have belittles both yourself and other autistic people. The diagnosis category is Autism Spectrum Disorders, and it has been noted that no two of us are identical. Therefore, it is never guaranteed that any one treatment will work on all. Recommended, yes, highly likely, yes, but never guaranteed.

Good day, Mr. Kulp

Clay said...

I'll have to admit, I don't care what kind of day Roger has. He's just going to whine about it anyway.

julia said...

While living as a classic Aspergerian person, I have been told that I should be a writer by a collage English teacher, an English and a Japanese literature professor and a writer himself. However, I have never taken supplements nor have I had an ideal diet throughout my life. Therefore, those who cannot afford supplements or those who cannot swallow the “horse pills” need not fear. Your potential is not determined by such trivia.

KWombles said...

Hey, Clay; it seems to be Roger's dopamine fix. :-)


Julia,

Excelent point and well said! :-)

Anonymous said...

Indeed, it is not a requirement to be pro-biomed in order to be an anti-vaxxer, it is also not a requirement to be anti-biomed in order to be pro-vaccine. No explanation has ever been given as to why supplements 'can' do what allopathic medicines 'cannot', at least not one that doesn't display complete ignorance of how the compounds with-in both supplements and medicines are traditionally perceived to work.

This is even before we consider that Rogers 'list' of treatments is ridiculously short and narrow. There's nothing in the mainstream that prohibits dietary treatments and supplements for people with autism as long as it's clinically indicated.

I've worked supporting people with autism in both work, domestic and educational environments. I've seen exactly what Roger cliams 'cannot' happen multiple times, even with people otherwise needing 1:1 24/7 staffing as minimum.

As a bit of an aside, if it's processed in anyway (as supplements, topical lotions, tonics and otherwise are) then it's possible to be against it on the 'naturalistic' principle. Thus ist's possible to be both anti-vax and anti-biomed.

Dedj