This Survival Code articles are all related to ADD and are to inform you of a most important neurological substrate that can ruin your life or make it what you want.
These articles are to give you a full rounded picture of what the Survival Code means to you and what you can do about it.
The focus of this article is to describe better the effects of the Survival Code when it is activated.
Firstly if you have not read any previous articles in this line, I wish to explain a few things.
I am talking about the fusion of your genetic information that makes us who we are with your learned experiences that mould the nervous system into what it is today. This becomes the reference for our subconscious to recognise anything that could possibly hurt or threaten us.
We then do an interesting thing. We go into a primitive response (reaction really) called the Flight –Fight response. Now this would be fine if we were fighting off dinosaurs or ferocious beasts but these days our dinosaurs are bills or the rising prices of food etc.
If we cannot burn off the stress hormones produced by the Fight-Flight response it damages the immune system and associates an abnormal reaction to whatever we are focussing on at the time. If what we are focussed on is food and we have too many stress hormones in the blood stream we will develop a stress reaction to that food. This is called allergies.
If we are attempting to learn something new and the stress hormones are excessive we develop a stress reaction to the process of learning, this is called dyslexia.
I could continue with this list but it’s not the point of this article. The point is, while we are reacting to perceived threats that we cannot resolve in a natural, neurologically sound way, we develop dysfunction by association.
You may have heard the term, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” This refers to the process of association the nervous system uses to ‘Know’ something. It attaches one neurological event to another event and they become linked together. Perhaps forever, if the events are repeated often enough.
We respond to our own stress.
Yes, that’s right. We respond to our own stress reactions and will learn to do one of two things:
1. We will succumb to the association of the two new events and live them out in our lives.
(Usually because we are not aware of their existence).
2. We will learn to overcome the effects of this unholy alliance by developing skills to change their influence. (Still unaware yet subconsciously driven to develop these skills).
Let’s look at the first scenario.
This is easy to assess because it is purely what most people would call “Stress”. As in previous articles the word “Stress” is the wrong term. Actually we should be using the term ‘Challenge’ for the ‘thing’ stressing us. This starts out as an external stimulus but can develop into an internal response once turned into a habitual response. The term we should use for the reaction to the Challenge is “Distress”. This is our reaction to the ‘stress’ not something outside us that is doing damage.
It is this ‘Distress’ that causes all the harm.
If life was simple, we could finish this article here by saying, “If you could only short-cut the Distress Reaction, you could change your life!” And that would be true!
Life is far from simple, yet there are simple laws that govern what we do as humans. The laws that govern our neurological responses, which in turn govern how we learn, are clear and unchanging.
They say, that if you associate two opposing forces, the stronger force will eventually win in the neurological decision making process. In other words, the associations we practice become the stronger behaviours within us.
If we practice going into the ‘fight-flight response’, it will become a habit and then a major character trait that has pre-eminence in our behaviours.
Opposing forces create conflict when put together.
We see this conflict range from simple confusion and forgetfulness to violence, murder and even war.
Yes these would be stressful events but they are obvious. What’s not so obvious are the skills we learn and develop to overcome the ‘stresses. They are more subtle and not always recognised in the right context. They are the ‘Compensations” to unresolved stress reactions.
These compensations are indeed skills and are developed out of a need to survive. They are based on inherited qualities that our ancestors used and developed in their time, but not by choice.
If we dig deep into the construction of these ‘Compensations/Skills’ we find some interesting qualities.
I will use the example of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This is not a disorder, it is a result of a series of compensations to unresolved stress reactions.
There are three symptoms the medical model uses to define ADD.
1 These people are easily distracted. Their attention is easily redirected and they find it difficult to finish any given task. They are starters but rarely finish anything.
2 They are highly impulsive, which means they give little if any warning of change.
This is quite disturbing for those around them.
3 They are classed as hyperactive. Too much energy that is seemingly out of control.
Unfortunately for these people their compensations take them into an inability to direct their neurological activities and therefore their behaviour reflects this multi-directionalism.
The skills the ADD person has developed, are all activities that are needed at the time of early growth to organise neurological input. Something happened to these people at a crucial time of change in their neurological development that changed the direction of that development.
They went into a distress state and it became associated with the most dominant activities at the time. These were, Curiosity and the need to change focus quickly (Distractible), Creating new options based on the events at hand (Impulsive) and finally the ability to Change the direction of their Energy (Hyperactive?).
I, for one, would love to have more Curiosity, Creativity and Energy, wouldn’t you?
Anyway the point again is that while people like this have the Distress State associated with other functions, these functions are going to be disturbed.
There are two directions available for anyone who has this kind of association happening.
1 They can learn to suppress the compensations with drugs or other forms of therapy.
2 Or, they can train their nervous system to use the talents they have and turn them into skills to rewire the associations and remove the conflict.
The second option would give them a much greater chance of redirecting their attention to the things that would help them organize internally.
OK. How do we train the nervous system to give up on its existing associations?
What you can do is use the very same process the subconscious used in the first place to make the ‘Unholy’ alliances and turn them into usable assets. That’s right! The fact that they are there in the first place means we can find them easily. They are typically stress reactions and easy to identify.
Once we find these nasty associations we can then retrain the nervous system to ADD (pardon the pun) new and better alternatives to what is there.
Luckily there is another law that governs the subconscious responses, which is, it will always do the best it can for you with what it has. Before we start this process it has little more than some wrong associations. After the training it will have the same wrong associations but with new additions to them.
There are always better alternatives to what exists within the associations already in your brain and nervous system. Once the better options have been experienced they can be used to reassociate with the existing ones and create new neurological pathways.
Then we have the talents we created to overcome the associations but now in a usable form.
Till next article stay well. Andrew
If you have any insights or comments to make please do, thanks.