Everyone knows the feeling of being bombarded by unwanted noise: sitting at a bus stop on a busy street, walking through a wood-working shop when all the machines are running or suffering through a drum solo at a concert. But these noises will eventually come to an end when we physically remove ourselves from the source of noise. This is not the case for someone with a noisy brain. For certain people, confused chattering and never-ending streams of internal stimuli can be uncomfortable to the point of being considered a full-blown mental illness, like a schizophrenic hearing voices. Conflicting thoughts can no longer be sorted. Distraction is the result and concentration is almost impossible, so it is believed. The afflicted person finds he/she can no longer function in a ‘normal’ community.
But is the ‘afflicted person’ not functioning properly or are the demands of the so-called normal community amiss? Of course, a person must learn to function in society, work to earn his keep, provide food for himself, have a happy relationship with a partner and maybe even have children. But must this schema define the way it has to be for everyone? Relationships, marriage and children and, for that matter, office jobs, are overrated. They may not be right for everyone. The introvert may not even want to have meaningful relationships with other people. Is this a reason to bend a person’s mind into submission using medication?
Let’s look back to the dawn of the hyperactive condition. When did this really start? Sometime when certain pharmaceutical companies found they had a surplus of speed and no legal market? Hyperactivity was believed to be outgrown when the patient reached adulthood. Outgrow the condition and the consumers of legal drugs drop. So what do ‘they’ do? ‘They’ decide today that the condition is not outgrown; a physical hyperactivity grows into an adult, mental one. Hence the noisy brain.
Is it really impossible for the noisy brain to concentrate and be productive or is it rebelling against unnecessary demands, useless processes and just plain boring, dumb stuff? Sit a poet or a painter down in front their tax return and command them to fill it out. Watch them go into chocolate shock. Lock a musician in a physics lecture. See him chew his finger nails off. Put a bank manager in an artists’ gallery and have him while away four hours painting a picture when he knows the stock market is still open. His hair turns white.
The moral of this story? Be true to yourself. You know what you want to do. Nobody can do it for you. Nobody can take it away from you, either. Give yourself permission to be yourself.