Whenever I spend time in Washington DC, one of my first thoughts is “how impressive!” Such a wide variety of people all living in (relative) harmony in a small space… It’s only possible when people implicitly and automatically agree to behave according to shared social norms.
We’ve all got our idiosyncrasies, and they feel normal to us. But, if they don’t align with society’s normal, we may not recognize it! While there is certainly nothing wrong with going against the grain, anyone who deviates too far from the norm will experience difficulty.
Those with mild cases of Autism, Aspergers or ADHD may be desperately misunderstood: A machine part that is not well lubricated will scrape and spark… That’s how it is for someone who lacks social lubrication, like understanding body language and facial expressions or ease of allowing mistakes and inconsistencies. The behavior of those with mild “afflictions”, can elicit intolerance from others, who may see them as inappropriate or rude, and even go as far as calling them names. Doesn’t this seem quite unfair?
Meanwhile this “different” person experiences stress because they can’t understand social cues and norms that most other take for granted. Plus, their friends and loved ones experience stress because they just can’t get though to them. Consequently, they miss out on one of life’s best things: relating and connecting with people!
I recently listened to an old episode of This American Life which featured a wife who’d stumbled upon a questionnaire that helped her diagnose her hubby as having Aspergers. It explained why the last 5 years of their marriage had contained so much strife. Realization of his condition wiped away her resentment and gave him a new lease on life. He said it was like being present at his own birth.
This man kept a journal to identify what he’d been doing to upset his wife, children, friends and coworkers. He studied it, adapted his behavior and his life improved.
Unfortunately, there was no mention in this podcast about nutritional interventions for mental health!
Many psychological issues (Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, OCD, depression, bipolar and skitzophrenia) can be improved by nutrition. The two main avenues of treatment are 1) special diets to remove foods that have neurotoxic effects, and 2) adjustments in supplements to compensate for deficiencies.
#2 may fall under the category of nutrigenomics. Some people have genetic flaws that prevent them from being able to utilize nutrients. The resulting nutrient deficiency can have any number of effects, including psychological.
At BuzzNutrition, you can be tested for these genetic flaws!! Common ones include Pyroluria and a defect in MTHFR, which impacts folate metabolism. The good news about these two conditions is that they’re completely manageable by taking a few supplements (every day for life). (To test for MTHFR, order your own test at www.23andme.com and come in to BuzzNutrition to have the results translated and develop a plan.)
If you constantly feel “off” or confused by social norms or feel that people just don’t know how to follow life’s rules, there could be something going on! ..If there is “something going on”, it is not a disaster! There are many ways to cope with mental afflictions and you can find help at BuzzNutrition. :)
Are you curious? Check out the questionnaire here– but obviously, your doctor is the expert.