Misdiagnosing the Deficit

misdiagnosing-the-deficitWe live in a world where we define ourselves by our deficits.  Somehow a disorder becomes a defining variable. “I am bipolar.” “I am autistic.” “I have ADHD.” What we need to consider, however, is that each of our brains is plastic, meaning that the neurons and neural synapses that define and shape our behaviors are constantly changing in response to our environment.  Our environment can regulate gene function which defines who we are. Given the interplay between the environment and our brains, it’s not surprising that often people feel they are misdiagnosed, an experience described in this NYT opinion column:

Instead, what if our deficiency doesn’t define who we are, but rather is a basis for which to improve our environment to define a new you? The most empowering fact is that the food you choose to eat is a very large part of your environment that defines who you are. If our brains are constantly changing, so can our diagnosis. Go for the best one! Who knows, perhaps you can define yourself as, “I am healthy”.

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