The dastardly DAT gene, and three disorders that can thank it.

I’m going to ask you to read the upcoming paragraph that is in quotations, and answer me this. Is it not obvious to everyone else – even anyone else – that maybe we aren’t talking about three distinct disorders anymore? That they never were? On any given day, I could get a diagnosis for any or all of the three. But I do not have three disorders, I have one. I just believe that my one, is a different flavour of the SINGLE same disorder, I think we all have the same thing! It’s a SPECTRUM!

If a child with Aspergers and  an ‘idiot savant’ like in the movie Rain Main have the same thing (and they do) then it shouldn’t be a stretch to include two other disorders that have tons of crossover and are more like each other and Autism, than not.The findings that the three issues are caused by the exact same action should be making big leaps toward having them unified under the one spectrum label.

Here’s the paragraph:

“The mutation, which has been found in people with ADHD, autism and bipolar disorder, affects the function of DAT, a protein that regulates the brain’s supply of the neurotransmitter by removing excess dopamine from the synapse, or the space between nerve cells.”

Three ‘separate’ disorders, or so they still tell us, that share an alarming amount of ‘co-morbidity’ (*cough cough* lazy). One too many crossover symptoms and you could have three psychiatric disorders, isn’t that wonderful? One is at a simplistic level untreatable, one too many people STILL don’t believe even exists and even more refuse to believe it is as debilitating and as difficult to live with as it actually is, and one we just throw drugs at – but not the drugs that may help with one or both of your other disorders, because you’re probably going to go off your rocker AND end up addicted, that’s the stigma your type get – so we’ll throw the heavy-duty drugs at you as if you already have. I’ll be the drug seeker, you be the drug user and the only one of us who is carrying what I believe to be the correct label, is both left alone from that stigma but then gets ignored instead.  Do you feel like you failed ‘basic growth of human self 101’ yet? You should, and if you feel a bit down from that, we can slap a 4th co-morbidity your way.And it’s going to be easier to handle you if you’re in a depressive phase because you won’t fight back! If you can, go so far as to feel suicidal, can you? That way you’ll be sectioned and I can play golf.

I’d like to say that my cynical and scathing ‘voice of specialist’ game of hypotheticals is probably a bit rough, but it looks AS OBVIOUS AS FACEBOOK BEING BLUE is to me that this is the answer.

Three separate disorders that have been shown to come down to the same mutated gene, which then displays the same abnormal mechanism of action regardless of which patient you’re looking at. And because as humans we have had different life experiences and have different combinations of genetic material, that makes us different people, and not being mindless clones means that how we experience the gene playing up feels somewhat different to each of us, and then manifests in our behaviours somewhat differently too.

If a person with callouses on his hands touches a hot pan he’ll barely feel it, but if I did I’d lose it right now. Same stimuli – same strength, but the same material – our skin – is at different stages of protected. We still get the same actual result (a burn), just different choices up until the moment we touched the pan mean it hurt me more!

OK, got all that? That’s why I’m so worked up.

DAT is cleaning up around our brains as if he has severe OCD. Like, before you’ve even finished your meal the plate is in the sink kind of severe.

Why is it not slapping everyone in the face here?

As I said earlier, If a kid with Asperger’s can be on the same spectrum as Rain Man the idiot savant, even though they are so vastly different in presentations, why is it so hard to think that ADHD and bipolar (which is also now considered to have a spectrum of its own, and of course ADHD has three distinct types on its ‘spectrum’) BELONG IN THE SAME COLOUR WHEEL AS AUTISM?!

Everyone is dancing around it, some are acting mildly less oblivious than others, all the while I’m sitting here like I’m being assaulted with the neon signs of Kings Cross, screaming the answers at me. It’s ok to say WE THINK IT MIGHT BE BUT WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE BEFORE WE CHANGE ANYTHING.

Dear Not-God, say it! SAY IT! Don’t act like you’re so stupid that you cannot see it, if you can.

If you can’t, well that’s easy. Look bigger, think more. Ask some people with ASD/Bipolar/ADHD to help – they are all great at seeing connections you can’t. You can’t see the forest for the trees but we’ve got the overall wide-angle stuff covered. We’re just waiting for you meet us at the finish, lol.

I know that there are quite a few people working on the idea that this is possible already. But I wanted to celebrate and share some more evidence that we’re actually only dealing with one (very real) disorder, we’ve just come from different quadrants (they could be eighths. or fifteenths, I’m not fussy) of the Spectrum. (or we all have BPADHASD, or whatever we can call it lol).