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ADHD, this is how you can heal from it!

ADHD is often still seen as something inexplicable and hereditary. However, Gabor Maté, a well-known doctor and author, says that ADHD is not only a biological problem, but mainly a consequence of social and environmental factors. As a result, it is largely misunderstood and mistreated by the healthcare system. One thing doctors are quick to do is prescribe pills, but they don't realize that this can cause enormous damage to someone in the long term. If we learn to look at personal circumstances and why the child or adult experiences ADHD, we can break the pattern and reset our mind in a healthy way.

What is ADHD?

Children and adults with ADHD show a lack of concentration and rest. They often exhibit impulsive and hyperactive behavior. According to Gabor Maté, ADHD is a condition that arises as a result of a combination of social, biological and environmental factors. So it is not a disease as many think. We are not born with impulse control, as a child we like to throw something on the ground or grab something from someone else's hand. As we grow older, a healthy individual will develop this impulse control, but if the child does not grow up in a safe situation (can also be mentally unsafe) there is no room to develop this impulse control. This usually results in the development of ADHD and in extreme cases in adulthood, an addiction.

ADHD symptoms are often seen as a deviation from the norm. However, these symptoms arise from adaptation to a difficult environment and/or trauma. According to him, these symptoms are a result of excessive stress in a child's life, an unpredictable upbringing and/or an unsafe environment.

According to doctor Gabor Maté, ADHD is a result of a complex collaboration between genes and our environment and is therefore not a disease in the traditional sense.

Society full of labels

ADHD is actually a label that healthcare is only too happy to stick on a child. If we label something, they say a cause has been found and we can put it away in a corner again. What Gabor describes is that millions of children are given stimulants and even hundreds of thousands are given antipsychotics as treatment. No, not because they have a psychosis, but just to calm them down and make them more docile.

Contrary to what I used to believe, a diagnosis like ADHD, depression or bipolar disorder doesn't explain anything. This applies to all diagnoses. Diagnoses are abstractions or summaries: Sometimes they are useful, but they are always incomplete. - dr. Gabor Maté

I have also suffered from such a label. I have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, depression and chronic eczema, but this all stemmed from trauma. So there are ways to get rid of these serious physical and mental 'conditions'. However, this will not happen if we follow the methods of health care, which do everything by the book and are only too happy to prescribe medications. I was prescribed antidepressants myself, but the actual cause was not investigated at all.

Substances such as antipsychotics should actually be used with caution, as it has been known since 2010 that long-term use in adults is associated with a decrease in brain volume. Even in children, symptoms such as obesity, diabetes and risks to cardiovascular health can be seen.

Trauma and it's influence on ADHD

According to Gabor Maté, trauma is one of the main causes of ADHD. Children who have been exposed to trauma such as violence, sexual abuse or neglect are more likely to develop ADHD. However, this does not only happen with severe trauma! Even something as small as a parent experiencing a lot of stress and therefore not being fully present and being able to give the child what it needs, can cause trauma.

Traumas lead to disruptions in the regulation of emotions and how well someone can pay attention. This ultimately leads to symptoms consistent with ADHD. Traumas often cause a feeling of insecurity and constant vigilance, which in turn can lead to impulsive and hyperactive behavior.

Scattered Minds: Understanding and healing ADD

(This is the Dutch version but by clicking the button you'll be send to the english version)

ADHD, zo kun hiermee omgaan en dit 'behandelen'! Gabor Maté Het verstrooide brein

Scattered Minds explodes the myth of attention deficit disorder as genetically based - and offers real hope and advice for children and adults who live with the condition. Gabor Mate is a revered physician who specializes in neurology, psychiatry and psychology - and himself has ADD. With wisdom gained through years of medical practice and research, Scattered Minds is a must-read for parents - and for anyone interested how experiences in infancy shape the biology and psychology of the human brain. Scattered Minds: - Demonstrates that ADD is not an inherited illness, but a reversible impairment and developmental delay - Explains that in ADD, circuits in the brain whose job is emotional self-regulation and attention control fail to develop in infancy - and why - Shows how distractibility is the psychological product of life experience - Allows parents to understand what makes their ADD children tick, and adults with ADD to gain insights into their emotions and behaviours - Expresses optimism about neurological development even in adulthood - Presents a programme of how to promote this development in both children and adults.

3 Tips to 'treat' ADHD and heal

So ADHD is not actually something to 'treat', which is why I write it in brackets. It often stems from our past due to trauma, a lack of secure attachment and a lack of play at a young age. This often causes a lot of irritability and aggression in our adult lives. Scattered minds gives excellent advice and explains how everything came about.

Tip 1: Learn to listen to yourself and your body. Without listening to ourselves we can never know what is going on inside us or what we actually need. Traumas can only heal if we learn to listen consciously and sincerely to ourselves. Basically you can think of traumas as a clog in your sink, they block your flow from functioning properly. However, when you reduce or eventually resolve the blockage, everything will start to flow and you will be able to regain emotion regulation and focus. There is no longer any need to overcompensate with being busy or demanding attention, after all you listen to yourself and what you need.

Tip 2: If you find it a difficult step or too high a threshold to look at your traumas alone, you can also call in a professional. Make sure that you look for a holistic coach or professional, who also takes into account the traumas you have experienced as a person, which is essential for treating ADHD. When you go to a doctor or a standard psychologist, they will often offer you pills or superficial therapy that will not help you. That is why it is important to find the right coach to start your healing process as best as possible.

Tip 3: Find like-minded people. This process can feel very scary and difficult. Only when we find like-minded people can we begin to realize that we are not the only ones with a 'condition'. We can then realize that we are not strange or crazy, but simply did not have the right upbringing or circumstances. If you find finding like-minded people in real life too difficult or scary, you can also find them online or in books. It's about realizing that there are millions of others who also struggle with the same problems you experience, so that you realize that you are not alone.


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