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Causes of ADHD Behavior


A person with ADHD like behavior is ofen suffering from a variety of problems. It is essential to treat the underlying causes and not just the symptoms.


The ADHD controversy can be divided into two camps. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurological disorder, and ADHD is not a disorder. Which side one is on depends on which assumption one starts out from.


The neurological disorder group assume from the outset that it is a disorder. The reasoning is from the perspective of a non ADD-ADHD adult. Even researchers who are ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder without hyperactivity) who hold this view, start their reasoning with the disorder assumption. They are locked in their paradigm.


The ADHD sceptics assume there are natural rational explanations for the behaviors and try to see the problem from the child’s perspective. Here the researcher has already gone outside his/her paradigm, and is therefore looking at the problem with a more open mind.


Testing a hypothesis in science. A study should be designed so that the basic paradigm is tested. Otherwise the study will seem to confirm the paradigm and prove nothing. This, unfortunately, is what is happening in the majority of ADHD studies. All facts and results of studies are interpreted from the premise that it is a disorder that they are studying and they will therefore confirm their assumption.


In 1998 at the National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on ADHD the following statement was issued regarding ADHD:

"We do not have an independent, valid test for ADHD, and there is no data to indicate that ADHD is due to a brain malfunction"

This statement is still valid.

The ADHD controversy can be divided into two camps. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurological disorder, and ADHD is not a disorder. Which side one is on depends on which assumption one starts out from.


The neurological disorder group assume from the outset that it is a disorder. The reasoning is from the perspective of a non ADD-ADHD adult. Even researchers who are ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder without hyperactivity) who hold this view, start their reasoning with the disorder assumption. They are locked in their paradigm.


The ADHD sceptics assume there are natural rational explanations for the behaviors and try to see the problem from the child’s perspective. Here the researcher has already gone outside his/her paradigm, and is therefore looking at the problem with a more open mind.


Only two examples are used to illustrate different conclusions from the same facts. There are over 100 causes of ADD-ADHD behavior, some of them are actual disorders, but these disorders are not ADHD.


Instead of pharmaceuticals, the alternative ADHD treatment is by nutraceuticals for ADHD. They are natural nutrient supplements.



Lazy Behavior


An example of seeing the same result but arriving at different conclusions is a brain scan. Let us take two children. One is fitting in well at school, and is an extrovert and has a normal social life with his peers. The second is shy and introverted. The second child, while gifted, is embarrassed to be seen by his classmates as dumb, and is therefore nervous in class. Rather than seem dumb, the child does not answer questions and seems to have learning difficulties and is considered lazy.


Both children get a brain scan. The extrovert has normal brain activity during the tests. The introvert, with “learning disability” shows a very different pattern with predominantly Theta waves. This is the state of the brain when a person is drowsy, meditating, or sleeping lightly. This is also the state of the brain during accelerated learning and creative visualization.


The “disorder” group interpret the result as proof that the introverted child has a neurological inability to function like an average child.


The “ADHD sceptic” group ask the question, “Why is the child’s brain in that Theta state?” One explanation is that the child finds school to be a threatening environment, and tuning out in a Theta state is an effective coping mechanism to get through the day. It also allows the child creative thoughts in an environment where he finds himself not allowed free thought, and is therefore bored.


The clinical test environment was also a threatening environment, and what was measured was what the child was doing, coping by tuning out, rather than what the child’s brain is capable of doing, when the child is feeling secure.


Frustration Behavior


There are different learning types:

  • The auditory learner, who learn by hearing
  • The visual learner, who learn by seeing
  • The kinetic learner, who learn by moving and doing things. The touchy feely type.

A kinetic learner can suffer anxiety when forced to sit still and not learn effectively. School is an unnatural environment for a young child.


This Kinetic Kid is easily distracted by sounds and movements round about. They are stimulants where he is not allowed to self stimulate by moving himself. The anxiety of sitting still and getting distracted is difficult for a child. When he causes trouble in class, he is sent out of the classroom as punishment.


Kinetic Kid however feels a sense of relief outside the classroom. Here we have a situation where bad behavior is encouraged through positive reinforcement.


Defiance and Conduct Disorder Behaviors


The literature on ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) often refers to comorbidity with other mental health conditions. Comorbidity is just a morbid expression scientists use to say, “occurring together with.”


The list of these conditions is long, but they are not all comorbid with ADHD. Most of them only share the symptoms with ADD and ADHD. Since there are no laboratory tests, neurological assessments, or attentional assessments that have been established as diagnostic in the clinical assessment of ADD and ADHD (DSM IV page 88), there is no way to state with certainty that somebody behaving hyperactively has ADHD.


Some conditions which mimic ADHD:

  • Conduct disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Autism
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Borderline personality disorder

Two disorders which stand out when it comes to behavior are Conduct Disorder (CD) and Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). Research comparing children with Conduct Disorder, children with ADHD and a reference group of children without either, have shown that there is a definite difference between Conduct Disorder and ADHD.


Conduct Disorder (CO)


The fact that some children with Conduct Disorder also show symptoms of ADHD does not mean they “have ADHD,” but they share common symptoms. ADHD has not been defined in a way that explains the cause. ALL descriptions of ADHD as a disorder discuss symptoms. Even when there appears to be a definite scientific explanation of a neurological disorder, it is still symptoms that are studied and presented. What causes the “neurological disorder” is not known.


Even the genetic link is not clearly understood. There appears to be a genetic link to both Conduct disorder and ADHD, but genetic links are complex. It is not clear whether the Conduct Disorder genetic effect is due to biological, environmental or psychosocial factors. It could be a combination these, making it very difficult to pinpoint any particular factor.


The ADHD link is equally complex. There is a definite correlation between parents with ADHD and children with ADHD. But not all children with ADHD have these genes. Also there are children with these ADHD genes who do not have ADHD. This is explained in the ADHD gene.


ADHD personalities do have empathy, which is the critical trait missing in Conduct Disorder children and teens. Since many Conduct Disorder adolescents go on to develop Antisocial Personality Disorder as adults, it is important to see the difference in ADHD and Conduct Disorder and respond appropriately.


ADHD needs to have the cause established, and then treated, be it ADD coaching or natural supplements like Attend, etc. Conduct Disorder needs to be identified as soon as possible, as this is a very serious disorder.


Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)


Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) is a little understood problem with young children. All children go through defiance phases in their development, such as the “terrible twos” where they are learning where they stand in the world. Some children appear to get stuck in this stage and take many years to develop out of it. Most will grow out of it by the time they are eight or nine years old.


Some of the children have ADHD and ODD and when they develop out of the ODD, and then the ADHD remains. There is a link with ODD to some other disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Mood Disorder, Learning Disorders, ADD and ADHD to name a few.


About 10% to 15% of children with ODD get worse defiant behavior within 3 or 4 years and they develop into Conduct Disorder. After that they are unlikely to develop Conduct Disorder. Conduct Disorder needs urgent treatment, as there is then the risk of developing a Personality Disorder.


Behavior Diagnosis


ADHD is defined and diagnosed by descriptions of behavior. These descriptions of 18 behaviors, each of which is normal in average children, in certain combinations are defined as a disorder and even a disease.


In 1987, ADHD was voted into the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) by the American Psychiatric Association and within one year half a million children in the U.S. were diagnosed with this condition.


Behaviors put on the diagnosis symptom list has widened. Therefore, more children can be put on these drugs. There are absolutely no positive long-term effects of these medications on learning, academic standards, performances, and social behavior. The emphasis here is on long-term. These drugs are quick acting, but their effect fades quickly as well.





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