Understanding your difference
ADHD Psychological Causes
ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) diagnosis describes what are called ADHD symptoms. It describes behaviour patterns as symptoms. An ADHD diagnosis does not describe a disorder, disease or sickness. It is not necessary to have a Ph.D. to understand that. A glance at the DSM IV (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) under ADHD, and it is there in black and white, that the diagnosis is based purely on behaviour.
The psychiatrists and psychologists base their assessment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on these behavioural criteria from the DSM-IV manual (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition Text Revision).
ADHD is defined by symptoms. There is no clinical test whatsoever that can be used to diagnose ADHD.
“There are no laboratory tests, neurological assessments, or attentional assessments that have been established as diagnostic in the clinical assessment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.”
(DSM IV page 88)
There are over 101 causes of ADHD, and these different causes need different treatments, but they share a few common symptoms. The causes are the disorders, not the symptoms.
Of the various ADHD theories, none has the full picture, but each has pieces of the puzzle. ADD and ADHD are complex if we search for one solution to one problem. However if we are looking at one individual who we know well, our child, or ourself then it is easier. We have to find an individual solution, not a statistically generalized one.
One group of causes are psychological. The child or adult with emotional trauma or other emotional issues has intense feelings which give rise to ADD or ADHD symptoms. They do not have ADD/ADHD, but risk getting misdiagnosed. An emotionally traumatised child on Ritalin does not get better. There is no healing in ADHD stimulant drugs.
In studies of the incidence of medication for ADHD among children adopted from abroad and children born in Sweden, it was found ADHD occurs more often in children adopted from abroad than those born in Sweden. More than one in eight boys from eastern Europe were treated with medication for ADHD. Among boys of the same age born in Sweden, the occurrence was one in 70. At that age these eastern European children have been in an institutional environment, as opposed to the Swedish children. The orphanage systems in eastern Europe often causes emotional problems in their children.
The list below shows a few of the emotional and psychological reasons for ADD and ADHD type behavior.
Emotional Causes of ADHD behavior
- Death in the family.
- Life stresses such as the parents divorce, moving to a new town or country.
- Low self esteem.
- Sexual abuse when young.
- Emotional difficulties.
- Neglect by parents.
- Bullying at school.
- Lack of rules at home. Lack of discipline at home.
- Lack of rules and discipline at school.
- Feelings of rejection.
The page genetic causes of ADD and ADHD is about genetic disorders with ADD/ADHD symptoms. A person with ADHD type behavior (that is what ADHD symptoms are) as a result of a genetic disorder s/he can appear to have ADHD, and if misdiagnosed as ADHD may be given stimulant medication such as Ritalin. ADHD stimulant drugs are a quick fix to suppress symptoms, and are not a cure; they have to be taken daily, the effect lasts only a few hours and they have side effects.
Before accepting stimulant medication, the cause of the ADHD behavior should be determined. If your doctor wants to treat the ADHD symptom before finding out the cause, you should find a doctor who understands the complexity of the ADHD syndrome.
The popularity of stimulant drugs like Ritalin has encouraged some parents and teachers to accept these ADHD drugs for children who are disturbing the class or are aggressive. Many of these children may meet the criteria for ADHD, but have some other emotional or behavioral problems.
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