View Full Version : The research and works of Dr. Gabor Mate

02-25-10, 07:41 PM

Check out his website on his research into ADHD. Interestingly enough, he has it himself.

02-26-10, 01:36 AM
I looked around at that site. This is simplifying what I saw, but to me it looks like the guy is saying that ADHD is RAD, a different type of RAD than what we currently diagnose as RAD, but he's still saying it's basically a type of RAD.

I'm familiar with reactive attachment disorder. I've spent many, many years around someone growing up with severe RAD. There are definitely a ton of similarities between the two disorders. For some reason, though, this concept that ADHD is somehow not very physiological makes me mad. I also see a big difference, from my personal experience, between kids with RAD and kids with ADHD.

What do other people think? I'm trying to keep an open mind.

02-26-10, 11:14 AM
I think this guy was here a while back pushing his book.

I could not find much on him on the internet. Google scholar doesn't seem to list him and I cannot find any serious reviews of this book.

Reading on the site, he seems to be attributing much of the expression of ADHD to parenting and, as String mentioned, seems to link ADHD to Reactive Attachment disorder (RAD). Also he seems to indicate that he thinks that ADHD is reversible. I am not sure about any of this as there were few details given but if this is indeed his thesis, I would be very interested in how he backs this up as both views are very much out of the mainstream. That is not saying he is wrong but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

If you have looked into this, could you post what you know about his views. Also instead of just posing the site could you present your views on his book. It would be a lot more interesting conversation.


02-26-10, 01:22 PM
Is he selling his book or reassurance? Probably both.

I personally feel like I have a technique that has completely fixed my abnormally cruddy working memory. It's just too bad that my subjective feelings means nothing without objective verification.

02-26-10, 01:44 PM
From my own personal experiences, I've seen that people with attachment issues can suffer from the same impulsive, hyperactive, and distracted behaviors as people with ADHD. The underlying causes seem to be much different, however. For example, people with RAD have horrible issues with distraction because, for self-protection, they have a need to know everything that's going on around them.

People with ADHD and RAD both have low self-esteem. Unlike most people with ADHD, however, people with attachment issues commonly go way beyond anything we would even call low self-esteem; they often have little sense of the self at all; it's as if they're hollow.

One of the biggest differences I see is that rather than feeling stupid and apologetic all the time, like most people with ADHD, people with RAD often display a tendency toward borderline or narcissistic personality disorders.

The social behavior of people with RAD appears to be the polar opposite of the behavior seen in people with ADHD. Instead of being socially awkward, people with attachment issues often become extremely charming.

Finally, people with RAD tend to mature past any learning or developmental problems caused by the attachment issues (unless they have something like ADHD in addition to the attachment disorder). They may continue to have issues with low self-esteem, hording, narcissism, etc., etc., but the learning and developmental issues generally fade with age. On the other hand, most people with ADHD, from what I've seen, have to make accommodations and mitigations all their lives.

My conclusion is that RAD is often misdiagnosed as ADHD, but that they are two very different disorders. I think this doctor, possibly because of his personal experiences, has them confused.

02-26-10, 03:38 PM
My conclusion is that RAD is often misdiagnosed as ADHD, but that they are two very different disorders. I think this doctor, possibly because of his personal experiences, has them confused.

WOW, this makes so much sense. It's helping to explain an inconsistency I've seen. THANKS!

I've read Gabor Mate's book, it's very soothing, and naturally some of it does intersect, the adhd child may feel rejected often, even by parents and understanding is really hard to come by. However, I can't agree with his theory at least when it comes to ADHD.

I hope this is ok?

02-26-10, 03:55 PM
Well for more of what he think about brain development and things like ADHD, there is a great video of his on youtube.

I'm simply presenting his ideas here for people to take them or leave them. I'm not advocating his validity or what have you. He just released a book this year about addictions and seems to be taken seriously. Someone in congress stood up and told everyone to read his book, also there are many interviews.