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Old 07-09-05, 08:53 PM
purerealm purerealm is offline
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cause of ADD : product of erred child development? please give input

Today I did a lot of thinking about ADD and how it relates to me. Now everything that I'm about to say is of course, assuming that none of it has been disproven. I'm really not sure about any of this but it seems logical and very plausible to me. I think I know why I have ADD -inattentive subtype.

When I was very little, maybe from around 4 until kindergarten, nobody would really play with me. My dad was always out working, and my only sibling, my sister, would be at school. Even my mom would be out working sometimes part-time. Reflecting on this early childhood, I think it was a very boring and incontent part of my life. I interpret this as "understimulation". The main medication treatment for ADD is to use stimulants. Perhaps due to this boring and understimulating part of my life, my brain has sort of become locked in to this state of mind. Kind of like how positive reinforcement and stimulation is essential in the training of dogs and other household pets, I think it very much applies to children as well.

A slight percentage of children showing ADD symptoms lose it in adulthood. But have you ever heard of children not having the symptoms in their childhood becoming more ADD in their adulthood? I haven't. However, I have heard that depression can also "lock down" your brain, just like how ADD does.

If you've read any of Dr. Amen's works, you'll see that he has shown that ADD has a lot to do with separate functioning of brain parts. For example, depression can affect a few parts of the brain but leave some other brain parts working. This causes an abnormal functioning in only these specific parts, which then leads to only certain brain functions not working.

My hypothesis is that ADD is simply a product of bad or erred child development. It causes your brain to lockdown in a way similar to how other physical means of causing brains to malfunction. Think fetal alcohol syndrome or some other genetic/physical brain disease.

When I was very little I don't remember showing ADD symptoms. I don't remember being hard of hearing, I don't remember having my brain "foggy". In fact as far as I can remember during my early childhood I was very quick and was always yearning to learn something new. Perhaps being deprived of my yearning to learn, my brain growth got stunted.

However, I don't think it has to do completely with this. I think there are 2 more things we have to consider as significant factors. One of them is genetics. I think some genetics are just more prone to ADD. The other factor is contentment in life. This kind of has to do with spirituality and I think spirituality has to do with being "in focus". When I think about elementary school and what kinds of other kids had problems with school, I think they always had behavioral problems. In my own childhood, I attributed this to my parents not providing a correct "positive reinforcement". I don't think they truly taught me right from wrong and necessary life skills. As a result, I had many problems with my relationships with friends, and in the end I just didn't have very many friends at all. I knew this and I was upset, but I didn't know the cause of it all. In my heart I truly wanted to be a good person and likeable.

Well, then high school comes. And in high school issues like that that are not fixed before then really come out in high school I think. Social groups become more exaggerated and exclusive, and I found that I didn't really have the necessary skills to communicate well with people.
Eventually, I developed an intense depression, and that truly locked down my brain. I had no motivation to study at all, who cares about studying when you don't care about living anyway? No matter how hard my parents stressed the importance of grades, no matter how hard I tried to obey them and be a good son, it just seemed like I couldn't do it. My first semester of high school was the worst gpa I've ever had at that point in my life.

So here I was, my life going down in an endless downward spiral. I didn't know what to do anymore, and to be honest, I don't think I even cared about knowing what to do. Feeling like this reminds me of something I read in psychology once. When animals are subject to torture or some other discomfort, their active minds try to think of a way out for them, some form of escape. Be it a way out of a labyrinth, or anything. However, when this punishment is repeated over and over again with no way of escape possible, the animal will stop trying to escape. So if a dog was kept in a cage with a backdoor open, and boys started to poke it , it would simply just run out the backdoor. But if the cage has no backdoor, and the dog gets used to the poking, even though it may feel extreme discomfort, if it gets used to it, it won't try to escape the next time even if there is a means of escape right in front of their faces.

I think this concept applies to ADD very significantly. Have our brains stopped trying to find a means of escape?

If so, then this could actually mean that ADD can be cured, not just treated. If somehow we could find a way for our brains to function how it was supposed to, we wouldn't be ADD anymore. Unlike brain damage, perhaps ADD is just how using our brains to our potential or having malfunctionings that can be fixed in later life.
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Old 07-09-05, 08:54 PM
purerealm purerealm is offline
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A lot of that came from thinking about this article.
http://www.danceokanagan.com/arp1/articles/addaddhd.htm
Read especially the part of causes of ADD and mind-body disharmony
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Old 07-10-05, 01:43 AM
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I am writing this part of my response before I read the article, I don't want it to influence me at this moment.

I have to disagree with you that ADD is caused by bad/erred childhood development, because of my personal experience.

I am also inattentive ADD, was diagnosed the summer before my senior year in college.
I had an amazing childhood. My mom was home full time, she always had things planned for us 3 kids, whether it was summer or during the school year. I was always busy, rarely bored. I was raised on positive reinforcement, majority of it in the form of praise.

"But have you ever heard of children not having the symptoms in their childhood becoming more ADD in their adulthood? I haven't." - purerealm

Looking back on my childhood and growing up, my mom says she doesn't see signs of ADD in me. I disagree with her, I think they were there, just not prominent signs. I've always had sleeping problems, sensory issues, easily distracted. School became progressively harder for me the more I had to sit still and attempt to listen. I think that a lot of adults diagnosed with inattentive ADD, found that life got progressively harder (as they got older),especially in school - which is why a lot of inattentive adults, especially women, aren't being diagnosed until college.

I believe with (mild-moderate) inattentiveness - it's hard to spot the outward signs. I was amazing at hiding that I was daydreaming in the middle of conversations!
No one had a clue! The people I've told that I'm ADD are very surprised at the diagnosis and I've had to explain.

I am a behavioral therapist and an applied behavior analyst student (studying Skinner at this moment); I believe that reinforcement (and history of reinforcement) shapes a person. Therefore, if you look at my childhood - my childhood did not cause ADD. If my childhood did not cause ADD, then why do I have ADD?

I think there are internal reasons for ADD, whether it is genetics, a chemical level, different areas of the brain not functioning like a "normal" brain. Perhaps your parents contributed to your ADD, my belief is their contribution is genes. This is one person's opinion; the cause of ADD is up for grabs.

I just read the article you linked. There weren't any references backing it. I would hesitate to believe it because it's from a source that is about respiratory, dance and healing arts, the first 2 have nothing to do with ADD and healing arts . .. . maybe (so I looked into their website to see if they had more on ADD, but, that's their only article on the subject).
If they think they can cure or recover ADD, I want to see the proof.

If ADD is caused by boredom and not enough positive reinforcement and bad parenting, then we can be cured by behavior modification. I believe behavior modification can help ADD traits, but I don't believe (by any means) it can cure it.

I think what you'll find in this forum, are people who have been raised with all types of experiences, and environments. If that statement is correct, that article cannot be conclusive.

Here is a link to ADDA's cause of ADD:
http://www.add.org/articles/causeadd.html

It's not a research article, but the ADDA has a good rep. If I have time (I have to study), I'll post some research on causes of ADD. If I can't I'm sure someone else will!
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Old 07-10-05, 04:17 PM
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My life is very similar to Livinginchaos. No one believed I had ADHD when I tell them....except for my Mom who remembers how I was as a child. It took great effort to repress my ADHD symptoms all of my life. I stubbled on to compensation techniques that helped be get through enough to be fairly successful in my life. Before I was diagnosed, I always why I did things differently and thought differently than the average person. Since I have a sibling with more extreme ADHD symptoms, I looked like the one that was normal in my family. Since being educated on ADHD a few months ago, I have since determined that my father had extreme ADHD symptoms. Many members of my father's family also show signs. I always wondered why my father's side of the family was so dysfuntional. Another interesting point is that my father's mother didn't raise him. My mother divorced my father for almost all the negative ADHD symptoms. This happened when I was young, so my father didn't have an influence in my upbringing. But, I see a lot of my father's characteristics in his mother, me, and my sibling. So, you can probably tell that it's easy for me to conclude that my ADHD is very genetically influenced.

Also, as Livinginchaos mentioned, behavior modification didn't work for me. Before being treated I've tried many behavior modification techniques to combat my symptoms. All those time management techniques(day planners, post it notes, organization strategies) barely helped. I was still always procrastinated and disorganized. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't raise my frustration tolerance, I couldn't prevent outbursts in my temper, etc.(too many to mention).
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Old 07-10-05, 05:17 PM
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wtf was that?

Of course it's a CNS disorder, among others.

I'd like to see them operationally define and then quantify "grounding."
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Old 07-10-05, 05:55 PM
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I don't want to get too off topic, but I want to clairfy what I said about behavior modification.

If ADD is a product of environment - childhood upbringing, behavior modification can cure/fix ADD.

If ADD is physiological in the brain (which I believe it is), behavior modification will not work - to cure ADD. It will not work because behavior modification cannot change those physiological conditions.

Although, I do believe that behavior modification can help to lessen ADD traits, if it is applied correctly, using positive reinforcement (that is motivating enough to change behavior).
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Old 07-11-05, 03:55 AM
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It's not a behavior. It deals with glitches with 'synapse communication' with the frontal lobes of our brains.
It's a known fact.
I, and I'm trying to say this as sweetly as possible...since any form of child abuse is not an option in my book, even in soft 'behavior modificational' theories....if you are going to utilize behavior modification, in lieu of the proven methods that work, for a child with ADD/HD...make dam* sure you know what you are doing.
Because if you don't...I promise..someone else will do it properly for you.
On an 'adult' note...I'm just curious...why would you think that behavior modification would work?? Article aside..
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Old 07-11-05, 04:20 AM
purerealm purerealm is offline
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because i read somewhere that add can be caused be anxiety, and vice versa. i also read that add can be caused by physical trauma. this suggests that add can be caused by both physical and mental/social damage
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Old 07-11-05, 10:23 AM
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My behavior modification when growing up, I was really bad & couldn't sit still, my dad used to beat me up to have me do things or teach me a lesson, got the old fashion medication, & believe me just thinking about getting beatings, made me think twice about what I was going to do when little, so it does work for certain people like me.

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Old 07-11-05, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purerealm
because i read somewhere that add can be caused be anxiety, and vice versa. i also read that add can be caused by physical trauma. this suggests that add can be caused by both physical and mental/social damage
Well, anxiety does cause ADD like symptoms. In fact, there are many disorders that cause ADD like symptoms.
That does not imply that such *is* ADD. If it did, we'd have an ADD rate of like 20%. This is one of the reasons
why it is important to consider the age in which such symptoms appear.
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Old 07-11-05, 01:16 PM
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This is for "pure"

In response to the questions you've raised :

1) There's at least a dozen or so definitions of ADHD; most of which are related to it be a neurobiological disorder in terms of CNS problems, glucose, neurotransmitters, molecular genetics and so on.

2)For hyperactivity (and not the Inattentive Type: the old "ADD)", the only therapeutic technique that works IS behavior modification.

The reason for that lies in the nature of ADHD being a disorder of inhibition and self-regulation. In other words, the reinforcer(s) must be Immediate and applied at the "point of performance (where it occurred)".

I've posted on this before and I'm giving you the super condensed version, but that's what the research has confirmed.

My references here are ...ADHD and the Nature of Self-Control ...by Russ Barkley (1997), and...The ADHD Book of Lists....by Sandra Rief (2003).

I have lots more info and no time to finish it right now. This question has been answered before in past postings.

Good luck.

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Old 07-11-05, 01:24 PM
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HighFunctioning made an excellent point.The age of onset is important plus there are a number of other things to pay attention to.

The old cut off of age 7 in the DSM is no longer used.What you look for are references to the behaviors having "always" been there.

Anxiety is primarily situational in nature while real ADHD is primarily (80%) inherited.The behaviors were there long before the anxiety.

The point is that you can tell the difference.
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Old 07-11-05, 09:03 PM
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All my life, I've been subject to many externally applied behavior modification techniques and self-applied behavior modification techniques. As a hyperactive ADHD child, through 3rd grade, I was mostly subject to negative reinforcement techniques to stop my impulsive and disruptive behavior. I had my hand slapped with rulers, forced to write "I will not talk in class" on the chalk board during recess. For one week, the teacher moved my desk directly in front of the black board, with my back to the rest of the class. I remember feeling I didn't do anything wrong. I felt unjustly punished so I mentally withdrew from class participation, performed poorly in class, and stopped socializing with classmates; because I felt so isolated from the rest of the class. Eventually, this negative reinforcement "worked" and my behavior was modified to be more acceptable. I always wanted to be like everyone else so this was my motivation to change my behavior. But, this only changed my external behavior.....not my internal restlessness and continuous thinking about everything but the task at hand. From the outside, I appeared to be well behaved and calm, but internally it was the opposite. You can say the behavior modification technique "worked". But, did it? Throughout my life, I've always expended a lot of energy to do the "right" thing and say the "right" thing. Compensation for my natural tendencies took a great amount of effort. I always wondered why things came so easily for most people. When simple things took a lot of effort for me. I've modified my behavior all my life and no one ever thought I may have ADHD. When I was recently diagnosed and I shared with my extended family and friends, no one believed me when I told them I have ADHD....except my wife and Mom. Externally, my behaviors are minor but internally, I have extreme symptoms that never diminished. All my life I've suffered with internal restlessness that always drove me to change jobs, relationships, create stress situations, etc. I became good at justifying the constant changes with more acceptable reasons to change (the job sucks, this girl isn't my type, etc.). I now know it was caused by my ADHD. I have most of the common ADHD symptoms and I can give example of how I've repressed external presentation of my symptoms so that I appear to be "like everyone else". But, there are too many to comment about.

Also, I noticed that when I was tired or sick, my external symptoms would be worse. I used to blame it on just being tired. Now, I believe that I was expending great effort to externally repress my ADHD symptoms. So, when I tired, I could no longer control my natural tendencies. Since being treated, my internal ADHD symptoms have been drastically reduced. I am now internally calm and can now relax easily for the first time in my life. I am now expending minimal effort to repress my external ADHD behavior. Since I'm no longer expending a lot of energy, I feel a lot less tired.

This is all ironic. Since the external behavior modification techniques "worked" for me throughout life, I never got diagnosed....therefore I never got treated. I was able to get by without many problems but with a lot of hard work. If only I had been treated or discovered my condition earlier, life would have been easier for me. I would have also had an answer to why I always felt different than everyone else.
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Old 07-11-05, 09:21 PM
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I think people are confusing suriving something with something working. Hate to tell you but you beat someone everyday and yeah they are gonna do anything you say. You didn't beat the symptoms out of them and they didn't learn to change their behavoir from this "punishment". They adapted to survive the situation. Afterall our survival instinct is the absolute strongest instinct humans have. If you are trapped in a burning building you don't get distracted half way down the stairs you get the heck out of the building.

It's the same thing with the so called "beat it out of them theory" Your not teaching them to change their behavoir. In fact they're not learning much of anything because all of their focus is on making sure they don't get beaten again. Take that same person and put them in a situation where they have the opportunity to feel safe and focus on something beside self preservation and surprise surprise the adhd symptoms are still there.
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Old 07-11-05, 10:09 PM
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In an effort to preserve the topic purerealm started (before it gets too out of hand with the behavior modification posts), I started a thread on behavior modification in the behavior modification forum.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19330
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