ADHD Part 2
Updated: Oct 3, 2019
In response to the overwhelming number of hits to my Blog Post on ADHD, I have decided to include additional information from my book, Your Health Has Been Hijacked. https://www.drtomreed.com/order-page Apparently, this topic is touching a nerve in a lot of parents who are very frustrated about the problem on a number of levels, and appreciate any information that helps to make sense of it all. Be encouraged, it is NOT that there is something wrong with your children, it is what is being done TO them. The research shows that this is true.
Contributing Factors To ADHD
While essentially the whole of ADHD supporters would have you believe that ADHD is genetic, there are epigenetic factors that may more accurately describe the etiology. Risk factors that can be associated with the symptoms include premature birth, vaccines, maternal smoking and alcohol use, lead exposure, frequent maternal infections during pregnancy, personality, gender, and others.
A 2009 German study also found a significant link between having eczema, a rash caused by allergies, and developing ADHD symptoms, giving more credence to a controversial theory that at least some ADHD is the result of allergies or sensitivities to certain foods, food additives, or other environmental factors. Organophosphate pesticides - the kind used on most of the US food supply - were linked to an increased risk of ADHD in a 2010 Harvard School of Public Health study which found that higher concentrations of pesticides in a child’s urine doubled the child’s chances of being diagnosed with the disorder. In France, a study in 2004 found 84% of children diagnosed with ADHD were iron deficient, compared with 18% of ‘non-ADHD’ children. Studies on the herbicide glyphosate also suggest a connection to ADHD. Yet time and time again, doctors miss the real problems - some serious, some easily correctable - by automatically reaching for the ADHD label and prescribe amphetamine poisons.
There are many other contributing factors to an incorrect diagnosis of ADHD, including personality, classroom structure, hyperstimulation from external sources, and even the proclivity of physicians to lean toward pharmaceutical intervention instead of doing the more difficult work of discovering the root cause of a child’s inability to attend.
Many of those diagnosed with ADHD are already sensitive to overstimulation and certain personality types are particularly prone. Sanguine personalities (one of the Four Humeral Personalities), in particular boys, are “wired” for stimuli. There is nothing wrong with them; these personalities just react to the world with excitement, energy, and have a zest for life that other personality types don’t have to that degree. They are always ready to go on an adventure with a big smile, are extremely intelligent, and they make the best salesman.
These live wire Sanguines are always looking for the dopamine rush, an emotional high that creates a sense of pleasure and reward, but they can easily be over stimulated. From sugar to electronic video games till two a.m., stimulant food additives, endless social media opportunities, and other ‘rush’ opportunities, these all take their toll on this personality type, setting the stage for addiction. Parents should be students of their children and recognize their differences while they are young, and train them up, keeping strengths and weaknesses in mind, as well as the fact that these children, while many times they may cross the line of acceptable behavior, they are VERY sensitive to criticism. They need to be handled differently, with encouragement - as hard as that may be sometimes. If they do nt feel loved for who they are, they will find other ways to act out - they are very creative in that way. We all respond differently to the world around us based on genetics, personality, and epigenetic experiences and training. Sanguine personalities (or 7 on the enneagram chart which you will see later) have very busy minds and may need to be taught sitting, focusing, and concentrating skills at an early age, otherwise they may be unprepared to harness that energy during the school day, where the environment is so structured and unforgiving.
In today’s hyper-stimulating digital world, with its vivid gaming and exciting social media platforms, and with the immediate gratification it offers, where practically any desire or fantasy can be realized in a blink of an eye, school can seem very boring, comparatively speaking. School would seem even more dull to a sanguine, novelty-seeking kid living in the early 21st century than in previous decades, and the boring school environment might accentuate students’ inattentive behavior, making their teachers more likely to see it and drive up the number of diagnoses. Out of the box thinkers like Einstein and Edison, and high school dropouts like Richard Branson, Wolfgang Puck, Walt Disney, and others, may never have achieved their world-changing successes if they had been diagnosed with ADHD and their brains controlled by ADHD amphetamines. Those prone to hyperstimulation from environmental causes like food and electronic stimulants, etc. have some commonalities that contribute to their responses. Non-ADHD brains are adequately aroused by the shifting internal and external stimulation of daily life. Regardless of fluctuations in stimulation, those brains can operate with reasonably sustained focus, fueled by the dependable coordination of neurotransmitters. They can self-regulate with relative confidence and exercise an adequate amount of control over their behavior.
Those with true ADHD-like symptoms have their own rules of engagement. They are motivated by their search for optimal stimulation, rather than by what others label as important. Concerns about time or consequences are dwarfed by the pursuit of pleasurable reinforcement, and they are more prone to addictive behaviors. Whether through sensation or hyperactivity, ADHD brains can compel their owners to scan the environment for engaging stimulation. When mundane tasks can’t be avoided, ADHD brains may be compromised in their ability to choose goal-oriented responses.
The mantra in the school system seems to be let’s just “force compliance” with medications. In part, ADHD was created in response to heavy-handed restrictions that western cultures have naively allowed to be imposed. Ever know of a child that is on medication during the school year but not during the summer? Why is that? Isn’t this customized ADHD?
Another contributing factor can be age upon entry into the school system. Researchers found that students born in August, the cut-off month for school entry in Taiwan, were more likely to be given diagnoses of ADHD than students born in September. Other research found similar results. Teachers can perceive those younger children in the class as struggling with sitting, focusing, concentrating, and other behavioral issues, especially when compared to older children. When behavior struggles are identified at an early age especially, the path to an ADHD diagnosis can be paved. This is true, especially for live wire “sanguine” personality types entering the school system as one of the younger students in the class. They never have a chance. My birthday is in late August. I should have stayed back a grade but ended up being one of the youngest in my class According to today’s loose diagnostic criteria for ADHD, I feel confident I would have been targeted, classified, and then drugged into compliance. So, there you have it. I hope this helps. You can read the rest of the story in my book, Your Health Has Been Hijacked available here on this website. Just click on the link.