On a biological level ADD has to do with low dopamine level.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in:
Focus - Attention - Motivation
The main objective of medication for ADD is to elevate dopamine.
However the research of Gabor Mate has shown that ADD is not genetically inherited, it is actually the result of the environment children grow up in.
The brain develops under de influence of the environment.
Even if the parents are not aware, their stress affect their children promoting the raising of their level of cortisol, the stress hormone. Little children, still don't have the capacity to self-regulate on an emotional level by asking for help, leaving the stressful situation or cope with their own vulnerability. Their reaction to stress becomes then the beginning of what later manifests as ADD.
What children need is a nurturing environment.
Specifically children need attunement that consists of:
- Really getting the emotional space where the child is;
- Sharing that space with felt empathy;
- Being able to communicate within that shared space.
This is difficult to write for me as parent of a child with ADD the same way it could be for you to read it as someone with ADD looking at your parents, or being as parent like me.
Gabor Mate also comes from this experience and clarifies really nicely that is not about finger pointing, is about understanding to be able to heal.
When attunement starts to occur within a family, the all family heals.
I do not do diagnosis and I do not specifically work with people who have DSM diagnoses, however, there is a growing number of people approaching my practice that shows aspects of ADD and that questions about it. There has been a lot of new discovery in how to understand and approach better ADD that may not being yet widely known. My intention is to share those views. These blog posts are written, for those asking themselves if they may have aspect of ADD and/or how to understand that better and what could be done about it. This is of course just informative and in no way can replace being diagnosed by a professional.