ADD ADHD NOT a Genetic Disorder

In this Video, Dr. Mate explains the importance of healthy brain development and debunks the idea that ADD ADHD is a genetic disorder.

DR. GABOR MATÈ: The fundamental thing that I want to get across here is that- and I made the point in my book about addiction, as well- the human brain does not develop on its own. It does not develop according to the genetic program. It depends very much on the environment. The essential condition for the physiological development of these brain circuits that regulate human behavior, that give is empathy, that give us a social sense, that give as connection with other people, that gives a connection with ourselves, that allows us to mature- the essential condition for those circuits, for those physiological development is the presence of emotionally available, consistently available, non-stressed, attuned, parenting, caregivers. Now, what do you have in a country where the average maternity leave is six weeks? These kids don’t have emotional caregivers available to them. What do you have in a country where poor women- nearly 50% of them- suffer from postpartum depression? When a woman has postpartum depression, she can’t be attuned to the child.

AMY GOODMAN: What about fathers?

DR. GABOR MATÈ: The situation with fathers is that increasingly now, there was study recently that showed increasing numbers of men are having postpartum depression as well. And the main role of the father, of course, would be to support the mother. But when people are stressed emotionally… The cause of postpartum depression in the mother it is not intrinsic to the mother. Not intrinsic to the mother. What we have to understand here is that human beings are not discrete, individual entities, contrary to the ‘free enterprise’ myth- that people are competitive, individualistic, private entities. What people actually are are social creatures very much dependent on one another, and very much programed to cooperate with one another when the circumstances are right. If that’s not available- if the support is not available for women- that’s when they get depressed. When the fathers are stressed they’re not supporting women in that really important, crucial bonding role in the beginning. In fact, they get stressed and depressed themselves. The child’s brain development depends on the presence of non-stress, emotionally available parents. In this country, that’s less and less available. Hence, you’ve got burgeoning rates of autism in this country. It’s gone up like twenty or thirty fold in the last thirty or forty years.

AMY GOODMAN: Say what you mean by autism.

DR. GABOR MATÈ: Autism is a whole spectrum of disorders, but the essential quality of it is emotional disconnect. These children are living in a mind of their own. They don’t respond appropriately to emotional ques. They withdraw, they act out in aggressive, and sometimes just unpredictable fashion. They don’t know how to, um, there’s no sense of emotional connection and just peace inside them.

And there are many, many more kids in this country- a several fold increase, twenty-fold increase in the last 30 years- the rates of anxiety amongst children is increasing. The number of kids on the anti-depressant medications has increased tremendously. The number of kids being diagnosed with bipolar disorder has gone up. And then, not to mention all the behavioral issues- the bullying that we mentioned, the precocious sexuality, the teenage pregnancies. There is now a program- a so-called ‘reality show’–that just focuses on teenage mothers. In other words…

See, it never used to be that children grew up and stressed, nuclear family- that wasn’t a normal basis for child development. The normal basis for child development has always been the clan, the tribe, the community, the neighborhood, the extended family. Essentially, post-industrial capitalism has completely destroyed those conditions. People no longer live in the communities which are still connected to one another. People don’t work where they live, they don’t shop where they live. The kids don’t go to school, necessarily, where they live. The parents are away most of the day. For the first time in history, children are not spending most of their time around the nurturing adults in their lives. They’re spending their lives away from the nurturing adults, which is what they need for healthy brain development.

Original Article Here –