Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dr. Gabor Mate for Dummies

Neurotic parent + sensitive child = adhd

Many things can lead to neurosis, and it can be a healthy reaction to uncommon stress. It beats suicide...

Gabor Mate is an interesting character. A doctor and a writer, he was asked to write a column on ADHD. He realized that it explained his life. While looking for the reasons why...He formulated an opinion that it took two things: there must be an innate sensitivity, and to blossom into full blown ADHD...There must be a misfiring between the child's needs, which tend to be above normal ; and the parent or caregiver's ability to give in to those needs of the child.

If you want no part of the blame, don't read his book. It will make you feel GUILTY. If you are Catholic or Jewish, go ahead, as you are used to it.

His own mother was alone, his father a victim of the Nazi's; she had to make the difficult decision to send him away to save his life. That's not neurosis, that's survival instinct, which neurosis probably is in a lot of cases. This was imprinted on the next generation, as 2 of the 3 of his children were also ADHD, I believe. He had fought with them and made their lives miserable before he finally realized the most important thing : our children need to develop as humans.

"From the very beginning," Gabor Maté says, "the idea of ADD being some sort of genetic disease failed to make sense to me. There is biology involved and in many cases medications may help, but there is far more to ADD than heredity, and far more to its treatment than pharmacology. I wrote Scattered to explore the roots of ADD in life experience, and to investigate how we can help children and adults develop beyond the impairments ADD imposes. The long term objective is not just symptom control or even behavior control, but development."

Dr. Mate's web-page can be found here :

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