Gabor Maté

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Malika, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Malika. I just watched that, as well as Part 1 of his addiction video. Now I have more questions than answers....sigh.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    That's interesting, Calamity. What questions, I wonder? :)
    He has ADD himself and has written some interesting stuff about ADD/ADHD, from a different perspective. Deeply understanding of these children, I feel. I'd like to read the book. Have a look at his website.
  4. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi Malika,
    He's very compassionate and understanding. I agreed with a lot of what he said about how society today is almost completely oppositional to how healthy children should be raised. I especially agree with the feeling of impotence he says many parents experience when it comes to "turning over control" to inanimate devices, like phones, tv's, computers, etc. and how little we end up communicating with each other in the long run. Add stress on the family, financial and emotional distractions that consume the parent(s), and you have a volatile situation for most children. Questions arise as to whether THOSE factors cause ADHD, which the Dr. seemed to think they did. He thinks a lot of kids are misprescribed ADHD medications, when it's really a trauma situation going on. I'm not well versed in these things, so I can't say, but that's certainly a unique perspective. If trauma and stress is at the root of all substance abuse, ADHD, etc., then why weren't my mom and her 7 siblings ADHD? They grew up in the Great Depression, they were poor and struggling, enduring daily traumas, hopelessness; their mother died when my mom was 11 y/o, and she had to raise her younger siblings. PLUS, my grandfather moved back to Italy and left the kids to their own devices after his wife died, and the oldest kid was 17. He had to hold the family together. Then all the boys were drafted and served in WWII enduring brutal horrors and stress. Talk about trauma! They all were upstanding citizens and became loving spouses and parents. None of them became alcoholics or drug users or even knew about ADHD. So if trauma causes everything, how did anyone survive after the plague in Europe? Or after the Holocaust? I'm not refuting the Dr. - I'm not even disagreeing with him, but I'm just asking questions.

    I have all kinds of questions regarding his substance abuse video on youtube. He doesn't agree with the concept of "hitting bottom" for an addict, and he believes ALL substance abuse is ultimately caused by trauma. I think he thinks detachment is cruel, too. I have a difficult child whose drug of choice was meth. He was adopted at 16 mos., and we had no problems with him at all till he was a teenager, but his rage and contempt toward us was incredible. I know of no trauma in his life, except the fact that he knew all along that he was adopted, it was no big whoop, he has a sister who is also adopted. My question is: What is his trauma? He was raised in a 2 parent, extended family, loving home with all the comforts and advantages a child could want. I did not work outside the home, and his grandparents lived in the apartment upstairs. His paternal grandparents lived 10 min. away. We had friends, a big extended family, no major stress. Our difficult child's psychiatrist said adoption in itself CAN BE considered trauma, whether we think it is or not, even if it's a loving, secure adoptive home. The issues an adoptee wrestles with are internal feelings of abandonment that have nothing to do with adoptive parents. It just comes out in some adoptees, and that's why, according to our psychiatrist, our difficult child got into drugs. Why does our adopted daughter not do drugs, then? Also, if that's the case, why would anyone even consider adoption?
    I also got the sense that the Dr. doesn't believe that substance abuse is biological/genetic. He is big on trauma, as I said earlier. He doesn't believe in the criminal justice system when it comes to substance abuse either. He says it's like taking an already abused person, shaming them, and making them feel worse about themselves, when it is really all "society's fault" that they broke the law, because the law is a social construct anyway, and has nothing to do with stopping their substance abuse. So is there no personal liability/responsibility? When a person is on drugs, you can't talk sense to them AT ALL. What exactly are we supposed to do? I don't know...I have to watch it again, and maybe it'll be clearer to me.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You adopted him at 16 months. THAT is, in fact, major trauma, coming right in the midst of when a child is developing critical attachment, consistency, all sorts of things that play into relationships for the rest of his life.
    He hit the teen years... and didn't have the degree of attachment and internal security he needed to survive. It wasn't YOUR parenting. There probably wasn't much else you could have done.

    I tend to be skeptical of people who attribute all sorts of dxes to a single cause.
    Having walked the road we've been on... ADHD is not such a nice neat little package.
    And I'm prepared to go out on a limb and say that in my opinion, ADHD is the most mis-diagnosed diagnosis out there - often given when it doesn't apply, and totally missed when it should be given. Doesn't make it an invalid diagnosis, but... it isn't nearly the simple diagnosis we assume it is.

    I do believe that modern life contributes to the formation of ADHD symptoms. Some of these are: (random, top-of head rambled list...)

    1) technology (radio, TV, computers, cell phones, video games, etc.) has interfered significantly with both the quantity and quality of family time and family communication

    2) the need for double-income families and the extensive use of daycare

    3) far less physical work (if you have to milk 6 cows before you walk two miles to school, it makes it MUCH easier to sit still, Know what I mean??)

    4) noise pollution, which has multiple effects - from hearing loss that typically goes undetected but which affects anyone who spends hours plugged into technology and more so with headphones - to making life much worse for people with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)

    5) the break-down of the close-knit extended family, where the siblings and cousins stood up for each other, looked out for each other, and generally filled in many of the gaps for those in the clan who had a few struggles.

    (And I'm not a Luddite. I make my living from technology.)
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    GM says a lot of the things that you say here, IC. In fairness, in my limited reading of him, he doesn't at all put all ADHD down to trauma or seem to have an off the wall theory about it. He says he is in favour of medications in some cases, in conjunction with other approaches. He does seem to minimise the genetic component of it. He just seems to have an intuitive, feeling understanding of these kids (and adults) that obviously must partly arise from being ADD himself, that I recognise. I haven't seen any of his stuff about addiction.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The genetic component? THAT one, I'll "die" for. Because... if you knew my family - going back 5 generations on both sides, huge families... ADHD has a genetic component. We just thought it was "normal", because "everybody" was like that... until we got away from family, and discovered other people weren't quite like we were. When the "cousins" get together? We have a TOTAL riot... and most of those who marry into the family are sitting around with totally lost looks on their faces, because... we lost them 10 miles back. There IS a genetic component.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    He needs to be read. He has ADD and apparently his three (I think) children also have ADHD - so he answers the question at one point of why he doesn't think it's genetic... Have a look at his website, there's some interesting material on it. He is also from your neck of the woods, a Canadian.