by Gabor Maté
Action has meaning only in relationship and without understanding relationship, action on any level will only breed conflict.
The understanding of relationship is infinitely more important than the search for any plan of action..t
i now think that physicians and prescriptions for drugs have come to play a lopsidedly exaggerated role in the treatment of add. what begins as a problem of society and human development has become almost exclusively defined as a medical ailment..t
the healing add calls for is not a process of recovery from some illness. it is a process of becoming whole.. original sense of the word healing
daniel j siegel: the dsm is concerned w categories, not with pain..
add has much to do w pain, present in every one of the adults/children who have com to me for assessment.. deep emotional hurt they carry is telegraphed by the downcast, averted eyes, the rapid, discontinuous flow of speech, the tense body postures, the tapping feet and fidgety hands by the nervous self deprecating humor..
images of distress, loneliness and confusion, presented with a tinge of humor.. the strangely dissonant imagery tells also of a troubled soul who found reality harsh – so harsh that the mind had to be fragmented in order to fragment the pain
the law of entropy rules: order is fleeting chaos is absolute
active attention is a capacity the add brain lacks.. whenever organized work must be done, or when attention needs to be directed toward something of low interest..
what if both of those (org’s work and low interest work) aren’t really needed.. what if it’s the tasks.. not the person..
to be able to focus, the person w add needs a much higher level of motivation that do other people
so maybe they’re actually more awake..
maybe they still have the senses of the infant you talk about p73
what can be immobilizingly difficult is to arouse the brain’s motivational apparatus in the absence of personal interest.
add is situational: there are certain classes for i in which the add child may perform remarkable well. while in others she is scattered unproductive and perhaps disruptive..
again.. it’s the system/school.. not the person
many children w add are subjected to overt disapproval and public shaming in the classroom for behaviors they do not consciously choose.
really?.. seems the shamers/disapprovers and the ones sitting perfectly still.. are the ones with the problem
social convo has always been a mystery to me i have at times looked at people engage in animated discussion and wished that i was invisible so that i could overhear them – not to eavesdrop but to find out once and for all exactly what there is to talk about…
one of my patients.. ‘i don’t know how to make small talk’
common theme on all days, good or bad, is a gnawing sense of having missed out on something important in life..
north american society tries to bury may problems under tons of meds, preferring to ignore the social/cultural causes of people’s stressed mental states..
little doubt too that prison conditions could not have been more diabolically designed to exacerbate all these mental dysfunctions
school then too.. no?
we could all go crazy. maybe we already have
yeah.. we have
this feeling of duty toward the whole world is not limited to add but is typical of it. no one w add is w/o it..
add is a prime illustration of how the adult continues to struggle with the unsolved problems of childhood. she is held back precisely where the child did not develop, hampered in those areas where the infant or toddler got stuck during the course of development..
or perhaps most often.. where the school age kid..was hampered.. got stuck..
instead of asking why a disorder or illness develops, we ask why a fully self-motivated and self-regulated human personality does not
we do not have to look for diseases to explain why some people are not able to experience the full flowering of their potential. we have only to inquire what conditions sustain unfettered human development and what conditions hinder it..
the answer to underdevelopment is development, and for development the appropriate conditions must exist.. meds only a partial solution to problems posed by add..
on dogma of genetics.. ie: cree population in nw ontario.. diabetes 5x canadian national avg.. despite traditionally low incidence of diabetes among native peoples.. the genetic makeup of the cree people cannot have changed in a few generations.. the destruction of the crees’ traditional physically active ways of life, the substitution of high calorie diets…. and greatly increased stress levels are responsible for the alarming rise in diabetes rates.. we will see that in similar ways changes in society are causing more and more children to be affected by add
studies do show that if parents/siblings have add, child in that family will have greatly increased statistical risk for add.. add is also found more commonly in people whose first degree relatives are alcoholics or suffer from depression, anxiety, addiction, ocd or tourettes’s syndrome.. it may appear.. hereditary.. fam atmosphere in which child spends formative yrs has major impact on brain development.. problems such as add far more likely to develop in fams where parents are struggling w dysfunction or psych problems of their own.. no genes need be involved at all for these conditions to run in families..
misconception stemming from.. ie: adopted twins both having add.. if true.. should correlate 100%.. also.. ignored is a powerful environmental factor: the adoption itself.. given that emotional security is an absolute human need in infancy, it is astonishing that adoption is so often forgotten as a possibly crucial influence..
another factor.. twins had shared same uterus.. pregnancies ending in adoption occur in mothers under sever stress..
even w/o world wars.. siblings growing up in same home almost never share the same environment.. of all environments, the one that most profoundly shapes the human personality is the invisible one: the emotional atmosphere in which the child lives during the critical yrs of brain development.. the invisible environment has little to od w parenting philosophies or parenting style.. it is a matter of intangibles… foremost among them being the parents’ relationship with each other and their emotional balance as individuals.. pysch tension in parents’ lives during the child’s infancy is, i am convinced, a major and universal influence on the subsequent emergence of add..
a hidden factor of great importance is a parent’s unconscious attitude toward a child: what, or whom, on the deepest level the child represents for the parents; the degree to which the parents see themselves in the child; the needs parents may have that they subliminally hope the child will meet
although of paramount importance .. these subtle and often unconscious influences will be missed on psych questionnaires or observation of parents in clinical settings. there is no way to measure a softening or and edge of anxiety in the voice, the warmth of a smile or the depth of furrows on a brow. we have no instrument to gauge the tension in a father’s body as he holds his infant or to record whether a mother’s gaze is clouded by worry or clear with calm anticipation..
whatever hopes, wishes or intentions of the parent, the child does not experience the parent directly: the child experiences the parenting..
i have even seen subtly but significantly diff mothering give to a pair of identical twins..
people w add are hypersensitive. that is not a fault or a weakness of theirs it s how they were born.. it is their inborn temperament. that, primarily, is what is hereditary about add. .. in most cases, add is caused by the impact of the environment on particularly sensitive infants..children w add are more likely to have history of freq cold, upper resp infections, ear infections asthma, eczema and allergies.. a fact interpreted by some as evidence that add is due to allergies. although the flare up of allergies can certainly aggravate add symptoms.. the one does not cause the other.. they both are expression of the same underlying inborn traits: sensitivity.. since emotionally hypersensitive reactions are no less physiological than the body’s allergic responses to physical substance, we may say truthfully that people w add have emotional allergies
saying.. stop being so sensitive/touchy.. might as well advise child w hay fever to stop being so allergic
their child’s body is a barometer for the stresses on the whole family system, his symptoms the markings of a minutely calibrated instrument..
the existence of sensitive people is an advantage for humankind because it is this group that best expresses humanity’s creative urges and needs.. thru their instinctual responses the world is best interpreted… sensitivity is transmuted into suffering and disorders only when the world is unable to heed the exquisitely tuned physiological and psychic responses of the sensitive individual..
the human brain is the most complex entity in the universe..
fully 3/4 of our brain growth takes place out side the womb..
3 conditions w/o which healthy growth does not take place can be taken for granted in the matrix of the womb: 1\ nutrition, 2\ physically secure environ, 3\ unbroken relationship w a safe, ever present maternal organism
the word matrix is derived from the latin for womb, itself derived from the word for mother..
in many respects the mother remains the womb even following birth..
life in womb is surely the prototype of life in the garden of eden.. when nothing can possibly be lacking.. nothing has to be worked for..
the third prime requirement, a secure safe and not overly stressed emotional atmosphere, is the one most likely to be disrupted in western societies.. the human infant lacks the capacity to follow or cling to the parent soon after being born, and is neurologically and biochemically underdeveloped in many other ways.. the first nine months of extrauterine life seem to have been intended by nature as the second part of gestation.. during this period.. the security of the womb must be provided by the parenting environ…. the attachment that was until birth directly physical now needs to be continued on both physical and emotional levels.. w physically and psychologically, th parenting environ must contain and hold the infant as securely as she was held in the womb
for the second nine months of gestation, nature does provide a near substitute for eh direct umbilical connection: breast-feeding.. apart from its irreplaceable nutritional value and the immune protection it gives the infant, breast-feeding serves as a transitional stage from unbroken physical attachment to complete separate from the mother’s body..
breast feeding also deepens the mother’s feeling of connectedness to the baby.. enhancing the emotionally symbiotic bonding relationships.. no doubt the decline of breast feeding, particularly accelerated in n america, has contributed to the emotional insecurities so prevalent in industrialized countries..
even more than breast feeding.. healthy brain development requires emotional security and warmth in th infant’s environ.. this security is more than the love and best possible intentions of the parents.. it depends also on a less controllable variable: their freedom from stresses that can undermine their psychological equilibrium. a calm and consistent emotional milieu throughout infancy is and essential requirements for the wiring of the neurophysicological circuits of w self regulation..
dale f hay: the experience of the mother’s depression in the first months of life may disrupt naturally occurring social processes that entrain and regulate the infant’s developing capacities for attention..
infants, particularly sensitive infants, intuit the diff between a parent’s real psychological states and her attempts to soothe and protect the infant by means of feigned emotional expressions.. it is much easier to fool an adult w forced emotion than a baby.. *the emotional sensory radar of the infant has not yet been scrambled.. it reads feelings clearly.. t.. they cannot be hidden from the infant behind a screen of words, or camouflaged by well-meant but forced gestures..it is unfortunate but true that we grow far more stupid than that by the time we reach adulthood.
*why/when does this change..?
asking Gabor and James:
do you know if it remains more in tact in ie: indigenous people who have had minimal oppression from ‘civilization’..?
any observations of this that you have seen @ ..?
then i ask: so if there was a way to heal us.. make us whole again.. de stress us.. we could get that back.. ?..or at least future infants/children/adults wouldn’t lose it..?
huge. thank you.
h u g e
john bowlby: in attunement it is the infant who leads and the mother who follows.. the infant initiates the interaction or withdraws from it according to his own rhythms.. while the mother regulates her behaviour so that it meshes with his.. thus she lets him call the tune and by a skillful interweaving of her own responses with his creates a dialogue
the tense or depressed mothering adult will not be able to accompany the infant into relaxed, happy spaces.. the add child’s difficulty reading social cues likely originates from her relationship cues not being read by the nurturing adult, who was distracted by stress
not only does mother follow child.. but she permits child to temporarily interrupt contact.. when interaction reaches a certain stage of intensity for infant, he will look away to avoid an uncomfortably high level of arousal.. another interaction will then begin.. a mother who is anxious may react w alarm when the infant breaks off contact.. may try to stimulate him.. to draw hm back.. then the infant’s nervous system is not allows to ‘cool down’ and the attunement relationship is hampered…
this sounds like unschooling mom advice.. along side ness
infants who caregivers were too stressed, for whatever reason, to give them the necessary attunement contact will grow up w a chronic tendency to feel alone w their emotions, to have a sense – rightly or wrongly – that no on can share how they feel, that no one can ‘understand’
attunement is the quintessential component of a larger process, called attachment.. attachment is simply our need to be close to somebody..t
add children whose needs for warm parental contact are most frustrated grow up to be adults with the most sever cases of add
if mom becomes preoccupied or distracted while playing w baby, sadness or dismay settles in on the little face – stanley greenspan
nature’s goal for human growth is for the eventual maturation of a self-motivated, self-regulated and self-reliant adult. the infant lacks these attributes. we may say that the natural agenda is really the transformation of regulation from dependence on another individual to independence, from external regulation to internal regulation. this shift from external to internal regulation require the development of the prefrontal cortex, the cortex in the very anterior portion of the brain, including and especially the orbitofrotnal cortex..
the ofc has a major role in the control of attention.. helps to pick out what to focus on..
while the explicit meaning of words spoken is analyzed in the left hemisphere, the right ofc interprets the emotional content of communications..
it (ofc) is deeply concerned w the assessment of relationships between the self and others..
the ofc records and stores the emotional effects of experiences, first and foremost the infant’s interactions w his or her primary caregivers during the early months and year… the unconscious model from which al later emotional reactions and interactions will be formed..
so if the primary care givers were healthy.. infants’ emotional sensory radar wouldn’t become scrambled.. (p 73the emotional sensory radar of the infant has not yet been scrambled.. it reads feelings clearly)
in add there is no brain damage there is impaired brain development..
thru out the human life span there remains a constant two way interaction between psychological states and the neurochemistry of the frontal lobes, a fact that many doctors do not pay enough attention to. one result is the overreliance on meds in the treatment of mental disorders..
modern psychiatry is doing too much listening to prozac and not enough listening to human beings; people’s life histories should be given at least as much importance as the chemistry of their brains..
emotional stress particularly affects the chemistry of the prefrontal cortex the center for selective attention, motivation and self-regulation..
both endorphins an dopamine promote the development of new connections in the prefrontal cortex.. (ie: from perfectly attuned mother-child mutual gaze interaction)
the letters add may equally well stand for attunement deficit disorder..t
what did jewish infants know of nazis, ww2, racism, genocide? what they knew – or rather, absorbed – was their parents’ anxiety. they drank it in with their mothers’ milk, heard it in their fathers’ voices, felt it in the tense arms and bodies that held them close.. they inhaled fear, ingested sorrow.. yet.. were they not loved? no less than children anywhere.. if in the photo the love may be seen in my mother’s face, her fear and worry are reflected in mine..
their (parents who come to me about kids w add) idea of stress is financial disaster or serious illness of death in the family, or perhaps a nuclear bomb going off outside their home. it seems to them just normal human existence to live at a hectic pace and in tense relationships, nerves stretched taut as piano wire..
people can be deeply affected by unconscious anxieties and stresses they have no conscious knowledge of whatsoever..
sometimes a couple will deny the tensions between them and focus on what they believe to be wrong with their child as a means of avoiding conflict with each other..
as happened between rae and me, many of the mothers have been burdened w full responsibility for the family’s emotional well-being.. they may be pushing themselves beyond the limit of their energies, as they have done for years.. such unequal division of emotional labour is, i believe, one of the main reason why more women than men become depressed..
interpretive labor ness
families in which sexual abuse is likely to occur are families that are psychologically stressful to grow up in from the moment of birth. so it’s not the at sexual abuse later in childhood causes add, but that the psych atmosphere that later will make abuse possible is already present in infancy. something amiss in relationships in a family will have neg effects on brain development in early childhood
it has been suggested that, in general, hyperactive kids are the ones most likely to get abused. even if that were so, the abusive inclination of the parent is not caused by the child’s add… only people abuse in youth will go on to abuse their own children.. and they will do so almost inevitably unless they have recognized the facts of their own childhood histories and have taken up the task of healing..
on fewer contacts w extended family.. add children are less likely to have the comfort/support that only loving grandparents can give..
blame becomes a meaningless concept if one understand how family history stretches back thru the generations..
the greater prevalence of add in north america is rooted in something more prosaic and more disturbing than genes from adventuresome forebears: the gradual destruction of the family by economic and social pressures in the past several decades. this process is more advanced in n america than elsewhere in the industrialized world..
how poorly today’s n american way of life serves the needs of the human body may be gauged by the high levels of say, heart disease, diabetes and obesity on this continent.. the situation of the human brain is analogous..
robert bly: what the young need – stability, presence, attention, advice, good psychic food, unpolluted stories – is exactly what the sibling society won’t give them…
the answer to the need of the young child for close parental contact is not the ghettoization of women in the home. it is the recognition by society at large that there is no more important task in the world than the nurturing of the young during th earliest years.. (and.. no biologically based diff when comes to parenting once breast feeding is ono longer the main source of infant’s nutrition)
the purpose was not to overtax the brief attention spas of the intended audience and to hold their interest, which otherwise would quickly wane. in short, whether or not the producers identified it in these precise terms, sesame street was a response to he socially engendered add of poor children..
since then we have evolved into a culture that celebrates a short attention span..
problem w unconscious psych defenses iw that they cannot be shed at will. they were induced w/o our conscious will in first place.. before we had any will at all.. once in place, a defense mech such as tuning out takes on a life of its own.. little or nothing of a distressing nature need be there in the immediate environ for it to happen. it becomes.. as it were.. the default setting in the cerebral apparatus of awareness.. unless some other special switch is turned on, tuned out will be the state that the brain auto returns to
given their automatic tuning out, add children forever find themselves being told to ‘pay attention’ – a demand that completely misunderstand both the nature of the child and the nature of attention
and the nature of the environment.. ie: school
the obvious monetary connotation of ‘pay’ is that attention is something the child owes the adult.. that the child’s attention belongs to the adult by right..the phrase takes for granted that being attentive is always a consciously chosen act, subject to one’s will. both of these assumptions are faulty..
nobody is born w attention. like language or locomotion being attentive is a skill we acquire.. not an isolated attribute of the child’s but the product of a relationship between the child and her environment..
what looks like a deficit of attention may be a preoccupation w something important to the child but hidden to the observing adult: the child’s emotional anxieties..
even the most benign parenting writes allan shcore… involves some use of mild shaming procedures to influence behavior..
when the parent is distracted or withdrawn, the older infant or toddler experiences shame.. shame postures are observed in infants in response to nothing more than the parent breaking eye contact..
believing that.. whatever the parents reaction is, the child is responsible for it..
its (shame) origins have nothing to od w bad deeds, failures or hurting anyone.. like its opposite number, hyperactivity, shame began as a normal physiological state that escaped regulation by the cortex.. it becomes wound tightly into the self-identity of the individual..
john ratey has aptly observed that ‘i’m sorry’ is the most common phrase in the vocab of add..
like so much else about add, hyperactivity, lethargy, and shame are closely connected w the neurological memories of the distant, stressed or distracted caregiver.. there will be a sense of discomfort as soon as te mind becomes aware of itself, because such awareness immediately triggers responses encoded w the infant’s distress at feeling emotionally alone. the mind then lapses into helpless lethargy, or races away, looking for something to attach to: some idea/fantasy/memory/conversations/music/reading.. anything.. when it cannot do so, there is intense unease – or the aversion to one’s own mind, which we call boredom..
it’s not curing that add children need: they need to be helped to grow.. what is required is not a change in parenting techniques but a change in parenting attitudes.. based on a deeper understanding of the child
early in life, plasticity.. is so great that infants who suffer damage to one side of their brain about the time of birth, even if they lose an entire hemisphere, may compensate for their deficit…. w age plasticity declines.. but is never completely lost..
the key factor is cementing the attachment relationship
the relationships w the parents is the earth, the rain, the sun and the shade in which the child’s mental development must blossom. first and foremost, it is in the context of the family that children will have transforming experiences that nourish growth
carl rogers: unconditional positive regard: has no conditions of worth attached to it.. i care.. not i care for you if you behave thus and so..
so the first thing is to create some space in the child’s heart of hearts for the certainty that she is precisely the person the parents want and love.. she does not have to do anything or be any different to earn that love.. in fat, she cannot do anything, the love cannot be won/lost.. it is not conditional… completely independent of the child’s behaviour.. just there..
couple paragraphs on getting an add kid to school on time..
why aren’t we questioning .. the getting a kid to school on time ness.. rather than how to make it easier..?
the world will teach her the necessary lessons
like being on time to school..?
attention given at the request of the child is never satisfactory: it leaves an uncertainty that the parent is only responding to demands.. not voluntarily giving of himself to the child.. the solution is to seize the moment, to invite contact exactly when the child is not demanding it..
the real harm is inflicted when the paren makes the child work at reestablishing contact, as in forcing a child to apologize before granting ‘forgiveness’.. there is neither genuine remorse nor genuine forgiveness in such situations, only humiliation.. since in principle nothing the child does should threaten the relationship in the first place, he should have to do no work to restore it..
in any community of beings living in close contact w each other, the behavior of individuals can be understood only in the context of their relationship to the group as a whole. in an ant colony, for ie, larvae are hatched w essentially identical genetic makeups. who becomes queen or worker or soldier is determined by the needs of the group not by individual predisposition..t.. the requirements of the community shape the physiology and functions of each ant.. the human family is not an exception to this rule.
we think that children act, whereas what they mostly do is react… parents who realize this acquire a powerful tool.. by noticing their own responses to the child rather than fixating on the child’s responses to them, they free up tremendous energy for growth..
offense rather than defense..
michael kerr: if parents shift focus off child and become more responsible for own actions.. child will automatically (perhaps after testing whether parents really mean it) .. assume more responsibility for self..
this taking of responsibility for oneself is based on the capacity for self-regulation..
parents of add child will often say their son/daughter has a ‘powerful’ personality. far from being powerful, the child is weak/vulnerable. it’s not his ‘power’ but the inefficiency of the parents’ own emotional thermostat that enables the fluctuations in the child’s moods to set the emotional tone of the whole household..a child in this situation is deeply insecure.. he is made insecure by his lack of emotional self-control because there are no adults around able to maintain a steady and functioning environ, whatever his own particular internal states may be.. the parents need the child to be in balance only because they are not.. but because the parents are not independently in balance themselves.. the child cannot be..t
the fundamental issue is not how to parent.. but who is parenting.. the state of mind of the adults as they respond to the child..
the child can feel secure w a parent whom he cannot reduce to his own level of functioning..
unresolved psych conflicts between parents, and w/in each parent , are a major source of unrest for hypersensitive add child..
the child is manifesting what ..david freeman calls the parents’ ‘unfinished business’.. that she does so is a sign fo her immature self-regulation.. but what she expresses by acting out says as much about her environ as about herself..
to create safety for their children, parents need to devote energy and commitment to processing their own ‘unfinished business’.. can do much more to further the development of their child than by any behavioral approaches aimed at motivating the child or at making him more compliant..
the child w add has had to pay our more attention than she has received.. which is precisely how she has incurred an attention deficit.. only the adult can break this cycle.. the key to doing so is learning to give the child not the attention he is asking for, but the attention he needs
don’t mistake a child for his symptom – erik erikson.. the attitude adults are best to adopt: compassionate curiosity.. what message the child may be trying to communicate..t
whatever the child receives in the emotional relationship w the parent only after demanding it has, by defn, no capacity to satisfy..
have to satiate the child w attention .. precisely when the child has not demanded it..
no child is by nature manipulative/controlling.. a child who does develop a propensity to manipulate/control others is doing so out of weakness, not strength. manipulation and the drive to control are fear responses based on unconscious anxieties.. the truly strong person need not be so afraid that she has to direct/control every aspect of her environ..
gordon neufeld: the most ridiculous thing we can say is that ‘my child is trying to manipulate me’ it’s like saying the rain is wet. of course children want to get their own way, and often they can do that if they get the adult to go along with them
if we can remain curious, we can explore why a child would need to manipulate..
w children.. the manipulation occurs only because the child has learned that openly expressing his needs will not necessarily bring an understanding and nurturing response.. also.. because the emotionally wounded child may no longer be able to articulate his real needs..
in reality.. the child cannot cause the parent’s rage.. she may have inadvertently triggered it.. but she is responsible neither for the capacity for rage in the parent nor for the existence of the trigger.. the parent acquired them before the child was born..
that other people do not cause our reactions is a difficult concept, so automatically have w come to associate our feelings w what someone else is doing.. the confusion is only natural.. it reflects the failure of self-regulation to develop..
when we consider the word lazy, we realize that it does not explain anything. it is only a negative judgment made about another person who is unwilling to do what we want them to do..t
the solution came not from the parents trying to coerce their son into doing his share, or to bribe him, but from their work on reconnecting w him emotionally..
once they deciphered their son’s messages, they became far more supportive of his needs and less threatened by his seeming indifference to responsibility..
the child’s oppositionality is not an expression of will. what it denotes is the absence of will, which – only allows a person to react but not to act from a free and conscious process of decision making..
figuring out what we want has to begin with having the freedom to not want..
counterwill, they dynamic, should not be identified with the child’s self. this is really important.. it is not the person that we are getting to know when we get to know the resistance..
a strong defense is there only because there is threat, and the child is threatened only because a strong sense of his own self has not developed sufficiently
in the literature of child rearing, a counterwill is sadly neglected because so much of the emphasis has been placed on behaviors.. if specific behaviors are the goal, then treats, punishments, promises and rewards may work very well- for a while..
counterwill becomes maladjusted, as it does in add, only when adults do not understand it and try to overcome it by some sot of pressure,
counterwill is triggered whenever the child senses that the parent wants him to do something more than she, the child, wants to do it.. it arises not just when the child absolutely does not wish to do that something.. but also when she does with it.. just not as much as the parent..
oh my mom
use of rewards… positive coercion .. does not work in long run any better tha threat/punishment.. the issue is the child’s sense of being forced , not the manner in which the force is applied..
even thought you try to put people under some control, it is impossible. you cannot do it. the best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. then they will be in control in its wider sense. t.. to give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him. so it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them this is the best policy. to ignore them is not good; that is the worst policy. the second worst is trying to control them. the best one is to watch them, just to watch them, w/o trying to control them.. – shunryu suzuki roshi..
how do i motivate my child.. you can’t
trying to motivate a child.. to accept what the parents want or her is worlds away from promoting the growth of her natural, self generated motivation. the first is done to the child. the second happens w/in the child and is a process…
there are as edward deci point out, universal human needs for self-determination, to feel competent and to be genuinely connected w others. these needs and the drive to satisfy them do not have to be instilled in people: they exist, even if in undeveloped form. allowed to unfold, they will motivate. the problem is not that parents/adults don’t know how to motivate children. the problem is that our parenting/teaching styles in many cases fail to support the child’s natural drive for discovery and mastery. encouraging development to unfold is based on the knowledge tha nature has its own positive agenda for the child: it has given the child, every child, all the potential and capacities required for full maturation…
attempting to motivate from the outside betrays a lack of faith in the child and in nature. it reflects the anxiety of the parent, not the limitations of the child..t
can’t implant motivation.. but too successful at sowing in them seeds of our own anxiety..
w/o the safety fo the attachment relationship, the small child will be too anxious to focus is attention on a meaningful exploration of the world around him..
along with attachment, the other necessary condition for the development of motivation is autonomy..t
‘people need to feel that their behavior is truly chosen by them rather than imposed by some external source’ writes edward deci ‘
w/o some choice, autonomy is not possible.. ‘you dont’ feel like doing your hw now. when would be a better time’
ugh.. total ugh.
children don’t have to be trained into socialization. because it is a fundamental human drive, we naturally develop connectedness and compassion if our own basic needs have been respected.. socialization is at the apex of a pyramid. the base is formed by secure attachment and autonomy.. we often make the mistake w our children of putting socialization – the rules of social conduct, what is called ‘good behavior’ ahead of attachment and individuation.. we try to make our kids act as truly socially responsible people at the expense of their emotional security and their autonomous sense of self.. this may result in compliance, but not in the internal, organic growth of true morality and social responsibility.
hard time w two chapters on 1\ school 2\ teens.. both seem to be ignoring that school is not a given.. and is toxic.. perpetuating not us ness.. science of people.. so reads as figuring out how to fit add into school ness.. when really.. none of us fit..
angus: it’s not that it’s not a problem. i can see how it is but i don’t care. i’m not going to change myself in that way for others. i may be extremely selfish in that respect, but i’m not going to put myself on pills so that i’m more – what’s the word.. more controllable..
manageable i suggested..
yeah .. that’s it.. so that i am more manageable for my teachers..
i pressed point.. but wouldn’t you like to be able to concentrate better, to be more focused in some of those other subjects besides jus your favs..
angus: nah.. i think add in itself isn’t that bad.. it’s when you put it on top of a broken home, or alcoholic parents, or bad crowds .. then you get a serious problem ..and then ritalin isn’t going to take away everything . it’s just going to take away the add, not relive all those other problems you have
i’d say.. including and perpetuated by.. school
many of the traits thought to be caused by add are, i am convinced, not the expressions of the specific neurophysiological impairments associated w add but of low self esteem
some markers of low self esteem: craving good opinion of others; propensity to blame someone – self or others; inflated view of self; mistreating those who are weaker or accepting mistreatment w/o resistance; argumentativeness – need to be right or assuming always wrong; trying to impose opinion; letting others judgement influence; sense of responsibility for other people in relationships; inability to say no; need to achieve; abusing body/soul; .. all of thee behaviors and attitudes reveal a fundamental stance towards the self that is conditional and devoid of true self-respect
true self esteem: has nothing to do w a self eval on basis of achievement.. a person truly comfortable in his own skin doesn’t say’ i am a worthy human being because i can do such and such; accepts; steadfast; great store in what others think; independent of others’ opinions; .. who one is.. contingent self esteem is only what one does
absolutely universal in the stories of all adults w add is the memory of never being comfortable about expressing their emotions.. not safe enough to bare their souls.. kept deepest griefs to selves.. on other hand, many recall being hyperaware of their parents’ difficulties and struggles in the world..
gabor in early years: had little regard for ti (my writing) precisely because i felt it came naturally to me.. i don’t trust my words.. they come too easily..
to me those things come easily.. that’s just who i am… i didn’t have to work at them much… andrea
working to convince themselves of their own self-worth by striving to achieve something completely contrary to their nature..t
one of barriers faced by adults w add in their quest for self esteem is they don’t know who that self to be esteemed is..
sooner or later people come to realize that this false self..wanting what they think they should want, feeling what they think they should feel – does not work for them..t
#1 regret of dying
when they look inside themselves, they discover a frightening emptiness, a vacuum, an absence of a true self or of intrinsic motivation..
human infants are born w no capability whatsoever to hide/suppress any feeling…. given the survival value of emotional expression, nature would not have us give up that capacity unless the suppression of emotion was demanded by the environ.. when we forget how to say no, we surrender self-esteem
in his desperation to be needed was willing to sacrifice his personal life. .. felt so alienated from his own self that he had to keep running away from any awareness of it
the need to be needed at all costs comes from one’s earliest experiences.. if the child does not feel accepted unconditionally, he learns to work for acceptance and attention.. when he is not doing this work, he feels anxious.. owing to an unconscious fear of being cut off from parent.. later as an adult.. when not doing something specific, he has a vague unease, the feeling that he should somehow be working.. the adult has no psychological rest because the infant/child had never known psychological rest.. being wanted becomes a drug.. what one does and what others think of it take precedence over who one is..
appropriate to speak of sense of self.. because from neurophysiological pov the self simply does not exist.. there is no neurobiological ‘self circuit’ in the brain.. no little gnome pulling all the levers..
the self we experience is an unimaginably rapid series of firings of countless neurological circuits.. antonio damsio: at each moment the state of self is constructed from the ground up.. it is an evanescent (quickly fading) reference sate, so continuously and consistently reconstructed tha the owner never knows it is being remade unless something goes wrong with the remaking..
it is the relative consistency of the repetitious neurological activities of the brain that convinces us there is a solid self.. we might say that in add this consistency lacks consistency.. less to hold on to..
this scant reliability of our memories will be satisfactorily explained only when we know win what language, in what alphabet they are written, on what surface, and with what pen.. – primo levi,t.. the drowned and the saved
w/add: a painful hyperconsciousness of injustice.. accompanied by ineffective rage or by shamed silence.. diff.. more painful than empathy and something less effective.. identification.. when a person empathizes, he can understand another’s feelings .. but self as separate.. capable of taking independent useful action.. when he becomes identified , that boundary disappears.. he reacts as if he was himself the victim.. .. humiliation.. helpless rage.. shame..
this is not a state of adult human fellow feeling from which he can act effectively: it si a state of memory.. he is gripped by the past..
to some degree everyone is prisoner of the past.. judith lewis herman..
implicit memory – when people are influenced by a past experience w/o any awareness that they are remembering – daniel schacter..
retrieving memories is not like searching a file to locate some desire item.. the brain has multiple memory systems.. joseph ledoux..
explicit memory is recall..
for short term memories to fix in the brain for storage in long term memory they have to be encoded..
each new memory is a new pattern of strengthened connections between widely distributed brain circuits..
no conscious awareness is necessary for the encoding of implicit memory, or for tis being triggers.. a tone of voice or a look in another’s eyes can activate powerful implicit memories.. implicit memory is responsible for much of human behavior, its working all the more influential because unconscious.. whenever we experience ourselves caught up in feelings that seem to overwhelm us, we are likely in the realm of implicit memory.. – as we also are when we find ourselves quite cut off from feelings..
daniel schacter: while our sense of self an did is highly dependent on explicit memory for past episodes and auto biographical facts, our personalities may be more closely tied to implicit memory..
examination amnesia.. having to prove self in exam setting… personal ie: my voice quickly falter when someone as much as averts his eyes from me while i am speaking w him
a precise marker of what had never occurred..
ledoux refers to implicit memory as emotional memory
should the mother be the one to break eye contact.. infant is mortified.. and is immediately swept into the physiological state of shame.. later.. remembers.. what did not happen
rejection even if no rejection is intended..
from pov of infant.. hardly matters.. (if literally absent or not).. his encoded reactions will be the same, because for him the real issue is not the parent’s physical presence but her emotional accessibility.
so long as i expect a nother person to provide what i am lacking in myself, i am bound to be disappointed..
the unsolved problem is how to be oneself in contact with other people..t
people desperate for a relationship will surrender their sense of self, their true feelings, for fear of being rejected..t
on men seeming more adjusted.. his anxiety can be noticed, however, as soon as she becomes unavailable, for whatever reason
interpretive labor ness
no matter what their conscious intentions, most people are attracted to mates who have their caretakers’ positive and negative traits, and, typically, the neg traits are more influential – harville hendrix
in neurophysiological terms, our choice of mate reflects the early relationship patterns stamped in the neural circuits of the right prefrontal cortex, esp its orbitofrontal portion.. the ofc will recognize and hoe in on someone who, on the unconscious level, activates its familiar reactions.. this person, after all, will most resemble the person whose love one so desperately craved all one’s life..
we are inexorably drawn to marry the individual who is, of all potential partners, the very one most likely to trigger in us the most painful and confusing of implicit memories.. as well as the warmest, happiest ones..
strength is an inner quality; power is a matter of relationship.. i may have strength, yet at the same tim i may be powerful in one relationship and utterly powerless in another..
one of most perplexing problem for non add partner is what john ratey has called ‘the ahistorical memory’ of the add mind. in other words, the add adult (and child) functions at times as if previous events, even the most recent ones, had never taken place. your add partner may have insulted you the night before but this morning greets you with a warm smile, the offer of a hug and the expectation of warm reciprocal contact.. you are in absolutely no mood.. the wounds of the previous night still being fresh..
another aspect of ahistorical memory is its either/or nature.. either nothing bad or nothing good..
something in the add adult dreads going to bed and turning the light off.. the fear is of being alone w one’s urgent mind .. is.. i believe, an implicit memory of finding oneself, in infancy, cut off from contact w the parent..
anthony storr: it seems clear that some kind of scanning or re programming takes place in dreams which has a beneficial effect upon ordinary mental functioning..
the quintessential achievement of western civilization, the scientific method, has come to be interpreted so narrowly that it has been used to exclude essential knowledge human beings have worked and studied and struggle over hundreds of generations to gain: the knowledge that we are not just the molecules that accidentally have come together to form our bodies, the thoughts that temporarily engage our mind, the feelings that agitate or soothe us from one moment to the next.. so ‘scientific’ have we become, that our science has come to ignore or deny the work and experience of the greatest teachers of humankind..
yet it seem to me somehow that i remember these spiritual realities..
written on each heart.. already there.. assume good
contemplative solitude is diff from being alone in a room, reading, listening to music or being lost in reverie.. it means putting some attention on one’s life, one’s thoughts and feelings..
all addictions are anesthetics.. they separate us from the distress in our consciousness..
a fine but clearly discernible line between addiction and passion.. it’s simply a question of who is in charge: the individual or the behavior.. the addiction is the repeated behavior engaged in despite the certainty that it harms oneself or others. passion loves the goal or process.. but the real object of addiction is the thrill of plunging into the behavior.. not the love of it..
my prefrontal lobes were awash with endorphins and dopamine, released by the thrill of the hunt and acquisition. the addiction, in a strange way, makes the addict feel more connected to life.. the downside is that it separates him further and further from himself.. only feeding his appetite, not his hunger..
in biochemical terms, any additive substance or behavior is self medication self administered emotional pain relief.. but the add person is also treating herself for a conditions she is not even aware of having..
to own the addiction is to begin to take ownership of the pain.. until that happens, the pain owns the addict and the addiction rules him..
the deficient neurochemistry of addiction like the deficient neurochem of add, can be traced to events in the first year oor two of life..
the pain the substance abuser does not want to feel has as its original source the same experiences that deprived her of the chemical she is trying to replenish by means of her habit.. .. the harder these people work to compensate.. the more they perpetuate the emotional emptiness.. that only ownership of problem and recognition of causes will fill..
bunter grass: we are far away from our griefs, which are the truest parts of ourselves. there is no path toward oneself that leads away from the pain..
three conclusions may be drawn from that experience (changes in medical baby deliveries .. ie: from cutting for every birth.. to no stirrups.. to not even lying down..) 1\ the medical view of the world tends not to trust nature very much 2\ there are things in the world that are true, even if they’re not taught in me school 3\ sometimes drs have to be educated by the public…. they apply in add.. in ed system.. in psych..
we don’t do our children any favor when we try to protect them from experiencing sadness or failure. what we really want for them when they feel sad is to be able to endure disappointment and hurt feelings, not to hide behind defenses, angry acting-out and driven behavior in order to avoid emotional distress.. it takes a lot of loving to help a child accept sadness.. to know that it can be endured.. it will pass..
to love is to extend oneself toward another or toward oneself, says dr peck. is to happens that this is also the precise meaning of giving attention to another person or to oneself. the origin of the word attend is the latin tendere ‘to stretch’ attend means to extend .. to stretch toward.
if we can actively love, there will be no add and no disorder..
in the realm of hungry ghosts
to unscatter/unscramble us: