When my wife and I first married, it was with the intent that it would last forever. About six years into the marriage, we found ourselves facing some pretty serious problems. Neither of us knew if the marriage would continue, or even if we wanted to stay married. Fortunately, we found a counselor who helped us make sense of what was a very confusing time. Bit by bit, we were able to get a handle on what was happening and figure out a way to resolve those problems together. Without the help of that counselor, I doubt we would be together today. If you are leery of seeking counseling, let me put your mind at rest. The right therapy will help you find the answers you seek and make it possible to move forward. Stay with me and I'll share a little of what I learned along the way.
Children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD, for decades. The typical symptoms of excessive energy, inability to sit still, and disorganization are often used to confirm the diagnosis.
Children diagnosed with ADHD are often medicated and sent for counseling to learn effective methods to channel their excessive energy in a more positive way. However, studies reveal that some children's symptoms may actually be linked to childhood trauma rather than ADHD.
Some of the symptoms of ADHD can be mistaken for those common in children suffering from trauma. For instance, inattentiveness can be mistaken for dissociation. Impulsive behavior can mirror signs of hostility and adversity. Interrupting others can be a cry for attention in cases of neglect.
Physical abuse is not the only cause of trauma in children. Substance abuse in the family, poverty, divorce, mental illness in parents or caregivers, neglect, and conflict within the family unit can all lead to elevated stress levels and trauma in children.
Trauma can exist in good homes and with competent parents who have their child's best interests in mind. The cause of trauma can be subtle, such as in the case of a mutual divorce or a parent battling depression. Well-meaning parents may be unaware that a child is struggling with problems in the household or with situations that occur at school or on the playground.
A child who is bullied by peers or siblings may also be a candidate for trauma-related symptoms. Even an isolated incident where a child is belittled by a classmate, teacher, or family member can cause feelings of insecurity and lack of self-confidence to occur.
Distinguishing the difference
Before making the diagnosis of ADHD, a detailed family history should be obtained to rule out trauma. A professional who specializes in child counseling will be crucial in determining if there is a link between trauma and the onset of ADHD symptoms.
Treating a child for any underlying causes of trauma can help alleviate symptoms and may even eliminate the need for medications commonly prescribed for ADHD.
Not all children who exhibit symptoms of ADHD have experienced trauma in their lives, and more research is certainly needed to determine how many children are misdiagnosed with ADHD.
However, parents and physicians should be aware of the link between ADHD and childhood trauma in order to determine the best course of treatment for the child at the time of diagnosis. Contact a representative from an establishment that provides services that can help your child, such as Meiers Gary J Hammond/Meiers J A & Associates Ltd child counseling.Share