May 06, 2004

ADD, Dissociation, and Other Mental Health Issues: My predictions for the year 2012

By 2012, I predict....

Rather than a disease or illness, ADD in children will become recognized as a coping mechanism for trauma: dissociation. (i.e., attention deficit = dissociation)

ADD Symptoms from the DSM IV

a. often ignores details; makes careless mistakes
b. often has trouble sustaining attention in work or play
c. often does not seem to listen when directly addressed
d. often does not follow through on instructions; fails to finish
e. often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
f. often avoids activities that require a sustained mental effort
g. often loses things he needs
h. often gets distracted by extraneous noise
i. is often forgetful in daily activities

Symptoms of Dissociation in Children

Child goes into a daze or trance-like state at times or often appears "spaced-out." Teachers may report that he or she "daydreams" frequently in school

Child shows rapid changes in personality. He or she may go from being shy to being outgoing, from feminine to masculine, from timid to aggressive.

Child shows marked day-to-day or even hour-to-hour variations in his or her skills, knowledge, food preferences, athletic abilities, e.g. changes in handwriting, memory for previously learned information such as multiplication tables, spelling, use of tools or artistic ability.

Child is unusually forgetful or confused about things that he or she should know..... [[more]]

I predict that ADD will become more readily linked to adverse childhood experiences, and that new whole-family treatment protocols for trauma will be developed and encouraged.

I predict that the early daycare experience (i.e. early separation of the child from the mother) will receive renewed attention in the question of ADD in children.

Yell at me if you want, but sell your Novartis stock by 2008.

I predict that the trauma movement will change how we view psychotropic medications, now filled by the millions to manage the many shades of mental illness in adults and children. Medicines useful? Yes. I predict that multi-pronged treatment approaches--with medicine as only one prong--will become the preferred way to manage depression and mental illness, however.

I predict that the days of the family doc prescribing psych meds are numbered, as liability increases with a failure for medications to manage these illnesses long term.

This has been a public service announcement from someone with no official training in these matters, but 41 years of experience at the University of Hard Knocks.