Are Your ADD Symptoms the Result of Emotional Trauma?

January 12, 2011

Do you have any of these ADD symptoms: problems focusing, forgetfulness, inattentiveness, fidgeting, or distractibility? These ADD symptoms are remarkably similar to the symptoms of emotional trauma (sometimes called PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder). Do your traumatic memories date back to a difficult childhood?

ADD is emerging as an adult diagnosis, thought to affect five percent of American adults. If you have ADD, you already know how its behaviors interfere with productivity and relationships. If you have this problem, you want to address and resolve it.

In my 20 years of treating ADD adults, I have seen recurring patterns of unresolved early emotional trauma. Many ADD cases have a common unresolved experience of an abusive parent or a critical teacher. The residual wound reopens in the face of some other situation such as a “boss from hell”, weakening the client’s ability to feel safe and confident in the world. When the residual issue is addressed and treated, the subconscious anxiety goes away. With the doubts gone, the ADD-like symptoms and behaviors evaporate.

This is not to say that that all cases of ADD are due solely to prior traumatic experiences. There are many types and causes of ADD. The point is a previous trauma is often not recognized as the cause. A PTSD diagnosis may be characterized as a condition due to specific severe traumatic events in the recent past, such as a war experience or a car accident. However, an abusive childhood can have an impact similar to a war experience, since in a child’s mind, abandonment or parental anger seem life-threatening, due to the child’s deeply dependent state.

Many people turn to drug treatment for severe ADD symptoms. Stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin and dexedrine are considered helpful in treating the symptoms of ADD. However, these drugs have unpleasant side effects and can be addictive. Natural alternatives, such as homeopathy and EFT meridian therapy, can heal the problem without side effects rather than just treat the symptoms.

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