causes of ADHD

What are the True Causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
by Larry Malerba, DO, DHt

There is no one causative factor that can be ascribed to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a complex and multifactorial spectrum of problems. The tendency for mainstream medicine to attribute ADHD to faulty brain chemistry is a false premise and gross oversimplification that comes from its limited reductionistic perspective and its desire to impose a pharmaceutical solution upon the problem.

Altered brain chemistry may well be a symptom of these conditions but it is not, in the vast majority of cases, the cause. That is why drugs like Ritalin and Adderall that alter brain chemistry represent shortsighted solutions that do not address the real problem. While these drugs can temporarily dull the difficult child into submission, they come with some potentially serious side effects, such as seizures, heart arrhythmias, psychosis, and suicide.

Furthermore, most assumed etiologic factors are, in actuality, just triggers for these conditions and not true underlying causes. Dietary restrictions that minimize sugars, food dyes, preservatives and the like can often help diminish the intensity of symptoms in some cases, but they are usually not the final solution. Even if a pristine diet were to restore a child to normal, the underlying problem often remains as evidenced by the return of symptoms upon reintroduction of the offending dietary items.

Nature and Nurture:
The notion that ADHD is a genetic disorder is another example of regular medicine’s reductionistic tunnel vision. I believe it to be a mistaken belief closely related to the pervasive cultural myth that we will someday conquer most, if not all, diseases by means of technological proficiency. It suits the political and economic goals of the biotechnology and nanotechnology industries well.

The same applies to the overemphasis upon various techniques of brain imaging that seek to diagnose and someday treat ADHD. It represents a technological bias that favors physical explanations of causation, while ignoring some of the more obvious etiologies that don’t conform to the tech agenda.

As is the case with most illnesses, whether any given individual manifests ADHD traits is the result of a complex combination of one’s inherited predisposition coupled with factors that conspire to trigger it or bring it into being. It is often just a potentiality until the right (or wrong) stressor encourages its development. Mind you, I am not talking about genetic but, rather, energetic predispositions toward certain medical conditions.

Energetic inheritance is a ubiquitous phenomenon that can be illustrated by the following example. A married man with two developmentally “normal” children is held up at gunpoint on his way to work. In the following months he begins to show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The couple then conceives and births a third child who begins to manifest signs of ADHD. The father’s trauma has been energetically transferred to the child who now displays a variety of fight or flight behaviors such as aggression, fear of the dark, and fear of being alone at night. Far from unusual, stories of this type are quite common.

The following are some of the primary factors that contribute to ADHD:
1. The pervasive violence that permeates all aspects of American culture is, no doubt, a very strong contributor to all forms of ADHD. Psychologists describe the two primary responses to violence as “fight or flight.” One either reacts with aggression or retreats in fear to a perceived threat. Those children on the “deficit” end of the ADHD spectrum are usually the ones who are fearful, inhibited, or even dissociated. They have turned inward and, thus, represent the “flight” response to violence. Those on the “hyperactive” end of the spectrum are the ones that display aggressive and destructive tendencies. They act as if their adrenaline is always pumping, and this represents the “fight” response to violence. Of course, many ADHD sufferers exhibit mixed characteristics that represent both fight and flight.


Dynamic Living Magazine Issue Vol. 2  March/April 2011 Continued on page 2