I am hoping with enough dissemination of information we will rise up as a society and as a culture and do what it’s going to take to put an end to the unnecessary suffering of too many of our children. In my experience as both a clinical and school psychologist, I have learned that most children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, OCD and other anxiety disorders, even Pervasive Developmental Disorder, have experienced at least one searing traumatic event or series of events. Their so-called symptoms are actually natural responses to unnatural experiences. Yet too many adults in these children’s lives never realize that trauma is the cause or that the effects of trauma can be healed. Instead, educators and/or parents believe in the opinions of medical or mental health professionals and think the only hope for their children is to manage “symptoms” with medication and therapy.
We now know, however, thanks to recent neuroscientific research on how trauma affects the brain, that our traumatized children can get better with the right kind of help. Medication, often leading to overmedication, is not the right kind of help. In fact, that is how many of our children never get better and often get worse. Instead, the core difficulty traumatized children have with self-regulation of mood and behavior can be cured. Once self-regulation is restored, our children’s “symptoms” go away and they resume healthy, normal lives. They no longer underachieve but excel. They no longer suffer but live in the present moment of their lives with full exuberance and hope for the brightest of futures.