Could There Be A Link Between ADHD And Child Sexual Abuse? (1) New findings published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect show “that adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may have also been physically or sexually abused during the teenage years.”
Given child abuse statistics, that may be true, but I wonder about the ADHD diagnosis. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris (founder and CEO of Center For Youth Wellness) reports that most of her patients, who were referred to her for ADHD, did not in fact have ADHD. After doing a thorough history and physical, she could not give that diagnosis. Most of these patients had a history of severe trauma. (2)
There is a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control, and Kaiser Permanente called the Adverse Childhood Experience Study. Or ACES. The CDC measured ten types of childhood trauma. We’re not talking about losing a basketball game, or chipping a nail before prom. We’re talking life trauma. Most people could site 1 ACES score.
A person with a score of 4 or more, is 2 times more likely to heart disease, 2 times more likely to develop lung cancer, 2 ½ times more likely to have a stroke, 12 times more likely to attempt suicide, and experience a shortened lifetime by 20 years.
Mine came in at 5. Now, that sounds pretty horrifying, doesn’t it? I’m a walking time bomb, health wise? Here is when my underdog bias kicks in. No way. That’s not going to be me. I made that choice 30 years ago. The reason? I won’t be boxed in. No longer will I be labeled, cornered into category and wrapped up with a neat little diagnostic bow.
I believe in hope. Hope starts the healing process. It starts in the brain, then translates to the heart and body. If we didn’t believe there was hope, even Dr. Nadine Burke Harris would throw up her hands in despair. (3)
But there is hope. There are resilient building practices, which include physical and mental health care for children and their families.
There is a saying that you’ll hear me repeat often, “The madness stops here.” We must stop the cycle of abuse. We must draw the line in the sand. We must stand hand in hand in protection of our children.