The TED talk on childhood trauma by Nadine Burke was incredibly informative. We as clinicians do a lot of heart work but after watching the video it is also essentially important to look into the science behind trauma. I do believe that science and mental health work simultaneously. Trauma deeply affects one brain which causes the brain to function differently than others. The part where she talks about diagnosing thousands and thousands of kids for ADHD but the actual reason was their trauma struck me.
The past year I have worked with High School kids where the majority of the students were diagnosed with ADHD. Hence, they were in a school of “exceptional children.” I personally found them “normal” teenagers trying to navigate through the complexity of their lives. I would do weekly individual and group sessions with them and things they would share happening in their household were disheartening. Resulting in extreme levels of trauma at a very young age. My supervisor has also mentioned in the past how parents have agreed to the diagnosis and prescribed their children medications to make money from the government. I want to believe that organizations want to support children but also it is essential to look into the deeper aspect of the mental health world. Nadine also talks about the ACE test she presented in the talk and the numbers are believable but also shocking. Dr. Vince Felitti at Kaiser and Dr. Bob Anda at the CDC, together, asked 17,500 adults about their history of exposure to what they called “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs. The findings showed “Sixty-seven percent of the population had at least one ACE, and 12.6 percent, one in eight, had four or more ACEs.”
These numbers are alarming. I did not know about the ACE test until last year. My professor had the whole class take the ACE test. I scored eight on the test. It took me quite some time to process these scores. Currently, I am twenty-four years old. Looking into my history and my present my reactions to certain things make sense to me. I have never been clinically diagnosed. But if I were to be diagnosed I would have been given medications to “cure” my ADHD. It has become so convenient for running diagnoses and prescribing medications for children to feed these pharmaceutical companies. The problem is deeper than what we think.