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Reaction Attachment Disorder
September 29, 2003
3:29 am
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arwen
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Might as well start this thread with a great big hug and hullo to Ladeska because I have the feeling you are going to be all over this one...

I went to a training about a somewhat "new" disorder called Reactive Attachment Disorder. Turns out that scientists and mental health professionals have discovered that if a child suffers abuse, neglect, or trauma between the ages of 0-3years, it changes the development of the brain. Neurological function that should develop and remain present throughout life "dies". There were facinating pictures of CAT scans done on children from the overflowing orphanages in the former Soviet Union showing areas of the brain with NO activity because in their infant/toddler stages there were simply not enough people in the orphanages to provide these children with love, human contact, and stimulation.

What they have found is that these areas of the brain will never develop, but if there is an attempt at treatment/intervention, the brain will compensate by using other areas and "re-wire" itself accordingly.

What I found most interesting is that Reaction Attachment Disorder (RAD) continues through adulthood if left untreated. Thus, and adult with this affliction will respond to situations from the stage of development where their RAD was triggered. RAD can often be mistaken for, or found in conjunction with ADHD, Tourette's, OCD, and other personality disorders.

I asked the instructor if there is any theory regarding the possibility that RAD can potentially begin even before the birth of the child, based on the mother's feelings and experiences during pregnancy. He stated his personal belief that this is highly likely, and went on to state that a new arena of "pre-birth mental health" is developing quite rapidly and there is much information out there already despite the fact that mental health considerations for infants/toddlers is truly a new frontier.

I decided to post this information in the hope that it might help some parents out there who are seeing certain problems in their child(ren) but can't get a handle on what the problem might be. Turns out there are lots of new books, and information on the web regarding this disorder. If anyone would like more information, I'll gladly post some suggested readings and web addresses for you.

I was once told by an older friend of mine, just after my son was born, that it is impossible to "spoil" an infant. At first this made no sense to me, but she explained that infants lack the ability to do much more than cry when they have a need, be it physical or emotional. "Back in the day," I remember hearing that babies should be left to cry at times because picking them up every time they cried would spoil them. Turns out that reacting to the cry of the child is the foundation on which the brain builds its "house", so to speak. If the foundation is weak, the child will have life-long difficulty finding a way to build solid confidence and self-esteem. No wonder things are so quickly becoming what they are!

Arwen

September 29, 2003
9:24 am
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gypsygirl
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I have always said that you can't spoil a baby. I have always responded quickly to my childrens cries and they are both very happy. Everyone comments on how happy they are all the time. Infants learn trust when the parents respond to cries. I cannot fathom letting an infant cry for any reason.

My SO says that Nicole is spoiled because I am always holding her. I tell him it's nonsense. Whenever she needs me I will be there and she knows it.

September 29, 2003
10:32 am
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artist 2
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Wonderful discovery. Thanks for sharing.

September 29, 2003
10:40 am
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mj
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Arwen, please post those links...this sounds really interesting.

September 29, 2003
10:59 am
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Ladeska
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(smile) Ah yes....I've been researching this for awhile now, knocking on doors, asking questions, finally someone really answered me...

This email was from me to a Dr. at a university....

08/20/02 05:51PM >>>

I have been working with abuse victims for over 20 years now and one
thing that I notice is they all have similar things going on as in what
we call A.D.D. or hearing problems, speech problems, general problems
communicating, critically thinking. And what I've come to recognize is
that what I call the chemical cocktail that the brain is used to having
under stress conditions, secreted into the body and brain for long
periods of time while growing in the early years - could to brain
damage or at the very least alter the brain in some ways. Not only
would make them somewhat addictive to adrenalin and manmade drugs, vices
- but to trauma itself....as a means to getting this cocktail from their
own bodies. Is there any truth to this? Can fight or flight trauma
actually "rewire" the brain over a period of time if this trauma is
ongoing during the years, especially the early years, of development?
And if so - are we studying this to see how we might right this
imbalance and really help these people?

It's odd but one woman in particular that I've been working with has
been diagnosed with an auditory problem of not being able to
distinguish, process sounds well. She's always had trouble listening to
people and getting it straight what they said or had trouble weeding out
other sounds in order to concentrate. But, the more I worked with her,
the more I realized how horribly emotionally abused she was and how her
domineering controlling father had played sooo many manipulative
mindgames with her all her life and had her to the point of being really
afraid to interact. She would be flooded with sensations, as she would
explain them to me that suggested chemicals racing to the brain to
counterbalance things and if this happened when she was young and
developing the part of her brain that controls auditory processing -
doesn't it stand to reason that - something might have happened as a
result? But, the interesting thing is - now she's starting to realize -
she really doesn't have that much of a hearing problem, that through our
work together she's actually having less trouble hearing and now wonders
- if she ever had a real physical problem in the first place. My
suspicion is that she's getting less and less of the chemical cocktail
produced from her fear of interaction and is now able to communicate
better and thus - can actually hear better and not have what I call "the
fuzzies". However, some impairment does remain..

I also find this to be true with people who have speech problems
sometimes and those diagnosed with A.D.D. That they both seem to be
more of a thing relating to a person's reaction to our own dose of
natural chemicals and the emotional abuse endured.

I have also wondered about "imprinting" as far as what happens to a
child within the womb when a woman experiences trauma. Can that child
be imprinted in such a way that their DNA is altered somewhat, that this
child can have within it's being the scarred tissue of what the mother
went through and experienced and echoed to her child - through her.
Because whatever chemical recipe she was getting pumping through her
veins, would go to the baby as well. I've just seen this born out by
looking at mothers and their children and many, many times when the
mother had gone through ongoing trauma - the child had certain
undeniable tendencies right after birth and continuing....with seemingly
no other explanation to it. Many an A.D.D. child would be the product
of this.

Just pondering these things. I have probably royally amused you by
now!

Thanks for any imput, Ladeska

*****************

Dear Ladeska,

There has recently been a lot of research about the "chemical cocktail"
you are referring to. The stress hormone cortisol and related hormones
like ACTH have received a lot of attention in this context (long term
effects of trauma). Drs. Newport and Nemeroff at Emory University are 2
major pioneering investigators of this area. They found baby rats
exposed to even brief (15 min) psychological trauma suffered lifetime
effects which were measureable chemically (psychological trauma to a rat
= separating the baby rats from their mother). Traumatized rats were
hypersensitive to corticotropin-releasing hormone for the rest of their
life, which is like saying they experience more stress than
non-traumatized rats when exposed to the same stressor. It is as if
their brains become wired to be "on alert", which is assumed to be
adaptive in an evolutionary sense (learning the world is dangerous, the
brain wires itself to be prepared for the danger and therefore more
likely to survive future danger). They have also done human research in
this area, suggesting similar results - see link
http://abcnews.go.com/sections.....00801.html

The hope is for research in this area to lead to new treatments aimed
at compensating for these chemical changes that occur as a result of
trauma. Pharmacuetical companies are probably working on it as we type.
As to your question about fetuses exposed to trauma, off hand I don't
know of any research on that topic, but if the mother has elevated
cortisol, I don't see why the effects of that would not be passed to the
fetus that could result in lifetime changes. You are astute to observe
these things in your clients, and obviously enjoy pondering these things
-- I find myself wanting to ask you if you have considered employing
your clinical observations to become a research psychologist or
psychiatrist? 😉

September 29, 2003
11:07 am
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mj
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Wow...Ladeska!
After reading this and the link...YOU mean there's possible hope for me 🙂

September 29, 2003
3:00 pm
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Ladeska
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I don't know, MJ.....now don't go gettin' your hopes all up now. I'm not quite sure they have diagnosed *you* properly yet. Maybe you're just a product of one night of some wild monkey love and something WILD was born!! I mean I thought I recognized you from the planet IGMU but I could be wrong....maybe that was back a thousand years ago on the the 12th moon of Quazot. You could just be an alien life force. I mean, it's not anything unusual really. My third grade teacher was one. Pretty sure of that...

September 29, 2003
3:24 pm
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mj
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Well Ladeska dear...I am glad you accept me just the way I am 🙂

September 29, 2003
4:39 pm
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arwen
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Oops! It's actually called "Reactive Attachment Disorder". That's what happens when you write stuff in the middle of the night...

I'll post additional information later. I still have that "jet lag" feeling that insomnia leaves behind.

Arwen

September 29, 2003
4:47 pm
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Ladeska
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Well...MJ, the time I saw you, or think I saw you on the 12th moon, your hair was different...I liked it...I mean it was rather "electrifying". Got zapped everytime I came within a ten foot radius but hey.....Woke me the hell UP! Talk about vibes!

Sure, I like you just the way you ARE....um, so....your eyes aren't still orange are they? I mean "here" they might look at you funny with that going on..maybe try colored contacts....

September 29, 2003
9:28 pm
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mj
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Real cute...and witty my dear friend 🙂

You are joking aren't you?

September 29, 2003
10:08 pm
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Ladeska
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NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

September 30, 2003
3:53 am
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arwen
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Dear Ladeska,

As a friend and confidant, I feel an obligation to express to you my deepest feeling that it is time for you to stop watching "Men in Black" & "Men in Black II". It's starting to fuck up your beautiful head...

Sincerely,

Arwen

P.S. No more "National Enquirer", "Star", "TV Guide", "Omni", "Newsweek", or any other "journalism" that might feed into this alien obsession. I'm speaking from personal experience, as I once had a major crush on "Worf", and couldn't stop having sexual fantasies about him... They have groups for people like us.

September 30, 2003
1:37 pm
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Ladeska
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LOL!! I, I, am tryinggggg to go to group for this, please be patient....

No, no, seriously speaking, I'm not into the alien craze, never was really. I think most of it is the military for the most part. We just think that......alot of bumped projects get scraped. Real flying saucers have been around for years and years. The Nazi's had quite the little program going on and quite a few prototypes in the air that supposedly just all went into the garbage can after the war.....yea right. Those same scientists came over here I think....Von Braun being one.

It's not that I don't believe there's alien life, it's a big universe, I just don't think that we have come anywhere close to knowing the truth about any of that and the pieces to the puzzle we could have and put together....are very kept from us. We can't "handle the truth" and all that b.s.

Nice that you worry about me though, Arwen! I do "go on" now and then and God forbid anyone should take me seriously when I do! I'll "try" to behave myself from now on. Operative word here is "try".

October 1, 2003
11:40 am
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mj
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Ok, so if you aren't joking what do you mean?

October 1, 2003
5:51 pm
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Ladeska
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Don't mind me, M.J. I'm largely joking here. Just me being weird, trying to handle reality, so I go off in orbit now and then.

October 2, 2003
2:44 am
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arwen
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Dear MJ,

I will attempt to answer you question to Ladeska because you are likely to get a response consisting of beeps and clicks since she's on this little alien kick...

My guess is that what she is trying to say with the alien reference is that she sees evidence of a person "not of this world", which believe me, is a compliment. I think it's a way of recognizing the uniqueness of a person, and validating it in a light-hearted way,

OR,

We need to find out where Ladeska lives and send some nice men to do a little fashion consultation (in other words, get her to try on that cute, white canvas jacket with the extra long sleeves and buckles...they're very "in style" this fall...Shhh...know what I mean?) It feels nice to give yourself a long hug and that's just what those jackets are made for!

Since they call them "straight jackets", would they use one on me if I'm bi? What about if you're just GAY? I'm on to something here! A marketing scheme--I smell a patent. After all, you can't put a "straight" jacket on someone who's not straight, right?

Who want's to invest in my new company?

Arwen

October 2, 2003
11:27 am
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Ladeska
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Oh knock it off you guys!! LOL! God, can't even joke around about aliens without people thinking your elevator doesn't go all the way up! That's okay, MJ...I'll still come over and take you for a spin in my spaceship anyways!

October 4, 2003
5:47 pm
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arwen
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Ladeska,

The problem isn't that your elevator doesn't go all the way up--it's that it goes a little too far up--light years!!!

Okay, I have to admit I'm having a laugh at your expense and I apologize. I am very sincere and would also like to be considered worthy to ride in you flying saucer. I promise to sit right in the middle so it doesn't tip over!

(I do appreciate your sense of humor. It's just outa this world!!)

Love ya!

Arwen

October 5, 2003
4:59 am
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Ladeska
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I'm wayyy whacked, but at least I admit it!!!

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