Monday, October 18, 2010

ADD, Anger, Violence and Suicide

First question, where did I get this? In one of the lectures there was a short video about the production of dopamine and how it relates to attention spans and motivation to pay attention. Second question, What on earth can I mean by the title?

According to research done by Dr. Amen, there is a type of ADD that contributes to (and was the inspiration for) the title. “Type 4: Temporal Lobe ADD” p111 (“Healing ADD”). “People with temporal lobe ADD show decreased activity in the temporal lobes, along with reduced blood flow to the pre frontal cortex during concentration tasks. Associated with domestic violence and suicide, this type of ADD can ruin a family.” (p111) The blood flow to certain parts of the brain helps influence motivation, and cases such as these tend to have had head trauma at some point in their lives that damage the functioning of the brain. (p111). One case was of a normal 21-year old male (p120) who after suffering brain trauma (2 years previously, in that time which he became less personable and angry) committed suicide. This aggression (towards self and others) seems to be caused by trauma to the left temporal lobe (p121).

The motivation for this came from that particular lecture and Dr. Amen’s “Healing ADD” which I purchased in hopes of understanding my own ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder, Type 2: Inattentive, which means I am not hyperactive). This relates to motivation because many of those who have my type of ADD, Dr. Amen describes as “They are frequently thought of as couch potatoes who have trouble finding interest or motivation in their lives.” P93.

I’ve always been more behavioral-cognitive in the beliefs I held about behavior, though I realized how drastically I underestimated the brain! With SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) Dr. Amen examined the blood flow and discovered not two but six types of Attention Deficit Disorder. (I don't suppose this tidbit really relates to motivation, I just thought it was interesting) While I don't believe this accounts for all laziness and lack of motivation, it was interesting to see how blood flow to areas of the brain changed behavior, similar to the case of Phineaus Gage. Who, after having a metal rod go through his head, went from what was noted to be a nice person to an angry and otherwise disagreeable person.

Amen, D.G. (2001). Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD . New York: the Penguin Group.

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