• Epigenetics: The Impact of Environment on Development Epigenetics: The Impact of Environment on Development

    Epigenetics: The Impact of Environment on Development

Epigenetics: The Impact of Environment on Development

In new article published online in ADDitude Magazine, Dr. Joel Nigg reviews some recent findings on the impact of environment on the development of ADHD traits. Long thought to be strictly a genetically inherited brain dysfunction, increasing amounts of research (along with increasing amounts of attention paid to previous research) are demonstrating a clear link between ADHD development and the environment. This field of research, focusing on the link between genes and environment, is known as epigenetics. In this case, the prefix epi- refers to something beyond, over, or upon something else. In other words, epigenetics studies the factors beyond simple genetics (if there is such a thing as simple genetics) that influence the development of certain traits. In his article, Dr. Nigg states, “Epigenetics paints a much more complicated view of ADHD, but also a much more optimistic one; genes do not solely determine an individual’s fate.” For those who struggle with ADHD, the round pegs trying to fit into square holes, one of the bleakest aspects of daily life is the belief that things will always be this way and cannot be improved. Epigenetic research is telling us more and more that this belief is false. Nigg reports, […]

By |August 18th, 2017|Blog, Education, snippets|Comments Off on Epigenetics: The Impact of Environment on Development
  • Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1) Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1)

    Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1)

Complex Trauma: When the Whole is More Painful than the Sum of its Parts (PART 1)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is diagnosed when an individual displays a cluster of symptoms that include various manifestations of the following: dissociation (feeling removed from reality), re-experiencing (flashbacks), and increased arousal (heightened stress response). In order for a diagnosis of PTSD to occur, however, these symptoms need to be as a result of the individual having been directly exposed to an event that threatened their life and/or safety or that of another individual. This criterion is known as the A1 criterion, since it is the primary criterion that must be present in order for diagnosis to occur. Amongst the general population, 7-8% of people will end up with PTSD at some point in their life. Within certain groups of people, however, such as individuals with substance-use disorders, the rate of diagnosis is much higher. For example, in one sample of substance-abusing psychiatric patients, researchers found that 90% had experienced physical/sexual assault and at least 50% met the diagnostic criteria for crime-related PTSD. However, there is a new direction of understanding with regard to trauma-related stress reactions; it is referred to as complex PTSD (CPTSD). Individuals in this category meet all of the same diagnostic criteria as […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Blog, Uncategorized|1 Comment

A Virtual Slap: How Words Can Hurt

By |August 20th, 2013|Blog, Education, Insight|Comments Off on A Virtual Slap: How Words Can Hurt

Facebook for Neurons: The Science of Anxiety

By |August 17th, 2013|Blog, Education|Comments Off on Facebook for Neurons: The Science of Anxiety

On the Road to Assertiveness

Assertiveness efore addressing how to increase assertiveness, it is helpful to clarify what we are talking about. Assertiveness is the middle ground between aggressiveness (attempting to dominate others) and passiveness (allowing yourself to be dominated). There are three elements of assertiveness. Self-Worth Worth of Others Putting Behavior in Context The first element is to have a healthy sense of self-worth. The degree to which you believe you are worth something is the degree to which you will believe that what you need is important. The second element is recognition of the worth of all people. Not the relative worth, but the fact that each person is worth something, simply because they exist. Worth is not dependent on appearance, behavior, or achievement. It is based simply on one’s existence. I am, therefore, I have worth. The third element of assertiveness is the ability to see behavior in context. If we are able to look past the immediacy of behavior, both the behavior of others and ourselves, we will be able to see the true, intended message of that behavior. We will be able to avoid having messages filtered through the experiences of our lives and those of others. The first two […]

By |October 3rd, 2011|Blog|Comments Off on On the Road to Assertiveness

Understanding Anger

his is a brief outline of the class I teach, called “Understanding Anger” Each of these points is a discussion on its own but I hope they give you the opportunity to think. If you want to talk further about any of them, give me a call or send me an email. I’ll be posting more in-depth notes on many of these topics in the future. We are born helpless, with an instinct to attach to others. If we do not attach to others, we will die, since infants can do nothing for themselves. When we are born, the need to attach to others is the most important need of all. Literally nothing is as important as that. If we are not attached to a caregiver, then our other survival needs will not be provided for, meaning that emotional attachment is necessary for our very survival. Once we are securely attached to a caregiver, the reflex to attach begins to shrink in terms of importance. Attaching is no longer our number one priority. Instead we begin to learn about the world, about ourselves, about other people. Secure attachment allows us to venture out from our secure base, our caregiver, and […]

By |December 18th, 2010|Blog|Comments Off on Understanding Anger