4th Annual Brain Development And Learning Conference 2013 Dr. Gabor Mate’s Presentation The Biology of Loss: Early Life Stress as the Template for Addiction, Mental Illness and Physical Disease

I’m getting my dopamine fix on by learning and information at the great 4th Annual Brain Development And Learning Conference 2013.  Twitter hashtag #bdl13 I’ve been to all 3 past Brain and Learning Development conferences that are run by Dr. Adele Diamond and her staff & volunteers at her Development Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at UBC.

If you’ve never been to one and you like learning, neuroscience, psychology, biology & combining them in an interdisciplinary way vs closed silos, I’d highly recommend checking them out. Lots of great speakers and an enjoyable conference atmosphere. Plus nap rooms:)

Here are a few of my raw notes from some of Dr. Gabor Mate’s  who has ADHD and wrote a book about it + addiction+ parenting+ psychoneuroimmunology great talk. The Biology of Loss: Early Life Stress as the Template for Addiction, Mental Illness and Physical Disease.

Gabor spoke at my Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group on Addiction, was standing room only. If you get a chance to hear him speak, do so.

We live in a society that’s fundamentally hostile to authenticity, it prefers roles.

One study found that the optimal parenting environment was the hunter gather one

It’s completely unnatural for kids to be separated from their parents, used to be always raised at home/around the village

Not getting what you want doesn’t cause suffering

It’s Attachment to not getting what you want that causes suffering

As a temporary state, anxiety can be necessary and a useful adaptation but as a long term trait, anxiety is harmful and can become a mental health condition

Gabor Mate says the ADHD is not genetic, i.e., it’s environmental (in womb, mothers stress etc) but  I disagree with Gabor Mate on this. I think on ADHD environmental determinism is as faulty as genetic determinism

I personally think that ADHD both involves genes AND the environment. It’s not an either or. There is a very high percentage of kids with ADHD who have parents with ADHD. Genes matter. but so does environment.

The environment needs to trigger or activate the inheritable ADHD genes. i.e. epegentics. Here’s a good video explaining how environment activates or does not activate genes ADHD,  The Epigenome at a Glance.

Addiction is all about self soothing vs authentic soothing.

When we get triggered, we sometimes detach as a defensive behaviour, a protective mechanism.

People who have psychosis have have rate of early trauma, physical and sexual abuse.

The problem of addiction is not a problem of free will, but free won’t.  ie inhibiting impulses. SO TRUE. It’s a common ADHD problem too and people with ADHD have much higher rates of addiction see my posts on it.


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