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Old 04-04-2013, 08:38 AM
 
297 posts, read 417,422 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
Bologna. Bipolar disorder is not caused by abuse. Neither is bipolar disorder. An event can be TRIGGERED by something environmental but that is like saying dust causes asthma. Not true. It's is a biological disposition that causes it and an environmental stress that triggers an episode.
Ok, this is what I said:
There's no such thing as a purely biological cause for behavior as all people are products of both nature and nurture. For environment to have no influence on a person, they would have to live in a bubble. Actually, a lot of mental illness/disorders are caused by abuse or mistreatment.

I said that behavior is a product of both nature and nurture. If there is a biological tendency for a mental problem and the environment triggers it. How can you say their behavior is purely biological? It's not. A person with a different environment may never be triggered and the tendency would be squashed.

I said a lot of mental problems are caused by abuse, I didn't say all or anything about bipolar. I believe it's very possible some people have a biological tendency for mental illness and the environment can either help or hinder this tendency. I also believe there are a lot of disorders that are caused by environment alone such as abuse situations.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linmora View Post
Well you are certainly entitled to your opinion and one has to do what is best for their child at the time. If my child was struggling with something like PTSD, anxiety and depression, I would do whatever it took to get the child stabilized, especially if the situation reached crisis proportions. As I've mentioned before, therapy is not an overnight solution. Therapy takes time and effort and I imagine that in our case, we will be in therapy for many years. If my child were severely depressed and it meant the difference between self harm and no drugs versus some pharmaceutical intervention, I would choose the later every time.
I realize therapy is not an overnight solution -- the problem is approaching mental health as if there should be a quick fix. There is not. Medication suppresses issues, but it does not resolve issues. As I said there is also the potential to prevent the child's brain from learning how to regulate itself naturally.

Of course in some extreme situations medication may be necessary. I said this much already. But I have met many teens/adults who self harm regardless of the medications they were given & most drugs can even increase depression. IMO medication is not the solution to the problem & at times can be part of the problem, but admit that sometimes for some people it can be helpful. It depends.

Quote:
I know that this is a debatable topic and we have to do what is right for our kids. My friend has a son who is ADHD and won't medicate. He is struggling in school even though he is bright, he is destructive and his problems are getting more serious the older he gets. I cringe when he comes to our house because things get broken....he can't stay still and is quite destructive. She is in denial and is waiting for him to grow out of it and I wish her luck.
Well, the answer is not necessarily medicating him. It sounds like the problem is she is waiting for him to out-grow it instead of getting him the help he needs. Does he receive talk therapy? Perhaps he has anxiety that is manifesting as ADHD & they need to explore what could be causing his anxiety so he can learn how to cope with it better?

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-04-2013 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:30 AM
 
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Irrelevant to the medication/no meds, causation/correlation, nature/nurture issues but relevant to this discussion:

For family members and others dealing with people with borderline personality disorder (which many think is the older-teen-to-adult version of RAD) and other similar conditions, there is a very good book entitled "Stop Walking on Eggshells" which can really help with clear communication, the lack of which can be responsible for much frustration on the parts of everyone involved. It teaches practical ways to communicate which are effective, mutually respectful and which can lead to clearer understanding of the other person's POV, how to avoid triggering, how to defuse anger, how to constructively resolve misunderstandings, how to establish and maintain good personal and emotional boundaries, and much more.

I highly recommend SWOE for those with teens, young adults, or adults with BPD (or related problems or behaviors and thought patterns similar to those common in people diagnosed with BPD) in their families or circle of friends or acquaintances.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linmora View Post
Environmental factors can certainly trigger episodes in one with bipolar disorder. My friend's brother always had problems and there were multiple red flags growing up. The death of his mother at the age of 20 triggered his first very severe episode. Something traumatic like abuse could also act as a trigger however I would be interested to see research that says bipolar disorder is caused by abuse. If you do have bipolar diagnosis, you do have to watch environmental factors very carefully. For example getting enough sleep, eating well, avoiding drugs and alcohol, etc. If a child with bipolar disorder grew up in an abusive or dysfunctional household, that would certainly compound the problem.

I finished reading a book called "Mind Race" which was an account of growing up with bipolar disorder and how the symptoms manifested themselves in a teen. It was a really interesting read and gave me some insight into this illness. As I said before, there were some red flags along the way leading up to a full blown manic or depressive stage.
My sister has out grown the need for bipolar medication but she does use sleep therapy. For her, and many others with bipolar disorder too much sleep is worse than not enough. Despite the insistence by some that it is abuse that CAUSES bipolar disorder, it is actually a problem with brain chemistry for many if not most patients. My sister's dopamine/serotonin (chemicals regulated be sleep cycles) get out of whack, and trigger an episode. If she gets 6 hours, no more no less, she does not need medication, at least right now.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:52 AM
 
16,567 posts, read 14,005,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogluvr2012 View Post
Ok, this is what I said:
There's no such thing as a purely biological cause for behavior as all people are products of both nature and nurture. For environment to have no influence on a person, they would have to live in a bubble. Actually, a lot of mental illness/disorders are caused by abuse or mistreatment.

I said that behavior is a product of both nature and nurture. If there is a biological tendency for a mental problem and the environment triggers it. How can you say their behavior is purely biological? It's not. A person with a different environment may never be triggered and the tendency would be squashed.

I said a lot of mental problems are caused by abuse, I didn't say all or anything about bipolar. I believe it's very possible some people have a biological tendency for mental illness and the environment can either help or hinder this tendency. I also believe there are a lot of disorders that are caused by environment alone such as abuse situations.
Because there is a difference between a CAUSE and a TRIGGER. One has lupus, (as an example of a biological disorder) but a change in environmental factor can trigger a "flare".
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:04 AM
 
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This seems to have gotten a bit off topic, but I thought is post this link hoping to help clarify the abuse vs biology debate.

Causes of Mental Illness

Quote:
What Psychological Factors Contribute to Mental Illness?
Psychological factors that may contribute to mental illness include:

Severe psychological trauma suffered as a child, such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse

An important early loss, such as the loss of a parent

Neglect

Poor ability to relate to others
Mental illness is a many layered issue. Both biology and environment play a key role in all mental illnesses. When discussing specific mental illnesses, one factor may have greater impact than another. But in general, yes, abuse can be the potential cause of a mental illness, combined perhaps with an individuals biological propensity for that mental illness.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:41 AM
 
Location: East Coast
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I've waited a while to sort through this thread and comment. I've noticed how many people have come here and point all the blame towards the APs but never really seemed to delve into the teen's emotional past which to me seems like the larger, most mitigating factor here. To be clear I'm not blaming the teen for his actions. To the contrary, I just wanted to explore a little about ages 0-13 and the devastation this part of his life likely had upon him. I feel bad for him and do wish him the best. My heart also goes out to the APs.

Main factors as I see it are:

1. Adoption loss, trauma and the emotional issues from it: Applies in all adoptions whether the adoption occurs at birth, at age 2, at age 13 whether it is International or Domestic. Most (if not all?) adoptees deal with this primal wound of being separated from their birth family some point. I read adoption books and blogs and am always so interested in what adoptees have to say about dealing with this. Especially when one knows all along they are 'out there' and the whole concept and thinking about re-unification when become an adult (age 18) if you did not have an open adoption as an infant/child. If you enter this point in your life and have an sort of beef at all with your APs, seeking out your birth family seems like a natural choice. I feel like this is an important issue in this case which appears to be an underplayed factor in the article.

2. Impact of unknown hereditary issues, emotional issues, genetic and in-utero factors: Many argue that the well-prepared and most loving and help-seeking adoptive parents would be able to overcome and 'seek help for' these factors. Unfortunately science and mental health care have not improved such that childhood emotional and mental issues are entirely 'curable' through therapy, visiting doctors, medication and this so-called 'good or different kind of parenting'. You can try, you can hit up the latest and go from doctor to doctor. Often kids who suffer from these issues can be stable for periods of time of which they go through a developmental phase, then you will have setbacks. Therapy and counselling with teens also requires 'willing participants'. Statistics show that kids who have any sort of emotional issues tend to fall into substance abuse at a higher percentage than others.

3. The biggie: Neglect/trauma/abuse/Attachment: What happened in this teen's first 13 years? Adoption experts would call this a "high risk" adoption...the highest for Attachment type issues. The first 0-3 years are the most important in terms of building a reciprocal trust/attachment relationship although multiple caregivers and severe neglect in years beyond that can also do severe damage. The effects of severe neglect like those of children institutionalized in Russia can cause brain damage severe enough to cause life-long emotional disturbances including an inability to fully form a trusting loving bond with others. The effects can range from mild to severe. This is very hard for those that don't experience this firsthand to understand. We all want to believe you just take any kid out of a bad situation, give them love and they will flourish and love you back. But, this isn't really how it works. Neglect like that in kids institutionalized in Russia or by not meeting a child's basic needs affects connections in the brain and can cause permanent nuerological damage. What these look like in terms of symptoms can mimic things like ADHD, BP disorder, PTSD, conduct disorder and autism. There is no manual, protocol, DSM mental diagnosis, medication, etc. Doctors, therapists and even the people last resort type mental health people who come in from the state don't know how to help you. Experts are few and far between and disagree, fervently with one another on how to treat these kids. You can try all different kinds of methods and therapies that various doctors and therpists recommend. But there are not any guarantees. This is how it is.

Why then, would anyone adopt then internationally from Russia? Fortunately, for many adoptees, with more minor impacts of 1,2 & 3 above some regular, old solid parenting and some 'help' if needed...it works out. Mind you, these are not necessarily the perfect or otherwise best prepared parents out there, but more likely those that through the luck of the draw ended up with the kids who had the better combo of genetics, less/no in-utero impacts, a good-nature, and thus their brains sustained the least impact from the neglect they suffered. These are also called: adoption success stories.

Unfortunately, not every child has minor or minimal impacts of 1, 2, 3 above. Most unfortunate, it is unable to tell which children will have the most severe impacts, by just evaluating or looking at them. Even within the same institution, some kids are treated differently by the caregivers. My child was only 13 months old at the time of adoption, yet suffered extreme impacts from neglect and lack of stimulation. Fortunately, he has been more responsive so far than Linmora's daughter though almost every line of her story I could relate to, exactly. We are still concerned for the teen years, but we are hopeful. It took a long, hard 5 years to find a decent doctor and lots of fighting with the school. Things seem to be working much better for now but we still struggle with some things.

So, what I have learned from mine and finding support in learning from other's experiences: Great parenting + unconditional love + the right therapy does NOT= a child that is going to thrive, love you back, be successful and not turn to drugs or worse. Sometimes the impacts of genetics (biological), plus in utero effects, plus the impact of neglect/environment, plus the temperament of the child are too much that no amount of love, therapy, medication, intervention or 'different kind of parenting' will work. We all hope, pray and prepare so that we don't end up one of those cases, but, sadly, in the world of Russian adoption (and also regular parenting of bio kids), there are super parents whose kids have at 18, left with bad outcomes. I've read their sad stories, even though I'd much rather read about the success stories. I don't judge the parents of the success stories as 'good parents who did everything right' and the parents of the other stories as 'those who failed' or judge them with a 'if only they'd done this or that'. I hope if you have read this far, you might give my viewpoint some consideration. I am not saying is that the AP's in this teen's case were 'good parents'. I don't know that. I just don't see any evidence here that they were not. What I do see is a strong history, from ages 0-13 that would indicate a higher potential than normal for this kind of outcome, second-guessing the parenting aside, but of course, no one knows...only those who were there.

AND JUST ONE MORE THING I CAN'T BE SILENT ON:

Some have chosen here to pull out one sentence from the article: about bbqs, Christmas, pets and fishing trips and use this as "evidence" to form an assumption to blame the adoptive parents as unprepared, and having a misguided focus on "Americanizing" the boys versus giving them more important things like unconditional love, therapy or not keeping with some sort of Russian traditions/culture.

But if you read carefully, you will see that this statement is not a QUOTE from the parents. This is not a 'line of defense' or how they parented.

Could this just as easily be the author's interpretation of what he saw in the home from family photos????

Could it be?????
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingaroundabit View Post
1. Adoption loss, trauma and the emotional issues from it: Applies in all adoptions whether the adoption occurs at birth, at age 2, at age 13 whether it is International or Domestic. Most (if not all?) adoptees deal with this primal wound of being separated from their birth family some point.
I agree with you & think this had to have a significant impact on him along with all the other points you made.

Quote:
So, what I have learned from mine and finding support in learning from other's experiences: Great parenting + unconditional love + the right therapy does NOT= a child that is going to thrive, love you back, be successful and not turn to drugs or worse. Sometimes the impacts of genetics (biological), plus in utero effects, plus the impact of neglect/environment, plus the temperament of the child are too much that no amount of love, therapy, medication, intervention or 'different kind of parenting' will work.
No one argued that the adoptive parents would be able to "cure" or overcome all of the factors you listed. But one can certainly struggle with drugs & severe emotional issues, yet still be aware that the people who raised them for the last five years tried their best/did not mistreat them.

Of course there are exceptions. So why do people assume he could have been mistreated? Because he said he was mistreated & there is no reason to automatically assume he is lying. The APs however made statements that do suggest they could be lying &/or in denial (at least according to the article).

Please note I am trying to be careful to say "could be" & am in no way claiming to know what really transpired.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-04-2013 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:56 PM
 
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^^^This. Thanks so much, lookingaroundabit.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
I agree with you & think this had to have a significant impact on him along with all the other points you made. No one has really said those things were not significant factors to consider.

No one argued that the adoptive parents would be able to "cure" or overcome all of the factors you listed. But one can certainly struggle with drugs & severe emotional issues, yet still be aware that the people who raised them for the last five years tried their best/did not mistreat them. Why do people assume he may have been mistreated? Because he said he was mistreated & there is no reason to automatically assume he is lying. The APs however made statements that do suggest they could be lying &/or in denial (at least according to the article).
Is there a new article where the APs have made some damaging statements that would indicate they are lying? From what I read from the original article, nothing would indicate this. This seems to be a rapidly developing story so would be curious to see new sources.

I did watch a video link with an interview with the parents who seem distraught over the whole thing. Lookingaroundabit made a really good point. I think that several of you latched on to a sound bite made by the news anchor covering the story....the part about BBQs, pets and camping trips. The parents didn't say this. During the interview, it also showed photos of happier days and pictures of the kids doing typical stuff. Making a mental leap and saying that the parents where unprepared, trying to raise them as typical teens was pretty unfair IMO.
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