New research: Childhood trauma is linked to ADHD


This article illustrates the essential point that trauma in childhood causes real, permanent, physical changes in the way the brain develops and functions. Trauma treatment can reverse these processes, however, even in adulthood, and EMDR therapy is my method of choice. I have included larger pictures of the article below for easy reading.

To sum up the study, children who had even one "ACE" (adverse childhood experience, i.e., trauma) had a 42% rate of developing ADHD by age 9. This held true regardless of when the trauma occurred. Sometimes all it took was a parent who was a drug user. This is often highly traumatic to a child, and is never healthy. In many cases the trauma was being raised by parent who did not seek treatment for mental illness--possibly for his or her own traumatic experience!

The article is unclear about whether more traumatic experiences were related to an increased rate of ADHD. But it is known that trauma is additive, and the more "ACE's," the more chance for developing PTSD or another traumatic stress disorder.

One relationship not mentioned in the article, which is included in the basic textbook for EMDR students, is that traumatic symptoms in young children often mimic ADHD symptoms. Where trauma is concerned, big kids internalize (isolation, cutting, depression, drug use), and little kids externalize (poor school behavior, anxiety, defiance--and ADHD-like symptoms like hyperactivity and inattention).

I have included the full text of the article below in a larger print for easy reading. See the end of the clip for the actual article reference.