Such a huge subject, with huge controversy-potential. I personally believe the idea of "chemical imbalances" as causative of emotional/behavioral problems -- is benighted. But enough of me (for the moment). Here is a quote from V. Oaklander's (gestalt child therapist) book, "Windows to Our Children": "Sometimes a child is viewed as being aggressive when he is simply expressing anger. He may break a dish or punch another child in a pure expression of anger. Generally I feel, though, that the aggressive acts are not the true expression of anger, but deflections of the real feelings. Aggressive acts, often also called antisocial acts, can include destructive behaviors, such as destroying property, stealing, setting fires. I perceive the child who engages in hostile, intrusive, destructive behaviors as one who has deep angry feelings, feelings of rejection, feelings of insecurity and anxiety, hurt feelings, and often a diffused sense of selfhood. He has, too, a very low opinion of the self he knows. He is unable or unwilling and fearful about expressing what he is feeling, for if he does he may lose what strength he musters to engage in aggressive behaviors. He feels he needs to do what he does as his method of survival." (pp. 206-207)
Back to my own soapbox....As I said in a www.askme.com "expert" answer: "The notion that, in amazing coincident with traumatic events, abuse and neglect, brain chemistry goes inexplicably awry in the form of 'crossed wires' or 'imbalances,' is [incredible]... Believe me...you watch your family killed in a car wreck, have to deal with your abusive, alcoholic father every day, or get raped repeatedly by your uncle for several years, while being told to say nothing about it, and your brain chemistry will get off-balance, too."
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