Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com Editorials | Anti-Psychiatry


Emotional Intelligence and So Called "ADHD" S. Hein


Here is a quote that inspired me to create this page:

Hartmann recognizes that those labeled ADHD are often more sensitive and reactive than the norm, and need supportive conditions to help them flourish. The "negative" side of ADHD traits is most likely to appear when children are abused or over-stressed rather than nurtured.

It is from a review of the book "The Edison Gene".

For a long time I have noticed that the teenagers I talk to who are depressed, self-harming and suicidal often get labeled as "ADHD". Yet they are also very intelligent and very sensitive, and what I would call emotionally intelligent. These teenagers are typically non-conformists. They are usually smarter than their teachers in school and many times also smarter than the pschologists, psychiatrists, and therapists who control them and medicate them. Many times they have had dealings with the police, and I think we all know police are not hired for their high IQ's. Nor are they hired for their ability to provide emotional support.

So what happens when you put intelligent, sensitive people in enviroments where they are controlled by laws, rules, fear and force? And combine that with schools which are boring for them? One thing that happens is their stress levels go up. Another is that their level of emotional pain goes up. They then need to find ways to stop their emotional pain. One of them is cutting and self-harm. Another is drinking and the use of illegal drugs. Jack Mayer, Peter Salovey and David Caruso seem to believe that such behavior indicates a lack of emotional intelligence, but I disagree. I believe it indicates a lack of emotional support.

Conformity - S. Hein

It seems more people are becoming aware that one of the things these teens mislabeled as "ADHD" have in common is non-conformity. Another is impulsiveness. Now if we look at what Goleman has said about EI, he claims that impusiveness and EI don't go together, something I disagree with. Then if we look at what Mayer and Salovey say about EI, they say that one must be a conformst to be emotionally intelligent, something I also disagree with.

Goleman and the others have been reading a lot of academic articles all written by people who are part of the mainstream of the educational system in their countries. They are also all heavily invested in the American culture, for better or worse.

On the other hand while those most famous in the field of EI have been developing their definitions of emotional intelligence based on traits that perpetuate the social norms, however dysfunctional, I have been talking directly to intelligent, sensitive teenagers. The teens I talk to are primarily non-conformists -- and non-conformity is painful.

Schools and Conformity - S. Hein

I have visited a lot of schools in a lot of countries now. One thing I find in common with most schools is that the teachers are what we can farily call "conformists". If they live in a Buddhist country, most of them will be Buddhists. If they live in a Catholic country, most of them will be Catholics. If they live in a country where patriotism is highly valued, they will be patriotic.

This is because to become teachers, they must follow the rules and conform to the prevailing norms. So, in general, the educational system in most countries simply perpetuates the status quo, rather than challenges it. If a young person is highly creative or highly intelligent, especially in an emotional sense, he or she is likely to be disapproved of, if not humiliated, invalidated and punished. If this same young person does not receive adequate emotional support at home, he or she stands a high chance of acting in self-destructive ways by the time they reach their late teens. This is due to the accumulation of emotional pain over the years, not due to their lack of cognitive or emotional intelligence.

If a country wanted to bring about social change, they would set up an educational system that rewarded non-conformity and encouraged creativity. But instead most countries do just the opposite. The psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies have joined forces with schools to increasingly drug the non-conformists into line. These non-conformists, in my experience, are also some of the most emotionally intelligent, yet are not receiving needed emotional or psychological support from their schools or their homes.

Emotional Support and "ADHD" - S. Hein

I have been doing some reading about the similarities between "gifted" and highly creative children and teens and those who are labeled as "ADHD". Some of the authors are pointing to the difference that emotional support makes in the lives of these young people. In my experience, I have noticed a pattern of similar characteristics between all of these labels

gifted, creative, rebellious, non-conforming, highly sensitive, highly intelligent, ADHD, ADD, and emotionally intelligent.




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