What is a shadow syndrome?

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School & Author John Ratey, MD, explains what a shadow syndrome is and how it can help parents and kids know about themselves
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What is a shadow syndrome?

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I wrote a book called, "Shadow Syndrome," some years ago. It basically, mild forms of more serious disorders, like depression, Autism, ADHD, bipolar illness, anxiety. These are syndromes that we all have, but we may not fit the diagnosis we've decided makes the diagnosis. There are areas of difference in our brains and in our psychology that we need to pay attention to, and perhaps, identify. It's part of the normal variation in all of us. We all are made up of different shadow syndromes, but it's a helpful way to think about, "Well, this person is a little bit too Autistic-like," or "This person is a little bit too mood, problems with, a little too low." This is something that could be identified and helpful for parents and children to know about themselves and maybe do something about.

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School & Author John Ratey, MD, explains what a shadow syndrome is and how it can help parents and kids know about themselves

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John Ratey, MD

Psychiatrist & Author

John J Ratey, MD, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Research Synthesizer, Speaker, and Author, as well a Clinical Psychiatrist maintaining a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has lectured and published 60 peer reviewed articles on the topics of Aggression, Autism, ADHD, and other issues in neuropsychiatry.

Dr. Ratey has authored A Users Guide to the Brain and co-authored Shadow Syndromes  with Catherine Johnson, PhD. From 1994 to 2005 he co-authored Driven to DistractionAnswers to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction with Edward Hallowell, MD. Additionally, he has edited several books including The Neuropsychiatry of Personality Disorders. Most recently, Dr. Ratey has penned, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain published by Little Brown. In Spark, Dr. Ratey guides the reader to an understanding of neurobiology and inspires the reader to reach for their potential, and embrace exercise that is crucial for the brain and body to operate at peak performance.

Spark is fueling a movement to re-engineer school practices and medical recommendations to establish curriculum, lifestyles and corporate practices based on scientific principles. Providing the scientific foundation and research data, Dr. Ratey has been drafted into the groundswell of those whose mission it is to revitalize schools, combat the obesity crisis, stave off the encroaching epidemic of Sedentarism, by returning to evolutionary principles of physical exercise and proper diet thereby combating syndrome X, the underlying causation of much chronic disease.

Each year since 1995, Dr. Ratey has been selected by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America. In his dedication to changing the world, Dr. Ratey has founded The Ratey Institute whose mission is to broadcast life changing science and establish the best practice policies first in our school and then other organizations to reclaim human health.

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, released in 2008, is the culmination of years of experience with the brain body connection, new research data, and the synthesis of biological sciences. Spark is revolutionizing how we see the human species. A call to return to our evolutionary roots; to get in sync with our metabolic design honed through eons of survival to optimize mental and physical health. 

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