Ever since Donna N. came into my world, teaching me how psychopharmaceuticals are given out like candy, I have been on a mission to stop this insanity! In her case, she was a grown woman of 58 years, who found herself in a state of what is known as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, This means that her body was addicted to the 40 mg of Prozac she was just titrated up to. When she missed a dose, inside of 9 hours, she had all sorts of horrible symptoms including: a headache, a stomach ache, feeling like her brain was being zapped, she sweated a lot and had a whole host of symptoms she never felt before. Being a chemist, she was well aware that the serotonin was flooding her body.
My question to you is this: If a grown woman can have this happen to her, what could happen to your smaller child, or teen who has yet to fully develop their brain function? You really don’t want to know. But, before I get into the research that so angers and perplexes me, let me explain from where I am coming.
Listen, if you have a child who is experiencing natural emotions of sadness because their animal or grandparent has died, or, maybe they lost a sibling or a friend to some terminal disease, or died in a freak accident, I have news for you. Your child has every right to be upset. There are many kids who feel they are the cause of their parents breaking up, feeling guilty as well as sad as a result. They can become angry as well when their loving parents put them in the middle their parent’s relationship, which they have no reason to be involved. There are some kids that are bullied in school or on the internet and don’t know how to deal with this invasion into their sense of emotional stability. Hell, I know many adults that don’t know how to deal with this sort of stuff, including mental health professionals them selves, on social media like linkedin groups. However, none of these are reasons to place a kid on the harsh, body destroying medications that are dished out as if they were innocuous forms of treatment.
If you have a kid who is a bit active, full of energy, be glad, because you have a healthy kid. My mother wasn’t so lucky, as I had a brother about four years older than I, who didn’t show the sort of energy she was expecting of her only son. He didn’t move around much at all, letting her know that there was something very wrong with him. Sadly, it took about a year a half for him to be diagnosed with leukemia. He died shortly before his 4th birthday, when I was two months old, so I never got to know him. My two older sisters lost their only brother.
These amphetamines that are given to kids because they will not stay in the school seats for 6 hours a day, many without recess, very little time for their lunches, and gym being cut out of many school days. How in the hell are these kids supposed to diffuse what is their normal energy level? It’s insane and inane to think that one needs to medicate what is a healthy and natural level of energy.
I have read some very daunting articles by experts in the field of child psychiatry who have made it very clear that the DSM5 – the manual that is used to diagnose and thus code the insurance forms used to be paid for these sessions, is nothing more than a manual on how to pathologicalize normal human emotions and behavior.
Homosexuality was listed as a “sociopathic personality disorder” when the DSM was first published in 1952. Believe it or not, it remained listed that way till 1972. This left homosexual people to seek all sorts of therapies including electric shocks and surrogate sex among others to rid them of this rather naturally occurring condition for about 10% of any sexual organism.
Millions are placed on antidepressant medications and stimulants to help them to deal with what has been labeled: bipolar disorder, depression, autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD based on the mythical notion that “chemical imbalances” are the reason behind the mental health diagnoses. The manual lists the various diagnoses from a list of symptoms that are seen as the “indicators” of the diagnoses.
The only problem is that as the truth about the mock research conducted by the pharmaceutical companies and sanctioned by the FDA, shows that these medications only work about as well as a placebo. Irving Kirsch, Ph.D, in psychology, Associate Director of Harvard University’s Program in Placebo Studies and later Dr. Walter Brown, clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University have proven with over 40 years of research how just 30% of those placed on antidepressants receive any true value from them. This came about as Kirsch was doing research on the placebo effect. decade ago Dr. Irving Kirsch was interviewed on 60 minutes, February 19, 2012 about this exact topic and what he had to say was scary for anyone who was taking these medications. He was able to be honest because he was not having his pockets lined by the “big pharma” companies, allowing us, the mere consumers, to finally get the truth. Here is a link to Baum Hedland report that speaks to that 60 Minutes segment as well as noting their own research having litigated and backed up Kirsch’s claims for over 20 years: http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/articles/60-minutes-antidepressants-report.php.
What we are currently dealing with in the arena of child psychiatry?
In 2007 alone half a million children, 20,000 of them under the age of six, were prescribed drugs that even a decade before would never have been prescribed for these mild cases. The real issue here is that these drugs have horrible long term effects on our youth such as: obesity, diabetes, and worse of all, suicidal thoughts. I wrote a weblog February 4th The Sad Reality of the Increase in Young Male Suicides of how our male youth suicide rate has increased 400% to 500% since 2007.
With the labeling of Asperger’s Syndrome, many children are receiving special educational services that are necessary for them to succeed. However, the total number of youth given labeled “autistic” including Asperger’s went from 4 out of 100,000 in 1988 to 1 in 88 by 2008, 20 years later.
What needs to change here is simple. Patients need to be given the chance to heal their emotional hurts, with the appropriate tools to do so. In most cases, no medication is required. If a kid is having a hard time in school, lets look at what may be causing the problem. May it be that they are on their cell phones and I-pads playing video games well into the night. There is an easy fix for that called, “No technology is allowed in the child’s bedroom at bedtime.” Or, how about, allowing our youth to get the exercise they need to grow healthfully during their school day, instead of faulting them for being normal active kids? How about engaging them in physical activities and hands on experiences to teach them more fully, instead of believing that lecture and note taking works for everyone, because it certainly does not. And, how about we just allow our kids to be the kids they are. It is our job as the adults to give them the love, support and boundaries that they require to better understand how to navigate this world. In most cases this is all that is needed. We need to get parents to realize that having a child is a “selfless” job and as such whatever that child requires from you, the parent, is what you signed up to give, regardless of any excuses that may be found to blame someone else for not doing well for that child you brought into the world.
I am sick of parents believing that their kids need to fulfill those things that the parent was unable to do for themselves. Worse, making them feel bad about themselves because they made a mistake, didn’t follow through fast enough or missed getting straight “A’s” on their report card. Not every kid is an exceptionally brilliant scholar, gifted athlete or child prodigy musician, so lets have a more realistic assessment of what our kids strengths are and help them to compensate for their weaknesses. Because, as is true in all of nature, every creature has its assets and liabilities.
Most of all we need to allow our kids to be human beings. To have a chance to experience life beyond the overly scheduled norm of today. Kid’s are meant to learn through playing, being curious and using their imaginations to create all sorts of cool stuff. Taking that away from them by forcing them to fit a parent’s idea of who that child ought to be is a definite way to have a severely traumatized kid. Adding unnecessary medications to the mix, you are doing so at your kid’s peril.
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