In today’s world it is all too common to hear of children that have ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder or some other behavioral disorder. It’s not logical really that there could be such an epidemic of behavioral problems among our youth. We can’t expect children to act like mature poised adults because they are children, but where do we draw the line between “normal” and “abnormal” behavior?
Psychiatrists have decided to draw the line way into the “normal” zone making any undesirable behavior into a “mental disorder.” Sure there are children that are way out of line, uncontrollable and do exhibit some sort of behavior that is troubling to the parents, but does that make it automatically a mental health issue?
No, it does not. We live in a fast paced society so that we all seek the immediate quick fix solution, but when it comes to behavioral issues, that quick fix is not the best course of action. If you observe your child doing something that qualifies as a behavior problem and are quick to go to your pediatrician or child psychiatrist, it is more than likely you will get a quick diagnosis and a quick prescription for a psychiatric drug without doing any sort of diagnostic test.
Without any test for mental disorders, the door is wide open for a misdiagnosis and the underlying physical problem is not found. Without any scientific evidence, how can one have any faith in a psychiatric diagnosis? Without any blood test, urine test, x-ray or MRI there are only theories and opinions about symptoms. There’s no cause, therefore no cure for the supposed behavioral issue, just abundant severe adverse side effects from their mind-altering psychotropic drugs.
When trying to fix the more typical inattentive or disruptive behaviors of children, there are physical conditions that get misdiagnosed as a “mental disorder” because of the behavior associated with the condition. Perhaps a child is allergic to something in his environment or something he eats causes him to act out, be depressed or manic. The allergy goes undetected and the “mental disorder” is diagnosed. Wouldn’t it save a lot of heartache to just get tested for everything under the sun to find out what is causing his behavior instead of labeling the child as having mental health issues?
Imagine your child doesn’t have the typical behavior problems but literally sleeps for days, weeks or even months at a time and in addition acts strangely. This actually is a rare condition called Sleeping Beauty Syndrome or Klein-Levin Syndrome. It is frequently misdiagnosed as a behavior disorder but it is not.
What happens is that an adolescent will sleep for long periods of time and then “wake up” during this time period which is called an episode. The adolescent will eat and use the bathroom and such, but will also act out of character. Perhaps he or she will act child-like, aggressive, depressed or in a dream-like state just to give a few examples. Once the episode is over the adolescent most likely will not recall being “awake” during that time.
There is no cause of this condition nor is there any cure. The only thing discovered was that there was a fundamental difference in the blood supply to the brain when in an episode compared to when not in an episode. That is hardly conclusive because it is not known whether the change in blood flow is a cause or an effect of the condition.
However, just because of the undesirable behavior during an episode, the adolescent is often misdiagnosed as having bipolar, depression or schizophrenia. One girl whose episodes usually lasted three to five days was put on psychiatric medication and it made her condition worse as her next episode lasted three months.
A psychiatrist would be quick to label these undesirable behaviors as a disorder, but there are logical reasons for the behavior. Imagine being a teen and waking up and finding out you missed Christmas? Or it’s three weeks later than you thought? It would only be natural to feel sad. The threat of having to randomly go to sleep for an abnormally long time so that one can’t commit to anything or make any plans must be devastating. It’s certainly not a mental problem but a physical condition.
The good news is that Klein-Levin Syndrome seems to run its course and disappears. Once recognized for what it is, parents can help their child in a constructive way. Unrecognized, parents could be led down a destructive path of mind-altering psychiatric drugs, permanently changing their child’s future for the worse.
If your child has behavior problems, it would be wise to consult a doctor who is trained in nutrition and alternative health. General practitioners and the like are trained to prescribe drugs, not vitamins and other natural supplements. There are also many in-depth blood and urine tests that a general practitioner will not use but a naturopath will. These are just a few suggestions to find a physiological cause for behavioral problems. Do your homework so your child does not fall into the misdiagnosed category but is helped with true causes and real answers.