It is estimated that fifteen percent of all children have at least one “mental health disorder” per the criteria in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders). Fifty or so years ago, “mental disorders” were virtually unheard of and psychiatry was only for crazy people. Today, children are being diagnosed right and left with behavioral “disorders.” One may assume that children have changed over the years but they have not. The only thing that has changed is the strategy of psychiatry.
A visit to a psychiatrist used to bring to mind the idea of lying on a couch and examining life’s problems. Today, psychotropic drugs are quickly prescribed for children’s behavioral problems instead. Parents are told their child has ADHD, Bipolar Disorder or one of the many other “mental health disorders” listed in the DSM. They are also told mind-altering drugs are the best treatment. It is time for parents to start questioning what the diagnosis is based on and how does the drug prescribed help the child.
If a parent does ask about the diagnosis, the doctor, psychiatrist or other health care provider can only say it’s based on the child’s symptoms. They cannot confirm their diagnosis with a blood test, x-ray, urine test or any other medical test. They cannot prove a “mental health disorder” exists because they have not isolated any biological cause. A child is being diagnosed based solely on someone’s opinion.
A doctor may innocently diagnose a “mental health disorder” based on what he sees in the DSM, but one may ask how do the “disorders” get into the manual in the first place? The committee in charge of the DSM just goes by a random majority vote, not by any scientific study. A psychiatrist who served on two such committees said it’s quite nonchalant, like trying to decide where to go for dinner. Are we in the mood for Chinese or Mexican? Then they agree on Italian and a “mental health disorder” is created.
If this isn’t appalling enough, the same psychiatrist said that one time a particular behavior was being considered as a symptom to be put in the DSM. Another committee member objected because he exhibits that behavior himself, so it can’t be included because he is normal! It is crazy that this is the process in order to decide what is “normal” or not.
It is no surprise then that the number of “mental health disorders” in the DSM has increased dramatically over the years. When it was first published in the early fifties, there were only about a hundred “disorders.” That figure has tripled over time and with the new release of the DSM-V, there are probably even more. If voting is the only criteria to get a “disorder” into the DSM, of course they can put as many as they like in their manual. The main problem is there aren’t enough people questioning their validity.
Not only are “new” “disorders” voted into the DSM, but symptoms have become broader and less specific. Basically this means that normal childhood behavior has been medicalised when it is not medical by nature. Anything short of being quiet and sitting still can be diagnosed as a “mental health disorder.” As a result, children are misdiagnosed as mentally ill and epidemics of “mental health disorders” ensue. In turn, millions of children are put on dangerous mind-altering psychiatric drugs when they are just being kids.
A prime example is the “epidemic” of bipolar disorder in very young children. Dr. Joseph Biederman, a Harvard psychiatrist, created such an “epidemic” accompanied with the most powerful antipsychotic drugs as treatment. Prior to 1970, bipolar in children did not exist and it was rare in adults. Being in an influential position, Dr. Biederman’s unsubstantiated theories led to many preschoolers being diagnosed with bipolar.
Court documents show that he promised Johnson & Johnson in advance that their antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, would be effective on preschoolers. He was paid $1.6 million for slanting his “research” to support the existence of childhood bipolar and Johnson & Johnson’s drugs to treat it. This man used his high position to benefit financially at the expense of many normal preschoolers. Even worse, he still has his position at Harvard and continues to collect substantial consultant fees from various drug companies.
The other result of this bipolar “epidemic” is that the hospitalization rate for children aged five to nine years old went up 696% over a thirteen year period! One can rightly assume hospitalization occurred because of taking antipsychotic drugs. Antipsychotics have severe enough side effects such as trouble breathing, kidney failure, head pain, dizziness and suicidal thoughts which would warrant hospitalization.
Often the side effects are not told to the parents and the doctor says the drug is effective. The drug is effective if you want your child to be quiet for awhile. The drug is effective if you want your child’s developing brain to be altered. The drug is effective if you want your child to not be himself and gravitate towards being an empty soul. The drugs are effective only in a destructive way!
So what are doctors supposedly treating? The chemical brain imbalance theory is popular to explain such “mental health disorders” such as ADHD. It is just that: a theory. Over fifty years of investigations have concluded that there is not one piece of solid scientific evidence that the brain theory is correct. If the drugs aren’t correcting any imbalance, then they are only putting toxins into a child’s body and numbing his central nervous system. Doctors may say drugs work, but the scientific research shows they do not.
In fact, it has been found that antidepressants are no more effective than placebo sugar pills. When one takes into account the lack of effectiveness and the host of severe adverse side effects, it is clear that putting a child on psychiatric medication is putting a child’s health at risk to say the least.
At this point, it should also be clear that “mental health disorders” are just a way to sell drugs. After all, the majority of research regarding psychiatric drugs is sponsored by the drug companies. Financial ties are rampant between psychiatrists and drug companies. Twenty-one out of twenty-nine members of the current DSM-V task force have financial ties to one or more drug companies. Between the vested interest and the manipulation of clinical trials to make drugs look effective, a child’s mental health is not even on the table. Only profits are of concern.
It would be more helpful to children to find out what is causing the “mental health disorder.” It could be sugar in his food, preservatives, allergens, or nutritional deficiencies. He could have a stressful home environment, is bored or is starving for attention. There are many causes of undesirable behavior in children to check out.
It is time that parents question those mental health diagnoses and ask what is their child doing that isn’t normal and even more importantly, what is the doctor’s definition of normal? It is time to say no to psychiatry and yes to real answers and solutions.