There are plenty of things for adults to be anxious about these days, but what about children? Since children have less life experience, less control over their lives and get more influence from others, it would be logical that children could be more prone to anxiety than adults. But does too much anxiety constitute a psychiatric disorder?
Psychiatry has put forth that different kinds of anxiety are a disorder which need to be treated with drugs. Consequently, when parents are considering how to help children with anxiety, it would make sense to find the source of the anxiety so that drugs are not needed. However, if the severity of the condition persists without a solution, then the pros and cons of any treatment should be weighed.
Thirty or forty years ago, children with anxiety wouldn’t even be a topic for discussion. Teens and kids have always experienced plenty of anxiety in various social situations and that has been consistently considered a normal part of growing up. With the increased influence of psychiatry, times have changed and the idea what’s “normal” has been changed with it. Psychiatry has decided that many anxiety disorders exist, several of which they say occur in children.
An example of one of these disorders is General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This is defined as too much worry about every day things concerning friends, family, sports or grades. One is so anxious about daily activities that it is hard to get through the day.
Kids are so active today that the routine of going home after school at three o’clock no longer exists. Homework, clubs, sports and other activities keep a kid very busy until bedtime. Who wouldn’t be anxious with so much going on at such a young age? It would be smart to look at where all this anxiety is coming from. Is it the demands of the daily schedule? Does he/she have too much homework or activities? Is he/she being bullied at school or involved in some other undesirable social situation? The point is to find out what is causing all the anxiety and how to rectify it.
Another disorder in this category is Social Anxiety Disorder. This is fear of being embarrassed, humiliated or being judged by others. Ever remember being afraid of being called on by the teacher? How about wanting to talk to someone, but you didn’t dare because you were afraid of what they might think or that they would make fun of you? Sounds familiar, like middle school or high school, right? The typical age for this disorder to manifest itself is thirteen. Is there a teenager out there that hasn’t felt this way more than they would want to admit? Psychiatry will have you believe typical teenage emotions and behavior are a mental illness.
Lastly, Selective Mutism warrants further examination. This is when a child will not speak when it is expected. Maybe the child talks freely at home but outside the home won’t talk and instead will avoid eye contact, twirl or chew on their hair. The typical age to diagnose Selective Mutism is between ages four and eight.
Children are not extroverted and talkative in an environment in which they are not comfortable. Adults by their size, alone, could be intimidating to a child. Maybe the adult reminds him/her of Mean Aunt Martha. Maybe the child doesn’t like the teacher and is afraid to say so. How can we expect a child as young as four years old who only knows his immediate family to be conversant around others? Perhaps there are kids that have other circumstances that just refuse to speak in certain settings, but wouldn’t it be better to analyze those surroundings first before labeling him with a mental disorder?
Since some cases of anxiety in children are severe and affect daily life, it is important to find the cause of all these behaviors so that a solution can be found and the child helped. Psychiatry’s solution is mind-altering drugs which only address the symptoms and are not a cure. he drugs most often prescribed for children with anxiety are antidepressants. This is because psychiatry is pushing the theory that there’s a chemical imbalance in your brain which causes anxiety and/or depression. The antidepressants supposedly adjust that imbalance.
If a parent is considering antidepressants as treatment for anxiety, the parent should know beforehand exactly what that drug is doing to their child’s brain. It’s your right, per Informed Consent. The parent should take into account that there are no medical or scientific tests of any kind to prove that any psychiatric disorder even exists. The parent should look at the fact that there is no proof that a chemical imbalance in the brain can exist. Therefore, the drugs could be altering a brain which doesn’t need altering and isn’t fully developed yet, either.
Additionally, antidepressants have serious or life threatening side effects as stated by their FDA Black Box Warning. Suicidal and violent thoughts are possible and could be acted upon. Trying to find a solution for children with anxiety could pose a challenge, but the alternatives psychiatry offers could be fatal.