We Must Stop Drugging Our Lively Children ..
In 1980, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) was ‘invented’ by the American Psychiatric Association.. In 1987, ADD was revised, becoming ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Once children are labeled with ADHD, they are no longer treated as normal.
Once psychotropic drugs courses through their brain and body, they are, for the first time, physically, neurologically and biologically, abnormal.
There are no ‘medical’ ways of testing for ADHD such as blood tests or scans.
Children as young as 5 are diagnosed with ADHD mainly from information given by the parents.. Parents who expect their child to keep quiet and sit in front of the television.. Parents who don’t give their child attention and exercise.
Parents who stuff their child with junk food, sweets and fizzy drinks.
Parents who are then paid by us to care for their ‘mentally disabled’ child.
Have doctors and psychiatrists identified an old disease, or invented a new one ?
Getting agitated, losing your temper and being bored are classic symptoms of ADHD – but don’t all children behave like that sometimes ?
I don’t believe that ADHD exists and is certainly not a genuine illness.
What our neglected children suffer from is moral poverty, a mental diet of television and computer games and an almost total absence of good examples from the adults in their lives.. All children have some problems with self-control.
We must stop stigmatizing our children, and drugging the lively ones.
Parents should stop searching for alibis for their own failure in controlling unruly or boisterous children.
The French Way Of Treating ADHD ..
French child psychiatrists view ADHD as a medical condition that has psycho-social and situational causes.. Instead of treating children’s focusing and behavioural problems with drugs, French doctors prefer to look for the underlying issue that is causing the child distress.. Not in the child’s brain but in the child’s social context.
They then choose to treat the underlying social context problem with psychotherapy or family counselling.. This is a very different way of seeing things from the UK and American tendency to attribute all symptoms to a biological dysfunction such as a chemical imbalance in the child’s brain.
Parents May Be The Problem ..
In the UK we have an epidemic of parents looking for a scientific excuse for their own disappointment in their children, and we have a glut of lazy doctors willing to prescribe whatever drugs parents request.
The problem isn’t our children.. the problem is us.
We’ve created their social context, and it’s not a place where they can thrive.
It’s time to admit that parents are the problem, not the children.
Medicalisation Of Our Children ..
National guidelines in England and Wales say children with ADHD should receive ‘comprehensive’ treatment, including psychological, behavioural and educational help.. Budgets have been cut and psychiatrists feel they can’t follow the official guidelines, which recommend therapy before drugs.
The number of drugs prescriptions to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has leapt from 92,100 in 1997 to 786,400 last year (2012), say NHS figures.
It is feared that youngsters are being given them instead of more expensive counselling and other treatments.. Some parents are also believed to be pressurising GPs for drugs to help boost performance at school.. Health guidelines say they should not be given to children under six.. Symptoms of ADHD include an inability to concentrate and restless or impulsive behaviour.
Often, the first response now is to issue drugs, not offer therapeutic help.
Claims are being made that hundreds of children under six, some as young as three, are being given drugs, which might have little impact without other therapy.
Children who grow up getting nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have a tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer.
( Dr. Benjamin Spock )
Cases Of Child Depression Have Been Growing ..
According to the World Health Organisation, depressive disorders were the third biggest global health problem in 2004.. By 2030 they will be number one.
Cases of child and adolescent depression have been growing, although this could be partly because we have become better at diagnosing.
The government has not collated statistics on minors since 2004, but we do know that between 1991 and 2001 the number of children prescribed antidepressants in the UK rose by 70%.
According to the Nuffield Foundation, the proportion of 15 and 16-year-olds reporting that they frequently feel anxious or depressed has doubled in the past 30 years to two in 30 for boys and two in ten for girls.
A year-long study by YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity for improving the mental health of young people, found that hospital admissions owing to self-harming have increased by 68% over ten years.
In the past year alone they have risen by 10% for under-25s.
Various reasons are cited.. the fragmentation of the family, increasing focus on academic achievement, earlier access to alcohol, social-networking sites, a materialistic society that values image above happiness, bleak employment prospects.. Experts say we have yet to see the full effects of the most drastic changes in modern society.
Lucie Russell, the director of campaigns policy and participation at YoungMinds, says that the pressures on young people today are unprecedented.. “Young people need to build a resilience to navigate the world they live in.. There’s this online world where someone might have 500 virtual friends but no real ones.. There’s cyber bullying, porn, sexting, violence.. Many are not likely to get jobs and there are exams, exams, exams.. Education policy is very much about academic achievement.. It’s not about wellbeing.. That has been taken out of the Ofsted indicators.”
Eleven per cent of the NHS budget is spent on mental health..
Of that, just 0.7% goes on children.
It is estimated that between 35,000 and 40,000 children and teenagers are being treated with Prozac-type drugs.. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines state that children with mild depression should be offered talking treatments before medication.
For the very ill, medication can be a lifeline, especially if they are suicidal, but some medication can cause suicidal feelings, so children must be constantly monitored.
( An extract from a report by Carol Midgley, October 2013 )