. . . and it's not their genes either. – Dr. C

Posts tagged ‘chemicals’

YKAS 1: Let’s Get Acquainted

This is a blog about psychiatry and the chemicals they sell to us to drug our kids.  It’s also a blog about temperaments and children, and ways to help parents.  I’ll have something to say about both as we go.  You may be surprised to learn the kind of chemicals we give to children has a lot to do with their temperament.

I’ll be writing about psychiatry as it’s currently practiced by most psychiatrists.  This will include the universities they graduate from – lets call them Academia – and the large pharmaceutical companies you buy your chemicals from – affectionately known on Wall Street as “Big Pharma.”

I’ll introduce you to some courageous professionals who have dedicated their careers, often to their detriment, to fiercely challenge our cultural belief that unwelcome behavior is evidence of a psychological disease.  Along the way, you’ll meet some courageous individuals who collectively refer to themselves as “psychiatric survivors.”

You’ll learn that psychiatric theory is nothing like the Big Bang Theory or The Theory of Evolution – and both have their own controversies – or any other scientific theory.  That’s because psychiatry isn’t science.

The Medical Model was developed for medical doctors to find treatment for illnesses of the body – flesh and bone – and psychiatry was not included.  Yet, psychiatry managed to nudge its way in, despite being an unwelcome addition to medicine.  Why unwelcome?  Because most doctors at the time didn’t think human behavior had anything to do with human medicine.  Neither do I, and neither does a growing number of professionals and lay people alike.  You’ll be hearing more from them too.  (You can read more about the Medical Model here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_model)

Did you know there was a time when Insulin Shock Therapy (IST) was the “state-of-the-art treatment” used to create comas for patients living in “mental hospitals,” especially patients with “schizophrenia?” Give enough insulin to someone and they would become “comatized,” and this would “treat the disease.”  You may find it worth your time to read the justifications the doctors used back then, as well as their proclaimed “successes.”  They sound a lot like modern-day psychiatric justifications and “successes.”  What finally made them stop this shamefully cruel “treatment?”  A new “invention.”  Neuroleptic drugs. (SEE:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_shock_therapy.)

Mostly, though, this blog is about you, me, and our children.  Like no other time in human history, in the Western World, we are giving children daily chemicals, many of them toxic, to address our concerns about their worrisome behaviors.

That’s a key.  Their worrisome behaviors soon become our worrisome concerns.  What’s a parent to do?  We know.  Good parents follow the advice of their psychiatrist, because that’s what good parents do.  You wouldn’t deny your child other medication, so how could you say no to that “scientific” chemical that’s supposed to “treat” your child’s Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder, the long time leader in childhood psychiatric “diseases?”

ADHD is perhaps the cruelest of all childhood “diagnoses.”  “He’s too active and doesn’t pay attention” isn’t a disease.  Your child’s teacher is complaining, not your child.  This is a child management concern, and that begins with the adult.  If adults change their behaviors, children’s behaviors will follow – inevitably.

And, dear reader, please remember this isn’t an exercise in abstract ideas for me.  Over a long career, I’ve met several thousand troubled and troublesome children who, upon arrival, were sometimes taking two or three or four or five – or six – different chemicals.  When I had the last word, my staff and I reduced and then eliminated their “medication.”  Always with parents’ permission – and sometimes their insistence – we did so because, well, your kids aren’t sick.

By the way, a parent saying “no” to a psychiatrist prescribing “medication” for a child’s “disease” is getting to be a bigger problem than you may know.  In courtrooms and classrooms around our country, a brewing conflict is growing that may some day affect you and your child.  I’ll keep you informed.  I’m sorry to report, Big Pharma and Academia, working hand in hand, are not on your side.  They are on their side; the side that proclaims your child has a “disease” and you may not be able to deny him his “treatment.”

So, dear reader, blend our honest parental concerns with the myth that unwanted behavior is a medical condition best treated with some kind of man-made chemical, add in an incredibly lucrative business fully prepared to charge us for those man-made chemicals, and we have a perfect storm and a growing disaster.  Kids aren’t getting any better, and parents – teachers too – are even more frustrated.

What’s a parent to do?  I know your child’s behavior is often a concern for you.  While you may agree medicine might not be the only answer, you don’t get much help from the school either.  I’ll have some concrete, usable techniques for you and your children’s teachers as we get to know each other.

However, before we do, let’s get the rest of the bad news out of the way.

NEXT YKAS ESSAY: It’s Gotten Much Worse

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from birth to adulthood, a kid is a kid

I’ll always have something to say about children and temperaments, and much more as time goes on.  After all, this blog is about kids and how they behave, and you can’t talk about that without talking about temperaments.  Children are different, so we have to treat them different and, as you already know, that’s not so easy to do – is it?

Children arrive equipped.  About that I’m sure.  The rest is about their unfolding.  How we go about helping them discover their project begins with their innate temperament.  Following Keirseyan temperament theory, these are the four forms of temperaments of children:

NEXT TIME:  What do the four forms mean?  Why Stars, Squares, Spheres and Cubes?

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A Very Private Practice

One day, a boy had to be hurried to the psychiatrist.  The doctor’s office called and said there was a last minute cancellation, and my supervisor picked me to take him to the doctor’s office.

I was a little nervous.  I had pestered this doctor with my questions, apparently to the breaking point.  I was nearly 30 by then, I had two kids of my own, and I wanted clear answers.  I don’t do well with platitudes.  I guess it showed.  At some point he decided he didn’t want to answer any more of my questions, especially when he found out I had a bachelor’s degree in sociology.  So, this time, I walked in with one of the boys and I quietly found a seat.  The boy was soon escorted to a room in the back where he would wait to see the doctor.

It was late in the day and the office was empty.  I took a seat just below and to the right of the sliding glass window where the receptionist was.  I was extra quiet.  After a few minutes, I was out of sight and, as I soon found out, out of mind.

About 10 minutes later, I heard the doctor approach the receptionist area.  The receptionist, I would learn, also did the doctor’s billing for Medi-Cal.  Her name was Evelyn.  I remember her name because, unbeknownst to the doctor, this is what I heard the doctor say to her, in no uncertain terms:

“God dammit Evelyn, how many times do I have to tell you?!  I don’t get paid for this diagnosis!!”

Hmmm.  As I was to learn in the next few years, the love of money really is the root of all evil after all.