New Call To Increase Number Of Kids Labeled Mentally Ill

Childhood “mental illness” has become extremely popular of late. Having gone from being virtually non-existent not that long ago in recent history, now childhood mental illness labels are popping up everywhere. Fueling the frenzy, the American Academy of Pediatrics has just put out a call for more psychiatric labeling of children. An article just out in the Wall Street Journal, Call for Kids’ Mental-Health Checks, reports that the Academy is encouraging pediatricians to screen every child that passes through their offices for psychiatric conditions.

These doctors also should develop a network of mental-health professionals in the community to whom they can send patients if they suspect a child needs further evaluation, according to the task force on mental health convened by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The recommendations were made in a series of reports published in a supplement to the journal Pediatrics.

Great. Pediatricians need a behavioral police force then with whom children suspected of having psychiatric defects, or thinking ‘abnormal’ thoughts, can be detained for evaluation and guarantine purposes.

At the same time, there is a shortage of child mental-health experts, particularly psychiatrists. While 21% of U.S. children and adolescents have a diagnosable mental illness, only one-fifth of that group receives treatment, according to the academy.

Uh huh. Over 1/5 of the kid population suspected, but only 1/5 of this population has been nabbed.

Next unanswered question, is it Okay for the American Academy of Pediatrics to project a mental illness figure for our nation’s children of just over 1 in every 5 children? Let me tell you, this is pretty unacceptable in my book.

Increasing evidence suggests children fare better if they receive early intervention for behavioral and mental-health problems. And if parents have regular conversations with pediatricians about mental health from the time their children are young, they may feel more comfortable bringing up future concerns, making the pediatricians’ office “user-friendly for kids’ mental health issues,” Dr. [James] Perrin says.

The implication here is that if 1/5th of the kids thought to need help, get it, 4/5th of those kids thought to need help are going to get worse. I personally doubt that so many of the people getting treatment later, sans early intervention, belong to this 4/5th of the children pediatricians would turn over to mental health cops for this kind of fixing through early intervention. Sometimes problems have a way of taking care of themselves, and lessening over time. Sometimes, after all, problems develop later in life.

Alain LeGuillou, a private-practice pediatrician in Larchmont, N.Y., says he thinks it’s important and feasible to identify which children need further evaluation for mental-health concerns. He aims to refer them to specialists as soon as possible and is expanding his network with mental-health professionals in the community. “We don’t have to wait to have a perfect diagnosis,” said Dr. LeGuillou, who has been a pediatrician for 15 years. “As soon as we see a milestone that’s off, a behavior that’s changing or some parenting that’s inappropriate, then I tend to refer quickly.”

Perfect and diagnosis are 2 words I have never seen coupled before in this fashion. What could be perfect about “a milestone that’s off, a behavior that’s changing or some parenting that’s inappropriate”, and then are children being ‘treated’ for ‘inappropriate parenting’? Is it true that we could, in some instances, here be blaming the victim then, and letting the offender get off scot free?

I think this country has got better things to be doing with its children than labeling fully 1/5th of them “mentally ill”, and starting them off on a course that for some of them is sure to mean “long term’’, and perhaps even, “life long” “disability”. The course the Academy of Pediatrics is recommending is a dangerious one that is certain to land a number of children and adolescents in worse circumstances than whatever bad circumstances they might have been starting from. On top of this situation, the polypharmacy that such screening will, in all inevitability, result in is going to mean more and more kids suffering from the iatrogenic diseases that go along with such polypharmacy.

We should be keeping children out of mental health treatment, and we should not be rushing to get them into such treatment. The presumption of health until proven sick used to be the rule, and it should return to being the rule.

A colleague of mine has suggested that this course of action is being taken purely for financial and fee based, and certainly for less than altruistic, reasons on the part of organized pediatricians, and I find little reason to doubt such a conclusion to be true. My advice to parents dealing with often unruly children is to be wary of pediatricians who take this tact. You definitely don’t want them to use your children to further dicemate the numbers of healthy children our nation still has.

4 Responses

  1. In my 12 years of schooling beginning in 1962 I went through with a turnover of about 2000 kids. Apart from a couple of cases of what I now figure was probably Tourettes Syndrome I don’t recall any sign or hearing any rumours about any mental illnesses at all. No kids disappeared. No counseling or visits from shrinks or social workers. Nothing.

    • Same here. When I was in school children were not being labeled “mentally ill” as a rule. I don’t suppose the situation is as bad in Australia as it is here in America. The USA is taking the lead here, and I imagine it will mean more “mental illness” labeling in other places as well.

      The question people must be asking is how does this process happen. Let me give you a few clues. Children get labeled ADHD or depressed. Doctors put these children on stimulants or antidepressants. A certain percentage of the people put on stimulants or antidepressants go manic. This leads to even more severe diagnoses and more powerful drugs.

      The same thing is taking place among adults. I read an article where fully 1/3 of the people diagnosed with major depression are thought to be bipolar. You give people antidepressants, and a percentage of them will go crazy. Alright. Did they go crazy because of a predisposition for doing so, or did they go crazy because they were given the antidepressants? Let me tell you, some of these people labeled bipolar would have never had a manic episode if it weren’t for antidepressants.

      You’ve got a person then with a much more severe diagnosis. You give this person more powerful drugs. The effects of these drugs are going to be even more debilitating than the initial diagnosis. Doctors earn their bread and bacon by making these diagnoses and prescribing these pills. The idea that the pill could be somehow responsible for the condition, and that the condition might be improved by removing the pill, just seems counter intuitive to them as it goes against all of their training. It may go against all they’ve been trained, but the fact is that many of their patient’s problems are probably directly related to the pills they’ve been prescribing.

  2. They might be pulling another one of their circular sleight of hand thingies. Like saying mental illness is on the increase amongst adults because we didn’t diagnose enough of them when they were kids.

    The guy that went nutso in England. I heard one report that he was generally seen as an OK guy. Divorced and a couple of kids. I wonder if he was on prozac or similar. There’s a lot of people who have done bizarre out of character things on prozac or zoloft. And less bizzare things but still pretty strange on Ambien. Like wandering naked at night or going out for pizza and remembering nothing the next day.

    • I’m sure they’re “pulling another one of their circular sleight of hand thingies.” We get this bit about how there are so many “mentally ill” people out there, but only so many of them are receiving treatment. If that’s like saying it’s not broken then so much for treatment.

      Antidepressants bottles have those little black box warnings on them. Eric Harris of Columbine fame was on a Prozac like drug. When incidents of violence occur, it’s not always a case of he or she went off his or her “meds”, but if you read the news you might think it was. For every instance of a person off psych-drugs commiting a violent act, there must 100s of instances of people off psych-drugs not commiting acts of violence.

      People recover and they go off psych-drugs 100%. The public needs to know this can be done. Psychiatry, under the sway of psychopharmacology, is telling a different story. It is a story that can easily be refuted with flesh and blood examples.

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