Undemonizing The Little Monsters

My view is that we simply shouldn’t saddle children with psychiatric labels. Why? The reasons are multiple. Labeled children grow up to be labeled adults, label A often comes with label B and label C or label D, and minor labels develop into major labels. With these labels come powerful and physical health destroying pharmaceuticals. Just look at the outcomes if you want to know why we shouldn’t label. Labeling a child isn’t putting that child on a success track. Labeling a child is actually harming that child.

When I was a kid attention deficit hyperactivity disorder didn’t exist, and conduct was a mark on a report card. Things have changed in this regard since then, but those changes have all been for the worse. Today misbehavior, healthy behavior from another perspective, is being medicalized, and mildly misbehaving children are growing into permanently “disturbed” and “disabled” adults.

I’m using the 6th part of the 7 part series Matters In Mind, Psychiatric labels and kids: benefits, side-effects and confused published recently in the journal In Conversation to draw The Behavior Key that follows.

The Behavior Key

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD – ‘hyperactive or inattentive’
Obedient defiant disorder – ODD – ‘particularly naughty’
Conduct disorder – CD – ‘seriously nasty’
Major depressive disorder – MDD – ‘down in the dumps’
General anxiety disorder – GAD/ Obsessive compulsive disorder – OCD/ Social anxiety disorder (or social phobias) – SAD/ Panic disorder – PD/ etc. – ‘nervous’

Forget the label, and you’ve merely got an adjective with which to describe a child, accent on child.

On the coattails of transforming ADHD into childhood bipolar disorder, and manufacturing an epidemic, we know what’s coming, and it is more of the same.

The DSM-5, due out next year, is likely to unleash a new epidemic – DMDD (disruptive mood dysregulation disorder), which has been strongly criticised by the former DSM-IV task force head Professor Allen Frances.

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder – DMDD (could more aptly be described as) – temper tantrums.

In psychiatric training, we learn that what really counts is a biopsychosocial (biological, psychological and social) formulation. This is a few paragraphs which accompanies the diagnosis, summarising the main relationships, genetic inheritance, stressful events, temperament and psychological coping style of the person. The biopsychosocial formulation seeks to uncover and put in perspective all the causes of their symptoms and point to what help is needed, even if not readily available.

This is bio-babble. I’ve seen articles that estimate biology to be 70 % – 80 % the source of any one “mental disorder”. Biological medical model psychiatry is the predominate school of psychiatry today, and thus, “disorders” have to be primarily biological in origin. This leaves 30 % – 20 % of any “disorder” attributable to psychology and social environment. If biology wasn’t the primary basis for “mental disorders”, the theory is wrong. Well, chances are the theory is wrong. This 70 % – 80 % figure is based entirely on speculation. It represents a type of negative wishful thinking with very little, if any, real science behind it.

This draws us to the final question, who’s minding baby? Let’s not leave child-rearing practices up to the pill bottle. Psychiatric drugs, if anything, make wholly inadequate parents. Labeled children, as the statistic’s show us, are doomed children. Now what kind of parent would consciously sentence his or her child to hell on earth? Not a good parent, surely. Let’s get back to the practice of producing good children through producing good parents, and vice versa. Care about your child, and don’t send that child to the boogie-psychiatrist for labeling, drugging, and the eternal curse of diagnostic sorcery.