Mental Health Awareness Month Mayhem

The “mental illness” industry propaganda machine is running full throttle this month, especially in my neck of the swamp. All sorts of events have been planned, here in Gainesville Florida,   for May, Mental Health Awareness Month, a 60 something designation originated by  Mental Health America, at one point almost the lone voice for the mental health movement, a movement to get government to foot the bill for “mental illness”.

A local movie theater is showing Call Me Crazy, one of Hollywood’s most recent excursions into the area of “mental illness” propagandizing. There is also going to be a panel discussion, and a Mental Health Fair (sic), Apparently, given “campaigns against stigma”, there is no way in hell that “mental illness” can be allowed to keep a low profile. This is about selling nonsense, folks, and as it is being done all over the country, it is about selling nonsense big time.

Did I say big? “Mental illness” is big business. This is how it works. You’ve got a tin cup pitch being offered in unison for more funds to pay for it. It is psychiatric labeling, drugs, “mental health” workers and facilities. Education is particularly important. Education is corporate propaganda, in other words, advertising. The more educating you do, the more “mental illness” you get. The more “mental illness” you get, the better your chances of swindling the public into giving you more money.

Prevention is a joke at this point. Prevention is usually a matter of labeling and drugging children. Not getting ‘em early on is seen as “causative” because it is thought that delayed diagnosis increases severity. Problem. The kid who is not got is not “ill”. The severity of the label starts with the label itself. Not that long ago, in fact, childhood wasn’t a bona fide “mental illness”. Actual people, baby sitters and parents, tended the fledgling flock of humanity,. Now, more and more often, the child rearing task is being relegated to stimulants, sedatives, and happy pills, and I can’t say that they’ve been doing a terrific job of it.

We’ve got a “mental illness” epidemic raging throughout much of the world today, and no wonder. If gun violence erupts, “mental illness” did it. If people are poor and without permanent shelter, they must be “mentally ill”. “Mental illness” is our answer to social issues. It’s not a matter of flawed groups, it is a matter of flawed individuals. All we need to do is segregate, label, drug, and treat the offending parties responsible for any disagreement in groups, and voila, everything is hunky dory again.

Not so fast. The perfect son or daughter, who received the perfect grade, got the perfect job, and now runs the perfect major corporation are becoming more of a liability than our “diseased” failures ever were. Life on the planet earth is now threatened by our idea of wellness and success. Maybe we need to take a harder look at the potential in our throwaway populations of people. Perhaps there is something we missed, Perhaps they are not so totally tainted and ruined by “brain disease” after all.

You will never find a “mental illness” under a microscope lens. This is because “mental illness” is not a legitimate medical condition. There is nothing to find when what passes for symptoms are merely a checklist of aberrant behaviors. Although some psychiatrists would resolve the Cartesian mind body duality by declaring mind brain, I challenge anybody to find an identifiable thought or feeling in a synaptic cleft or a neural circuit. It will always elude them. Mental and physical are simply not synonymous.

The dilemma confronting us today is that  standard psychiatric practice invariably involves  physically damaging the patient.  The propaganda is not propaganda favoring “mental health”. What is that?  The propaganda is actually propaganda favoring physical injury. The way out of the psych-ward should not be through another department in the hospital, or the mortuary, but this is increasingly becoming the case. The only ‘other way’ involves seriously butting heads with the mental health establishment as “stigma” has been redefined to mean any disagreement with the propaganda.

Education On, And Alternatives To, Psychiatric Drug Abuse

If anything I think the potential harm occurring with psychiatric drug use has been underplayed rather than overplayed. This is to say that I have every reason to believe psychiatric drugs are much more dangerous and damaging than they are credited with being. Desperate people though are often more apt to listen to their desperation than they are to listen to the more cautious voice of reason and health.

Education is key when it comes to changing this situation. First people must be educated about the ills that come of taking neuroleptic and other psychiatric drugs. They need to know the conditions caused by the extended use of psychiatric drugs, and they need to be aware of how it raises the mortality rate dramatically. They must come to see that true recovery is attained through tapering off psychiatric drugs rather than dependently over relying upon them, and that over relying upon such chemicals is worse than risky, in actual fact it is rank folly.

Living in an area where these connections are not being made makes public education that much more important. When the “trade off” for a modicum of emotional stability is a matter of 25 and more lost years of life, that’s not a fair trade in the slightest. Nobody needs to sacrifice a third of their lifetime to “medication maintenance”, and more when you consider the loss in terms of quality of life. What people do need to know is that their chances for making a complete recovery are much better if they are never exposed to psychiatric drugs in the first place. When they do make this connection, the need for alternatives to psychiatric drug treatment becomes apparent.

People who have been enduring the adverse effects of psychiatric drugs for years, under the misguided opinion that they can’t function without them, should become better informed. There should also be support groups to help people who wish to get off psychiatric drugs to do so. People need to know just what the dangers are of remaining on psychiatric drugs as well. The longer a person takes a psychiatric drug, the more likely it becomes that that person will suffer permanent physical damage. Outside chemicals are just not the best way to maintain emotional stability. Nature, the evolved nature one was born with, works much better.

Psychiatric drug dependence and “mental illness” are practically interchangeable terms now. What psychiatric drugs can’t provide is “mental health”. People who don’t use such chemicals are said to be “mentally healthy”, and one can’t be said to be “mentally healthy” so long as one uses a psychiatric drug. People who take psychiatric drugs, in so doing, often put their physical health at risk. There are other and better ways to deal with the stress and pressure that comes of modern living, and the idea is to help people deal with the stress and pressure in ways other than that of masking such with the effects of a thought distorting, brain disabling, psychiatric drug.

If chronicity in “mental illness” is actually the result of psychiatric drug dependence, as some of us maintain, then the way to restore people to capacity is through tapering them off chemicals. Psychiatry, blind to the excess embodied in its own practice, has disastrously failed to recover a large portion of people under its influence to functionality. We can do much about this shortcoming by educating people about psychiatric drugs, and by providing them with safe alternatives to treatments employing harmful psychiatric drugs. It is crucial that we do so before psychiatry, in combinations with rapacious drug companies, wreaks even more havoc on the world than it has done thus far.

Ronald Pies In Psychiatryland

One of the biggest clown doctors going at the present moment has got to be Ronald Pies. It would be remiss of me to claim that in his latest post, Nuances, Narratives, and the ‘Chemical Imbalance’ Debate in Psychiatry, he has outdone himself. If there was anyone destined for a pie in the face that anyone has got to be Ronald Pies. I would be honored, in fact, to bestow upon Dr. Pies the moniker Ronald “Pie In The Face” Pies for all posterity. Ronald Pies is a marvel of nonsensical shrink think. In his latest escapade into the theory and practice of shrinkery, Pies, by some disingenuous twist of convoluted illogic, would blame “the chemical imbalance theory” on that bug-a-boo and will-o-the-wisp of modern psychiatry, antipsychiatry. Go figure.

Now, if you were to give credence to a recent online polemic posing as investigative journalism, you would probably choose the first or second statement. In the narrative of the antipsychiatry movement, a monolithic entity called “Psychiatry” has deliberately misled the public as to the causes of mental illness, by failing to debunk the chemical imbalance hypothesis. Indeed, this narrative insists that, by promoting this little white lie, psychiatry betrayed the public trust and made it seem as if psychiatrists had magic bullets for psychiatric disorders. (Lurking in the back-story, of course, is Big Pharma, said to be in cahoots with Psychiatry so as to sell more drugs).

Those first two statements Pies alludes to here would be those that indicate either “mental illnesses” were caused by “chemical imbalances” in the brain, or merely that more “serious mental illnesses” were caused by “chemical imbalances” in the brain. What we don’t get out of this story is precisely who was responsible for promoting and spreading this “chemical imbalance theory” that these people in some antipsychiatry movement would be exposing. Where is psychiatry here? Defending itself from those who would be exposing a discredited theory. Certainly it is not defending itself from the ones who would be promulgating that theory. Curious indeed.

Among his more bizarre notions is the notion that this “chemical imbalance” theory has more to do with some catecholamine hypothesis from many years back than it does with the development, marketing and advertising of those trendy psychiatric drugs still surging strong on the market of today.

To the extent the “chemical imbalance” notion took hold in our popular culture, it was due mainly to distorted or oversimplified versions of the catecholamine hypothesis. These were often depicted in drug company ads; pop psychology magazines; and, in recent years, on misinformed Websites and blogs. In short, the “chemical imbalance theory” was never a real theory, nor was it widely propounded by responsible practitioners in the field of psychiatry.

Does Dr. Pies mean that psychiatrists don’t use, or shouldn’t use, those drugs that would be advertised as purporting to correct some kind of postulated and theoretical “chemical imbalance”?  I think not. This leads to another question. To what extent has psychiatry, or the majority of its practitioners, colluded with pharmaceutical companies in producing an atmosphere that now has commercial interests in the media peddling pills, not just to medical professionals, but to the entire buying public perceived and re-envisioned as consumers who will purchase anything at the provocation of the most mesmerizing sound bite?

Psychiatry’s critics also conveniently omit reference to what was arguably the most prevalent paradigm in academic psychiatry, during the 1980s and beyond: the biopsychosocial model (BPSM) of Dr. George Engel. The BPSM has been subjected to much criticism, and some would argue that few psychiatrists nowadays use the BPSM in a systematic, evidence-based manner. And in recent years, several prominent psychiatrists have warned that “…pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, the major treatment modalities in psychiatry, have become fragmented from one another, creating an artificial separation of the psychosocial and biological domains in psychiatry.”

In the latex gloved mitts of Dr. Pies, our babble here has degenerated into very nuanced babble indeed. If you will notice, despite the nip at bio babble unrefined, bio still has top billing in the theoretical credits. I don’t think this is entirely because of the order of words in the alphabet, or accidental. The mad doctor has shown himself sufficiently proficient in blurring the lines between disciplines to earn himself a rank of major distinction in the therapeutic circus. If criticism equals antipsychiatry, well, there you go. The message is coming in loud and clear. Don’t criticize psychiatry or you must be promoting the discredited “chemical imbalance theory”, too. Clown psychiatry rules!

Acquiring A New Set Of WIngs

Social control is becoming very scary business these days. The supreme court of the USA just decided putting a limit on political campaign contributions is unconstitutional. This is the same USA that has a majority of millionaire elected officials serving in congress. Millionaires are, on the other hand, a very small minority of the overall population. Billionaires, too, but now billionaires have renewed opportunities to buy political influence from millionaires. As they say, follow the money. Following the money is apparently the only way you’re going to find out what’s really going on here. If 1 % of the population owns 80 % of the nations wealth, a great deal of the population is going to be under represented in the political process.

These elected millionaires often got to be millionaires through their associations, specifically their associations with politics and politicians. Not only is influence peddling big business, but big business is influence peddling. All sorts of lobbyists are making cracker jack deals with politicians. Should the lobbyists be lobbying to advance the interests of poor people, well, there’s no money in that, is there? Social justice takes a backseat to profiteering. Representatives, who get paid by the state, also tend to be lawyers with their own law practices. These law practices are more likely to serve people with money than they are to serve people without money. The law business must run on something, too, after all. Much of the business of law is about protecting the money of people who have money.

Living In a country where more and more people own less and less can be very frustrating. Sometimes this frustration shows up in the crime rate. Sometimes this frustration explodes into an excessive overt expression of gratuitous violence. It is convenient, in a such a case, especially for the profiteers, to come up with a scapegoat to blame this gratuitous violence on. By doing so, the manufacturers of social discontent themselves are left off the hook as far as accountability is concerned. One way they have managed to do this in recent history is by scapegoating the customary scapegoat. The customary scapegoat is, was, and remains, anybody with the misfortune of being swept up into the mental health system dragnet as a mental patient, or “consumer”.

“Mental illness” itself is a pretty sketchy concept. There are no reliable tests for it. Troubles, a universal phenomenon, of any sort, are enough to elicit a labeling response from the thin skinned mental health profession. Frustration, as you may well suppose, can be listed among troubles. Essentially, a person with a “mental illness” is a person who has been made into a scapegoat. “Stigma” itself started as a brand or a tattoo used to mark slaves as property or to identify criminals as wrong doers. Although that mark is gone, the paper trail that goes along with commitment hearings and inpatient treatment, brands any individual who has been through the mental health system a perpetual outsider as surely as a glowing iron set among hot coals. All that person has to do to run into a snag is to fill out any form that screens for mental health by asking about psychiatric treatment history.

Psychiatry’s answer is to claim that scapegoats are scapegoats because they have scapegoat genes. This circumspect approach, of course, misses entirely the social connections that contribute to any determination of success or failure. Take a classroom situation, for instance. A student turns in a paper that elicits some sort of objection from a teacher. The teacher gives the student a poor grade. Another student gets a good grade. All sort of social considerations, many of them unstated, go into who shall get the passing grade and who shall get the failing grade. Sometimes the determining factor can be something as slight as the color of a person’s skin. Of course, skin color is in the genes. Academic performance, on the other hand, should be in the knowledge, and in the acquired knowledge at that.

Drug Company Toady Charles Nemeroff Cons British

For shyster shrinks, these must be glorious days indeed. Lying drug company lacky, Charles Nemeroff, after getting booted off Emory University campus for lying about the extent of funds he received from prescription drug cartels, gets hired by the University of Miami, and now is being honored (for his dishonor?) in Great Britain. Conflict of interest, literally corruption, has never had it so good before.

The headline in The Independent, Honoured in Britain, the US psychiatrist who took $1.2m from drug companies, doesn’t quite tell the whole story. It wasn’t that he took well over a million dollars from drug companies. There is a law in the USA requiring US doctors in academia to reveal the amount of money they received from prescription drug companies, and scofflaw Dr. Charles Nemeroff lied about this matter to the tune of 1 million smackers and 2 hundred k.

The good news is that, at least, this decision has generated controversy, and there are people in England who challenge it.

The decision by the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, in central London, Europe’s largest psychiatric research organization, to invite Professor Charles Nemeroff, an expert in the treatment of depression, has split the psychiatric profession and been attacked by members of the institute itself. Professor Nemeroff, a leading authority on the biological causes of mental illness, is one of the highest profile doctors to have been exposed for concealing large payments from pharmaceutical companies.

His credentials…

He was forced to resign his post at Emory University, Atlanta, in 2008 after an investigation revealed that he had failed to report more than $1.2m of payments from GlaxoSmithKline, despite having signed an undertaking to limit payments to $10,000 a year.

This firing resulted in a subsequent appointment to the University of Miami and a research grant on top of it. What’s it to the University of Miami so long as drug companies are being sued and not institutions of higher education? The crook they took is now being honored as a conquering hero.

In what other field would lawbreaking be considered an advantageous career move? Drug companies are receiving the highest civil suit penalties in history for off-label prescription practices and here, one their pigeons, is being honored for his deceit.

Not everybody is happy with this decision. Some people object to this advancement of the criminal element.

Now a group of UK psychiatrists have written to the Institute of Psychiatry protesting against its decision to invite Professor Nemeroff to give the “inaugural annual lecture for the new Centre for Affective Disorders”, which is due to take place at the institute next Monday.

Knuckle rapping is one thing, promotions, that’s another. This leaves the question open as to which psychiatrist will be the next to turn criminal activities into a strategic career move.

Repercussions from the Sandy Hook tragedy slight in Florida

It looks like Florida may not suffer as extensively from the fallout over the Newtown Connecticut massacre as some other states. The Palm Beach Post headline,  State May Shrink Mental Health Spending, doesn’t tell the whole story.

Despite a growth in the state’s anticipated revenue for the first time in six years, Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed 2013-2014 budget does not include any increase for mental health services. Neither Scott nor GOP legislative leaders mentioned the issue as a priority on the opening day of the legislative session Tuesday. And lawmakers appear split on the only two proposals in play — mandatory mental health screening of elementary school students and extending the observation period for patients who are involuntarily committed by law enforcement or health officials.

The problem concerns these two pieces of legislation that I hope our legislators will have the common sense and decency to table or vote down. Busting school children for “mental illness” is what mandatory mental health screening is all about and, frankly, if there’s one thing we don’t need, that is it. Labeling children “mentally ill”, and putting them on powerful pharmaceuticals, is not good for their educations, nor is it good for their futures. Extending the Baker Act would be a completely absurd, unnecessary, and as far as humanity goes, a wasteful thing to do.

Thankfully, given our republican controlled legislature, as bad as things are, these representatives are not in hurry to make them worse. Praised be the tightwad when the spending he isn’t spending on is repressive and draconian legislation.

The issue with spending is that it could, if it were used for something else besides busting people for “mental illness”, reduce mental health spending in the state anyway.

More than half of Florida’s mental health spending goes to hospitalization. Other states, on average, spend less than 30 percent on hospitalization, said Florida Council for Community Mental Health President Bob Sharpe.

Hospitalization is very costly. Keeping people out of the state hospital system through building a statewide community mental health care system is one way to potentially save a lot of money.

As for the Baker Act…

DCF estimates that 35,000 out of 110,770 people held under the Baker Act last year had been Baker Acted before. Sharpe points to at least one man who was Baker Acted 100 times in a single year, meaning he was hospitalized nearly the entire year.

It would seem that one person would have a pretty good case for suing the state, if he had any legal rights to stand on at all, which apparently, as a mental patient, he doesn’t.  On the other hand, when the state can Baker Act one person 100 times in the course of a single year, there is certainly no reason to extend the Baker Act. It seems institutions here have that power already.

Mental Health Policing On Miami Teacher Curricula

Did I say teacher curricula? Actually school workers across the board are being trained to walk the mental health cop beat. As the Miami Herald reports, in a story bearing the heading, Miami teachers get mental illness training…(Really? They train people in that, do they?)

Teachers, cafeteria workers and janitors in Miami-Dade County middle schools and high schools will receive training on how to identify early-warning signs of mental illness.

All you Miami area students out there remember ‘the straight and narrow’ because if you ever forget you’re likely to wind up somewhere near a mental health counseling center, if not in Dante’s Inferno.

The Herald reports the training will be administered by mental health professionals to about 100 school district psychologists and counselors. They, in turn, will train other employees. Possible signs of mental illness can include sleeping through class, bizarre writings and extreme risk-taking.

Students are advised to be wary and take necessary precautions. Take uppers (so called performance enhancing drugs) if you have to do so to get through boring classes. Hire a non-creative writing tutor if you think it will help you get to graduation. Scratch the idea of launching your own Jackass type film production as a video class project.

Beyond this you need to do a little research, and it wouldn’t hurt to get an outline of the teacher police work curricula to better escape detection and diagnosis. A little knowledge would allow you to move more easily under the radar so to speak. Students, that is to say, given teachers with “mental illness” training, need to hone their own mental health skills. If you’ve any question about what mental health skills entail, read a book on any “mental illness” label there is, and exclude from your daily behavioral repertoire those behaviors listed as “symptoms”.

Flamboyance, eccentricity, and non-conformity are to be suppressed until after graduation if possible. Free and critical thinking as well. The idea is to study the idea of dull until you have it down by heart. Breathe dull, think dull, act dull. Got it! Study dull. Dull will win you awards. Dull is the way to go. Dull is blood brother to “normal”. Dull will get you a job with a multinational corporation. Successful people work for high paying multinational corporations.

The Government’s Response To The Sandy Hook Tragedy

The good news is that President Obama wants some form of gun control when it comes to automatic weapons and ammo. If we limit the number of massively killing machines that there are out there, we limit the number of chances that you will get the kind of body counts you got at V-Tech and Sandy Hook. Body counts, in fact, almost rivaling the Oklahoma City bombing. Unfortunately, gun control measures are not likely to get very far in today’s atmosphere. You’ve got the gun lobby and a Republican controlled congress to contend with. Talk about gun control always triggers a gun buying frenzy among certain segments of the public as well. The gun control measures are perhaps the least likely items on the agenda to get passed.This leads us to the rest of the counteracting measures, and that’s the bad news.

First there is this matter of closing the loopholes in the federal background check database. The problem here is that people labeled “mentally ill” are actually less likely to commit violent crimes than the general population. This group has become the scapegoat for the acts of violence committed by a very few failed and frustrated individuals. None of the people who committed the multiple shootings we have seen in the recent past would have been caught by such a database even if the so called loopholes were closed. This database targets not only people who have known the inside of a mental institution, but also foreigners in this country illegally, spouse abusers, and ex-felons. This database will be used by law enforcement for harassing the people who are in it. The database itself constitutes a loophole in the bill of rights of the US constitution as none of the people in the database are to be accorded the rights that full citizenship would ordinarily accord a person. As such, it represents a loophole in constitutional protections of citizenship. This certainly creates quite a challenge for the people unfortunate enough to find themselves listed. They’ve got the fight for the civil rights that have been taken away from them, ahead of them.

Additionally, there is the matter of mental health insurance parody. Parity is too good a word. This parody involves insurance companies treating psychosomatic conditions as if they were physical conditions. The key words here are “as if”. We’re expected to allow insurance companies to take up the slack for a broken mental health system. Really. If the mental health system were recovering contributing members of society this wouldn’t be a problem, but that’s not the case. People receiving “mental illness” labels are expected to languish for the duration of their lives in some form of convalescence for which someone else picks up the tab. Insurance parity, on top of job discrimination, equals economic damage. Malingering should not be turned into the kind of a career that insurance parody of this sort can turn it into. This is economic damage. It is economic damage to the individual and it is economic damage to the nation as a whole. It is keeping people weak and dependent who should be strong and independent.

Finally officials want to beef up mental health policing and surveillance in the school systems. They would have more money pumped into counseling and screening children and adolescents in the hopes that they could catch problem kids before they left school and shot bunches of people. The problem is that such an effort is likely to have a result opposite the one intended. Early intervention is not prevention; it actually amounts to causation. Putting money into mental health in the schools is invariably going to increase the numbers of school children labeled “mentally ill”. These numbers have increased dramatically recently in no small measure due to the focus that mental health has received in the mass media. Children that enter mental health treatment don’t always leave mental health treatment alive. There is a statistic that indicates the failure of the mental health system that I alluded to earlier. If 1/2 of the people labeled lifelong mental patients are labeled by the age of 14 years old, as it is indeed said they are, do we really want to label more children? Increasing the numbers of children labeled “seriously mentally ill” is going to increase the numbers of adults labeled “seriously mentally ill”. Children grow up, but they don’t always grow up healthy. A healthy mental health system is a system that is contracting. An unhealthy mental health system is a system that is expanding. We’ve got better things to do than to sell “mental illness” under the pretext of selling mental health.

The government has better ways to serve the people of this country than by beefing up it’s mental health security force the way it wants to do in the schools. This patrolling the hallways of our nation’s schools for errant behavior is going to result in more students penalized, and in many cases, pathologized, for annoying behavior. Children, as a rule, grow up. As they are children, we have to expect them to engage in a certain amount of foolish and silly behavior. We have to expect them to make mistakes. We also have to expect them to be able to learn from mistakes to correct mistakes. Lowering the expectation for some of them that they will ever attain the wisdom that comes with age is not an improvement. Damaging the futures of children in the name of mental health, although the course we are set on, is not the kind of thing we should be doing with our nation’s children.

Just Wait Until “Adult ADHD” Rates Catch Up

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rates are going up. Hardly a shocking finding. If you invent a disease, disease rates are likely to go up rather than down without an effective way to expose you, and with you, it. As reported in Psychiatric Annals, Rate of ADHD diagnosis increased in past decade, researchers looking at trends among 842,830 schoolchildren aged 5 to 11 found the following.

According to the researchers, rates of ADHD diagnosis were 2.5% in 2001 vs. 3.1% in 2010, a relative increase of 24%. During the same period, the rate of ADHD diagnosis increased among whites (4.7% to 5.6%; RR=1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.4), blacks (2.6% to 4.1%; RR=1.7; 95% CI, 1.5-1.9) and Hispanics (1.7% to 2.5%; RR=1.6; 95% CI, 1.5-1.7). Rates of diagnosis among Asian/Pacific Islander and other racial groups remained unchanged.

We’re more hyperactive then in 2010 than we were in 2001, that is to say, that boys will be boys, and not only will boys be boys, but girls will be girls. Confused? You’re not alone. Or to be more on target, children will be children.

The rate increase among blacks was largely due to a growing number of girls with an ADHD diagnosis (RR=1.9; 95% CI, 1.5-2.3). Boys were more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD, but study results indicated that the sex gap may be closing among blacks. The researchers also observed a much higher rate of ADHD diagnosis among children living in high-income ($70,000 per year or more) households (P<.001).

Just imagine, sex equality in pathology. Things must be improving for folks of color out there, wouldn’t you say? Or, maybe not. The good news is the arrival of the spoiled brat syndrome so you folks out there in the ghetto don’t have to feel like you’re alone in your misery. Or, maybe not. Mommy and daddy uptown can buy success for junior, can’t they? …Oh, well…Them’s the breaks.

“Although the reasons for increasing ADHD rates are not well understood, contributing factors may include heightened ADHD awareness among parents and physicians, increased use of screening and other preventive services, and variability in surveillance methods among institutions,” the researchers wrote.

Okay dokey. If awareness induces contagion, no wonder they say ‘ignorance is bliss’. Screening for figurative disease is going to increase the incidence of figurative disease. Undoubtedly. Calling screening and miseducation preventive is the real kicker though. Rates go up, and you’re preventing. Oh, yeah? Uh huh. Alluding to surveillance is more to the point. This isn’t about letting children be children, this is about training the next generation of corporate bureaucrats, and maybe, just maybe, we’ve got better things to be doing in the first place.

One factor  not listed, although the authors did mention not having any published ties to pharmaceutical companies, is the influence of drug markets on this increase. I can’t imagine it doesn’t have anything to do with stimulant, and the miscalled ‘performance enhancing’, drug sales, does it? Check out stock exchange figures sometime. I reckon, if anything, ADHD treatment drug makers aren’t suffering. The wall street party goes on and on, even if from here on out at a tightly guarded secret location.

A Little Bit of Discretion, Please

Bad advice remains bad advice. Bad parents are gullible parents. Skepticism, given the amount of nonsense floating about in the world today, is a virtue.

Are you dealing with Turbulent teens or mental illness? this article in the The Gleaner from Jamaica would deceptively appear to ask. The article is actually selling “mental illness”. It suggests that any reader’s child could be “sick”. First thought. Read on, and damn your kid to a diminished life as a social and human failure in the mental sickness system if you want to do so, or think better of the matter, and go, “Wait a minute, maybe pegging my kid with a psychiatric label isn’t the best way to proceed at all”.

The article answers the question, “What should parents do?” with the following 7 alarmist answers that were probably dreamed up by a pharmaceutical company advertising team.

1. Be vigilant. 2. Seek professional help. 3. Do not be afraid to seek psychiatric care. 4. Do not shove it under the carpet. 5. There is danger in delay.

My response to this orange alert approach to problems in living is to reply, “Bullshit!” He or she who seeks to find “sickness” in a child will find it, and he or she who seeks to find “wellness” in a child will find that. This approach would hunt for “illness” rather than for “health”. To paraphrase gospel, “Let he or she who is without error attach the first label”.

The article supplies its own “mental illness” screening test of sorts. It gives 8 warning signs of “mental illness”. Now you’ve got a “mental illness” checklist if you are really desperate to have a child labeled, disposed of in the loony bin, locked away and abandoned. The message is clear. You, too, given this checklist, can bear a brood of loony birds.

1. Change in behavior. 2. Decline in school performance. 3. Drug use. 4. Poor self-care. 5. [Change in pattern of] Social interaction. 6. Communication is reduced. 7. Family breakdown. 8. Strange behavior.

I’ve got news for you. Each of the items on this checklist is a “symptom” of being a teenager. Adolescent rebellion is not a disease. Mom, Dad, get over it! Junior has to grow up. Mental health treatment or no mental health treatment, you shouldn’t try to hang onto your kid forever. Your child is merely testing his or her wings. Some parents will suffocate their kid rather than accept the simple truth that the kid needs more independence.

I could draw up a checklist for kids to use in diagnosing parents, too, but this is all about power, and we don’t give kids that kind of power until they are deemed old enough to use it. Unfortunately, some grown up kids never get old enough to use it wisely.