The excerpt that follows is from a piece on Slate.com entitled "Manic Panic: Why are more and more children being diagnosed with bipolar disorder?"
This is from the article:
"From 1994 to 2002, the number of children with a diagnosis of "Bi-Polar Disorder" increased 40-fold. This has led to a putative (supposed) epidemic of bipolar diagnoses among the nation's children, and a corresponding increase in the pediatric use of antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and other drugs often used to treat bipolar adults. More than 8,000 children in Massachusetts, for example, are prescribed antipsychotic medications like Zyprexa, and the Massachusetts figure doesn't even include prescriptions for stimulant drugs like Ritalin or Adderall."
Take a breath, and take it in. Forty percent more bi-polar kids in an 8-year period? Really?! You mean, like, our child population suddenly went crazy after 1994? (Hey, don't get me wrong, 1994 was a bad year. It's when Newt Gingrich and the Republicans took over Congress, just like they did last week, and I certainly felt like I was going crazy, but... the kids? Did they know that Newt was going to shut down the government because Bill Clinton wouldn't give him a good seat on his presidential airplane?!)
Okay, let's be serious. Here's another clip from the Slate article:
"There was a strong incentive to expand drug therapy because giving pills is less labor-intensive than cognitive and behavioral therapy."
Shall I translate that for you? Okay. The deal is this - people in my so-called "profession" - psychiatrists and psychologists, especially, but clinical social workers, too - are too fucking lazy, and/or perversely greedy, and/or so un-worked on themselves therapeutically that really delving into the psyches of their patients is too emotionally threatening for their egos. So, relying on a flimsy diagnosis de jour, and an even flimsier prescription of drug "treatment" for said diagnosis, gives the needy/greedy therapists what they want - easy work, money and esteem, and furthermore, the label and prescriptions let the other primary perpetrators - the parents - off the hook. ("It's brain chemistry, not bad parenting.")
"The perverse result," according to the article, is that "kids get more and more disturbing labels and more and more drugs."
Keep breathing. It gets worse. Let's bring in the insurance and drug companies.
From the Slate article:
"Insurers stepped in as gatekeepers because access to psychiatrists had to be limited. Many insurers, for example, won't cover 'old-fashioned' diagnoses like 'conduct disorder,' (which requires actual sleeves-rolled-up psychotherapy and personal interventions) but insurers will cover the more 'serious-sounding' bipolar disorder (which just so happens to call for medication as the treatment, which just so happens to make Big Pharma very rich and very happy.).
Anyway, where am I going with this? I know the only preaching worth doing is to the choir, so I guess I'm putting this out there to anyone who actually is a conscious and awake parent, teacher or therapist, but perhaps might still be sitting on the fence about diagnoses and drugs because you've been conditioned to believe that doctors are wise, knowing healers who have your well-being at heart. To you I say - wake up! Trust what you know in your gut. Mainstream medicine and its methods, and that includes those of psychiatry, are not about healing or helping. Medicine as it's been practiced for the last few centuries is at best an archaic paradigm whose relevance has passed, and at worst, it is a corrupt institution whose purpose is to aggrandize and enrich its members.