The problem with instituting sweeping, costly and invasive mental health legislation is that there always are unintended consequences. The State of Connecticut, when passing Public Act 13-3, apparently didn’t consider that there are two sides to every story. And when it comes to “mental health” there most definitely is another side beyond the mental health we-need-early -intervention-to-help-those-suffering mantra.
A case in point is the recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, which found that more than 10,000 toddlers between the ages of 2-3 are being medicated for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD. Worse still, these data are limited and the experts believe the problem is actually much worse on a national level.
But to fully grasp the insanity of drugging 2-3 year olds with highly addictive mind-altering drugs, let’s consider a few important pieces of information about this age group. First, the average weight for male toddlers at three years is 29.5 pounds and females is 28.4 and, by this age, only 80 percent of the child’s brain has fully developed.
Developmentally 2-3 year olds are learning to arrange things in groups, putting things in size order, remembering what they did yesterday, recognizing themselves in the mirror and learning to say please and thank you. Yes, great strides, but still the brain is not fully developed.
Now let’s consider the ADHD diagnosis. This alleged mental disorder is all about behavior. Regardless of what the American Psychiatric Association, APA, believes, the National Institutes of Mental Health, NIMH, makes it clear on its website that “scientists don’t know what causes ADHD.” There is no test known to man that can detect ADHD as a biological/genetic abnormality.
Because the APA has no proof of any abnormality that is the alleged ADHD, they have compiled a list of “abnormal” behaviors that apparently make up the diagnosis, including “is often easily distracted,” “is often forgetful in daily activities,” “often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly,” etc. After considering the list of 18 criteria that make up the alleged mental disorder, ADHD, one has to wonder what child doesn’t repeatedly do most, if not all, of these behaviors.
Nevertheless, now, let’s consider the ADHD “treatment” most commonly used – Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (amphetamine). Methylphenidate is a schedule II drug and, as such, is considered by the federal government to be one of the most addictive. It also is considered by the Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, ”to produce discriminative stimulus effects similar to cocaine, which substitute for each other and for cocaine in a number of paradigms, and chronic high-dose administration of either drug in animals produces psychomotor stimulant toxicity including weight loss, stereotypic movements and death, and in clinical studies, they produce behavioral, psychological, subjective and reinforcing effects similar to cocaine.”
The DEA sums up Methylphenidate and Amphetamine use this way: “this data means that neither animals nor humans can tell the difference between cocaine, amphetamine or methylphenidate when they are administered the same way at comparable doses. In short, they produce effects that are nearly identical.”
In a nutshell, 2-3 year old toddlers are being labeled with an alleged mental illness that is not based in science or medicine and then “treated” with extremely addictive, mind-altering drugs before their brains are even fully formed.
Did legislators really consider the implications of Public Act 13-3, which pushes for early identification and screening for mental illness in the state’s children? Was even one expert allowed to testify before any committee, making lawmakers aware of the above facts? No.
More importantly, according to Public Act 13-3, a Task Force was established to consider all of the mental health provisions and report back to the Legislature and the Governor. Not surprising, this report, which was due no later than February 1st of this year, still has not been completed.
These Task Force recommendations may provide some guidance on just how intrusive the mental health provisions are. For example, at what age will Connecticut’s legislators decide early intervention and screening is inappropriate and harmful? Public Act 13-3 allows for “Mental Health First Aid Training” as part of in-service training for educators. If a child is labeled with a mental illness through this early intervention and mental health screening, what rights are afforded to parents who refuse to accept this “help?”
Does this mental health intervention end at the school-age level or will the State continue to legislate mental health screening to include toddlers and preschoolers? Given that nearly 8 million American children between the ages of 6-17 currently are taking at least one mind-altering, psychiatric drug, it is clear what mental health’s “treatment” consists of. Yes, there are consequences for ill-advised and uninformed legislation.
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This article first appeared on Ablechild
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
In every single gun massacre over the past several decades for which we have reliable information about drug use, the shooter had been taking psychiatric drugs already so how is going to help to label and drug more kids ?
Yes, I nearly murdered myself twice on Modecate Depot Medication. When I quit this medication, I made full recovery and started paying taxes again.
When I left Ireland in 1986, I sent a letter to my doctor asking her to send a warning to my GP in the UK regarding my adverse reactions. She wrote back to me after a week promising me she had done this, and wished me good health.
When I accessed my records two years ago, there was no warning – and she had changed my record around to suggest more serious mental illness.
These people pushing for mental health screening are the pharmaceutical industry fronts.
The psycho-pharmaceutical industry will not be satisfied until every American child is under the influence of pharmacological “treatment”.
“Suffering from mental illness” Part 1: Children reveal painful memories of neglect, heavy duty drug treatments http://youtu.be/YzmQ1nxYn-Y
I am spending years to learn all of the skills I missed out on by being dexedrine managed rather than any effort to deal with hyperactivity. I have never had attention issues, it is impulsive and hyperactive behavior and the dependence on this particular drug (or as it is called treatment) after all of those years is a complete switch from sane and stable and well adjusted for my age to impatient, rude, cracking jokes all the time, acting fifteen, throwing fits. I was on them until 18 and then I was always seen as hypomanic and the Xanax, Risperdal and Seroquel dangers were more of a living hell to stop. It was micro titration down and hell all the way and after the fact. SSRI drugs made me psychotic and manic within days. I had to cover most of my body with tattoos because I thought I had bugs crawling under my skin and tried to cut them out all over. It was embarrassing because if I wore short sleeve shirts, even when I reiterated that it was a drug reaction, I would be told that some treatment for cutting in therapy for that and borderline personality disorder was necessary and neither was very effective and DBT scared me because half seemed to be fascinated with me and some attracted while others would not like me because of my confidence level and one half of DBT was common sense although having a starting point to mindfulness was good.
I didn’t like turning down some types of groups and saying the methods were redundant or not helpful and mentioning it cause a personality clash because in some CRT programs when I was still at that level would wind up with an ambush and a hard talk about staff splitting not being tolerated was held and I respect (SOME) of the mental health staff as treatment providers but I knew better than to know the limits of what that relationship was. And I was rotated to the next until they stopped. I was in legal trouble, an adult child, in fights all the time and was into bungee jumping and whatnot and then strattera came out and the doctor said that, “my constant pressured speech” was because a stimulant is needed to quiet you. Strattera made me think I was running for president, I had the opposite of paranoia, everyone was out to help me and wasn’t sleeping and then I went back to stimulants again. They make me feel dull and slower and I adjusted to that because it was that or trials of more drugs that had me in and out of consciousness all day vs calm and the idea that these new ones are less addictive is absurd. I tutor German grad students and one had an important call and she was arguing because she paid for Vyvanse for her paper and Adderall wasn’t the good stuff.
I hear opiate addicts in my area on the bus going to the methadone or bupenorphine treatment and they all get stimulants with Xanax as needed and ambien at night for it. I know of 3 girls personally that are overweight and their regular doctor gives out Vyvanse because it is either approved or on it’s way to being approved for Binge Eating Disorder, which I have no doubt is a problem for some people but honestly, it is just another diet pill because most regular doctors are going to look at them and think that. I am on the “bad ones”, immediate release so I can eat, have breaks to get hyper and sweep mop and scrub clean and to take a lesser dose for social situations where I need to be less mute because it is rude. However I want to be done altogether. I fear the Lamictal still because it helps with the manic stuff and I also fear that I might be stuck on dexedrine. I am hyper and it is legal to take for that and it helps keep the other issue more stable too (manic episodes) which is odd but every month I look at the side effects and get scared. The others felt worse too, like I was on the verge of panic or extreme guilt. I am at the mac recommended dose on most days and I used to take 115 mg per day because they just wanted me quiet. And pharmacies have to order it and they’ll bang out hundreds of adderall, ritalin and vyvanse prescriptions that are long acting and have a 5 hour period of hell at the end of the day for me but because big pharma considers it more addictive when I am on this form to cut down and have. It is disconcerting. I fear it will be taken off the market before I can get off of it slowly too and I will be back on generation XR again but they have the way they promote these drugs to addicts these days too. At 19 one doctor I had in the Bennington CRT shuffle refused to give it to me because I had used marijuana and alcohol when I was manic at one point.
Methamphetamine is still available as an rx too, I took it for 2 months as a teenager and it was miserable to deal with the pharmacy and this may sound odd but it felt really mild and dexedrine calmed me down more. I bet Shire is cooking up some formulation of that to mix into some “non addictive XR” formulation. I keep myself healthy otherwise and compared to other medications this makes me mild but it strips my appetite completely away and I eat on this form but if I switch doctors, I have to “do a trial of other meds” so he can see the evidence. Plus, I take B-vitamins and coQ-10 and have to eat vitamin C at night or it is a placebo. Everyone I know that gets this as adults are intolerable, talk nonstop, clean all the time, lose weight and then 6 months down the road the lose it and get moody and paranoid and then I see them later on, still on it, gained it all back and they are psychotic. I went to school with kids that were on this and used to give it to other kids and one kid actually settled down and focused on goals rather than be with the “cool crowd” but she heard voices permanently and was always getting sent home and the guy was in a program for being suicidal. So I know that the effect may be better for other people but it feels like a mute button despite the help through adjusting to society and it cannot be good for me… I was started at age 5 because she had to give me her undivided attention but sitting me in a couch to stare at the wall and listen to the theme song to MASH so she could smoke her 3 packs of Marlboro lights and watch her soaps and do her two classes before she started her Social Work degree was no fun. When I researched eugenics for a paper because my German grandmother used to have an aversion to it and how it was as big of a thing here and old school social work was the driving force behind that, I realized why I couldn’t ever tolerate a therapist with the LICSW or my mom’s behavior. I know 3 personally that really looked into the scars of that and the influence on it’s modern society, especially a lot of NAMI focused attitudes and their fervent followers that are sticking with the 8 med combos, a therapist, nami meetings and struggle still because they live on boxed food, diet soda and McDonalds and just say they are not at risk because they have to be on statins too. I have been terrorized to say I felt this way in the past because prior to moving to the area I did, they’d accuse me of being manic and say I was a danger to myself and put me on a 72 hour hold.
Hi Spemit, I’m very happy to see you in a position to share your story. Micro titration down is what I identify with. This was the only way I could successfully withdraw from the psychotropics. I have seen studies from the University that ran the Psych Unit I attended: on strong depot injection medications; and they describe problems that follow abrupt cessation as ‘relapse’.
The President of the British Association of Psychopharmacologists in 1986, came from this University, so their research might have been highly regarded.
Its a bit like an open secret that’s denied i.e. paradoxical reaction. That the drugs create what what they are supposed to cure – a very real chemical imbalance in the brain.
Withdrawal syndrome had me climbing the walls for years, but eventually I adjusted, and became very happy.
Yes, and when you experience paradoxical reaction they just use it as an excuse to put you on more drugs. I was drugged like that in a hospital, I got an almost complete amnesia so I can’t tell for sure but they claim I got super aggressive so what they did is they only added more and more drugs and were surprised I threw chairs at them. I was also trying to kill myself at the time. Finally my family rescued me after they admitted they had no idea what to do with me – interestingly they let out such a dangerous crazy person and somehow without any of their drugs I managed not to kill anyone till now. What a bunch of dangerous morons.
I’m glad you survived it – so many people don’t. This is what causes all the suicides. When I was in a chemically reactive state I had no control, and if I was in this state again I would be the same again.
I can recognise and deal with my own feelings, but these feelings were beyond anything I had ever experienced.
At the same time I might have appeared quite rational.
That’s a horror story you have to tell Spemat, I can only hope that now you’re doing much better and they won’t be able to get they hands on you again. It’s sick that bad parenting is now an excuse to drugs you kid up to his/her nostrils… If that was the case when I was a kid I’d probably be either dead or institutionalised right now…
Thank you for sharing your story, it’s so important for people to understand what is really going on…
No objective measures that identify the biological structures specific for connecting a “diagnosis” to any cognitive or emotional or behavioral etiologies, nothing like that aimed for, in millions and millions of ongoing “histories of mental illness”, beyond the incessant deceptions of language and the sacralized images needed for associating treatment regimens for personal problems with those for diseases.
From looking through the wrong end of a telescope to blame the brain, to turning a microscope upside to down to justify the prescriptions and the abrogation of civil rights.
And these drugged and deranged mass killers are typically the spawn of behavioral healthcare’s very own protocols and policies, and truly needn’t to have been ushered into their profound psychopathy.
How can legislators not know of or understand how to apply the knowledge of psychiatry as the possessor of the illustrious origins of eugenics, phrenology, and the disposal and brutal incarceration of unwanted people? All the history of taking the side of abusers in race, sex, and class discrimination that you could want–in order to remain at least skeptical of giving its representatives the key to the city and to the vault, once the limits of its practices are tragically and irrevocably revealed?
You write “the problem with introducing sweeping, costly, and invasive mental health legislation is that there are always unintended consequences”.
I am always sceptical about claims that the consequences are unintended. Do the consequences match some unstated aims? Were the consequences truly intended and are covered with this claim of negligence?
I find legislators to be strange animals. On one hand they need to appear on the side of the people who elect them, and yet when confronted with evidence that the laws they have written are being abused, fall silent. When those in opposition join in the silence it says a lot about whether the consequences were intended or not.
Are they receiving anything for turning a blind eye, or is it simply cowardice? A little of both maybe.
In many ways this makes legislators redundant, their laws are not being observed anyway, and are merely smoke and mirrors for the electorate. I guess that’s what happens when straight teeth in your mouth are more important than the words that come out of it.
Thanks for putting some real opposition to this one sided debate these folks are having.
With all the awesome new laws such as ban on filming animal cruelty on farms, not revealing drugs used to execute people, resolutions to prevent people from talking about man-made climate change… So of these laws are so ridiculous and outrageous at the same time I don’t think anyone can claim that it’s ignorance that drives them. They know what they are doing and they are just acting like they’re ignorant.