Originally posted on Beyond Meds by Marilyn Wedge, author of Pills Are Not for Preschoolers: A Drug-Free Approach for Troubled Kids. For more information on all 6 points please visit the original post!
Seven Problems with Psychiatric Diagnosis for Children
1. No consensus in the medical community about what behaviors constitute a particular “disorder.”
2. Developmental delays are often “medicalized” and framed as psychiatric disorders.
3. Psychiatric diagnoses contained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are not classified by causes like genuine medical diseases.
4. Psychiatric diagnoses have been expanded to include normal childhood behaviors because adult behavior standards are being imposed on children.
5. Psychiatric diagnoses can bring hidden benefits to a child’s family, teachers, and school.
- For example, a child diagnosed with ADHD is granted significant financial aid for college based on his “disability.”
6. A child who has been labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis grows up believing that there is something wrong with her, that she is somehow “abnormal.”
7. Psychiatric labeling and medicating have tragically become the mainstream way of dealing with difficult, mischievous and overly imaginative children.
As a youth who grew up in the “pill popping culture” I do agree with all of these points and have experienced some of them for myself. I’m sure as adults we all have fallen victim to some of these problems also such as getting a different diagnosis from every doctor or our labels making us feel “abnormal”.
I saw the film Crooked Beauty, presented by the director, at PsychOUT 2011 in New York! It’s amazing! I felt very empowered watching it and felt like someone had reached inside and pulled my thoughts out and put them on the screen!
Some of us have choice and some of us like to think we have choice. When interacting with the mental health system we need to tread carefully and sometimes look out for ourselves because our doctors may not do that for us.
No one tried to stop me when I decided to stop taking medication. My parents had seen what it was doing to me and respected that I had my own idea of what would work for me.
The story of Eric is an amazing one of a young man trying to make his own medical decisions but in a system that doesn’t respect him.
People with mental health issues are people to. We deserve the same human rights.