Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, 12 May, 2011. The Medicalisation Of Society.
Yesterday Richie got me to listen to Peter Breggin, an American psychiatrist and critic of biological psychiatry and psychiatric medication.
‘’In his books, he advocates replacing psychiatry's use of drugs and electroconvulsive therapy with humanistic approaches, such as psychotherapy, education, and broader human services.’’
He was talking about the wide reaching grip of the pharmaceutical companies on our society.''
Peter Breggin MD Psychiatric Drugs Part I
‘’His most recent book, Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry, discusses medication spellbinding (in which patients who are doing worse after treatment fail to see that they are doing worse or recognize why)’’
Peter Breggin also discusses:
‘’The adverse effects of drugs and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the hazards of diagnosing and medicating children, the psychopharmaceutical complex, and guidelines for psychotherapy and counselling.’’
Listening to Peter Breggin talking about the medicalisation of society is not pleasant, it is very worrying, especially the idea that this is so widespread.
I recognised so much of what he said, thinking about the recent trend to label kids as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
These kids are then given medication, which has been tested on adults, not on children.
Stimulant medication are the medical treatment of choice. There are a number of non-stimulant medications, such as atomoxetine, that may be used as alternatives. There are no good studies of comparative effectiveness between various medications, and there is a lack of evidence on their effects on academic performance and social behaviors. While stimulants and atomoxetine are generally safe, there are side effects and contraindications to their use. Medications are not recommended for preschool children, as their long-term effects in such young people are unknown. There is very little data on the long-term adverse effects or benefits of stimulants for ADHD. Guidelines on when to use medications vary internationally, with the UK's National Institute of Clinical Excellence, for example, only recommending use in severe cases, while most United States guidelines recommend medications in nearly all cases.’’
The diagnosis of ADHD is a common one these days, which I think is overused these days.
To label any kids that does not conform or quite often are simply not getting enough intellectual stimulation is not good.
I recognise that from my own experience in Junior School where there was a shelf with books for us to read.
When I quickly finished them and asked for new books, my teacher told me to read them again.
There is a kid we know who is a very intelligent boy, his school did not understand him or even try to.
They advised his mother to have him assessed by a psychiatrist, whose diagnosis was that the boy did not have learning difficulties; he was in fact of above average intelligence.
I wonder how many other kids are also seen as having learning disorders, when they just need intellectual stimulation.
For more information about pharmaceutical companies and the medicalisation of society visit these blogs:
Stephany @ Soulful Sepulcher
Stan @ Is Something Not Quite Right With Stan - A Mental Health Blog