Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday, 12 May, 2011. The Medicalisation Of Society.

Pedro Friedeberg.

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


Herrad said...

Karen has left a new comment on your post "The Medicalisation Of Society":

Hi Herrad,

I am leaving these links here as I can't find a way to email you.

The plastic bird spikes I was referring to can be found at Amazon and Ebay.

here are a couple of links.


Herrad said...

Stan has left a new comment on your post "The Medicalisation Of Society":

Dearest Herrad:

Funny, how those words I wrote back then, still apply to you now. Good thing I didn't say something

Thank you for adding Richie's & your voice to a movement for more humanity and to save the children from a perilous fate.

Please keep thinking/living positive my friend, you are held tenderly within so many hearts; as you hold a special place in mine.

Herrad said...

Stephany has left a new comment on your post "The Medicalisation Of Society":

Hi Herrad! thanks so much for a great and informative post. I wrote a post to include this one and the great Peter Breggin video.

I hope you and Richie have a nice day Thursday.


Herrad said...

Travelogue for the Universe has left a new comment on your post "The Medicalisation Of Society":

Great job covering this topic. I feel like ADHD never happened when we all played outside all night and ran off our energy, some worked on the farms. Now forced to sit at a desk, comply with rote learning, uncreative, now texting and no human-ness. have a great week, Catching up on reading posts. Love, Mary

Herrad said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the links, I shall look in a few minutes after answering all these comments.

Hi Stephany,
Thanks for your visit and kind comment.
We have enjoyed today, we went down the to the market which was good fun.
Hugs to you too.

Hi Stan,
Thanks for your wonderful comment, listening to Peter Breggin was very informative.

Hi Mary,
Thanks for your great comment, so true poor kids they are being trained to comply.
Sadly so many are surplus to the needs of the economy.

Thanks to you 4 dear friends for coming by and leaving your comments.
Listening to Peter Breggin confirmed what I already thought was happening.
Scary that so many kids are being wrongly diagnosed and medicated.
I wish we could change this.
PS When I was about to post my replies to you last night but then Blogger became unavailable.
I hope you do not mind that I put your comments back but they did not come back after service was resumed.