This very readable book is a treasure of information. It details the transition of mental health care from “talk therapy” of past decades to our current medical model of labeling and medicating, and how this has put children, especially, at risk of worse emotional and physical health. It educates parents how to judge safety vs. risk when seeking a therapist.
The book reveals that the over-used diagnoses of ADHD and juvenile Bipolar Disorder
are spurious, yet are treated with the most dangerous drugs. Each class of medication is discussed at length. Readers are introduced to President George Bush’s New Freedom Commission of Mental Health, which propelled the widespread earlier and earlier screening of children for mental illness; a process that hurts more than it helps.
On the positive side, the author elucidates promising non-drug approaches to ameliorate children’s emotional suffering. Readers are enlightened by the contributions of environmentalists, educational psychologists, naturalists, nutritionists, and others that improve the plight of children in an increasingly toxic culture.
Elizabeth will be presenting at the ISEPP 2011 Conference. Her topic ― “Maelstrom Kids, A Moral Outrage” SATURDAY
October 29 2011 at 8:00-9:00 a.m.
Suffer the children is our theme. What are the sources of suffering of American children? A historical perspective implicates the greedy psychopharmaceutical complex. But that culprit, it turns out, is just a sequela of the bigger and more pernicious one: our culture. How this is so will be revealed.
Anger transcends to helplessness and frustration as we ask what feels a futile question: What can we do? We are unwitting participants of exponential cataclysmic social change. We can’t turn back the clock or fix our economic crisis. Our children are the canaries suffering and dying in what has become a toxic culture.
The moral outrage is that our little canaries are scapegoated in the mainstream culture and exploited by the psychopharmaceutical complex. As long as parents persist in trusting the latter we have a conundrum: labeling and medicating comprise “help” that is toxic.
Neuroscientists, educational psychologists, environmentalists, nutritionists and others provide seeds of hope. We therapists can help after all, but what’s required is a sea change of attitude and lots more education as we look to researchers from other disciplines for
new methods to save our children. We can help parents help their kids. But the road to enlightenment demands hard work and dedication from us and from families. There is no easy fix.