Popular conservative writer Matt Walsh addressed what he believes is one of the most important issues in the country today that few are willing to discuss: over-prescribing psychiatric drugs.
“The psychiatric industry has set out to catalog and medicalize virtually every human behavior, emotion, inclination, temptation, and personality trait,” writes Walsh in a recent piece for The Daily Wire.
Walsh pointed out the there has been “a dramatic rise in children misusing and overdosing on ADHD medications.”
Research is showing, he claimed, that psychiatric drugs can lead to an increase in a variety of side effects that can include obesity, diabetes, brittle bones, insomnia, irritability, decreased appetite, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Walsh then questions, rhetorically, “Maybe this is why a majority of kids diagnosed with ADHD wind up developing other mental illnesses as they grow older.”
“Pharmaceutical companies cite that latter detail as proof of the biological basis of ADHD. I think it is much easier to see it as proof of the pharmacological basis for the mysterious rise in mental illnesses across America,” Walsh argues.
Walsh also points out that drug companies and the psychiatric industry have together lead almost 20 percent of the entire country to use psychiatric drugs.
He adds that “many of these drugs cause suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and depression. Meanwhile, a lot of Americans are having suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and depression. One need not be a detective to notice a potential causal relationship here.”
Walsh adds that the psychiatric industry has purposefully tried to catalog “every human behavior, emotion, inclination, temptation, and personality trait.”
This increases their salaries, while puts many Americans at risk, especially to long-term damage. They try to tell prescribe medication that will make you “normal” and tell you every behavioral characteristic needs to be fixed with a drug.
“It would seem, as many leading mental health experts have warned, that soon nobody in America will be considered normal. Indeed, you wonder where the drug companies and psychiatrists get their idea for “normal” behavior, and “normal” brains and “normal” emotions considering they so rarely come across a behavior, brain, or emotion they consider normal.”
Walsh adds how devastating this trend of diagnosing everything is to Americans, but even more dangerous to children.
But nowhere is this tendency to medicalize the human condition more apparent, or more dangerous, than with children. s most people know, there has been an astounding rise in ADHD diagnoses over the last several years. Somewhere around ten percent of all children in the country have been labeled with this alleged disorder, and the label is being stuck on kids at earlier and earlier ages. We are now told that kids as young as three years old can be diagnosed ADHD. New medical guidelines recommend psychiatric drugs for kids starting at four if their “symptoms” are “debilitating.” A third of kids with ADHD are diagnosed before the age of six. Doctors will assure parents that the drugs are safe and will cause no long term damage to their children, but, at best, we don’t know whether that is actually true or not. There is plenty of reason to believe that the drugs will alter your child’s brain for years to come.
Walsh poses the question: “And on what basis have we taken this incredible step, as a society, to drug into oblivion what used to be considered common (even charming, even crucial) childhood characteristics?”
He lists out the “symptoms” of ADHD that WebMD lists, pointing out that any parent will think their child has ADHD, as they are the “most normal characteristics in the world.”
Some of the symptoms listed on WebMD include: in constant motion, squirms and fidgets, makes careless mistakes, often loses things, does not seem to listen, easily distracted, and does not finish tasks.
Anyone who has ever spent more than five minutes with a child knows that these “symptoms” are not symptoms of ADHD but symptoms of simply being a child. As Walsh puts it, “Frankly, I would be more concerned about a child who doesn’t exhibit these ‘symptoms.'”
Walsh then poses the question: “So, how can we know when normal childhood behaviors may be a manifestation of mental illness?”
He points out its easy to know when you are having a physical health issue because it is quite evident. Whether you have a problem with your liver or kidney, you will be able to tell.
Walsh sites what the National Institute of Mental Health says about ADHD.
People who have ADHD have combinations of these symptoms:
-Overlook or miss details, make careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities
-Fail to not follow through on instructions, fail to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace, or start tasks but quickly lose focus and get easily sidetracked
-Avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework, or for teens and older adults, preparing reports, completing forms, or reviewing lengthy papers
-Lose things necessary for tasks or activities, such as school supplies, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and cell phones
He also adds that the Mayo Clinic warns about ADHD, “In general, a child shouldn’t receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder unless the core symptoms of ADHD start early in life — before age 12 — and create significant problems at home and at school on an ongoing basis.”
Essentially the medical community states that “a child’s personality becomes diseased at the precise moment that his personality interferes with his schooling.”
Walsh points out this is odd because physical diseases are not judged like that.
“If you go to the doctor because you think you have diabetes, he won’t ask: “Well, is diabetes causing problems at home or school?” Diabetes is diabetes no matter how convenient or inconvenient it may be to you or those around you. Diabetes is diabetes at school. Diabetes is diabetes at home. Diabetes is diabetes even when you’re alone in the forest. But ADHD may not be ADHD in the forest. ADHD is only ADHD when it is a nuisance,” Walsh adds.
Now, it may be true that you can find certain neurological similarities among certain people who have been diagnosed with ADHD. You can also find neurological similarities among people with similar dispositions like enthusiasm and altruism. You can find neurological similarities among optimists and among pessimists. But that does not prove that these similarities cause optimism, or enthusiasm, or “hyperactivity” in children.
You could look at the brain scan of a man grieving for his dead wife and see his grief reflected in his brain. You could also see his happiness at the birth of a child. You could even see the calm, meditative joy he finds in prayer. But that does not prove that the chemical reactions in his brain are causing his grief, his joy, his closeness with God. We know the opposite is true. His brain is a reflection of the real cause. It is not the cause itself.
He points out that many psychiatrists only take a materialistic view of a human being, instead of looking at the entire being. They focus on the brain, and that’s it. Most psychiatrists fail to “factor in the soul, and free will, and the uniqueness of each human person who is created by a Divine Force.” When they do factor in those things “it becomes clear that the mind exists, and it drives the brain much more than the brain drives it.”
Walsh says that even if you put all of those facts to the side, and believe that a persons brain chemistry determines everything about them, you can almost always conclude that a person isn’t supposed to be the way their brain chemistry is.
“We have decided that kids aren’t supposed to be that way. We have decreed it from on high, like gods, and then set out to chemically eliminate every sort of human disposition that gets in the way of our societal goals. But this is subjective. And arbitrary. And horrific. It is not scientific. It is a philosophical judgment. A really bad philosophical judgment,” Walsh states.
Basically, society has decided that if a kid acts like a kid, then they struggle with something that should be treated with a psychiatric drug.
Walsh argues that he takes the opposite view.
“And I have the entirety of humanity on my side, up until the last century or so. Up until everyone, including Christians, decided to adopt Freud’s radically materialist view of the human person. Up until we chose to accept as Gospel literally everything the drug companies and psychiatrists tell us about ourselves and our children.”
He argues that we need to start letting our children act like children. He points out that if millions of children can’t handle school, then the school is the problem.
“I submit this counter suggestion: a child is supposed to be a child, and act like one. If the schools cannot handle kids without drugging millions of them, then the schools are disordered. The real illness can be found in an educational system which requires children, starting at a very young age, to sit still for seven hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year, and regurgitate often very useless information onto various forms and sheets and Scantrons. A child is not sick if he struggles in that dull, claustrophobic environment. The environment is sick. We are sick for expecting children to be robots. The child’s “ADHD” is no more the fault of brain chemistry than the grieving man’s grief is the fault of brain chemistry. It is natural to be sad when your wife dies. It is natural to be bored, fidgety, and inattentive when you’re chained to a desk doing busywork.”
Walsh concludes: “We are drugging our kids because they are kids. We have made childhood itself into an illness. The results of this decision have been disastrous. And it will only get worse if we don’t change.”