To my fellow Jewish parents, educators and caregivers: There is a terrible epidemic in our midst and I would like to ring the alarm. I beg you to hear me out. It is no exaggeration to say it is a matter of life and death. It is the diagnosing and drugging of our precious children. Our children are being diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and given dangerous psychotropic drugs for, well, for being children.
Children are naturally inquisitive, challenging, energetic, anxious and curious. A familiar scenario these days is a child like this is brought to the attention of the powers that be at his/her school. A meeting between these “powers” and parents. A demand that the child be brought to a psychiatrist. A checklist of symptoms that all children, and all people, exhibit sometimes. No objective medical test, like an X-ray or blood draw (of course, none exist). A child who is now labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis and has a sense of being inherently defective (just ask him). A doctor who insists this child has a chemical imbalance and must be treated with stimulants, antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs. A doctor who falsely tells parents that giving your child these drugs is like giving insulin to a diabetic. A doctor who is rewarded by a pharmaceutical company for, once again, creating a new customer—for life!
The absolute truth is that we as a society have been scammed and bamboozled in the worst way. The pharmaceutical industry is a $330 billion/year industry. Americans are marketed, literally to death, with messages that we have this disorder and that disorder, and that taking pills for the rest of your life is the way to be cured.
There is absolutely no truth to the statement that a child struggling with any behaviors or thoughts has a chemical imbalance, something wrong or different in his brain. Never proven. No evidence. No science behind such a statement—just very brilliant marketing. The issue is not chemical or biological, and so the solution can never, ever be chemical or biological. It is just that simple. All of our healthy children fall on the spectrum of humanity and there is no cause for labels of “ADHD,” “ODD,” “SAD” or any other.
Also, the drugs given are just that—drugs. They are not medication. The only difference is, instead of the drug dealer on the street corner in the wrong side of town, the dealer is a guy/girl in a white coat with a prescription pad. The drugs prescribed for children today are eerily similar to cocaine and to heroin. They cause children to feel high and numb and stoned. Make no mistake—they cure nothing. Their effects are staggering, mind damaging, far reaching—and sometimes fatal.
You might be reading this and thinking, “Well, O.K. I hear that there are some kids who are misdiagnosed—but you don’t know my kid. My kid really has ADHD and childhood bipolar. He really needs his meds to function.” I do know your kid. And I do know that there is nothing wrong with him. Yes, he acts this way and that way. Yes, he causes trouble. Yes, his teacher/babysitter/counselor complained. And you are concerned and want to pull your hair out. Or maybe he pulls his hair out, and what’s up with that??
There are so many tools and changes to be made with lifestyle, foods, parenting, schooling, environment. The list is absolutely endless. It is not necessarily easy, but who said raising children is easy? What is never O.K. is to label and drug a child in this way.
There are many historians who say humanity will look back at this latest stage in medicine and determine that these last 20 or so years have been the most damaging, backsliding, harmful in all of medical history! It is the era in which we let ourselves be tricked into thinking that millions of our special, human children are sick and abnormal and require heavy, mind-altering drugs just to live their precious lives.
Let us change the tide. Let us reject the false narrative. Let common sense reign. Let’s devote ourselves to healthfully, lovingly helping our children manage their struggles and weaknesses, quirks and troubles, fears and difficult situations. Let’s put a stop to labeling and drugging our children—just for being children.
Name Withheld Upon Request