A two year old girl is moaning, pulling her hair, scratching her face and tugging at her ear. The facility that she is in, a group home, takes her to a psychiatrist to determine what is wrong. The child is then put on Ritalin, a psychotropic drug, and sent back to the group home.
Later, a volunteer at the facility noticed that the little girls condition had only improved slightly, took the child to a medical doctor, who discovered that the little girl was suffering from head lice and a severe ear infection. She is 1 of 8.5 million youth in America, and 17-20 million world-wide, that have been placed on stimulants and antidepressants at the hands of psychiatrists.
It is just one example in what seems to be a never ending collage of stories dealing with the mishandling, misdiagnosing and administering of mind altering drugs to children by some in the field of psychiatry.
A recent article in the Los Angeles Times revealed that Chris Kaman, the center for the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, was misdiagnosed with a disorder as a child and placed on psychotropic drugs.
These medications are so dangerous that the FDA was forced to place warning labels on prescription bottles stating that the use of the drugs could cause suicidal tendencies in children. However, this only came after years of congressional hearings and overwhelming evidence presented to the FDA as to the harm caused by these drugs, like Prozac, Paxil and others. Side affects can include heart problems, brain shrinkage, memory loss and suicide.
One little boy said that his mother believed that he had ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and had him placed on medication. He said that the drugs made him feel like killing himself, but that he loved his mother more than he wanted to die, so he did not do it.
There is another side-effect that is far more overlooked. It is that these drugs not only can cause suicidal inclinations, but homicidal tendencies as well.
We have seen a sudden increase in school shootings in the last several years across this country. Fox News special investigation reporter Douglas Kennedy, gave a chilling account of the connection between psychotropic drugs and school shootings. His account showed that in nearly every major school shooting the gunman had been on mind altering medication.
Bruce Wiseman of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights said that one of the reported side-effects of these drugs is that, If a person stops taking the medication on their own, without the assistance of a competent medical doctor, there exists the possibility that that person could suffer a psychotic breakdown. The response of psychiatrists after one of these shootings is that the person had stopped taking their medication.
The Reverend Alfreddie Johnson of True Faith Christian Center says its all being done in the name of profits. We see this in the financial incentives given to group homes, parents and school districts for the drugging of our children. These entities all profit by receiving extra money for the labeling and drugging of children.
Juvenile residential care facilities, housing a minimum of 16 children, labeled with mental disorders, could receive as much as $64,000 a month extra in revenue. Welfare mothers can receive more money if their children are diagnosed with a mental disability, says Reverend Johnson.
To date, the United States National Institute of Mental Health spends 40 million dollars a year in tax payer money for behavioral psychology research, and $19 billion have been spent since 1948 subsidizing an industry that drugs our children, uses inhumane techniques on them, and yet fails to provide any real solutions to their problems.
– Reverend Frederick D. Shaw Jr., is a former Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff and co-founder and president of Basic Life Institute. He served two terms as president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Compton Branch. He is an international speaker having lectured in South Africa, Germany, England, China, Mexico and throughout the United States. He can be reached by e-mail: fshawjr@yahoo.com.