Brian Daniels: Chemical fix not the answer to all behavioural problems

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PSYCHIATRIC drugs have become a panacea for the pressures and stresses of modern living, pushed by psychiatrists into schools, nursing homes, drug rehabilitation centres and prisons.

Prescribed for everything from learning and behavioural problems, to bed wetting, aggression, juvenile delinquency, criminality, drug addiction and smoking, we are bombarded with information pushing us towards this type of chemical “fix”.

The most recent drug-push has come from psychiatric “experts” trying to convince us that drugging people who have been labelled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may reduce criminality. This idea was summed up in these words by Dr Julian Whitaker, “… it’s just crystal-balling, fortune-telling; it’s totally unscientific.”

While pushing their chemical restraints that produce a host of effects including aggression and suicidal thoughts, the “experts” still haven’t come up with a physical test that will support the existence of mental disorders, in this case, so-called ADHD.

It is 25 years since the American Psychiatric Association literally voted ADHD into existence. It was a figment of psychiatric imagination then, and it’s still the same today.

When all of the rhetoric is stripped away, what psychiatrists have actually done is redefine a set of behavioural characteristics as an illness and drugged it. The expensive chemicals given to those labelled with ADHD produce nullifying effects that are hailed as “demonstrably effective.” What is actually happening is the person has been drugged, and is exhibiting the effects of a dangerous mind-altering foreign substance in his or her body.

While life is full of problems that can sometimes be overwhelming, psychiatry, its diagnoses and its drugs are the wrong way to go.

The emphasis must be on workable medical testing and treatments that find undiagnosed physical conditions manifesting as so-called mental illness. It is time to practice real medicine, rather than psychiatry.

• Brian Daniels is national spokesman for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (United Kingdom).