Australian three-year-olds targeted for bogus psychiatric disorders such as sleeping with the light on
by Mike Bundrant
(NaturalNews) The Australian government and the Australian Medical Association are targeting 27,000 three-year-olds for psychiatric treatment. A new government funded program seeks to treat normal preschool children to discover if they show “signs of mental illness.”
What are the symptoms of mental illness in three-year-olds? Shyness, temper tantrums and needing to sleep with the light on. Yes, folks, I guess even monster in the closet is now a symptom of psychosis. The whole human race must need psychiatric medication.
To squelch concerns about mislabeling normal behavior and medicating the little ones with powerful drugs, Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said the following:
”We have to be careful we don’t medicalise normal behaviour and that’s a real caution with children. There are genuine kids who need extra support to help them integrate into normal kindergartens and classrooms and a lot of the funding for that is driven by diagnoses so there’s a perverse incentive to diagnose conditions like autism. There are kids who need it but we don’t want to make normal kids abnormal.”
But you are doing exactly that, Mr. Hambleton!
When people are evaluated by a family doctor, then referred to a psychiatrist to treat obviously normal behavior, I call it unnecessary medical treatment!
Others affiliated with the program suggest that they do not want to “slap diagnoses on three-year-olds” or prescribe “unnecessary” medication. They claim to merely want to have “more systematic ways of finding kids who are causing difficulties and do something about it.”
The mental health evaluation, though not compulsory, will form part of a check for developmental problems such as hearing, eyesight and allergies, with doctors to receive training before it is introduced in the next financial year.
In other words, there is a massive snow job going on. Anyone with a rational mind can see it.
They say the test is not compulsory, yet conduct it along with tests for allergies, hearing and eyesight, which are compulsory or seen as compulsory.
They claim they don’t want to medicate children, rather to do something about the “difficulties” children cause. “Doing something” in this case means treatment by a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists prescribe medication for a living, folks!
Final insult: Yes, the family doctors doing the initial screening still need to be trained how to do it!
Are there not thousands of qualified mental health practitioners already in place who can evaluate children? Why does the Australian government want to train family doctors to do mental health screenings? Because they want more kids in the medical system! There are many good mental health counselors out there who don’t see the need to medicate problems and would not make bogus diagnoses.
I guess the Australian government doesn’t want to take the risk that “problem” children won’t be medicated. Many real counselors wouldn’t cooperate with the medical agenda. Actually, any good mental health counselor would refuse to evaluate children for made up psychological problems in the first place.
What we have here is a mass funneling of children into the web of the medical association. Caught in this web, families will be educated about the (totally unscientific and unproven) biomedical model. This model suggests that behaviors and feelings are the result of “chemical imbalances” in the brain. These mysterious chemical imbalances, of course, can only be corrected with prescription drugs.
Help struggling children with effective communication skills, not drugs
Healthy communication skills are the first line of defense for the mental well-being of children. I remember once standing on a corner with a group of people, waiting to cross the street. A two-year-old little boy kept trying to step off the curb into oncoming traffic. The parents were yelling at him, “Don’t run into the street! Don’t run into the street!” It wasn’t working. Their arms were full, so they were having a hard time keeping him in place.
After a moment I touched the child on the shoulder so he looked up at me. I pointed to where he was standing and said, “Hey, stay right here.” At that, the little guy stood in place until the light changed. Mom and dad didn’t acknowledge the effort, but the child sure knew what I meant.
This simple intervention told the child specifically what I expected him to do, not what I didn’t want him to do. Telling children what you don’t want is likely to encourage the wrong behavior, like when you order someone to “not think of the color green.”
There are dozens of effective interventions that work like a charm, particularly for children, who are more open-minded and less defensive than most adults. Most parents are unaware how their communication affects kids, however.
Most practitioners, especially doctors, these days are also unaware that developing communication skills is the most effective way to handle most personal and interpersonal problems in life.
In fact, even the deepest psychological problems like schizophrenia have been successfully treated with advanced interpersonal skills.
Legendary mental health practitioners like Milton Erickson, Jay Haley and anthropologist Gregory Bateson devised and successfully worked with models of interpersonal communication in the 1950′s and 60′s that successfully treated cases of schizophrenia (double bind theory), among other severe conditions. Of course, they don’t teach this in medical school.
There is so much that the right skills can do to create lasting change and solid mental health. Is the Australian government and medical association aware of this? Do they care? Apparently not. Their agenda appears to be pharmaceutical in nature.
Mental health is a personal responsibility
Perhaps the ever-widening net of government and pharmaceutical involvement in mental health is related to a general malaise and lack of personal responsibility on the part of people. Learning to handle emotional problems naturally requires time, study and effort. Correcting behavioral problems in children may require parents to acquire better parenting skills and even greater personal character.
Learning to set boundaries, practice compassion, co-parent cooperatively, manage emotions and encourage good physical health and nutrition is a lot of work for parents. Are we too lazy to do all this for our kids?
I hope not, as the alternative is looking pretty grim.
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Mike Bundrant is the host of Mental Health Exposed, a Natural News Radio program, and the co-founder of the iNLP Center.