You might have seen it. It’s an ad where teens have labels stuck on them with various psychiatric disorders. They peel off the labels to reveal their special talents:
“20 Million Kids & Adolescents are labeled with “mental disorders” that are based solely on a checklist of behaviors. There are no brain scans, x-rays, genetic or blood tests that can prove they are “mentally ill”, yet these children are stigmatized for life with psychiatric disorders, and prescribed dangerous,life-threatening psychiatric drugs. Child drugging is a $4.8 billion-a-year industry. Get the facts about this multi-billion dollar industry that is labeling and drugging kids for profit.”
I can say that sometimes I’ve wondered if I have ADHD or at least ADD myself, but then I also wonder if the mess of synapses I’ve got actually contributes to things I like about myself, like my creativity. I remember once being on prozac and noticing my depth of feeling and passion dry up a bit. Perhaps it was the wrong medication. I don’t take it anymore.
To imply that mental illnesses aren’t real is dangerous, though. I don’t think that a diagnosis has to mean a person is, as the cause suggests, “stigmatized for life.” I do think sometimes drugs help. I also think sometimes their side effects might not be worth it and that needs to be carefully weighed out. But… I don’t know. Do you think kids are over-drugged, or does a campaign like this only further stigmatize the kids who really do need help?