Friday, August 28, 2009

How big pharma gets our children hooked on their drugs

By Allen Jones
Former Investigator, Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General

As human beings we have a strong natural impulse to protect our kids from harm. As a society we create norms, laws and institutions to protect, educate and nurture our young. Consciously and instinctively we safeguard our children.

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Teen Screen is a bitter and cynical betrayal of this noble human impulse. Promoted as an aid to preventing suicide and identifying so-called mental disorders, Teen Screen is in fact a nefarious effort to recruit our children into the quagmire of biological psychiatry.

I believe the majority of parents who support Teen Screen are well meaning and genuinely have the best interests of children at heart. I believe they have been duped and beguiled by slick marketing that appealed to their better instincts while simultaneously defeating those instincts.

Teen Screen was developed and promoted by persons with deep financial ties to makers of psychiatric drugs. These drug companies have a profit-driven incentive to maximize the use of their drugs. Teen Screen furthers this corporate goal by following a psychiatric model intended to translate normal human experience into symptoms of mental illness.

Teen Screen’s centerpiece is a survey which claims to identify signs of mental illness and suicidality in children and adolescents. How does it do this? Teen Screen identifies feelings and emotions experienced by children and adolescents. It then translates these feelings and emotions into “symptoms” of mental illness. In this way, Teen Screen is in lock-step with modern psychiatry.

The field of psychiatry has attached clinical pathology to the presence or absence of literally every mood or feeling in the normal range of human emotions. The diagnostic criteria outlined in psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) essentially identify the presence or absence of feelings and subjectively determine if these feelings are “normal” or “abnormal.” If the feeling or emotion is considered inappropriate in intensity or context, that feeling becomes a “symptom” of “mental illness,” treatable by medication. After all, psychiatric drugs are designed to treat “symptoms” not cure illness.

Any child who lives life fully and freely will experience a full range of human emotions. They will experience sadness, gladness, apathy, energy, optimism, pessimism, fear, fearlessness, love, hate, suspicion, trust and myriad other feelings. Experiencing these feelings and learning to be guided appropriately by them is a vital part of growth and maturation. Teen Screen identifies these feelings, subtlety manipulates or ignores context and labels the feelings as possible “symptoms” of mental illness.

Imagine the emotional states experienced by a child before, during and after a major life event such as playing in the “Big Game” with an archrival school. The child might be distracted by excited anticipation for days before the event. He might have difficulty sleeping the night before the game. He might be unable to think of anything else on game day, even during classes. He will likely be very highly energized during the event. Depending on the game outcome, the child might be elated or saddened for days afterwards.

Now imagine the child later being asked questions such as these:

Have you ever felt so full of energy that it was difficult to sit still?

Have you ever felt anxious when you had to say or do something in front of people?

Have you ever been so concerned about something that you could not sleep?

Have you ever felt so happy that you could not concentrate?

Have you ever felt so sad that you could not focus on your school work?

The participant in the big game and the spectators of the big game might answer “yes” to most or all of the above questions. Following the creed of modern psychiatry, Teen Screen would determine the child to be at risk of mania, social anxiety disorder, depression and possibly bipolar disorder. The child would be flagged for further psychiatric evaluation.

The above scenario is not far-fetched. Things like this are happening every day. Teen Screen has been proven to have “false positive” rates as high as 84%.

Teen Screen is a device to distill “symptoms” from normal life experience and generate unlimited referrals to mental health professionals whose primary method of treatment involves drugging. Please do not be duped by this ferocious, Pharma-friendly wolf in sheep’s clothing.