Medicating Children: Even More Disturbing News

Even more disturbing news from the “let’s medicate people into submission since the moment they are born” front:

Children as young as 4 years old may now be treated with medications such as Novartis AG (NOVN)’s Ritalin for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, under new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

So the American Academy of Pediatrics has been bought off by pharmaceutical companies in the most egregious and shameless manner imaginable. I get that. Money is tight, so why not sell the last sad remnants of your conscience to the highest bidder?

But what I don’t get is what kind of a total monster would shove these drugs into their own 4-year-old child? How do such people live with themselves? Please read the list of side effects that such drugs produce and tell me what is going on in the so-called brain of the so-called people who put their own children on this poison. If you hate children so much, then why have them at all?

What next? Medicating newborns to stop all that annoying crying?

96 thoughts on “Medicating Children: Even More Disturbing News

  1. There’s a student taking classes in my building who has all these loud and annoying panic attacks in the halls. Nothing to do about it since it’s hir right to take classes, etc. – there’s just pandemonium every few days, so OK. I asked my students: why did this not happen when I was in college? They said: because your generation was not medicated from birth, and because food from supermarkets when you were a child did not contain the brain transforming chemicals the same foods do now.

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    1. Another reason it did not happen when you were in college is that people with mental illnesses did not go to college as frequently back in the day; most of the time, they would have been institutionalized.

      Today they (we) are going to college in much greater numbers.

      Your students are also probably correct about the medications, though. I read a book last year — Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic — that made a pretty persuasive case that, in the long term, various classes of psychiatric medications actually make the symptoms of mental illness worse. He draws on studies conducted by the World Health Organization in the 1970s comparing groups of people with mental illnesses living in developed vs. developing countries, that found the people in the least-developed countries, who presumably had the least access to modern psychopharmacology, were actually the most likely to recover and live mostly-normal lives.

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  2. Ritalin is speed. Why in the world would anyone give it to a four-year-old? And how in the world could anyone be absolutely positive that their four-year-old had ADD or ADHD?

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  3. I grew up with someone who took it from about that age, actually. He was a hyper and generally unfocused boy, and his mother had big plans for him from a very young age, my mother told me she wanted him to become a doctor, so he was given ritalin in order to do well in school.
    Needless to say, as soon as he turned 18, he stopped taking it, and his true personality came through, and it was one that was definitely not doctor material, so he dropped out of college to do what he wants, and I’m glad.

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  4. Our son was bored in class, so the teachers urged us to take him to a psychiatrist, who prescribed Ritalin. That was before there were any scares about it, but we dropped it because it somehow failed to make the classes more interesting.

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      1. They already came up with drugs for crying newborns in the 1920’s–opium was a common ingredient. It was banned by the FDA. Whiskey has also been used, though I think it’s being used less now because of fetal alcohol syndrome scares.

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      2. When I was a baby, it was actually very common to slip infants and toddlers nyquil/benadryl in their milk or food for taking them on long flights in order to keep them from getting restless, but my mom never did it to my sister or me. There are probably people who still do this.

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  5. nominatissima :
    When I was a baby, it was actually very common to slip infants and toddlers nyquil/benadryl in their milk or food for taking them on long flights in order to keep them from getting restless, but my mom never did it to my sister or me. There are probably people who still do this.

    There sure are such crazy people acting as ‘parents’. In fact I know of a doctor who still recommends this. Of course I no longer use his services. Once you expose one crazy idea you don’t know what else is lurking in his head.

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    1. In Ukrainian villages in the XIXth century, it was common to give children a piece of cloth bathed in alcohol to suck on to shut them up. But those were desperate, uneducated people with probably half a dozen of children they could barely feed.

      Here and today, it’s inexplicable.

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        1. Yes, I think the US has taken the lead on this and is now infecting the entire world with it. The strangest thing is how even reasonable people get very incensed when they encounter even the tiniest attack on Big Pharma.

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  6. bloggerclarissa :
    Yes, I think the US has taken the lead on this and is now infecting the entire world with it. The strangest thing is how even reasonable people get very incensed when they encounter even the tiniest attack on Big Pharma.

    Precisely! Postmodernists are particularly enamored of it, along with anyone who wants to represent themselves as authoritative in advanced techniques of contemporary education.

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  7. I’m now reading the article you posted concerning stimulant medication prescriptions for US children. I feel the need to say that I have an absolute horror and contempt at people turning to authorities to help them with emotional problems. I’m almost inclined to draw the line at people getting any sort of medical “help” from the psychiatric profession at all. In fact, my PhD thesis was also around and about this topic, since the subject of my thesis was considered mad by almost everyone, but he did produce very beautiful poems and prose. Also, it did seem as if the colonial authorities were in fact trying to use psychiatry to tame his radical leftist protest.

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  8. Scratchy888: ADD/ADHD is a real thing and not an ideology, thanks for playing.
    I’m pretty sure the alchohol treatment was for teething.

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    1. “I’m pretty sure the alchohol treatment was for teething.”

      -And that excuses it???

      Of course, one could argue that alcohol is less dangerous than amphetamines, which little kids are being fed like candy in this country.

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  9. I think we can learn a great deal from what we respond to and what we react to and that there are great sources of wisdom to be tapped by going through life un-medicated. My view is that all sorts of emotions and experiences are very, very real — they’re much more real than almost anybody wants to admit and certainly they are more real than much of the establishment and its authorities would like you to recognize. The immediate inclination to medicate pain because the pain is “real” is not at all helpful to psychological development or to mature intellectual perceptiveness. No doubt what I say will be misconstrued as advocating “tough love”, when in fact that is the exact opposite of what I am saying. I’m sure that an implicit binary construct lurks behind the false cultural choices that are represented as either taking the pain relief that is offered to you or going through your pain the old fashioned way. I do not subscribe to either of these perspectives and consider them equally as noxious as each other. Rather, I believe the body is a great source of wisdom and often it is telling us that our systems of social organisation are sick. One does well to heed what the body is trying to tell us, because otherwise we leave a horrible legacy to the next generation to try to adapt to something that is hostile to our humanity.

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    1. I couldn’t agree more. When one’s body is in pain, that’s a signal that something is wrong. We can deaden the pain (both emotional and physical kind) with medication. But the issue that caused the pain initially doesn’t go away. It will erupt in another set of symptoms. And those symptoms will get more and more severe with every instance of ignoring the issue and medicating the pain away by chemical intrusion into the body.

      And then, of course, there are also the side effects caused by medication itself. So it’s a losing proposition no matter how you look at it.

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  10. Scratchy888: I’ll begin by saying that before school-age, I was considered to have an active imagination and preferred not to play with other children. By first grade, I was socially isolated, refused to talk to or make eye contact with the teacher, and spent most of my time playing games and hiding. By second grade I wouldn’t speak to or willingly interact with my classmates, actively ignored my teacher and spent all of my time playing games or hogging the world maps.
    I spent most of the fall of second grade going in and out of tests to see how my brain worked. I have a fancy bit of paperwork from a doctor saying that I have it. I took psychology tests every few years to see whether I was managing to stay on task with or without meds. I spent most of my school years in classes with lots of kids who were in the same situation I was, some of them with other associated learning disabilities like dyslexia. In college, I had a note-taker- who was paid by the college- for each class just in case I missed something important.
    So, either it’s a real thing or hundreds of people suffer from a delusion. Occam’s razor suggests it’s real. Unless you believe Big Pharma has somehow hypnotized most of the US’s population.

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    1. You must have had absolutely terrible parents or guardians, who thought socialising a child was a pharmaceutical responsibility. I’m appalled.

      I’m also appalled that you were convinced — by them, or by your environment at large — that going through college the regular way was an imperative, when clearly you were incapable of attending the normative mode of classroom teaching. Supplementing your notes with a paid note-taker’s note does not address your problem, it merely buries it under the easiest available solution. And therefore I’m appalled, this time on your behalf, at your doctors.

      Short attention spans are a product of our culture, and is very likely a symptom of other problems, both pathological and otherwise. To treating it as an illness itself probably makes life easier for doctors, but that’s not what doctors are for.

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  11. Politicalguineapig :
    Scratchy888: I’ll begin by saying that before school-age, I was considered to have an active imagination and preferred not to play with other children. By first grade, I was socially isolated, refused to talk to or make eye contact with the teacher, and spent most of my time playing games and hiding. By second grade I wouldn’t speak to or willingly interact with my classmates, actively ignored my teacher and spent all of my time playing games or hogging the world maps.

    I remember first grade in colonial Rhodesia. We had to sit quietly at the end of class at our teacher’s feet, to be read a story. Suddenly, I became obsessed with the idea that my underpants were on inside out. Next, I became preoccupied with the idea that I ought to put them on the right way, which I eventually did, sitting there in front of the teacher. This teacher spoke to my mother about my “difficulty in concentrating”.

    I seemed to daydream quite a bit in class, especially when it was most important for me to focus. In one case, we had to illustrate the word, “jump”. I drew a picture to illustrate this word and my first grade teacher was unsatisfied with it. She said it didn’t clearly illustrate the word as I would have to draw something for my stick man to jump over. So I went back to my table and drew a log underneath the stick man. Whilst I was queuing up again, I noticed that somehow I had two pictures, adjacent to each other, of stick men jumping over logs. I didn’t know how the second picture came to be, but I hurriedly tore out the replica, hoping my teacher wouldn’t notice and I presented my image to her once I reached the top of the queue.

    She asked me what had happened to my book and and why there was a page torn out. I lied and said I didn’t know, so she threw my book against the wall at the other end of the classroom and told me not to deface my book.

    Despite my failure to focus in all sorts of contexts, as a child as well as an adult, I find that I can engage very effectively with all sorts of abstract ideas.

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  12. I suppose I should attach an note by way of a moral of the story. There isn’t really one except that I am very, very happy with my life right now in every possible way. I’m very much in control of my life and I only do whatever makes me happy. I also have a great relationship, of more than ten years’ standing, with someone who was brought up with approximately the same environmental and social experiences as I.

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  13. I also tried to join the military once, but failed due to my inability to pay attention to detail. In a fatigued state, I have almost no visual memory. I can’t remember where things are or the precise order of events. I had enormous difficulty, for instance, ordering my wardrobe. I would make a mental note of where the collection of different items were placed on the shelf and then, in the five meter walk back to organize my locker in that way, I had lost the visual image.

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  14. Scratchy88: I regard that as more of an anecdote to illustrate the failure of an authoritarian education. I thrived once I got out of Montessori education and into a more structured environment, which had teachers wise enough to let me work by myself as long as I was being productive and quiet. You still haven’t told me whether you believe ADD is a product of mass hypnosis or real. Also, emotions aren’t useful indicators of anything at all; they’re simply misfiring neurons. I try to ignore them as much as possible.

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  15. Short version: leaving kids in a room with a large assortment of vaguely educational objects is a good way to ensure that kids will only learn by accident. I was only there for three years (kindergarten through second grade) and it didn’t work very well for me. I only had one classroom teacher who was neither too lenient or too strict, and it seemed like the students were discouraged (by the teachers and other students) from working too far ahead of their classmates. I spent most of the kindergarten library time being bored because I’d already read my picture book and I wasn’t allowed to go find a chapterbook. I hated music class after kindergarten, gym class was miserable all the time, and the only extra classes I liked were art and Spanish. I enjoyed field trips, but I was always that one student who lags behind the others or wanders off.

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  16. Also, re, the alchohol treatment for teething: Yes, I think that excuses quite a lot. Thing is, when a child is in pain, a good parent is desperate to make the pain stop. They didn’t want to dope their children up just so they could sleep (though I’m sure they weren’t complaining about that bonus.) they wanted their children to get a bit of relief from the pain.
    You make it sound like parents poured a bottle down their child’s throat, when the children were usually given just a bit on a cloth or had a small amount put directly on the gums. As far as folk remedies go, that one isn’t too harmful.

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    1. Your readiness to excuse any barbarity done to children by parents is, in my opinion, intimately linked with your refusal to see your body image issues as stemming from your early childhood.

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      1. I don’t think a “good parent” is necessarily compelled to relieve every one of their child’s pains and discomforts throughout childhood. In fact, I think that is one of the biggest problems with our culture: most parents are TOO concerned with protecting their children from pain and discomfort. When children reach the age where they should be ready to make their way in the world (18 – 20), they are not ready. They are not ready because they have not learned to deal with life’s difficulties, pains and discomforts. Consequently, children are still living with their parents into their late 20’s. generally speaking. Good parenting is preparing children to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their own lives…and doing it in a timely manner…

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  17. Great, we’re getting back into insults now. Look, my early childhood has no relationship to anything else in my life. It’s gone, receded into the mists of time. You obviously never had any trouble with bullies, or you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the impact a couple years of hell in school can have. And, like I said before, you resemble the ‘American ideal’, so all the magazine people look a lot like you, and you don’t notice any pressure. It doesn’t affect you, but the real harm comes when you ignore the effect it has on other women and men.

    And no, the odd nip or inadvertent taste of alchohol is not going to damage a kid for life. You sound like one of those puritanical Americans who goes into a faint at the mere notion of any person under 21 having one drop of wine or champagne. As I said before, parents do not *want* to hurt their kids. A little bit of whiskey on the gums is not going to hurt anyone, but it might help a fussy baby.

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    1. “Great, we’re getting back into insults now.”

      -I fail to see where you find an insult. Everybody’s early childhood experiences form their self-image. It’s simply how it works for everybody. What’s curious is that you find this bit of general knowledge personally insulting.

      “Look, my early childhood has no relationship to anything else in my life. It’s gone, receded into the mists of time. ”

      -Apparently not if any discussion of it is so painful to you and makes you think of insults.

      “You obviously never had any trouble with bullies, or you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the impact a couple years of hell in school can have.”

      -Kids who get bullied at school are always assigned the identity of a victim at home before they even start going to school.

      “And, like I said before, you resemble the ‘American ideal’, so all the magazine people look a lot like you, and you don’t notice any pressure.”

      -Good to know that the American ideal weighs 203 pounds. That’s a very enlightened ideal, I’d say. 🙂

      “And no, the odd nip or inadvertent taste of alchohol is not going to damage a kid for life. You sound like one of those puritanical Americans who goes into a faint at the mere notion of any person under 21 having one drop of wine or champagne. ”

      -The point of this post is that irresponsible parents medicate their children into oblivion to shut them up. The method of this shutting up is irrelevant.

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  18. Clarissa: Argh! You keep twisting my words into things I never said! This fixation on ‘early childhood’ reminds me of the worst pop psychology out there. Very few people have any memory of early childhood; beyond the motor skills and cognitive development, there’s really nothing worth noting about most people’s lives before the age of three. I hate when people try to psychoanalyze me; especially people who’ve never met me or any of my family members. I’m not getting mad because you think I was abused- I’m mad that you think my parents could be the kind of scum that abuse kids. The worst thing my Mom ever did to me was drag me to a biofeedback practitioner when I was eight or nine. Dad encouraged me and my siblings to play with knives, though.

    You obviously know nothing about the dynamics of bullying or of playground life in the US. It’s appearance, skill at sports and skill at navigating social situations that divide the victims from the bullies. Do some research before you try to pretend you know anything about bullying.

    Are you seriously saying that a teaspoon (or less) of whiskey would cause a healthy six-months old infant to pass out? Not buying it.

    Also, really? Can’t tell anything from a headshot. I was trying to point that damn near everyone on a magazine cover is pretty and blond. You are pretty and blonde, so you of course, don’t notice it.

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    1. ” This fixation on ‘early childhood’ reminds me of the worst pop psychology out there. Very few people have any memory of early childhood; beyond the motor skills and cognitive development”

      -Whether people have any memories of that period is completely irrelevant.

      ” I’m not getting mad because you think I was abused”

      -Where, on God’s green Earth, did I say that you were abused??? Do you notice that all of this comes only and exclusively from you?

      “You obviously know nothing about the dynamics of bullying or of playground life in the US. I”

      -The attempts to claim some sort of exclusivity for American psychological issues is getting quite tiresome. There is absolutely nothing special or exclusive about American bullying as opposed to any other kind of bullying.

      ‘ It’s appearance, skill at sports and skill at navigating social situations that divide the victims from the bullies.”

      – That’s only what it looks like from the outside. The real reasons are always the roles assigned to children at home.

      ‘ I was trying to point that damn near everyone on a magazine cover is pretty and blond. ”

      -Thank you for the compliments, of course, but believe me, if I had a deep-seated need to feel ugly and disfigured, I could find them in a flash. I have a friend who is model-thin and breath-takingly beautiful and who wouldn’t leave her apartment for days at a time because she couldn’t stand people looking at how fad and ugly she was. That’s how she looked in her mind and there was no convincing her otherwise.

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  19. bloggerclarissa :
    ” The attempts to claim some sort of exclusivity for American psychological issues is getting quite tiresome. There is absolutely nothing special or exclusive about American bullying as opposed to any other kind of bullying.

    Oh, I disagree that US culture and indeed Australian culture (which is half British and half American) does not have specifically positive or negative values about what I would consider fairly arbitrary things. I think there is some truth to Clarissa’s point that family dynamics tend to set the stage for bullying in later life, although like p_guineapig, I don’t think that early childhood dynamics are more important than later ones. There is no single explanatory cause for bullying. I could go into this in far more detail, as to why.

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    1. Why don’t we all take just a moment…Maybe we are all over-simplifying this problem of early-childhood development and bullying. After all, don’t many victims of bullying in one area of their life, turn around and become the bully as soon as they get the chance? I’m just saying…

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      1. “After all, don’t many victims of bullying in one area of their life, turn around and become the bully as soon as they get the chance? ”

        -Yes, you are absolutely right! This happens very often. And it happens to people who are socialized in the model of being either a bully or a victim. No other possibility is even open to them because they have never seen another option.

        You’ll say that religion can open up for people a chance to get out of the unhealthy model, and you will be right. It absolutely does. Just like any form of a profound personal transformation and growth.

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      2. ptiderman :
        Why don’t we all take just a moment…Maybe we are all over-simplifying this problem of early-childhood development and bullying. After all, don’t many victims of bullying in one area of their life, turn around and become the bully as soon as they get the chance? I’m just saying…

        There are a hell of a lot of variables that determine whether or not this happens. One of them is intelligence. Another is whether one has reserves of reslience. Another is the particular sub-culture and whether or not it promotes bullying. Lots of variables. The one I discovered in writing my thesis is shamanism, which allows one to access psychological one’s own resources that are buried deep.

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  20. I think part of what bullying is would be the perception of bullying. There are various cultural, economic and social factors that can insulate one against the perception of bullying, thus making it seem to have no impact. For instance, I’m pretty sure I was bullied a lot as a child and perhaps as a teenager, but I had no particular perception of that. I was often in a protective bubble of the society of my classmates or else in the sense of being culturally detached and not aware of very much that interested other people. Yet from an American point of view, certainly, I would say, many experiences in my life constitute being bullied.

    If I reflect over my life, I have only ever been susceptible to actually feeling like I’m being bullied when I have lost any protective bubble and I am intent on being earnest. Earnestness is perhaps American too. I don’t feel that I have any cultural business being earnest.

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            1. It’s supposed to be a characteristic of a good writing style in English. And it’s one thing a bout the good writing style that I still have not been able to master.

              You’ve read the New Testament. Jesus rocks at understatement. Which is something I always say to my students to promote their understanding of this rhetoric device.

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              1. Regarding Jesus and understatement, after being sent to arrest Jesus, and returning without Him, one of the Temple guards said about Jesus, “No man ever spoke like this man…” It seemed the harder the “intellectuals” tried to confuse or trip-up Jesus, the worse-off they came away from the encounter.

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  21. bloggerclarissa :
    I suck at understatement as every single reviewer of my scholarly work has kindly pointed out.

    Yes, I think you are blunt. I’m not necessarily socially graceful either. The opposite is very true. However, I prefer to communicate among peers using understatement as the alternative is unnecessary and crude in most instances.

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  22. Paul Tiderman :

    Regarding Jesus and understatement, after being sent to arrest Jesus, and returning without Him, one of the Temple guards said about Jesus, “No man ever spoke like this man…” It seemed the harder the “intellectuals” tried to confuse or trip-up Jesus, the worse-off they came away from the encounter.

    Exactly. This is why my father sent me to study the New Testament to discover the most convincing ways to argue an intellectual cause.

    I don’t compare myself to Jesus in any way or form, but I can say that one has to be very well-prepared to argue anything with me. I had a very good school of intellectual reasoning, even though I fail to live up to it.

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  23. bloggerclarissa :

    Paul Tiderman :
    Regarding Jesus and understatement, after being sent to arrest Jesus, and returning without Him, one of the Temple guards said about Jesus, “No man ever spoke like this man…” It seemed the harder the “intellectuals” tried to confuse or trip-up Jesus, the worse-off they came away from the encounter.

    I tell you, those “intellectuals” were simply apes in sheep’s clothing. At the end of times, the deity will divide the sheep from the intellectuals.

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  24. As much as I appreciate people exercising their sense of humor as much as they want, I still have to insist that NOBODY gets bullied at school unless they were bullied at home first.

    There is a very American tendency to divorce the results of parenting from the process of parenting. I’m not American, so I don’t feel like participating in this idiotic example of political correctness.

    If you send your kid to school at 5 and they get bullied, this means you are a complete, total and utter failure as a parent.

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    1. So is there something important about the age 5? If so, what in particular? Do you believe that character structure is formed by that time and never changes, that it is independent of cultural, historical and other transitional factors? At what age does parental failure no longer apply as a cause?

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      1. “So is there something important about the age 5?”

        – I said maybe a gazillion times 🙂 that the foundational groundwork of the human psyche gets laid down before the age of 3. And I have no doubt that you know I am very very far from being the first person to say this. 🙂

        ‘ At what age does parental failure no longer apply as a cause?”

        -At the age of 18 when one becomes an independent adult, it is up to everyone to choose to resolve one’s emotional and psychological issues. Of course, there is always the oh-so-sweet alternative to blame the television for feeling intense self-hatred and having huge body acceptance issues by the age of 30.

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  25. bloggerclarissa :
    “So is there something important about the age 5?”
    – I said maybe a gazillion times that the foundational groundwork of the human psyche gets laid down before the age of 3. And I have no doubt that you know I am very very far from being the first person to say this.
    ‘ At what age does parental failure no longer apply as a cause?”
    -At the age of 18 when one becomes an independent adult, it is up to everyone to choose to resolve one’s emotional and psychological issues. Of course, there is always the oh-so-sweet alternative to blame the television for feeling intense self-hatred and having huge body acceptance issues by the age of 30.

    Ok, but there is an inconsistency in that one starts off considering everything in terms of psychological determinism and then this determinism abruptly stops at the age of 18.

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    1. “Ok, but there is an inconsistency in that one starts off considering everything in terms of psychological determinism and then this determinism abruptly stops at the age of 18.”

      -What starts at the age of adulthood is one’s financial and personal responsibility for oneself. Everybody has issues in our Western cultures. But everybody also gets an opportunity to work on correcting whatever damage was done to oneself. I come from a culture where the impact of parents is like nothing one can even begin to envision in fully Western civilizations (and not just Western wannabes, like my culture.) So if I can do it, any Westerner really REALLY can.

      Of course, discovering that parenting cannot be divorced from its results is the first crucial step.

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      1. I think that’s largely true about parenting being more violent or fraught in non-Western countries. Here is an autobiographical segment from a much longer poem by the writer I studied, whose childhood was assaulted by parental death, prostitution and the projection of an evil spirit into the son, who was valued less for being “intellectual”.

        He lost his arms, his legs, his trunk
        All that remained was from the neck upwards
        Grinning sheepishly, apologetically
        He was a poem pared down to its essentials
        Grinning sheepishly, apologetically, honest!
        His father died in primary school
        His father rose again to run the factory
        Turning on his bicycle the axis of the moon
        Turning in his sleep, this endless sweep of stars
        Aphrodite sealed between two sides of the coin
        Is it your shrieks I hear when my gold jingles?
        Sword-bearing arm cleaves day’s placid leg
        I cannot bear all thought to food
        In the bucket is whitewash enough
        To make our world realistic
        “But you can’t love your sister that way!”
        In every dustbin, in every rubbish heap
        A teacher pleading innocence
        Pleading ignorance.

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  26. “-Whether people have any memories of that period is completely irrelevant.”

    How does the therapy work if you have no memories of the time period?

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      1. Are you suggesting that the early memories are repressed? I always thought it was for some biological reason that we normally did not have memories before age three. Interesting that we completely forget the most important, influential years of our lives. As if we were not even around for those three years, I have always felt that was strange.

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        1. My first memory comes from when I was 10 months old. I described the situation to my mother and she was shocked because she thought I couldn’t have possibly remember.

          I know quite a few people who have memories before the age of 1. Those are usually fascinating. 🙂

          As for repressing memories, I have many adult memories that I repressed.

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        2. Maybe it is better that we don’t remember most of the events of those early years. Most parents assume their infants and young toddlers will not remember. Thus, they do and say many things around them assuming they will not be remembered…

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          1. One of my earliest memories: I was three years old at the time. I hear the squealing of a car’s wheels out in front of our house and stood on my tip-toes, pulling myself up by the window sill, to try and see what it was. My father was drinking. He saw my efforts and thought he’d help me out…He says, “You wanna see out that window, Boy?” Then he proceeds to throw up the sash, grab me by my ankles, and hang me out the window by my ankles…or was it one ankle…I can’t remember that. I only remember screaming like a 3 year-old until he brought me back into the house. Oh yeah, we lived on the 2nd floor. I estimate I was about 25 feet from the ground. But, to a 3 year-old, it seemed like 100 feet. It turned out that our next door neighbor ran over our family pet whose tail then had to be removed. Ahhh, early childhood memories…

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  27. Clarrissa: In most cases of bullying, the bullying is completely divorced from any sort of factor at home. It’s true that abused kids often become bullies, but victims are usually selected because they are too gay, too fat, or too awkward to be able to pretend to fit in. It’s not a case of parental failure, it’s simply that kids are pack animals and their instinct is to weed out the weak. Are parents supposed to keep their kids home from school until they slim down or aren’t gay anymore?

    Addendum: Some of the kids that have killed themselves as a result of bullying, did so despite having the love and support of their parents. I’m rather surprised to see a ‘feminist’ engage in victim blaming.

    You’re also pretending that people act the same way all the time, despite their surroundings. I guarentee you that the way I act at home is very different from the way I was in school. A public persona is very very different from the person who lives in that skin.

    And I totally disagree that psychological development stops at five. No one is the same person at twenty as they were at five. Neurological development doesn’t stop till twenty-five, and a lot of people totally reinvent themselves throughout their teens and twenties. The only similarity between me at five, and the me at twentysomething is the same name, the same skin, and a bit of the same temperament. The me at five was shy, sweet, polite and a weakling. The me at twenty has managed to subdue the shyness, is only polite when it benefits her, knows when to stop being sweet, stands straight and tall and trains so she can handle herself if she needs to fight anyone. The five year old me was stupid and trusting, the twenty year old me is neither.

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    1. “In most cases of bullying, the bullying is completely divorced from any sort of factor at home.”

      -I understand that this is what you believe. Obviously, I don’t.

      “Are parents supposed to keep their kids home from school until they slim down or aren’t gay anymore?”

      -No. They are supposed to raise their children in a way that will give them enough self-acceptance and self-assurance. There are many gay kids who are beloved by peers at school.

      ” Some of the kids that have killed themselves as a result of bullying, did so despite having the love and support of their parents. I’m rather surprised to see a ‘feminist’ engage in victim blaming.”

      -Who is the victim in your interpretation of such events? The parents of suicidal kids??

      “And I totally disagree that psychological development stops at five. ”

      -I disagree with that, too. You keep bringing up this point as if somebody made it on this blog.

      ‘No one is the same person at twenty as they were at five. Neurological development doesn’t stop till twenty-five, and a lot of people totally reinvent themselves throughout their teens and twenties.”

      -And, also, today is Saturday.

      “The me at five was shy, sweet, polite and a weakling. ”

      -And who encouraged these qualities in you when you were growing up? More importantly, why were these qualities brought out in you by your upbringing? Who benefited from it? Obviously not you, from what I understand.

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  28. Priyanka: as a kid, I was pretty out of control. I made life hell for my siblings, especially my little brother. I sassed the teachers and shot down any attempt by the other students to connect wtih me.
    I didn’t care for therapists, and alternative methods like biofeedback or meditation didn’t work. I either swung to one emotional extreme or the other, and on a few occasions, harmed myself. Nothing permanent, though.
    I was actually grateful to be medicated sometimes: life was much easier with a bit of impulse control and without all those pesky emotions. I’m off meds and have been for years now.

    As for college: it was always understood that me and my siblings would go to college. Full stop. Both my parents are college educated, though they ended up in fields which had little to no resemblance in what they studied.If I hadn’t gone to college, I wouldn’t have had many experiences which influenced my life. I got my first job in college, learned how to interview people, wrote for the college paper and traveled abroad.
    I took my own notes, but I found that having access to another set of notes helped me immensely. Especially when I had a teacher whose handwriting resembled obscure languages. For the record, I did seek some help in math classes, but I did all of the other work by myself.
    And, yeah, colleges are required to provide reasonable accomodations to students. Do you think a blind or deaf student shouldn’t go to college? Or a student who uses a wheelchair? Or a dyslexic student who’s there on a math scholarship.

    Takeaway: Sometimes, some medical help is neccessary, even for the invisible stuff like ADD or depression. Although I really should know better than to try to talk sense into St John’s Wort worshipping neo-hippies.

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    1. “Although I really should know better than to try to talk sense into St John’s Wort worshipping neo-hippies.”

      -I agree! The good thing is that such people don’t hang around this blog, so we can all rest easy. 🙂

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  29. Um, looked around the room lately? The problem with discussions of this sort is that they tend to degenerate into ‘medical system bad’ ‘acupuncture/homeopathy/herbs good’ pretty swiftly. I’m actually surprised that it hasn’t yet happened in this thread. Except for Priyanka’s suggestion that emotions are good- which I refuse to believe.
    Also, yes, I did mean that the parents should be considered victims. I’m not a parent, but I understand that losing a child is horribly traumatic for modern-day parents. (Not that it wasn’t traumatic in the past, but parents back then expected to bury some of their parents.)
    Scratchy888: A psychological failure on the teacher’s part. The teacher was obviously totally disconnected from her students and her teaching style had degenerated into ‘I’m the adult, that’s why.”

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    1. The problem with discussions of this sort is that they tend to degenerate into ‘medical system bad’

      The problem is binary thinking. It can lead you to all sorts of dead ends in thinking, although it might seem invigorating at first.

      Scratchy888: A psychological failure on the teacher’s part. The teacher was obviously totally disconnected from her students and her teaching style had degenerated into ‘I’m the adult, that’s why.”

      Yes, she was a tyrant — although not one that did me significant harm. Many parents complained about her, I am told.

      Personally, I’m 1000 times happier to have had such a tyrant as a teacher than to be medicated in any way, in order to fit in. The first level of abuse seems much more minor and external to me, from my perspective, than the latter.

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    2. “The problem with discussions of this sort is that they tend to degenerate into ‘medical system bad’ ‘acupuncture/homeopathy/herbs good’ pretty swiftly.”

      -Politicalgiuneapig, it gets a little aggravating when people start talking to themselves. Nobody has made such idiotic statements on this blog and nobody will. Can you argue with the things that are being said rather than with the things you are surprised are not being said?

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  30. Clarissa: Well, we’ve already seen a lot of people comparing medication to child abuse, so I’m just heading the other arguments off at the pass. And sometimes children *need* that medication, though I get the feeling that none of you will believe that. Yeah, four years is very young- I don’t think kids should even be diagnosed until 9. But I and a lot of people I know needed some sort of support and we would’ve been shut out of a lot of opportunities if we didn’t get that support, whether it was pharmaceutical or an accomodation like note-taking. So, that’s my four cents.

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    1. Once again, please address your “other arguments” at the discussion blogs where they are being made. It is very ridiculous to argue against statements that haven’t been made.

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  31. Clarissa: This is what Priyanka had to say:
    You must have had absolutely terrible parents or guardians, who thought socialising a child was a pharmaceutical responsibility. I’m appalled.

    I’m also appalled that you were convinced — by them, or by your environment at large — that going through college the regular way was an imperative, when clearly you were incapable of attending the normative mode of classroom teaching. Supplementing your notes with a paid note-taker’s note does not address your problem, it merely buries it under the easiest available solution. And therefore I’m appalled, this time on your behalf, at your doctors.

    Short attention spans are a product of our culture, and is very likely a symptom of other problems, both pathological and otherwise. To treating it as an illness itself probably makes life easier for doctors, but that’s not what doctors are for.

    Personally, I’ve seen *many* arguments against the medical establishment. My feelings are personally a bit mixed about pharmaceuticals. Some haven’t been effective at all, and some helped. I don’t think the ‘take a vitamin’ or ’emotions are good for you’ approaches help much. (In fact, I nearly lost a dear friend because of the former approach.) And hand-waving certain conditions away doesn’t help at all.

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    1. “I don’t think the ‘take a vitamin’ or ‘emotions are good for you’ approaches help much”

      -Nobody disagrees. Nobody suggested taking vitamins either. In fact, I wrote a post criticizing the vitamin-takers very recently.

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