"Doctors ready to treat all our behavioural quirks"

  1. Interesting article here from the health section of BBC online. It discusses how, more and more human variations in behavior are being diagnosed and treated as medical conditions.

    Life: A medical condition




    Is the human condition becoming a medical condition?
    Ten per cent of British children are regarded as having a clinically recognisable mental disorder, 34 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were written in the UK in 2007, while it is estimated that 10% of US children take Ritalin to combat behaviour problems.

    Dr Tim Kendall, Joint Director of the National Collaboration Centre for Mental Health and a key government adviser is deeply concerned at what he sees as a medicalisation of a vast swathe of society.

    He said: "I think there is an inherent danger from increasingly classifying people.
    "If you look at the American Psychiatric Association 'bible', you'll see almost every piece of human behaviour can be classified as being in some way aberrant."

    Dr Kendall sees dangers in a "tendency for new categories to be invented, often at the behest of drug companies looking for a new drug".
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Purple_Scrubs
    This has crossed my mind as well. Difference = disorder to some people. Especially in the school setting where I work, I have seen people equate learning differences as learning disabilities, and that concerns me. Instead of making the effort to teach in a different way, they want to medicate.

    I am not saying that there are not disorders that require and benefit from medical treatment, but not every child who learns things differently from "the norm" (whatever that is) needs to be on medication.
  4. by   FireStarterRN
    I probably would be diagnosed because I have a strange compulsion to start threads at this website. They would say I have a mental disorder and would want to quell my urges with a medication.
  5. by   soulofme
    There's not enough medical treatment to help me!
  6. by   lamazeteacher
    Sometimes doctors are aberrantly obeisant to parental demands..... If a parent is concerned about their child's lack of progress, they immediately want a quick fix, in my experience, and they'll nudge the doctor to provide it. Thank heavens they put the brakes on ritalin (later than it should have happened).

    It would be good to first take a look at the weekly dietary intake of the child, and refer them to a nutritionist if there are deficits in dietary requirements. Many parent(s) these days can't afford vitamin supplements, others give too many of them. They need to feed themselves and their children appropriately, or symptoms will result that can easily (or not) be resolved.

    I can't tell you how many times immunized children's parent(s) want to paste "autistic" across a child's forhead (not literally), due to their having been given recommended vaccinations. I think they figure they'll get money one way or another, from the pharmaceutical company(ies) manufacturing vaccines, or state/federal programs for autistic children.......

    It's an oblique form of _(senior moment)_ by proxy, as the child(ren) have listened to mom talking on the telephone, describing traits they have, and interpreting them as "autistic". It results in both parent and child getting extra attention and services from school psychologists. That's possibly a good thing, but inevitably the doctor becomes involved, with the need to fix things.
    Last edit by lamazeteacher on Mar 30, '09 : Reason: typo
  7. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    I probably would be diagnosed because I have a strange compulsion to start threads at this website. They would say I have a mental disorder and would want to quell my urges with a medication.
    like what, a hose????

    leslie
  8. by   Rhone
    I agree that our society relies far too heavily on medication. We like quick, effortless fixes (e.g. medication), and we have a pharmaceutical industry that is more than happy to profit from our laziness and dependence.

    I disagree with the dig at the DSM that was quoted, though. Just about every disorder in the DSM has a criterion that states that the symptoms of the disorder have to lead to significant dysfunction/impairment in order for the person to be diagnosed with that disorder. For example, I have one habit that is very obsessive-compulsive in nature; however, the time I spend doing it is very limited and it does not interfere with my life or otherwise cause any dysfunction. So any decent psychiatrist or psychologist would not diagnose me as OCD.

    Unfortunately, there are many psychiatrists out there who would be more than happy to diagnose me and prescribe drugs, because that turns me into a source of revenue. And they know from experience that drugs (quick fix) are how most patients prefer to be treated.

    But again, this is not a problem with the disorders described in the DSM; it's a problem with a profit-driven drug industry and a society that is more than happy to play along.
  9. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from leslie :-D
    like what, a hose????

    leslie
    That didn't work Leslie.
  10. by   madwife2002
    This is an interesting thread and very personnal to me. My dd is 7yrs old in the second grade and has not learnt as well as the rest of her class, I demanded her to be tested for dyslexia as it seems like she had a problem in that direction. The teacher felt she had a attention span problem so we took her to a psychologist in January for testing, when we were to go back for the results we hesitated. The reason we hesitated is because she is a lovely little girl, with a kind heart and a big smile, and we realised just because she wasn't clever or smart, just because she was slower to learn than other children, just because we couldnt boast how quick she was to perform a task, she had far better qualities than most other children in her behaviour and manners. So we made a decision not to go back for the results and if in the future her behaviour made it neccessary to have her retested then that is what we would do. we did not want her to change who she was, I remember when I grew up it was ok if some of the kids weren't as clever nobody wanted a medical condition to blame their lack of progress on, we accepted that some children soared and some children didnt.
    So we went to school on the 26th March for her conference and was told she was now doing fine and that the school believed it was a maturity problem rather than ADD. She will never be genius status but she is going to do ok.
  11. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from FireStarterRN
    I probably would be diagnosed because I have a strange compulsion to start threads at this website. They would say I have a mental disorder and would want to quell my urges with a medication.
    Well, at least you keep us entertained and thinking. Maybe you need behavioral modification?? I mean, I am sure that a creative person can make up a care plan for your condition, but if they actually help you, then, well, it sucks for us. Don't do it!! Don't claim the thread illness!
  12. by   FireStarterRN
    Thomas Edison was bipolar. During his manic periods he would work long hours on his ideas. I wonder what we are losing by repressing this trait in people?
  13. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from madwife2002
    This is an interesting thread and very personnal to me. My dd is 7yrs old in the second grade and has not learnt as well as the rest of her class, I demanded her to be tested for dyslexia as it seems like she had a problem in that direction. The teacher felt she had a attention span problem so we took her to a psychologist in January for testing, when we were to go back for the results we hesitated. The reason we hesitated is because she is a lovely little girl, with a kind heart and a big smile, and we realised just because she wasn't clever or smart, just because she was slower to learn than other children, just because we couldnt boast how quick she was to perform a task, she had far better qualities than most other children in her behaviour and manners. So we made a decision not to go back for the results and if in the future her behaviour made it neccessary to have her retested then that is what we would do. we did not want her to change who she was, I remember when I grew up it was ok if some of the kids weren't as clever nobody wanted a medical condition to blame their lack of progress on, we accepted that some children soared and some children didnt.
    So we went to school on the 26th March for her conference and was told she was now doing fine and that the school believed it was a maturity problem rather than ADD. She will never be genius status but she is going to do ok.
    My older daughter was borderline age wise, being one of the youngest in her grade. After one month of first grade I saw that she was stressed and struggling. So I went to the school and insisted that she go back to kindergarten. It was a great decision, she has soared since then. She's a poised, well mannered 14 year old girl who reads at a college level, plays piano, and gets good grades and has marvelous friends. She just needed a little more time to bloom.
  14. by   lamazeteacher
    Madwife2002:

    Well, what you don't know really won't hurt you or your wonderful daughter (I don't know what "dd" is), at this time. I identified a lot with what you described was happening to her, as I was an "underachiever" in elementary school. Then my 4th grade teacher asked to conference with my mother and me, because I didn't grasp fractions in grade 4. Stubbornly I insisted on figuring them out, my way, adding the 1 in 1/4 to sums. The teacher said a little doubtfully to my mother, "She seems bright......."

    A rebel in high school, I failed 12th grade and didn't do well, and barely passed it the second year I took it over. In those days, in Canada, you didn't fail just one subject; if you did, you had to do all the other subjects over again......

    The summer after finally graduating high school, I took a job at an insurance company and hated it! When I got a letter saying I hadn't been accepted into the nursing school I'd chosen, I was distraught. So I got into a it "on trial" in 1957, because the Rabbi at our temple wrote a glowing letter about my uncle, the philanthropist - not a word about my attributes (not great).

    So, when Nursing School began I started to pull the same stuff I did in high school. Given an assignment to read, I didn't do it. It was kind of a reflex thing, getting negative attention. (But I didn't know about that) The older, imposing/frightening Director of Education taught us A&P, and Pharmacology and knew her students' foibles well. When I had no answer to her questions about the assigned reading, she threatened to have me in her office memorizing the chapter she assigned next. Ever willing to challenge my teachers, I didn't read it, and had to spend Lunch in her office with her scowling face, and pointed witch-like cap, in front of me. She asked me what I'd learned and I repeated the chapter verbatum.

    "See", she said, "You are intelligent". No one had ever said that to me before! To make a long story somewhat shorter, I went on to ace every class and got the highest score on the licensing exam than anyone else in Canada! We didn't call it NCLEX then. So I went on to get my degree, not with the same success, as I had returned home to Toronto for it, and living there wasn't good for me. However I was proud of my achievement, and certainly enjoyed the jobs/positions I was able to get with that.

    So even though a psychologist/psychiatrist might have found a diagnosis for what ailed me, (? educationally challenged ?) and if there had been medication for whatever it was, I would have gotten it. I did see a psychologist for many years while my marriage was failing, and after it was dissolved.......then others when I coudn't get my life together, and finally when I was in my early 50s, my PC physician asked me as I sobbed in her office, unable to describe the symptoms of something physical I had, if I'd like to try an antidepressant. It worked!

    I'd had crying episodes often during my teens and they intensified with crises later. My maternal grandfather had committed suicide, my mother made numerous attempts to do that, and I'd had one attempt during my marriage. It had never occurred to me that I might have inherited depression (nor, at the time, had anyone else discovered/researched it).

    Almost 20 years later, I'm still on that wonderful pill, spoiled only by its high cost (Medicare D would cost me more in premiums than all the medications I need, cost). However there's some way to get them covered by challenging Medicare, so I'll do that.

    The reason I've shared my story, is that there may be untreatable reasons for kids not learning. No one would have thought I was depressed, as a child, but I sure was angry! There may be new anti-depressants coming out that won't do harm to children and teenagers....... and eventually the stigma people with mental disease suffer, may reach acceptance in others.
    Last edit by lamazeteacher on Mar 30, '09 : Reason: typos, clarity

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