Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Stop The Insanity!

Was I surprised when medical marijuana would not pass the "legal drug" test? No. Why would something which is but a drop in the drug money bucket, be allowed by a government who can help the Pharmaceutical companies rake in BILLIONS of dollars? If they can get you hooked on one of their drugs in your teenage years then we have a never ending supply for you and a never ending source of income for all the Big Pharma CEO's, kickbacks to Dr.'s and raises to those Pharmaceutical Reps who peddle them.

Now, to listen to our government, who is well known for its truthfulness, we have a major epidemic on our hands which must be addressed. The epidemic is teen suicide. In actual fact there is no epidemic, and if anything, the use of psychotropic drugs in the treatment of "teen mental disorders" has been shown, time and time again, to heighten the suicidality in that age group. But, riding to the rescue of this vulnerable group of our population, the ones most easily manipulated, is a thing called "Teen Screen". Under the artful guise of a respected institution, Columbia Univeristy, from hence the program arose, it is being sold to school districts all across this country and is already being administered in at least 21 states.

I am sure that when my children were teenagers, I would have sold my soul to the devil if I thought it would make those years travel by faster or be less annoying. However, as a realistic adult, and one who had paid my own dues in the purgatory known as the teenagehood, I understood what was going on. The mood swings, the unhappiness with their looks, figure, friends, school, home, the list seemed endless. And the most popular line..."anywhere would be better than here!" These last words usually spoken when they had been denied the use of the car or attendance at a party where "everyone ELSE will be". Luckily, for me I guess, I stood my ground and once they hit 20 they became human again. I suppose the term mentally unstable could easily be applied to this period of our lives. I prefer to call it our searching for independence, growing and learning period.

And, I would suspect that the vast majority of parents in this country meet the challenges their teens present with the same acknowledgement. That the teen years are a season of growth, not always pleasant, but bound, usually, to result in well adjusted adulthood. I, personally, know five that have turned out very well, although there was a time, that, had you asked me, I would have sworn they were an alien life form.

But, not all parents are cut from the same cloth. Stresses, anxieties, selfishness cloud their own lives and put them beyond the limits of being able to deal with children who are "giving them a tough time." Time and again when I have talked with some these young people, I have come away with the same picture and it ain't pretty. Parents who are, it seems, incapable of dealing with their own lives, can not possibly be up to the challenges of helping a teenager through this difficult period. So all consumed with themselves, that they hardly know their children are on the same planet, have become unwitting pawns in the chess game that Big Pharma is playing with their childrens lives.

A visit to the Pediatrician's office these days is like a trip to the candy store. But, rather than an all day sucker which will appease little Mary or Johnny for a few hours, we have an all your life program, brought to you courtesy of the Pharmaceutical companies and your government, the two biggest drug dealers in existence. Why legalize pot when you can make billions from the sale of psychotropic drugs like Xanax, Zoloff, Adderall (for ADD/ADHD) Valium, Paxil and a host of others? Most of these are iffy even when prescribed to adults, but seemingly no hesitation is shown when prescribing them for the teenager.

This is not meant to be a condemnation on all parents who are having a tough time with their teenagers, however, if one looks back at the circumstances surrounding those children who have shot up their schools, or otherwise done things beyond just acting out, we see parents who basically have left their children to their own devices. Sociologists will tell you that we have a generation of children who have raised themselves, either in one parent homes or in dual income homes. The solidarity of the parents, after the fact, leads us to say things such as , "how could the child have done that with two such loving parents?" "Or the child must have been mentally unbalanced to have done that to his parents." One has to wonder what role the parents actually did play in their child's life. I would bet that not only did those children feel alienated by their peer group but by their parents as well.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, we have an "instant fix" in the form of "Teen Screen". A more insidious program I have never seen. There are no right or wrong answers to the questions. It puts kids under great pressure to try and give the correct answers on this self administered test. Recently it was given to a 15 year old girl in Indiana, whose parents are now suing the school district because the parents were not asked for their consent and then were faced with a diagnosis of their daughter for not one but two mental disorders. But then this is what Teen Screen does. It plants the seed of doubt in a child's mind. The doubt that everyday normal feelings are somehow skewed in their brains and they are in need of help, primarily through the aid of a psychotropic drug.

So are you dying now to know what sorts of questions are asked on this screening test? I will leave you with a sampling, but I must warn you.

In the last year, has there been a time:

(1) When nothing was fun for you and you just weren't interested in anything?
(2) When you couldn't think as clearly or as fast as usual?
(3) When you had less energy than you usually do?
(4) When you felt you couldn't do anything well or that you weren't as good-looking or as smart as other people?
(5) Have you often felt nervous or uncomfortable when you have been with a group of children or young people - say, like in the lunchroom at school or at a party?
(6) Have you often felt very nervous when you've had to do things in front of people?
(7) Have you often worried a lot before you were going to play a sport or game or do some other activity?

After taking the test, you may want to get yourself immediately to the nearest mental health facility, because based on these questions we are ALL in big trouble!