In this article we examine the growing rise in diagnoses of mental disorders in children. Focus is placed on a deluded and pathetic liberal left that appear increasingly to use these contentious diagnoses to excuse their own parenting inadequacies and failure to take proper control of their children.
CHILD MENTAL HEALTH:
HOW THE LEFT ARE NOW DAMAGING CHILDREN
WESTERN SOCIETY IS NOW witnessing possibly one of the lowest points in the whole sorry story of just what left-wing fanaticism can resort to when desperate – and it would be genuinely laughable if it wasn’t so truly tragic. And this is no little tragedy either, rather it is a tragedy of Shakespearean magnitude and form – that is, where despairing futility and irrationality meets belly-busting comedy.
But what, pray tell, do I speak of (to keep the theme going)? I speak of the campaign, backed by our Government, to focus on the ‘mental health’ of school children up and down the country because, apparently, we are in the midst of an epidemic of mentally ill children failing to cope (it seems) with being………children? And how are they failing and with what? Well, they are failing to learn, failing exams, failing to be special, to be important, to be noticed, to cope with the enormous pressures of being the most privileged generation of children to date. They are apparently, or so we are told, suffering from depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, gender identity issues, as well as related issues such as bullying, poverty, and all manner of other terrible afflictions heaped upon them by an uncaring, out-of-touch, society hell-bent on making them conform to unreasonable standards and demands.
This generation of children are psychologically battered, war-torn, exhausted, beaten, frustrated, deprived, abused, destroyed, and utterly despondent. Soon it will of course be claimed that this is all the fault of an imaginary far-right cabal hell bent on the destruction of the liberal worlds offspring. Or perhaps Brexit is the underlying cause, or maybe Trump has been conspiring with his Russian pals again? Who knows, who cares, there’s an epidemic afoot, so we are told, and the children must be saved whatever the cost.
No wonder, then, that the poor little mites are so delicate, shaken, and suffering. No wonder they have all these mental health issues and are desperately in need of lots of caring, sharing, (and very expensive) talking therapies provided by State appointed taxpayer funded ‘school psychologists’. Oh, praise be! We have seen the light, and the evils heaped upon our poor and damaged children may now, at last, be brought to an end as modern-day mental health crusaders leap fearlessly into the breech!
Except…………….this is all an unmitigated complete and utter nonsense of the very first order.
This is 'Leftie World'. And in Leftie World the imaginary is real.
The cold, hard, truth is this: left-wing liberal nonsense regarding how best to parent children has, at least since the 60’s but perhaps even before, pushed a pacifist thesis that simply assumed prior parenting was wrong-headed and in need of revision. Little actual evidence of this ever surfaced but that didn’t matter. What mattered was that the dawning new ethos, like that peddled in terms of prison reform, believed whole-heartedly in the long-term benefits of treatment over punishment – and this applied in the case of wayward children as well as adult offenders.
The upshot was, and still is (cutting a long story short here), that naughty children and bad behaviour was re-described as societal problems (i.e. it’s society that’s at fault, not the children) leading to behavioural disorders in need of treatment not punishment. In truth there was probably some merit in this, perhaps there still is. Even so the emerging message on this account was that punishment, in terms of any consequences, was something of an evil in and of itself. Subsequent to this shift in parenting consensus among the liberal classes those applying any form of punishment, but especially physical chastisement, were progressively vilified and eventually out-lawed (in the physical case).
All good you might be thinking? It’s certainly easy to see how this appears like progress, and perhaps it might have been, but for a now evident fact and problem. For what actually transpired, albeit quite slowly, was that pretty much all consequences for unacceptable behaviour were diminishing and, in some instances, eventually irradiated altogether. This, too, has been the situation in certain corners of the judiciary where, for example, a recent case saw a high court judge effectively decriminalise non-violent burglary by setting a precedent whereby first-time offenders should, by default, not be sent to prison. Removing consequences of even limited effectiveness (i.e. deterrence) can, however, have other, even less desirable, consequences.
It is true that deterrence theories of punishment are hard to justify, whether it be directed at adult offenders or ‘difficult’ children. There is, though, little doubt that if you remove prevailing consequences with absolutely nothing you surely invite catastrophe (or at least there should be little doubt?). With adult offenders in prison the judicial authorities, faced with the failure of rehabilitative approaches to reform, shifted emphasis to a justification of punishment that hinged on retribution and restorative justice. What they didn’t do was drop, altogether and out of hand, the idea and reality of punishment and/or consequences itself. But with children this is very much what modern parenting and progressive schooling effectively did.
An increasingly lame approach to raising children led over the years that followed, up to and including the present, to a pronounced emphasis on reward over any form of punishment. This was done in a desperate effort to encourage (read, bribe) compliant behaviour (compliant, that is, with simple standards of acceptable behaviour). It has failed consistently and miserably. Bribery has never been a useful ploy in the long run and in this situation has produced especially dire results – generations of ever more ‘entitled’ children who now see possession of whatsoever they desire as a fundamental human right, and failure to fulfil their whims as deprivation and abuse.
Given the evident failure of touchy, feely, parenting which is pretty plain to a great many people (typically not from the politically liberal left), one might think there would be a drive to reintroduce some semblance of consequences for children found behaving in an unacceptable fashion – but not a bit of it. No, instead we see the return of an old and primitive approach – the medicalisation of deviant or otherwise undesirable behaviour which is construed as a mental disorder of some kind. With this comes the return of the labelling model of mental illness as well as chemical and therapeutic treatment programs. These practices, often borne out of sheer ignorance, have been reintroduced in an effort to remedy a problem that has truly been created by withering leftie liberals’ incapable of facing the reality of their own inadequacies. Rather than face their own pathetic inability to cope properly with their children they eagerly adopt a psychiatric diagnosis that medicalises difficult behaviours parents experience in everyday living (e.g. naughty children).
Consequently, no child is seeking attention for its own sake, miffed because they can’t get their own way, fed up because they have a load of homework they can’t be bothered to do. Rather they are suffering from depression, stress, or anxiety. Children are no longer naughty, energetic, spiteful, bad, or spirited, they have ADHD or are bipolar. As for the child envious of his sister that says he wishes he was a girl too - gender identity issues. The latest 'diagnosis' on this account being 'gender dysphoria'. So-called 'gender dysphoria' (distress caused by a mismatch between 'assigned' sex and gender identity), a mental health issue if anything, is gathering support on the lunatic-left to the extent it's being used in some quarters as a licence to chemically and even sugically assault children - children who, rational people know, aren't typically old enough to know who they are, what they want, or even where they are.
What has emerged from this, along with other nonsense, are protectionist policies and practices aimed at fending off the worst evils. School playground politics and antics are now elevated to legal charges of bullying and discrimination. Absence of the latest iPhone or games console constitutes poverty. Later in life, as these flowery, cup-cake, children grow toward adulthood, they need the sanctuary of ‘safe spaces’ and laws against ‘hate speech’ to protect them from being offended by nasty words or opinions that differ from theirs.
Somewhat ironically, then, in this respect the world created by left-wing liberals actually inflicts upon their children what these kids see as unreasonable standards and demands. They do this negatively by failing to supply them with what they are given to assume is theirs rightfully, due to an inherent sense of privileged entitlement. These delicate little flower children are as a consequence psychologically damaged beyond measure, at least as understood by the prevailing liberal standards. They are potentially or actually mentally traumatised by these terrifying ordeals and we are all responsible for fixing them – pharmacology and psychiatry is the way to go.…..except it’s not.
The root problem, in the first place, is that since the 60’s Malcolm and Cressida have been breeding successively weaker (mentally) and more selfish flower children. So closeted, shallow, self-obsessed, and disengaged from naked reality are these children that they now appear imbued only with a deep sense of entitlement with which to deal with any of life’s challenges passing their way. This typically turns to resentment along with childish frustration whenever they are thwarted – a reaction that continues deep into adulthood for many. The difficulty is compounded significantly by almost never having had to deal with the consequences of their own actions or indeed pay the piper (because the parents did that for them). The broader social result of this plays out in universities up and down the country where Malcolm and Cressida’s offspring inevitably turn up, again because of their God given ‘right’ to be there.
But what has all this to do with childhood mental health? The answer is, everything. Many, not all, but many of these so-called mental health diagnoses are very probably just plain nonsense. Space dictates that no serious attempt can be made here to summarise all the relevant studies and papers available but, if interested in pursuing it further, I suggest following up on some of the more controversial ‘disorders’ that children are already being labelled with because, believe me, there really is a huge body of work suggesting that some of these ‘disorders’ should be treated with a good deal of caution if not suspicion (personally I’m inclined toward the latter in many instances). I can't do the work for you here, this is a relatively short article not a text book, but even cursory research online will bear much enlightenment.
Of course, in typical fashion the liberals profiting from this drive to establish a world of child mental health will gloss over any suggestion that controversy exists regarding such diagnoses. In fact this has been pretty much the default position for some time with leftist media and reporting so you can expect that trend to continue. What, however, they don’t anticipate and remain seemingly blind to is the implications of this clambering to medicalise all and sundry undesirable behaviour as diagnosed and labelled ‘behavioural problems’. An obvious implication is the age-old and well documented (e.g. Laing, Foucault) difficulties resulting from labelling young people in the first place with mental disorders – some of which they may very well not have. Beyond this, though, is the very real possibility of condemning these children to a life-long dependency on State funded treatment and welfare support.
Turning children into 'victims' with so-called mental 'illnesses' needing chemical or therapeutic 'treatment' might seem like a good idea for a while - especially if you're a weak parent. but the long-term prospects for these kids is bleak, very bleak. Any superficial benefit of explaining (or excusing) bad behaviour, poor performance, and children that were otherwise just plain ‘hard work’ is likely to be short-lived. Their now clinically justified unacceptable behaviour, under-achieving, or frantic mood swings will take on a new, defining, perspective. This will violate their personality and future far more deeply and permanently than anything they apparently ‘suffered’ because the adults in charge were incapable of just ‘getting a grip’.
And this brings us to a pertinent closing point: it really is the adults, all of them, responsible for these children that are the problem - not just the parents or the children themselves. The unnecessary medicalisation of children’s behaviour, like the sectioning of political dissidents or lobotomising of unrelenting criminals in the past, is a true affront to humanity and huge step backwards.
Fools continue to leap in where angels have long feared to tread.