America’s dirty secret
photo source: flickr.com/photos/erix
It is with regret I write this particular post. I do not want to touch this subject because it is so inflammatory, painful and controversial. But it is necessary to speak of it because it involves a topic that is very close to my heart: the health of our children. With the rash of killings instigated by teenagers or young adults over the past twenty years, America is now embroiled in a high pressure debate. For instance, banning certain kinds of guns, and restricting violent movies and videos.
All these debates and issues are of tremendous importance. Guns should not be readily available to a sixteen year old boy, and certain kinds of guns should be off limits for anyone in the general public.
But another painful issue is not discussed. It is America’s dirty secret. I will not call it a little secret. No. It is big and tragic. The newspapers, police, doctors, and journalists shy away from this topic even if they have heard rumors about it. America tops the world in these, shall we call them “teenage” killers, though not all are still in their teenage years. Why is this so? And why are many of these inexplicable “killers”: white middle class males?
The reasons are complex. How do we raise our kids today? Perhaps not enough love and home care, too much violence in games and on the screen. Perhaps our obsession with status and money, and the fact that young kids do not run around outside, invent games and be creative, like they used to before the age of mega entertainment on the computer and television. What is the quality of education in the schools and do young boys or girls need a steady diet of sit in a classroom all day long five days a week. All these issues, and others are very important, but in the national discussions we shy away from the dirty secret. It is shameful.
The secret is that many of these middle class kids who murdered were seeing psychiatrists, and those doctors were prescribing anti-depressants and other medications. These drugs are foreign to the biological life of human beings. They have never been used before in such huge numbers, and their effect on the human brain and emotions are not really understood by the priests of drug dispensation. The highest warning on a prescription drug requires a black box warning: potential serious side effects; all these drugs have this warning. The side effects can include depression, anxiety, rage, and suicidal thoughts, and many other equally distressing symptoms. It is important to emphasize that the use of these drugs for adults seems to be safer and more predictable.
I am not qualified to make a definitive statement but we can reasonably ask: do these drugs, which many admit are over-prescribed, send certain troubled boys over the edge? The power of the drug industry, the billions of dollars, prevents a honest scrutiny of this explosive issue. But there are some,including doctors, who are highly suspicious, but we are a tiny minority. We are little candles blowing in a huge storm.
For the past twenty years the list of these “damaged young men” is a long one. And they are a quite recent phenomenon: hmm… does the rapid increase in these horrific killings coincide with the huge popularity of the new psychiatric drugs? And most of these troubled lads were not only on one of these drugs but two or even more. Some, their records are closed. Why is this? No one knows the short or long term effects of these chemical brews– not the best pharmacist in the world, No one knows what a mixture of these prozacs can do on the young brain and nervous system. I repeat, no one knows, and their application is not, I repeat not scientific medicine. For me, it is tragic and shocking that this secret is so covered up and that we cannot even have an honest dialogue about it.
Our medical culture is extremely successful, rich and powerful, and it is wedded to the paradigm of pharmaceutical drugs which is a billion dollar industry. Americans cannot step out of the box. I can speak because I am not in the box, and I have had thirty years of experience validating the benefits of holistic and ecological medicine. The general public and powers that are cannot even imagine that this “drug culture” is seriously flawed. And that is the end of the discussion.
For those who wish to explore this extremely important topic more there are affirmative avenues which I will discuss in another blog. One can also read Doctor Whitaker’s honest take: a February 2013 newsletter–drwhitaker.com. A straight talking holistic physician Dr. Whitaker is courageous enough to tackle this very touchy subject.
Those of us who adamantly oppose the wholesale use of medical drugs on the young and teenagers have little say in the America of today. But as I have said throughout these blogs the future of our planet depends on sensible choices, a blend of scientific and holism, We must stand up and speak. Will we be the first generation–and possibly the last–to raise our children on an appallingly high diet of medical drugs: from flu shots, to abuse of antibiotics, to the very worst: overuse of drugs that modify the brain and the moods. I am not opposed to a conservative use of any pharmaceuticals that have proven their worth clinically. I seriously question the abuse of psychiatric drugs on the young. America, we can do much better.