As a kid I was terrified of school. I felt ripped away from my happy cozy home and my mother, who was so nice to me, and delivered into the hands of angry yelling teachers with wild hair who bossed me and my classmates around in one breath, and in another told us how free this country was. I didn’t understand why I had to go school. I had been so happy at home and now I was so miserable. And the text books! Filled with facts I had to memorize about copper and manganese, and rice and cocoa exports from countries I had never heard of. I was so uninterested I felt like crying half the time. When school let out at 3, I practically ran all the way home, and counted with dread the number of hours until I had to go back. So even if I didn’t already think that attention deficit disorder and its flotilla of related disorders were a complete fraud perpetrated by the drug companies to sell pills like Ritalin, the recent New York Times piece about the over-diagnosing and medicating of young children would have reminded me that I would likely have been one of those medicated children. I was fearful, anxious, painfully shy, easily embarrassed, and had trouble concentrating. But only in school. Why doesn’t anyone ask about the role the school plays in creating anxiety and fear in children? Why does the school become invisible, as though it’s the last place in the world to look for a clue to why a child is disturbed? It’s as though the school doesn’t exist. It was bad enough in my school days, but then there was no pied piper of pharma, luring school kids and their parents into the sea of alleged mental illness. Today large numbers of school kids are being medicated with absolutely no attention to why they are disturbed. The disturbance is called a symptom, the symptom is called a disorder, the disorder is given a diagnosis (fancy word for name) and called treatable through medication. Pills are prescribed, and the drug companies keep on churning out colossal profits. Companies are regularly sued for developing and promoting diagnoses in order to sell the drug to “treat” them. But as of today, the pharmaceutical companies are patiently working (behind the scenes of course) to limit lawsuits against them. Scandalous. No one had to develop and promote cancer.
PS Just before posting this, I Googled “teachers yelling”. Studies show that “a child’s brain actually stops functioning when it’s being yelled at and it can’t accept new information. They just turn off – and feel bad about themselves.