Friday, February 09, 2007

A Gramme is Better than a Damn

Much like the illegal invasion of our country, the issue of drugging children for the syndrome-du-jour is beginning to scare the hell out of me. A grandmother on the radio this morning was lamenting her powerlessness to find a solution for her grandson, who at age ten, is nodding off in the middle of the day and is completely non-functional, since his parents began to use the a chemical nanny at age five. Just try to tell me that this child is not ruined for life.

It's about the Children

I horrify myself with the thought that I might be one of those kids, had I been born a mere decade ago. I was a restless, unruly daydreamer at times as a child. I hated school. I was always fiddling with things, taking them apart, peaking the ire of my mother, when I was unable to reassemble them. I was learning in my own way. My father spanked me only once in his life, because I almost toddled under the wheels of a truck. I remember getting a good shot from mom too. Why? I was pushing every single button I could push, to solicit her anger. I was twisting every knob and toggling every toggle switch. She finally gave it to me. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I deserved every last drop.

My parents used good old-fashioned discipline, applied when it was necessary, not when they felt like it. There is nothing wrong with that. These days, the secular humanist movement believes this to be completely intolerable. They tout the dangers of violence transmitted over generations. Do not misunderstand me. There is always a kernel of truth, to most issues of social dysfunction. As usual, the unprofessional professionals take the fringe data, broadly brush the entire population with it and instantly declare it their moral duty to eradicate all of their hypothetical shortcomings from the normal stream of human behavior. They must be more enlightened and informed than all of those humans, who have moved this species along for thousands of years. Right?

"There's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears-that's what soma is."
- World Controller Mustapha Mond from Huxley’s Brave New World
Substitute the Paddle

Now we have a reckless social policy. When that happens, people look for alternatives. It resembles my town's policy on appliance recycling. You cannot put them out in the trash, yet they have no policy to deal with them. So what happens? You see old monitors, trash compactors and broken TVs on the side of the road.

If you cannot spank a child and your touchy feely timeouts do not work, some parents have discovered that the doctor will be more than willing to prescribe a legal pill, with a legal diagnosis. Then they can proceed to destroy a potentially creative mind, by cutting off its ability to gather and analyze the environmental data around it. The child becomes another animatronic fixture in the home, calm, collected, devoid of offensive behavior, yet completely uninspired. Then you have a budding victim, groomed for dependency on the state.

"If you feel you are not properly sedated, call 348-844 immediately. Failure to do so may result in prosecution for criminal drug evasion." – medicine cabinet voice from film THX-1138
When the Other Shoe drops

I am wondering what it will be like to have an army of ACLU protected sociopath adult zombies, who have had the delicate brain wiring of their youth corrosively dissolved by medication, ambling about in the very near future. They will be committing the crimes of the future, insulated by the victim status of their condition.

"There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence." – Alex from Clockwork Orange

I guess we will be looking at another quick fix social experiment gone awry, with no specific villain you can usher toward the gallows for relief.



RT said...

The past two years I have noticed an encouraging trend. Fewer of my students are on ADD/ADHD medication and fewer are on anti-depressants. More parents and students (sometimes the parents let the child decide)are choosing alternative treatments like following specific diets or the kids just work really hard to compensate for their issues and develop coping skills and strategies to help them succeed. (Imagine that, coping skills.)

Insolublog said...

RT - If its not privileged information I would be curious about the percentages. My personal opinion is that it should be no more than a few kids for an entire school.

RT said...

I don't have legal access to that information. No teacher does. We have to sign IEPs all the time. There are a lot from what I can see, but the kids have files that follow them, some from elementary school, so that definitely adds to the volume of paper I see. I'd say less than 10 percent of the school population...a really big school, btw.

Uber said...

The uber-teen was diagnosed with ADHD by second grade. Deemed gifted here in NC in the first grade and it was suggested I have her tested for ADHD by second grade in KS, mind you, though no behaviorial problems were noted.

This "test" consisted of her teacher and I filling out questionnaires then came the physical examination- basically seeing if she could pat her head and rub her tummy at the same time, I kid you not.

Needless to say, she couldn't and I skipped the meds and moved straight to home education. Not sure if she can pat her head and rub her tummy now or not, been kinda busy with the whole reading/writing/arithmetic thing. heh

Anyhow, you're spot on here. It's sad and alarming, all at once.

fmragtops said...

I've often wondered if the huge move to medicate for everything is not the first step to the Vonnegutian world of Harrison Bergeron

Insolublog said...

rt - Disturbing.

Uber - I am so glad to see that you are not taking the voice of experts as an expert voice.

fm - This is a common theme of fiction. What scares me is the trend of life imitating the art.

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Is there some connection to this and the trend of people who exhibit independent thought going into rehab?

A whole liberal, "if you don't behave like us and agree with us, you must be ill" syndrome?

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

I said "a whole".

Insolublog said...