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With every mass shooting, there's a renewed call for stricter gun control laws. The only problem is: guns aren't the only problem. Guns have always been a part of America's culture. As long as the conversation centers exclusively around gun-control we'll continue to neglect something even more important and just as deadly: the growing mental health crisis that has been decades in the making. Where it begins and why may surprise you.
Manufacturers and prescribers of psychiatric drugs are making a killing in America...literally. With each mass shooting that occurs, it's becoming more and more apparent that the real problem we have in this country is one of mental health and poor lifestyle habits.
People in the United States are in a bad state of mind.
It's estimated that around 78 million people in America are on at least one psychiatric drug, with antidepressants accounting for the highest percentage, followed by anti-anxiety drugs, then those prescribed for ADHD. (1)
Out of those 78 million people, more than 1 million are under the age of six.
Broken down even further:
- 274,804 of them are younger than a year old
- 370,778 are aged 2-3
- 500,948 are aged 4-5. (1)
Furthermore, we have approximately eight million children between the ages of 6-17 walking around the halls of our schools on one or more psychiatric drugs (1) - a number which pretty much everyone agrees is actually underreported.
If you have a son, there's a one in five chance (a 42% increase since 2003) he will be diagnosed with ADHD and put on some kind of psychiatric drug by the time he's in high school. There's an even higher chance that it will be a misdiagnosis or unnecessary. Why? There's the usual suspects, of course...Big Pharma kickbacks to pediatricians, the claim of better diagnostic criteria, greater disease awareness, lack of proper psychiatric training by the diagnosing doctor, and so on.
However, there are two ideas I'd like to put forth that are rarely discussed, and I believe they need to be heard.
The first is insurance.
A study from Rutgers-Columbia done between 1996-2006 found that low income families with children on Medicaid were four times more likely to be put on psychiatric drugs than children from more affluent families who could afford private insurance. Not only that, but the children on Medicaid were more likely to be prescribed psychiatric meds for less severe, off label reasons. (2,3)
A big part of the reason is due to insurance reimbursement rates to providers of counseling and therapy. Medicaid often pays less, so healthcare providers who focus on Medicaid patients seem to have developed a different (read: less time-consuming) standard for medicating poor children – even though there are guidelines in place that are supposed to monitor the prescribing of these drugs. Additionally, it's thought that the more economically-challenged families will be less likely to take the time to actually go to therapy or pay any out of pocket cost for drugs. To counter this, Medicaid eliminates cost-sharing for prescriptions for most low-income families, thus making it easier to medicate the child. (2,3,4)
In 2011, Medicaid spent $8 billion on psychotropic drugs – thirty percent of its total budget for drug spending. (5)
As alarming as that is, the second possible reason as to why I believe ADHD diagnoses are increasing is even more disconcerting, and it concerns school districts and government funding for special education programs. Make sure you're sitting down for this.
In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was passed, and it allocated massive federal funds and opened school doors to a flood of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and the psychiatric programs and testing needed to validate them. This paved the way for a massive restructuring of our educational system away from academics, and more towards one pushing behavior-modification programs. In other words, let's not worry too much about actual learning...let's instead focus on creating compliant, obedient citizens. This was followed by the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975, which ensured that children with physical handicaps had access to public education...which was supposed to be a good thing.
Then in 1990, that law was reauthorized and the name was changed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA.) “Handicap” was changed to “Disability”, and the IDEA legislation provided schools with an additional $400 per year for each child in special education. The following year, the US Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released a memo which stated that a child diagnosed with ADHD qualified for special education.
Can you guess what happened next? Of course you can.
The production and use of methylphenidate (Ritalin) increased almost 6-fold between 1990-1995 to meet the explosion of children newly diagnosed with ADHD. This, despite the fact that even though teachers weren't (and still aren't) legally allowed to diagnose a student. All they really had to do was say the child was a disruption in class, which would lead to administrators threatening parents to either medicate the child or have them face expulsion, as well as perhaps a visit from CPS for not providing proper medical care.
Furthermore, IDEA has lead to an increase in vague psychiatric disorder diagnoses such as “Mathematics Disorder” and “Disorder of Written Expression,” as well as ADHD. Never mind that perhaps the issue was just a kid being forced to learn in an unnatural environment, or that maybe the problem was a failure to instruct properly in the first place.
IDEA also contains a “child-find” provision which requires states to actively seek out children who may qualify for special education in order to receive federal special education funding. (6) In Colorado, this “child-find” program starts at birth – so get your act together quickly, neonates.
These increases have led to a cash windfall to school districts. In 1996, the state of Illinois alone had received $72,500,000 in federal Medicaid money. In the 2013-14 school year, the federal government provided an additional $11.5 billion in special education funding through IDEA part B for special education programs around the country. When we combine state and federal funding, there was at least $30.5 billion in additional revenue provided for special education programs in 2013-14, which equates to approximately $4,700 in revenue per special education student. (7) By 2014–15, the number of children and youth served under IDEA was 6.6 million, or 13 percent of total public school enrollment. (8) You do the math.
Schools are in the behavior-modification business, and ADHD is a goldmine.
Side note: In case you've ever wondered why the “greatest country in the world” still subjects their children to an atrocious cafeteria menu, look no further. We know today that an improved diet has been shown to improve behavioral disorders, so schools would be shooting themselves in the foot if they provided better food to their patients...I mean, students. This may also explain the real reason why schools mandate that your child is up to date on their shots. Vaccines destroy the gut, the immune system, and cause inflammation, and all that lovely aluminum utterly destroys a child's brain...causing more learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.
Speaking of shootings and shots...
It's known that many psychiatric drugs – like SSRIs (antidepressants) have side-effects that include aggression, impulsiveness, depression, hostility, mania, suicidal ideations, and homicidal ideations. Some drugs even carry a black box warning (the most severe.) You read that right...antidepressants can actually lead to more depression, murder, and suicide. Never mind they don't seem to work as intended for actually alleviating depression. The fact that they may even have an effect at all is their action on inflammation – which seems to be the main culprit behind depression. (9)
“Between 2004 and 2012, there have been 14,773 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects including: 1,531 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide, 3,287 cases of mania and 8,219 cases of aggression. Note: The FDA estimates that less than one percent of all serious events are ever reported to it, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher.” (10)
Since 1764, there have been 460 reported school shootings in America. From 1764 up until the Columbine shooting in 1999 (235 years) there were 262 reported shootings, with 210 fatalities. From Columbine to present day 2017 (18 years) there were 198 shootings with 248 deaths. (11) At least 36 shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs...that we know of. Psychiatric drug use isn't always made public. (12)
Notice I said, school. Shootings. In America. This doesn't account for other violent attacks, like with knives, swords, or explosives. Nor does it account for incidents outside of school, like at a nightclub or a country music concert, nor incidents that happened in other countries. (13)
Guns have always been a part of American culture, and I'm less inclined to believe they're the real problem, especially in lieu of these statistics. I'd be more apt to keep my eyes fixated on the (relatively) new kid on the block...the pyschotropic drugs and the wanton prescribing of them to anyone that breathes.
We have approximately 9 million children on psychiatric drugs in America, and I'll bet you all the Ritalin in the world that no one bothered to first address some of the most important issues surrounding mental and behavioral performance, cognitive function, learning abilities, and brain health, such as:
- the gut health of the child (digestion, elimination, gut bugs)
- the diet of the child (especially lack of good quality fats and too many sugars)
- the environment of the child (proper light exposure, sleep, circadian rhythms, chronic stress, exposure to too many nnEMFs)
- the amount of time the child spends outdoors, moving their body vs. the amount of time spent indoors on their phone/computer/TV
In short, we need to have a lifestyle intervention, America...because it's destroying us.
From the moment children are born, kids today are being raised with their unmyelinated, aluminum-filled brains fully immersed in a turbulent sea of electromagnetic fields that are causing their brains to short-circuit.
And as I've written about in the past, we have a cell phone addiction that's causing an unusual brain-firing pattern never before seen in the history of human existence. (14)
Add to that an immune system that's been completely wrecked by an ungodly amount of injections of foreign human and animal DNA, heavy metals, antibiotics, weed-killers, bug-killers, and xenoestrogens, and now you want to add ANOTHER chemical or two on top of that - one that's known to cause permanent neural damage?
Kid's brains are literally being rewired - and they're completely helpless to do anything about it. Our culture punishes those who speak out. We don't like rebels. Unfortunately - in a desperate cry for help - some kids speak out in such a way that none of us can ignore.
And just because it hasn't happened to your child, doesn't mean you (or they) won't be affected by it at some point.
Just ask the parents of Columbine...Virginia Tech...Sandy Hook...or any of the other 200 school shootings that have occurred since Columbine. Ask the families of those shot in Aurora...Orlando...and now, Las Vegas.
While we're busy arguing with each other on Facebook about guns, the real criminals are getting away with murder...so stop. If the wholesale slaughter of 20 innocent five and six year olds at Sandy Hook wasn't enough motivation to get rid of guns, I doubt anything will be.
How about we start addressing what's really going on in this country, and start taking some personal responsibility for our health and the health of our children?
Because there's currently over nine million ticking time bombs under the age of seventeen in America, just waiting to grow up and explode.
For additional research on natural solutions for Psychiatric Disorders visit our database on the subject.