The Psych Approach
an article in The New York Times by David Brooks
(our site's article review)
In a study, a thing called an ACE score was given to 17,000 people after asking them about their experiences with 10 categories of childhood trauma such as abuse, divorce, family members getting declared nuts or thrown in jail.
Brooks says that "The link between childhood trauma and adult outcomes was striking. People with an ACE score of 4 were seven times more likely to be alcoholics as adults than people with an ACE score of 0." And they were six times more likely to have had sex before age 15, and they were twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer, and they were four times as likely to suffer emphysema. People with an ACE score above 6 were 30 times more likely to have tried suicide. But only 3 percent of the students with an ACE score of 0 had learning or behavioral problems in school. Among students with an ACE score of 4 or higher, 51 percent had those problems. Childhood traumas often have enduring neural/mental/emotional effects, making it harder to exercise self-control, or to focus attention, or to delay gratification, etc.
Breggin clearly demonstrates in Reclaiming Our Children that we aren’t actually a nation of crazies and defectives needing to be saturated in psychiatric pharmaceuticals to fix our broken brains
This confirms what most of us have suspected all along: all this drugging of kids to get them to focus, pay attention, and quit acting up is not what Big Pharma paints it to be—brain defects (that the parents had no part in causing so they're off the hook) needing a chemical cure. Rather it is childhood traumas that underlie the focusing and misbehavior problems, as well as some of the physical problems and most of the emotional problems—such as those that incline a person toward suicide attempts. Most of these traumas are either parent/relative inflicted, or the parents or caregivers failed to protect their kids from something very negative and hurtful.
Attention is shifting to the insecure relationships that create the psychological problems that impede learning. Social and emotional problems can outweigh material or intellectual factors as far as their effect on learning goes. And motivation, self-control and resilience are together as important as intelligence in determining success. So schools are hunting for psychological programs that can help students work on resilience, equanimity and self-control. Social and family breakdowns are producing lots of psychological problems, dulling motivation, undermining self-control and distorting lives. One hopes that this shifting of attention toward negative environments will be coupled with a shifting of attention AWAY from blaming kids' brain chemistry which gives doctors the green light to drug our kids silly.
This is your child's brain. This is your child's brain on Big Pharma's drugs. Any questions?
Big Pharma spreading "good health via medicine" across the land