Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not a disease?

I thought to share this with you all because if you have a child who was diagnosed as suffering from ADD or ADHD, then you would want to watch this video. I remember when my stepson was diagnosed, my husband fought tooth and nail to stop him being given medication. Thankfully, he managed to convince the rest of the family to hold off administering the pills. Today, the boy is a healthy, happy and bright young adolescent. The problem at the time of diagnosis was that he didn't pay attention -- and that's because he was bored and too bright to bother!!! So don't let them fool you into drugging up your child--not because a teacher or a doctor says he or she has just such a "disease". Dr. Szasz (photograph by Jeffrey A. Schaler) gives here a candid speech about the meaning of disease. He mentions how women in the past used to be diagnosed with "hysteria" (said to be caused by a "wandering womb") when they strayed from domestic "bliss", rebelled against their husbands, or for any other nonsensical reason deemed objectionable in a male dominated world. Has anyone read Robin Schone's "Scandalous Lovers"? I believe this issue has been mentioned in a historical romance novel or two, particularly Victorian era novels, but in Schone's book it takes center stage.

When you watch this video, make sure not to miss the quip about "spring fever" :-).

Just in case you're wondering who Dr. Szasz is--the man himself is professor emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York. He criticizes the stronghold that modern medicine has on society. This is from Wikipedia:

"Thomas Stephen Szasz (pronounced /sas/; born April 15, 1920 in Budapest, Hungary) is a psychiatrist and academic. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York. He is a prominent figure in the antipsychiatry movement, a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as of scientism. He is well known for his books, The Myth of Mental Illness (1960) and The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement which set out some of the arguments with which he is most associated.

His views on special treatment follow from classical liberal roots which are based on the principles that each person has the right to bodily and mental self-ownership and the right to be free from violence from others, although he criticized the "free world" as well as the Communist states for its use of psychiatry and "drogophobia". He believes that suicide, the practice of medicine, use and sale of drugs and sexual relations should be private, contractual, and outside of state jurisdiction."

Ok, so before I bore you to death, here's the video...