A few months ago, I did a post about out-of-control children who seemed to be the product, not of biological pathology, but of boundary-free parenting. A couple of weeks ago, I did a post about parents who were afraid to exert control over their children because of their fear of Child Protective Services. And last night, I finally got around to watching a Frontline that’s been sitting on our TiVo, which discussed the huge increase in children diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (which is the new ADHD), after their parents and their teachers failed to control them. These children are then given a whole pharmacopoeia of drugs. The show’s focus was the fact that the drugs haven’t been tested on children, but I couldn’t help wondering whether many of these children were being mistreated by being given drugs in the first place.
As with the out-of-control children in the first mentioned post, where I freely admitted that I’m sure a number of them have genuine organic problems, I’m equally sure that many of the children diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or ADHD have true organic disabilities. But all of them? The millions suddenly getting these diagnoses? I do wonder whether, if one did a Venn diagram of the issues raised in my three posts, one would discover that there’s a substantial overlap between parents who are afraid to parent, parents who have children who are out-of-control because they have no boundaries, and parents who put their children on drugs, which is now a socially acceptable way to control otherwise wild children.