Life-long mental health labels often begin as childhood quirks, habits and eccentricities. Viewed from any number of other perspectives, mental health labels could be signs of undeveloped genius. Instead, a child’s esoteric, mysterious traits are frequently labeled disorders very early in their growth, having been judged against a narrow, unachievable definition of normal and found deficient.
Children are not designed to meet a strict standard of normal. In fact, no one will ever be contentedly normal – which, of course, brings great joy to psychologists and pharmaceutical companies.
Our society’s standard of normal is far too narrow and inflexible for anyone to meet it.
As a culture, we have grown accustomed to identifying, analyzing, detecting, diagnosing and medicating children – to the point where they would be more ideally raised in a Petri dish than in a neighborhood.
It may be best, then, to be more protective of children and the haphazard, indiscriminate and flagrant way we’ve come to harness and diagnose their abnormalities, damaging their potentials with all of our poking and prodding and pill-popping.
We cannot continue to allow our children to be the sacrifices we make to the mental health industry. We are losing generations of leaders, anarchists, artists, writers, multi-taskers, protesters, Stoics, athletes, soldiers, explorers, scientists, lecturers and teachers who, without the impediment of mental health labels may well have done wonderful things for our nation and our world.
We diagnose, label, treat and medicate, clap our hands together – PROBLEM SOLVED!
It seems we are now happiest when all is quiet; everyone is seated and half asleep.
We may, instead of judging children against a standard of normal, resolve as a culture to provide NO mental health labels to children. We could encourage, instead, individuality. We cannot continue to make it our goal to extinguish a child’s potential before s/he has even had a chance to fully realize it. We could resolve, instead, to leave the psychologists for later in life – for a time when to have a mental health label can be more entertaining, adding dimension to one’s character, rather than interfering with one’s early development.
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