Teachers and all professionals working with children should monitor the use of psycho-active medications like Ritalin as part of their safeguarding duties, says leading Child and Educational Psychologist Dr Brian Apter.Using ADHD drugs to control 'non-compliant' pupils is 'inhumane', say experts Adi Bloom 11th January 2018 ...
12 les parents peuvent protéger leurs enfants de trop nombreuses pilules - Huffington Post Article by Professor Allen Frances and Dave TraxsonMéfiez-vous des pilules poussant par les compagnies pharmaceutiques et les médecins. Publié le 2 Octobre 2014 en Al...
Challenging the saddening relentless rise of depression in our young people in Britain today and its consequences. FOR FULL LINKEDIN ...
A PSYCHOLOGICAL FORMULATION OF MENTAL DISTRESS - THE HPP MODEL COMMENTARY - (TRAXSON, PARKER, ROWLAND AND MATTHEWS 2011)-------"What we need as professionals is a naturalistic narrative of needs NOT a dysfunctional discussion of dubiously diagnosed disorders." - A menu of alternatives to medication is proposed to trigger creative thinking about the options available to deal with behavioural difficulties.FEATURES OF THE HPP MODEL - A multi-dimensional discursive approach - challenging the dominant 'within child' biomed...
Physical Activity Predicts Fewer Symptoms of Depression in Children - Courtesy of the Mad in America websitePhysical Activity Predicts Fewer Symptoms of Depression in Children Increasing physica...
MORE Anti-depressants like Prozac and its competitors may increase the risk of suicide risk in younger users. P...
PSYCHO-ECONOMIC IMPERIALISM (DT 2013) + Two Relevant Articles by Dr Joanna Moncrieff "Psychiatric Imperialism: The Medicalisation of Modern Living," AND "Psychiatric drug promotion and the politics of neoliberalism." SEE HER AND HELP RESIST THIS MODERN DAY COLONISATION OF CHILDHOOD AT CONFERENCE IN MANCHESTER ON JUNE 28th.PSYCHO-ECONOMIC IMPERIALISM = the chemical colonisation of young minds by the use of psychoactive drugs to generate the profitabilit...
BIG PHARMA PROFITABILITY - THE CAUSE OR CONSEQUENCE OF OVER-PRESCRIPTION OF PSYCHOTROPICS FOR KIDS IN THE U.S.http://www.everydaysociologyblog.com/2008/02/are-childrens-p.html Are Children's Psychotropic Medicines Green? By Janis ...
Read and share this great chapter. http://www.sueroffey.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Learning-Healthy-Relationships.pdf
Friday, 19 January 2018
Teachers and all professionals working with children should monitor the use of psycho-active medications like Ritalin as part of their safeguarding duties, says leading Child and Educational Psychologist Dr Brian Apter.
11th January 2018
Teachers should monitor the use of medication like Ritalin as part of their safeguarding duties, says British Psychological Society
The use of ADHD drugs like Ritalin to control "non-compliant" pupils is “politically totalitarian, physiologically inhumane” and reminiscent of Stalin’s Russia, leading educational psychologists have said.
They add that such treatment should be considered the safeguarding responsibility of all professionals involved in the affected child’s care – including teachers.
The British Psychological Society’s division of educational and child psychology has produced a paper outlining its position on the use of drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The paper states: “If we had read…that children in Stalin’s schools…were being forced to take mind-drugs that made them compliant in school, we might have been indignantly outraged, morbidly fascinated but unsurprised.
“If the only symptom of a child’s ADHD is their non-compliant and irritating behaviour, then control and compliance at home and in school achieved using drugs might also appear politically totalitarian, physiologically inhumane, a serious safeguarding issue, and in contravention of basic human rights and freedoms enshrined in international law at this time.”
The paper argues that there are no valid measures or baselines for hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.
The educational psychologists therefore say that they are deeply concerned about the diagnosis and treatment with psychotropic medication of young children. They say that no child under the age of six should be prescribed drugs such as Ritalin.
And older children should only be given these drugs if they have provided informed consent to the treatment, they add.
“Such treatment must be considered a primary safeguarding responsibility of all involved professionals,” they state.
In addition, they argue that the use of such medication to control pupils’ behaviour, when that behaviour is not causing the affected pupils any distress, would be an infringement of their human rights.
“Put plainly, using…psychotropic medication to coerce, control or manage a child or young person’s behaviour, just because they were uncompliant with institutional rulesor an adult’s instruction would be ethically unacceptable,” they say.
They argue that there is a “subtle but pernicious educational and psychosocial side-effect” of medicating children for ADHD: it implicitly teaches them that “their behaviour problems are beyond their responsibility and agency, and only drugs can help them”.
They therefore conclude that there are immediate and long-term risks from such medication. “Medication should be a last resort, after psychological and educational interventions have been properly tried,” they state.
Challenging the saddening relentless rise of depression in our young people in Britain today and its consequences.
FOR FULL LINKEDIN ARTICLE CLICK ON THIS LINK:
FOR FULL LINKEDIN ARTICLE CLICK ON THIS LINK:
Most surveys of young peoples’ psychological wellbeing and mental health over the last two decades show a sharp rise in indicators of depression and sleep disturbance which may in itself be a contributory factor along with heightened levels of social isolation and social anxiety. h has raged for decades there is very rarely a simplistic answer or cause for many issues but especially a young person’s state of mind at a crucial stage of development. Multi-causal explanations are much more likely to explain the situation better.
There are many drivers is not possible for all of this increase to be accounted for by an epidemic of a biologically based condition. As we know from the ongoing ‘Nature - Nurture Debate’ which in society, after at a period of long-term Austerity, for all or most young people which may impact on their state of mind, stress levels and the likelihood of harm to their overall mental health and wellbeing. Some of these will be the pressures for academic success to ensure employment which has been a huge issue for a decade; their need to conform to stereotypes of gender, beauty, and their chosen subculture; the increase in bullying behaviour with the advent of cyber-bullying which aggressively invades their private world and bedrooms; and the western obsession with wealth, the burgeoning celebrity culture and the perceived need by young people for the latest must have accessories from phones and clothes to cars and expensive holidays. Any perception of a shortfall on any of these can be a major factor in the young person’s deteriorating feelings of belonging, self-worth or having mental health difficulties. Then there are other significant factors like loss and bereavement which are bound to have a negative impact but with the right support a young person will cope better with it and certainly the young person is not mentally ill for feeling the way they do naturally.
Another crucial factor is that some young people are much more resilient and can bounce back from adversity better, some having better support groups or circle of friends around them which can be a major protective factor for mental health. Likewise some young people will find better outlets for their frustration with the world such as using physical activity which is proven to be very effective at inoculating them from depression as shown in recent articles in medical journals like the Lancet.
This complex pattern of factors is totally personal to the individual and differing formulations will lead to unique responses in the individuals we are concerned about. One thing that is certain to Educational Psychologists is that there will be no ‘quick fix’ either individually or collectively for these woes. Indeed people thinking that anti-depressant medication is the answer are also left floundering in a sea of misinformation and poor quality research findings where successful outcomes have been systematically ‘cherry picked’ to boost the sales of the drug company’s profitable products. There is also the fact, as illustrated by the ‘black box warnings’ on drugs in the States issued by the Federal Drug Agency that initially some SSRI anti-depressants can double the risk in the short term period, of two months, of suicidal thinking and action. This is because they raise the young person’s energy level before they raise their dark mood thus being implicated in some of the mass shootings we are witnessing where recent changes in drug treatment may have been a factor such as in the infamous Columbine School incident. In young men in Britain between 18 - 25 today suicide is sadly the highest cause of death for that age group which is a national tragedy alerting us to complex causation of the problem.
Many mental health professionals are now actively questioning the previous generations collective wisdom of there being a ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain. Senior researchers from highly respected bodies such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the largest mental health research organisation in the world have come out and said that there is a lack of concrete research evidence that proves this assertion over the last forty years of actively seeking it which is a major cause for concern for its credibility.
So the depressing conclusion is that there are few certainties in the field of depression and how it develops at times of crisis like now. All we know is that there are many contributory factors for each human being and that humanistic or naturalistic interventions have the chance of being equally as successful as bottles of pills.
To end with a quote from Johann Harri in his new book published today,”If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of despair is for all of us, together, to begin to meet these needs for deep connection, to the things that really matter in life.”The book is’”Lost Connections: uncovering the real causes of
Sunday, 23 April 2017
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Sunday, 15 January 2017
Choices as to the 'cultural imagining' of the society we want to achieve and the amelioration of negative social constructs to help get there - an opinion piece by Dave Traxson.
What is our “ dominant cultural imagining” for a fair and healthy society and school communities?
(thanks to Dan Goodley 12-01-17
at DECP Conference)
(thanks to Dan Goodley 12-01-17
at DECP Conference)
-the Cultural Amelioration of Negative Social Constructs of Difference
in the Context of Holistic Psychological Formulation.
“A negative focus on difference damages an individual human being’s ability to make relative progress in a range of important skill areas.” DT 2015
Reframing negative constructs of difference to being more positive manifestations of a human being's right to individuality, creativity, and potentiality is a process that is well under way in society but there is still along way to go. Aprocryphal tales abound of young people whose special talents were missed by the adults around them including educators and then suddenly when unleashed led to a transformational levels of progress. One of my own, is a young woman who was two days away from permanent exclusion as a fifteen year old, when I asked an obvious question about what she could see herself doing in her mid-twenties. Without hesitation she said, “ I am going to be a semi-professional footballer and a car mechanic.” No one in the circle of professionals and parents, including the careers guidance officer, knew that, but when the necessary curriculum adjustments were made to achieve this, she thrived and even stayed on to the sixth form to improve her chances further. We also noted profoundlythat she was co-operating previously in all subjects that, she could see, related to her ambition and was not co-operating in subjects that she could not see the relevance of , in achieving her clear goals.
It seems that there may have always been a part of the human condition that fears and often demonises difference in others compared to ourselves. This may have had a Social Darwinistic function for protection, to ensure that ideas and values of our own particular closed subgroup survive and even thrive.
The problem and question for us all is, can this be challenged and can tolerance of social variation 'genes' be woven intentionally into our collective values DNA?
I am optimistic that they can be and already the 'radiation' of ideas from the recent inclusion agenda, that have been emerging for the last thirty years, indicates that a dramatic evolution of societal values can occur e.g. the Tsunami of change occuring in front of our eyes with the massively improved tolerance and understanding of same sex relationships and the consequent legislative changes.
So what if we learn from this journey and apply the same 'selective pressure' to wider areas of intolerance to difference such as mental health or as 'medical modellers' would prefer, mental illness. If we can choose and promote a more socially and psychologically inclusive perspective on the normal range of human behaviours, that we mainly work with, then just imagine the long term benefits to us all:
· less stigmatisation of children and subsequently adults.
· many more people feeling a gteeater sense of belonging.
· a massive reduction in the pathologisation of normality.
· subsequent reduction to the costs of labelling for society.
· a massive gain in individual and collective self-esteem.
· empowerment of people with 'ups and downs' to succeed.
· and a huge improvement in our collective Wellbeing.
· And last but not least massive savings in NHS costs.
The acronym below tries to convey some of the key principles of ameliorating difference as a discriminatory construct:
D- ifference is beneficial to the community in which we live
I - ndividuality should be highly valued in schools and society
V- alidate childrens’ unique contributions to empower inner creativity
E- xpect relative progress by caring target setting and feedback
R- eview the progress achieved regularly and reinforce creativity
S- afety and security are fundamental to mobilising creativity
I- nclusive ethos promotes the value and benefits of diversity
T- reat all childrens’ strengths and abilities as being equal in status
Y- ou are important and deserve personalised planning and outcomes.'
Schools as institutions are driven by uniformity and not creativity based on the wonderfully different skill sets individuals. Sir Ken Robinson in one of his seminal TED TALKS entitled “Schools kill creativity,”(2006 on Youtube) takes this argument to a logical conclusion. To progress successfully into a twenty first century of rapid change and challenge we need to discover the ‘Gold Nuggets’ of creativity that exist in everyone and maximise their abilty to follow their heart and soul in becoming a dancer, artist, sculptor, poet sportsperson or entrepreneur all of which are not as highly valued in our Education System as Maths, Science and English skills.
Cultural amelioration of difference is the systemically valued driver of wanting a school that you work in to collectively promote the importance of the unique human contributions that all children can make to any aspect of a hugely broad menu of curricular pursuits.
It is based on a triad of Ethos/Beliefs driving change in Actions/ Behaviour which in turn promotes collective Emotional Wellbeing/Mental Health.
The 5 Ms of Cultural Amelioration of Difference are :
1. 1. Moderate the use of labels of disability/disorder based on ‘Medical Model’ hinking.
- Modify educational programmes to allow a ‘Punctuation of the Day’ with creative activities that a young person demonstrably enjoys and engages fully in as a healthy learning process that promotes coping and resilience.
- Manage the individual’s needs /wants and the necessary resources to release their inner creative energies.
- Make appropriate adjustments to achieve success.
- Mollify conflict and prejudice against certain creative activities.
“Deliberately demoting difference effects can maximise the normalisation of childrens’ responses, as strengths and not difficulties.”
The ‘Medical Model” promotes ‘within child’ explanations of difficulty whereas the ‘Social Model’ promotes a holistic understanding of causation and possibilities for positive change. We as professionals are duty bound to see and recognise the rich palette of colourful skills as capacities, strengths and contributions which can enrich the sometimes apparent dullness of our communities and society as a whole.
Psychiatry applies the Medical Model conceptualisations to mental distress and anxiety whereas the new field of Psychological Formulation expounds an optimistic approach that maps the ‘Ordnance Survey Map’ of a young human being’s multi-various attributes, potentials, personality variables, interests and strengths and plots them in a way can help them determine the exciting journey that they are keen to embark on.
What is important is not to focus on arbitrary and prejudicial labels that are proliferating currently but to understand the complex web of interactions that results in an individual's mental distress. Understanding the interactive nature of a person's difficulties is a more progressive and inclusive way of finding how we can help them to succeed fully in an evermore complex world.
Reducing the continuous focus on difference and threat,that we see daily in our chosen media, axiomatically helps us to realise how similar we are and by focussing more on our 'common ground' we will develop the humanistic potentials of all individuals in our improved societies.
In essence creativity at all levels is the vibrant solution to our current shared ills and appreciating uniqueness and difference is the shared vehicle for progress.