Protesters Claim Psychiatry Targets Children for Profit

May 26, 2000, 01:00 ET from Citizens Commission on Human Rights

    CHICAGO, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 1,500 parents, children and
 educators wearing Black and white T-shirts saying, "Psychiatry: Trolling for
 Patients in a School Near You," recently protested against the increasing
 numbers of children being diagnosed with "mental disorders" such as Attention
 Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which they say has become a
 "profit-making industry" at the expense of our schools.
     The march was organized by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)
 and joined by members of the National Association of Evangelists and Citizens
 for Excellence in Education, as well as medical doctors, including leading
 alternative health doctor, Julian Whitaker and pediatric neurologist, Dr. Fred
 Baughman Jr.
     With the number of children labeled ADHD having risen alarmingly to
 4.4 million, protesters blamed the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for
 creating one of the most lucrative psychiatric inventions to date, pointing
 out that ADHD was literally voted into existence by a show of psychiatrists'
 hands.  It was then placed in the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for
 Mental Disorders (DSM) as a billing code for psychiatrists and today
 represents an annual $670 million market in the mental health industry.
     Pediatric neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman stated, "Twenty five years of
 research has failed to validate ADHD as a disease, or as anything wrong within
 the child. ADHD has no biologic/organic or scientific validity whatsoever, it
 is a total fraud."
     Bruce Wiseman, the national President of CCHR, said schools have been
 turned into a conduit for psychiatrists to label a child with ADHD.
 "Psychiatrists are trolling for patients in a school near you.  Child
 marketing practices and prospecting feeder-lines have been quietly but
 thoroughly woven into the fabric of today's education system by psychiatrists
 and psychologists.  In some schools, teachers have been told to conduct
 questionnaires on children based in the APA's DSM and to refer the answers
 through to local psychiatric clinics."
     Roman and Patricia Weathers, parents who joined the protest, couldn't
 agree more.  Their son, Michael, was referred through his school to a school
 psychologist and later psychiatrist because his "learning development" was
 considered abnormal and required "medication."  Mr. Weathers said, "Within
 6 months, Michael, normally a playful child, was withdrawn and not socializing
 with the other children.  He was then diagnosed with 'social anxiety disorder'
 and prescribed an antidepressant.  He began having wild mood swings and was
 arguing irrationally. When we wanted to take Michael off the drugs, we were
 told that he could be dismissed from school."  The parents were also
 threatened with a charge of medical neglect.  The Weathers had Michael tested
 by a general practitioner who discovered undiagnosed food allergies which were
 manifesting as irrational behavior.  Since being properly treated, he is now
 interested in sports, communicates well, has a good attention span, is eating
 and sleeping well and has blossomed.
     Protesters blame the prevalence of school violence, the "dumbing down" of
 students and the lack of values among many youths on psychiatric and
 psychological interference in our schools.  Wiseman summarized this:
 "Dismantle a tradition of educational accomplishment by introducing a
 value-neutral system along with a heavy emphasis on diagnosing student
 problems and behavior as a 'mental disorder,'  accompanied by potentially
 violence-inducing psychiatric drugs, and we have a powder keg waiting for a
     "We cannot as a nation, as legislators, teachers or as parents, continue
 to play a game of Russian Roulette with our children's lives.  Schools must
 not be a conduit for psychiatrists and others to push their assessments,
 'disorders' and treatments which are wreaking so much havoc on the minds of
 our youth."

SOURCE Citizens Commission on Human Rights