By Dr. David West Keirsey (published 1991)
Editor’s Note: It has been about 30 years since my father wrote this article, which was based on his experience in the 50s, 60’s, and 70’s in the American public school system. Unfortunately, the abuse of psychiatry on their victims has gotten much worse and has spread across the world, and not only children in the American public schools are being abused. Old people, babies, the military, and the general public in mostly the “developed world” — are being fooled and drugged to conformity: to the monetary benefit of psychiatry and the drug companies.
Something is wrong with the idea of Attention Deficit. Not just a little wrong, but terribly wrong, and, as it turns out at the turn of the century, tragically wrong. Tragic because it gives the appearance of legitimacy to the practice of prescribing stimulant narcotics for children who are said to be short on attention.
During the 1950s the practice of experimental narcotherapy for so-called “hyperactivity” came into vogue. The drugs of choice were amphetamines such as Benzadrine and Dexedrine, and in the late 1950s, methylphenidate (Ritalin), and pemoline (Cylert). At first only the extremely active boys got zapped with stimulants, maybe one or two per school. But since only a few psychologists complained about this questionable practice, and since the “special education” movement was growing rapidly, more and more teachers demanded that somebody else should be held responsible to put a stop to disruptive behavior in the classroom.
During the 1960s and afterwards only the corrective counselors trained and experienced in the methods of Dreikurs, Erickson, and Glasser knew how to control disruptive behavior in the classroom. Not knowing this, parents turned to those local medics who claimed they could control disruptive behavior with drugs. These medics, knowing that activity level could be dampened with drugs that act on the brain, started experimenting with brain-disabling drugs. They’re still experimenting, but they have multiplied exponentially because the practice is so easy and so lucrative. Now there are millions of kids being drugged, whereas there were only thousands in the 1950s.Continue reading