What is it like to be a ‘below average’ student in a culture that increasingly drugs children to induce conformity?
‘Minimum Max’, a short film created by high school student Josh Ovalle, presents the viewer with a modern day dilemma that many kids are faced with. In an educational system that demands conformity and uniformity, being labeled ‘below average’ exposes a child to increased time at school with tutors, a more rigorous daily schedule, and the stigma of being lesser than the other kids. In addition to the extra work involved, many ‘below average’ or unmanageable kids are diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD and are put on mind-altering medications as a means of correcting their behavior and inducing conformity.
I don’t know how to explain them except for mental handcuffs. They take everything you like and make you hate them. And they don’t replace any of your likes with any other likes, you just end up hating everything. – Minimum Max
Having already been prescribed Strattera, Vyvanse, Concerta and several forms of Ritalin, young Max is able to see through his situation with the clarity of an adult and understands that he has the choice of taking the medications or working overtime to conform to the rigors of a standardized educational system that would rather drug young children than offer them more freedom in their education.
Recently, a CDC study indicated that close to 11 percent of American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and over 3.5 million children are taking prescription medications for this ‘problem.’ Democracy Now and The New York Times recently exposed how the pharmaceutical industry oversells ADD and ADHD medical diagnoses through advertising and through promoting self-examinations that falsely lead people to believe they are suffering from a condition that requires perpetual medication.
In a climate like this, where children are beginning to speak out about the unbearable side effects, and adults are beginning to acknowledge the profit motive and fraudulent concerns involved with prescribing these drugs, parents should by now have enough evidence and reason to consider alternatives to drugging their children with psychotropic medication.
There are many natural ways to calm the overactive mind of a child, including simple things such as limiting a child’s exposure to media and electronics, improving their diet by eliminating processed foods and common neuro-toxins like MSG, Aspartame and High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Meditation and participation in certain sports like swimming, martial arts and Yoga are excellent ways of developing a young person’s attention span and focus, while improving their physical health. Viable alternatives to public education in the forms of private schooling, homeschooling and even unschooling.
The over-drugging of the nation’s youth is becoming an epidemic that is sadly forcing too many budding minds into a conformist trap that harms their mental health in the long run. As young Minimum Max so plainly points out, the options we are offering our children contradict their natural inclination towards activity, creativity, and the need for play.
Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com where he indulges in the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for mankind.