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Climbing on furniture and talking too much could lead to a psychiatric diagnosis for your child

By Shelley Wilkins - posted Tuesday, 9 November 2021

A common refrain children down the ages have heard is "you don't know how lucky you are. When I was your age…" with some grown-up saying how they made do with far less and worked harder.

In 2021, I can say with all honesty that children growing up today face an unprecedented threat of a kind never imagined when we were kids.

The last 20 years has seen billions of dollars profit pocketed in medicalising almost every childhood behaviour, labelling them as "diseases."


Of course we all want our children to be happy, healthy and to receive the very best medical care, but is putting our children at risk of psychiatric drugs the answer?

We have seen special interest psychiatric front groups promoting the unscientific "disease" theory for nothing more than a set of behavioural symptoms in our children. Fat with growing government funding, psychiatry continually finds something new to label as a disorder. Dig a little more behind this absurdity and it becomes clear that psychiatry is a profession rife with vested interests posing as independent front groups and advisors. Psychiatry is awash with drug company money.

Think of all the geniuses, great minds and misfits who have utterly changed humankind's understanding of our world in the last 2,000 years with philosophical and scientific breakthroughs. If they were born now, they would likely receive a psychiatric label for their unorthodox behaviour and be put on psychiatric drugs.

Australia already has 99,355 children aged 11 years and under on a psychiatric drug, which have documented dangerous side effects. And unbelievably, 2,522 of these children are aged 4 years and under. When I explain this to parents, they find it difficult to process as truth and initially think it is untrue. I wish it were.

Very young children continue to be prescribed these drugs despite the Australian Government issuing 70 psychiatric drug warnings. These warnings include the risk of insomnia, hallucinations, aggression, depression, psychosis, suicide and heart and metabolic problems. How can this be justified?

Why aren't parents always told about the government warnings for withdrawal symptoms that mean that no one should stop taking any psychiatric drug without the advice and assistance of a medical doctor?


What geniuses are we suppressing with the psychiatric labelling and drugging of our children at such an unprecedented rate?

The latest threat to our children is a recommendation to screen an estimated 1.8 million children under the age of 5 for "mental illness" and "emerging mental illness." Children flagged will be referred for further assessment and "final diagnosis," which is based on a series of questions about behaviour. Nary a scientific test in sight. The end result? All are potentially at risk of ending up with a psychiatric drug prescription.

The "symptoms" of psychiatric disorders being looked for in mental health screening checklists of our kids is appalling. I cannot name one child I have met who would not qualify as having a disorder: climbing on furniture, talking too much, tantrums, difficulty sleeping and losing track of a favourite stuffed toy. Parents of toddlers see this constantly – that is why it is called the "terrible twos."

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About the Author

Shelley Wilkins is the executive director of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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