Friday, July 07, 2006

Screening school children

Today, psychologists are calling for “mandatory, universal behavioral screening” and psychiatrists want mandatory “depression screening.” With a license to inspect every pre-schooler, psychologists falsely claim they can identify those “at risk” of becoming unstable, anti-social and even violent.

One “teen screen” program in the United States claims that if youth were found to be “at risk” and were treated, suicides could be prevented. The “health” survey asks students questions such as, “Has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you just weren’t interested in anything?” “Has there been a time when you felt you couldn’t do anything well or that you weren’t as good-looking or as smart as other people?” With enough checks against the question, the next questionnaire, called the “Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children” (DISC), purportedly checks for 18 psychiatric disorders. Voila! The child is referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist and, usually, prescribed drugs.

Harvard University psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen says the questionnaire of symptoms used to “diagnose” depression “may look scientific,” but “when one examines the questions asked and the scales used, they are utterly subjective measures….”

Such “depression screening” in the general community has undoubtedly influenced the 60 million prescriptions for antidepressants written in the U.S.—about 10% of the American population, including 1.5 million children. England’s “Defeat Depression Campaign” resulted in the “prescribing of antidepressants by general practitioners rising substantially.”

For more info about Teen screening, check out

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