Magic City Morning Star
By Elyse Van Breemen
October 10, 2006
It is unpopular with parents. It is being picketed. There is a petition against it. It is called Teen Screen. Its intention is to screen every American teenager for mental illness.
Teen Screen underlies the scheme to screen every American of any age for mental illness. It has its horrors, for the result of the screening is most often a prescription for mind-altering psychiatric drugs.
But a new horror surfaces. Teen Screen and its counterparts are signs of our country moving from cause to effect. "Cause" would mean creating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by positive thought and action. In other words, you make things happen. "Effect" would be having others create and control your life for you, with little liberty or happiness. In other words, things happen to you, you don't make them happen.
Let us go back a century and look at Abraham Lincoln. He was poor and underprivileged; had to walk miles to school. Check your history books. They wrote often about his "melancholy." Look at his sad face. His ambitions and incredible desire to learn might have also earned the title of "obsessive-compulsive personality." Certainly Lincoln would have been labeled "depressed" by modern day psychiatrists and given antidepressants or other mind-altering drugs.
Yet there can be no doubt of Lincoln's leadership; his statesmanship, courage and ability. He brought a divided nation through its most trying times and delivered the potential of freedom to an entire race. He was a causative person who rose above his surroundings and even his emotions.
TeenScreen gets cooperation by the use of a shocking word - suicide. Teens are asked probing, personal questions supposedly designed to root out any signs of depression. TeenScreen questions don't screen for abilities or causation. They are all "effect" questions. "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?" "Have you often felt very nervous when you've had to do things in front of people?" "How often did your parents get annoyed or upset with you because of the way you were feeling or acting?"
Could feelings of depression be the result of a teen's own causation? This question is never even asked. Yet, as anyone who has ever been a teenager or raised a teenager can attest, the teenage years are the years when youth not only question authority but often go against it. They do things that violate the rules and mores they were taught. With their bodies and ideas in flux, they often go against their own best judgment - they do things just to be popular which don't seem right to them.
Commonplace is being cruel to a sibling; disrespectful to a parent; cheating at school, not doing homework, lying, and being promiscuous, even trying drugs. These things add up to lowered self esteem, stress, and depression but in today's world are never addressed. Taking a pill will not cure one's causation, responsibility or lack of it. Medicating our youth can only further lower their causation.
Teen Screen addresses feelings and attitudes, not the causative factor of the individual. Worse, it puts forward an "excuse" for failure and unhappiness. Today's ads on television communicate "take this pill to be happy." Kids are "told" they are the chemical responses in their brains and if they just take a drug, they will be happy and do well.
This is a lie! We all know it. Our country was built on causation, on people rising above their ailments, their feelings, their inadequacies because they had a dream, because they believed in something. They were busy creating a better tomorrow, a better life for themselves and their offspring.
Counseling, before the advent of psychiatry, was done mainly through churches. Ministers often directed individuals to look at their lives, what they were doing that was wrong in some fashion and change it. Prayer, repentance and penance were some of their methods. These methods worked by addressing the causation of the individual.
Teen Screen asks "what inadequacy you feel you have?" It further makes the teen inadequate by sending him or her to a psychiatrist who prescribes a pill that further lowers ability. Drugs lower perception and ability. Don't believe me - read the adverse effects on the labels: decreased sexual interest, feeling sick and anxious, difficulty in remembering, confusion, insomnia, indigestion, diarrhea, tremor, and drowsiness.
Furthermore, the FDA Black Box warning says that antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. No Edison, Mendelsohn or Itzhak Perlman - a man disabled and crippled with plenty of reasons for failure - will come from those "helped" by psychiatric medications.
If I had my way, I would screen kids for abilities, for dreams and ambitions. Then I would help each one to achieve them. You can hardly stop a man who has a dream and works toward it. There are countless stories in history to make man proud of those who achieved wonders despite a poor upbringing or some feeling of inadequacy or momentary depression.
The future is vast and just waiting to be filled. Let it be filled by causative people who actively create a better civilization. Let's move our kids toward cause. The future of Teen Screen and mandatory health screening of every man, woman and child is a population controlled and made effect by psychiatric drugs.
Let's redeem our country, with its very causative roots, by banning Teen Screen and mental health screening, which validates the effect side of life, and makes people more effect. Please sign the petition www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html and send it, causatively, to everyone you know. Then send copies of it to your local school board and officials.
Elyse Van Breemen is an author and activist, currently working on a book on psychiatric abuse. If you have a personal story to tell, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org