How do we deal with our seriously distressed children and adolescents?
Adolescents are in a period of seeking autonomy and self-determination. These qualities can aid them in becoming agents of active transformation in their own lives. For one to recover from distress they are in need of being able to regain hope and to have an effective exercise of their free will. (Breggin Christian Dvorak Jersey Sale , 1996). Adolescents based on their experiences formulate thoughts and feelings and begin to create values and meanings for themselves.
Those adolescents who are suffering from serious emotional distress have become lost on this path to finding meaning in their lives. Once this occurs, they begin to develop anguish and self-defeating responses to life. This creates in them anxiety and despair leading towards what some would call 'madness? (Breggin, 1991). These adolescents must learn to feel empowered once again, and not to feel labeled as an ?it?, not to be viewed through the lens of their particular diagnosis and categorization they have been ascribed. These adolescents need coaches and individuals who will aid them compassionately and empathetically in navigating and negotiating through life's stresses.
The therapist and others must look upon the distressed adolescent with dignity. To look upon the adolescent through 'scientific? or ?objective? means leads us to the tendency to diagnosis and control the person, to impose our own abstract and potentially oppressive category upon them and to manipulate the outcome.
Physical interventions Niklas Hjalmarsson Jersey Sale , such as psychotropic drugs, restraints, and enforced confinement to mental hospitals or residential treatment facilities are a part of this desire to control rather than truly aid and come to an understanding of the distress the adolescent is experiencing (Breggin and Breggin, 1993, a&b). Psychotropic medications with these seriously distressed individuals only deal with symptoms, they blunt certain functions to make the person more tolerable and amenable to societal expectations. Psychotherapy Shane Doan Jersey Sale , on the other hand, focuses on the subjective changes in patient's feelings and on actual changes in lifestyle or conduct of life (Fisher & Greenberg, 1989).
Based on the viewpoints of biopsychiatry, adolescents who are medicated and placed in mental hospitals are labeled as improved when they conform to hospital demands or receive discharge. However, what is not examined is, how do the patients themselves actually feel? An estimated 180 Clayton Keller Jersey Sale ,000 to 300,000 young people a year are placed in private psychiatric facilities. These children and adolescents often feel powerless in these placements. But as mentioned above, it is the need for feelings of empowerment and hope that will lead to a genuine recovery from distress. Psychologist D.L. Rosenhan lead a study where ?pseudopatients? had themselves admitted to psychiatric hospitals to experience them first hand and report on this experience. Rosenhan reported in an article appearing in the January 19, 1973 issue of Science, ?Powerlessness was evident everywhere?He is shorn of credibility by virtue of his psychiatric label.
His freedom of movement is restricted. He cannot initiate contact with staff, but may only respond to overtures as they make. Personal privacy is minimal?? With children and adolescents it is easier to rationalize away their rights and control becomes more arbitrary and complete (Breggin Authentic Christian Dvorak Jersey , 1991). Psychiatrist Peter Breggin states that in such an environment ?it is hard for a child to resist feeling spiritually crushed, abandoned, and worthless under such conditions. With a less formed sense of self than an adult has, a child is less able to resist the shame attached to being diagnosed and labeled a 'mental patient?. Children may also find it much harder to conform to institutional life.
They are naturally energetic, rambunctious, at times strident Authentic Niklas Hjalmarsson Jersey , often noisy, and resistant to control. If a boy doesn't conform, he is considered ?ill? and can be subjected to physical restraints, solitary confinement, and toxic drugs. (Breggin, 1991). It should be mentioned that the drugs commonly used for severely distressed adolescents are the same as those used for adults Authentic Shane Doan Jersey , most frequently the neuroleptics. These medications are reported to cause lack of energy, painful emotions, motor impairment, cognitive dysfunction and tend to ?blunt; the personality of the treated patients as well as having a risk for the development of tardive dyskinesia, a permanent and debilitating neurological problem (Gualteri and Barnhill, 1988).
These drugs subdue the adolescent into conformity by blunting the brain Authentic Clayton Keller Jersey , but never do they teach the child how to develop meaning, how to cope, nor do they allow the adolescent to express his pain and emotional distress that is within. The adolescent is merely sedated to make his behaviors more manageable to adults. The adolescent learns nothing. The adolescents who are suffering from severe emotional distress are in conflict. They have internalized feelin