Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Times Are Changing: Let's Medicate

Below are three quotes taken from Boys Adrift, written by Leonard Sax.

“Forty years ago, even thirty years ago, there was no shame in a young man choosing a career in the trades. Beginning in the early 1980s-and particularly after publication of the Nation at Risk report in 1983-a consensus grew in the United States that every young person should go to college, regardless. “Vocational education” lost whatever prestige it had, and came to be viewed in some quarters very nearly as a dumping ground for the mildly retarded.”

“Traditionally, one of the factors driving Western society has been the fact that women prefer successful, affluent men over men who are less successful. Because men understood that women would be reluctant to marry men who couldn’t comfortably support a wife and children, men were motivated to be successful. That simple mechanism has suffered a double whammy in the past forty years. First, sex has been divorced from marriage. Second-and here’s what’s really disturbing to those of us in the over-thirty crowd-sexual satisfaction has been divorced from women altogether.”

“Thirty years ago, if a boy cursed his parents and spit at his teacher, the neighbors might say that the boy was a disobedient brat who needed a good spanking. Today, the same behavior from a similar boy might well prompt a trip to the pediatrician or the child psychiatrist. And the doctor is likely to ‘diagnose’ the boy with Conduct Disorder (DSM-IV 312.82) or Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (DSM-IV 313.81). The main criterion for both these ‘disorders’ is disobedient and disrespectful behavior that persists despite parental efforts.’ Is there really much of a difference between a neighbor saying ‘That boy is a disobedient brat,’ and a doctor saying ‘That boy has oppositional-defiant disorder’? I think there is. If another parent whom you trust and respect suggests that your son is a disobedient brat who needs stricter discipline, you just might consider adopting a tougher parenting.”

Tim Challies has written a full review on the book, which can be read here (I recommend you read it).

Some questions:
-Have times changed?
-What is "success"?
-Does it appear that society has become a "drug-addicted" society? I.e. Responsibility is not expected because you have a disorder (not your fault) that can be medicated.
-How do we "fix" these issues personally? Culturally?
-Do you even view this as a problem or is it a step in the right direction for culture as a whole?


Craig said...

Times have chaneged. I take the the approach to success just as some take beauty. Success is in the eye of the beholder. Two examples, first, someone might be career oriented and do not want children. Others are satisfied with a decent job and a great family. Secondly, I have been collecting sports memorabilia. I think I have been successful thus far, but others who are more extreme would not or people who are not interested would not. I guess what I am trying to say is that people set their own standards.

I think our soceity is extremely overly medicated. When I was a kid I played outside daily. Now kids are playing video games and watching tv all day. So when they hyper the first thing they want to do is give them medication. This may be the correct response, but in most cases I think it is an option given prematurely.

I do see this as a problem and I think if we went back to God's plan for the family there would not be as much trouble. There wouldn't be as many children in broken families. There is no order in the home anymore. Both parents are forced to work, to keep kids out of trouble they keep them overly involved in extra curicular activities. Instead of being parents. Or they have kids unmarried and the kid either grows up without a mom and a dad or they are shipped back and forth. Furthermore, kids are maturing way to fast. We need to let kids be kids. These situations can be emotionally straining on children.

valerie said...

Absolutely times have changed, in every sense of the word. "Success" is no longer measured by what you have, but how much you have. Before you were successful if you had a job, a home, food on the table, decent clothes (mended if need be), a vehicle, and a family if desired. Now instead on focusing on just HAVING those things our society focuses on what KIND of things. Certain type of car, size of house, brand of clothes...granted some people aren't this way, but even those of us that say we aren't in some way fail this test.

Medication has gotten to the point of ridiculous today. Working in the public school system I see this at its height. Between kids selling their meds to other kids, to "ADHD" kids who get medicated to the point that all they can do is sleep to the parents that WANT to find something wrong with their kids and get them medicated so they don't have to DEAL with's enough to make me scream. Many of the "problems" that our society medicates today I feel are things that our ancestors lived with on a daily basis successfully, but our society just doesn't want to "deal" with them, so they pop a pill to make their lives seem easier. We need to focus more on couseling kids that have problems focusing so they can learn how to deal with it and control it in the real world on their own. Instead of telling them "We're going to fix your problem with a medication," we need to tell them, "I know you have a problem...lets look for the best way for you to control this so you can live a happy life." Again, our society and it's infinate search for the easiest way out of everything.