Having reached the end of The Wire, my step-father and I have moved on to watching The Sopranos, which we’re both really enjoying. In one episode (no long-term series spoilers here don’t worry), the main character’s son steals wine from his school’s chapel and him and a few friends show up to their P.E. lesson drunk, and so his parents are called in for the teachers to impress the severity of their son’s crimes upon them. At this point the school psychologist/psychiatrist (don’t recall) comes in, and says that their son might have ADHD, and he goes through a series of tests, but his parents then say it’s all nonsense and walk out.

I am also reminded of a TV show I saw a while ago where a family of two parents and I believe five children were all on some kind of medication aside from one girl—even the dog, who was taking something for anxiety.

Here are a few indepth articles on this trend:

The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why? by Marcia Angell | The New York Review of Books

The Illusions of Psychiatry by Marcia Angell | The New York Review of Books

I highly recommend Brain Study for more.

I am informed by my doctor-aunt that this is coming over this side of the Atlantic as well. The encroachment of capitalism upon the medical profession described in this second article doesn’t surprise me that much, however distressing this encroachment sounds, but it is the attitude of psychiatrists on the ground treating only with drugs rather than what she calls ‘talk therapy’ because they make more out of it or because they can’t be bothered or whatever is really bad to hear. I suppose living with two nurses who have fairly old-fashioned attitude to healthcare gives me a very warm picture of medical professionals on the ground and my political leanings give me an automatic dim view of business people and scientists creating drugs, but still, it is a little surprising.