I’ve shared a lot about my past experiences working within our local school district and how I saw my story repeating itself with abused and neglected children being heavily medicated on psychiatric medications and shuffled through our broken systems. When the counselor of the school told me CPS has always been the way they are and that we just need to hope they make it out like I did, I was outraged on the inside! Innocent kids were being set up to fail because this community simply refuses to follow the laws that were put in place many years ago about children’s welfare and their rights as the most vulnerable.
Since I began my journey as an advocate and activist, I’m finally reading Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk’s book, “The Body Keeps The Score,” his book validates so much of what I’ve been speaking up about mental health issues and a failed mental health system that’s making billions of dollars on people who don’t even know what they’re experiencing.
According to Dr. Van Der Kolk, half a million kids in the United States are placed on antipsychotic drugs. Children from low-income families are four times as likely as children with private insurance to be placed on antipsychotic drugs. These medications are given to abused and neglected children to make them more manageable to deal with, but it actually interferes with their motivation, play, and curiosity and eventually sets them up to fail as a contributing member of society.
The author also mentioned Sigmund Freud’s statement in his early years of psychiatry regarding the diagnosis we are familiar with known as schizophrenia. He said, “These people aren’t suffering from visions and paranoia caused by schizophrenia. They’re suffering from painful memories.”
As I read this book written by a man who fully understands our painful world when it comes to mental health and trauma, I feel so validated and just want to shout at the top of my lungs even more by reiterating what I’ve been saying! “YOU’RE NOT CRAZY!!” With all the schools jumping to train for an active shooter, I often think back on my experiences as an educator who witnessed the main key factor our kids in schools are missing, which is proper mental health support. People who have no idea what we go through and how much our thoughts are distorted that changes the physiology of our brains and makes us seem mentally ill really need to re-educate themselves about trauma because it’s not a mental illness and we don’t need medication to fix our wounded souls. What we need is a strong understanding community who realizes when we’re wounded through relationships, it takes genuine relationships to heal.
When you go back in history with the mass shooters or any murder or violent offenders, it all goes back to the same thing- adverse childhood experiences that aren’t properly addressed in our systems. Schools-instead of being reactive, why not be proactive about a child’s cries for help and stop blaming such horrific crimes and behaviors on mental illnesses that’s rooted in trauma.
My story is a testament to this fact that many are ignoring and it’s time we start addressing adverse childhood experiences and the psychological damage one experiences instead of pretending like avoidance will make it go away because it won’t and our future generation is depending on us to stear them in the right direction.
To learn more about Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk’s book, “The Body Keeps The Score,” you can find his information here at this link I’ve provided below.