It is recognized that homicide and suicide have a common ground where homicidal killings are followed by suicidal death of the perpetrator, particularly where family or social relationships exist. The mass homicidal killings of students at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO by fellow students KIebold and Harris that was followed by their suicidal deaths is a dramatic example of this relationship. Many examples of teen school shootings and threats have been documented since then, San Diego being most recent. Children killing children seems never ending. WHY?
Questions must be raised as to what is wrong with America that it's children and youth are so emotionally disabled that they turn to homicidal and suicidal violence and require massive psychiatric medication -- unheard of in the G-7 nations of the world. These statistics are only the tip of the iceberg, where it is claimed that many additional children and youth are so emotionally disturbed that they are in need of but not receiving psychiatric medications (White House Conference on Child/Youth Psychiatric Medications, March 21, 2000), without raising the question of WHY. Where is all of this depression coming from?
Zito, et al (2000) have reviewed the prevalence of psychotropic medication use in preschool-aged children from 1991-1995 from two state Medicaid programs and an HMO. They reported:
The prevalence of psychotropic medication treatment for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders has significantly increased in the United States during the last few decades, particularly in the last 15 years. Specifically, the 5 through 14-year-old age group has experienced a great increase in stimulant treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHS), and the 15 through 19 -old age group has had sizable increases in the use of antidepressant medications (pp.1-2). . . .
The rate of psychotropic medication prescribed for preschoolers in the MWM program increased substantially from 1991-1995. The increase was greatest for clonidine (28.2- fold), stimulants (3.0-fold), and antidepressants (2.2-fold). By contrast, neuroleptic use did not increase substantially during this time (p.4). . .
Methylphenidate use according to age group in children and adolescents in the MWM program was most prominent for those aged 5-14 years. . . .The largest methylphenidate increase (311%) was among 15 through 19- year olds, whereas the 2 through 4-year-olds, like the 5-through 14 -year-olds, had a smaller but still substantial increase (169% to 176%) (pp.4-5). . . .
Several prominent trends characterized the use of psychotropic medications in preschoolers during the early to mid 1990s. Overall, there were large increases for all study medications (except the neuroleptics) and considerable variation according to gender, age, geographic region, and health care system. These findings are remarkable in light of the limited knowledge base that underlies psychotropic medication use in very young children. Controlled clinical studies to evaluate the efficacy and safety of psychotropic medications for preschoolers are rare. Efficacy data are essentially lacking for clonidine and the SSRIs and methylphenidate's adverse effects for preschool children are more pronounced than for older youths. Consequently, the vast majority of psychotropic medications prescribed for preschoolers are being used off-label. (p.5) .
Zito, J.M., Safer, K.J., dos Reis, S., Gardner, J.F., Boles, M., and Lynch, F. (2000). Trends in the Prescribing of Psychotropic Medications to Preschoolers. JAMA. 283(8): 1-12.
ACCIDENT, HOMICIDE and SUICIDE RATES and RANKS AS LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH
FOR AGE GROUPS 1-4; 5-14 AND 15-24 YEARS
PER 100,000 IN SPECIFIED AGE GROUP
TABLE 1, 1979
|DEATH||1-4 YEARS||5-14 YEARS||15-24 YEARS|
TABLE 2, 1997
|DEATH||1-4 YEARS||5-14 YEARS||15-24 YEARS|
FROM: National Vital Statistics Reports--Centers For Disease Control and Prevention--National Center For Health Statistics. Deaths: Final Data for 1997. June 30, 1999
* * *
Why has the suicide rate for children and youth aged 5-24 years doubled
over this past generation? What is wrong with America and the American
Family that our children and youth prefer death to living in America?
There are more suicidal deaths in the 5-24 year age group over the past
ten years (est. 50,000) than are the total combat deaths in the ten year
Vietnam War (47, 355). Yet, no war memorial exists for these children and
youth who have lost their lives in the American War against Life.
The National Vital Statistics Reports, dated September 21, 2001 that just arrived, on Deaths: Final Data for 1999 lists a suicide death rate of 0.6 which is a significant decrease from 0.8 for 1997 for the 5-14 year age group. The reasons for this decrease are not specified, however, it should not be concluded that this decrease necessarily reflects an improvement of the mental-emotional health of these children. The massive psychiatric medication of children and youth that prevents suicide may well account for a significant portion of this decrease that masks the underlying mental-emotional disorders of these children. This hypothesis requires rigorous evaluation.
James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
Institute of Humanistic Science
24 March 2001
James W. Prescott, Ph.D., a developmental neuropsychologist and cross-cultural psychologist, was a health scientist administrator at the
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), one
of the Institutes of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1966 to
1980. He created and directed the Developmental Behavioral Biology
Program at the NICHD where he initiated NICHD supported research
programs that documented how the failure of "Mother Love" in infant
monkeys adversely affected the biological development of their brains.
Website: http://www.violence.de The Origins of Peace and Violence
Website on circumcision which he recommends: http://www.montagunocircpetition.org
Touch The Future - Bonding or Violence Section: http://www.touchthefuture.org/prescott