The tragedy of what happened in Newtown CT is unspeakable. I know about the horrendous pain that these parents are suffering because I too lost a child suddenly. My heart goes out to these parents and I pray for them to find strength and courage as they start the long and painful healing process.
Almost every time, after such a terrible event, we hear that as a child, or as a teenager or an adult, the perpetrator was ‘strange.’ The Newtown shooter was also described as ‘strange.’
There is good news and bad news.
The bad news is that traditional medicine views being ‘strange,’ (in whatever form it takes), as some form of mental disease and so it falls in the realm of psychiatry, psychology or neurology. And often, as was the case with the Newtown shooter, the child is given a diagnostic label such as possibly ADHD, ADD, OCD Aspergers, Autistic – the list of possible labels is long. This is what happens with compartmentalized medicine –where healthcare practitioners look at symptoms ONLY through the lenses of their specific specialization.
The good news is that something truly exciting is happening in the treatment of behavior and mood problems in children. For the first time in many years healthcare practitioners are now able to prevent, reduce or reverse all kinds of learning, behavior and mood symptoms. They are doing this by challenging compartmentalized medicine and replacing it with an approach that treats the body, brain and spirit, as ONE system. No more seeing people as a collection of separate parts, each of which functions separately. Instead we are treated as one whole system where every part of us is inter-related and interdependent.
The good news is that these practitioners ask: “Why is this happening in this child?” In other words they are looking for the underlying root causes and not for a traditional diagnoses. To find these causes, they will look at the WHOLE child – the spirit, body and brain.
The bad news about traditional mental health care is that it is not concerned with the “Why”. These practitioners ask the question: “What is the child’s diagnosis?” By doing this they see only the part of the problem that they are trained to see. When they have a diagnosis, they then treat the symptoms with medication. They do not explore the reason for the problem.
Spirit-Body-Brain medicine treats the Whole child.
Research based information now supports the fact that ongoing emotional stress will trigger ongoing physiological stress and that this will, in turn, stress the brain. So instead of psychiatrists only looking for the DSM diagnostic label, or neurologists looking for a brain disorder, they need to also be looking for what is happening in the child’s body.
It has now been shown that many physiological conditions can cause behaviors that mental healthcare providers are diagnosing as being mood or behavior disorders.
Imagine this ‘what if” scenario
It is highly possible that emotional distress, in combination with unidentified associated physiological conditions could have triggered the shooters behaviors. The problem is that the psychiatrists, psychologists and neurologists were compartmentalizing this as a mental illness and labeling and medicating him.
What if the Newtown shooter hadbeen treated by a practitioner who is skilled in treating the WHOLE child – who knows how to treat the spirit-body-brain as one? The scenario would then have possibly played out this way:
- The healthcare practitioner would have treated him for emotional stress, in order to heal and restore his spirit
- At the same time, this practitioner would have investigated whether the emotional stress had triggered any physiological malfunctions in the shooter’s body. This practitioner may have found, for example, that the shooter had unidentified intestinal fungus and/or vitamin deficiencies and/or or heavy metal toxicity or food sensitivity to the very foods he craved and loved the most. Or a host of other possibilities. Remember: these conditions can create symptoms that mimic so-called behavior and mood disorders.
It is entirely possible that by finding and treating the underlying root causes in this way, the signs of “strangeness’ the Newtown shooter reportedly displayed may have been cured. It is entirely possible that he would no longer have displayed the behaviors that were labeled as Aspergers or Autistic.
It is entirely possible that today he may have been a productive young man and a benefit to society.
What are the implications of this for all parents?
Let me be clear. I am most certainly not saying that all children with behavior and mood problems have the potential to commit terrible acts of violence. Most definitely not! I am saying that if you are a parent of a child struggling with learning, behavior or mood symptoms please do not fall into the trap of traditional compartmentalized medicine when treating your child.
Parents I urge you to ‘Take Charge’!
1. Stop focusing on diagnostic labels and treating symptoms. Instead start looking for the underlying root causes and treat these. You will be amazed at the positive changes you will see in your child.
2. Find a healthcare practitioner who knows how to do this. The majority of mainstream healthcare professionals do not.
Be your child’s best advocate. Become informed about the critical difference between treating the symptoms versus finding and treating the underlying root causes. Then let me know about how choosing this approach has changed your child’s life!