In response to Dr. Richard Saul’s recent article in TIME.
Dr Saul is making an important point. We have mass treated an issue with stimulants that in most cases can be treated with lifestyle, behavioral and relational changes. My biggest worry is an entire generation has grown up believing that a pill will help them cope with impulse control, attention, focus and connection. When it is okay to medicate for general life challenges, then we medicate away for all of life’s variances.
Life is meant to be a challenge, a journey, full of joy, frustration and grief too. We have medicated our younger generation, not given them tools to regulate their emotions and their behaviors organically and in close, supportive relationships. Yes, there are a small few who truly need stimulants and the truth is there are far too many who do not. Those who do not are not learning to be who they truly are. Our younger generation will be unable to form good neurological pathways that support positive, close emotionally connected feelings because stimulants are ubiquitous. Stimulants numb one out, smoothing out emotional swings. Our emotions are what connects us to each other. Quality relationships ultimately sooth or “co-regulate” our emotional swings. By numbing out, we can’t really connect because we aren’t all there. The science is truly clear about this; we need our close relationships to be healthy, to live longer, to be creative and develop into our best selves. If not, the impact on the next generation through epigenetic expression maybe highly negative.