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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Psychology's Absence In Discussion of The Sam Bankman-Fried Case

An article in The Wall Street Journal ("Why Are We So Obsessed with Sam Bankman-Fried's Parents?"/November 10, 2023) aroused several thoughts since, like many articles concerning him, it ignored the emotional problems involved. Apparently Sam had serious psychological issues during childhood which were treated with drugs rather than psychotherapy following his (widely reported) diagnosis with the long popular but unsophisticated notion of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The early twentieth-century precursor of this diagnosis in America was "Minimal Brain Dysfunction" (MBD) of which a Harvard psychiatrist then remarked that only a doctor with a minimal brain dysfunction would use it. The symptoms of ADHD are identical to anxiety and depression which are present in virtually all medical and psychological disturbances. Thus it tells you nothing about the underlying cause of a chlld's suffering.

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The Child Mental Health Crisis in Hospitals

A November 8, 2023 article in The Wall Street Journal ("Children in Mental-Health Crisis Surge Into Hospital E.R.s") aroused several thoughts on why the crisis in child mental health treatment exists: the lack of public and doctor knowledge of child psychological development; psychiatry's false biological/genetic bias rather than the critical role played by parent-child interaction during early life when the basic ego capacities governing control of thinking and behavior, modulation of mood, and others develop; and the emphasis on psychotropic drugs with exaggerated benefits and downplayed side-effects. All leading to inaccurate and potentially harmful Emergency Room decisions and excess hospitalizations.

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