Environment matters:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

My adult nephew suffers from mental illness but after 35 years he has done well in his coping. He has taken some responsibility for his behavior and the consequences of his actions on others around him, including his family. This wasn’t the case early on.

What I am concerned about today is his daughter. She has been on psychiatric medications since the age of 4 and by now is on quite a lot of them and some are seriously strong medications. She has been, and still is, a handful according to my nephew. None of the medications she is on seem to work forever. Currently he doesn’t see the pills as doing much good but he fears that removing them could make her worse. Neither he or his wife can afford to miss work should this happen. They are on the cusp financially.

What can he do?


Dear concerned,

Life is like a table. It has many legs. Medications are only one leg and relying on only one leg makes the whole table unstable. All very young children are primarily instinctual. How they feel determines how they act. As children grow, logic and data are supposed to kick in to help them learn to make good choices. But people need to make an effort to discriminate when it is appropriate to act or not act on their feelings. It is seldom a natural ability. Many normal adults never acquire this skill but in every case of mental illness, the thinking remains nearly entirely feeling based.

Look at the table again. Now look at your nephew’s daughter. If she is a table, and they are using only medication to control her problem, then it is being addressed solely on one leg. This could prevent her from ever acquiring the skills to help manage her own feelings or assume personal responsibility. It could keep her emotionally like a child forever.

This is why psychiatric medication, if used alone and without additional learning and therapy, is not a long term solution. If a patient relies solely on medications, after a ten year period they are worse off than before they ever took medications in the first place. Medication alone will not help them to acquire the skills that teach them to not be a feeling based reflexic automaton.

If an individual doesn’t learn to address their own life and advocate for themselves, their lives certainly won’t get any better or different. They never develop personal will or choice. Mental illness doesn’t bypass this system. It is a result of this system.

If your nephew doesn’t get his daughter into counseling, get her involved in karate or some sport, Art, and other activities that will gain her skills and mastery of her emotions and behaviors she will be on medication and be a mental health patient for the rest of her life-guaranteed. Our current paradigm says it’s all genetic and intervention doesn’t matter much. PURE BALLONY. I have seen children of mentally ill parents excel after being given good resources and different opportunities from those their parents had. I have also seen kids from supposedly healthy homes who are given indulgence, poor resources, and poor skill acquisition. They have not fared so well.

Environment matters, it has even been shown recently to alter ones DNA.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: I agree with BALONEY etc.

I also have to express astonishment that some group of medical assholes actually used their best professional judgement to put a child unattended on increasing medications…and some parent gave permission.

I will simply give Nephew a warning that at this point the child’s system is so polluted with drugs that if they are withdrawn cold turkey it could be life threatening. I would recommend strongly that Nephew seek the advice of a medical psychiatrist with a more holistic approach who can begin to get the freakin’ poison out of this poor girl without damaging her any further in the effort.

Shame on you, whoever did this.

About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at dr.brilliantcliche@yahoo.com and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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One Response to Environment matters:

  1. Cecelia says:

    Definitely get the child safely off of the meds!! I also like the idea of some structured activity like Karate or even dance (ballet, tap, jazz) with an experienced teacher who is kind as well as disciplined. Add time spent with a good female role model who thinks clearly, possibly someone with children.

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