(NaturalNews) Just in time for the official release of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)'s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that 20 percent of U.S. children are now among the ranks of those considered to have mental illness. And once DSM-5 gets into the hands of doctors and psychiatrists in the coming months and years, this percentage will only further increase.
For at least the past 10 years, the framework defining mental illness has been steadily expanding, which has meant more and more people who were previously considered to be healthy are now considered to be mentally ill. Conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, depression, and even common anxiety are increasingly being diagnosed, particularly among children between the ages of three and 17.
Whether or not these children actually have any illness is besides the point - doctors are diagnosing them as such, and the consequence has been a huge increase in pharmaceutical drug use. According to the latest data compiled by the CDC, nearly one-quarter of a trillion dollars is spent every year treating children for mental disorders that they may or may not actually have. And between 1994 and 2011, the number of children being diagnosed with mental illness has skyrocketed inexplicably.
Big Pharma: Make everything a mental illness so we have more people to medicate
Are children really more mentally ill today than they were 20 years ago? Perhaps. But a more likely explanation as to this dramatic rise in both diagnoses and prescription drug use has to do with the unreasonable expansion of criteria for determining mental illness in the first place. This, combined with heavy influence from Big Pharma in getting more children medicated, appears to be the real driving factor behind this mental illness "epidemic."
"[This] report would have some believing that rates of mental disease have increased," writes Raven Clabough for TheNewAmerican.com. "However, much of the increase in rates can be attributed to a number of other items, including the wildly expanded definition of these conditions, the increasingly powerful pharmaceutical industry, and a general lack of understanding in the medical community of the effects of improper nutrition."
In other words, it is probably not the case that more children today are mentally ill, but rather that the criteria used to diagnose mental illness has expanded considerably. And yet at the same time, children today are exposed to environmental chemicals, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), food colorings and additives, and other toxins at much higher rates than they were in generations past, which has serious implications for their behavioral patterns.
Emerging research suggests that gluten intolerance and allergy, for instance, are directly tied to behavioral conditions like ADHD. Similarly, GMOs have been shown to induce markers and symptoms of mental illness as well, particularly in developing children. Nutrition in general, and the lack thereof, appears to play a major role in the behavioral indicators associated with mental illness, which suggests that the entirely wrong approach is being taken by medical professionals.
"We need only consider the high-sugar, low-fiber, additive-preserved foods that many people consume on a regular basis, combined with the impaired absorption of nutrients that accompanies such poor nutrition," writes Dr. Hyla Cass, M.D., in her book St. John's Wort: Nature's Blues Buster, about the link between poor nutrition and mental illness.
"Many people simply do not get the important nutrients needed for good health," she adds. "They are at once overfed and undernourished, and a poorly nourished body contains a malnourished brain."