Saturday, January 23, 2016

Book review: Die Kinderkrankmacher

Although it is one of the most developed countries in Europe and in the world when it comes to medical services and pharmacology, Germany is equally the country where a significant amount of people prefer to use alternative homeopathic medicine (also a German creation). The book publised in March 2015 by Beate Frenkel and Astrid Randerath deals extensively with the use of medicine in treating various behavior irregularities by children, such as ADHD. Based on interviews and discussions with both medical experts and parents of childrenl patients, the authors outline the social tendency towards uniformity and refuse of taking the children "the way they are". Medicine seems to be the easiest way to cope with these relatively common problems among children and teenagers, with dramatic medium and long-term negative effects. 
I also noticed during my various interaction with the German educational system and society in general that there is a strong pressure towards uniformity, particularly when it comes to educational establishments. There is also a high tendency to label various temperamental differences under big medical labels such as ADHD. After all, I remember myself and many of the children I met during various school interaction as being very active at the disturbance limit without anyone took as to the psychologist and started to be on medication for various behavioral problems.
The downside of the book though is of repeating over and over again the same sentence in various contexts: the (German) society wants to create standard children and it offers permanent customers for the great medical concerns. The truth is always, in between. 

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