The Death of Personal Responsibility

My Mom tells me my younger brother has ADD. Or is it ADHD? Maybe it’s bipolar. Well, it’s whatever the “in” distraction is these days that scapegoats parents from dealing with their children’s dysfunctionalities.

Those suffering from such a condition find it difficult to focus on things like math homework. But their attentiveness curiously improves when they’re frequenting red-tube.com. And it climbs every day after school while they’re spraying virtual bullets at the main boss in Black Ops.

Their concentration can reach great heights while rolling joints or exploring Suzie’s clitoris.

But throw in a little calculus and they go all Henny Penny. They don’t get it. They’re overburdened and under appreciated. How dare you hold my child to such unreasonable expectations, TCD?

But children are selfish and insular; it’s the nature of the little beasts. And parents across America can’t accept the fact that their children only pay attention to the bits in life that entertain them.

Sure, they play video games all day and routinely score in the bottom tenth percentile on standardized tests, but pumping them full of uppers should set them straight.

So instead of throwing away the fluff and holding their precious children to more rigorous standards, they turn to pharmaceuticals and the illusion of change they bring. And since being abnormal is now trendy, they place a double onus on psychiatrists to diagnose and pharmaceuticals to design psychotropic drugs with clever names like Concerta®.

Medication is gradually becoming the panacea for all of society’s short-comings.

Packed on sixty pounds of lard because you showed zero restraint during your pregnancy?

Sprinkle a little Qnexa® over your next pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

Too lazy to crush the capsules?

Consider gastric bypass surgery. And don’t forget about tummy tucks and liposuction, they’re all the rage this year.

We like cutting corners and enjoy basking in the glory of instant gratification. We pick and choose which drugs to legalize or enforce relative to their respective profit margins, not their perceived impact on public well-being.

Having a hard time with your differential equations? Go to the nurse and get your memory pills, she’s across the hall from the DARE office.

Fill them with drugs. It’s far easier than parenting and absolves those to whom such a duty is entrusted. After all, why nurture and encourage when you can pretend the problems are not your own?

And one of the problems is that nowadays, being fucked up has a faddish appeal. So now soccer moms across the world can commiserate with one another about how Little Jonny is coping with his ADHD.

He’s on Ritalin®, don’t you know?

In not dealing with their child’s issues, parental inertia leads to a pull-through demand situation wherein embarrassed clinicians can rely on some obscure neurobehavioral diagnosis to help avoid the unpleasantness of telling concerned parents what they really think.

The pharmaceutical kickbacks help too.

No one wants to tell their child to suck it up and that in the grand scheme of things, if they can master Bio Shock in an hour, they can probably reread Chapter 5 in preparation for the big exam.

But it seems as though there are an increasing number of parents who are unwilling to exert that type of discipline and structure on their children. Far greater are the number who simply refuse to accept that their child is innately self absorbed, lazy and stupid.

That no matter how many drugs they pump into Little Jonny’s body, he’ll never cure cancer because his study habits revolve around watching 40 hours of garbage TV a week and jump starting his talentless grunge band with his fellow potheads.

They’re way cool though.

The role of family and the environment surrounding this new generation of enabled youth one skipped pill away from total failure has become increasingly neglected, causing a downward spiral in the use of more holistic forms of management like family therapy.

Dismissing each undesirable trait that surfaces as some unfortunate clinical predisposition undermines the role of cultural influences and promotes a misleading view of one’s offspring as someone to be cured or cared for, rather than called to task. It encourages one to adapt to the new societal norm and scuttles valuable life lessons along the way.

There is no more personal responsibility for one’s poor conduct and behavior if each is an acceptable medical condition treated exclusively with prescription drugs.

So the next time you find yourself frustrated as you muddle through some snarky opinion piece, take a hit of Dexedrine®.

You’ll be too high to give a fuck.

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