The disturbed girl, the psychiatrist and the puppy dog

I’m not nuts about the modern psychiatric industry at all.  Below is a brief anecdotal experience I encountered.  It describes my thoughts a hell lot better than I can articulate myself.

Years ago my grandfather died, and the whole family gathered in the state where he lived to attend the funeral.  My uncle, who lived in the same state with his wife and young child, handled the funerary arrangements.  For many people in the family, this was the first time in a long while for them to meet my uncle again, and the first time ever for them to meet his daughter, who was around 10 at the time.

Simply put, the daughter was nuts.  She did not say a single word to any of the people present, even when spoken to.  She acted weird.  She got on all fours and crawled along on the ground, occasionally making barking noises during the most inappropriate times, such as when we gathered to pay our last respect to our grandfather in the funeral home.  Despite having been babysat by my grandfather and practically raised by him since a young age, she appeared to have no reaction whatsoever to his death.  My uncle nervously explained that the kid was too young to understand death, but that just made it stranger considering the child’s age.

By the end of the funeral, just about the entire extended family have experienced the child’s various antics and considered her to be mentally defective in some way.  Shortly after, probably due to prompting by other family members, my uncle took his daughter to a friendly neighborhood psychiatrist.  After a session or two, the psychiatrist proudly proclaimed the child to be autistic, and prescribed for her an interesting and long list of antipsychotic medications to take, along with many more sessions with him for the future.

My uncle got pissed at this point.  He wasn’t about to have any of it.  He went home and tore up the prescriptions.  He immediately got the girl a puppy.  He told the girl that the puppy was now her responsibility.  Walking the dog, cleaning up dog poop, and playing with the dog was all now part of the girl’s daily life.

The girl is now 19 or 20 years old.  She’s shy, but perfectly capable of speaking up when she needs to.  She’s attending one of the top universities in this country.  She has never taken a single pill of psychiatric medication in her entire life.  She’s doing perfectly fine.

The dog is still alive too, and well taken care of.


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