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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Silent Epidemic: A Child Psychiatrist's Journey Beyond Death Row - A Book Review

 Awhile ago I promised my Face Book followers that I would write a post on a newly printed book, well, here it is. The book is titled, The Silent Epidemic: A Child Psychiatrist's Journey Beyond Death Row. It is phenomenal! I can't begin to do it justice, you have to read it for yourself. The $44.99 price tag made me pause, did I really want to buy this book, would it be worth spending the money on? It is, if you even suspect your child may be affected by prenatal alcohol, buy the book and read it.

The Silent Epidemic: A Child Psychiatrist's Journey beyond Death Row:Understanding, Treating, and Preventing Neurodevelopmental Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

   I am going to share a few of the many statements, facts and figures that stood out to me in this book. Susan gives excellent examples of her findings in her book so if something doesn't make sense, buy the book. 

- Gullibility makes those affected by prenatal exposure easily led and influenced to the point of being duped into such things as "murder for hire" without the cognitive wherewithall to understand the reality of the plan. A false bravado can lead them to perpetrate a crime without fully realizing the consequences of their actions.

- "...Thus the stage is set for individuals undiagnosed with ND-PAE (Neuro developmental affects due to prenatal alcohol exposure)  being misunderstood, unable to be rehabilitated, lacking remorse, having poor judgement and lack of conscience, and needing to be locked up in a cell with the key thrown away..." I believe a paradigm shift in understanding will help stop the march of the penguins off the ice berg into death row.

   - While most epidemics rear their ugly heads with the gore of Leprosy, scourge of the Black Plague, devastation of Tuberculosis or hidden terror of HIV, ND-PAE is neither an obvious nor communicable illness. It is a silent menace in society's underbelly.

- In my experience, many patients with ND-PAE develop into adolescents and adults with increasingly suspicious and paranoid behaviors due to problems with social perception and anxiety.

- Those with an IQ of 70 or lower are more prone to get services.

- The problem is made worse by a plethora of liquor store in low income communities.

-Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a misnomer since alcohol impacts the underappreciated embryonic stage, not just the fetal period.

- In the embryonic stage before we even know they exist, our children are laying the groundwork for every organ, system, nerve and process of their future body. The choices we make during those critical stages will determine the fate of how their genetic blueprint plays out.

- Recent research has taught us that developing neurons exposed to alcohol leaves them like a ship in the open ocean, stranded without a compass.

- Alcohol can also affect the myelin sheath around neurons so that neuronal conduction is less efficient and sometimes triggers the firing of neighboring neurons.

- An estimated 1 in 20 American children have ND-PAE

   Besides giving information on how alcohol affects the developing child, Susan Rich also shares on how and why alcohol has such a detrimental affect on society. Some of the information she shares is downright chilling. 

- Ironically, while acting as a libidinal lubricant, alcohol is also a "neuro developmental teratogen"which means it both inhibits our ability to make wise choices and kills the brain cells in early development. 

-As an endocrine disrupter, alcohol effects hormone systems during development and throughout life.

- Alcohol can also increase the propensity for s@xual indiscretions, leaving those affected in this way more prone to get in bad situations. Often these people are unable to reason or think through the ramifications and end up serving time.

A few days ago I wrote a post on The Fatal Link. That book is also a must read. The author explains how and why in this instance, school shootings happen. The book shares some information about how prenatal fetal alcohol affects a growing baby but the book, The Silent Epidemic gives a much more in depth view of what we as a society are up against. This book is amazing!
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