Keep Your Eyes On That “Mental Illness” Rate There

Are Teens Overmedicated?, Dr. Toni Brayer asks in her blog, also published on the San Francisco Chronicle run SF Gate. Her answer seems to agree with mine, that is, yes, teens are overmedicated.

She takes the medical records that well run summer camps are required to have, and she looks at a specific summer camp in Southern California. She refers to this summer camp as prestigious. This camp houses kids ages 11 to 19, with an average age 16. This camp houses 153 resident campers, 50% from California, and 50% from out of state. She found that nearly 25% of these children were on prescription drugs.

I am not counting birth control pills in this count. (All sexually active teens should be on the pill or another reliable form of birth control). I’m also leaving out medication for asthma, allergies, or acne. The medications that 23% of the teens took were:

• Adderal
• Acyclovir
• Ambien
• Fluoxetine
• Lamictal
• Lexapro
• Naprosyn
• Prozac
• Strattera
• Vyvanse
• Zoloft

This is indeed a disturbing trend. Here’s hoping this camp isn’t typical.

Drug peddlers and “mental illness” salespeople when they are trying to drum up more funds from the government or the public, come up with that type of statistic for the overall number of people who have received mental health care.

We are looking at children here, and if 23% of them are receiving psychiatric drugs now, you know that during the course of an entire lifetime way more than 23% of them are going to require some sort of mental health treatment.

I dread to think about how those overall statistics, given stats like these, are likely to rise substantially. When easily predicting potentially as much ½ or more of all people in the nation receiving some sort of mental health treatment in the future, I think we must be headed for serious trouble.

Of course, not all moms and dads feel such a desparate need to ship the kids off to summer camp.