One has to be more than a little wary of any article with the heading Medicating mentally ill children: what parents need to know. My suspicion is that some of these parents need to know a little more than they purport to know. My suspicion is that they also need to look for that knowledge in less typical places than they usually do. There is no wisdom to be gained in simply repeating the same tired adage over and over again ad nauseum.
When schools screen for “mental illness”, the number of kids labeled “mentally ill” is going to go up. When drug companies push pharmaceutical products to child care providers, the number of kids labeled “mentally ill” is going to go up. When good parenting skills cease to be applied in child rearing, the number of kids labeled “mentally ill” is going to go up. This article even does a little bit of the math without acknowledging it.
The article deals at 1 place with 2 kids who received bipolar diagnoses. Hello? Did nobody tell the authors about the bipolar boom we experienced recently as a result of labeling kids once labeled ADHD as early onset bipolar cases. This is the same ADHD that was non-existent 50 years ago. It didn’t exist because it hadn’t been invented. The “sick” excuse didn’t, at that time, exist for academic underachievers and classroom clowns.
It wasn’t a case of bad parenting, or bad kids. In both cases the culprit was bipolar disorder.
“It seems there is a progression of this as it marches down the age route, in that younger children are having more symptoms and signs,” said Dr. P. Brent Petersen, the clinical and medical director of the Pingree Center.
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are spreading like wildfire among the very young. The authors of this piece are going to ignore cause and effect, in this instance, just so nobody will have any hard feelings. Psychiatric disorder labels are not infectious. They come in trends perhaps, but they are not infectious.
These psychiatric labels serve as excuses for mental health professionals to use expensive psychiatric drugs on their child patients.
The illnesses can be treated with atypical antipsychotics. And while the FDA has only approved those drugs for adults 18 years old and up, doctors can prescribe them “off label” to children — a decision Dr. Kristi Kleinschmit of the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute does not make lightly.
Prescribing drugs for uses not approved by the FDA, or “off label” prescribing as it is called, is fraud. The doctor who gives a drug for some purpose other than that for which it has been approved is defrauding his clientelle. Snake oil hasn’t been approved by the FDA either.
Rich and poor families alike can have throw away unwanted children, but I think the problem is, of course, bigger where impoverishment exists. The article ends by saying as much.
A Rutgers University study found that low-income kids were four times as likely to receive antipsychotics as privately insured families.
When drugging children in low-income households means more federal benefits, of course, the number of children labeled “mentally ill” is going to go up.
Filed under: ADHD, Biological Psychiatry, Children and Adolescents, Commerse, Conflict of Interest, Direct To Consumer Advertising, Food and Drug Administration, Fraud, Mental Health Care, Mental Health Screening, Misdiagnosis, Pharmaceutical Company, Polypharmacy, Psychiatric Drugs |