Watching the psychiatric labeling rate rise, it’s easy to predict a rise in psychiatric labeling

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.

4 Responses

  1. Bravo to you for an excellent analysis.

  2. If you screened kids often enough and cleverly enough through grade school you could probably come up with a prevalence of near 100% “mentally ill” by end of year 6. Bu that would be silly. The screeners would lose credibility from the public if the figure was much higher than about 25%. Twenty years ago the screeners would have settled for about 3 – 5%. They might be aiming for about 40% by 2030.

    • Well, there is a corrective here in the sense that if the so called mental disability rate approached anything like 40% of the population the economy would collapse. People called mentally disabled would then have to do a little fending for themselves, just like everybody else in the world. I imagine that the bottom is going to fall out of the public insurance business at some point anyway. Politico’s in the USA have been talking for ages about how we won’t have the money for SSI in the future.

      The USA has more people labeled “mentally ill” than any other nation in the world. I feel certain that what some of your leading politicians in Australia are doing to catch up with us can’t be a very good thing at all.

      According to a 2005 survey 11 % of women and 5 % of men are on antidepressants in this country.

      Women experience depression at twice the rate of men. This 2:1 ratio exists regardless of racial or ethnic background or economic status. The lifetime prevalence of major depression is 20-26% for women and 8-12% for men.
      (Journal of the American Medical Association, 1996)

      Recently I’ve been reading articles suggesting this ratio will reverse itself as women gain status and men lose it.

      I’d say that perhaps the pursuit of happiness business hasn’t been working out for them as it might have done one reason or another. This number is rising, and so I imagine that happiness is finding itself an even more elusive objective (or, “commodity” if you prefer) to strive for. I think this is only a fraction of the instances of collective insanity a person will run into if they delve a little deeper into the subject. My feeling is simply that happy pills aren’t really happy pills, and that in fact they end up being dependency and unhappy pills. There’s is no cure like nature’s, and that’s the one I would most highly recommend.

      Depression is the leading cause of disability as measured by YLDs [Years Lost due to Disability] and the 4th leading contributor to the global burden of disease (DALYs) [Disability Adjusted Life Year] in 2000. By the year 2020, depression is projected to reach 2nd place of the ranking of DALYs calcuated for all ages, both sexes. Today, depression is already the 2nd cause of DALYs in the age category 15-44 years for both sexes combined.

      Who’d have ever thunk that unhappiness would become so damned important to the world? People used to believe in self-control. Elvis Costello pressed an album titled Get Happy! a few years back. Now they say, don’t bother, the pharmacracy of the Nanny State will take care of all your problems for you. And does it? No. It just adds to the addiction problems we’ve already got.

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