60 Minutes on bipolar

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by texasboys, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. texasboys

    texasboys New Member

    Anyone see the 60 minutes special with Katie C. on bipolar children? Anyone else see it as an anti-drug statement? I am so sick and tired of listening to people who have no idea about our kids tell us that what we are doing is wrong. They have no idea, but yet they know better than us. It makes me so MAD!!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Glad I missed it. As one who has a definite mood disorder, if adults want to fly and then sink and have a crappy life, it's up to them, but I don't think they should infest it on their children. It would have gotten on my nerves, so I'm very glad I missed it.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I saw it. It was not a bunch of people who have no idea what they are talking about saying that nobody should take medication.

    There was a doctor who runs a hospital in Washington state. This hospital is for kids who were improperly diagnosis'd as bipolar as young as age 5. The point was the bipolar has started to be the catch-all diagnosis for many hyper and out of control children, and that they are put on medications that have not been FDA approved for children.

    They discussed side effects, and how dangerous some of them are. And how some can become permanent.

    They had a woman on there who was awaiting trial for murder. Her young daughter (maybe 4? She was in daycare) died of a drug overdose. The pharmacy had replaced medication that the mom claims to have lost or damaged more than once.
    Her daycare reported having to carry her off the school bus and lethargic behavior. The parents insist that she behaved just fine for them. They are accused of giving her too many drugs.

    It is scary, because it is SUCH an imperfect science. But it was no an anti-drug statement. It was a be careful with drugs statement. in my humble opinion.
  4. Got2Sleep

    Got2Sleep New Member

    Have to say I AGREE! And, beating myslef with a stick for actually calling my mom and telling her to watch. Yeah, like I needed her calling me afterwards to ask about medications....
    LIke I told her, unless you live my life 24/7...BUTT OUT!
  5. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I didn't watch it. The previews looked like it was going to put medications through the ringer. Wasn't interested in listening to ppl's opinions that don't know.

    I do think bipolar is becoming a catch all. I know some children who are on medications that I don't think need them. The parents need them. Then I know more that do need the medications.

    Every case is different.

  6. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I just get tired of listening to it. NO ONE lives with our children, except us. In our home we were ALL living in a hot-spot-down-under until difficult child was on medications. THANK you, science.
  7. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    I don't think it was a criticism of kids who are medicated legitimately. But, the trend to medicate kids is increasing to alarming degrees.

    I see both sides of the argument. Having raised a child with very unique challenges I understand the need for psychotropic drugs when all other approaches have proved futile. But, working in the health and human service field I also see that some parents want drugs for everything. It is alarming to me.

    And it's not just kids that we are medicating to greater degrees ... it is people in general.

    One does wonder how we survived decades ago without the help of all these mind altering substances.

    It's a big question ... and a broad issue.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    They didn't survive. Mentally ill people were put in institutions and hidden away like lepers.
    I do think you should be very careful when medicating children.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Everytime one of these shows is on it causes an uproar. I think what happens is we all watch fromour own perspectives with our own biases instead of listening to what is really being said.

    Legitimate medications were not condemned. They talked about off label use, the same thing many of us talk about here. They discussed that these medications are not approved for children, we talk about that too. They interviewed a doctor who has seen children as young as three put on many different medications at a time, one child was on 10 different medications. They interviewed a woman who is on trial for murder for giving her four year old child an overdose of medications that were prescribed by a doctor for her bipolar, a condition that the mother now does not even think the child has.

    The show discussed that while bipolar can present in younger children, the possible signs are so wide encompassing that many children would fall into this category that do not develop bipolar.

    It's important that these topics are discussed. Perhaps if the woman who is on trial for murder had had more information on the topic she may have questioned the doctor or gotten a second opinion. She may have been more cautious in giving her child more medication than was prescribed. She may have listened to teachers and others who said her daughter was like a rag doll and often slept during the day.

    I for one would not want my 3-4 year old child on lithium or clonidine at such an early age, only to find out later that she did not have bipolar and the medications did permanent damage to her development.

  10. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I agree with Nancy.
    I am one who very strongly agrees with our choice to medicate our son. It is painful and worrisome but he had to have a chance at a life.

    The danger for those of us with children who struggle and are excessively difficult is that all kids who match the behavior have the same things and need the same treatment.

    I think it's extremely important for those of us who took the dangerous leap to medicate our young children, watch, listen and think for your self. Not all medications are good for kids. Not all medications are correctly prescribed. Not all medications are meant for all types of difficult behavior and most important not all parents are advocates for what's best for their kids.

    Just because you aren't one of those parents doesn't mean you shouldn't know or hear the stories.
    I find it very painful to watch. I know I have had my son on incredibly strong medication for many years. I know I had to but that doesn't mean I'm not terrified every day that I did the wrong thing and that he will not suffer some devastating complications as an adult.

    Keep your ears open. Keep your eyes open but most importantly keep an open mind that not everything we are doing will be viewed postively. Not everything we do will be a positive for our children. Science will know more in years to come. We may be villified for what we did to our children. I will have to accept that in later years but I did what I did because it was the only option open to my son.

    I didn't care for KC implying that the child may have been a terrible "2". It was flip and insensitive. I'm looking past it to the story of what is going on with our kids.
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The frustrating part for me is what wasn't said.

    Why didn't that mom take the opportunity to describe what it is like to have a child that can not be still, does not have friends, constantly is raging or crying or climbing on things, not being able to bring that child grocery shopping with you, or take them to the park to get a break while they play with other kids,..etc....That is what needed to be said, in my humble opinion.

    Why wasn't it said that perhaps when children are diagnosis'd with BiPolar (BP) that the family needs EXTRA help and interventions, more than medications. Why can't people get it yet that it is difficult for a family alone to raise a BiPolar (BP) kid! There needs to be more help. More schools geared, more camps geared, more after school programs geared to the special needs child.

    That was not said.
  12. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    This is still the case ... to a lesser degree certainly ... but still the case. Ever visited a 'state hospital'? Deplorable conditions.

    Today the treatment philosophy supports least restrictive environments. Which has alleviated some of institutionalization that you mention. The other side of this philosophy is the sharp increase of mentally ill who are homeless and live on the streets. Seems the pendulum swings too far in both directions.
  13. Bugsy

    Bugsy New Member

    I agree completely, Busywend. I watched with every emotion, sadness, anger, frustration, and glad that people are atleast discussing it.

    All I kept thinking is why are they not really discribing what brings us to the point of trying these scary drugs. I don't think the lay person can really imagine the non-stop raging, violence, mood swings, bazzar elation, uncontrolable behaviors, etc. etc.

    Through this website I was interviewed for parenting magazine nov. issue. I really made it clear that I can not participate if this is going to be about medication bashing rather than bringing light to the fact we, parents, get to a point of hopelessness, anger, fear, desperation and so on. When we reach that point there is a lot of judgement but not much help out there. Choices are limited.

    The editor asked me what would I say to the comment, "Some might say that medications are a quick fix or a way to drug them."
    I will spare you my LONG response but the jist was:

    "QUICK FIX????!!!! Let me tell you about my quick fix."
    At that point I went on a 20 minute calm monologue about the amount of therapists, doctors, schools, drugs, and so on that we have tried. That each "quick fix" medication required hours of reading, watching my son with a microscope for side effects, ridiculous amounts of money and time on the phone with insurance companies, making sure of no medication interactions when he is sick with something as simple as a cold, blood work, endless trips to the pharmacy, and let's not forget about living in isolation, how it effects the marriage/siblings and so on and so on.

    The editor was so taken. She truly seemed to have no idea.

    It will be interesting to read the article. It is supposed to be the Nov. issue of Parenting magazine.

    What ever avenue works for YOUR child you must do. May each child have a moment of peace today.
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I don't think it was a slam against medicating children who rightfully need the medications. I think it was more about being cautious in A) DIAGNOSIS and B) OVERMEDICATING.

    I am sorry, but that woman who is up for trial? She seemed really dumb and ignorant. Instead of saying "I don't know" over and over again, she could have responded with some REAL descriptions of what life was like with her daughter and why she chose to give her more medications, even though she had already given her the medications prescribed. To me, the DR should be on trial along side the parents. I would have liked to hear what behaviors warranted a 4 year old to be diagnosed with bi-polar and require depakote, clonidine and seroquel. That's a lot of medications for a little person. And before any DR puts a child on that medication, you'd think the parents would either do some homework on the diagnosis and medication suggestion or see another DR before treatment begins.

    I thought that Katie Couric tried with all her might to be politically correct and even-toned with the woman (mother of dead 5 year old), but you could tell she wanted to shake her and scream, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING????" I thought she managed to really remain controlled...not sure I couldn've been so controlled.

    I was thinking of difficult child at her worst and I can recall many times wishing I could double her dose so she'd sleep (and me too) or just shut up. I had friends who used to give their kids benadryl at night so they'd get off to sleep without a hitch. I was appalled by that.

    I think anyone could have taken the show from any angle depending upon what the expectation was. I thought it was informative, but lacking in respect to BiPolar (BP) symptoms and actual behaviors. For instance, showing a BiPolar (BP) child in a rage would have helped to put into perspective what some parent's go through on a daily basis.

  15. Every time I see an expose like the one on 60 minutes last night I end up asking myself several questions. One of which,is why do these folks agree to speak to journalists who are just going to edit and rearrange their interview so it often ends up nothing like they said in the first place. The second one is why in this world do we constantly play the blame game with parents instead of offering them help?

    I really don't think I'll ever be able to watch Katie Couric again. I truly thought she was above this type of irresponsible and hack type of reporting. My heart really went out to the Mom in this case. She appeared to be extremely depressed and also seemed somewhat limited intellectually. If the psychiatrist on the cases or the teachers in the preschool had stepped forward to provide her some real assistance with her daughter, her daughter might very well still be alive. Parents are out there on their own to sink or swim in our culture. In past years extended families were there to help out, especially with difficult children. That is just no longer the case for many people.

    It is often a very difficult decision for parents to choose to medicate their children. No doubt in some cases it is sometimes an incorrect decision. I think that that story is going to have parents doubting themselves and also having to justify themselves to families who just don't get it. I do think we need to consider how we are medicating children and revisit the issue. However, I also don't think we need to hold back treatment for children who desperately need it. Allowing unnecessary suffering , when treatment exists, seems like the real criminal act to me.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Without medication, I probably wouldn't be out in the street, but if I had no family I would. I'm not functional off medications. Lots of homeless mentally ill just WON'T take their medications or are way too sick to take their medications correctly so that they are helpful to them. It's a very sad situation. In a way, I'm lucky that I realized the importance of medications and never tried to go without them once they worked for me--plus I do have family. But I doubt I could live alone.
    Although I feel medications are often given to children way too fast, way before the professionals are even certain what is wrong with the kids (stimulants is MY big beef--they seem to be handed out like candy for every disorder, even when it makes no sense) medications are necessary even for some kids to have a functional, rich, enjoyable childhood. And kids can learn they need to take them for life, sort of like diabetics. However, I'm really in favor of medicating as little as possible. I could easily be on ten drugs myself, but I limit myself to two, and I'm doing great. I've been overmedicated and zombied out and the feeling is as bad to me as being mentally ill--plus, with my anxiety disorder--it's frightening to feel as if you're walking in a dream, through a fog of drugs. There is a fine line and we all need to be diligent, educated, and very watchful of our children. That's why I ALWAYS recommend seeing both a neuropsychologist and a Child Psychiatrist(the person who holds that MD). Is it a perfect solution? No. This is an inexact science. However, to me it is the best way to diagnose that we have right now--two very strong experts comparing notes. I don't think that pediatricians and any sort of therapist who isn't a total MD should even be able to suggest what medication he feels is right. It's too important to the health and well being of our kids. And I'm "iffy" on using medications for kids off-label. Im continually shocked at how anti-psychotics are handed out too. My son had horrendous side effects from Risperdal and Zyprexa. Yet they are somehow touted as safer than old school mood stabilizers that we've used for years. All in all, I understand the fear of some and I share it. Educate yourself. It's your best defense. JMO
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Lots of very wise statements here.

    I am one of those parents who gave benadryl to get my child to sleep. Quite often. Still do with Tyler. BUT it is only done with the doctor's approval and OK. If we need medications to help sleep more than 1 or 2 times a MONTH, then we need to go get a checkup. Just because sometimes my kids don't have the abiltiy to tell me what is going on. With difficult child and thank you, the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues mean that their bodies give them very strange messages sometimes. So it is a diagnostic clue that they may have a problem.

    I would rather give benadryl than lunesta or anbien to my 7yo and 12 yo. Benadryl has been around for a long long time. We have a pretty good idea of the side effects. We don't know with the other medications. And my kids have seasonal (ALL seasons!) allergies, so benadryl is doubly helpful.

    I didn't see the episode. I usually do not get much value out of these shows. I do get great value out of our discussion of them.

  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Just want to clarify my statement about parents giving their kids benadryl to sleep. It wasn't for the kids' lack of ability to fall asleep. I'm talking about parents who gave them benadryl earlier in the evening so the kids would go to sleep before the sitter arrived and mom and dad could go out. One particular couple comes to mind that I knew way back when who gave thier kids benadryl almost every night after dinner so he would go in early and they could have private time or just chill in front of the tv. My exmil told me that she routinely gave her kids sodium pentythol (sp?) back in the 50's. Not sure if she was hallucinating, but when I asked my mom about that she said she knew other mothers who did that also.

    If benadryl is being used in conjunction with DR's knowledge and for specific reasons related to their diagnosis, then that's fine. I was talking about parents who were feeding it to their kids out of convenience and laziness. Sorry if my comment offended - not my intention.
  19. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I watched it and tried to think about it from the perspective of pre- K and N... I think I would have thought Horrible thoughts about the Mom and Dad in prison... I would have cried for the little girl.

    I would not have known enough to not think one sided about the interviews. All I had at that time was, my Mom's suicide... her brother's slow drug death. My 2 step- Aunts suicides, one in and out of an institution... A life filled with mentall illness and no help.

    Not once did anyone ever try to help of us...

    So now I watch and I am happy they are talking about it somewhat, yet the side of me that knows all the truth's can't help but think like all of you, what about the other sides, the pain, the anger, violence, trauma,fears. What about the good times?

    What about the fact that when you really have a special needs child there is no doubt??? Maybe getting the diagnosis correct is hard...
    I just wish for once they would show a family like ours... a CD family. One that is intelligant and has fought and is getting help and things are not perfect, but we are trying...
    They had the woman in the middle that seemed like "us" but of course short interview. I agree, the Mom in prison seemed ignorant, medicated, depressed... she needed help. The whole system failed her and her family. But at what point do you stop and ask questions and say I need help and this doesn't feel right???

    I struggle with these questions alot as I watch K have adverse reactions... I cry, and call the psychiatrist and document everything... we are all they have.

    Like MWM I need medications as does my husband or I am not together... I need to get mine checked as a matter of fact.
    I am greatful for this site. husband said last night after the show that unfortunatley the ladies and men on CD are not the norm... he said we are a bit type A and obsessive!!! LOL He said we are much smarter than most when it comes to G'sFG!!!
  20. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Nomad I almost bought that book.... Is it worth the read? Too depressing? I like stuff like that...