Discussion in 'Parenting News' started by flutterby, Apr 3, 2009.
I heard about this on cnn. I am just thrilled that this was out out all over the news to make people more aware. I think they should focus more about it in school district's, too. They say they teach school teachers/staff now, but I don't think they stress the symptoms or awareness or seriousness nearly enough. Thanks for posting this!
When easy child was younger and severely depressed, one of his teachers was upset about how much school he was missing. I explained the depression and she snottily asked me if he had a *physical* (emphasis there) illness. I looked her in the eye and said he had a plan to commit suicide. Would dead be enough of a physical illness for her?
I agree that it should be part of the routine workup pediatricians do at well checks, probably starting at the kindergarten checkup, and then repeated every few years for those who are not having problems. The doctors can also do a lot to help educate families about the more common mental illness and what to watch for. That would certainly reduce much of the stigma attached to it.
Primary care doctors would do well to do the same for their adult patients.
In order for doctors to do this, THEY would have to become educated. From what a couple of nurse and doctor friends tell me, most of the education they receive on mental illness after they begin practicing comes from the drug companies. So that ends up giving them a rather skewed perception of mental illness and the treatments for it.
I think that kids should be screened for bipolar first. If all are going to be screened, they should first be screened for bipolar because the drastic effects of antidepressants on undiagnosed/untreated bipolar. Sadly, all but ONE doctor I have ever seen thinks that antidepressants are the best first-line treatment for bipolar.
How many of us have a family member with bipolar who was offered more than 1 trial of an AD BEFORE any mood stabilizer was even discussed? Even with Wiz the docs kept wanting to tell us he was bipolar but REFUSED to give him ANY mood stabilizer most of the time - even after I flat out said that if it was bipolar then we were doing a mood stabilizer and pulled out the copy of the prescribing protocol from the academy website!! (Only 2 docs even knew of this protocol and NEITHER of them was a psychiatrist!!!!!!!)
This article also brigs to mind a "screening tool" that a company tried to push schools to make mandatory for all high school kids. It was a few years back, and I forget the company, but basically there was NO WAY to answer this with-o it coming back to say you had mental illness and needed medications, a trip to a psychiatric hospital, and therapy - all of which this company was happy to provide. It was later discovered (after school districts across the nation had contracted with this company) that the questionairre was designed to increase sales of rx drugs and admission to phosps. Our local jr high and high school were both against this "one size diagnosis's all" 30 minutes questionairre but our middle school was furiously writing grants to try to get funding for it. And EVERY child in our district goes through this middle school! It was a BFD here in our town because the university psychology and education depts took a look at it and were HORRIFIED. The survey was supposed to diagnosis bipolar, antisocial and borderline pd, autism, depression, adhd, anorexia, bulimia and 2 other things - a total of TEN serious disorders. It also was supposed to "scientifically" show which medications would be best for which respondents. Gee, is it any wonder that the "best" medications were ALL made by the same parent company??
I DO think that we need some type of screening for depression in children, but I don't agree that every child needs any one specific thing. The types of screening for mental illness a person receives should be based upon the needs of that person.
And we simply do NOT have enough docs and therapists to even screen every teen, much less screen tehm and then treat them.
It would be nice if there was some type of funding to encourage training of psychiatrists and tdocs to work with kids.
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