Do you feel doctors prescribe medications too fast?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    In hindsight, I do think so. I believe every child should have a complete evaluation, including a neuropsychologist evaluation before any medications are prescribed at all. So often our kids are misdiagnosed and are worse after taking certain medications. I know there are no blood tests, but, jeesh, I wish they'd try harder to figure out what is going on rather than seeming to guess, "Um, it's ADHD!" "It's bipolar!" "It's ODD!" "It's autism!" They really need to test our kids a lot longer before giving them these potent drugs, and they need to let us all the potential side effects--I know nobody ever gave us a rundown of medication side effects. Nor did anyone, before our neuropsychologist, do any serious testing to see what my son's behavior/challenges/oddities really meant. Therefore, they got him wrong...over and over again. Ten medications later he is better off all of them. I know some kids need them, but should the doctors try a little harder to figure out what is wrong? Ever feel like your kid is a guinea pig?
  2. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I agree 100%!!! I do feel like our kids are guinea pigs. I understand that since there are no blood tests it is trial and error, but it gets to be too much. My daughter has been on so many different medications/medication combos it's ridiculous. It is very frustrating. It is hard to keep the kids motivated to take their medications because it is just as frustrating, if not more, for them. When a child is a little hyper, they are automatically diagnosis ADHD. I really do think that diagnosis is handed out way too often and way too quickly!!!
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree. I know our first psychiatrist gave me a large print version of the doctor's prescribing info. She also would suggest a medication and then make another appointment to prescribe it so that we could really THINK about it. She got the medications right, we actually came back to the medications she rx'ed after trying others.

    The current doctor is useless. He wanted to give Wiz a bipolar diagnosis but refused to do a trial of mood stabilizers. when I gave him a copy of the recommended treatment from the academy of child and adolescent psychiatrists, he was stunned, offended and said wiz could stay on his current medications. He said he would not follow that protocol period. No reason why other than "I don't want to". LOTS of psychiatrists have said that.

    So many times they want to "try" something and then tell you the side effects aren't as bad as you say they are. Wiz HAS learned to push the doctor if he is having problems. he also knows that I will get resources to back me up and then will go head to head with anyone over this if he needs me to.

    I was totally floored when they wanted to try mood stabilizers on Jess because she was "blanking out" during class. This was her pediatrician. We INSISTED on a referral to our fave neuro instead. the pediatrician did NOT want to do this, but knew I would make a big stink about it. (I am NOT her favorite mom because I am too educated on this stuff!) Jess needed an anti-seizure medication and is doing well on one, finally. It took over a YEAR to get her to the right dose. thank heavens the psychiatrist starts low and goes very very slow with any medication.

    I think an EEG (sleep deprived), and many other tests, including neuropsychologist type testing should be done on ANY child they want to rx medications for. MOST of the difficult children here went through the ADHD label at first. And that seems criminal to me - the # of kids who had that diagnosis at first and then were found to have something else.

    There MUST be a better way to handle this.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    My answer is yes, but I think it's really easy to blame doctors for being quick to prescribe medications but I think there are issues beyond physicians into societal expectations. One is that we have made a significant societal shift over the past three decades to where mothers are expected to work. My pediatrician's (who I think highly of) soapbox is that he is constantly being pressured by parents to write a prescription for something for their child so they can get back to work. And I am positive that we couldn't have gone the long-term medication free route if our family didn't have the flexibility of an at-home mom. Please understand that I'm not assigning blame here, but 40 years ago there were far more in tact, 2 parent families with financial stability and a parent at home.

    The second societal change I think that has contributed is the increase in academic expectations, graduation requirements, and legal mandates for kids to stay in school. Education circles talk a great deal about individualizing instruction but in reality there's a lot of expectations for conformity that weren't there 100 years ago.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    he would not follow that protocol period. No reason why other than "I don't want to". LOTS of psychiatrists have said that.

    Very interesting.

    On a side note, most of the medical doctors I've met do not belong to the AMA. Too political. :)
  6. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I agree and disagree. I think there are a lot of parents that want a quick fix, they don't want to work on the Modifications, actually do the therapies and the work... some can't some don't know how. EDUCATION... is key to a lot of this.

    I also think many Doctors do dole out medications before searching and ruling out any other option or ruling in options.
    Our Pediatrician in Idaho, was really in a hard place, there were NO psychiatristS in the area. We had a lot of kids who maybe needed medications, some who needed better parents. She was the one who had to make most of the decisions, she hated it. She has won awards from the Govt and Medical board for her caring and diligence, but it is not a job I envy.

    For us we did have complete Nuero-psychiatric. But we still could not get some of the other tests that I wanted. certain blood tests, allergies, neurological...
    2 of our psychiatristS in Spokane did do the handing out of medications way to fast. Luckily husband and I read a lot, come here and asked questions. I have said this before, I will never do that to K again. I now know I can question everything and say "NO".

    I am very happy with psychiatrist5, we just had an apt on Friday. We said we don't want to change anything just yet, we want to watch and wait and see how she continues to transition. By no means are things easy or stable yet, but she is doing pretty well in school.
    Basically we told her it is all on husband and I at home, in the am and pm. She gave us therapist's names to help her with social skills etc.
    The medications are only part of it, if your child really needs medications. A lot of doctor's forget to really drive home how much work we as parents have to do, the medications do not fix everything.
    Slow and low... every one should follow this.We need more support, education and funding for all special needs kids.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I am as much concerned about the pathologicalization -- the trend to make every behavior some sort of disorder --of behavior as I am about the quickness of doctors to prescribe medication.

    They do go hand-in-hand. Every behavior is a disorder and there's a drug to treat every one of them. Oh, it doesn't matter that the disorders aren't defined by anything more than a collection of behaviors. It doesn't matter that the cause of these behaviors is never identified. It doesn't matter that the drugs haven't been tested on children or the "disorder". The doctors reach for the prescription pad, sometimes -- we've seen -- within fifteen minutes of meeting the child.

    And I hate that so many doctors still seem to be unwilling or incapable of identifying adverse reactions -- particularly psychiatric adverse reactions -- to the drugs they prescribe. And because they refuse or fail to identify adverse reactions, what do they do? Why, write a prescription for another drug, what else?
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    I agree with SRL completely. I put medications off for a long time and always said that when/if I decided to medicate it would be for him, not for me. I also came to realize that medications are an augment, the gravy, but not the meat and potatoes. Well, at least for my son's issues. I guess for some diagnosis the medications are much more important.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT is only on her second doctor since starting medications about 9 years ago. The first was an actual child psychiatrist...not too many in this area! When the insurance changed, I found this man, who was on the board at the only local psychiatric hospital that would accept children (which has since closed down), and board certified in addiction medicine. He's a bit of an arrogant poop, but he knows his stuff.

    In answer to the question, not in our particular case. I think that a lot of the prescribing is done at the parent's request, because they saw some commercial on TV, and won't take no for an answer, similar to wanting antibiotics for the flu.
  10. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I think they are too quick to write prescriptions without knowing what the real problem is. I wish they would look into underlying medical conditions more. difficult child 1's emotional problems were due to celiac disease and difficult child 2's problems appear to be caused by Lyme Disease. When I mentioned to difficult child 2's psychiatrist that I thought she had Lyme and that Lyme could cause all of her symptoms, he said he was aware of that but since it was such a rare thing, they didn't test for it. I wonder how they know it is rare if they don't test for it.
  11. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I disagree with parent's wanting a quick fix.
    I think parents coming to psychiatrists,pediatricians, specialists in desparate states. Begging for help. No one wants drugs in their kid.
    Our kids are guinea pigs. What other choice is there? You have a kid who is raging, not functioning, hallucinating, anxious to the point of not being able to leave the house. Tell me what else is there?
    I hate that my son has been on medications since he was 5yrs old. Is he cured? No!
    Is he able to function? yes somewhat.
    Is there anything else difficult child could have done? we could have done? doctors. could have done? Any other tests we could have done? I don't think so. It wouldn't have changed the outcome.

    The best we can do is try to make current tools fit our kids needs.
    Until something better comes along I'm stuck with medications,therapy,tutoring,behavior modification and a lot of love and patience. If anyone knows anything better, let me know. I'll ask difficult child try it. Guinea pig or not.

    Is there better tests to direct physicians care or our direction? I don't think so. We are all guinea pigs. We are all learning about abnormal behavior. How to diagnose it, how to treat it and how to parent it. The blame isn't doctors, medications,teachers,parenting or schools. Our kids are a mystery still.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The first psychiatrist we had for difficult child prescribed medications way too quickly. He wouldn't even listen to us just kept changing medications. We decided to change psychiatrists.

    We have a great psychiatrist now who I don't think prescribes medications too fast at all.

    I feel listened too and included when we meet with this psychiatrist. He always goes over possible side effects with us, in fact we even have to initial that we've been told the side effects.