PBS "The Medicated Child" airing January 8 2008

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Denali, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Denali

    Denali New Member

    I heard a radio interview with the producer, Marcela Gaviria, and Christine Craft. Neither one impressed me with their understanding of the need that some children have for medical management of behavior.

    The entire approach struck me as sensationalistic. Of course, your mileage may vary.

    Here's the webpage

    The Medicated Child

    (in preview, didn't look like the URL came through--here it is in plain, for your cutting and pasting pleasure)


    Ten years ago, stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall were the drugs of choice to treat behavioral issues in children. Today children as young as four years old are being prescribed more powerful anti-psychotic medications that are much less understood. The drugs can cause serious side effects and virtually nothing is known about their long-term impact.

    The increase in the use of anti-psychotics is directly tied to the rising incidence of one particular diagnosis -- bipolar disorder. Experts estimate that the number of kids with the diagnosis is now over a million and rising.

    As the debate over medicating children continues to grow, FRONTLINE producer Marcela Gaviria confronts psychiatrists, researchers, and big pharma about the risks and benefits of prescription drugs for troubled children in "The Medicated Child."
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The long term effects of medication my difficult child takes are frightening. The remembrance of things he does when not on medication right now is frightening as well. Too bad it's not all an exact science!

    Oh- Welcome and thanks for posting this!
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Without the medications, I would have at least one dead child. For Piglet, the medication is a quality-of-life issue. For my others, it is very clearly a quantity of life issue.
  4. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    I would love to see the producers take my son home for a week and then tell me he doesn't need medication.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    PBS is generally very well-rounded; not as biased as traditional media.

    I say let's give them the benefit of the doubt until we actually see the presentation.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Although I'm on medications for life (no choice, tried life without medications and I didn't even HAVE a life) I do think psychiatrists tend to throw scripts at kids making wild guesses about what is going on. It usually starts with stims, as if they are harmless and not abused (they ARE abused a lot with teens) and now antipsychotics. I have no doubts many kids NEED medications, but I question how hard the doctors try to find out what's wrong with our kids. I remember forty-five minutes sessions for my son and prescription pad coming out along with a confident diagnosis. And often they were wrong. I do think we medicate too much before really knowing what is wrong, and that's the faults of the professionals who don't want to dig a little deeper to make sure their first impression is right. My son could have been spared medications had they taken the time to truly evaluate him. My mind reels when I think about how fast several psychiatrists whipped out that script pad, certain they were right. Till the bitter end (our firing him) son's psychiatrist insisted he had bipolar and we'd regret weaning son off medications. Well, hate to be mean, but I'd like to see him and say, "Haha, you were WRONG." It's been over four years without medications now and he's got no moodswings at all--he's probably my most mellow kid. But he's clearly on the autism spectrum and there are no medications for that. So I am sort of in the camp that feels the medications are given out too fast and too freely. I am NOT anti-medication or I wouldn't be on medications. But I'm against quick diagnosis. without testing for everything and without consulting a neuropsychologist to rule out the Neurological things that Psychiatrists often know little about. Just my own mini-vent :wink:
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    I guess it's good to educate the public about the dangers as the psychiatrists don't seem to have thrown caution to the wind in terms of pulling out those pads. I don't think it occurs to them to even try another/alternative approach. Plus it might put them out of business lol.

    Without medications, many of our kids would not have quality or quantity of life. It's especially hard when you have a child with multiple diagnosis. Like MWM said, no medications for spectrum. But many kids have AS plus one or two more letters besides. I'm struggling with the decision to try stims. I've been on the fence with it for *too* long. That's just as bad as going to quickly. The main reason I'm going to go for it now is that I see him falling behind in school and it would devastate him to have to repeat a grade. He's already the oldest having a late Sept birthday and he's a big kid, so he would really stand out and it would kill him. His biggest fear is that he stands out as different.

    Plus, when I think about it, he's been on medications for many years for his allergies. QVAR, albueterol, clariton, Flonase, history of antibiotics. I wonder if those are thrown out too freely as well?

    It will be interesting to see the segment air.

  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    My daughter had a great therapist. After his first 6 months with her, he suggested we might give medications a trial. He recommended the psychiatrist who gave the prescriptions. After several attempts, which were a total disaster because of very specific reactions, it was decided that no more medications would be tried. However, previous to finding this psychologist, I'd tried a couple of other therapists who insisted I put her on medications immediately. I would ask what was the diagnosis and what would the medications help? When I couldn't get an answer I liked, I went hunting for a new therapist. Took 5 tries, but I ended with a goodie. He saw her from age 6 to age 15.

    So, I do understand that some really are too quick to medicate. Sometimes, I think they are doing it as a "favor" to the parents -- a medicated child is frequently easier to control -- rather than because it will truly help the child. To me, that is just wrong.