A lot of people get excited when they see articles like this in the LA Times today. I’m getting sick of them. They simply don’t go far enough:
‘I need these pills refilled,” the weary mother says, displaying an array of empty bottles on the desk in my office. “My son is bipolar.”
The boy, a quiet slip of a 10-year-old, had been prescribed two antipsychotics, two mood stabilizers, one antidepressant, two attention deficit disorder medications and another medication to manage the side effects of the antipsychotics.
The mother explained that she had just regained custody of her son and his brother. During the last year, while they were in foster care, a doctor had diagnosed the 10-year-old with bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder and prescribed eight medications.
In the hour I spent with the boy and his mother, he exhibited no signs or symptoms of bipolar disorder, though he did display some irritability. In school, he continued to perform poorly in his second attempt at third grade. Both irritability and poor school performance can be significant problems. But I strongly questioned his diagnosis…
Blah, blah, blah,
So what happened with the boy whose mother wanted me to refill his prescriptions? After an initial two-hour assessment at our clinic, he didn’t return for his next appointment. When the clinic called to ask why, the boy’s mother said that she had returned to his previous doctor. “Your doctor discriminated against me because I’m poor,” she said, “and my son needs those pills for his bipolar.”
Unfortunately, families often put more faith in what they see and hear in advertising than they do in physicians. As physicians, we need to win them back.
Ha! Ha! Ha! What a crock of shit. Most physicians are so beholden to pharma it’s a frightening and pathetic reality. And in fact they went off to another PHYSICIAN, yes? But no, let’s blame the families and patients again, as usual.
Take a closer look at your profession dear Laurel Williams. I know you attempt to, but you just aren’t looking closely enough. If it wasn’t such a hegemonous monster of drugs-are-the-answer-to-everything out there maybe mom would have listened to you.
On a kinder note, it would be nice if there were hundreds of thousands of you looking at these children, yes, it would. But in point of fact the scale leans drastically in the other direction.