Commentary about kids and the heavy use of psychopharmaceuticals.
From David Healy’s website written by Dr Irene Campbell-Taylor:
The children I write of here are suffering what I can only call medical abuse. Anyone interested however marginally in controlling what Big Pharma is doing should watch the PBS program “The Medicated Child”.
We become outraged at the actions of pharmaceutical manufacturers that negatively affect young adults, the middle aged and the elderly but when one sees the pharmaceutical abuse of children, outrage takes on a whole new meaning.
The most striking thing about this program is, of course, the number of antidepressants and antipsychotics these children are given, often from toddler age. It is deeply disturbing to hear parents declare that they have become convinced that their child needs to be constantly drugged and will probably continue to need these medications for life. When one mother expresses concern about the effect these may be having on her child’s development, she is, politely but definitely, dismissed. It is even more distressing to hear a thirteen year old say that she has to take several medications because they “make me more like I’m supposed to be.” Who decides how she’s “supposed to be”? It is to weep.
Having worked for many years with children and adults who have developmental and/or cognitive impairments, I couldn’t help but be amazed at the physical signs and behavioural aspects that, in this film, are repeatedly missed by pediatricians and psychiatrists. In several of the children in the program, I would want to investigate the possibility of a genetic condition, the physical aspects are so clear.
The parents are brainwashed.
The parents are, in a word, brainwashed. Over and over we hear that “if we stop the medications his behaviour returns, sometimes worse.” Have none of these physicians ever heard of withdrawal syndrome? To illustrate just how far this propaganda has spread, we hear that the schoolteachers are suggesting medications. And being listened to by parents.
The answer to the question that I put in bold is NO. Most people do not know or understand anything about withdrawal syndromes and that is why, in large part, a lot of people don’t even attempt to go off medications ever. Children, adolescents and adults, all. Coming off meds is often difficult. When there is no one to tell you what to expect, nor anyone to recognize the tell-tale signs of WITHDRAWAL SYNDROMES, the thing most people assume is that they need the drugs, when it fact many people are simply suffering severe withdrawal. YES. It’s a tragedy!
Please do watch The Medicated Child, a documentary available in full at PBS.
We need to educate ourselves and protect our children. The article concludes:
Fewer and fewer health professionals seem to learn about the multiplicity of ways in which one can identify and treat the behaviours that are identified in these children as “pathologic”. No-one seems to care about treating the child and not the “disease” or getting entire families into programs that will examine what factors, environmental, familial or genetic may be causing or maintaining the perceived problems. But, of course, as one pediatrician says,” When you see a new child every fifteen minutes….” We have allowed a very wrong turn in the assessment and treatment of all of us, at all ages for conditions that are too often misidentified and then, for want of knowing about anything else, dismissed with drugs that have unknown and untold effects on DNA, physical functioning and mood. (continue reading)
Dr. Healy’s latest book Pharmageddon, shows how pharmaceuticals are harming everyone across the board in medicine, not just psychiatry.
I did a post on the book here: Pharmageddon 2
For an article about these meds in adolescents see here: What happens to sexual development in adolescents who’ve grown up on psych meds? (and how these drugs impede normal bonding in ALL people)