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Afterword: This diary is meant to be provocative.  I am so pleased by all the excellent comments and interactions between commenters. If America were a family friendly society, I doubt so many children would be diagnosed with serious mental illness and prescribed psychiatric medication. I am not questioning that some children's lives are turned around by the right dose of the right meds, carefully supervised by psychiatrists and parents who are true partners..

I  am the mother of 4 daughters; the grandma of five grandkids, 5 and under; the big sister of 5 younger brothers; the aunt of 11; the great aunt of 8; the oldest of 45 first cousins. I am a psychiatric social worker and children's and young adult librarian. As a therapist I have worked with clients with serious mental illness.  I have been involved with many  hundreds of kids  for all my 66 years.

 I am also a manic depressive, diagnosed at age 40 in 1985. My life was better before diagnosis and treatment although I have taken meds for 26 years. Too often psychiatrist seem to want to drug away the radical feminist pacifist I have always been, who doesn't value obedience and always questions authority.  In my 20s I edited world famous psychiatrist, occasionally with  scissors (early  70s cut and paste).  They were soul healers, not drug pushers. It took ten years to find a medication that helped more than it hurt. I read about it on the Internet and shopped for a psychiatrist that would partner with me to experiment. This year, I might have found one that actually worked at the smallest possible dose.

Obviously, I am not denying a role for medication; I have swallowed my pills all this time.I am not denying a role for medication.  I am not talking about ADHD drugs like ritalin. However, childhood bipolar disorder has only been discovered in the last 15 years, mostly in America. Many discovers have close ties to Big Pharm. Until 1995 conventional psychiatric wisdom was that bipolar disorder could only be diagnosed in the late teens.  There is no conclusive study that proves childhood bipolar disorder leads to adult bipolar disorder.

Psychiatrists still debate whether it exists. I attended the 2010 meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. Foreign psychiatrists were not true believers.  Some reacted as if a portal had opened over the Atlantic, and they had  fallen into a demon dimension with another species of children. "What is a bipolar child?" one Dutch psychiatrist ask.ed In 30 years of practice, I never met one."

I believe you should not decide to drug your kids before you  take the meds for at least a month, preferably before  you take the bar exam or your medical specialist certification exam. Undoubtedly you will be better behaved, but that won't help if you are a zombie. Too often kids are being given anti-psychotics for behavior problems, anti-psychotics not tested with children. When I have taken them, my intellect and education have not been able to withstand their  cognitive effects. Giving such drugs to developing young minds until all alternative have been exhausted seems like malpractice.

 Until all the usual mood stabilizers went generic, anti-psychotics were intended to treat schizophrenics and hospitalized manics.  There is a shameful record of using them on Alzheimer's sufferers. As recently as the 2004 American Psychiatric Meeting in NY, drug reps were marketing bestsellers such as abilify and seroquel for those patients. Now they are being heavily advertised for depression and bipolar disorder as maintenance drugs.  The newer atypical anti-psychotics are heavily implicated in causing weight gain and sudden onset diabetes.

When my kids were young, 25-30 years ago, even in therapy-obsessed Manhattan, preschool kids weren't seeing psychiatrists, weren't taking psychiatric medications, so I am skeptical about this epidemic of very young children with serious problems requiring psychiatric drugs. If our kids were having problems in nursery school, we might decide to wait another year and find a better school.

What is going wrong with the way we are raising children? Why do we look in children's brains for the answers to be found in social reform?  Who is blowing the whistle? Who is questioning the wisdom of babies and toddlers being cared for by strangers 50 hours a week?Who is crusading for a shorter work week and greatly increased parental leaves? Who is is dedicated to make caring for preschoolers a viable career path for college graduates, comparable to teaching in salary and benefits?

 Who is comparing our rate of childhood mental illness with rates in the rest of the Western world? Who is outraged about preschoolers taking multiple psychiatric drugs that have never been tested on children? Who is fighting to outlaw drugs ads in magazines and on TV? Why are we teaching our kids that drugs are the solution to every problem? Thirty years ago we felt like bad parents if we let our kids have caffeine.

The aggressive drug treatment of mental illness in the last 30 years hasn't been a success story. When yesterday's wonder drug becomes generic, its ineffectiveness is suddenly discovered and its dangerous side effects are no longer covered up. Today's expensive wonder drug will supposedly save your life after being tested for a shockingly short time on shockingly few people who don't share your diagnoses.

Young children are so unformed, so in process. This year's four year old can seem like a different creature than last year's three year old. The shy 5 year old might be the president of her senior class. Fortunately I was diagnosed after my 4 girls were born. At times I was posit each was bipolar. They turned out splendidly.

These diagnoses disorder imply lifelong, incurable brain disorders for which there are no medical tests, no verifiable proof of their existence. Why would you accept that your young child has a permanently broken brain?  I have experienced tremendous discrimination.  and lost most of my self-confidence.

Does your child need more relaxed time with his overscheduled parents rather than tense sessions with experts comfortable with diagnosing him after a few testing sessions? Does she need a new teacher or a new school? I temporary home schooling even a remote possibility? Why not wait until the picture becomes clearer? We are not dealing with meningitis or childhood leukemia.

When I hear a 10 year old rattle off all his psychiatric labels, it breaks my heart and makes me want to man the barricades. My blog is one such barricade. I share my parenting experiences to show the broard range of behavior and misbehavior evidences by my 4 undiagnosed darlings who are successful adults, with excellent jobs, happy marriages, and beautiful children.

Originally posted to Are We Drugging Children Into Obedience? on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 12:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wish more people care about our future (kids) (15+ / 0-)

    as you do.  Thank you, & unknown side effects of many drugs will haunt us.

    "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 12:57:29 PM PDT

  •  Thank you. (19+ / 0-)

    While I'm childless myself, I've watched this trend with dismay for a long time.

    I'm certainly no expert, and I don't doubt there are many valid uses of psychiatric drugs for children - but the explosion of prescriptions over the past couple of decades worries me.  What are we doing to the brains of a whole generation?  Are we dampening away essential elements of the process of growing up? Are we, for the sake of convenience, throwing away some valuable parts of the human experience?

    We don't know.  That alone should be enough to worry us.  We are conducting a massive pharmacological experiment on our youth.

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

    by jrooth on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 01:06:59 PM PDT

    •  Are There Many Valid Uses of Drugs for Young Kids? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, indubitably, elfling, shaharazade

      People seem to be true believers in these meds far more than evidence demonstrates. There has been a shocking increase in mental illness since thorazine emptied out psychiatric hospitals. Drug testing only has to show if the drugs are better than placebos, not that they are better than the generic drugs. Manic depressives are always given the helpful advice to "get back on your meds" when they might be taking four or five of them. In my experience they are not magic potions.

      I don't want to blame psychiatrists. Parents are putting the drugs in their children's mouths.. Most prescriptions are written by non-psychiatrists  I talked to many conscientious child psychiatrists at the AACAP  (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists)  convention in NY in 2010.They struggled mightily with their consciences. Parents come in demanding drugs for their kids. Sometimes the school has insisted on it.  If the psychiatrist believes the kid should not be on meds, does he refer the parents to someone else, who will drug the kid to the gills? Or does he decide he can protect the kid better with his skepticism?

      Younger psychiatrists are the most drug happy. Too many got offended when I asked them  if they had kids or siblings. Do they know normal kids?  I keep thinking about all the brats of my childhood. How did nuns handle 60 kids?

      Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

      by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 02:07:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Valid use? (9+ / 0-)

        you decide. I have no doubt that without the treatment my special needs children get, they would both be dead by their own hands. Their treatment does not keep them from feeling that suicide is the best option, but it reduces the amout of time they spend dwelling on it. The result of useing these medications must be very carefully weighed against the result of not useing them.  Dead children is very serious business.

        "I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night..."

        by Killer on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 03:28:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Especially given your screen name (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Boudicia Dark, shaharazade

          No insult, just really unsure how to put that together.

          •  My Names (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ginny in CO

            My name is Mary Joan Koch. I started blogging as Redstocking Grandma in January 2008 as a Hillary supporter. My first grandchild was born in 2007. In the late 60s and early 70s I had belonged to the Redstockings, a feminist group in NYÇ.

            I write about my struggles with manic depression as Cassandra Woolf. Cassandra was the ancient Greek seer whose warnings against the Trojan Horse were ignored. Enraptured, Apollo gave her the gift of prophecy. When she spurned him he cursed her--no one would ever believe her. Woolf is in honor of Virginia Woolf, the best manic depressive women novelist.

            I have kept my bipolar blog secret too much of the time.
            Manic Magical Mystery Tourtalks   about shrinks, meds, loony bins, stigma, shame, guilt, and family dynamics. Trigger warning: I try to laugh my tears, but sometimes I fail.

            I feel compelled to give voice to the voiceless, all the children and teens who have been diagnosed with serious mental illness.

            Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

            by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:25:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You are right (5+ / 0-)

          I am sorry for overgeneralizing . Of course you are right. The right drug saves lives. Teens are a different from younger children.

          You write: "The result of useing these medications must be very carefully weighed against the result of not using them.'
          That is so difficult to do because it is so unclear, what are the meds' side effects, what is the underlying illness,  Have the meds stopped working?

          Especially with kids, a psychiatrist/therapist who works with the whole family seems important. I don't find confidentiality is a viable concept when working with mnors. Their parents are the therapist's  partners.

          Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

          by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:11:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I imagine the nuns (0+ / 0-)

        hit kids with rulers or something.

      •  In fact, that is one of the big problems with ADHD (9+ / 0-)

        drugs like Ritalin.  Specifically, the fact that schools are demanding it be prescribed so the parent has no choice but to go "doctor shopping" like some kind of drug addict or risk having their child be kicked out of school for something that a little therapy and extra care in the classroom could take care of.  Even worse, if they get caught then it is the parent and not the school that has to face any legal penalties.

        There is no saving throw against stupid.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 10:08:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Schools do not have the "right"... (6+ / 0-)

 demand unnecessary care for students. Doctor's notes and/or diagnoses trump school nurse, counselor, or teacher who doesn't want to deal with an atypical kid.

          We have a special needs kiddo whose well-meaning teachers occasionally try to "diagnose" with conditions he doesn't have. I've even had school districts ignore the findings of highly respected developmental pediatricians because "they know better". Um, not unless you have a medical degree, a residency, several published articles, and a couple fellowships under your belt, preschool teacher lady.

          People who aren't qualified to differentiate between similarly appearing conditions don't tend to believe that they don't know what they're talking about. Educators are trained to spot "flags" that indicate a need for screenings, they aren't qualified to diagnose a goddamn thing. Don't let them.

          "Reality divorced the wingnuts after the wingnuts were discovered to be fucking goofy." - DWG

          by Jojos Mojo on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 10:49:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thats what I always come back to as well (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chris Jay, cynndara, kyril

        How did the teachers in the 50s and 60s handle 30 - 40 or more kids in a class? We learned, we didn't have kids disrupting the class, we didn't have an army of assistants helping the teacher.

        How was that?

        Maybe because we never had to sit still longer than 2 hrs. Maybe because we spent more time playing outside. Maybe because we didn't drink tons of soda, live on junk food, or eat out more than not.

        But mostly, I think it was because if the teacher said we we being bad, our parents believed them, and because it was expected we would behave.

        •  There is evidence that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade, cai, cynndara, kyril

          it is very harmful for young children to watch fast-paced TV.
          The style of TV that's widely used in most commercials and elsewhere, with lots of jump-cuts...flash flash flash... physically alters the developing brain. Not in a good way.

          TV shows like Mr. Roberts, and "storytelling" shows that move at a natural pace are not harmful. I'm talking about clinical research in this area - controlled experiments using cat scans - which strongly point in this direction.

          One might reach the same conclusion intuitively.

          "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

          by native on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 06:37:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why Weren't Children Mentally Ill in the 50s and 6 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think all your observations are true, mmacdDE.

          We had 60 in the class. Our parents fully supported the teachers. The fact they were nuns who had dedicated their life to education contributed. School was for learning, not for socialization. Unfortunately, my shyness was reinforced; They stressed academic achievement.  Admittedly they were very competitive. By the time I graduated from high school I had more general knowledge than my Ivy League graduates did.

          On July 4 my youngest  brother was describing a human relations seminar he attended. Ten out of 100 participants said they had heard from the parents of young employees who had gotten less than glowing performance reviews.

          After school we always played outside until dark or dinner. The school playground was all concrete and we played running games and jumped robe the entire time. My family only ate out after graduations. We were only allowed soda, ice cream,and candy once a week. We didn't even get a TV until I was 14. We entertained ourselves playing cards.

          Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

          by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 08:09:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Alas, it may also be that many children with (5+ / 0-)

          serious developmental or emotional disabilities simply were not allowed in those classrooms.  Hell, back then, they didn't even allow visibly pregnant teens to attend school most of the time.

    •  I always imagined it a grand experiment in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, shaharazade, cynndara, kyril

      breeding a docile population -- a brave new world, if you will.

      Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
      Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

      by The Dead Man on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:41:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have mixed feelings about this post. (26+ / 0-)

    I have been profoundly lucky. I am over 60 and in excellent health. I have never taken medication of any kind. I worry that doctors, and not just those who treat the very young, are too cozy with Big Pharma. The first reaction to any disease seems to be medication. Certainly some of these problems can be addressed by lifestyle changes and behavioral and other therapies. There are, however, many, many people who rely on medications to live a normal life. I am unwilling to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    As a second wave feminist, I am also concerned about the comments that the diarist has made about daycare. All three of my kids attended a very excellent university-based day care program. They have grown up to be outstanding, accomplished, and caring human beings. The real problem is that good daycare costs a lot of money. Not everyone can afford high-quality childcare.

    •  Day Care (9+ / 0-)

      I absolutely believe in excellent day care. I started to get a master's degree at Bank Street in  Infancy and Toddler Education. Graduates became day care center directors. We left NY, and I became a children's librarian instead.

      Excellent day care is extremely expensive, and only affluent families can afford it if they can get in. I feel strongly that day care teachers should be professionals, having the education, salary, and benefits of grade school teachers.  Early childhood educators are more important than college teachers. There won't be excellent day care until it is publicly funded as it is in France.

      However excellent the day care, some young children can't or won't fit in. Two of my daughters might have done well. One would have refused to go, and one would have been expelled if we refused to drug her. Emma had trouble coping with all day kindergarten because "I used all my goodness up in school."  She had had a wonderfully adventurous life and is a expert in international cooperation and transitional justice.She has worked in 70  world cities, lived in Kosovo, Niger, Ruwanda. But she was the terror of the Upper West Side and Chelsea as a toddler. Childhood didn't suit her; her  wings were too broad for any day care xenter.

      At 2,herr daughter began and loved day care; her son did much better when I took care of him for two years and a wonderfully creative actress took care of him for two years before he attended an excellent public preschool at age 4.

      I think employers should provide onsite day care. It would be good for adults to absorb some of the energy and creativity of little children. Some mothers  have found it possible to bring babies to work until they became mobile.

      One granddaughter thrived in an excellent day care center from  3 months old until her baby brother was born when she was 2 1/2 and a nanny was more affordable.  Her center was a block away from her mother's office. Michelle could spend breaks and lunch nursing her rather than trying to find a place to pump. Another granddaughter at 3 started to go to day care at a large JCC, with activities for all ages, a pool where she has swim lessons three times a week. Eight students have a male and female teacher. That is probably better than most parents could provide.

      That is what you can afford with three  Yale Degrees, a degree from Harvard Grad School, Harvard Law School, a Ph.D. from MIT, 2 MBAs, one from MIT.  My daughter, the human rights lawyer, was able to work from home almost 3 years, and they shared a nanny with another family. All have negotiated flexible work schedules.  Michelle works at the office 3 days a week and 1 day at home. She has Friday off but is paid for 5 days. She is the strategic planned and portfolio manager for Biogen.  Their experiences have no relevance to close of 99 percent of parents.

      Their grade school principal understood my kids were divergent thinkers. I am terrified that we are now drugging divergent thinking out of some of our boldest, bravest, most creative children.

      Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

      by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 01:55:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our daycare center, which was located on (6+ / 0-)

        the Princeton University campus, reserved 25% of its places for low income children. Although I received a rather high powered education (and so did blue jersey dad and my kids), we am nowhere near the 1% economically. When I accepted the job as an Assistant Professor at Princeton, I was making $26K a year (mid-1980s). And, yes, we have quite a string of Ivy League degrees in my family too. Not all the "boldest, bravest, most creative children" struggle in school. Some do, some don't. Your mileage may vary.

      •  I ran a daycare for infants (11+ / 0-)

        but ended up being more of a nanny. I had only one client for two years and made less than $2/hr, being paid by state subsidy. I tried finding other clients, but I refused any parent that wanted me to let the baby "cry it out". (Or "leave the wet diaper on for another hour or two because it will hold more than one pee session and they're expensive.")

        My client's mom was a single, teenage mother whose own mother had a TBI and was unable to advise her in parenting.  I nurtured the little one and mentored the big one and loved doing both...just wish it paid better.

        Had to close the daycare when my own child started having issues with people coming into the house (12 yrs old at the time) but I do on-call nannying for tourists through an agency until I can find an admin job.

        My own experience is that the "disorder" we need to be addressing is Attachment Disorder. Teach parents (and caregivers) how to do Attachment Parenting and reap the benefits. (No degree required.)

        •  In Praise of Attachment Parrenting (8+ / 0-)

          Mammaorgaine, you wrote: My own experience is that the "disorder" we need to be addressing is Attachment Disorder. Teach parents (and caregivers) how to do Attachment Parenting and reap the benefits. (No degree required.)

          I want to quote you daily. I think you are exactly right. Second only to mothering, I feel proud of my ten years as a La Leche Leader, helping so many mothers both breastfeeding and practice attachment parenting.

          I loved taking care of my grandson for two years. I found it a utterly joyful experience. I had none of the conflicts and doubts I had as an inexperienced mother of his mother, my oldest daughter. She lives in the same Manhattan housing development we lived in when she was young. It is three generation because it is the best housing deal in Manhattan (12 year waiting list).   Playing with the babies of the babies I played with 35 years ago felt like time travel, bringing back hundreds of memories I thought were lost.

          I never let a baby cry it out either. My babies  didn't cry that much because I believed in  babywearing, the family bed, long-term breastfeeding.

          I hate it that baby who care for babies and toddlers are paid so obscenely little.

          Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

          by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 05:46:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ha! I trained to a LLL Leader (2+ / 0-)

            but I was too militant! I was too much a cheerleader for breastfeeding and had difficulty with the diplomacy such a position requires.

            I nursed my own daughter until she was 3 1/2 years old and to this day I don't understand how non-nursing mothers handle the Terrible Twos (go Prolactin!).

            When I started the daycare I had to carefully read the instructions on the formula can...never made a bottle of formula before that!

            •  Breastfeeding, the Lazy Parent's Salvation (4+ / 0-)

              I am forbidden under pain of instant excommunication to admit how long certain daughters nursed. Breastfeeding is the salvation of the lazy parent.

              How awake do you have to be to stick a nipple in a baby's mouth? Usually the clever little creatures find it by themselves.

              My oldest stopped nursing before 1. Her toddlerhood was much more difficult. I am so proud that my grandchildren were entirely breastfed for the first 6 months even though their mother's were working. I learned to open their freezer doors gingerly so I would not set off a cascade of breast milk bags. Your comment made me realize I have never in my life put formula in a bottle. My mom nursed all six of us at a time when few women did. She told me, "Doctors know nothing about breastfeeding."

              My daughters, my nieces, their friends  all get a breast pump at their baby showers.

              Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

              by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:33:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I Work As Hard As a Can for Free (6+ / 0-)

    I absolutely agree your mileage will vary.

    Please don't assume I am affluent because my daughters and my ex-husband are. Each probably has double our income. But I had the privilege of staying home with my kids and I loved it far better than any other job I have had. I also  was able to give back to my mother a small portion of what she had given to 6 younger siblings, 6 children, 15 grandchildren, a husband with Alzheimer's Disease. My best job was taking care of my grandson his first two years in the same playgrounds where we had lived when my kids were young.
     He is underpaid
     I stayed home full-time for 15 years with my daughters, worked part-time most of the time until my youngest went to college. Then I took care of my mom 24/7 for almost 4 years  though my family was able to match my low salary. From 2007 to 2009 I took care of  my grandson and then discovered there are no public library jobs anymore.

     My husband of 30 years divorced me. I mediated the wrong kind of settlement--good alimony, but I got married two years later and lost it. My much younger English husband had to finish his college degree before he got a job even with 20 years computer programmer experience. We largely own our house and have enough to live on. I have no problem with my daughters paying for dinner:)

    I have experienced tremendous discrimination in social work. I am worked very hard most of my life but mostly for free. I only get $831 in social security because of that erratic career. Since I have been mostly a librarian available), I am going to have a lot of trouble trying to establish a home-based private practice as a child and teen therapist. I am not doing it for the money. I lived in a mostly minority area of Long Island and have worked particularly well with African American teenage boys. They see the outlaw in me:). I am perfectly willing to see kids for barter.

    As a librarian, I have run countless toddler programs.  I could easily predict what kids could handle all-day day care. Some can't handle a half-hour library program. I worry about the kids who on the surface can handle it, but who don't become all that they could be. I was a gooder than good Catholic school girl. I would have been one of those. I suspect my manic  tendencies are a rebellion:X(

    Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

    by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 02:39:46 PM PDT

  •  Google "Katherine" and "Torture" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Joieau, ladybug53

    Google "Katherine" and "Obsidian Wings." I am so glad I was able to stay home with this daughter, a human rights writer and lawyer. Google "Katherine" and "Obsidian Wings."She hated school until Yale. She would have refused to go to day care.

    She is currently an  investigator for The Constitution Project's Task Force on Detainee Treatment.  Previously  she worked for Burke PLLC researching detainee issues and serving as co-counsel for former Iraqi detainees in civil cases.  She has written numerous Supreme Court briefs.  Her writing on rendition of prisoners to Egypt, Syria, Libya and other countries has been published in Foreign Policy, Middle East Report, the Georgetown Immigration Law Review, and The American Prospect.

    Before she was 30, she had helped research, edit, and write two important books, The Dark Side by Jane Mayer and Guantanamo and the Abuse of Prdesidential Power

    She is 33 years old. When she started to write about torture for Obsidian Wings, she was a freshman at Harvard Law School.

    Such a writer needs to be raised by her parents during her first 5 years. I absolutely believe if I had put her in day care, Katherine would not have been Katherine.

    Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

    by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 03:57:24 PM PDT

    •  This is where I think that you are really (11+ / 0-)

      igniting the mommy wars. My son is 27. He is happy married to a medical resident at Tufts. He is a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard. He received at PhD from Cambridge University at 26. He has about 15 publications in peer-reviewed journals including high-impact publications like PLoS one. He is brilliant and talented, and he went to day care. I think that he benefited by having a mom who had a high-profile academic career. Again, your mileage may vary.

      •  I believe in equal parenting (0+ / 0-)

        You misunderstand me. I advocate long parental leaves during the baby's first year of life so both parents can take care of their children.  I am uncomfortable with infants and toddlers spending 8 to 6 in day care before they are verbal. University day care is usually the best.

         Children who love going to excellent day care obviously thrive. Not sll children do, and much day care is substandard. I don't think universal, publicly funded day care is the panacea. I advocate long maternity and paternity leave so both parents can care for their young babies. Perhaps the government should subsidize full-time parenting or offer the educational benefits of the GI Bill.

        More family day care where parents who want to stay with their child take care of one or two other kids  is another option.  Perhaps there should be educational help similar to that provided in the GI bill to enable stay at home parents to train to be early childhood educators when their kids enter school.

        The phrase "mommy wars" is s exist. I believe in equal parenting. As a young feminist in 1968, I envisioned a world with a shorter work week so both parents could work and take care of their own children. Instead, we got a much longer work week, and women from all over the world take care of children at low wages with  no benefits.

        Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

        by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:46:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The point is that your declaration that (4+ / 0-)

          "this writer needed to be raised by a parent during her first 5 years" is an unwarranted claim and a gross generalization. You don't know that about that particular kid--whether or not you choose to believe it--and you don't know it about kids in general. My biggest problem with this diary is the I-Know-The-Truth mentality behind it. This comment is more of the same.

    •  This kind of "sample of one" (6+ / 0-)

      sociology is problematic for any number of reasons.  Hardly productive for broader types of policy discussions at all.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 02:57:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  how about we let each parent and child (19+ / 0-)

    make the best decision for each time period in their lives with the help of qualified professionals?


    instead of a blanket generalization?

    you obviously have already decided everything i'm doing is wrong.  

    •  Yes, it is not one size fits all. (8+ / 0-)

      I'd agree that psychiatric medications are sometimes prescribed unnecessarily or without due thought about the side effects. They are aggressively sold to doctors and even to patients through advertising. There have been lawsuits against the big pharma companies related to marketing these for off-label use and/or minimizing the possible side effects.

      And yet .. there are kids who don't just have behavior problems but serious illnesses. There are caring and careful doctors out there who weigh the costs and benefits of medications.

      My daughter's seen the good and the bad of this. She's been mis-diagnosed and has in the past suffered serious side-effects from medication. But she's doing pretty well now, while still on medication.

    •  The issue here is what counts as (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably, Sychotic1

      a qualified professional.  Or more importantly, are those professionals working from accurate information.

      Do you really think we need to prescribe the amount of SSRIs that we do to children?  Do you really think it has no negative affect on the brain?

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:27:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my son sees a triple-board certified (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishBiscuit, blue jersey mom

        child psychiatrist.  i hope that is enough for the likes of you and the diarist.


        •  I'm not attacking you for your choices (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in how you raise your child.  I'm asking whether you really think that every child that get puts on meds has the same qualified support.  
          What percentage of children on SSRIs have been seriously examined for mental disorders?

          And the fact of the matter is that you have absolutely no clue what influence the pharma industry has on the specific people you're dealing with.  Who is on those cert boards?  Do you know them?  Have you read anything they've written?  Have they written a single thing on the effects of SSRIs on the brains of children? Do they have a shred of evidence on the safety of these drugs for children?

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 09:33:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, would you consider a teacher or principal (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indubitably, mmacdDE, AoT, Sychotic1

          to be a qualified professional?  Because in many cases it is actually the school demanding that the child be medicated or else.  In fact, several parents have had to "doctor shop" to find one willing to prescribe the drugs even though multiple triple board certified psychiatrists determined they were not needed.  Perhaps a "nocebo"* could be used in those cases?

          *Nocebo - a placebo where the parent (and patient assuming he/she is mature enough to keep it a secret from the school) knows that it isn't a real drug.

          There is no saving throw against stupid.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 10:14:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Seeing a Psychiatrist (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That is enough for the likes of me. Not all the commenters express my views.

           I have  associated with many psychiatrists as an editor, patient, and therapist almost my entire life.  There are many excellent ones. Too many kids are prescribed drugs by non-psychiatrists after a minimal evaluation. There is a shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists., and they are very expensive.

          Insurance companies are generally willing to reimburse psychiatrists for short medication monitoring and social workers for therapy. Split care doesn't work if the therapist doesn't have enough confidence to partner the psychiatrist or the psychiatrist condescends to the social worker who usually has much less experience with children who are seriously mentally ill. A child psychologist might be a better bet, but again they are expensive.

          Obviously the psychiatrist can't make the right med decisions if she doesn't know what is happening in the child's life in the family, in school. Increasingly young psychiatrists are not trained to do therapy anyway.

          Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

          by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 08:28:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Who Is a Qualified Professional? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I spent an entire week with thousands of child and teen psychiatrists from all over the world in 2010.. I talked to at least four types of qualified professionals. The younger psychiatrist felt drugs, not therapy, were the answer and were comfortable medicating young children. More seasoned psychiatrist seemed to feel too many kids were medicated, but parents and schools insisted upon it and at least they could protect their patients if they supervised their care..

        Foreign psychiatrist felt like strangers in a strange land. "What is a bipolar child? In 30 years I have never treated one." The greybeards reminded me of the famous psychoanalysts I had edited in the 60s and 70s. They obviously adored children's creativity and rebellions and talked about their grandkids to make their points. No one else mentioned whether they had children or not.

        Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

        by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 08:20:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Personal Is Political (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, native, shaharazade

      We are all so defensive because there are no truly ideal personal arrangements when we live in such a family unfriendly society.We still have a 1960 workplace which assumes that each worker has a wive at home to do all the family work.

      What does a family do when both parents or the single parent has to work and the child is not adjusting to the group care they can afford? We blame each other because America is one of the worst places in the world to try to combine work and family in the world.

      For example, only three of 190 nations don't legally guarantee some paid parental leave. We are one of the 3.  

      Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

      by Redstocking on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:51:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yet, being only in my early 50s, I still wonder (9+ / 0-)

      how prevalent ADHD would be today if we still had recess and hour-long lunches, to actually be "out of the classroom" during school

      A break to go to the bathroom, get a drink, return your library book, play an inning of softball or a quick round of HORSE on the b-ball court?

      Taste the weather, stretch your legs, stop being another brick in the wall even for a little while during the day?

      LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 10:52:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My experience indicates that ADHD is often (2+ / 0-)

        misdiagnosed.  My son was tentatively diagnosed with ADHD.  I paid to have him go to a private school with a special teacher with a LOT of experience with special needs children.  In our classroom of 12 kids, there were 6 that were supposedly ADHD.  By the end of the year only three actually had ADHD, the other three (in the teacher's words) were not properly socialized when they got to school, but that too was handled.

        Over the next 6 years, my son stayed on a very low dose of ritalin that he only took on school days.  When he did awful things that little boys often do (mud, bugs, etc.) I would get a call from school asking if he had taken his "meds."  On more than one occassion I got livid and yelled at them that his meds don't make him act 'good' they just help him concentrate for fuck sake.

        In the seventh grade he asked to be taken off the medication.  I let him know that he would need to learn new coping skills without the pills, but he was game.  He has turned out fine.

        "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

        by Sychotic1 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 02:24:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I had those things. Hated both of them. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        awsdirector, Jojos Mojo

        Bored out of my mind, completely uninterested in physical activity. I would read during recess. And get treated as different kids are, of course.

        ADHD is not a fairy tale. It exists. And the kinds of magic-wand solutions you propose certainly didn't make any difference to mine.

  •  I get so tired of the expectation that if (3+ / 0-)

    women would just stay home in poverty everything would be fine.  My mother was a stay-at-home mom.  She was an electrician at heart.  Today she would be a computer tech.  She hated being at home, felt isolated and alone and didn't really like kids.  But in the fifties she had few options.  I, on the other hand, worked all the way through my kids lives.  THey are fine.  It was not highly expensive daycare, just a good local facility.  We could afford it on beginning teacher salaries.  You don't have to be rich.  If you are poor, lousy daycare is only the beginning of the problem.  Mental health problems cause poverty and often are passed on to the children.  Deal with that, and subsidize daycare.  And, as you say, let each make wise decisions based on their own needs and that of their kids.

    Not all those who wander are lost.

    by Leftleaner on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 05:35:18 PM PDT

    •  How can you make wise decisions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when you're not given complete information? When the expectations of those around you run counter to what you want to do and you have no advocate? Or you have absolutely no one in your life to model your parenting upon?

      Parents are pretty hot spit, but we aren't omniscient. Given bad advice (or none at all) we can make unfortunate decisions. Most parents want what is best for their child...that unites us.  Sadly, there are many pressures to define "best" and not all of them are healthy.

      I hope the gist of what I'm trying to say is penetrating the thought fog of too little sleep....

      •  Common sense and educating myself (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        are the things that got me there.  My parents were negiligent at best, and a lot of what I did was to look at their mistakes and try to do it better.  I also read a lot about parenting and applied what seemed logical.  

        Not all those who wander are lost.

        by Leftleaner on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 11:51:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The big thing is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You realized your parents weren't the best role models, and you actively sought ways that were different.

          What if you are told that the way your parents raised you is the only right way? Or if you can't let yourself even consider that they might be wrong?

  •  Big Pharma and pharmacy reps - (7+ / 0-)

    They're always coming into my doctor's office and suggesting new pills that he could prescribe.  Every time he gives me a prescription, I have to investigate how much the drugs cost before I fill it.

    Even worse, I know somebody who was ten days into taking Abilify, and decided to take her own life.  Obviously that drug wasn't doing any good - in fact, it was fatal.

    There are so many people out there who would be better off with therapy rather than medication.  They've found that medication doesn't help mild depression, but doctors continue to prescribe drugs for it.  Hyperactivity is treatable with regular exercise.  And don't get me started on the people who are diagnosed with ADHD!

    I think it's my mom's generation that started this problem.  In the 1950's, there was a pill for everything, and food came in cans.  Now we have rising obesity rates and addictions to prescription medications.

    I'd rather be called a dirty fucking hippy for reading books then to stand on the side that throws books in the garbage. - MinistryofTruth

    by Jensequitur on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 05:36:57 PM PDT

    •  It's the end result of years of pharma marketing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and the realization that the average patient is trusting of their doctor to accept recommendations for drug prescriptions that have their basis in the slick sell job of those pharma reps, many of who have no clinical knowledge of the conditions for which they pitch product.

      It's always about money and legal drug pushing has become a major problem in the management of health.

    •  Beyond the fact (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that Big Pharma is pushing the drugs to doctors by using incentives, etc, is the fact that there are not alternatives to mental health issues.  Handing out a pill is at least and active response as opposed to telling someone to seek therapy.  There are lots of differnet kinds of therapy and therapists and frankly, after years of negotiating the mental health system with two different people, I have yet to find a therapist that worked for severe mental illness.  There is not an answer for mental illness.  If medication holds off the worst case scenario then I guess it is the best we can do.   It is not like there are other options.

      And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

      by tobendaro on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 04:16:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are setting medical policy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Why do you think the standard for blood pressure has come down to a level that 75% of Americans can't meet (120/80)? If your BP is 135/90 and your MD tries to put you on meds, simply ask them when the last time they were called to the ER because one of their patients had a BP of 135/90. When they tell you "never", ask them why you need to be meds for this.

      I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

      by jhecht on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 06:44:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a great, important diary--thanks. (9+ / 0-)

    I'm not against the use of psychiatric medication, per se. There may be cases where it's quite necessary, where it helps somebody lead a better, more fulfilled life, where nothing else will. Too many times, I have heard the testimonial, "It's given me a life," of some or other pill.

    At the same time, psychiatric medication is definitely overused. Its use, as the diarist points out, is far too hooked-in to the profits of big pharmaceutical corporations--who influence what appears in the DSM, and when.

    There are features other than medication that would promote the mental health of our population, that our society just doesn't make space for. Today, I got sick of being alone in the apartment (an endemic modern disease, perhaps), filling out job applications, so I drove 3 miles to an "intentional community" on this rag-tag street in the community where I live. This is everybody. College students, seniors, middle-aged "co-housers," you name it. They live in each of several houses along the block. They are all interested in "keeping the door open to each other," literally, and metaphorically. They do things like cook for each other, on the spur of the moment, or just keep each other company, maybe where one works on the computer in the room where another naps or reads. On this same street are traditional urban-ites, lower-income people who have lived there longer, who are curious, who stick their heads in to see what's going on. I learned about this haphazard social experiment from an acquaintance of mine, a senior, to whom I remarked today, "If anybody sits around in the middle of the day, just doing nothing but talk casually to each other, we expect them to be nursing beer cans." It's highly unusual behavior, and maybe seditious. If it were more wide-spread, Prozac sales would decrease. I can guarantee it.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 06:06:05 PM PDT

  •  I don't agree with all your points, but .... (3+ / 0-)

    I absolutely agree America will live to rue the day it decided to diagnose and medicate its children en masse.

    Attachment disorder being the exception, of course.

  •  Hmmmm.... (11+ / 0-)

    As a child I was curious, excited about life, full of 'piss and vinegar' (my grandmother's phrase), always reading and had an imagination unequaled by anyone.  AND I hated the limitations of the routine of school.  My parents didn't know what to do with me, so I went to a child psychologist, who, they thought, would probably make everything better through chemistry.  Fortunately for me this wonderful woman (after many hours of talks and tests) told my mother I was a curious, excited about life, intelligent, imaginative child who incidentally was full of 'piss and vinegar', and the best course would be to channel my talents through care not drugs.  There was nothing wrong at all, I was simply different than what my parents had expected.
    My parents often shook their heads about me, but they listened to the child psychologist.  
    Over the course of years, I often thought of that child psychologist (who was very well known) and wanted to thank her for allowing me to be me.
    Today in my work, I see how many, many children are drugged (many of whom are simply different than what was expected), and I thank my lucky stars I found someone who believed in, and rejoiced over, the value of being different.
    (and yes, of course I realize there are certain occasions when medication is definitely needed)

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 07:00:58 PM PDT

    •  In my work, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lilyvt, indubitably, shaharazade, kyril

      I try to tell parents that a child they feel is off the wall and exhausting is a normal, curious, excited about discovery, engineer minded, vibrant being.  Nothing wrong except that the parent will be exhausted each and every day.  Be thankful I tell them, that your child is healthy and able and don't worry about changing them, they are awesome.  Rejoice in their enthusiasm.  I cringe when they tell me a child is so good because they entertain themselves and sit quietly most of the time and are very obedient.  I see frustration in the parents who want a certain type of personality but get another even when the child seems gifted and really great.   I try to assuage their fear that the kid is "different" and point out the strengths the child has going for himself.  Sometimes the parent just needs another view which allows them to relax a bit and enjoy the child.  

      And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

      by tobendaro on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 04:27:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't rec this diary enough (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indubitably, shaharazade, kyril

    Was put on a range of SSRIs and stimulants at a very young age (<8) and a large part of me feels that if I wasn't then I would be a better-adjusted adult.

    Thanks for this diary.

  •  Feed Them REAL Food & They Will Be Well. (4+ / 0-)
    Stop feeding kids artificial colors, dyes, flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, waxes, fillers, high fructose corn syrup, sugar and other hollow calories ...
    Feed them REAL food and they will no longer exhibit the "symptoms" that cause Doctors to put them on these drugs.
    It is that simple.
    Dr. Ben Feingold was saying this back in the 70's.  Back then they used to just say "my kid doesn't behave right" ... NOW they have a name for it: ADHD.  Once you have a name Big Pharma finds a drug. This problem is more acute today than back in the 70's because there is so much more shit in processed "foods" now.
    Dr. Ben Feingold was a wonderful man, ahead of his time.  Please visit: to learn more.

    "The Internet is the Public Square of the 21st Century"- Sen. Al Franken

    by Kdoug on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:22:31 PM PDT

    •  It's not that simple (8+ / 0-)

      though real food is still a good idea.

      No magic bullets.

      Parenting is one of the toughest jobs, and you can't quit it, even though the hours are lousy and the pay is worse. :-)

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 10:46:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not familiar w Feingold, will have to check (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      him out. The crap in food definitely does a lot of damage that we haven't even begun to find out. Someone above was concerned about revealing how long children had been breast fed. Another issue for me on parenting time during early childhood. I thought a year was darn good and I know it helped both of them with brain development. Turns out 2.5 years is much better.

      I am also in the mixed thoughts on how much Pharma not only does deceptive research, but follows with deceptive selling. It is just as bad for adults, they at least are past active brain growth after 25. I've had very necessary meds for SAD, depression and ADD. I also use supplements that, in combination with the meds, help way too much to not take them. My son could not get a handle on the ADD in jr high and high school. On non generic ritalin he did fine. In college he was able to get off it and eventually learned better discipline/time management tactics. Adjunctive treatments like meditation, photo therapy and exercise can be the final pieces that pull it all together.

      What blew me away 2 plus weeks ago was a report of preliminary research in rats on the effect of drinking water levels of SSRIs on neuro genes. The only genes affected are those associated with autism. The bells in my brain just went nuts. It may be early, the correlation of this epidemic of autism with SSRI prescriptions, and subsequent levels in drinking water  is too damn close. I would recommend any woman planning to get pregnant find a really good water source or home filter. It would not hurt in any way and given all the s**t in the water besides SSRIs, would be appropriate anyway. (NO salt exchange filters.)

      My general concern with the parenting vs work time is that we are so far from the way humans grew up for a million years or so before we settled and started agriculture, business, etc. I was also fortunate to have an excellent preschool for my kid where I worked and they have wonderful memories. They only went 2 days a week because I had always wanted to do a lot of the parenting and as an RN, I could do very part time while they were young.

      It was right for me and they appreciated the balance. I would mostly like to see the basic work week back at 40 hours of reasonable workload, more cultural support for family time and more options for both parents to work the hours they want to be happy with the parenting job they have time for in addition to their vocation. Some need to rethink whether it is fair to a young child to have a parent who has a demanding job that they spend a minimum of 60 hours a week at. That is also a societal issue.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 11:38:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I used that diet for my son (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, Ginny in CO, Kdoug

        and the difference in his behavior was noticeable.

        It does require a change in everybody's diet, but not for the worse. It's not a lot of work, just a lot of checking labels. You don't have to give up much, except the really processed food and junk.

        I still shopped at regular stores, my kids still got cakes, cookies, etc., just mostly homemade.

        •  Doesn't sound as restricted as what I (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          used. They learned as soon as they could read how to check the order of ingredients on the label. Sugar could not be any higher than #3, and that was only if there were only 3 in the list. After that they learned how to understand the fat/carb/protein information. It stopped a lot of the requests for what I wouldn't buy them.

          We were in AK until the youngest was 9. Both started on baby food made mostly from game - venison, moose, duck, salmon and other fish. I also did veggies from fresh or frozen. Grew some myself and raised snap peas for them to pick, rinse at the drinking fountain on the outside spigot and enjoy while they were playing. Friends too. I baked all the bread, made my own biscuit mix, and used Alaska sourdough for a lot of baked items. Homemade pizza using turkey pepperoni, fresh ground pork with Italian herbs, low fat mozarella.

          One year I got a thought while buying ingredients for what was dubbed Ginny's trail cake. My fruitcake recipe that had a hint of the candied fruit, 8 dried fruits, apple butter, orange marmalade, 3 nuts and semisweet chocolate pieces. The kids weren't with me so I went to several aisles and started putting boxes and bags in the cart. All of it went into a 2' X 2' moving box, wrapped and put under the Christmas tree with a note to them: "You can never say never." Inside were Little Debbie cakes, cocoa puffs, all the things I could think of they ever asked for and I wouldn't buy. Once ;). It is still a family joke - partly because their Dad ate "more than his share".

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 09:53:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  i took adoral for ADHD and all i got from it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was a horrific case of heat exhaustion because i was so sensitive to sunlight

    ADD medication IS coke-lite.  

    i work as a video game director WHILE going to school 2/3 time for a degree that i just want because i want it and my wife has a 4.0 in college and we were both diagnosed with ADHD

    it's BULLSHIT

    ADD is either laziness and undicipline and/or being a smart big picture person instead of a worker ant

    June 28th, 2012 - a good day

    by Anton Bursch on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 08:24:24 PM PDT

    •  Way too narrow a view of ADHD/ADD. (5+ / 0-)

      Two people do not cover the huge gamut of individuals who have varying levels of several forms.

      Yes, adderal has stimulant properties similar to cocaine, which many ADHD/ADD folks get addicted to because it is also effective. The problems are legality, inability to control dose, and probably just more of the effect than necessary, whereas a researched drug can decrease a lot of the later two problems. As one pharmacist put it, if any drug is going to have an effect, it will invariably have some side effects.

      We never had problems with a school system telling us our son had to be on a drug. We had very good physicians ('89 -'99) while he was in school who worked with us to get the right dose and drug (the generic Ritalin was not effective). They also used other treatment methods in their offices and by referral.

       The teachers basically reinforced to him how different his school work was when he was on and off the med. They could be very specific in what he could do easily on the med and was unable to get done if he didn't take it. Some kids have trouble with the drug interfering with creativity and positive emotions, he was better in both with it. The critical thing with kids and drugs that are affecting the mind as it develops is to watch for growth and development changes affecting the drug actions. He was classic in losing the effect around 18. After 25 he tried the low level SSRIs and found like I had that they help executive function and concentration - which may be from decreasing anxiety reactions.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 11:58:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You Were Such Excellent Parents (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ginny in CO

        I feel you and your doctor handled things exactly right. Your physician and your son's teachers sound remarkable.

        What worries me is whether all of us wouldn't do better with adderal as work gets more and more demanding. Supposedly kids take it before the SAT exams. When I was manic, I wrote A+ papers and aced exams. Now to write those papers, I had to lug my desktop communter over to my old bedroom in my mother's house at night, so everything I need would be in the same room, and I wasn't constantly losing things.

         You write, The critical thing with kids and drugs that are affecting the mind as it develops is to watch for growth and development changes affecting the drug actions. That does require a psychiatrist or an unusual primary physician partnering the parents, realizing they are the experts on their own child.

        Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

        by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 05:23:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, physician monitoring is essential (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It so happened our pediatrician was exceptional in that regard. His practice was probably at least 50% the children of nurses that worked with him. One of my experiences involved a 4 year old girl admitted 7/4/88 by medivac to the thermal unit (burn/frostbite) with severe burns from a firecracker going off next to a gas can. Dr Woodard and I were 2:1 on her for 6 hours. I went home and told my husband, if the kids are ever critical, get him.

          He was terrific with both kids when it came to assessing for referrals to specialists, especially psych.

          I was amused a year or two ago to read an article that MIT (Harvard?) actually included Adderall in the graduation ceremonies because 'without it, a lot of people graduating today wouldn't have.' No question they have a lot of ADD/ADHD students. Rather than use adderal more due to the increased demands of work, we need to get the Corps and our culture to change the obsession with work and how much time we now spend, the subject of another diary here yesterday. We need more balancing time, parenting time, fitness time. There are way too many chemicals and toxins in our food and water that have to be affecting us, not to mention the obsession with texts, email, twitter, etc.

          That would also decrease how much physicians are prescribing SSRIs, anti anxiety drugs and others for mental illness.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 10:49:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  My experience was the opposite. (0+ / 0-)

      I had a great outcome with time-released Adderall. I only wish I had insurance so I could try it again.

      And Fuck your generalization about ADD/ADHD. And the horse you rode in on.

      (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

      by homogenius on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 01:20:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  its my understanding of ADD/ADHD (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and it comes from being diagnosed and treated for it

        i am furious about being told that who i am means that there is something physically wrong with me.  FUCK THAT.  maybe you liked what coke lite did for you (i liked it at first too), but it starts fucking with you after awhile.  

        besides never being able to unclench my jaw and having the worst tension head aches, nobody explained the other side affects to me.  like sensitivity to sunlight.  i grew up in 100+ weather my whole childhood.  i took coke lite and that summer i almost died from heat exhaustion in the 90s.  i got the swine flu a decade later and it was a picnic compared to heat exhaustion (not to mention the horrific burns).

        what makes me angry the most about kids being told they have a brain dysfunction (which is what ADD is supposed to be) is that the ONLY reason that this is even an issue is that these kids are struggling to be square pegs in round holes.  they are just different not worse.  they aren't good little slaves for society.  too fucking bad for society.

        and fuck parents who want to turn their kids into stepford children.  

        June 28th, 2012 - a good day

        by Anton Bursch on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 12:09:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Overgeneralizing? (0+ / 0-)

      I know I overgeneralizing, especially when I am writing polemics. I am never been warned about how certain drugs would make me hypersensitive to the sun. I recall once I burned my hands so badly I could hardly function.

      I suspect ADD is too often  being in a school that bores you silly and badly constrains your freedom.

      Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

      by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 05:26:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stimulants aren't always the best answer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jojos Mojo, awsdirector

      for ADD and ADHD. There are several types that react badly to stimulants. Meds like Strattera sometimes help those kids. A mix of meds and therapy is often the best answer, meds so therapy can work, and therapy so the reliance on meds can decrease.

      My son couldn't take stimulants, they made him more hyper and more manic and dangerous to himself or others.

      Sometimes it is laziness and lack of discipline, sometimes it is a legitimate problem. The problem comes when meds are used without teaching the kid any compensation or behavioral techniques to help them deal in the real world. Some kids can learn from therapy without the meds, but I've never seen a kid only take meds, then be taken off them as adults and function well. Not when there was a legitimate problem.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 10:03:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)

        Our special needs kiddo has an expressive-receptive language disorder that also comes with a darling side of ADHD. My husband is a physician and we started the little dude on Strattera (a non-stimulant) at a VERY low level that gives our son a little "breathing room" to practice his coping mechanisms and allows him to learn how to exert his own control.

        Utilized appropriately, meds are a complete game changer.

        "Reality divorced the wingnuts after the wingnuts were discovered to be fucking goofy." - DWG

        by Jojos Mojo on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 11:20:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ADD and ADHD is way overdiagnosed, but for those (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      who actually have it, medication can help.  My son has developed a lot of other coping mechanisms and does not take medication.

      By the way, the best drug for ADHD is coffee (caffeine) which is why most people who really have ADD or ADHD drink so much joe.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 02:26:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  depends on the case.. (0+ / 0-)

        my son can't handle caffeine either. Stimulants of any kind are bad.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 03:05:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All stimulants have a paradoxical effect (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, kyril

          on my son.  Frankly I am surprised that your son got an ADHD diagnosis because when I gave the doctors the 5th (and 6th and 7th) degree about medicating my son.  They said that paradoxical response to stimulants was pretty much the confirmation of diagnosis that they look for.

          It is also very common for ADHD patients to smoke.  One of the first questions the doctor asked was is either I or his father smoked or drank a lot of coffee...which made me laugh out loud (because we are two stardard deviations from the norm in coffee over-consumption).

          "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

          by Sychotic1 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 03:10:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The stimulant effect.. (0+ / 0-)

            may be part of the autism and not the ADHD, though they've found some forms of Adhd that work like this as well someone told me on DKOS not long ago. (I'm horrible with names, sorry).

            I don't have to worry about my son smoking, if he starts, I'll know as we have three asthmatics in the house who are allergic to tobacco. But he's VERY anti-smoking anyway. I'd be more worried about Pot but he's also severely hypoglycemic and as that lowers blood sugar that fact was part of our drug talks over the years. I don't think he'll risk it, he hates needles and ending up in the hospital because his sugar tanks.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 03:25:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My son went through his pot phase and he (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              did smoke, but gave it up because he is becoming a hairdresser and no one wants you up close and personal like that if you are stinking of cigarettes.

              "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

              by Sychotic1 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 03:38:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  People seem to think that children (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, kyril

    Should not be allowed to just play, to be with those that love them, to be allowed to be children.

    The biggest problem is for the creative children, the ones that really need to create. They are more inclined to not sit down and study, to not be easy to manage, to be into everything, to get into things they aren't supposed to get into.

    It's really sad to see.

    Women create the entire labor force.

    by splashy on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 02:22:14 AM PDT

    •  Children and Play (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, shaharazade, Sychotic1, kyril

      As a child in  the 60s I  had  so   much more freedom than cihildren do now. When we weren't in school, we were able to roam the neighborhood, reporting home for  meals. I was the oldest  in a neighborhood of  boys, and I got to be  big sister, leader of the pack. We  made up  our own rules for  sports and games we played. I decided preschoolers could play baseball as long as they promised not to swing at the ball, so they walked.

      By the time  I was 7 or 8  my best friend and I regularly walked or took the bus to  Hempstead, the big town two miles away,  to buy  Nancy  Drew books at the Salvation Army, No one worried if we stayed there all day Saturday. At age 12, we started to go into Manhattan when we had made enough babysitting to see a play.

      My  parents assumed rightly  that I was competent and responsible. There was almost always a parent a home, and neighborhood parents had a perfect  right to yell at a misbehaving kid.

      Perhaps an even bigger problem than the creative children  is all the children who lose their creativity once they go to school.  I rarely see an uncreative toddler.

      Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

      by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 04:18:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably, kyril

      I saw a kid in Target last night using a red line on a floor as an imaginary laserbeam, and vocalizing about it. The mother tore into him about it. It was nothing but good fun using his imagination and he got yelled at. This is parenting today. Sad.

      "The Internet Never Forgets, and Republicans Never Learn." - blue aardvark

      by SC Lib on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 07:40:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with you.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Unfortunately RedStocking, President Obama and his Secretary of Education do not:

    Educational experience based on behaviorism is mind control.

    by semioticjim on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 03:30:10 AM PDT

  •  I wish someone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue jersey mom, awsdirector, kyril

    would have tried medication with my son when he was young.  Every dr we saw refused to diagnose him with a mental illness when he really had one.  I think that perhaps he would be better off now if he had been diagnosed as a child.  While I believe that many children are put on meds that should not be, I also feel that many are not diagnosed when they really are in need.

    And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

    by tobendaro on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 04:39:01 AM PDT

  •  What about the role of Synthetic Chemicals (0+ / 0-)

    from consumer products found in all of our bloodstreams today? Recently researchers documented 257 molecules created entirely by humans in the last 70 years from biphenols to herbicides to vinyls and formeldahyde metabolites.

    As much as I would love to think these chemicals are benign, I doubt it. And their effect on the psychology and biology of human systems is completely unknown.

    We have changed our body chemistry for commercial gain, and the result is mass disease starting with huge incidence of depression, bipolar disorder, ADD and ADHD and sociopathology on a scale which has never been seen before.

    The solution, of course, is to eliminate synthetic molecules from the human body. In the short run, how do you propose to bring relief to those whose bodies contain hundreds of synthetic chemicals many of which act on the central nervous system, and which first cause behavioral problems and then, eventually, cancers, diabetes, and chronic fatigue?

    I am a teacher, and I have seen behavior of students become more and more sociopathic, erratic and unstable in the last 30 years as these chemicals have multiplied. One cannot "do school" if one's body is filled with synthetic chemicals, but the answer is not to handicap the person further, it is to temporarily treat the symptoms while we turn our attention to CAUSES; The pollution of the human body.

    This diary is an example of the short sighted thinking which will never solve the true issues of the day, but is a knee-jerk reaction to what presents in front of your eyes. I would recommend spending time working for a chemical-free environment rather than campaigning for the overdrugging of our kids, which is a band aid for a huge problem we havent even started to address.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 05:20:32 AM PDT

  •  I work in a hospital (6+ / 0-)

    I process medical records (move them from paper to digital), I've done this for nearly 12 years now. Yesterday I processed a chart that really broke my heart. Now we are not supposed to read these charts but Im a very fast reader so if my eyes see something, Ive read it. So, this chart yesterday....

    A 12 year old child with language processing disorder. Basically s/he has a hard time making sense of words coming in AND going out. I imagine that would have to be pretty damn frustrating! At the age of 8 this child was sexually abused while in foster care. At age 10 their grandmother literally picked them up and threw them out of the house saying they were not welcome there ever again. At age 12 (the time of this most recent admission) their father brought them to the hospital and stated flatly that he and his new wife had one child together and a baby on the way, the 12 year old was not welcome back in their home. The 12 year old's mother also said no way, dont want them back.

    During the intake interview the child was asked how they felt about being re-admitted to the hospital. S/he said "Im so happy and glad! The take care of me here and love me here and give me food here! Is the hospital adopting me now? Can I live here forever now?"

    All that child needs is a calm, loving home life with adults willing to be patient and kind and attentive to the child. They will never get that though, instead they get 5 pages worth of psychiatric medications and no home of their own.

    Peace thru hemp / hemp for life!

    by Boudicia Dark on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 05:25:12 AM PDT

  •  As a parent of a child on meds (10+ / 0-)

    I honestly wish people would inform themselves before making blanket statements like this.

    My child has several serious mental health issues, among them auditory hallucinations. He was completely unmanageable before he began taking his medications, even with behavioral therapy.

    If I took the medications prescribed for him I'd likely suffer a psychotic break because I don't have hallucinations or his issues, so your idea of parents taking those meds for any length of time is ill-advised in the extreme.

    I don't like the fact he's on them and worry about long-term effects, but at least he can now function in school and at home.

    •  Yeah, medicating our kids is something we (3+ / 0-)

      just sorta jumped into, kinda like buying a candy bar in the grocery checkout.

      Obviously, as we didn't make the choice that the diarist would prefer, we haven't thought about it at all, haven't educated ourselves, haven't lost sleep.

      We're like children ourselves, don'tchyaknow?

      •  Oersimplification (0+ / 0-)

        The issue is very complicated. All I can offer is my experience actually taking many of these medications and suffering their devastating side effects and observation other people undergo the same ordeals..

        I do think it is important than psychiatrist subtract medications as well as adding them or you wind up taking another med to counter the side effect of the previous med.

        Some people are lucky enough to  find the right cocktail right away. Some never do. It is all just trial and error. I have been struck by how the latest med is often hailed as the miracle drug before it goes generic and its limitations are discovered.

        Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

        by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 10:34:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I am an educator who has worked with thousands (9+ / 0-)

      of children. We are never allowed to "demand" children be medicated as some posters have asserted. I want to support your decision because what I have witnessed is the absolute relief that proper medication has brought to some of my students. I have seen children go from totally dysfunctional (by any definition of the word) to focused, happy,  and able to participate with their peers. I have also experienced a couple of children whose parents felt quite righteous in keeping them medication-free despite what were obvious severe mental issues. A child skulking around school talking to the voices in his head and unable to do any work or interact socially is heartbreaking. His mother simply insisted that if we cared more he would be fine. There has to be a rational middle ground between over-medicating and refusing needed meds. I wish you and your child the best!

      •  Each Child Has Different Needs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I agree with you entirely. I have finally found a medication that works, and it makes a tremendous difference. Unfortunately, we don't know how these meds work or why they work for some people and not others.

        Just like we have learned to distinguish many different kinds of cancer and treat them differently, we need to learn that once you have seen one bipolar child for example, you have seen one bipolar child. There are no physical manifestations or lab tests to help make the diagnosis.

        Psychiatry is an art desperately trying and failing to be a science. You used to be able to assume that your psychiatrist had had therapy. Now you can't. I question where a therapist who hasn't examined his own issues can truly help a patient.

        Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

        by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 10:30:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have a grandson who was miserable (4+ / 0-)

        prior to taking the medication for his ...ADD/ADHD/whatever.   He was miserable because he could not control his own behavoir and reactions to things...and that in turn made others not be pleased with him.

        The medication allows him to be successful in his educational and social life.

        His parents resisted for a very long time before going the medication route....probably too long.

        "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

        by leema on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 04:57:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Grandma?! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, Jojos Mojo

          Just kidding!  But seriously, that's me to a tee right there.  Prior to ADD meds and diagnosis, I was miserable to the point of attempting suicide (and failing at that, imagine how that makes one feel).  Afterwards?  I was able to build a career and family, make friends, and actually accomplish the things I wanted to.

          I understand people like Anton Burke who were diagnosed, tried meds, and found that they weren't for them.  It's possible he was misdiagnosed or given the wrong prescription, but there's some people out there that don't have it as bad, and are able to work out their issues without the help of medication -- and that's a position I can respect, although I think that him denigrating such treatments as addicting people to "coke-lite" is well beyond the point of serious discussion.

          But dressing up this anti-science and anti-diagnostic hit piece as a "think of the children" polemic shows that the diarist doesn't actually give a shit about the children.

    •  I Am Sorry If I Got On a High Horse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am sorry if I got on a high horse.  Of course a child suffering auditory hallucinations needs medication. Antipsychotics are usually quite effective against halllucinations. Children like everyone else can suffer from serious mental illness.

      A normal person taking antipsychotics is extremely unlikely to have a psychotic break,but much more likely to feel like a zombie. They used to be called major tranquilizers.

      I am glad they have helped your child to function.What has helped me the most is the smallest possible dose of an antipsychotic, which prevents past trauma from bleeding into the present and making me an emotional hemophiliac.

      When I get discouraged about how much I have fallen short of my goals before I got sick, I am too apt to tell myself the meds have done more harm than good. In point of fact, no one knows for sure.

      Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

      by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 10:48:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can't control everything in your life (0+ / 0-)

        andI understand. My wife has serious medical issues (non-psychiatric) and her life has been improved but she's still seriously impacted. You can't always control what's happening, but I would encourage you to focus on the positive as much as possible.

    •  Understood (4+ / 0-)

      My grandfather developed schizophrenia in his teen years. He was medicated for life and better for it. My uncle developed the same disorder at about the same time. He committed suicide about ten years later for the same reasons, untreated at the time.

      I have some issues with the blanket generalizations made by this diary. I also feel that diagnosis needs to be generally better, that there is a problem with the state of mental health care in the US, and that some children decidedly don't need to be medicated.

      At the same time, I feel no broad brush can capture the nuance of this situation whatsoever.

  •  Have you heard of PANDAS? (0+ / 0-)

    Relatively new thought about relationship between Strep infection and 'mental' problems.  Just as Rheumatic fever attacks the heart, new thinking is that Strep can have effects on the brain.

    Good news for some children.

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 07:19:26 AM PDT

  •  Our modern society (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indubitably, scarvegas, fuzzyguy, kyril

    is 'mentally ill' and really inhumane.  It's hard enough to be an adult in a society that only values people who can compete or be good drones, winners or losers who are in a race to the top.

    Children are raised to be little robots filled with fear and crammed with data to win the race to the top. They are plugged in from birth.  Any child who does not or cannot conform to the abnormal norm in a society that does not value or nature it's members is hammered down like a nail that sticks up. We also do not foster community, common good or tolerance for those of us who don't fit what we call normal.  

    Were all wired differently and that is part of the human condition. Flat lining everybody with drugs so they can be good little drones and lead productive lives seems ass backward. A productive life is defined by ones ability to compete in a dog eat dog world. Their worth is more then being a success in a sick society that talks about killing villages of people as 'collateral damage' or locks up a huge segment of the population for smoking pot. A brutal society. that then makes an obscene profit off prisons and legal drugs for people to cope.

    Don't even get me started on what we do to the children who have the misfortune to be born to poor parents in a society that looks on poverty as a crime. People children included are nothing but consumers or a profit loss in any society that stops valuing or caring about the common good or welfare of parents families and children. We talk of 'family values' and then provide no socail structure that fosters or sustains families or humanistic communities. Humanism, questioning and creativity are squelched as they are a threat to authority and the structure.  

    I too include my disclaimer that some people do need medication.  It might be a good idea however to take a look at why we medicate so many people rather then provide a environment a society that values differences and doesn't look at humans as winners or losers, and provides a way for people to actually live sane and productive lives, even if we are nails that stick up.

    My brother is mentally ill. He refuses to take meds he says it makes him a vegetable. He is/was an artist, a painter  He once said to me 'In some societies I would be considered a shaman rather then a madman'. In our society we fear and shun those who see the world differently or cannot plug in and produce.  


    •  this guy says it better (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

    •  You Said It All (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, fuzzyguy

      Shaharazade, you should put this comment in a diary.  You said it so much better than I did.

      Drugging people and making them working insanely long hours is the perfect recipe for squashing dissent. I spent a great deal of time being a honorary grandma to the young people at OWS. So many of them were psychiatric survivors who had been medicated when they were very young. Eventually they rebelled against the meds.

      Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

      by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 10:16:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wished more people (4+ / 0-)

      Were writing not about 'to med or not to med', but rather, asked why children are on so many meds.
      What is about our society is driving kids crazy?
      Yes, there are children with a need for meds.
      But what is making many others 'sick' is that our society is now about thinking of them as machines, and their spirits/souls/self is dying/angry/dead for lack of recognition. Their souls are not seen.
      It is an existential crisis.
      The purpose of life is to feel and love and create, not to win and gain and compete.
      I ask students not to analyze Hamlet, for example, but to tell me how they 'feel' about Hamlet. Bafflement, at first.
      I ask students how often they are asked how they 'feel' about anything at school or at home, and most say: never.
      As adults, we are facing the same deep questions in regards to, say, global warming. And the true answers destroy the pillars of the modern economy. Greed is not good, it is dehumanizing. Children get this most of all, and suffer the most when year by year their common sense is neither seen nor heard. Their 'sickness' is the coal mine canary.

    •  "Flatlining" blah blah (5+ / 0-)

      Gotta laugh. How about all those people who are not only more functional and productive, but also a hell of a lot HAPPIER with medication?

      You can argue that modern society is organized in a manner that challenges individuality. Maybe so, but far less so than at any prior point in human history. Try being an individualist in a tribal society, see how long THAT lasts. The reality is that this is the world we live in, and it is not going to radically transform. Helping people to live in it is not a bad thing.

      We no longer have the natural selection that probably would have taken a lot of propensity for poor impulse control and poor focus out of the gene pool over the past few centuries. That's the modern world. Helping those who suffer these conditions is not enslavement--it's compassion.

  •  I'm a special educator (11+ / 0-)

    who works with middle school children with emotional disabilities. I cannot keep a child out of school because he/she is NOT medicated - it is against the law. I can ask a parent if he or she has considered medication but I cannot say their kid needs to be on drugs.

    I taught a particular kid for two years - the first year he was unmedicated and he was off the chain. He ran around the building, played basketball, sought out a trusted teacher (usually me), bounced a ball in a spare room, wrote in a diary, drew, put together puzzles, did word searches, anything that allowed him to get his act back together. Nothing worked for more than a few minutes at a time. And he hated being "different" than the other kids. At the end of that first year, his mom decided to try therapy and medication. His second year was remarkable. He earned awards for academic success and successfully navigated his 8th grade year - now it's off to high school. The meds gave him the ability to slow down a little before he acted and the therapy gave him some insight into his actions. And he was able to learn some strategies that helped him to be successful within the school setting. Meds aren't necessary for all children. But for those who need it, it can be a godsend.

    •  Thank you for this. (7+ / 0-)

      It is for just these reasons that I don't think that this diary should be in the Community Spotlight.

    •  I know drugs help children (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, Dracowyrm, kyril

      My dairy was a polemic, and I am delighted what excellent comments it evoke. That's why I am trying to answer each one.

      Thank you for clarifying the legality of school and teacher recommendations.

      My brother has taught special education in Maine, my daughter is a high school teacher, and they have told me the same thing. Some kids' lives are turned around by the right medication and therapy.

      The similarity between manic behavior and ADHD behavior fascinates me. That is the only time I am in any way hyperactive. I have been a compulsive reader all my life, and abruptly I don't read. I take impressively intellectual books out of the library, and hardly open them.

      Being a public librarian was actually helpful for me. The inherent order in libraries is grounding. The stimulation of interacting with strangers all the time was enjoyable. Having to show up on time everyday for an excellent antidepressant. As long as I could make myself smile at patrons, get up and help them, their appreciation made me feel much better.

      Stop Drugging Children Into Obedience

      by Redstocking on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 10:23:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue jersey mom, Jojos Mojo could be posting anti-diagnostic claptrap while trying flogging your blog in your signature for more hits while trying to claim the mantle of someone that's just doing this for the children, don't-cha-know.

        There are plenty of ways to perform advocacy and raise awareness of issues without proclaiming that since you and your little darlings don't need no stinkin' diagnosis, we're all just "drugging children into obedience" and that we should be (or should have had) better parents.

        This diary is disgusting, and bomb-throwers like you do nothing to actually make a damn thing better.  I'd apologize for being harsh, but you'll have to excuse me for not doing so, since people like you have made the lives of people like me miserable for untold years, and continue to do so to this day.

        •  I agree with you Explodingkitchen, and (3+ / 0-)

          I do not think that this diary ever should have been chosen for the community spotlight. I see a lot of bomb-throwing here--subtle and not-so-subtle attacks on everything from parenting to daycare to the use of medications.

          I have been an active member of the DKos community for over 7 years. We are supposed to be part of the reality-based community. I don't see any data here. What I see is one person's experience. Anecdotal experience is not data.

          Thanks for your posts in this diary.

          •  My pleasure. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue jersey mom, Jojos Mojo

            I could understand a position that perhaps there are doctors that are overprescribing medications and underutilizing other effective treatments.  

            I could understand a position that underscores the need to educate parents, school officials, and people as a whole on how to properly recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness rather than using it as a go-to diagnosis for individuals that don't fit the standard mold.

            I definitely agree with the stance that we, as a society, have become far too focused on money and productivity at the expense of the journey of life.

            This diary simply tries to dress up anti-diagnostic and anti-science rhetoric with a logo shirt reading "But think of the children!", and is written as a flat our attack piece rather than a debate-provoking polemic, and it's insulting to the intelligence of readers that the diarist is attempting to walk back her holier-than-thou stance by trying to call this a polemic peace, when it's fairly easy to look at her blog and realize that if this diary is simply supposed to be a thought-provoking, debate-inspiring peace, the author has integrated such devil's advocacy way too deeply into her normal thought processes and core beliefs.

            I've dealt with the sinking despair that comes from being unable to interact with people in person, and the despair that comes from being told that I'm lazy, or that I'm a failure.  I grew up in the town that bred the people that drove Seth Walsh to suicide -- people weren't any more understanding about different or disabled people when I grew up in Tehachapi, either.

            To see treatments that have improved the lives of myself and so many others denigrated in such a fashion is infuriating, and it's even more infuriating to watch a community that treats other human interest and disability issues so well go off the goddamn rails when it comes to mental illness.

  •  Tough stuff... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indubitably, mahakali overdrive

    My son is having trouble in school. As early as kindergarten. In 1st grade he was hitting his teacher and one time had to be carried out by a security guard. And this is an excellent school where everyone is trying to work with him. I do not fault the school except for the fact that no school has the funding in America these days to deal with any kid who is outside the norm.

    We have been pressured to get him tested and treated. He has been in therapy and I think it has helped though not in a clearly dramatic way. Just kind of getting him more in touch with his feelings, which is a good thing. Some folks at his school have been convinced he is on the Asperger's spectrum, though I have generally disagreed. He never seemed to fit that spectrum unless there was a part of that spectrum that is so unlike the rest of the spectrum that it probably shouldn't be lumped in with the rest. Overlap, perhaps. But he never fit the profile as I knew it.

    We finally gave in and had him tested. Sure enough, he doesn't fit into any category. SOME overlap with Aspberger's/Autism, but no where near enough to classify him on the spectrum. More overlap with ADHD but not enough data to diagnose. His therapist commented that she knows MANY kids, mostly boys, who have a nexus of symptoms that include parts of Aspberger's, parts of ADHD and parts of anxiety disorders. Some get "diagnosed" in one direction, some in other directions, some not into any category.

    For us the bottom line is the school system is having trouble handling him. Teachers love him because he is smart and engaged. But they also get really tired of dealing with his tantrums. So his behavior grades are on a level where he will have trouble getting into a good middle school, or so we are told. We were also told that an Asperger's spectrum diagnosis might get us a way of getting him handled by the school system better. Before we tested we kept asking what happens if we don't get a clear diagnosis. No one would answer that question. Now we have an unclear diagnosis. A diagnosis none the less. It showed he is not "normal" in his social interactions, but we KNEW that. Where to go from there is not clear.

    So we are told to hire a student advocate. I am in a family that is already hiring an elder care advocate for my mother, a disability advocate for my brother, and now is faced with hiring a student advocate for my son. The advocates we already have are excellent, but it is draining our money and time to a degree that it is a huge problem. Adding another advocate is one more burden, though perhaps a necessary one.

    These kinds of elder care, disability and child care issues are taking up the time of several adults just for my one family. My wife and I can barely keep up with work, this kind of advocacy, AND our normal parental duties and wind up always word down. Part of me thinks there HAS to be a better way. Then again part of me realizes there may well never have been a better way, just a failure to help all these people who need help. hope is no one wants to put my son on medication. I don't think he needs it. There is a part of me that DOES wonder if it would help...but I also know it would not be without side effects and though I would love him to be easier to manage for everyone, I would never want to change his basic personality and sense of himself. It is hard for drugs to strike the right balance, particularly in a still developing body.

    Thanks for the diary. Definitely strikes a chord.

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

    by mole333 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 09:40:13 AM PDT

    •  There are some legal issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue jersey mom

      The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) entitles kids with disabilities to special eduction services if that is appropriate. To qualify the kid has to fit into one of the recognized categories of disability. There is an autism category, but it is pretty narrowly constructed, so if a child doesn't have a clear diagnosis of autism or is on the higher-functioning end of the spectrum they may not qualify. However there is also an "emotionally disturbance" category and that can include kids with all kinds of diagnoses. Sounds like your child might well qualify under that category.

      Medication does not have to be an all or nothing decision IMO or a permanent decision. If his doctor thinks it appropriate you can always try it, and discontinue if you don't think it is achieving good results.

    •  have you had him evaluated (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Progressive Mom, mole333, kyril

      by an OT with knowledge of sensory integration disorders? I'm not saying it is, but a lot of times kids who "act out" and are autism/adhd spectrum like are having trouble either with over or under sensory stimulation. If not, it may be something to ask your pediatrician about arranging, therapy for sensory disorders is very non-invasive and almost never requires meds.. Much of it you can follow up on or do at home once you know what is needed. And a lot of kids have trouble communicating the symptoms of it and go undiagnosed until much later.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 11:09:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think over stimulation is a part of it. Will keep it in mind. It isn't really on anyone's radar at the moment and perhaps should be.

        FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

        by mole333 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 12:32:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Keep a behavior journal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          For a couple of weeks, see if there's a pattern so far as what else is going on around him, what he's done, etc.  You may discover what is behind it, and you can bring it with you when you discuss things with his doctor and/or therapist.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 12:53:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Some thoughts: (5+ / 0-)

      Is your son still young?  (You mention first grade, but I'm unclear)  If so, he may be "growing into" his diagnosis and evaluations later may be more beneficial.  Meanwhile, a physician will only be able to use medication for "symptoms" and not for real relief.  And that's a tough call, because you might not even be sure which "symptoms" you want to deal with.  And, while you are deciding about which medicine, how much and why, your son still needs to function in school.  So he needs some special services.

      In New York, there is a classification in the school system that is basically "other" (it's number 9, I think).  Any child with your son's serious symptoms and with clinicians saying something is wrong but they aren't sure what would be able to be classified.  If that isn't available, have one of the clinicians that did your son's testing give him a letter of "maybe"... "John may have Asperger Syndrome but only meets x of the y characteristics.  Growth and development may change this....yadee yadee da..."  Those kinds of "maybe this, maybe that" letters are often enough to get a student classified by the district.

      Once classified, you can request that your district have him evaluated by an OT and a speech therapist with no cost to you to look for language processing problems, auditory processing problems and sensory integration issues, among other things.

      As for an advocate:  I don't know why you were told to hire one.  Look around for not for profit advocacy groups, special education parent groups, etc.  You should be able to find an experienced mom or dad to assist you in dealing with the school district if you feel you can't do it alone.  Unlike elder care advocacy, the laws are on you and your son's side inside a public school district.

      Finally, that "good" middle school you are worried about:  cast it out of your mind.  If you can't get your son to listen and learn now, it won't matter.  

      I've been through all this and I'm sorry for the burdens you are carrying.  Try to be gentle with yourself.

      [sorry if this is too much butting in, but your situation strikes a very familiar chord.]

      •  No...very much appreciated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My son is 7...will be 8 in October. In some ways he has always been like this (was proficiently reading about a year before he was reliably potty trained...kind of sums him up in a nutshell). But it could well be he is developing and so not yet in a clear diagnosis.

        "Other" (which I think is number 9...number 9...number 9...sorry, Beatle's moment there) has come up and probably is what we will be going for.

        We actually know some people who might be able to help. His school councilor may well be wonderful help, though so far we think she has not handled him or us well...though not for any ill will on her part, just over confidence in her own diagnosis of him. Will be interesting to see how she reacts to the fact that her sense of his issues has been shot down.

        As for middle school, you are right logically, unfortunately in the NYC schools these days third grade (which he will start in the fall) is when they start judging kids' middle school future. Crazy, of course, but it actually is something we need to take into account. But of course we need to help him anyway.

        FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

        by mole333 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 12:38:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My son has multiple diagnoses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    High functioning autism, adhd, ocd, odd, and bi-polar. I've never agreed with the Bipolar or OCD. He does get periods of what can only be called "mania" meds never stopped that and we tried several. The only times I've ever seen him depressed he had reason to be (death of pets, dealing with a friend with a brain tumor who was told she had a year to live, etc).
    The only thing that helped his 'manic phases' has been sensory integration therapy and improving his sensory self-regulation strategies. If he's not over stimulated or under stimulated he's not manic.
    As for the OCD, yes, he is routine based, he's not as routine based as any case of OCD I've ever heard of. And even his routines have minimized over the years. They are much more manageable then they used to be.
    Autism, well that's one there is no doubt in my mind about. He's highly functional however and improving. ODD, I don't doubt that one either, though we've learned how to deal with it. ADHD.. I'm not sure whether that's just part of the autism or something separate.

    I do know he's 100% better now than he ever was on meds.  When he was younger the meds helped a bit to a point, in keeping him from hurting himself or someone else. I think if we'd discovered the sensory link earlier that therapy there would have helped him more.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 09:51:26 AM PDT

    •  Autism can look like mania (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, kyril

      One of the symptoms is hyper-sensitivity to some stimula. So the kid gets irritated to a degree that seems abnormal and can blow up, in a way that can look like a manic episode. That's what sensory integration therapy treats. Re meds, your mileage can vary. There's no magic bullet and what works for one child may not work for another.

      •  Yes, this is why I question that dx. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't believe he's either bi-polar or OCD because there are symptoms of autism that can mimic both. And as I said, he has never been depressive (without valid reason). That's also why he improved so much with the SI therapy once I knew to start it. If he'd had better doctors when he was younger he may have started it earlier, but I every time I asked about OT when he was younger I was told it wouldn't help him. (OT is who does sensory integration therapy mostly.) It wasn't until I started my OTA degree that he started receiving SI therapy, and most of that was done at home under the supervision/advice of my Peds Professor because medicaid claimed he was "too old to benefit".

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 05:31:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have two pieces of advice... (4+ / 0-)

          ...that seriously helped me.

          One, get your son an IQ test.  He's likely 130 or higher, and trust me, when you get an IQ that high combined with mental illness, the treatments can actually differ.  I know in my case, my therapist stopped trying to teach me tools in a standard fashion, and started applying something called cognitive analysis (I've also seen it called cognitive therapy) that had me keeping a thought log to bring in, and then she gently nudged me down the path to coming to my own conclusions as I analyzed my thought processes.  Actually seeing on paper what was going through my head and being able to analyze those thoughts like they're logs from a computer system helped me massively.

          The second is to have a psychologist or sociologist administer a personality exam.  I found it extremely empowering to understand which of my habits were personality traits, and which ones were caused by mental illness.  I'm an INTP, and knowing how my basic "wiring" works has helped a lot in figuring out what coping methods are going to work and which ones are just going to frustrate me even more.

          Of course, your mileage may vary, and that may not be useful for your child -- but those aren't going to hurt, and learning that it was normal for me to prefer being alone and that I wasn't stupid and lazy (and therefore this was correctable) made it a lot easier to do my part of the treatment regimen.

          •  IQ tests... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Explodingkitchen, kyril

            I've always been against those for autistic kids simply because the speech and language delay tends to skew the results. I'm sure he would test much higher then he did when they tested him before kindergarten when he had almost no speech and most of that was echoalia. I don't think that right now, when he's gaining strides behaviorally and socially is the best time to put him through a test that's not going to be very accurate anyway. His language skills are much better now, but he still has some processing and vocabulary problems we are working on. I don't doubt you're right though, I know his IQ would be up there if he tested 'normally'.

            As for the other, he's 17 and hasn't had a psych for about 5 years now. In order to get a test like that I'd have to get him involved with a pysch again, and I'm not sure I'm up for that argument over meds, etc again. (I've lost my trust of that field of doctors for the most part over the years.) He's progressing now, he has real friends (not just people who claim to be friends then stab him in the back the next day), he has a girlfriend even if it is long distance, his behaviors are 150% better than they were in elementary school (no more violent meltdowns yay! more like 'normal' teenage stomping around when he's angry). He's even learning to censor himself and turn brain filters on when out in public. As for the "stupid and lazy" issue, we have been there and worked past it. A lot of it was caused by a particular teacher he had in third grade. She learned really quickly I wasn't the parent to cross. I am good at being the squeaky wheel.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 06:25:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As far as the IQ testing goes... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FloridaSNMOM, kyril

              ...there are ones out there that purely test abstract thinking via shapes and patterns, which may be useful.  You're probably right, however, that it won't do a ton of good.

              As far as the older one goes, if they've socially adapted enough to learn to use the brain-to-mouth filter, it sounds like they're doing well enough to avoid further treatment unless they decide they want it -- you risk running into good old teenage obstinance by forcing the issue.

              Sounds like you're one hell of a good mother, though.

              •  Thank you.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I've done my best and we've come a long way. It hasn't been easy for much of his 17 years (the older one is the same one. the daughter is 9 and only has vision issues). He doesn't always remember to use the brain to mouth filter but we've been working on it and he's improving. He has managed to censor swear words consistently! And yes, don't want to run into teenage obstinate, though I rejoice secretly when he does things age appropriate even if they are normal 'negative' things. (When you parent an autistic child their first lie is a huge mile stone LOL.) Letting him engage in social situations at his own pace rather than forced interaction several hours a day at school seems to have really helped him. Odd that it's so similar to how we handled things like new playground equipment when he was a toddler. I let him tackle them on his own as he wished but I was there to catch and guide him if he got stuck. Caused me a few breath stopping moments, but he mastered it all eventually.

                "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

                by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 07:17:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  When speech/language deficiencies are... (0+ / 0-)

              ...identified, docs recommend IQ tests that are not language dependent. The test our son's school initially gave him (at age 3) was exceptionally language heavy, even though his speech/language disorder was already identified. When his developmental pediatrician saw this, he blew his lid and made them retest with the one that wasn't language dependent. Translated into a 50 point swing in scores.

              "Reality divorced the wingnuts after the wingnuts were discovered to be fucking goofy." - DWG

              by Jojos Mojo on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 12:21:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Really? (6+ / 0-)

    Awesome to know that picking on mental illness and/or disability is back in vogue, and on the Rec List, no less.  Never mind that ADD/ADHD has had a series of KosAbility articles on it, or that some of us actually -need- treatment to function.

    I had parents that felt like many of you in this diary.  I struggled in school, hated it because it didn't hold my attention, and all that I was told was that I lacked discipline, or that I was a bad kid, and I spent a ton of time grounded over it.

    Never mind that my thoughts raced so fast that in order to follow them, I lost track of my surroundings.  Never mind the depression (situational, not clinical/chemical) that caused, or how horribly my social life was stunted because I had trouble just following a conversation without slipping off into thought-chasing.

    Even into adulthood, I lost jobs, struggled to pay bills and make/keep friends, dropped out of college twice, etc., etc.... until my doc set me up with a psychiatrist that stopped trying to diagnose me as bipolar, or oppositional defiant disorder, etc... and just asked if I'd be comfortable taking an ADD/ADHD test, having my spouse answer a questionnaire about me, and getting a thyroid examination (as thyroid malfunction can mimic the symptoms of ADD/ADHD).  I did that, despite having my friends and family all rave about how the last thing I needed was drugs to make my life better.

    The psych said I had one of the worst cases of ADHD he'd ever seen, and we started treatment with medication.  It took a few tries to find one that didn't zombie me out and had few side effects, then a bit longer to find the right levels for me, but they did, and now I'm on 35mg dextroamphetamine a day, and all of a sudden, I can THINK without my thoughts racing by too fast.  I can pay attention and finish work projects rather than having numerous half-done projects laying around.  I can hold a conversation in real life instead of just online now, and I've made great friends because of it.  I don't get depressed anymore.  I've got a great career now.

    But hey, it's cool to toss all that out the window so that people like my family and haughty holistics in this thread can pooh-pooh my problems as something made up by big Pharma and the medical industrial complex, and tell people like me that we're just addicted to "coke-like" because we like how it makes us feel.

    It's absolutely SICKENING that this is on the Rec list.

  •  My experience is the opposite. (7+ / 0-)

    I was diagnosed ADHD when I was a kid, and spent the following 30 years vehemently denying that it was true. My story to myself was that it was only lousy parents and a controlling educational system trying to shut down a lonely outsider.

    You know what? The truth of "B" doesn't deny the truth of "A".

    You state that your life was better before your bipolar diagnosis. I'm sorry to hear that. You appear to assume, however, that the same would be true for anyone else.

    I'm here to tell you that is incorrect. It wasn't for me.

    Are child meds overprescribed? Sure. Does that mean that the only issues for these children are societal, and unrelated to their neurochemistry?  It does not.

    For kids that DO have these conditions, it is far better to have that understood, accommodated and treated than it is to have their conditions denied. Because it is a hard damned road being different at the level of how your brain works. Understanding that you are, and having support and encouragement that recognizes it is far, far better than pretending it isn't true, and dealing with the ongoing social, economic and health effects of that denial.

    •  This. (6+ / 0-)

      The last thing we need is people like me being relegated back to the fringes of society early in life with the label of "bad kid" because of a Scientology-esque Crusade against diagnosis of mental health issues at a young age.

      •  The parallel I see is vaccination deniers. (5+ / 0-)

        For one, because it's "about the children", which tends to make any kind of rational thought fly out the window for many parents, in my experience.

        But secondly, because the position is rooted in quasi-religious beliefs about the Dark Danger of The Medical Industry and Its Questionable Science, choosing instead to adhere to anecdotal reports about alternative therapies and horror stories as the "core truth" of the discussion.

        •  I'm not anti-med or anti-ADHD (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I am very cautious about it, we tried about 10 different meds with my son until we found one that worked, and some of the side effects were nearly deadly others were merely damaging. Some doctors are way too free with meds that aren't tested for use with children. Some insist way to hard for their favorite med even when it's contra-indicated by other issues (to the point of threatening dhs involvement when the parent balks).

          Yes, meds help a lot of children to focus and learn and benefit from therapy. But there should be therapy as well to teach them how to adapt and how to have some control over their own minds and symptoms. Things like organization and using notes to remind themselves when needed, or ways of self-calming. Ways to help them be the most independent and functional as adults as they can be. I've lived with adults with ADHD who's doctors pulled them from all meds because they were "too old" who'd never had any sort of therapy, and one of them nearly burned my house down because he forgot to turn the burner off on the stove because he got distracted by a phone call.  The problem isn't the use of the meds it's the over-reliance on them, in my opinion.

          Every child and every case is different, I've seen too many Professionals insist on medicating as if they are all the same.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 03:38:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What you're saying isn't that controversial... (3+ / 0-)

            A proper treatment of any mental illness should be combining medication with proper psychotherapy and education, including coping skills, stress management, organizational skills, etc.  In my case, the meds were the primary focus of treatment, but I was also set up with a psych and group therapy to learn coping skills and how to order my thoughts, put on an exercise regimen as there's a mountain of clinical evidence that such a regimen reduces ADHD and ADHD-like symptoms, etc.

            Like any professional field, there's good doctors, and there's shitty doctors.  A good doctor is going to treat a diagnosis with the best available tools -- a crappy one is going to just write a scrip and collect the fee for his time.  

            Diaries like this one (and a lot of the responses to it), however, seem to just want to toss blame around and rail against a convenient target (Big Pharma), while promoting the idea that the only thing wrong with ADD/ADHD people is the lack of good parenting/a stay at home parent, or a lack of discipline, and that's an absolute insult to anyone that suffers from these debilitating and disabling conditions.

            •  Also an insult to the parents. (4+ / 0-)

              For many years Autism was treated like that too, thought to be caused by "refrigerator parents". Both of my kids were raised the same. One is behaviorally/socially disabled, one is fine that way but low vision. Both for the majority of their lives had their father or myself home with them. My daughter actually a little bit more because my husband didn't join us until my son was 3, though thanks to an inheritance I stayed home with him his first year and he was in a private babysitter's home for the intervening time while I worked. There was no lack of parenting there was no lack of discipline. What there was, was an undiagnosed autistic child and a parent that was going insane with worry and trying to get anyone to listen to her.

              "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

              by FloridaSNMOM on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 05:04:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)

                My relationship with my dad was absolutely terrible from the time I was 12 and it was becoming obvious that I was on a track to fail out of school until two things happened.   One, I got diagnosed with ADHD, and two, he got diagnosed with PTSD connected with his service in Vietnam along with clinical depression.

                We visited shortly after this, and we talked for a long time.  I learned for the first time how terrible he felt because he thought that he was an absolute failure as a parent because he was sure it was his fault he couldn't "fix me" or that I had so many problems as a child.

                It makes diaries like this piss me off even more, because people like this not only made my life a living hell, they made people like my father feel like miserable failures that didn't raise their kids right when he tried to do all the right things.  There was nothing he could have done differently besides telling his friends and family to shove it and take me to a psych, and it's hard to blame him for giving into social pressure like that when you see how insidious the anti-diagnosis and anti-science people are with their messaging.

      •  The Scientologists have promoted (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rockhound, blue jersey mom

        an amazing amount of antipsychiatric disinformation. They have a fairly standing presence at this point of doing this and disseminate so much poor information. Then you have drug companies doing the same on the other side. I'm not surprised that the public feels frustrated and doctors' heads are spinning from all of this.

  •  I'm the sane one in my family... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leema, kyril

    Mother: Bipolar
    Oldest sister: Bipolar
    2nd oldest sister: Schizophrenic
    3rd oldest sister: Chronic depression
    Me, the youngest: Nerdy, but sane.

    All of them received their diagnosis as adults.  All but the 2nd one and myself was considered "normal" as a child (my mother said she was always different and she had behavioral problems all through school. In my case, I was bullied and when I was tested, turned out to be gifted, not mentally ill.)

    Genuine problems may not manifest themselves in childhood.  Kids who are strange as kids are often just being kids, or like me, are actually bored in their current environments and would benefit from an enriched curriculum that doesn't make them fall asleep in class.

    Tradition says that God gave us choice. Some of His disciples act like it is up to them to remove it. ~ kjoftherock

    by catwho on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 03:45:35 PM PDT

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