Mental Illness Feed

The Drugging of Abused Children

Foster children, traumatized by abuse and/or neglect, are frequently prescribed psychiatric medications at a much higher rate and at much higher doses than children in the general population.  But psychiatric medication is not the treatment for trauma, psychotherapy is.  

As these children grow up and age out of the foster care system, what will they have to say about their psychiatric treatment and the medications they were given?   

Documentary film makers Karen De Sa and Dai Sugano asked that very question in their film, "Drugging Our Kids".   The documentary examines the over-prescribing of psychiatric medications for children in California's foster care system.  The issues discussed in this film are not isolated to California.  Texas, the state in which I practice, has one of the highest rates of psychiatric medication prescribed for children in foster care.  This is a problem across the United States.   

The film examines the practice of using psychiatric medications as a chemical straight jacket to tranquilize problem behaviors.  I have seen the very long lists of medications prescribed to these children, as well as, the long lists of diagnoses that are given to them.  Rarely do these diagnoses contain Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  For children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect you would expect PTSD to be the primary diagnosis.  However, I more frequently saw;  ADHD, bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional behavior disorder, depression and anxiety disorders.  Rarely is consideration given that the behavior these children are exhibiting is most a result of the violence and neglect they have experienced.  They are simply labeled as behavior problems and medicated.  


Diagnosing Mental Disorders: “We made mistakes that had terrible consequences”

Are psychiatric diagnoses valid?  I'm beginning to wonder.  At best, they are sometimes misapplied to the point of becoming meaningless.  At worst, they are causing great harm both psychologically and physically.

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Generation RX - The Effects of Capitalism on the Practice of Medicine

"To call normal children diseased, abnormal, chemically imbalanced.  To make patients out of them for profit.  This is not only anti-scientific, it is contrary to our Hippocratic oath.  It is immoral, and it should be exposed and stopped."

Dr. Fred A. Baughman, MD
Neurologist and Author
As quoted from the movie, "Generation RX"

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ADHD Medications Do Not Affect School Performance

A recent article on the Child Psychology Research Blog, "ADHD Medications and School Performance" cites a research study which shows that "medication alone may not have a significant impact on" the childrens' school functioning.   

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When Childhood Bipolar Disorder - Isn't

I really have a problem with the recent surge in diagnosing children with Bipolar Disorder.  The children I see with this diagnosis are often the victims of serious issues at home, issues which may even include abuse.  Some struggle with PTSD and the mood swings which are inherent in a traumatized individual are attributed to "Bipolar Disorder" and medicated. 

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I Just Got Played by a Narcissist

She started talking to me about how stellar her performance was at a recent social event, obviously fishing for compliments, and I refused to bask in admiration and feed her ego.  The results were dramatic.  She went for the jugular.  Narcissistic rage in action.

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"The psychiatric establishment is about to experience an earthquake that will shake its intellectual foundations."

This statement was made by British psychologist Oliver James in a recent article by The Guardian

I hope James is right.  I fear he is not.

James is referring to new research which suggests major psychiatric disorders are not biological but situational - a response to a childhood trauma.  Why is this going to set the psychiatric community on its ear? 

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