Monday, April 11, 2011

America's Medicated KIds



When we were in New Orleans having coffee outside one morning we met a woman from Holland who was attending a conference for anxiety disorders. She was a researcher and we started talking about the United States attitude towards prescribing drugs, for the "kickbacks" doctors get for writing prescriptions and how many other countries look down upon parents giving their kids drugs, yet the United States seems to have more and more parents giving their kids drugs. She recommended the documentary above.

If you get a chance, watch this documentary, its an hour long but very interesting. I found spectacular that one family even gave their dog anti-anxiety medications. Ive signed several petitions in Canada to ban the prescriptions of SSRIs to children (SSRIs for children are banned in England) and this film further observes on the reasons of why parents would give their kids drugs.

Related Links:

1) Interview from The Guardian

2) In 2008 Frontline had a segment on "the medicated child". This show totally upset me and haunted me for months. You can watch it at their website here. In recent years, there's been a dramatic increase in the number of children being diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders and prescribed medications that are just beginning to be tested in children. The drugs can cause serious side effects, and virtually nothing is known about their long-term impact. "It's really to some extent an experiment, trying medications in these children of this age," child psychiatrist Dr. Patrick Bacon tells FRONTLINE. "It's a gamble. And I tell parents there's no way to know what's going to work."

3) A review of the documentary.

5 comments:

Candy Minx said...

Coincently, CBC "The Current" interviewed Dr. Allen Frances. Dr. Frances talks about new definitions that may enter the DSM 5...and repercussions. Dr. Frances is incredible clear and articulate. I really recommend listening to this interview:

http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2011/04/11/dsm-5-diagnosing-treating-mental-disorders/

S.M. Elliott said...

This is a complex issue for me. Even though I think kids in North America are "overdiagnosed" and prescribed too many meds, I took an SSRI as a clinically depressed teen and found it extremely beneficial. As long as parents are schooled in the potential side effects and are supervising their children closely to spot them (particularly in the first few weeks), I think a small percentage of kids can be helped by SSRIs.

nbrsspot.blogspot.com said...

I know kids that take meds that probably dont need them but then again its hard to say. So where are the two of you now? Still in Canada??

Candy Minx said...

S.M. thank you for your insight. It is a difficult situation. I appreciate hearing your perspective. Part of the upsetting and fascinating thing about this situation in the United States is that possibly lifestyle, attitude and demands of living in the U.S. might be part of the reason that going to drugs is so wide spread. It seems almost as if the other options (covered by interview with a doctro towards end of documentary) is too much for some families. Time concerns has so many variables in U.S. perhaps very specific to life at this time in U.S.

NBR, well there is a lot of potential for misuse of the definitions of behavioiur and pathology ofchildren. That is the problem covered on CBc program.

Yes, we are still in Canada, will be for at least another 2 weeks. We are doing good, its wonderful to see family and friends. Been about 5 years since I was last in Vancouver, way overdue. Stagg is awed by the mountains!

nbrsspot.blogspot.com said...

I bet he is..I know when I was 15 we went to Las Vegas and we drove through the mountains. It was awsome and I wish I would have had a camera at the time. but of course I didnt.. but the memories of it are there.. that could be my next post if I dont forget. I have been forgetful lately. Nicole.