Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Overview on Mental Health, Psychotropic Drugs & Children — Closing out 2011 and bringing in 2012

The “Digital Journal” published an article two days before New Years, 2012, that puts how today’s society thinks into perspective.  The article starts with “Years ago, rubbing a little brandy on the gums of a teething child was thought to soothe and do no lasting harm. Parents of today who disapprove should be aware of just how often children are prescribed powerful, mind-altering medicines.”  The article is referring to the mental health medications on the market today.

It continues with many of the recently published national news stories talking about how children are being drugged at an accelerated rate, far beyond any time in recent history.  Yes, children are being drugged with psychotropic medications.
Per Florida CHAPTER 65C-35:
“Psychotropic Medication” is, according to this rule, any chemical substance prescribed with the intent to treat psychiatric disorders. Those substances, though prescribed with the intent to treat other medical conditions, have the effect of altering brain chemistry and may involve any of the medication indications in the categories listed below. The medications include, without limitation, the following categories:

(a) Antipsychotics;

(b) Antidepressants;

(c) Sedative Hypnotics;

(d) Lithium;

(e) Stimulants;

(f) Non-stimulant Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder medications;

(g) Anti-dementia medications and cognition enhancers;

(h) Anticonvulsants and alpha-2 agonists; and

(i) Any other medication used to stabilize or improve mood, mental status, behavior, or mental illness.”

The Digital Journal continues with statistics, such as: the “use of psychotropic drugs in age groups 0-19 significantly exceeds that of Western Europe, with triple the use of stimulants and anti-depressants. Youths in foster care consume these drugs at even higher rates. According to a recent five-state study of children in Medicaid, foster children were 2.7 to 4.5 times more likely than nonfoster children to be prescribed psychotropic medications.”
Could this be because foster children have been lost in the depths of society, where it's easier to drug a child than to provide him (or her) with the love and nurturing they deserve? Or maybe more children in foster care are given these drugs because no one cares to spend the time searching for alternative solutions to behaviors.
Here are a few of the FDA listed side effects from psychotropic drugs prescribed to children:
·        Mania
·        Aggression
·        Violence
·        Hallucinations
·        Psychosis
·        Depression
·        Anxiety
·        Sudden death
·        Suicidal thoughts
Medical science does not support the use of these medications with children, nor has it supported the diagnosing of children with mental health and/or behavioral health disorders. In fact, “Wired” magazine recently published an article in which psychiatrists presented arguments about the lack of science in diagnosing a mental illness and the ineffectiveness of the manual that is commonly referred to as “Psychiatry’s Bible”, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the DSM).
The DSM is a manual used by the mental health industry to select a diagnosis. These diagnoses are voted upon by psychiatrists, in a room where they use a show of hands to determine how to lable the latest mental illnesses. More than 50% of the psychiatrists had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.
Quoting, “The Library of Economics and  Liberty” , in regards to the argument amongst psychiatrists:
“For patients to accept a diagnosis, they must believe that doctors know--in the same way that physicists know about gravity or biologists about mitosis--that their disease exists and that they have it. But this kind of certainty has eluded psychiatry, and every fight over nomenclature threatens to undermine the legitimacy of the profession by revealing its dirty secret: that for all their confident pronouncements, psychiatrists can't rigorously differentiate illness from everyday suffering…
…a series of investigative reports revealed that an influential advocate for diagnosing bipolar disorder in kids, the Harvard psychiatrist Joseph Biederman, failed to disclose money he’d received from Johns & Johnson, makers of the bipolar drug Risperdal, or risperidone. Frances believes this bipolar “fad” would not have occurred had the DSM-IV committee not rejected a move to limit the diagnosis to adults.”  (Al Frances was the lead editor of the last edition of the DSM).”
Everyday stresses have been labeled mental illnesses for too long.  It’s time for the public to take back the reins and get fully informed about this subject so that in 2012 we can lead our society in a forward moving direction that permits an individual to be an individual, stresses and all, without resorting to drugs.

This article is brought to you by our friends at the Citizens Commission on Human Rights in Florida, a non-profit that is not only dedicated to educating Americans about their rights in the mental health sector, they are also actively involved investigating and exposing psychiatric violations against human rights. 
Join us right here on Mommy Rantings on Thursdays in 2012 for our new series that is dedicated to providing parents with in-depth information, resources and personal stories on a variety of childhood disabilities, mental health and behavioral issues.  

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