invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

children and bipolar September 12, 2007

Filed under: antipsychotics,mental illness — clementine @ 1:33 pm
Tags: , , , ,

i still have nothing interesting or unique to say. on some days i spend an hour or so reading blogs, my favorite online news sources (bbc, nyt) and on occasion a few gossip sites like tmz to get my dose of trashy hollyweird news. oh, and i’m obsessed with the huffington post.

there is so much going on in this world and there’s so much i want to say and do and, well, it’s a bit overwhelming. the petraeus report. this war that seems will never end. the presidential campaign. the media telling us who the “real” candidates are. (and i can’t really get started on the media, especially after watching “all the presidents men” the other day—mainstream media should be ashamed). our nation’s health care system. big pharma. big corporations. lobbyists. the list goes on and on. i can’t believe we sit back and take it. i do know this. until we stand up and storm the streets. until we say, enough is enough, it will continue. and this really frightens me. depresses me. i wonder what will it take?

included in the recent dreary headlines has been a subject i have been very vocal on for over a year now. children and antipsychotics. recent studies are showing a dramatic increase in bipolar treatment/diagnosis for children under 19. in 1994 there were 20,000 doctor visits and in 2003 there were 800,000 visits. there are several reasons. #1 would be the pharmaceutical companies advertising the latest antipsychotic like seroquel or zyprexa. #2 parents/teachers believing the ads and the “warning signs”.

click here for one story.

i know there are parents out there who feel they have no other alternative but to medicate their child. unfortunately, many do on a whim. they don’t question their doctor. and i wish people would. think about it. how can one really determine whether a child is simply moody/hyper or bipolar? i think it can be done after NUMEROUS visits with a psychiatrist but not one visit with a family physician. why is it that we don’t get a second opinion with a mental illness diagnosis in the same way we would a cancer diagnosis?

for years i have questioned our government and our health care system and begged for insurance parity. mental illness is indeed an illness like all others. and therefore they should treat it as so. and we, as patients, should be absolutely certain we have a mental illness (especially children) and when we are certain we should take the same steps we would with any other illness. that includes research, a second opinion and treatment.

throwing a pill at a child who shows “signs” of a mental illness is not the solution and it’s a dangerous one. these antipsychotics we are giving our children are linked to diabetes. they knock most adults out. we become zombies. but maybe that’s what some parents and teachers want. recently a friend of mine removed her 2-1/2 year old child from daycare because the teacher decided he had ADHD and told my friend he needed medication. this is flat out scary. same goes with the quickie bipolor diagnosis. parents should be certain their child has a mental illness before giving their child a drug that has been proven dangerous. it will be interesting to see the effects of these antipsychotic medications 5, 10, 15 years from now. and it’s not something i’m looking forward to.

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