invincible summers

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

get kids off medicine December 19, 2008

Quickly, I would like to direct everyone to my new page (35 things: a continuous entry) at the top of my website, to the left of ‘about me’. I frequently update there with personal stories. It’s been very therapeutic.

my sincere thanks to Beyond Meds for this linking to this story. I think it’s a wonderful idea and hope to see more to follow.

Martin Irwin, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, is launching what he believes is a first- of-its kind-program nationally to “Get Kids Off Medicine.”

The LSUHSC Get Kids Off Medicine Program, dedicated to tapering and discontinuing psychiatric medication for children being treated with three or more psychiatric medications, is being implemented three half days a week at the LSU Behavioral Science Center at 3450 Chestnut Street. The program accepts Medicaid and most insurance. Discounted and possible free care will be provided to those who qualify based on income.

“Along with the increase in prevalence of mental illness in children and youth, is a skyrocketing rate of use of psychiatric medication often as the sole treatment and most commonly to treat disruptive behaviors and aggression,” says Dr. Irwin, who specializes in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “It is not uncommon for children even as young as five to six years of age to be on multiple medications, as many as four to five at the same time.”

Dr. Irwin says the over-medicating of the problems of children in the mental health system is likely to result in misdiagnosis-labeling of behavioral problems that result from interpersonal difficulties, realistic feelings that are not excessive or out of proportion to the child’s real life experiences, or reactions to current life stresses as major psychiatric disorders leading to unnecessary medical treatment. Many of the medications used to treat children are either not approved by the FDA for use in this age group, or are not approved for the indication they are being prescribed.

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3 Responses to “get kids off medicine”

  1. markps2 Says:

    medication is for disease. the symptoms of mental illness are not life threatening. the children are forced to take drugs, not medication.

  2. clementine Says:

    i’ve had three hours of sleep and might be missing your point here, so forgive me if i am.

    i have serious problems with these “drugs” that are prescribed to children and adults. these days people are misdiagnosed and over-medicated more frequently. I blame the FDA, some doctors and Big Pharma, in no particular order. At some point, parents of these children or we as adults must learn to educate ourselves and know most doctors don’t know a damn thing about the long-term risks of the drugs they are prescribing.

    however, in some cases, these “drugs” are necessary for some people in order to save their lives. for example, I very recently had to go back on them (as much as I despise them but could not afford alternative treatments) as I was having suicidal thoughts and found myself in a deep hole. but i was on them long enough to get me out of that place. so, i do believe a symptom of mental illness can be suicide. we know the statistics. my aunt cleaned the blood of her mentally ill son-in-law’s brains off her bathroom walls after he committed suicide.

    however, it is infuriating to know that most of the medications prescribed to treat mental illnesses can lead to side effects such as suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, etc. The exact things we are trying to avoid/escape/treat. Or they are prescribed in cases when they shouldn’t be. Especially children, which is why I loved this article-young children should not be taking 3-10 pills a day.

  3. markps2 Says:

    Who made the decision to live, you or an non-sentient chemical molecule?


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