Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Psychiatric Medication In Children - Why?

Which is the safest, which has proven to be more effective?


I'm often asked if I am opposed to children and adolescents being prescribed psychiatric medication for depression, ADHD and all other reasons they are prescribed them.

Simple answer is yes.

Clinical trials will show us that these medications have no proven efficacy in children yet many psychiatrists, doctors and even parents dismiss the science. There are many reasons for this.


As parents we don't like to admit that we are a failure, it's much more easier to accept that our children are unruly because they have something wrong with them, a brain malfunction, a chemical imbalance. We are told by healthcare professionals that many of the prescription medications available for children are safe and effective, we are told that the adult medications [SSRi's] are effective in children too. The warnings, in other words, mean nothing. Any suicide link is only small and those that did go on to complete suicide whilst on these drugs were probably deeply troubled and no drug could have saved them.

What if we lived in a world where children could be children. What if we treated their low moods or hyperactivity with something interesting, something they would enjoy?

More often than not supporters of psychiatric medications will tell us that "the Zoloft helped Billy" or "the Prozac has been great for Annie" - Many children who were prescribed these drugs years ago are still on them today, so they must be good, right?

Well, if you or I had a headache we may take an aspirin or paracetamol. The headache will clear so we stop the medication. Patients who visit their healthcare professionals because they are depressed or have circumstances that they cannot deal with are prescribed something more powerful than an aspirin or paracetamol. Once their "depression" fades they, unlike the headache patients, will continue to take the medication. They are told that they must take it or the depression may return or the behavioural problems may return or get worse than they was originally.

So, what's the alternatives?

I'm about to start a series of posts regarding psychiatric medication alternatives. No post will lay claim, like pharmaceutical propaganda, that these alternatives will work, one thing, however, is each of them that I feature carry no risk of side effects, that means no withdrawal, no skin rashes, no suicidal thinking, no self harming and no completed suicides. None of these alternatives come in a bottle or blister pack.

Coming soon: - Psychiatric Medication or Play Therapy?

Believe it or not, 93 play therapy outcome studies supported the efficacy of this intervention with children suffering from various emotional and behavioral difficulties. So why isn't this first line treatment for our children?

More soon...

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