Children are being polluted. Not only by toxic chemicals in the air but also by toxic chemicals given to them by adults. Every day children are told that they have to take medications to treat disorders such as ADHD and Bi-Polar. Both of these disorders are highly over-diagnosed and subsequently over-medicated in children ranging from the age of 3 to 17. The result is the prescription of amphetamines, antipsychotics and other psychotropic drugs to many kids who do not need them. This article is first and foremost meant to be of service to current or future parents. You are the only ones who can protect your children from the long term deleterious effects of unnecessary medication on your child’s development. You deserve to know the truth. Your children deserve to grow untainted.
The diagnosis of ADHD is very subjective. An ADHD diagnosis is based on a child’s behavior; not on any type of objective measure. There are no biological markers for this disorder. All you need to do is tell a doctor that your child cannot sit still at school or cannot concentrate at home and you will most likely get a prescription for amphetamines such as Adderall or Vyvanse. Research strongly suggests that males and very young children are at an even higher risk for being misdiagnosed with ADHD. A child’s symptoms of hyperactivity or lack of concentration may be natural and healthy reactions to issues occurring in the family or school environment that are distressing. They may also be related to trauma. Treating the symptom does not alleviate the root problem; it exacerbates it.
The story of how Bi-polar came to be so over-diagnosed in children is truly a sad one. Over the past fifteen years there has been a fortyfold increase in the number of children diagnosed with this illness. Bi-polar, formerly known as manic-depression, had always been a diagnosis that was primarily given to adults. One of the hallmark symptoms of this illness is the presence of mania. The definition of mania is: mental illness marked by periods of great excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity. No mania? No problem. In the mid-nineties a small group of psychiatrists began publishing papers that suggested irritability, agitation and hyperactivity in children are forms of “pediatric mania.” Voila, childhood onset bi-polar disorder. Seriously. I am not making this up. Once this diagnosis is given it opens up the floodgates for prescription of medications such as: Lithium, Depakote, Abilify, Zyprexa, Geodon, Risperdol, Seroquel and Topomax.
So what’s wrong with giving these powerful chemical to kids that may not need them? A few of the possible side effects include: seizures, weight gain, stunted growth, delay in brain development, cognitive impairments, increased thoughts of suicide, stomach pain, sleeplessness, high blood pressure, vomiting, headache, decreased appetite, psychosis that includes hallucinations, heart palpitations and arrhythmia to name a few. It is also very difficult for children to get off of these medications once they start as withdrawal symptoms can be severe. The scariest part is that no one really knows what the long-term effects of these medications are on the development of a child’s mind and body.
A child’s safety is the ultimate priority. There are times when the responsible prescription of a medication that is actually needed can make all the difference though medication does not have to be the first resort. Family therapy, individual therapy, behavioral interventions and parenting skills can effect real change. Please give these things a try. When you go to a doctor ask a lot of questions. Make sure they see you for a minimum of one hour before giving your child a diagnosis or medication. Most of all, take your time to find out what is really causing your child’s symptoms.
Unfortunately, it has become much easier to swallow a pill than to swallow the truth.
For further reading please check out this article in Newsweek by child psychiatrist, Stuart Kaplan, M.D. entitled “Mommy, Am I Really Bi-Polar?”: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/06/19/mommy-am-i-really-bipolar.html , and this report
“Child’s Ordeal Shows Risks of Psychosis Drugs for Young” from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/business/02kids.html