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Proof Is Scant on Psychiatric Drug Mix for Young
New York Times ^ | 23 November 2006 | Gardiner Harris

Posted on 11/23/2006 6:09:55 AM PST by shrinkermd

...Bottles of psychiatric medications fill the shelves. Stephen, 15, takes the antidepressants Zoloft and Desyrel for depression, the anticonvulsant Lamictal to moderate his moods and the stimulant Focalin XR to improve concentration. Jacob, 14, takes Focalin XR for concentration, the anticonvulsant Depakote to moderate his moods, the antipsychotic Risperdal to reduce anger and the antihypertensive Catapres to induce sleep.

Over the last three years, each boy has been prescribed 28 different psychiatric drugs.

“Sometimes, when you look at all the drugs they’ve taken, you wonder, ‘Wow, did I really do this to my kids?’ ” said their mother, Tricia Kehoe of Sharpsville, Pa. “But I’ve seen them without the meds, and there’s a major difference.”

...Last year in the United States, about 1.6 million children and teenagers — 280,000 of them under age 10 — were given at least two psychiatric drugs in combination, according to an analysis performed by Medco Health Solutions at the request of The New York Times. More than 500,000 were prescribed at least three psychiatric drugs. More than 160,000 got at least four medications together, the analysis found.

Many psychiatrists and parents believe that such drug combinations, often referred to as drug cocktails, help. But there is virtually no scientific evidence to justify this multiplication of pills, researchers say. A few studies have shown that a combination of two drugs can be helpful in adult patients, but the evidence in children is scant. And there is no evidence at al

...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: children; moralabsolutes; necessity; psychotropics
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"Sounds like you come from the "drugs are the answer" generation."

In truth, I come from the "swift kick to the pants is the answer" generation.

"R. Candace Pert ... is appalled that they are in general use."

Fine. And for all those who are similarly appalled, then STFU when these kids commit crimes and you wonder aloud why the parents weren't medicating them for their "obvious psychological problems".

Monday morning quarterbacks.

51 posted on 11/23/2006 8:44:42 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: achilles2000
Ah. So you're saying the meds played a part? You know that for a fact?

Gee, I guess so. You wouldn't dare be so hypocritical to say that I'm uninformed if you weren't.

If those murdering juveniles weren't on meds, you'd be the first in line to say they should have been -- and you know it.

52 posted on 11/23/2006 8:49:57 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: GB

Someone told me one time that ADD is mis-named. There is no deficit of attention, there is too much attention. True ADD kids are attentive to everything. This is why a page with 50 math problems or 5 worksheets is overwhelming. They can't zero in on just one thing, when there is so much out there.

There are many ways to assist these children in classrooms and it varies for the child. We are lucky to have a private school that works with us and it sounds like you are too. Modifications are just as important as the medication, and they are enough for some children. We tried that, and had a little success, but not enough. Finally, a teacher told me that it was like our son was trying to run a very important race, with a broken leg. We would get him treatment for a broken bone, why not his attention issues.

Medication is definately overused, which is sad. But, there are still some kids that NEED it to succeed or even survive in a classroom. It is just as unfair to prevent those kids from receiving medication, as it is to medicate children that don't need it.


53 posted on 11/23/2006 8:52:33 AM PST by ga medic
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To: robertpaulsen
...then STFU when these kids commit crimes and you wonder aloud why the parents weren't medicating them for their "obvious psychological problems".

Drugs are more likely to cause "obvious psychological problems" than cure them.

So, what drugs do you have your kids on?

54 posted on 11/23/2006 9:03:55 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: ga medic
Here's what happened with our child. We knew there were some issues in first grade. His second grade teacher, an absolute saint of a woman who ended up teaching both our kids (No. 2 son has no attention problems at all, he's one of those persons who will always be able to study for a test five minutes before he takes it and make an A), asked for a conference with us a couple of weeks into school the next fall. We got to the conference and the teacher and the school principal were there. Being that our kids attend a private Christian school, we started the conference with prayer which set a good tone.

His teacher described some of the problems our son had been having ... her constant refrain was "he's just not with me" ... and then got some literature about ADD and there were I think 13 signs of it and our son was 13 for 13. The teacher and principal said they were not trying to influence us to medicate our child, that they would absolutely work with us whatever we chose to do, but that they thought we needed this information.

Then we spoke with our Sunday School teacher who had an ADD child who was on Ritalin through high school (and is now, FYI, a sergeant in the Air Force and the crew chief on a bomber, so the tale that the military won't take you if you have taken ADD or ADHD meds in the past is an urban legend at least in his case; that's an awful expensive looking airplane that he's standing on top of in the photo that's prominently displayed in his parents' house, and as crew chief is responsible for the maintenance of).

She told us, basically, this is something that you can't diagnose by seeing, but that you can't diagnose high blood pressure by seeing either, yet people take the doctor's word and undergo treatment for high blood pressure, so we should not be afraid of meds.

So we contacted a doctor, who turned out to be another wonderful person and who, as I said, stressed up front that the meds are not a magic bullet and that we were going to have to work our tails off in other ways to deal with this. And in hindsight, we are absolutely convinced that we did the right thing for our child.

55 posted on 11/23/2006 9:06:15 AM PST by GB
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"Drugs are more likely to cause "obvious psychological problems" than cure them."

If that's what you believe, I have no problem with that.

I'm assuming, therefore, that you're not one of those who complain that the parents should have been medicating their child ... after the child kills or injures someone.

56 posted on 11/23/2006 9:10:22 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: beyond the sea
Over the last three years, each boy has been prescribed 28 different psychiatric drugs. -----

That is worse than irresponsible, it is criminal. How many adults could be given all those different drugs without harm? And children, who are still developing, can somehow be given all these drugs and it will help them? How many people have cognitive difficulties or problems with behavior throught life because they were given potent drugs as children?

57 posted on 11/23/2006 9:48:47 AM PST by Wilhelm Tell (True or False? This is not a tag line.)
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To: robertpaulsen

Your ego is out of control. You made a mistake and should have just acknowledged it and moved on. Now you are reduced to writing absurd counterfactual posts regarding people you don't know.


58 posted on 11/23/2006 12:09:17 PM PST by achilles2000 (Shouting "fire" in a burning building is doing everyone a favor...whether they like it or not)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; All
Of course no thread would be complete without the obligatory whacko Scientology link.

The info is from Drug Awareness.org. It's a Scientology front.

59 posted on 11/23/2006 9:03:25 PM PST by Cogadh na Sith (There's an open road from the cradle to the tomb.)
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To: robertpaulsen
You imagine people saying the killers at Columbine should have been medicated, so when they point out nobody says that because out here in the real world they were medicated, you accuse them of contradicting themselves.
60 posted on 11/23/2006 9:39:41 PM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: A.J.Armitage
"You imagine people saying the killers at Columbine should have been medicated"

I was speaking in generalities and gave Columbine as an example of what I was talking about. That what the parenthesis mean.

When kids are not medicated and commit crimes that make the headlines, people complain that the parents didn't see the "obvious signs" and should have been medicating their children.

Now, you don't like the example I used? You'd prefer to ignore the point I was trying to make and would rather nit pick and say one of the Columbine killers was on meds? Fine, if that's all you got, go for it.

Of course that leads into my second argument that when kids ARE on meds and commit crimes that make the headlines, people blame the meds. My guess is that it's the same people. Probably people like you.

61 posted on 11/24/2006 4:08:51 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: achilles2000

well put bump.


62 posted on 11/24/2006 7:46:22 AM PST by tpaine
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To: robertpaulsen
I'm assuming, therefore, that you're not one of those who complain that the parents should have been medicating their child ... after the child kills or injures someone.

We have laws in place to address criminals, of whatever age, who injure or kill someone.

I blame parents who ignore and neglect their children, not parents who refuse to turn their children into a revenue stream for the pharmaceutical companies.

63 posted on 11/24/2006 9:23:19 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: robertpaulsen
I was speaking in generalities and gave Columbine as an example of what I was talking about. That what the parenthesis mean.

Ah. I was under the impression you should say true things, but I had forgotten basic English syntax: if you put ( on one side, and ) on the other, making stuff up becomes totally acceptible.

When kids are not medicated and commit crimes that make the headlines, people complain that the parents didn't see the "obvious signs" and should have been medicating their children.

This is strange. I've seen that up to the part about obvious signs. But the last part is new to me. Here, let me fix it:

When kids are not medicated and commit crimes that make the headlines, people complain that the parents didn't see the "obvious signs" (and should have been medicating their children).

Of course that leads into my second argument that when kids ARE on meds and commit crimes that make the headlines, people blame the meds. My guess is that it's the same people. Probably people like you.

Yet more. Paraphrasing your argument: you blame the lack of medication -- because I TOLD YOU that you blame the lack of medication! And if you tell me there was medication, then you're blaming the meds! Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

It would be helpful if you'd be willing to interact with what people are actually saying.

64 posted on 11/24/2006 9:43:30 AM PST by A.J.Armitage (http://calvinist-libertarians.blogspot.com/)
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To: shrinkermd
said Ms. Kehoe, who herself takes psychiatric medication.

This doesn't specify what kind of psychiatric medication, but I wonder how many of these kids with severe psychiatric problems are the biological offspring of parents who have clear psychiatric problems (and if one does, it's likely that both do, since mentally normal people generally avoid intimate relationships with people who are obviously mentally ill). How much of this increase in children with severe psychopathologies is due to policies in recent decades of emptying out psych hospitals and sending the patients out to live "in the community", where they promptly reproduce. And also due to laws/policies which almost completely ended sterilization of mentally ill people. Not that there weren't a lot of abuses of the latter, but I think we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater, with paranoid schizophrenics and other severely mentally ill people freely wandering the streets and freely reproducing, even though it's clear they are utterly incapable of raising a child.

65 posted on 11/24/2006 9:50:39 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: the808bass

That particular father is dealing with a kid who has kicked holes in every wall in the house, ripped two doors off their hinges, and ripped a bathroom sink out of the wall. The kid clearly does have some serious mental problems, and should probably be institutionalized. A generation or two ago, the sort of "parenting skills" used to deal with a child like this involved beatings and being tied up or locked up. While an argument can be made that in SOME cases, those approaches are warranted, the fact is that eny parent who tries to employ them now will end up losing custody of the kids (who will be put in foster care and given the prescribed cocktail of medications) and quite possibly end up doing prison time. That state of affairs is not the doing of the parents who are faced with how to deal these extremely troubled children.


66 posted on 11/24/2006 10:00:15 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

When such extremely violent incidents are perpetrated by kids who are on psych meds, it's because:

1) They're crazy in the first place, which is why they're on the meds, and

2) While the meds can be helpful, they are no magic bullet, but unfortunately they are being treated as if they are -- a kid who's seriously crazy and unstable is sent off to a regular school with no supervision, so long as he's on his meds.

The latter is just one of many types of ill-advised "mainstreaming" that has become the norm in education in our day. The education and government establishments have got it into their heads that all kids should go to the same schools, no matter how how severe their mental and/or physical impairments. Even the ones who are attending special schools are, with rare exceptions, doing so under an "individualized education program" that is explicitly aimed at getting them into a normal school as soon as possible. We need to bring back the idea that normal schools and normal home life arrangements are for normal kids.


67 posted on 11/24/2006 10:09:59 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Wilhelm Tell; shrinkermd

I firmly believe that while ADD/ADHD is "real", it is not abnormal. It's just within a range of perfectly normal responses to a modern lifestyle that it utterly abnormal for the human animal, and happens to be maladaptive for the modern lifestyle.

The lack of physical activity and accompanying emphasis on endless acquisition of new knowledge and new mental skills, are inevitable outgrowths of the advancement of human knowledge and technology. But the ADD/ADHD mindset is exceptionally well-suited to the life needs of a few generations ago. What's the one thing that most ADD/ADHD children and adults are good at and have no trouble concentrating on? Repetition of simple physical tasks. In other words, exactly what was needed for success in a society focused on simple farming and manual trades, and where the daily routine of food preparation, heating the home, obtaining water, etc. involved endless repetition of simple physical tasks. Back then, everybody wanted and admired an "ADD" child -- they just didn't call it that.


68 posted on 11/24/2006 10:19:33 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Cogadh na Sith

I've found that ALL info sources which claim there is NO such thing as ADD/ADHD are Scientology-linked. Way overdiagnosed? Sure. Way overmedicated? Sure. But nonexistent? That's a Scientology doctrine, not reality.


69 posted on 11/24/2006 10:27:17 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: shrinkermd

bump


70 posted on 11/24/2006 11:46:24 AM PST by AmericaUnite
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To: GovernmentShrinker
My son has been getting this (http://www.orgonomy.org/article_094.html) therapy for sometime for 'ADHD'. It's not a quick fix but the side effects of drug therapy in my family is high.

He's come very far. Even some professionals now think he's just ADD! His friends who were diagnosed at around the same time and are on meds have varying results. I see that their inconsistent parenting (strict/not strict back and forth) as an ongoing problem with these kids who can't have the luxury of lack of structure.
71 posted on 11/24/2006 12:17:53 PM PST by AmericaUnite
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To: GovernmentShrinker

try this link http://www.orgonomy.org/article_094.html


72 posted on 11/24/2006 12:20:54 PM PST by AmericaUnite
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To: panthermom

"how this generation of kids have so many mental issues"

I can. I look at my sisters kids. She has 2 boys that she and her husband have refused to discipline since childhood. Psychiatrists have the whole family on antidepressants now when a few swift kicks in the pants could have solved the problem years ago.


73 posted on 11/24/2006 12:28:29 PM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: robertpaulsen

"Of course if these kids were not being medicated and they ended up going on a murdering spree (a la Columbine), these same people would be saying, "Where were the parents? Why weren't these kids getting the help they needed?"

Harris, of Columbine fame, was on Luvox at the time.


74 posted on 11/24/2006 12:33:16 PM PST by dljordan
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To: dljordan
"Harris, of Columbine fame, was on Luvox at the time."

OK. Then they'll say that about Dylan Klebold. With Harris, people will say the Luvox caused him to do that.

My point being, which everyone is choosing to ignore, is that when kids are not medicated and commit crimes that make the headlines, people complain that the parents didn't see the "obvious signs" and should have been medicating their children. Conversely, when kids ARE on meds and commit crimes that make the headlines, people blame the meds.

75 posted on 11/24/2006 1:35:39 PM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: GovernmentShrinker
That particular father is dealing with a kid who has kicked holes in every wall in the house, ripped two doors off their hinges, and ripped a bathroom sink out of the wall. The kid clearly does have some serious mental problems, and should probably be institutionalized.

While I don't enough context (or training) to make an assessment which you are probably more able to, I was simply puzzled by the father's response who seemed to think that the kid's meds should eliminate the need for timeouts. I'm sure you'll agree that kids who might have more mild presentations of mental difficulties, strong parenting is still required. I was not implying that timeout is not an acceptable form of discipline.

76 posted on 11/24/2006 5:39:10 PM PST by the808bass
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To: robertpaulsen

Thank you for your reply. I see what you mean now. On the other hand we can always blame video games.


77 posted on 11/24/2006 5:54:41 PM PST by dljordan
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