The Medicated Child

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The Medicated Child

By | July 2010
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In my opinion, diagnosing young children with mental illnesses that are usually found in adults and prescribing multiple medications is ridiculous. I understand that a child with an adult mental illness is possible, but I don’t think a pediatrician or general health doctor should be able to diagnose these illnesses, let alone prescribe medications. They should be trained to recognize signs and symptoms and make a referral to a children’s mental health doctor that is more knowledgeable on the subject. Only after a series of multifactor tests and observations should there be a diagnosis and prescription. These prescriptions should be designed for children, not adults, and should be tested so that the side effects are known beforehand. The case about DJ, the four year old boy with bipolar disorder, bothered me the most. DJ was taking up to four different antipsychotic drugs at a time, which caused several different things, such as ticks, drooling and excessive eating. This excessive eating has led to obesity and type 2 diabetes in some children. These prescriptions can cause lifelong problems and sometimes death, when the quantity and mixture of prescriptions is enough. Overall, this video shocked and angered me. Doctors should not be so excited about a new trend and be more careful with their prescribing. They should also do more to inform parents of the consequences, not just the benefits. If on medication causes some undesirable effect, they should try to figure out what they can do to fix it besides prescribing more medications.