The Medicated Child

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For me as a former worker in the medical field, who is coming from the other part of the world, the predilection for medicament over usage in the U.S. was always surprising. Therefore, I was expecting to see in this video issues about psycho-neurological side effects of overmedicated in somatically ill child.

There were several memorable moments which impacted my mind. One of them was Jacob's story. It was sad to see how the persistent labeling with hyperactivity by preschool teachers took a 3 year old boy down to the pathway of a million American children, who were eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Most of these children were forced to take several strong antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilizers already in their teens. It is widely known that early childhood is one of the most physically active period of the life, in which the child undergoes an important anatomical, physiological and cognitive development. Therefore, the hyperactivity in early childhood is one of the traits of normal children's development and it should not be over diagnosed. Unfortunately, Jacob's teachers and doctors did not think in that way and the child was prescribed one drug and then a second one followed by many others. These drugs do not always help the child completely. In Jacob's case particularly, drugs caused harmful side effects, and consequently were leading to new prescriptions.

The other memorable line from the video was that, despite the parents of the affected children were reluctant to the offered drug therapy, no one of the doctors suggested an alternative to the medications. In contrast, instead of trying some techniques of other non-pharmacological therapies, doctors tended to increase dozes or simply added a new medication. It is understandable, that in some true bipolar cases doctors do not have the other choice then medication. However, it seemed that doctors tended to over diagnose, and consequently over use the medications....
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