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NY Times article--Kids & Psych cocktails

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The link below is an article in today's New York Times discussing the issue of putting kids on psychiatric cocktails--i.e., three or more meds.

SUMMARY (in case you don't feel like reading the whole thing): In this corner, we have parents of children who are on a shitload of meds and they swear that their kids wouldn't be able to function without them. And in the other corner, we have the medical establishment saying there's little evidence that 2-drug combos work for kids and absolutely NO evidence suggesting that 3 or more would be effective.

Here's the link:


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I'm very afraid about kids and rx

don't think there is any choice alot of times

but if kid can function without any of the meds

I'd feel so much better

we're talking d e v e l o p i n g minds here folks

there's no f'n research

less is best IMO


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ditto chuckit.

i have a huge problem with kids on ritalin since it's the most common. especially docs who put them on it FIRST, without trying drug free behavior management. some kids do need it, but stop at the one drug. there's a reason even robutussin comes in a special kids version... it's not safe to dope kids up.


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Some kids NEED cocktails.

Some don't.

Whatever is best for the kids.

Both my niece and nephew were on cocktails and that's not what was best for them.

Both are now on what's working for them.

Single AC therapy for Bipolar for my niece and AD + Stimulant for my nephew.

It's a weird combo for him, but it works. That's all we know.

We tried going the non-med route.

Their parents tried the cocktails.

This is the least medicated they can go and be stable.

And they are happy and well adjusted and doing better than ever.

It's about working closely with the kid, those around them (ie - teachers, etc)

the parents and the docs.

That's just my experience though.

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I know I'd not be nearly as fucked up now if I'd been medicated as a kid.

The fact that they are developing brains cuts both ways. Not medicating then has the potential to make things worse in adulthood. IMHO failure to medicate children can be tantamount to child abuse.

That article in pure FUD.

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i believe in the kindling theory, that is, that we get worse with every untreated episode.

i was also born to 2 bipolar 1 parents and DXed myself when i was 7.

they didn't put me on any meds and let me cycle through hell constantly, getting awesome grades one quarter and almost failing the next.

i think that their failure to put me on meds made me kindle, and made my bipolar worse today than it would have been had they treated me in the first place.

keeping with that line of thought, had i been treated in the first place, where would i be today? what could i have accomplished that i haven't been able to do because of multiple hospitalizations and going crazy? would i be on ssd? would i have gone through a merry-go-round of great jobs only to land myself in poverty? who knows. but i wish they would have given me the drugs and given it a go.

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My daughter, if you saw my issues in parenting, is doing much better.

I really have two minds about the subject. On one side, I took Ritalin until 7th grade. During High school, I was an absolute hellish person. If my parents had given up on me then I would surely be dead. I was unmedicated and in denial. I tried a TCA once then and had an acute psychotic/manic episode. I went through one divorce. Couldn't hold a job. Finally I got Dx'd and have been on meds since. I stil don't function well and am applying for SSDI. Sometimes I feel that taking Ritalin for so long may have screwed up my brain somehow.

On the other hand, what if I didn't take Ritalin? Would I have been even worse off? My eight year old has been taking Concerta and the difference for her is amazing. The benefits for her are tremendous and I want to see her taking it as long as it works for her. I still worry though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think some kids need to be on meds and some don't.

I have 2 bipolar parents. On my mom's side of the family we have a few people who committed suicide, and my opa who attempted, my mom was going to kill herself when I was 2 years old, but I ran over to her and said "mama" so she couldn't do it. I had so much trauma in my child-hood.

I think that if I got on medicine and therapy when I was about 6 years old, I wouldn't be anything like this.

I in all honestly can't function on it.

I was 14 when I first started medication and I'm 17 now I'm still looking for the right psych cocktail. Maybe if I was on medicine sooner I'd been on the right meds now.

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The next article in the series is up:


Troubled Children

Off to College Alone, Shadowed by Mental Illness

It's about the transition from HS to college and whether kids should be given autonomy in their lives at college or whether their parents should still have control over them.

Some really fucked up comments in the comments section:


I recommend reading the comments. For the pure idiocy of some of them.

Like the woman who blamed Zyprexa for killing her son.

To the conspiracy theories on NAMI and big pharma?

I dunno...some of them are just whack. Or that kids are getting the crazy cooties from immunizations.


comments are a must read.

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You know what worries me? Formal schooling. It's incredibly evolutionarily recent, and also historically recent. It might affect developing brains and have profound consequences in adulthood. We have studies on education, but they're usually confounded with socioeconomic status, or with culture.

It's worrisome that children so often overeducated. Even children who need education to function are usually given far more than is necessary.

I think we should refrain from giving children education because it might affect their developing brains.

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To respond to the college students article, though: When I read that article I think, those lucky kids, their parents cared enough about their mental health to take their problems seriously.

At least college had a caring prof who told me I was depressed and needed to get it treated, and we had a counseling center with a psychiatrist. In that respect it was much better than high school.

Also, that chick on the first page looks like she's unzipping her fly. Is that a badly chosen picture or what?

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Here's what gets me...

Both of these articles focused on kids in western PA. The article that I originally posted at the start of this thread focused on 2 brothers from my hometown of Sharpsville, PA. It mentioned that the 2 brothers had seen 11 p-docs over the past 3 years.

People, I'm FROM that area. There can't possibly be 11 p-docs in the entire county where these kids are living. And Cranberry/Erie, where the young man in the most recent article is living, isn't much better. And there ain't no public transport in them parts. Having to deal with being crazy is bad enough. Dealing with it in a place where you don't have a lot of choices when it comes to local care and having to figure out a way to get to a major city that's at least a 2 hour drive away if you want other options is an absolute fucking nightmare. Not to mention the shame & stigma of living in a small town where everybody knows everybody's business (even with HIPAA) and ignorance about the most basic aspects of mental illness is rampant.

I absolutely feel for these kids. And I thank God I live near a major city where I have access to decent treatment.

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Im totally with VE on this one. I started having huge panic attacks in the 10th grade. and they were dx'd as such...but i wasnt given any med options. the only choice i was given was talk to the church pastor. ;)

and then during my 2nd year of college i was so depressed i could not leave my dorm room for days. I couldnt handle the sun. i was going to the local doctor (my college was really small and only had a nurse who literally only gave out bandaids). and dr said i had an infection and put me on a ton of anti-biotics. doctor was crazier than myself.

it wasnt until much much much later that i realized what was going on.

if i started getting professional help in the 10th grade i think i may have been a completely different and mentally healthier person.

small town living sucks,


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