Throwing out older psychiatry, modern doctors use nearly only chemical remedies. Coupled with often ineffective 'therapies', drugging children is spreading as adults try to control their behavior. This recently led to the death of a very small girl who was drugged much of her short life.
By DENISE LAVOIE,
Dispensing drugs to children diagnosed with mood or behavior problems is "the easiest thing to do, but it's not always the best thing to do," said Dr. Jon McClellan, medical director of the Child Study and Treatment Center in Lakewood, Wash. "At some level, I would hope that you'd also be teaching kids ways to control their behavior."
According to the medical examiner, Rebecca died of a combination of Clonidine, a blood pressure medication Rebecca had been prescribed for ADHD; Depakote, an antiseizure and mood-stabilizing drug prescribed for the little girl's bipolar disorder; a cough suppressant; and an antihistamine. The amount of Clonidine alone in Rebecca's system was enough to be fatal, the medical examiner said.
The two brand-name prescription drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in adults only, though doctors can legally prescribe them to youngsters and do so frequently.
They hand out drugs like candy these days. Adults can monitor themselves and decide if they wish to have the effects of various psychological drugs. My own husband was brain damaged at work and years ago, when he used to have convulsions, he used so powerful tranquilizers to sedate him and spent much of his first year, asleep, while his brain began to heal.
Today, he is feeling better but still takes drugs. But not the heavy sedatives: they were temporary. As an adult, he could decide for himself, if he needed to cut the pain and rest. Even so, I had to watch over him and give him advice and feed-back so he wouldn't get addicted or fall into a coma. I had to insure he was able to eat and do other things.
Several times, he had to be put in the hospital because these efforts failed.
Children are not merely smaller versions of adults, their chemistry is quite different. Because of the radical changes in our harmones and other chemical/biological processes, children and older adults are radically different from sexually active humans. Namely, from puberty to menopause, the body is subjected to quite a different regime. And the brain is the main target of many of these biological changes!
So medicines that affect the brain are altered by these biological changes which evolved along with sex. Dr. Freud noticed the strong connection of sex to mental stability. He tried to penetrate its secrets.
The cultural mileu he lived in limited his ability to define this innermost Sphinx. But today, psychology has dumped him and the whole sexual sheebang and is now purely mechanical. Only this is spotty and as research illuminates how sexual maturity changes the entire architecture of the brain, doctors treating patients seldom know all the details nor seem to care about them.
For most patients have no money. When a family is sane, it is easy to make money. A troubled family with unstable members struggles with fiscal problems and probably have no insurance. If the state is paying, they want psychiatric visits to be as short as possible. At the hospital my husband uses which is a very nice one, the average patient gets less than 15 minutes per visit per month, if that.
We won our court case and my husband's health bills are paid 100% by insurance for life---though he would far rather be healthy again!---but even then, the visits are kept to a minimum and periodically, I have to stick our lawyer on the state to force them to give him necessary health care.
In the case of this poor child in Boston, the entire system dealing with her failed because of the addiction to fixing all problems by using drugs overcame basic humanity.
From the article:
Kifuji, the psychiatrist prescribing the drugs, told police Rebecca had been her patient since August 2004, when she was 2. She said she based her diagnoses of ADHD and bipolar disorder on the family's mental health history, as described by Carolyn Riley, and Rebecca's behavior, as described by Carolyn and briefly observed by her during office visits.
How is it, a child of only 2 years, can be 'diagonosed' with ADHD based on what? Her siblings had it? Talk about bizarre. And basing it on the mother's description is also very dangerous. I have represented, in court, children falsely accused of being insane. The best way to deal with such cases is to have the mother go insane on the stand and shock the judge.
This has happened! On top of all this, the doctor who helped kill Rebecca, only saw her 'briefly'. This means for 15 minutes!
The absurdity of all this is obvious. I've had to deal with traumatized children in the past. Getting them to talk about anything at all takes a lot of time and patience. One can't simply interview them! The reimbursement of doctors so troubles the state, they have destroyed the psychiatric profession and replaced it with the pharmacist.
Worse than that, the pharmacists in this case was so alarmed, they contacted the psychiatrist and argued with her.
From the article:
Prosecutors say the Rileys intentionally tried to quiet their daughter with high doses of Clonidine. Relatives told police the Rileys called Clonidine the "happy medicine" and the "sleep medicine."
Many cruelties are done to small children to quiet them. Recently, in Russia, a patient in a hospital blew the whistle on overworked nurses caring for orphans when she was alarmed to see they were taping the children's mouths shut and tying them to their beds. In American medical centers, we gag them with drugs.
1: narcotic consisting of a tincture of opium or any preparation in which opium is the main ingredient [syn: tincture of opium]
The Romantic and Victorian eras were marked by the widespread use of laudanum in Europe, and the United States. Initially a working class drug, laudanum was cheaper than a bottle of gin or wine, because it was treated as a medication for legal purposes and not taxed as an alcoholic beverage. Nurses also spoon-fed laudanum to infants.
This was outlawed when Victorian reformers realized this drug caused hallucinations and addictions leading to death. One wonders if the amazing proliferation of detailling and fanciful artwork and architecture was a result of the heavy use of opiates? It would seem logical to me for we didn't appreciate this art during the middle of the last century until the discovery of LSD and its use as a psychiatric drug.
I got my own first 'trip' from Timothy Leary, himself. It was literally an eye-opener.
From Wikipedia: Adverse reactions to atropine include ventricular fibrillation, supraventricular or ventricular tachycardia, giddiness, nausea, blurred vision, loss of balance, dilated pupils, photophobia, and possibly, notably in the elderly, confusion, hallucinations, and excitation. These latter effects are due to the fact that atropine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Because of the hallucinogenic properties, some have used the drug recreationally, though this is very dangerous and often unpleasant.
In overdoses, atropine is poisonous.
I took one look at the little girl's portrait and she looked like she was on quite a few hallucinagetic drugs! Her pupils are very wide and she resembles many pictures of young women in the last century, gazing dopily into the distance.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Ohio Legal Rights Service, which is leading the charge for change, says the opposite should be done. Mental Health needs to impose far stricter rules to limit the use of medications and hold centers accountable for abuses, it says.
Both sides agree that psychiatric drugs can help kids suffering with anxiety, depression or a host of other mental illnesses. The question in these cases is whether medications are being used to treat children or as a chemical straitjacket.
Legal Rights, an independent state agency, has examined nearly 500 cases involving chemical restraints during the past five years, including:
? A 5-year-old boy who was so doped up that he couldn?t stop batting the air, complaining about imaginary bugs and smacking his lips. A doctor ordered him off all medication.
? A 10-year-old boy who was chemically restrained 69 times over 80 days. Doctors prescribed up to six drugs at a time ? and never conducted trials to determine which pills worked for what symptoms or disorders.
As someone who had good reason to feel anxious and depressed as a child, after being raped, I am also the first to say, a child needs to feel things! I am a fairly competent and decent adult because I was allowed (through neglect) to feel everything to my very bones. I suffered tremendously and bear scars from this but also, it became my strength: that which does not kill us makes us stronger. And I used to say, while in physcial pain--they did have to operate on me, twice---'If I feel pain, I am alive.'
This ability to overcome obstacles and to win the battle of life is part of the journey through life and even small children can do this. I once cared for a girl who saw her father die. Her mother didn't give her any drugs, instead, she worked out the pain by playing a game with the other girls in her group, a game she made up, herself. It was sleeping beauty being woken up by the prince, over and over, using dolls.
Everyone loved to play this and they took turns being the princess. It was part of her healing process and today, she is a happy adult, happily married. And, an actress.
November 23, 2006
Proof Is Scant on Psychiatric Drug Mix for Young
By GARDINER HARRIS
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.
Today, even as we put many people in prison for using or selling all sorts of drugs, we encourage legal drug use for very small children. A misguided desire to prevent them from feeling any pain or suffering, this is also due to a collective inability to raise young children. During much of our human history, children after weaning grew up in groups supervised by all the adults, especially the older ones who could no longer hunt too well or lift weights.
And the children raised each other, too. Their fights for dominance and the older ones teaching the younger ones, growing up was a group effort, there was no such thing as a nuclear family hiding behind closed doors, doing goofy, stupid, ugly things.
If a child grows up with a certain amount of adventure and happenstance, they can become fine adults if they are not viciously abused or drugged to death. But this requires all people working together and this is what our culture doesn't want. Even in Europe, 300 years ago, the Princes and Princesses lived in castles filled with people of all sorts which they had to deal with and socialize with.
There was so little privacy, the private bedchamber for the King and Queen wasn't really invented until 1700! In the 1300's, a private room for the King or Lord to meet with his top staff or wife, called the 'solar' was the only other room in most castles. Everyone ate and slept in the Great Hall.
Rebecca was born to a troubled family that had lost all point in living and simply existed, detached from not only society but reality. She was killed by a system set up to limit her impact on everyone else. Namely, the whole point was to suppress her existence and to make her disappear.
I was an annoying child with a very high IQ and most teachers didn't like me very much. I skipped grades because I was bored to death. If this were today, I probably would have been drugged. As it was, I did use drugs as a teen. What a mess that was!
It didn't fix anything. I just am who I am. As we all are, each individual, different. We have no idea what 'sanity' is and anyone who thinks they know what this is, is insane.
All I can say is, stop drugging small children. Until they can monitor their own doses and know what to do next, they should be left alone except in the very rare cases of true psychosis which prevents them from eating or drinking. And even then, only with greatest caution.