Jun 18, 2020
In 2014, the Center for Disease Control reported that as many as 10,000 toddlers were receiving psychostimulant medication like Ritalin. Some six years later, the numbers are even higher. Is normal behavior too often being labeled as disturbed or disordered because it meets DSM criteria?
Data shows that in 2019, 6,726,189 children and adolescents were prescribed psychotropic drugs, ranging from antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers, and ADHD medications. In addition, an increasing number of children and young adults with behavioral or emotional disorders are frequently treated with a cocktail of drugs simultaneously.
Although there is limited information on the safety and efficacy of treating children with one or more psychotropic medication, they are commonly prescribed hastily and without the proper time and evaluation needed to make an appropriate diagnosis.
Usage of these medications has continued to increase over the past few decades, yet the risk of adverse side effects and potentially detrimental reactions can be rather unpredictable. Some side effects are often misdiagnosed as symptoms of another issue or illness, which then calls for additional medication that may, in turn, further exacerbate how the child or young adult is already feeling.
While medication that's adequately prescribed to a patient can improve their quality of life, we have to remain mindful of the impact that psychotropic drugs can have on a young child or adolescent's developing brain and their overall well-being now and into their future.
In today’s interview, I talk with a young woman we will call "Erin," who was prescribed 4 medications after one 45-minute psychiatric appointment. The number grew to 9 medications by the age of 29. Due to the medications, she gained 96 pounds and suffered from frequent seizures and daily hallucinations.
Erin was depressed, hopeless, and had no friends or social life. The only answer seemed to be suicide. She decided to take her own life on her 30th birthday. Please listen to her story and to the miracle that saved her because her story may save the life of a child you know!
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