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Monday, April 14, 2008

KEEP THE KIDS OFF DOPE

Prescribing anti-depressants can certainly improve, and even save the lives of those afflicted with clinical depression, but for God's sake, let's keep the children off the meds. In my experience, the use of anti-depressants by children does not help them, it only increases feelings of alienation and causes a lack of interest in academics, sports, and social events.


At any rate, I think 30 years for a minor with extenuating circumstances like these is a bit over the top, but we all know that prison is business and in America that business is doing better than any other.

Comments:
I think it's a little more complex than that brutha...

We got a kid in the neighborhood who unfortunately suffers some physical maladies of the type that required surgery which also affects developement and his ability to control impulse (he has a shunt). We know this because his parents are friends of ours. I feel awful for the little guy, but he gets very physical with others including putting his hands around others kids throats and hitting them with blunt objects. This behavior plays out at school regularly and his mother is sent to pick him up at least once a week. His folks are at wits end. His mother happens to be an RN and talks about this very issue a great deal (they have not medicated him for behavior just yet).

For every adult that has been helped by meds, the same number exists for kids too. I'm not advocating scripts of these meds for kids, but I'm not condoning it either.

Jackson, every parent wants their kid to be happy and normal. They also know it would be their worst nightmare for them to have paramedics and cops knocking at their door telling them that their kid just choked another to death, or hit another on the head with a bat, or something. What's the answer? Isolate the kid? Keep him inside while the others are out playing? Send him away? Medicate (as has been suggested)? Many kids DON'T get medicated and end up alienated, uninterested academics, sports, and social events. They've also carried out great acts of violence.

What of the protection of innocent civilians from prone types such as the kid in the article? CNN just ran a story last week of a young man who's parents had him commited BEFORE he carried out a violent spree he was planning after noticing signs of behavior that matched the Columbine kids. He's now college age, but was just booted off campus for making threats to other students. He says his words were taken out of context. When asked if she thought his threats were serious, his own mother emphatically said that they were and should be taken very seriously. This from a mother who loves her kid, but knows all to well of his affliction. She'd tell you that without med's administered to this kid in his youth, he'd have killed already (he was medicated at some point in his early teens).

I just got off the phone after an hour talking to Mrs. Alva about the boy I mentioned above because of an incident. The boys mother was actually crying because she just doesn't know what to do with him. It's a pain and quandry only a parent can know. We both feel horrible for her.

Like I said, it's very complicated. I want my daughter to have empathy for her friend, but do I/we wait until something horrible happens to my one and only before taking action? We haven't yet, but there are worried days ahead my friend and doing nothing is not an option for us or for this boys' parents.
 
First off, I was talking specifically about anti-depressants, as I stated in, uh, the first sentence of my post.

Secondly, I never said doing nothing was the answer.

What I did say, was that in my experience, children put on anti-depressants tend to become even more alienated than before they were put on the medication.

Certainly there are cases in which it's the only option. But I have seen parents jump on the happy pills to solve issues that could be delt with in therapy, or even simply by spending some time with their kid.

Everything is complex, as you so often tell me.

I'd hate to think how I would have turned out if my parents had resorted to medicating me instead of actually talking to me to find out what my issues were.

I have no doubt that your own 'anti-social' behavior during your adolescance could be seen today as a possible case for medication.
 
Perhaps, but by including your opin along side this story implies that this kid's actions were brought on by being prescribed depressants. I'd offer that perhaps he wasn't given a strong enough dose.

I of course I agree that there are some parents who may jump to quick to meds for simple childhood hyperactivity (although I've never met such people), but an adolesent with uncontrolable impulses to commit violence requires either HEAVY medication or institutionalization.

Since most parents see putting their kid away sd the least desireable, medication is what the try first.

I'd also add that in my experience, it's not lazy parenting that compels parents to pull the trigger on meds too early, but rather an overwhelming paternal desire to want to make their kid better, happy, and well adjusted. It's a force that you will feel in due time my friend :-) It'll make the most sensible people irrational.
 
In the article it mentioned that the incident occured when they switched his medication. These are STRONG drugs, and very often doctors have very little understanding of what they are doing to a person's body chemistry, a sudden shift can be devestating.

All I'm saying is that people should use caution, these drugs are not quick fixes, they leave an enduring mark on the mind and body. Much more addictive than opiates, once on the train, it's near impossible to get off.

You must remember who I work for, I know Pharma's dirty little secrets.
 
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