Friday, March 05, 2010

Are kids overmedicated?

Zuger reviews a book by Judith Warner on a topic that I and many others have had a knee jerk reflex type opinion on:  "Yes, of course kids are overmedicated by lazy parents and pill popping psychologists."  Warner began her study with that attitude, intending to prove her point,  and found quite the opposite.   She:
...sallied forth to interview all the pushy parents, irresponsible doctors and overmedicated children she could find — and lo, she could barely find any. After several years of dead ends, missed deadlines and worried soul-searching, she was forced to reconsider her premise and start all over again.

“A couple of simple truths have become clear,” she writes with the passion of a new convert. “That the suffering of children with mental health issues (and their parents) is very real. That almost no parent takes the issue of psychiatric diagnosis lightly or rushes to ‘drug’ his or her child; and that responsible child psychiatrists don’t, either. And that many children’s lives are essentially saved by medication, particularly when it’s combined with evidence-based forms of therapy.”

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