Psych Central

Archive for June, 2012

Can We Medicate Away Childhood Bullying?

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

In recent years, there has been a huge increase in the prescribing of psychiatric medication to treat aggression in children.

Specifically, atypical antipsychotic and mood stabilizing drugs, originally developed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults, are now routinely prescribed to treat the aggression that occurs in a variety of childhood psychiatric disorders.

Prescriptions for atypical antipsychotics increased sixfold between 1993 and 2002, and the majority were prescribed to treat non-psychotic aggression, according to a task force that recently published guidelines on how to treat aggression in kids.

But these drugs carry the risk of serious side effects, notably severe weight gain and metabolic changes that can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Critics, including many in the medical community, have said they are over-prescribed.

At the same time, we’re in the midst of a collective national hand-wringing over how to reduce childhood bullying. Might drugs that curb aggression be the answer?


Dealing With Medication Changes As A New Mom

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Little Feet, Big HandWhen I can, I like to feature guest posts from people who have grown up taking psychiatric medications, and for today’s post we’re lucky to have a firsthand account of dealing with medication switches as a new mom from Claire Robson.

Claire, who gave birth to her daughter last September, is one of the people whose stories I feature in detail in my new book, Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows Up.

Claire began taking antidepressants for mood swings and depression when she was eleven years old. Medication was never a quick fix for her, in large part because it caused intense side effects, primarily extreme exhaustion. Two decades later, she is still adjusting her regimen, most recently because she has had her first child and is struggling with postpartum depression.


After Years On ADHD Meds, No Shortage of Questions

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

What are the issues involved in taking stimulant medications for ADHD from early elementary school onward? And what happens when someone who has done this decides to quit the drugs in college – only to find her motivation and academic capabilities diminish without the meds, and to suffer a crisis of identity and mood problems upon resuming them?

Two recent guest posts from a reader raised these questions and prompted ample discussion and comments from readers. In those posts, I let the young woman in question speak for herself. Now, I’d like to highlight some of the larger issues her story illustrates.


After Years On ADHD Meds, Searching For The Authentic Self

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

//

Yesterday, I published the first part of a guest post from a young woman, now 20 years old, who had spent the majority of her life – pretty much as long as she can remember, she says – taking medications for ADHD.

After working hard in high school and getting into her top-choice college, she decided she wanted to see what she was like without medication. She wanted to prove to her parents – and to herself – that she could function well in school and in life without the drugs she’d been taking for so long.

The summer before beginning college, she stopped taking her medication. Here, in her words, is what happened afterwards, and how it changed her view of herself and her need for the drugs.


Growing Up With ADHD Meds – And Deciding to Quit Them

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

//

I’m always thrilled when readers write in wanting to share their experiences or their children’s experiences with medication.

So often when we talk about psychiatric meds, we discuss it only on the most superficial level. But when people have a chance to really open up about the ways they think long-term medication has impacted them, I believe they can share some valuable insights and lessons.

I try to provide that kind of in-depth storytelling in my new book, Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows Up, but with so many medications, so many psychiatric disorders, and infinite life experiences accompanying them, there are many more stories out there to tell.

I was intrigued and pleased, then, when a young woman, a 20-year-old incoming college junior who grew up in Georgia, wrote me to say that she wanted to tell her story of taking medications for ADHD “for as long as I can remember.”


Learn more about Dosed now

Check out Kaitlin Bell Barnett's
book, Dosed!

Subscribe to this Blog:
Feed


Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner



Recent Comments
  • Kaitlin Bell Barnett: Thanks very much for your comment, Gary – and apologies for my terribly belated response!...
  • Kaitlin Bell Barnett: Well, I guess you won’t believe me, but my connection to Big Pharma is only that I have...
  • Tired/sad/informed mother: After reading this stuff, I have only one comment. Just exactly what is your connection...
  • Dian: I am in my final year as a doctoral advanced practiced RN, and I do worry about how culture and race will play...
  • GDA: I can relate to most of this article, but feel I can offer a different slant, from personal experience....
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!