Wednesday, January 09, 2008

All you need is an hour and an internet connection!

Please follow this link and watch the Frontline documentary, "The Medicated Child." I offer it without comment. Please do watch it and let me know what you think.

6 comments:

jaci k said...

I watched the doc last night. wow.
i could not help think about our sweet little guy.
was that denver woman interviewed the one you saw or were trying to see?
i think it is comforting to know that there are other moms out there going through maybe even worse things than you (the girl who wanted to chop off her parents' heads at 4)BUT where are you all going to go? meds don't seem to be the answer long term, but there is a need to get the kids in a place where they can learn new behavior. you are such a strong woman, dude. i don't have kids but william is the closest thing to it and i don't want people experimenting on his brilliant brain.

Bonnie said...

Molly,

I finally got around to watching this. WOW. It really is such unknown territory. I'm still processing what I just saw, but made a quick look at some of the responses to the show at pbs.org. One woman wrote "We can't stand by and do nothing but the current medical regimens work like chemical sledge hammers when we really need the delicacy of a probe."

I felt that was an apt description of the use of these powerful antipsychotics and sedatives on brains that are still growing, developing, and connecting.

I want to talk about this more, soon.

Love,
Bonnie

caty said...

Just watched it too this week. I have to admit it was really difficult to watch. I mean, i'm a little surprised how easy it seemed for the psych. doctors to be upping doses, adding new prescriptions, etc. What troubled me the most about this, and i know PBS had to edit these interactions, is that the Doctor never asked, "are these behaviors manageable?" before he went ahead upping the dosage. The mom reported more tantrums but did she say that they were violent, out of control, intolerable? And shit, kids have tantrums and these kids more than the "normal" kid but the doctor didn't try to quantify or qualify these peaks in undesirable behavior, he just took out his script pad. That just had my social work ass floored.
I'm not entirely against medicating kids--i've worked with children where it's been clear that it was needed--but geez, it ought to be done with extreme care and with the philosophy that it is only as a last resort or as one tool in the box of many other possible tools. And it shouldn't be dictated by teachers or doctors but guided by the parents. In summary, I guess i am a real proponent of a Holistic approach.

Bonnie said...

I know, Caty, I was struck by the same thing.

I had a personal experience, where I was looking for some therapy, and the doctor in the first 5 minutes of our session tried to prescribe antidepressant medication, when she hadn't even listened to any of my story.

Perhaps we missed the child-focused part of their appointments, but it seemed like the mother was just describing their experience, and he was prescribing to make her feel like he was doing something.

Later, after the little girl in Boston's death, she asked him if there was anything else they could be doing--and he started talking about meds again.

Shocking.

molly_g said...

No, it was worse than that! He said that therapy would not be effective for the little boy. He said the little boy's success would only be possible, "99% meds, 1% other stuff." Fucking sick and wrong and completely breaking with the hippocratic oath is what that is!!!!

Did I tell you that we were on that doctor's waiting list when we were on that mad dash to find medical attention during the summer/fall of 2006? Did I tell you that this show gave me great relief as I truly lucked into an outstanding treatment team?

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