Bipolar kids or bad parents? - page 2

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  1. by   berniemcr
    I can see what a hot topic this is and as a nurse who works in a child/adolescent crisis unit would like to add my thoughts with what I have seen in my past 1 1/2 years.

    First of all, NO ONE disputes that there are actually children who have severe behavioral/psychiatric problems. Hearing that doctors brag at the speed with which they diagnose them, however is scary.

    I have seen children come in out of control, watched the parent/child interaction, watched them medicated and have seen some amazing turn arounds. There are many cases where medication is needed and allows the child to develop.

    I have also seen the multiple admits who are on many medications who change not at all. I have also witnessed the child/parent interactions and left with no wonder about what the real problems were. The children have bragged to me that if they acted like this at home they would get what they want. I have had a parent totally imersed in the fact that her child had not showered that day when the 8 year old was completely out of control--punching and scratching staff any chance he got.

    I have no doubt that there is a genetic factor to all of this. I have no answers but I continue to be intrigued why some children in a family are affected and some are not.

    I want to also say that the unit I work on does not prescribe medications for all children. There are some that have issues that need to be worked out through family and individual therapy that can work amazingly if everyone is receptive. Sometimes the kids just have to have a safe place to explore how to resolve their issues.

    I know I have given a two-sided opinion, but I continue to think that we, as a society, are too quick to medicate our problems away. How many people go to a doctor and insist they need an antibiotic for a virus. We think if we take a pill we will be OK. I believe there needs to be more vigilant overseeing of the doctors who would prescribe potent medications to 2 and 3 year olds. There are no long term studies of the side effects of these medications.

    There are usually no bad parents--just some who could use some help.
  2. by   FireStarterRN
    Interesting thread here. I think that each person is different, there is no one answer. Human beings are complex.
  3. by   rph3664
    Quote from berniemcr
    I believe there needs to be more vigilant overseeing of the doctors who would prescribe potent medications to 2 and 3 year olds. There are no long term studies of the side effects of these medications.

    There are usually no bad parents--just some who could use some help.
    Did you hear that story about the 4-year-old who was diagnosed as bipolar at age 2, and died of a Depakote overdose? "60 Minutes" did a very cursory treatment of this, but there were two other children about whom people who knew the family said they were basically kept asleep all the time and awakened only to eat and go to school and the bathroom. Police actually found drugs, prescribed by several doctors, hidden all over the house. And the doctor's license has been suspended because she has apparently done this kind of thing before.

    When I worked at a grocery store pharmacy, there was a mom and little boy who came into the store every day and just kind of walked around. The boy was 4 and wouldn't you know it, one day Mom walked in with an RX for Risperdal, among other things. Thing was, I never saw the mom not on her cell phone. We all wondered who she was really talking to. This wasn't an isolated incident. Maybe the boy really did have behavior problems, but I'm guessing he was neglected. I'm pretty sure the mom was married but I never saw the husband.

    Around here, the doctors will prescribe ADD meds to any parent who asks for them, and the schools are VERY aggressive in having kids evaluated. I have never heard of a child who was evaluated who wasn't diagnosed. 3 to 5%? I'd say it's more like 30 to 50%, conservatively.

    I know lots of teachers, and they all say that when they have a problem child, 99% of the time, when they meet the parents they know immediately where the problem arose.

    Lots of parents (okay, single unemployable moms) are encouraging their kids to act up in school so they can get an ADD diagnosis and receive SSI payments for them. They are shoo-ins for this money, as are drug addicts and alcoholics, and this is why many people who were declared permanently and totally diasbled are needing to be re-evaluated.

    And this makes things so much harder for people who really do have these conditions.

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