How on earth...?

  1. Does someone get diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder at the age of TWO??

    I read this on another American board and my eyes nearly popped out of my head!



    Like that!

    This just would not happen over here in the UK.
    •  
  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    from deep in the heat of texas

    Well Clive, I agree with you. The American Psychiatriasts, who used to years ago provided counseling in how to deal with problems. Now they just slap a label on a patient and just medicate them. Ive worked ER for a long time now. And the number of kids who are on various psychiatric medications just to control them, to make their parents happy with their behaviour. Or to mollify the school system because a child exhibits attention getting behaviour. And a lot of these children are put on these medications because parents complain that they cant controll them, or the school system places pressure on these parents about their childs behaviour. And couseling of these chidren and parents is never even attempted. More often then not these children are never even neurologically and psychiatrically tested.
    Saw a commercials a few weeks ago on TV. Something along the line of. Does your child have problems in school, does your child still wet the bed. does your child creata distubances. Then we have medication to controll them. A pill a day will make yopur child an obedient and pleasant child. Let us make your childs life better by drugging him or her up.
    Now it doesnt talk about the parents being abusive, or mothers with revolving husbands, or fathers with revolving wives or partners. It doesnt address parents who are chemically addicted to alcohol or pain medicine or whatever.
    The easy thing to do nowadays is to just give them drugs to make the problem go away. Then you get the child in er who has been overmedicated by parents. You also get the child who overdoses on medicine rather than, face an angry or abusive parent for not picking up their room. Working the ER I see this on a routine basis. All to routine.
    Now this response is probably going to get me a lot of angry responses


    SEE YALL LATER

    PS This isnt discussing children with seizures or autism, or some of those other problems of great tragedy.
  4. by   sjoe
    Better living through chemistry.

    By the same token, it may well be that the MD had to make this kind of diagnosis for this particular patient in order to get reimbursed for the care/drugs/whatever he/she is providing. Perhaps the kid wouldn't have been able to have been treated otherwise, we don't know.
    Last edit by sjoe on Nov 3, '02
  5. by   renerian
    I have not heard of that but psyc is not my specialty.

    renerian
  6. by   jnette
    Yep.......have to agree with you there. No argument from here.

    Sad. Big business for drug companies...anyway they can. It sickens me to watch the pharmaceutical ads on TV. Don't get me started.......
  7. by   CliveUK
    Thanks for your replies. It seems, from what you say, like it's just another case of the pharmaceutical industry having doctors in their pockets, with the poor patient getting the sh**ty end of the stick as always. Only, since it's children we're talking about, I would have expected a bit more by way of moral considerations. I mean - what happens to a kid who starts getting tranquillised at the age of 2? It doesn't bear thinking about.

    This "pill for every ill" culture is bound to end up crossing the pond at some point in the future and it's very worrying. It's inextricably linked with the predominance of neurobiology in psychiatry these days, I think. Feeling depressed? Don't worry, it's just your neurochemicals. Here, take this and everything will be ALL RIGHT...

    I would certainly hope that I am more than a bagful of neurotransmitters, and that what I call my mind is more than a bunch of neurons and tubules.

    But of course, the 'science' behind neurobiological explanations of mental distress is pretty shaky and doesn't bear much close scrutiny. And I suppose, if you're all whacked out on meds, it's difficult to hold anything up to close scrutiny!!
  8. by   sjoe
    Clive--I'd not be too hard on the drug industry as a cause for this, for they are only filling society's wish to do things as cheaply as possible, with a minimal expenditure of labor. Our society just does not want to see or think about ill people, and does not want to spend money on them. It just wants the whole thing to be "fixed" by experts, as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Just like their cars.
  9. by   CliveUK
    I dunno, sjoe - people do tend to want what they are told to want through advertising, the media &c. One hand washes the other, I guess.

    Did you know that something like 300 'disorders' have been added to DSM-IV over the last ten years? Each with their own pharmaceutical fix, no doubt.

    I saw some people mention (on that other board again!) something called "oppositional defiant disorder" being diagnosed in a 3 year old. Er...isn't being oppositional and defiant just part and parcel of being 3 years old? *shrugs, tuts, shakes head* I am genuinely bemused at this level of "pathologisation".
  10. by   NurseDennie
    Here's another possibility. There's such a thing here in the States as "crazy money." There are doctors who will come up with some dx like this so the family can put the baby on social security disability. I've heard tales of people being coached on what they should tell the doc and the social security people.

    It's just as sad. Actually, more. Because a lot of times this is the family's way of making money on the backs of their kids.

    Love

    Dennie
  11. by   CliveUK
    Dennie - that's terrible! Don't poorer parents get help with money for their kids anyway??! Over here, there are such things as child benefit (which everyone with a kid gets) and family income supplement, tax breaks etc etc.
  12. by   NurseDennie
    Hi, Clive. Things are very different here. Well, I tell a lie. Things are SOMEWHAT different here. Poorer parents get all kinds of help with all kinds of things. But they have to jump through hoops to get it. Here in the States, we pay quite a bit less in taxes, and we are a bit more on our own than there.

    So, in the States, what everybody with a kid gets is a bigger tax deduction - it's not a huge amount. Certainly it comes *nowhere* near what it costs to take care of a child. We get a credit for child care, which comes right off the bottom line of the tax report, which actually means less tax dollars paid.

    The poorest ones also get an "earned income credit" which I am not 100% sure I understand, as I've never been eligible for it. But I think that if you get the earned income credit, then you get more money "back" from the government than you actually paid in for taxes.

    There is a program called Women Infants and Children, which helps with grocery money for pregnant women and children up to age 5, I think. And food stamps are available for people and families below a certain poverty level.

    So there are things available, but it's not as broad-based here as it is there. And there are always people who abuse the system. You always hear tales of people going to the grocery stores and watching a well-dressed woman check out using food stamps and then load the groceries into the brand new luxury car. I don't know....

    The disability for children was originally set up because there are some childhood illnesses or traumas that mean that the child will never be able to look after himself or herself and somebody in the family will have to stop working to take care of the child full-time. The disability provided some income and also put the child on government provided medical care. I don't have a problem with that at all - obviously!

    But when it's "crazy money" it's because.... instead of having a kid and going to work to provide for the kid, the parents use the kid to get money from the government. They tend to have a LOT of kids and get welfare and then sign the kids up for crazy money to get more money.

    The system here is interestingly different. It seems like we are getting - kind of inching - closer to the system in Britain, but I can't imagine that we'll ever be quite as liberal with the government supplied things. I have a friend in England whose sister is diabetic and she has some peripheral neuropathy, and the government gives her a new car every so-many years. I can't remember how many years, but it's fewer years than *I* go before trading cars. I can't see the US ever providing stuff like that, but I could be surprised, you never know.

    BTW, my parents were both Brits and my grandfather came to this country and had children (my father and aunt had dual citizenship) and then moved back, but he couldn't live out his life there in the end.

    Love

    Dennie
  13. by   maureeno
    unfortunately in the US we are all bipolar and all on drugs... okay that is not true, but both my husband and I [total 60 years mental health work] are disgusted with what our vocation has become. Did you know advertising advises people to take anti-depressants if bothered for 2 weeks by sadness? Important to keep everyone optimal for consuming mass quantities. sadly, maureeen
  14. by   sanakruz
    That is a ******** diagnosis- DSM IV sez you must be 18 to receive that DX.- If both parents carry a bonafide DX of bipolar, maybe it's a "preliminary, precautionary diagnosis" No MD is going to medicate a 2 year old with LICO3 however or anything else for that matter- Its like medicating a fetus! No pharmasist would fill the prescription! Sounds like one of those urban legends. What is the American board anyway?

close