Where behavioral science and humanism get out of the ivory tower, and into the world.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dx's and Rx's for kids...

Children Labled as "Bipolar" up 4000%

     Articles like this one on diagnosing (Dx) and the changes that come from it are often unsettling to me. For every one true case of childhood bi-polar, conduct disorder, ADHD, and the other “hot” childhood psych disorders, there seem to be thousands of others who just the same label without merit.
     This article hints at that it helped many doctors prescribe meds for the children (I’m hoping they mean psychiatrists, and not just general practitioners). That’s truly disturbing as well. Psychotropic meds aren’t like Advil. These drugs have major, long lasting side effects and, unless there’s a true chemical imbalance, can be very harmful.  There’s often many other causes for why some acts the way they do, besides poor brain chemistry.
     I can’t tell you how many charts I’ve looked at that have a wrong Dx, a mutually exclusive Dx, or a list so long of Dxs that it took up half a page.  This often happens so that people can get reimbursed for treatment. Insurance companies don’t like paying for preventative psych services, or psych services that will take a long time.
     It often seems like they’re much more willing to pay lots of money for extremely strong meds that lead to other health problems to deal with underlying issues, rather than spending a little more at the beginning to help the person learn to cope and eventually get off the meds. So essentially mopping up the water on the floor and turning off the running faucet at the same time as opposed to just putting lots of paper towels down.

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