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"Preschoolers comprise the fastest growing psychiatric-drug-using demographic in the U.S."

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posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:45 AM
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www.thedailybeast.com...


Some experts now believe that chronic depression can affect children as young as 3 years old. The groundbreaking study, published this month in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, found that an astonishing 40 percent of depressed 3- to 6-year-olds remained so over the course of two years, an eternity on a child’s clock.

The response to the study has been swift and largely hostile. “It’s ridiculous, the kinds of feedback we’re getting,” says lead author Joan Lubin, a professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “People immediately assume that we’re pushing some kind of preschooler Prozac thing.” Far from hawking snack-time sedatives, Lubin says her study’s actual aim is to help parents identify when and how to make behavioral adjustments within their family to best support a depressed child.

What’s happened, however, is that Lubin’s findings have shed light on a truly jaw-dropping statistic: Preschoolers comprise the fastest growing psychiatric-drug-using demographic in the United States. Indeed, as many as three in 1,000 children age 6 and under are taking some kind of mental-health medication. And it's not just Ritalin. Prozac and Zoloft are close behind—research now shows that their usage among preschoolers has more than doubled in recent years.

Even in adults, the effects of antidepressants are poorly understood, and virtually nothing is known about the way they work in children. Moreover, controlled clinical studies have never been performed on minors. As a result, no medication is actually FDA approved to treat depression for the pre-K set. (Or, for that matter, young children at all. Prozac, uniquely, can be prescribed to patients age 8 and up, but that’s it.)


The article is both shocking and heart-breaking.

At first it was unimaginable to me that such young children would be showing signs of depression. But then, after reflecting on it awhile, it makes sense. Study after study has shown that an increasing number of adults are experiencing psychiatric problems and, in many instances, those same people are also the primary care-givers for children. Obviously there can be hereditary and biological reasons for mental illness in children but not always, much of the time it's environmental or situational:

www.ciis.edu...


Significant stressors that can affect young children include:

Parents' depression
Early maternal separation, rejection, or ambivalence
Insecure attachment
Divorce or family conflict, including violence or threats of violence
Death or illness in the family
Too little time with primary caregivers
Threat of abandonment
Physical abuse, including physical punishment or the threat of it, and overly rough treatment from siblings
Persistent criticism
Lack of appropriate praise and encouragement
Inhibition to expressing feelings
Lack of clear or consistent boundaries
Parental addiction
Ostracism, teasing, or bullying by family members or playmates
Lack of opportunities for contact with nature
Being required to sit still for long periods of time
"Parentalization"--having to parent her parent or younger siblings
Constant relocation
Violent neighborhood
Too much TV or inappropriate media
Not having needs met functionally for safety, emotional security, attention, or importance


With the exception of too much television, all of the reasons listed are out of the control of the children but even television use is a product of their environment.

Many children today are relying on emotionally broken adults for their needs. They are at their parent's mercy at a time when the world seems to be spinning out of control and when traditional family ties are tenuous at best. Aside from the obvious economic pressures at play, we now have several generations (X and Y) of parents who grew up in an entirely media saturated world full of materialism, violence and sex. Many of today's parents see to their own comforts, needs and wants before those of their children.

From my observations, I see that many parents view their children as narcissistic extensions of themselves. Their children must be little versions of themselves, how they wish they would have been or how media tells them they should be. They are expected to keep a tight schedule and in many cases are over scheduled. They are also expected to perform perfectly in a wide variety of areas from school to sports to music. They are generally not allowed to just "be a kid" as there is little or no time for play which many psychologists and teachers feel is a very crucial part of social and emotional health and learning.

Still other parents tend to treat their children as an accessory that they use when they feel like it. They only want to engage with their children when it's convenient for them. I spent the summer herding a house and yard full of 4 to 7 year olds, most of whom never had their parents check on them all day. They ate here, some twice a day, played here and relied on our family for all of their needs. Where were their parents? This is a middle class neighborhood and I know that at least some of the parents were at home. What were they doing all day? They obviously weren't concerned for the well-being of their children.

It's horrifying to think of the millions of children literally on their own in this country, fending for themselves most of the time. It's completely understandable that they might be depressed. They feel neglected and unloved. Is it really so shocking that the old man at Wal Mart would slap the crying child when, culturally speaking, our children are already abused and neglected?

Maslow's Hierarchy of needs posits that one can't achieve social, emotional or intellectual needs or growth until your most basic needs of feeding, care and security are met. I think this is very evident in what is now happening with our children. It makes me very concerned for the future of our culture.

[edit on 3/9/2009 by kosmicjack]

[edit on 3/9/2009 by kosmicjack]



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posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:23 AM
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I think we are a culture of lazy self-entitled people.
Instead of trying to solve a problem (like depression) we just vie for the easy route of lets just take a pill and everything will be ok.
My nephew is a perfect example.
His parents were too busy fighting to discipline him and when he got really bad and looking for the attention he required,he started breaking windows and stuff like that.
Instead of curbing the behavior or getting to the root of the problem (which was them being terrible parents)...they took HIM to a shrink and put him on drugs.
It would have been easier to just ask him whats wrong and give the required attention to correct the problem then just sweep it under the rug with mind altering drugs.
Star and flag from me.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by DrumsRfun
 


It's a pretty hot issue among the parenting set.

If you think kids should not be given mind-altering drugs like anti-depressants or Ritalin you are scolded for not being understanding or for judging.

If you do use or advocate the use of prescriptions to handle emotional or behavioral problems you are lazy.

I guess I just think that people have been raising kids for millions of years without drugs. So what in our modern culture would cause an increasing need for the use of them in managing children's behavior and emotions? Chances are good it's nothing the kids are doing but more likely society at large.

I would like to know who funded the study...


+7 more 
posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:51 AM
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Sorry. I do not buy into this crap.

Let kids be kids.

There is no need for them to be on pills.

If they are causing problems, whoop their butts.

Spare the rod, spoil the child.

50% of the perceived problems could be alleviated by letting kids be kids.

40% of the perceived problems could be alleviated by spanking the kids.

10% of the kids actually have issues.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:54 AM
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reply to post by kosmicjack
 


Some children do have chemical imbalances that may require a drug but where is the line drawn as to why and when we give them drugs?

It is my opinion that the big pharma companies have gotten a good foothold on the healthcare system.
Just like those commercials...do you breathe?Do you wake up in the morning??Do you eat food?Try this new drug and it will take care of everything!!!LOL

It IS society as a whole as well in that we have gotten so complacent that even parenting has taken a downturn.
People forgot their roots among the endless tv shows and shopping malls and videogames and drugs to make us happy when we are sad.
What ever happened to just spending QUALITY time with family?

I have never been a parent so I am not trying to judge anyones choices as i have never walked in their shoes.

Its times like these I can appreciate the Amish or in my neck of the woods the Mennonites.Their kids work hard and are raised in a more natural environment free from all the mindlessness of our society.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:55 AM
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What a heart-breaking thing to read...

I think this country is ENTIRELY too dependent on prescription drugs and sadly, I believe it's by design. In recent years, it's been the teens who were so depressed and had to be taking drugs to combat it. Now, it's moved to preschoolers??? This is surely insanity. I'm not sure it's laziness that causes parents to reach for drugs. They just don't know any better. I think it's more that they have been taught to trust their doctors, who are in the palm of the pharmaceutical companies.

Sadly, I think the bottom line is profit for big Pharma.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
 


I mostly agree.

However, I do think that you should change your percentages to reflect that a certain amount of childhood issues - depression, behavioral, etc - could be alleviated by actually taking responsibility for the physical care and nurturing of children.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
 


I mostly agree.

However, I do think that you should change your percentages to reflect that a certain amount of childhood issues - depression, behavioral, etc - could be alleviated by actually taking responsibility for the physical care and nurturing of children.



That was included in the 50%

I just made those numbers up off the top of my head, but they look good.

Parents need to be parents and kids need to be kids. Period.

[edit on 9/3/2009 by Lemon.Fresh]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:02 AM
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One of the big benefits of targeting children as younger as possible is to make sure of raising a complaint nation and a big profit making for corporations in the pharmaceutical business, as many of this drugs for depression are long term addictions.

Be aware those with children many of the drugs available causes or increase depression and suicide on children and young adults.

And don't believe for a minute that a drug marketed for children's only is going to be any gentle on this issues than the ones marketed for adults.

Just more luring for parents that have neither the time or the patient to deal with what children has to endure now a days.

But is one thing People have time or make the time for it, breeding.

[edit on 3-9-2009 by marg6043]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:05 AM
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Sex is fun.


Teaching kids in their day to day lives gets tedious.

Besides, if I spend all my time with my kids, I will miss American Idol. My husband will miss the big raids on WoW.


/sarcasm




[edit on 9/3/2009 by Lemon.Fresh]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:16 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Of course Big Pharma is involved, right?



dissidentvoice.org...


Try to access the website of the Archives of General Psychiatry and you may have to abide an ad for the antidepressant Pristiq before you can enter. (JAMA and its Archives Journals “do not endorse the advertised product,” you’ll be assured.)

But look for a pharma affiliation for the author of the article “Preschool Depression,” Joan L. Luby, MD in the August issue and you’ll be told no “financial disclosure” was reported. Not that “Dr. Luby has received grant/research support from Janssen, has given occasional talks sponsored by AstraZeneca, and has served as a consultant for Shire Pharmaceutical,” as a 2006 article in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says.

Even though the pharmaceutical industry has got 27 million Americans on antidepressants thanks to direct to consumer advertising–ten percent of the population–it is looking for depression in preschoolers. And guess what? It’s finding it!



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:30 AM
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I'd have to agree with the vast majority of what's been posted thus far. The Actual number of kids, pre-schoolers and teens who truly Need medications of this sort (anxiety or depression meds) are Far lower than the number who are currently prescribed and/or taking them each day.

While I don't have any statistics or "numbers" to back this assertion, I would think it a safe bet that, if you were to look at the "stats" of those children who enjoy a balanced diet and participate in a healthy level of daily exercise, you would see a much lower percentage taking or being prescribed medications of this sort.

In years past kids seemed to run, play and raise hell in general Far more than they do today. Anxiety and Over Activity were readily squelched, as they wore themselves out in the backyard playing games, riding their bikes, on the playground, etc.

More and mOar today, they're overall less physically active and eat Far less healthy a diet than days gone by. Factor in the excessive sweets and/or junk they consume whilst sitting in front of the stupid tube, their computers or TXTing with their friends and it's no damned wonder they suffer from anxiety AND/OR depression.

The parents are typically so caught up with their jobs, making ends meet, etc. that the "easiest" approach is to take them to th doctor.

"I'm not sure what's wrong with li'l Johnny or Jane. They fidget around in their seats at school. Their teachers say it's disrupts the class. They seem depressed and reclusive at home. They don't go out and play with their friends. Etc ... and blah blah blah"

"Mrs. Jones,
Your child demonstrates classic symptoms of various behavioral disorders and I/We think it best that we try to address or treat this with the following regime of medications."

"If these don't work, we can try different dosage levels OR we have these other type anti-anxiety/anti-depression medications at our disposal as well"

"Thank you Dr. So-and-So. Whatever you think is best. I/We just don't know what's gotten into them"

Wash-Rinse-Repeat


Personally,
I think if they'd place as much emphasis on prescribing increased levels of exercise, more outdoor activities and/or interaction, as well as a more healthy diet, then perhaps there'd be Far fewer kids being medicated as opposed to Educated .... Parents as well.

?



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by 12m8keall2c
 


Exactly, children used to spend their energies, frustrations and just the right to be children, loud obnoxious in the play grounds and their backyards.

Creativity, inquisitiveness, day dreaming and curiosity seems to be synonymous of mental disorders as per those that doesn't want to deal with all that is nothing but natural children behavior.

We are not allow to spank, punish or discipline children, we are afraid of letting children out to play because child abductions, child molesters or just because children will be bothering in the neighborhood.

The babysitters is the video games and the TV.

What people expect from children this days? that they behave in a manner that is actually no natural for their age.

So what we do to achieve the "society desirable behavior" drug them to death.

What a future for children in America.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 11:22 AM
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it all leads to parenting. y dont they let parents have the drugs instead?
-dark joke-



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 11:26 AM
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This is just disgusting. A preschooler's brain is not even fully developed yet, so how can these so called Dr.'s prescribe medication for a mental condition or chemical imbalance in these youngsters? One would think that prescribing such medications to individuals at such a young age would be illegal.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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Drugs are not going to help these children. Less brain numbing television/video games, and more physical activity on the other hand...



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
reply to post by DrumsRfun
 


It's a pretty hot issue among the parenting set.

If you think kids should not be given mind-altering drugs like anti-depressants or Ritalin you are scolded for not being understanding or for judging.

If you do use or advocate the use of prescriptions to handle emotional or behavioral problems you are lazy.

I guess I just think that people have been raising kids for millions of years without drugs. So what in our modern culture would cause an increasing need for the use of them in managing children's behavior and emotions? Chances are good it's nothing the kids are doing but more likely society at large.

I would like to know who funded the study...



I blame parents.......too many adults never think THEY are the problem.....

People always look to find the answer or reason but never look within ...

That is the cause of most our problems in our country......

Stop being so egotistical and maybe we could accomplish something as a human race.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by Aggie Man
This is just disgusting. A preschooler's brain is not even fully developed yet,


No doubt. The benefits of anti-depressants are controversial for children (and adults) in general and most often come with a black label warning. Why the hell would anyone give this to a child unless it was biologically necessary and came with a second and maybe a third medical opinion?

www.mayoclinic.com...


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that an extensive analysis of clinical trials showed that antidepressants may cause or worsen suicidal thinking or behavior in children and adolescents. The analysis showed that children taking antidepressants had about a 4 percent chance of developing suicidal thoughts or behavior, compared with only a 2 percent chance in children taking a sugar pill (placebo). None of the children in any of the studies actually took his or her own life. Still, the FDA considered the findings so disturbing that in October 2004 it issued a public health advisory and began requiring manufacturers to label antidepressants with strong warnings about the link to suicide in children.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 12:17 PM
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Many thoughtful points made in this thread and I'm consistently impressed with the care ATS members take in their consideration of children and the seriousness in which they take the subject.

Having 4 kids, including twins, I can tell you that all kids are different and rather than spend more activity time with them, which I don't believe is necessarily a good thing, I think parents need to spend a lot more time thinking about their kids, to develop a strategy to enable them to help them have a happy and productive life. Some kids like sports, some to read, some art or music and any host of other productive things. Parents need to work to understand their kids and find something positive to channel their energy into. You can't simply have them do what you want to have them do, with, IMO exception of some kind of physical activity. These don't have to be organized sports. I have a son who plays football, a son and daughter who do gymnastics and one who swims. Point being that there are many different physical activities for kids. Boys especially need a physical outlet.

The lives of kids today are too scripted and have too much adult involvement. Kids need an opportunity to develop their imaginations and they need to do that absent adult involvement, beyond ensuring that they are doing it in a safe and productive manner. Making up games, being silly, playing old-school games like kick the can and other things like that are more important to develop a child's creativity than an organized sport. Kick them outside and tell them to play in a safe environment. parents/adults having too much involvement with kids also degrades their ability to socialize and learn how to compromise. Adults telling them what to do degrades that important social development. That makes it very difficult for them to effectively interact with other kids and creates behavior problems. A parent letting a kid choose all of the activitys, resolving all disputes for kids is not doing his job.

I agree that TV and video games are a problem. I make my kids earn TV time by reading for an equal amount of time before they watch TV and no more than an hour a day during the school week. Popping them down on the couch does nothing for the kid. making them read and then tell you about the story does a lot for them. Again, the parent needs to take time to find books that interest the kid and take time to make certain it is not too easy nor too difficult. That takes time.

Schools are a big part of the problem. Especially with boys, schools are increasingly unwilling/unable to deal with a normal, spirited boy. Boys are rowdy. They have an enormous amount of energy, physical and emotional, especially when they are 12 and under. Schools need to work to create active environments for them. Having both boys and girls, boys are different. If they don't have a sufficient outlet it impacts their behavior, moods and ability to adjust to the world in a significant way.

Finally, two things that all kids need are enough sleep and a quality diet. Kids are developing at a significant rate. Their bodys and minds are doing a lot more work than ours are. They need 9 hours of sleep and a good diet given to them regularily. That is tough. Kids want to eat crap, often don't want to eat enough protein and it is a pain in the butt to get a young kid to go to sleep at a reasonable hour.

This is a complex problem that can be resolved in the vast number of cases by thoughtful parenting.

There are kids who need to be on drugs however. There are kids who are manifestly unhappy with their inability to conrol their anger, have oppositional deviance disorder and need a mild drug, ideally for a short period of time to enable them to develop the emotional ability to deal with their feelings. There are kids for which all of above in all of the posts won't help. In those cases, drugs should be considered an option. The key issue is that the drugs need to be prescribed for the benefit of the child, not his parents or his school. Turning a spirited kid into a zombie because that makes them easier to deal with is absolutely the wrong answer and IMO a form of child abuse.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by dolphinfan
The lives of kids today are too scripted and have too much adult involvement. Kids need an opportunity to develop their imaginations and they need to do that absent adult involvement, beyond ensuring that they are doing it in a safe and productive manner. ... parents/adults having too much involvement with kids also degrades their ability to socialize and learn how to compromise. Adults telling them what to do degrades that important social development.


I completely agree and so do many psychologists:

www.psychologytoday.com...


The decline in children's freedom is a serious social issue. It is responsible, I think, for the dramatic increases in childhood depression and suicide. People of all ages crave freedom, and they suffer when their freedom is taken away. As a society we have come to understand this principal as applied to adults, but we put our heads in the sand rather than face the evidence that children too crave freedom and need it in order to feel happy and to grow in healthy ways.



www.psychologytoday.com...< br />

Throughout the whole history of humankind children have learned primarily from other children, in age-mixed play and exploration (as I have discussed in many previous posts). Throughout the whole history of humankind children have learned what they want to learn, not what is next on somebody’s list of what they should learn. But now we have this conception that learning is sequential and adult-directed..


Interactive play with other children in a safe environment builds confidence, encourages curiosity and learning and the exercise positively affects their hormones and brain chemistry.



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