The scaremongers at the NY Times are at it again with a biased piece about the use of medicines for manic depression in children:
June 6, 2006
Use of Antipsychotics by the Young Rose Fivefold
By BENEDICT CAREY
The use of potent antipsychotic drugs to treat children and adolescents for problems like aggression and mood swings increased more than fivefold from 1993 to 2002, researchers reported yesterday.
The researchers, who analyzed data from a national survey of doctors’ office visits, found that antipsychotic medications were prescribed to 1,438 per 100,000 children and adolescents in 2002, up from 275 per 100,000 in the two-year period from 1993 to 1995.
The findings augment earlier studies that have documented a sharp rise over the last decade in the prescription of psychiatric drugs for children, including antipsychotics, stimulants like Ritalin and antidepressants, whose sales have slipped only recently. But the new study is the most comprehensive to examine the increase in prescriptions for antipsychotics…
I am the father of a child who is bi-polar so my immediate response is thank goodness more parents are getting the right medication for their kids sooner then me and my ex-wife did. The years with which we and my daughter struggled with behavioral issues, depression, destructive outbursts, and other problems which I do not care to go into at this time were a direct result of misdiagnosis, mis-medication and failure to arrive at the proper combination of drugs. There is a reason the medication rates have increased: better diagnosis, earlier treatment, all of which have led to better outcomes. There is some mismanagement to be sure but with at least 1 million children with bipolar illness there is much more undertreatment. The failure of the NY Times article and Benedict Carey to even discuss the benefits of these medications and to suggest that an increase is questionable and without scientific support is reprehensible and irresponsible. This is so typical of the media who in lieu of a real story or controversy seeks to stir one up.
For real information instead of the garbage the NY Times passes off as medical reporting you can go to the website of The Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation at