2.5 Million American Children on Atypical Antipsychotics?

Those darn kids.

More and more, children that are unmanageable, disagreeable, or just plain moody are getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder or ADHD. What do I hear from more and more clinicians on this issue? Let’s take a look at the parenting. Are the parents willing to take charge of their children? Are they setting limits? A lot of things cause kids to act out, and they might be amenable to something less than antipsychotic medication.

I got wind of this article from Furious Seasons who got it from the Guardian UK. “The chief symptoms are mood swings, which, however are common in children of any age”(!) Here are some quotes from the Guardian:

“Antipsychotic drugs for children have taken off in the US on the back of a willingness to diagnose those with behavioural problems as having manic depression. Even children barely out of babyhood are getting a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, the modern term for the condition.

“The chief symptoms are mood swings, which, however, are common in children of any age.

“David Healy, an expert on bipolar disorder, said there were now 2.5 million American children on antipsychotics. However, the UK guidelines on the disorder, from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, urge caution.”

Kalea Chapman, Psy.D.


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Clinical Psychologist practicing in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

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