As this post is piggy-backing on a previous post written by Mariah I will try to keep it brief!
Viewing the video The Medicated Child in class this week made me aware of a potential problem regarding the current state of child psychology. The concept of medicating children at such an early age never really stuck out to me but this video prompted me to spend some time really considering the potential consequences. There are a couple main issues that seem to be at the root of the issue.
1)The most clear flaw in this treatment approach is that medical professionals are prescribing medications which aim at altering the brains of these young children. These brains are still very involved in the process of development and it seems futile as well as dangerous to flood them with potent medications. While I know these are differing concepts to a certain extent I can’t help but relate this to the use of braces in children. If orthodontists avoid fitting children with braces when their mouths are still developing, then why is it that we are quick to prescribe children with developing brains with powerful medications? Are we fully aware how these medications might affect the course of their development? Also, as a child’s brain is still developing the use of certain medications can not be sustainable. I wonder if these growth years are a time when behavioral medicine should be utilized more frequently and dominantly. These treatments seem more sustainable over a child’s development and into their adulthood. I took a course on behavioral medicine over Janplan and it appears to be an alternative worth considering.
2) Often, the medical professionals who are prescribing these medications to children are pediatricians and are less familiar with the drugs than one might hope. This seems to be a large oversight in this system. In addition, parents who see their children struggling and might be desperate for help are very likely to listen to their children’s pediatricians who definitely mean the best for their patients but might also be too quick to prescribe medications.
Again, I think it is important to stress the use of alternative treatments for children so early in development. Introducing a developing brain to external chemicals appears to have the potential to cause negative side effects. Giving other, less invasive options a try before turning to medication should definitely be seen as a favorable choice.