The stigma surrounding mental disorders doesn’t just stop at the people that have the disorders or disabilities themselves. Particularly in recent years, parents, teachers, and community members have all begun to think more carefully about medicating children for certain issues, and whether or not the drugs are necessary.
Diagnosing and medicating children at a young age is often been a touchy subject for parents. No one wants to be accused of drugging their child without proper cause, but at the same time no one wants to see a child in pain, whether it be mental or physical.
“Some children absolutely need their medication,” said Julia Franklin, a special education teacher in Sacramento. “More often than not, the medications that the children take are really needed. However, parents should be sure that their children are diagnosed by a doctor that they trust before giving them any medication.”
“Children in the United States are being sadly over-medicated, with medications that can potentially harm their brains and their development,” said another professional, Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D., in a recent interview (The Drawbacks of Medicating Children). Wedge also states that children in America are being medicated at a higher rate than in any other developed country.
In the end, it seems to come down to what should and should not be considered ‘normal’ for certain children. If their suspected ailment is causing discomfort, violent tendencies, or keeping them from functioning their best at school or during social gatherings, a physician may be needed in order to form a firm diagnosis and correct treatment. Even then, pills may not be the answer as much as therapeutic treatment or other methods. Children should be able to “be children”, and can do that with the proper care that they need and deserve.
If you would like to know more about the ongoing debate concerning children and medications, you can click on the link above to see Marilyn Wedge’s interesting interview, or you can go here and see a first-hand account of a father who medicates his son daily.