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November 27, 2006
Mental Illness in Our Troubled Children Grows
Over the past month the NYTimes has published a series of important articles about the increasing number of children whose problems are diagnosed as serious mental disorders. At least six million American children have difficulties that are diagnosed as serious mental disorders, according to government surveys — a number that has tripled since the early 1990's.
The earlier articles examined one family’s experience and the uncertainty of diagnosis. Later articles look at the transition to adulthood, the role of parents and the marketing of drugs for children. I won't attempt to synthesize the articles here in blog format as it wouldn't do the exceptional journalism justice. Instead I recommend taking an hour of time next weekend to read all three articles in their entirety. They are sure to stir emotions and reactions in all of us.
Don't miss this multimedia graphic that shows different class of psychiatric medications and their use in children, click here.
Part 1: Living With Love, Chaos and Haley, By PAM BELLUCK -- The families of children diagnosed with mental disorders are often left on their own to sort through a cacophony of conflicting advice.
Part 2: What’s Wrong With a Child? Psychiatrists Often Disagree, By BENEDICT CAREY -- Increasing numbers of children are being treated for psychiatric problems, but naming those problems remains more an art than a science.
Part 3: Proof Is Scant on Psychiatric Drug Mix for Young, By Gardiner Harris -- I also recommend checking out the opinions printed in response to this article. You can also post your own opinions here.
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