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Posts Tagged ‘scary’

Dickens at the Blacking Warehouse 
From a drawing by Fred Bernard. Reproduced in “The Dickens Country” by kind permission of Messrs. Chapman and Hall. www.fromoldbooks.org

Watched a disturbing PBS Frontline show tonight about kids on heavy duty depression drugs called The Medicated Child. There are children four years old being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and being given huge amounts of medication daily. FOUR YEARS OLD!

How can you diagnose a brain problem in a child whose brain is still rapidly developing?

I do have some mixed emotions about this issue, though. Every day I take an antidepressant that I will probably be on for the rest of my life. Although I had my doubts about the ability of a drug to actually help, I can say that it has and does make a huge difference for me.

The down side is that a lot of my “creative” talent has been lost, as the medication stops the manic highs. The upside, of course, is that I can maintain a job, relationship and life. Still…I did create some great stuff while I was not on meds. Would this be the Van Gogh Paradox then? (sure you’re miserable and lost an ear but hey…boy can you paint!)

There’s a good description of various bipolar types here, too. By far, the scariest part of this show was the private company, Brain Matters, that marketed itself as being able to pre-diagnose children’s mental illnesses by looking at bloodflow to parts of the brain. As you might imagine, they charged a HUGE amount of money to do this. And who was a big promoter of these charlatans (I say this since they are turning a profit from anxious parents using unproven methods)? Why good ‘ole Dr. Phil. I am happy to report that Frontline’s update says:

“In February, shortly after this program was first broadcast, Brain Matters filed for bankruptcy.”

Ha!

 

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