Essay on View on Medicated child

Submitted By smartT198825
Words: 1085
Pages: 5

View on the Medicated Child Throughout this paper I will be discussing Jessica’s bipolar disorder, whether children should be medicated, and the side effects of medicating children. There are many questions being raised about medicating children such as, how do we diagnose children? There are not as many answers to questions like how will medication affect my child. We need more research though ethically we can’t experiment on children, or are we? Jessica was a 12 year old adolescent patient of Dr.David Axelson. Axelson says she had a two to three week period of depression at about four and a half that is also seen in adults with severe depression. This early symptom onset made it easier to diagnose Jessica. Her symptoms included her not caring for herself, not getting out of bed. She also was just staring at walls, not eating, had no interest in anything, and had marked retardation (very little movement). At five Jessica answered questions and Axelson got the okay from her parents to tape the visit. On tape she appeared to be clearly euphoric, agitated, expansive, very active, and impulsive according to Axelson. In my view of the video, she was very abnormal in the office setting. She was capable of describing her feelings. Her feelings were strangely and extremely angry for a five year old. Jessica talked about banging her heads off walls and wanting to decapitate her parents. It was very obvious that something was wrong with her. The tricky part is what; that is always the real question. In recent years there has been a 4,000 percent increase in the diagnoses of bipolar disorder in children. In Jessica’s case it was the right decision to medicate. A common side effect to bipolar medication is tics, but Jessica had tics even before the medication. Her tics initially started at just three years old as a symptom of obsession compulsive disorder. She is now older and had even said the medication makes her more normal and her mother agrees that she could not function without the medication. Bipolar consensus in children is not as well studied as in adults, and there are strong debates about key symptoms in children. Diagnosing bipolar in children is difficult and controversial because it is not a single illness it is a spectrum disorder. Symptoms occur in varying combinations and differing degrees of severity. The rise in bipolar children is due to doctor failing to realize bipolar symptoms and calling children oppositional or ADHD. When diagnosing bipolar clinicians usually place patients in one of three categories: bipolar I, bipolar II, and bipolar NOS. Also according to Alexson, it is unpredictable if a child will have bipolar disorder as an adult. Though making an accurate diagnosis requires careful evaluation, in some cases it could take years. Doctors need to consider normal childhood stresses, anxieties, and what symptoms actually need treatment with no clear-cut scientific answer to do so. Of course, there are pros and cons of treating children with antipsychotic medications. How much do we know about medications and how they work in a child’s brain? We actually know very little on the subject at hand, and it is very complicated in treating an illness like bipolar disorder. Really no antipsychotic drug has been approved for treating children with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. There is no knowledge of if it is safe or what combinations of medication are successful. I feel as though it is a trial and error game with these children. There are not even known long-term side effects. Despite this, doctors are doing the best they can to help these children. What are they supposed to do? Not even try? Hopefully one day they have obtained enough information to safely and effectively treat bipolar disorders in these children. Parents and families that feel helpless should pay attention to their questions and doubts. They should talk about their concerns with mental health providers or family and friends to