Did anyone hear the C4 show on WBAL yesterday? He talked about a study in the Journal of Neuroscience which shows that a combination of Prozac and Ritalin may be harmful to children’s developing brains. Specifically, the combination acts like cocaine in the brains of teenagers. I’m so glad that he has brought attention to this timely issue. More and more children are being placed on combinations of mental health medications, because more and more kids are being labeled with multiple diagnoses. It’s rare to have only ADHD anymore; children are often diagnosed with both ADHD and bipolar disorder or ADHD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. And while ADHD has clear diagnostic criteria (although sufficiently broad to be easily subject to misinterpretation), pediatric psychiatrists even admit that we don’t know how to diagnose some of these other complex mental disorders in children. Often, we may be medicating behavior that is a result of poor parenting or a disorganized home life rather than a chemical imbalance.
Over the past ten years of practicing pediatrics, I have seen a disturbing increase in the use of combination therapy with “mood-stabilizing” drugs in children. It is no longer rare to see children on 3 to 5 psychiatric drugs. And for years, I have been concerned that this polydrug therapy produces more harm than good in our children’s developing brains. Get informed. Click here to read the article. I’d love to hear your feedback.