Answers About Child Psychiatry
Ask a Child Psychiatrist
Dr. Harold Koplewicz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, responds to readers.
Following is the first set of responses from Dr. Harold Koplewicz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and president of the Child Study Center Foundation. This week he is responding to readers’ questions about the myths and stigma surrounding psychiatric disorders of children and adolescents.
**We are no longer accepting questions for this feature.**
Q: For the sake of full disclosure, to help your readers know the full context of your work, please enumerate any financial or other conflict-of-interest ties you might have with pharmaceutical companies?
Also, how would you respond to the critiques made by Robert Whitaker in his book “The Anatomy of an Epidemic” (Crown 2010) of the explosion in the prescription of psychotropic medication to children and adolescents on the basis of dubious to nonexistent studies, studies often funded (and at times distorted) by the pharmaceutical industry, and his discussion of the negative impacts of this explosion on America’s youth?
— Posted by aew
I haven’t read Mr. Whitaker’s book, so I’m unable to speak to the specifics of his argument. But I can tell you there is no evidence to prove that children and adolescents are overprescribed psychotropic medications in this country. The argument that parents and child psychiatrists are throwing drugs at children’s bad behaviors is just as reductionist and dubious as the claim that there is no conflict of interest in industry-backed research studies. Judith Warner’s “We’ve Got Issues” is a wonderfully written, thoughtful, meticulously researched book on this subject, children and psychotherapeutic medications. When Ms. Warner started her investigation six years ago, she expected to find doctors who indeed prescribed medications too casually. After six years of research, however, she had a very different view: She did not see too many children getting medication; she saw too many children and their families getting no help at all._______________________________________________
Comments passed along to me that the NY Times would not print:
Dr. Harold Koplewicz stated:
“I haven’t read Mr. Whitaker’s book, so I’m unable to speak to the specifics of his argument. But I can tell you there is no evidence to prove that children and adolescents are overprescribed psychotropic medications in this country. The argument that parents and child psychiatrists are throwing drugs at children’s bad behaviors is just as reductionist and dubious as the claim that there is no conflict of interest in industry-backed research studies.”
Then you go on to pimp another Warner’s pro-status quo/pro-drugging book by someone that writes for the NY Times ( no obvious conflict outed there of course).
I must conclude your argument above is to plead ignorance correct?
In fact there is a mountain of evidence showing children and adolescents are being both over prescribed dangerous medications, as well as being over diagnosed with far reaching and dubious coined mental health conditions for behaviors associated with normal childhood development.
Of course you come from the long held ivory tower psychiatry mentality/view and egocentric perspective that I’m a MD and thus should not ever be questioned.
Well, you can ignore the long term studies from the National institute of Mental Health that Robert Whitaker used with such skill in his book “Anatomy of an Epidemic”, you can ignore preschool aged children being medicated with dangerous anti-psychotic and other drugs as behavioral control mechanisms @ disturbingly record numbers. If fact you can deny just about everything that is happening with the corruption across the board in medicine today.
Yet, as those children are found to be permanently disabled from the overuse and over diagnosis from this deeply flawed pharmacological paradigm, are you personally going to accept responsibility at that juncture for the inflicted carnage, or just continue to plead ignorance Doctor?
Just maybe you’ll go look at the long term data, read Whitaker’s book, and possibly let us know why this information has been purposely buried/hidden by the main stream media as has Whitaker’s book (such as the NY Times) ?
Then please get back to us here attempting to refute the real scientific evidence, and not bury your head in the sand and deny it exist.
I would also like to hear your response to another Psychiatrist view, Dr. Danial Carlat who writes
Quote “”Our diagnostic process is shallow and is based on an elaborate checklist of symptoms, leading us sometimes to over-diagnose patients with disorders of questionable validity, or, conversely, to miss the underlying problems in our rush to come up with a discrete diagnostic label that will be reimbursed by the insurance company. We tend to treat all psychological problems the same way–with a pill and a few words of encouragement. Because of this rote approach to treatment, patients are often misdiagnosed and medications are over prescribed. In the end, we misserve our patients, failing to offer them psychotherapies that are sometimes more effective than drugs”
“The resulting frenzy of psychiatric diagnoses has damaged the credibility of everyone in the field.”
“We like to see ourselves as neuroscientists, rationally manipulating levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin in order to get patients better. But the fact is that we have no clear evidence that chemical imbalances are at the root of any mental disorder….we don’t know if changing levels of serotonin [by prescribing Zoloft or Celexa, or any other drug] is the actual curative mechanism. Nonetheless, we give patients elaborate explanations of how the drugs work chemically. It makes us feel more scientific, and gives patients a feeling of confidence in us, but it’s little more than made up neurobable.”
Quite convenient that the NY Times states “We are no longer accepting questions for this feature.”— MsPiggy
What shall readers think of the NY Times when they give us little more than tainted, unbalanced, and, controversial so called experts such as Dr. Harold Koplewicz,, E Fuller Torrey, and their own beloved Judith Warner.
Yet, they refuse to acknowledge any other opinions/evidence that might refute or give a more balanced perspective to these important and controversial issues.
There is little doubt the editors of the NY Times are aware of Harold Koplewicz’s ties to the infamous Paxil study 329 and his overseeing involvement in the “Ransom Notes Campaign” .
Would Koplewicz like to amend his disclosure statement now to include all payments he received in research fees, consulting, speakers fees, CME involvement, journal articles, drug studies, or any other related money involving all pharmaceutical corporations over the past say twenty years?
This has gone beyond just the mere appearance that the “Times” overwhelming support and promote doctor child pill pushers including modern day eugenics supporters and fear mongering quacks like E Fuller Torrey.
Have the times ever even mentioned Torrey’s ridiculous and laughable cat virus theory, or the brain stealing fiasco related to TAC and the Stanley Foundation in Washington?
Yet, they go to great lengths to cover up and bury other important opinions and data from readers like those of Whitaker.
Some would actually start to think you are nothing much more than a propaganda minion and shill serving your masters over at the APA and Big Pharma?
Shall we expect a new “Ask the Dr.” segment featuring Harvard’s second to God J. Biederman of this ain’t no tushy massage fame, or Miami’s C. Nemeroff “show me the money” of massive corruption and monstrous ego accolades in the near future?
It really appears the NY Times have become less reliable than even publications like “Mad Magazine” when it comes to health reporting and news.
There are so many links related to this Dr. Harold Koplewicz drug shill regarding "Paxil study 329" and the notorious “Ransom Notes Campaign” scandal , his support/connection to TAC ( Treatment Advocacy Center) and Kendra's Law, that it would take just to many post to place even a sliver of all the information here.
Please feel free to to Google any of those topics and learn about the eye opening truth yourself.