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SOC 214 (25)
Lisa Broda (25)
Lecture

Soc 214 March 16.doc

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 214
Professor
Lisa Broda
Semester
Winter

Description
Soc 214 March 16 1 The Medicated Child In recent years, there's been a dramatic increase in the number of children being diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders and prescribed medications that are just beginning to be tested in children. The drugs can cause serious side effects, and virtually nothing is known about their long-term impact. "It's really to some extent an experiment, trying medications in these children of this age," child psychiatrist Dr. Patrick Bacon tells FRONTLINE. "It's a gamble.And I tell parents there's no way to know what's going to work." In The Medicated Child, FRONTLINE producer Marcela Gaviria confronts psychiatrists, researchers and government regulators about the risks, benefits and many questions surrounding prescription drugs for troubled children. The biggest current controversy surrounds the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder was long believed to exist only in adults. But in the mid-1990s, bipolar in children began to be diagnosed at much higher rates, sometimes in kids as young as 4 years old. "The rates of bipolar diagnoses in children have increased markedly in many communities over the last five to seven years," says Dr. Steven Hyman, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "I think the real question is, are those diagnoses right? And in truth, I don't think we yet know the answer." Like many of the 1 million children now diagnosed with bipolar, 5-year-old Jacob Solomon was initially believed to suffer from an attention deficit disorder. His parents reluctantly started him on Ritalin, but over the next five years, Jacob would be put on one drug after another. "It all started to feel out of control," Jacob's father, Ron, told FRONTLINE. "Nobody ever said we can work with this through therapy and things like that. Everywhere we looked it was, 'Take meds,
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