By Kaitlin Bell Barnett, author of Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows Up (Beacon Press, September 2014)
As the number of young people treated with psychiatric medications has risen sharply over the past couple of decades, the issue of treating kids has become a hot-button issue.
A growing chorus of critics point fingers at doctors who are allegedly too quick to pathologize ordinary childhood struggles as mental illness, and at parents allegedly too quick to medicate their children—all in the absence of scientific evidence about the drugs’ long-term effects. Mental health advocacy groups counter with anti-stigma campaigns urging people to seek help, and big pharma continues to aggressively push its drugs for more and more pediatric indications. Continue reading