I have ranted about overly righteous boobs who's sole purpose in life is to "protect our children." One way you can tell they're bunk is in the ways they choose to protect our children. You'll notice that they all involve some moral judgement about something. Since the validity of their actions and claims is usually dubious at best, the only other consistent variable is this underlying morality.
When we have situations where we can actually protect our children, these same defenders of childhood are strangely silent. One of these areas that gets my goat to the absolute max is the over-medication of our children. I say over-medication because it is.
Every person I have ever met who has been "diagnosed" as ADD or ADHD is neither. And what's worse, behavior for which they should be taking responsibility, they are able to explain away with the crutch of their diagnosis. I'm working on a full article for this site and will go into further detail.
A recent study drives the point home, for me. It talks about the emergence of suicidal ideation in children who are taking antidepressants. The drugs can actually make them more depressed, albeit with different outward symptoms. No it should be noted that this is coming from a "Use Natural" group of tree-hugging hippies. They are, in many ways, just as bunk-filled as the drug companies against whom they speak. Still, I believe the point they make is valid.
There are many, non-drug methods to controlling and eliminating depressive symptoms in children. I say symptoms specifically because I don't think many of them are actually depressed. Real, honest-to-god clinical depression can not be stopped through behavior modification or psychoanalytic treatment. I don't think most of these kids have that, though. I think they have the symptoms, but not the root cause.
I liken it to a bad headache. You take Advil, or your doctor prescribes you migrain medication. In reality, you're not drinking enough water. This is an incredibly common problem. Your problem isn't the headache, it's the dehydration.
We have the science. We have the research. We know how raise kids correctly, yet large amounts of us don't. A kid with depressive symptoms might mean any number of things. We have to analyze every aspect of that child's life. We have to dig into the family and rip apart his social group. We have to track his activities and his diet.
We have to turn him upside down before medication is even considered. Because the parents think they're doing a great job, and even if they don't, most won't say so, the kid can barely hold his own piss, his friends are equally clueless, and our school systems are notoriously bad. The job of every medical professional with the power to give kids these drugs is charged with responsiblity to find the truth at the center and diagnose based on that, not just on outward symptoms and the testimony of people who are most likely either idiots, clueless, or lying.
Can Kids Cope With Depression Without Medication? (Via Science.QJ.Net)