Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Medication Generation: Teenagers and Antidepressants - WSJ.com

As a parent who has attempted to medicate a gifted child into conformity, to save her the inconvenience of being exceptional, this article defiantly struck a nerve with me...

Looking back, it seems remarkable that I had to work so hard to absorb an elementary lesson: Some things make me feel happy, other things make me feel sad. But for a long time antidepressants were giving me the opposite lesson. If I was suffering because of a glitch in my brain, it didn't make much difference what I did. For me, antidepressants had promoted a kind of emotional illiteracy. They had prevented me from noticing the reasons that I felt bad when I did and from appreciating the effects of my own choices.

As medications saturate our culture, we may be growing less able to connect our most basic feelings with the stressful factors in our lives. "There's been a kind of pathologization of life itself," said David Ramirez, a clinical psychologist and the head of counseling and psychological services at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. "Life is full of stress, and anxiety, and sadness—those are just base-line phenomena that have come to be considered illnesses that need to be treated. Young people aren't sure how to think about their distress."

The desire to protect kids and help them to succeed is hard to fault in itself. But pushed too far, it can lead to unnecessary prescriptions that cause pain or harm in their own right. Though psychiatric medications have become part of the fabric of modern childhood and adolescence, they are powerful drugs, and we owe it to the next generation to use them with caution.

The Medication Generation: Teenagers and Antidepressants - WSJ.com

Doesn’t is totally suck to realize that in an attempt to protect our children from short term discomfort, we are setting them up for long term failure?

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