Monday, March 11, 2013

Is Antipsychotic Use with Children Out of Control?

This article from my favorite professional journal, Psychotherapy Networker, is about the surprising amount of off label use of powerful, side effect prone anti-psychotics with children and adolescents.

The article is titled The Anti-Psychotic Epidemic. It's short, so I'll let it speak for itself except for one stunning fact:

These powerful medications, according to data from a large national survey published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, are prescribed by psychiatrists to a third of the children they see.

An option to medication could be counseling. If I were a parent of a troubled child, I'd want to consider it, possibly along with neurofeedback. I'm not trying to generate business for myself with this post - I don't work with children. I'm also not a physician - I don't prescribe medications. In this post, I'm just a person who's concerned.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
Upper West Side Psychotherapy


  1. Very interesting post, Catherine.
    The debate around the prescription of Ritalin for ADHD and the arguments against by Dr Peter Breggin give serious food for thought. The statistics are alarming - so many childen medicated. One would be tempted to believe it is a time issue - so much more efficient to prescribe medication than take the time to talk out the problem.

  2. I am sorry to see that medication is often the first option that many parents seek instead of good individual or family therapy. I wonder if more parents were educated on the efficacy of counseling if their knee jerk reaction would still be to see the psychiatrist?