Psychiatric drug use is on the rise in the U.S., with one out of every six Americans now taking some type of medication in this category. This is highly concerning given the scary side effects and poor effectiveness of many of these drugs, but there is one particularly disturbing aspect of this trend that seems to get glossed over, and that is the extraordinary number of children who are taking such drugs.
Mental health watchdog group Citizens Commission on Human Rights is drawing attention to the concerning fact that more than a million kids younger than six in our nation are currently taking psychiatric drugs.
Many under a year old
While around half of these children are four to five years old, an incredible 274,804 of them are younger than a year old. That’s right: babies are being given psychiatric drugs. The number rises for toddlers aged two to three, with 370,778 kids in this category taking psychiatric drugs overall.
Data from IMS Health shows that the situation only gets worse as kids get older, with 4,130,340 kids aged 6 to 12 taking some type of psychiatric drug.
You might be forgiven for assuming that most of these statistics are made up by kids taking ADHD drugs given how common that approach seems to be nowadays, but it really only accounts for a small portion of it, with 1,422 of those younger than a year old and just over 181,000 of those aged four to five taking ADHD drugs.
Anti-anxiety medications are most common
Antidepressants and antipsychotics put forth some surprising figures, but the biggest category of psychotic drugs given to children appears to be anti-anxiety drugs. Just over 227,132 babies under one and nearly 248,000 of those aged four to five take these medications.
These numbers are even more shocking when you consider the fact that experts believe these estimates are far too low and the real numbers are actually much higher, due in part to the tendency for some doctors to hand out psychiatric medications for “off-label” uses. This risky practice entails giving out a drug to treat something that it is not indicated for, and the long-term effects of such an approach are completely unknown.
Safer alternatives to giving kids mind-altering meds
When adults choose to take psychiatric medication, it may be ill-advised in many cases, but it is still their choice to make. Children, on the other hand, lack the cognition to fully understand the lifelong impact of such a choice, and this essentially amounts to forced medication. We already know that many doctors have a financial incentive to get young people to start taking these drugs, but why are their parents so willing to get on board? Many of them are also taking psychiatric medications, of course. In fact, it has practically become a way of life in our nation and many people think of these meds as harmless.
The side effects of these drugs are nothing to scoff at, however, with antianxiety, antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs linked to heart attacks, psychosis, suicidal ideation, diabetes, stroke, mania and sudden death. As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s also the fact that many of the high-profile public shootings in recent years were perpetrated by young people on such drugs, so not only do kids have the risk of dying when they take these meds, but they could also take out a whole classroom or movie theater with them.
Very important for children to learn healthy coping strategies, without medication!
Psychiatric medications affect a child’s brain chemistry and could impact their development in irreversible ways, so it’s important for doctors and parents alike to reserve them as an absolute last resort. Some degree of anxiety is normal in children as they start to understand the way the world works.
Life is full of ups and downs, and children who learn coping strategies when they’re young will have a valuable skill that can serve them well throughout their lifetime. There are lots of good coping mechanisms that can help children with depression, anxiety, and those who have been labeled with ADHD, including yoga, art therapy, breathing exercises, and physical exercise, to name just a few.
11 pounds in 22 days?
Is it REALLY possible to lose 11 lbs. of fat in 22 days? Actually yes… BUT only when you’re a level 4 fat burner. Unfortunately, most people are stuck as level 1 fat burners. So, how do you become a level 4 fat burner to lose up to 11 lbs. in 22 days? Simply eat these foods daily:
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
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I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
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d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
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Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.