I watched a PBS documentary titled The Medicated Child a couple of nights ago.  It made me want to reach into the TV and strangle some of the doctors who are pumping kids full of drugs.  I don’t doubt that some people are born with true chemical imbalances that require medication, but when we’ve got literally millions of children being diagnosed as bipolar or suffering from ADHD and put on drug therapy, something is very, very wrong.

If you have a Netflix account that includes streaming and an internet-enabled TV, you can find the documentary there and watch it on the big screen.  If not, you can watch it below.  You’ll hear the word “nutrition” mentioned only once, if memory serves.  Meanwhile, you’ll see kids consuming ice cream, cookies, battered corn dogs, and Gatorade.  No wonder they have brain issues.

Watching shows like this, I’m thankful I’ve learned so much about nutrition.  My daughter Sara is highly intelligent, but also bouncy and energetic.  Put her on a lousy diet, and I can easily imagine her behavior changing enough that some well-meaning teacher would tell us she’s hyperactive or suffering from ADD and may need medication. 

As Dr. Barry Sears once wrote, every time you eat, you’re drugging yourself.  I can’t help but think most of these kids are taking prescription drugs to offset the effects of the “drugs” they eat.

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53 Responses to “The Medicated Child”
  1. Bug's Mom says:

    Obviously, you and other commenters have no experience dealing with a young child who’s suicidal. The type of “bouncy” and “energetic” behavior you describe your daughter having when she’s on the wrong diet aren’t anything close to what most parents who make the extremely difficult choice to medicate a child are dealing with. I am an athlete and know the importance of a healthy diet. She doesn’t drink Gatorade, sodas, eat corn dogs, fast food, chips or other crap. My daughter is, by her own choice, a vegetarian. For most parents, the decision to give their child medication is an agonizing one and a last resort after trying things like therapy alone, diet changes, etc. We are sick of being judged by those who haven’t been in our shoes. Medication isn’t a perfect solution. But it has given my once suicidal, extremely anxious daughter back her childhood.

    Who’s judging you? Some people need medication, but it should be the last resort, not the first. Most doctors reach for the prescription pad immediately.

  2. Erika says:

    I have done extensive research on the use of psychotropic meds for children and most, if not all, the information I have found basically points to the fact that doctor’s that prescribe meds to kids are basically practicing with meds that have not been tested and using kids like Guinea Pigs! It’s truly sick and sad and it’s mind boggling how this continues. oh yeah! that’s right! The drug companies are ridiculously rich and powerful!!! I truly feel bad for parents that are desperate for help for their children and don’t question the trust they have in their family doctors. I absolutely agree that diet plays a HUGE role in the behavior of children. But in our society where personal responsibility is at an all time low, people sadly look for “quick fixes” rather than being dedicated to put in the efforts to remedy a problem themselves. My heart breaks for our future generations. I actually live in fear of what our world will become.

    I just started reading a book that also states that most of the behavior drugs given to kids were never tested on kids.

  3. Laura F says:

    I have an eight year old who could be on drugs for ADHD, aggressive behavior, and depression. I was near suicidal myself from dealing with her. Luckily I was raised with a healthy distrust of doctors and managed to figure out from my own research and experimentation that she needed to eliminate gluten (and so did I). Further ups and downs led us to discover a lot about mineral supplementation, blood sugar issues, etc, now we are more or less paleo and low carb. She dislikes meat and would probably love to be a vegetarian running on sugar, but it would mean total mental collapse. And by the way, I was always strict with the obviously unhealthy foods – candy, chips etc. – but didn’t realize all the “healthy whole grains” were destroying her mind.

    I hope she’s on the road to a full, happy and healthy life.

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