A Child Psychiatrist’s Philosophy on Medication

Many people come into my office with an uneasiness about the operation. Their child is in distress; he may suffer from ADHD or depression, an eating disorder, or a mood disorder. He may be oppositional or have a substance abuse problem; he may suffer from separation anxiety or Asperger’s syndrome. They were sent to me because someone told them that this child could need medication. And now for the lane. ADHD Treatment Online in Houston is one of the authority sites on this topic.

I would rather not medicate someone. I believe strongly in psychotherapy, family dynamics, and, in extreme situations, putting the child in a better social setting to help them develop. Since the mind has its own way of healing, you want to place as little foreign material as possible in the brain.

Nonetheless, I am constantly medicated. The parents will arrive, and they will be angry. “I had a feeling you were going to prescribe medication” (as if they were here for another purpose). “Doesn’t there have to be another way?” The response is almost always no, at least not if they want it to be as successful as possible. The issue here is that the child is unstable, and medicine is the only thing that can completely alleviate the dysfunction.

Kids, you see, are a moving target. What you see at 7 years old is not the same as what you see at 12 years old. If a child has ADD and is not handled within the first five years, the consequences may be serious. How many times has he been screamed at by his dad, how many times has he disrupted school, how many times has he annoyed just about anyone? This is difficult to deal with. These are crucial years for self-esteem growth. So I tell parents that medication gives them a sense of competence during these years, and that it might be unnecessary as they get older.

I want this child to be happy about growing up, about school, about his experiences with family, and about his friendships. If medicine may aid in this process, so be it. It’s important to note that not treating anyone is often a care decision, and not offering a child medication that can help is a decision to deprive them of something that could make life a lot easier for them. If you don’t have a reasonable solution, you could be giving a kid a negative experience for years that he won’t be able to overcome. As parents leave my office, they have been sober in the tests and have usually agreed to medicate their child. They are generally grateful for the decision years later. Using medicine for your child is a difficult choice, but it is one that will lead to a happier life for your child.