Sunday, August 18, 2019

Comments by Marilyn Wedge, PhD

Showing 19 of 19 comments.

  • Thank you Lawrence. I confess that after fighting this battle for so many years on so many fronts, I have retreated to a one-child-at-a-time tactic. That seems to be what I do best. From reading my books and articles an amazing number of parents have contacted me over the years asking for help finding a like-minded therapist in their community. I help as I can, one-parent-at-a-time. Psychiatrists learn the medication/pharmaceutical propaganda approach in medical school and residency. That’s all they learn. It’s shocking. Adam’s pediatrician, by the way, feels as helpless as I do enface contemporary child psychiatry.

  • I think you make an important point about ADHD children becoming comfortable with taking drugs early in life because their parents handed parenting over to psychiatrists and drugs. It becomes natural to these kids to take a pill to sooth all of life’s troubles later on. This can well lead to addiction to amphetamines or other drugs in young adulthood. I wasn’t aware that doctors prescribed opioids for patients with depression in the 1990’s. That is shocking information that might well have the consequences that you describe.

  • Dear Lori,
    thank you so much for sharing your story and all the useful information. I am so happy to hear that your son is doing so well, thanks to your interventions. I hope your story reaches the eyes of many parents whose children have been diagnosed with ASD and are struggling to find solutions. Removing screens, though it might inconvenience a family in the short term, is so much better than having a child struggle for the rest of his life. Thank you also for bringing up Dr. Michael Waldman’s (et alia) important work on the topic of TV and “virtual autism.”

  • This is a great question. I just got out of a session in which an 11 year old girl had been plagued by “fears” that she or her parents might die of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. This girl had been mis-diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety disorder 6 years ago and had been taking taking 2 stimulants and Zoloft when I met her 2 months ago. As it turns out, she was getting the “fears” from watching TV commercials. Her parents were puzzled and confused by what the psychiatrist kept telling them “She has disorders”), but they felt they had no choice. The girl is entirely off meds now and according to her parents her “true personality” is coming out–an outgoing, unworried and happy 11 year old. I see that as well. This is one of the saddest things about drugs–they alter the personality so that a child feels distanced from her true self. Children should not watch commercial TV at all. I tell that to all parents. And yes, even the most caring and involved parents are entrusting their children to psychiatrists, and any virtually-induced worries are attributed to brain disorders.

  • Victoria, thank you so much for sharing your experience of how many so-called ASD kids change like “magic” when screens are removed. You are assuredly not alone, although most of the willingness to speak out about the topic is among European mental health professionals.
    As you say, there is of course classic “autism” not related to technology use. In my clinical experience, these children can be helped by framing their problems as developmental and treating them with intensive family therapy, speech therapy, and at times occupational therapy. Actual autism, in my view, affects about .5 percent of children or less. Anna Freud once said “If a child can play, the child is not autistic.” I think that is a good rule of thumb.
    Please stay in touch and feel free to share your case stories.

  • Thank you for writing this excellent analysis and for bringing the Lancet article to my attention. Having read some of Dr. Ilina Singh’s previous work (‘I Bambini e le Droghe’: The Right to Ritalin vs the Right to Childhood in Italy, and the hopeful study mentioned in this article: I am disappointed that Dr. Singh has succumbed to dogmatism. I can only hope that she moves beyond this way of thinking about ADHD in the future.

  • I would like to thank all of you for your well-honed comments. I want to say something to clarify the context of my work.Unfortunately, in my daily work as a therapist I have to deal with psychiatrists who do believe that there is a biological disease called schizophrenia. If I had said to Alan’s psychiatrist “There is no such thing as schizophrenia so of course you are misdiagnosing him,” I would have lost credibility with him and would not have been able to influence him to take Alan off the meds. What I think in my own mind (and I have always agreed with Laing’s and Mosher’s view of schizophrenia),and what I have to say to protect my patients in my daily work, are sometimes very different. This article was intended to be about the dangers of misdiagnosis which in turn can lead to the wrong kind of treatment. I hope this helps. Thanks.

  • Marian, Like other psychological problems, “schizophrenia” is intimately connected with a person’s life story or psycho-social context. Like severe depression, anxiety, or obsessions, schizophrenia is a reaction to painful or traumatic life circumstances and can be treated through a caring relationship with a skilled therapist. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • Ed, Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and careful reading of my post. I will read the article you suggest and double check that the tapering of the drug is as slow as it should be. Actually, the psychiatrist has been tapering the meds extremely slowly.