On Sunday, the Dallas Morning News ran an investigative story about the use of psychiatric drugs in foster children in Texas. My initial reaction to the story, and my considered reaction--after I'd read it closely and thought about it for a few days--were both the same. Here is another story that supplies loads of ammunition to those among us who think we are wildly over-diagnosing and over-medicating our children. As I point out in a detailed critique for the Columbia Journalism Review, most authorities think the opposite is true: Too many sick kids are not getting treatment. See my Columbia Journalism story.
The simplest way I can break it down is this: Set aside the small number of mentally ill kids who were correctly diagnosed and are being treated properly. That leaves two groups of children:
--Those who are being impropertly diagnosed or over-medicated;
--And those who desperately need treatment and are not getting it.
Both of these groups need our help. Sadly, the first gets far more attention than the second.