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Dr. Not-Biederman

Posted Nov 13 2009 10:01pm

Laurel L. Williams is not Dr. Biederman.

She is program director of the Menninger Clinic’s adolescent treatment program and assistant director of residency training, (child and adolescent psychiatry); and assistant professor in the Menninger department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor College of Medicine.

I’d also pay money to see her in a room with Biederman, UFC style. I wonder how her cage fighting/MMA skills are. mma

Nah, seriously, I think a fitting punishment for  Biederman (and those like him) would be to have massive doses of Zyprexa administered on a daily basis until called home by satan. (but a good beat-down would be sweet to see)

More and more often, drug ads sound as if they are written by docs; and when it comes to kiddie bipolar, so many things written by docs sound like they are drug ads. There’s hardly even pretending of a fine line anymore going on.  Line…? What line?  Who cares if these meds work or who they harm-it’s all about making money.

This article/op-ed I ran across was a bit different.

She is writing about a mom who brought her kid in for “refills” …Lots of refills.

Anyway, here’s some commentary on the piece she wrote, because I’m awake. (for lack of a better introductory sentence and reason to post)

*all bold emphasis mine; and as always, a language warning with my comments- as if you need to be told that *

The boy, a quiet slip of a 10-year-old, had been prescribed two antipsychotics, two mood stabilizers, one antidepressant, two attention deficit disorder medications and another medication to manage the side effects of the antipsychotics.

Stop the presses right there!  How in the hell does ANYONE function on all of those drugs?

  • Two antipsychotics. TWO?!  WTF? Was the kid experiencing psychosis? Double psychosis? Wow. *awesomeness* Never heard of that before.  His old pdoc had evidently discovered a new disease!  A 10 year old on two antipsychotics.  Anyone on two antipsychotics. Again WTF?
  • One antidepressant. Hmmmm.  Aren’t there warnings on these medications for children?  Haven’t these medications been shown ineffective in numerous studies anyway? Especially for bipolar depressionSelective publication of antidepressant trials anyone? Bueller?
  • Two ADD meds. Probably needs some doubling up on the cleaned up crystal meth just to stay awake after taking his antipsychotics.
  • A med to manage side effects …I wonder what company makes this medication? I’ll put some money on the makers of one of the antipsychotics.  I guess pdoc Einstein didn’t think of trying to discontinue the antipsychotics…ya’ know…just to see if that may have helped.


In the hour I spent with the boy and his mother, he exhibited no signs or symptoms of bipolar disorder, though he did display someirritability. In school, he continued to perform poorly in his second attempt at third grade. Both irritability and poor school performance can be significant problems.

I’d be tad bit twitchy or something too if I were on all those drugs. How in the hell could anyone function, much less perform in school while fucked the hell up? I think this kid’s old pdoc should do some meth & follow that with some roofies, then be forced to sit through an hour long lecture, be quizzed on it and see how well it goes.

She notes the staggering increase of pdocs  labeling strong willed kids who act out and happen to have lazy parents diagnosing kids as bipolar.

The article goes on a bit about the mystery of the brain….direct drug advertising….then:

“But that doesn’t stop doctors and parents from desperately wanting to believe there are simple solutions, and what could be simpler than a pill?

“… pharmaceutical companies are paying inordinate sums of money to physicians to study their drugs”

Wow. A doc is writing this? Yes. A good one. They do exist d. There is hope.

“So what happened with the boy whose mother wanted me to refill his prescriptions? After an initial two-hour assessment at our clinic, he didn’t return for his next appointment. When the clinic called to ask why, the boy’s mother said that she had returned to his previous doctor. “Your doctor discriminated against me because I’m poor,” she said, “and my son needs those pills for his bipolar.”

Does anyone else want to shake the mom? 

From the beginning:

“The mother explained that she had just regained custody of her son and his brother. During the last year, while they were in foster care, a doctor had diagnosed the 10-year-old with bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder ….”

She regained custody why? omg. The foster patents gave this kid massive amounts of drugs why?

What ever happened to talk therapy and behavior modification with a child psych teaching the parent these skills? Do all children have to be raised by The Dog Whisperer to turn out ok these days? “Rules, boundaries and limitations”  Sure, being consistent is exhausting.  Being a parent is a pain in the ass most of the time. Deal with it.

(Drug companies + $$$) ×(doctors +$$$) + (ads + parents looking for a quick fix)≠ good news for little kids.
She sums it up by saying,

“Unfortunately, families often put more faith in what they see and hear in advertising than they do in physicians. As physicians, we need to win them back.”

Yeah, if only all those physicians were more like the author and less like the  Biedermans of their world.

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