May 29, 2008 at 5:53 pm (Bipolar Disorder, Children, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, News, Opinion/Editorial)
Tags: adolescents, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, child bipolar, childhood bipolar disorder, Children, drugs, Huffington Post, medication, meds, Newsweek, Peter Breggin, pharmaceuticals, psych drugs, psych meds, psychtropics, teenagers, teens, The Huffington Post
Breggin’s post on Newsweek‘s "Growing Up Bipolar" article makes good points but steers clear into wackiness throughout. My only wish is that instead of pointing out the problems of the psychiatric industry, he would have offered some suggested solutions.
Oh, and he flat-out gets some things wrong:
Newsweek makes clear that Max’s parents have serious conflicts over how to raise their son, but they have not pursued therapy, marriage counseling or, apparently, not even parenting classes.
He says he has never been to therapy. But late last year, Amy demanded that the two of them see a marriage counselor. Richie agreed. They went a few times, but there were "scheduling issues," says Richie, and they haven’t gone back. For the moment, they are getting help from the same people who help Max. Anything that makes his life easier makes theirs easier, too.
Then he applies a broad brush from the cases of "out-of-control" children that he’s seen:
In every case of an out-of-control child I have seen in my psychiatric practice, either the parents were unable to reach agreement on a consistent approach to disciplining their child, or a single working mom was trying to raise a young boy without the aid of a male adult in the child’s life.
I like Peter Breggin’s approach to psychotropic drugs for the most part, but sometimes he just gets a little off-base for me.
April 29, 2008 at 10:59 pm (Medicine/Meds, Opinion/Editorial)
Tags: ban, doctors, drug companies, drug reps, editorial, ghostwriting, industry, medical schools, New York Times, NYT, NYTimes, patients, proposal, restrictions, treatment
The New York Times published a great editorial supporting a ban on much of the lavish treatment that doctors get from drug reps. If adopted by medical schools, restrictions would include:
- Ban on personal gifts, industry-supplied foods and meals, free travel (not reimbursed for services), and payment for attending industry-sponsored meetings
- Ban on ghostwriting, the practice of drug companies drafting an article and then getting a doc to slap his or her name on it making it look at though the doc actually wrote it
- Drug samples would have to be submitted to a central pharmacy not individual doctors
The restrictions, however, end there. The editorial says the proposal goes far but not far enough.
Patients need to be assured that their doctors are prescribing what’s best for them, not what’s best for companies.
Can someone get a doctor to read this?
Read a good op-ed in New York Times on whether therapists need to have shared experiences with their patients to be a good therapist.
December 26, 2006 at 2:44 am (Opinion/Editorial, Suicide)
Tags: Daniel Romer, death, Depression, letter, letter to the editor, major depression, mental health, mental illness, Metro, Metro Philly, Montgomery County, myths, Philadelphia, Philly, public suicide, school shooting, shane halligan, Springfield Township High School, student shooting, Suicide
The following letter discusses the
student-suicide shooting that occurred in Montgomery County last week.
I previously explained that Shane Halligan pointed to despair over low
grades and prompt punishment from his parents that put the final nail
in the coffin, which led to his public suicide. I had moments when I
was so upset over my grades that I wanted to kill myself, but Mr. Romer
is right – there is a larger issue at hand that would trigger an
adolescent to suicide. The following is a letter to the editor from
Metro’s Tuesday, December 19, 2006 edition (p. 16):
Correct the myth about suicides
PHILADELPHIA. Regarding “Suicide rocks
school” (Dec. 13): A young person’s violent suicide death in a public
setting is surely a big story – but a dangerous one. Your coverage of
the death is misleading at best and perpetuates a myth about suicide
that has little basis in fact.
We know that such stories prominently
displayed can lead others who lead others who have thought (sic) of
suicide to do the same. Considerable research has found that such
tragic events are preceded by periods of intense mental distress, most
often diagnosable as major depression. This is far more serious than
being “despondent over his grades,” as one official – a lawyer, not a
mental health professional – speculated.
Correcting the myth that some relatively
trivial immediate event caused the death may help others in similar
shoes to get the assistance they need rather than to act on the same
impulse. — Daniel Romer
Mr. Romer is the director of the Adolescent Risk Communication Institute at the University of Pennsylvania
After a hectic week between work and excessive blogging, I've finally caught up to the latest NYTimes articles on Eli Lilly's troubles with Zyprexa. I also read the NYT's editorial on the issue. The last paragraph caught my eye:
"Lilly contends that it has never promoted Zyprexa for unapproved uses and has always shown its marketing materials to the Food and Drug Administration, as required by law. Both claims ought to be tested in Congressional hearings that should focus on how well the industry complies with existing laws and how effectively the F.D.A. regulates the industry’s marketing materials."
Furious Seasons and CL Psych beat me to the punch on the skepticism. Congressional hearings would do nothing and I am even more skeptical of the FDA. Pharma companies like Lilly probably slip Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach some money to get their stuff approved. But I'm merely speculating because I'm tired and haven't done more research on this at the moment.