Psychiatric Medication and Kids
I believe that each factor in a decision to medicate a child with psychiatric medications or any other medication must be considered. To oppose medication simplistically is as wrong as medicating irresponsibly.
I speak from the experience of being a parent of two differently bipolar children. I speak from the experience of being a widow of a man who refused medication and therapy and committed suicide. I speak from the experience of being a child of a schizophrenic parent.
It is not so simple as not medicating. It is knowing your child, knowing your doctor, knowing your home situation and factors in the individual's life, knowing as much as possible about the medications, knowing and discussing all these things with each and every party involved with your child's daily interactions.
I am incredibly sorry that this happened to a child, your child, and to you. I lived day by day, moment to moment, when I was attempting to stabilize each of my kids and suicide was a real possibility. I changed doctors twice; I questioned their judgments; I requested information about what each medication was supposed to do and what the side-effects could be; I called at the slightest irregularity; I became unafraid to discuss my child with the teachers, school, staff, etc., I made sure each child and myself had a psychological therapist as well as the psychiatrist. I basically felt like I put my life on hold to help them.
I taught my kids what each medication was for and asked them questions about it helping or what it did - whether it helped or not. They became involved with helping themselves. My youngest was 10 when the diagnosis became more than ADHD. He was a self-harmer and considered suicidal at 10. I was shocked. My older son was a cutter who almost bled to death.
Well, I could go on and on. My real message here is that there are so very many factors to mental health - whether it is a child, a teen, or an adult. A blanket statement cannot possibly take into account a situation such as this. I encourage all parents not to judge lest they be guilty of judging their own kids for having the mental health issue and possibly not allowing those kids to be healthy on the right medication(s).