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The Medicated Child

Before watching this video, I expected the psychiatric researchers and government regulators to explain the reasons for untested prescriptions of bipolar disorder to the children. The researches about these medications are commonly sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies. I expected the researchers to defend their options because the aid from the companies may be malicious and the risk of getting objective knowledge is high. I also expected to see the parents of the children being interviewed to understand their options (Marcia, 2005).

The reasons for my expectations are because the video follows a previous documentation, Medicating Kids, which was aired in 2001. The documentary was mainly concerned with the rise in the recommendation of stimulants such as Ritalin. The medicated child concentrates on the analysis of bipolar disorder in children. It looks at the associated prescription of antidepressants and antipsychotic treatments.  I therefore expected to see the opinions of all the stakeholders to ascertain their knowledge of the risks involved. The research backing about the effectiveness of these drugs comes from the very same companies that produce the drugs. I expected to see some kind of justification for this (Gaviria & Cohen, 2008).

The image that is quite memorable for me is the look of a young boy being put on less known medications for his entire life. The boy is highly noticeable because the results of several years of carrying out tests can be observed. The question that the video raise for me is who is to be blamed for the continuing prescriptions given to the children. I seek to obtain the answer from the documentary, “The Medicated Child” (Gaviria & Cohen, 2008).

After watching The Medicated Child I realized something was missing. The many poor children who are suffering from the medications were left out. In poor elementary schools the children are poorly prescribed with medications but due to their financial difficulties, they don’t have many options. They are suffering from the diseases of the current family and social problems and being prescribed drugs to enable their teachers to teach them. Since the kids are still depending on public guidance, when they grow up, they will definitely need to function without drugs.  Some will end up taking narcotics to help deal with their emotional tribulations. If the problem is not handled now, it will be a disaster in future (Barkley, 2000).

Another thing that is missing from the video is its failure to address what really happens to the children whose bipolar disorder or depression is not treated. I understand the videos raising concerns about the untested prescriptions but also failing to attempt treatment on these kids is also disastrous. Many parents want to take such medications as the last option because some understand the risks involved. It is important to note that it is hard to watch your kid suffer and as a parent you will end up taking the available option. Failure of coverage of all the options in this video will cause many people to withdraw themselves or their children from the necessary medications. Older children who can make their own decisions will end up refusing to treat their disorders and justify their point with the video (Gaviria & Cohen, 2008).

This video made me realize the emotional predicaments faced by the children with bipolar syndrome. I also understand the sentiments of the parents of such children who run out of option and end up trying the medications. Many people will be against it but in my opinion there is much to it than meets the eye. There is very inadequate research concerning the mental illness. This means the side effects of the medications are not fully understood. Currently bipolar disorder is a disease that is hardly known about. This means the decisions made are not based on experience but on the existing options. From this video it is clear that bipolar disorder and mental ailments make people very uncomfortable. The result is that everyone is looking for someone to blame. We blame the pharmaceutical companies, the psychiatry and sometimes the parents for their decision. It is also a general agreement that although the medications side effects are not entirely understood, they sometimes help the suffering children (Gaviria & Cohen, 2008).

Before viewing the video, I thought there was adequate research about bipolar disorders. I also did not know that the current research is motivated by pharmaceutical companies, with business losses at stake. It is also surprising to know that even four year old children are being medicated with very powerful anti-psychotic medicines that are known well. Research indicates that the drugs can lead to serious side effects and practically their long term effect is not known. It is estimated that the number of children with the bipolar disorder is rising steadily and is now over a million. I now understand that the rise in use of anti-psychotics is directly related to the increasing incidence of bipolar disorder (Barkley, 2000).

The video does not fit the expectations that I had before viewing it. I expected it to answer the question as to who should take the blame for the wrong prescription. The doctors actually defend the current practices of diagnosing bipolar disorder in children. In this video I have learnt that the parents and the doctors are choosing this course of action out of desperateness. These medications have been used to aid some adults with disorders like bipolar although it is irresponsible for doctors to merely stipulate powerful psychiatric drugs for children without concrete research on their efficacy (Sparrow, 2008).

On the other hand, the doctors want to help the children and it is evident from the video that the children are troubled. The desperate parents also come in picture as they attempt to handle their children's bizarre behavior and to live with the distasteful side effects of the powerful medications. The whole decision is very distressing for the parents. I learnt that the researches that have been conducted on these medications are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. If the government the government regulators could take control of the research, the outcomes would probably be reliable and the risks of side effects would be minimized (Greene, 2005).

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