Maybe Children are Not Overmedicated

Judith Warner, former columnist for the New York Times, has just released a new book "We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication." She started out writing the book convinced that today's children were frequently misdiagnosed and overmedicated for mental health problems. As noted in Abigail Zuger's review, Warner "sallied forth to interview all the pushy parents, irresponsible doctors and overmedicated children she could find — and lo, she could barely find any."

I haven't read the book but I plan to. Parents who agonize over medication for their child for serious, chronic, psychiatric conditions may want to as well. And those who have gone ahead with medication despite their misgivings may find comfort in the stories of other families in the book.

As for Ms. Warner, she became convinced that the stereotype of the overmedicated child is a myth:
A couple of simple truths have become clear...that the suffering of children with mental health issues (and their parents) is very real. That almost no parent takes the issue of psychiatric diagnosis lightly or rushes to ‘drug’ his or her child; and that responsible child psychiatrists don’t, either. And that many children’s lives are essentially saved by medication, particularly when it’s combined with evidence-based forms of therapy.
Read the full review at Books - “We’ve Got Issues,” by Judith Warner - Review -


  1. I think the question I would have is, "who is making the claim that kids are overmedicated?" I would guess that they don't work in an elementary school with, say, 900 hundred kids.

  2. I have been working as a substitute for a school district. I have seen over-medicated children. Recently I worked with a 3rd grader that was so drugged she was nodding off, slurring words and could not write legibly. It was very sad.


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