Kids on Psychiatric Drugs: Where Are They Now?

Jeffrey Craig
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Once, for a brief time, there was an outrage over child drugging, in particular the use of child protective services and the schools in forcing or coercing this drugging on children.

I remember reading the horror story of Vincent Booth, who was taken away from his mother in the early 2000s when she refused to drug him with the Ritalin the school demanded he take for his “ADHD.” Vincent’s mother, Diane, tried to use the Americans with Disabilities Act to force his school to make accommodations, but had to kidnap her child from a psychiatric clinic after witnessing what was becoming of her drugged-up child in the weekly visits she was permitted—including signs of physical abuse. She wound up getting refugee status in Canada, only to have the Feds find her, kidnap Vincent yet again, and take him to a private, for-profit foster care facility that kept him drugged up while she went on to be imprisoned for a while.

A few years later, I recall the story of Jacob Solomon, one of the kids featured on a 2008 PBS special “The Medicated Child,” which took a highly critical look at giving powerful antipsychotics to young children. Right before the viewers’ eyes, Jacob (diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 10) was transformed from a normal kid to an obviously neurologically impaired person.  The reporters followed the family after they had moved and gotten Jacob a new psychiatrist, who blamed his ailments on the stimulant drugs that he had been taking but no longer was, and admitted that doctors are “are still in the dark” about the effects of psych drugs on children’s brains.

The show also told the story of DJ Koontz, diagnosed bipolar at age four, and tracked how his psychiatrist kept adding more and higher doses of drugs to his regimen, even when his parents became concerned about the deadly risks. After the show was broadcast, his mother nevertheless defended their use. And then there was Jessica, diagnosed with bipolar and drugged at five. Where is she now? What has happened to her? (Her mother had feared for her future, saying “You have to put your dreams aside” for a child like Jessica.)

I’ve been waiting for an update on those cases ever since… And, except for this “one year later” memo showing all three kids were still on the drugs, there isn’t any.

Today, with a few exceptions, if you search YouTube with the words “medicating children” or “drugging children,” most of what you turn up is at least five years old.  It’s now become acceptable. Instead of continuing to sound an alarm, most of society considers this normal. Media headlines and psychiatrists are even insisting we need to be drugging kids more, not less.

Their cases are similar to my own traumatic experience, one that is long and chaotic and that I’ve had too hard a time telling but hope to soon. For now, I will say that I was a normal kid labeled ADHD, which led to forced drugging—first with Ritalin and then with the neuroleptic Risperdal—leading to painful and terrifying side effects including dystonia, the memory of which haunts me to this day. I was taken from my family and placed in hospitals and special schools, collecting labels and pumped with different drugs, becoming more and more neurologically and emotionally impaired. Whenever I got off drugs for a few weeks, I would start doing better, but that’s right about when the authorities would swoop in and harass my parents about me not being in treatment or in school. Today, at 37, I still feel damaged. I am living on the edge, often self-destructive and stuck on SSI, bumming off my (thankfully, supportive) parents.

That’s why I want to know where all these children are and what happened to them. I know how the system works from being inside it, and I suspect that they probably wound up a ward up the state and have been imprisoned their whole life in group homes, being continually abused by the drugs that ruined their life in the first place while an entire industry profits off the taxpayer dollars they receive for providing this “service.”

I also know that I was one of the “smart” ones that understood what was going on, and resisted. Some of the kids I used to know, either because they had been drugged since preschool or who otherwise cannot handle the reality and suffer cognitive dissonance, play the “good child” to make their parents and psychiatrists happy by blaming their suffering on their “disease” just like the adults do.

Some of them grew up into adults resigned to being “sick,” drugged, and dependent. I recall a young woman in an internet discussion group who confessed to me that her father had repeatedly raped her. When I kept suggesting that she should seek help for that trauma, instead of going on about being “bipolar,” she said something to the effect of,  “Do you really expect me to have to talk about that and live with that on my mind on a daily fucking basis for the rest of my life to explain why I went ‘crazy’ and couldn’t function socially and why I’m on disability now! … The drugs keep me numb and stable and SSI qualifies me for subsidized housing and food benefits.”

And what about the ones who got off “in time” to avoid that most damaging and deadly fate, but have to simply go on as dysfunctional trauma survivors from this abuse? What justice and reparations can we expect to receive? Those of us now in our 20s and 30s have so far gotten zero, while we exist in a culture where we’re not seen as victims, and are supposed to be grateful to get a measly $750-a-month disability check at the cost of our autonomy and dignity.

Parents play a role in this cycle when they cover up abuses or otherwise make the mistake of screwing up their kids on drugs and then believe there’s no way of turning back. So they flock to NAMI and the Treatment Advocacy Center, which encourage them to keep their adult children under control via forced psychiatry “for their own good.”

The reason this cycle continues is that the corruption within psychiatry, though well documented, goes unpunished. Back in 2009, The New York Times reported on how Harvard’s Dr. Joseph Biederman “told the drug giant Johnson & Johnson that planned studies of its medicines in children would yield results benefiting the company, according to court documents dating over several years that the psychiatrist wants sealed.” When I first saw that article, I began to hope that maybe justice was around the corner. Instead, it’s as if the whole episode has been forgotten, and Biederman still has his job.

While Robert Whitaker has done a truly heroic job of publicizing the research that shows a significant percentage of people in our society have been disabled by psychiatric drugs, there is still a nagging (I would say screaming) part of that story that has yet to be told about the lifelong consequences of drugging and hospitalizing “problem” kids. Besides the physical and emotional cost to the people involved, also consider the cost to taxpayers and the financial burden on the healthcare system as a whole.

For instance, the fact that “anti-psychotics” cause brain damage should be well known by now and has been reported on this site and elsewhere, including here, here, and here. And yet, according to a recent study there were millions of antipsychotic prescriptions given to young people ages 3-24. Some of them were for unapproved uses. As Mad in America states, a 2016 study found that two-thirds of pediatric prescriptions of antipsychotics were “off-label.”

What will happen to these kids’ brains? My thoughts on their future may be based on bitter experience, but we already have evidence they are being harmed right now. Take a look at these videos of a boy with drug-induced dystonia like I had, and of a little girl with drug-induced tardive dyskinesia.

The public needs to know this. And more importantly, we need to win justice for involuntarily treated minors while using politics and legislation to finally use the mounting scientific data and case reports to expose this extreme child abuse for what it is, provide some sort of restitution for its victims, and bring these atrocities to an end once and for all.

 

 

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

25 COMMENTS

  1. ” The reporters followed the family after they had moved and gotten Jacob a new psychiatrist, who blamed his ailments on the stimulant drugs that he had been taking but no longer was, and admitted that doctors are “are still in the dark” about the effects of psych drugs on children’s brains.”

    Thanks so much Jeffrey.
    There is no chance that “doctors are “still” in the dark”, and what an embarrassment, IF they truly were. No they want the rewards. (I’m sorry but no one educated is that ignorant.)
    They are nothing more than neurotoxins and by using the word “drug”, which the public seems to conflate with “medicine”, they get away with it, not that the general public really gets upset about stuff that is not in their face.

    What can we do? I think one way would be to invite parents from your neighbourhood schools, targeting nursery and kindergarten parents. Inviting them into homes for informative meetings. Catching those first years parents. And at the same time raise the subject of drugging teens, warning them about “interventions” BEFORE they happen. Educating them. It is not illegal to hand out leaflets, to put them under windshield wipers.
    I think it is difficult to educate people about the ills of this powerful brainwashing that has been going on and what it exactly means. But it is easy to give parents the basic information, and also information regarding the constricted school systems we have that ask the impossible of kids, so at least they know what they are protecting their kid’s brains from. And also that if a child’s “behavior” is not wanted, or desired, that it is insane to drug it.

    Perhaps posting flyers on lightstandards? Community informing is the way to go, not online. IT needs to be in your face. The only people that go online are those who give a shit, or those that wonder, or have been affected. And psychiatry relies on scattered brains, scattered info, scattered populations. After they are through with people, many are not equipped to fight the craziness.

    I saw a shocking statement by a shrink in a video, remarking to Ted Chabinski that perhaps the reason he was “out” was because he was “helped”. Of course Ted’s saving grace was that his brain was strong enough to withstand the battery and assaults. It must have bothered the shrink that he survived well. ANYONE can be broken under psychiatry, Psychiatry relies on that they will
    be successful enough that the brains they assault will not realize nor complain.
    We have all seen the fine results psychiatry gets.
    The public is not turned off by those results because no one educates at ground level.

    I LOVE your activism, and how you continue to speak out! If even one parent reads your words, it was worth it. I’m glad you were not broken under the yoke of psychiatry.

  2. Child psychiatric drugging is “extreme child abuse,” I couldn’t agree more. But actually psychiatry – and all the crimes of their un-medically untrained psychological and other “mental health” and social worker minion – are the enemies within our countries, of all people.

    And their belief that forced drugging people is acceptable, has now led to seemingly tyrannical governments believing that force drugging the entire world, for COVID19, is acceptable human behavior. Force drugging needs to been known as unacceptable human behavior, not just for psychiatry, but for all of medicine, and all governments.

    Psychiatry’s theology is the slippery slope, that will destroy all of humanity, if their crimes against humanity are not called out, and ended.

    About seven years ago, I gave Robert Whitaker’s book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” to a pastor at my childhood church, a church to which I’d just returned. Because I was appalled that a million plus children were made sick by psychiatry, in the same devious and unethical way that I was made sick. By incompetent doctors, who wanted to cover up a “bad fix” on a broken bone of mine, and the medical evidence of the abuse of my child, of which I was eventually handed over medical evidence.

    Rather than that pastor having a rational discussion with me about the book I gave him, a psychologist was sicked upon me. Thankfully, I already knew to expect such criminal behavior, regarding the cover up of child abuse on a massive societal scale. So I was able to call that psychologist out as the criminal and fool that he is.

    Neither the psychiatric, nor psychological, worldviews are clever. They engage in hypocritical criminal behavior, having promised to “first do no harm,” but instead utilizing what is known about human psychology against the human race. The COVID-19 medical “psy-op” needs to end, and so do all the crimes being committed against humanity, by the psychiatric and psychological industries. Especially, the crimes being committed against our children.

    I’m so sorry, Jeffery, that you were attacked by the satanic “Pharmakia” worshippers of psychiatry as a child. I’m also sorry my childhood religion has bought into psychiatry’s lies, and turned itself into a satanic child abuse covering up religion. But there are others, within that former religion of mine, that are also rightfully disgusted, thankfully. I’m one of the likely many “widows” mentioned in the Preface to this book.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=xI01AlxH1uAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

    I’m so sorry I was not able to protect my child from a satanic child molester. But I am grateful I was able to scare a school, that had a child molester on its school board, into closing forever. Ironically, they chose to close its doors forever, on 6/6/06. I’m also grateful I was able to protect my children from the systemic, child abuse covering up, and child abusing, psychiatric, psychological, and social worker industries.

    I hope you are some day able to tell your story, Jeffrey. I’m still working on trying to be able to tell mine, in words, rather than just through my artwork. Artwork which, when the truth is attached to it, turns the psychologists and psychiatrists into “dangerous paranoid schizophrenics.” Leaving me with medical evidence of 14 attempted murders, all via various anticholinergic toxidrome poisonings. As well as with the legal evidence of the attempted thievery of all my work, and family’s money, by systemic child abuse covering psychologists and psychiatrists.

    I, too, hope and pray, we “expose this extreme child abuse for what it is, provide some sort of restitution for its victims, and bring these atrocities to an end once and for all.” Psychiatry and psychology today, and their many “mental health” and social worker minion, are nothing but abusers of the younger generations, for the unethical pedophiles and other criminals of the elder generations.

    God bless, Jeffery, I hope both our stories are written some day, and justice some day will prevail in America again. But I will state, this does start with getting rid of the scientifically “invalid,” systemic child abuse covering up, and child abusing, by design, psychiatric DSM “bible.”

    https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/directors/thomas-insel/blog/2013/transforming-diagnosis.shtml
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder/201402/dsm-5-and-child-neglect-and-abuse-1

  3. The problem of Narcoticized children is really a problem of our society’s dangerous approach to raising children: We give them only one place to be raised, only one place to learn, only one way to view their place in society.

    If any one of those abuses gave way, we’d see an end to psychiatry’s stranglehold on youth.

  4. I can answer the question.

    Sorry i did not read the article I have the covid and im sick as fuck, but i could not resist replying that.

    I already said I was a child destroyed by antidepressants.

    They destroyed my abilites and nullified my humanity.
    My education was butchered because of the disability entailed.
    Actually, I was so disabled that school TRAUMATIZED me. Doings things was so impaired that my body FLINCHED every time somebody was mentioning school or work, because the handicap made things TERRORIZE me, because doing things was so difficult.

    (and of course I thought it was because i was mentally ill, a sick and faulty individual, whereas it was the drugs which were causing it)

    That and i did not grow up. No emotion, dementia. No humanity.

    My right to ability and to develop were just DISCARDED.

    Thats what is done to children.

  5. Where am I? I’m right here.

    I’m 28 and have been on Paxil since I was 6, with a small break when I was 10 or so of a few months. I was also put on Trazodone for sleep at the same time as the Paxil, but stopped taking it at some point.

    I’m currently on Disability. I have graduated from college but haven’t been able to hold a job because I have a lot of difficulty focusing and also have days when I don’t have the spoons to do *anything* except for the basic tasks like feeding myself and taking an endless amount of medication.

    I’ve been diagnosed with a decent portion of the DSM at one point or another. It started with Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but then I started collecting them like baseball cards.

    So the full list looks like: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Obessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Specific Phobias, Avoidant Personality Disorder (AVPD) with Borderline features, Dependant Personality Disorder (DPD) with Borderline features, Boderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED, formally known as EDNOS), Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD).

    If I had to pick one to point to and say “Here, this gives you the best idea of my issues” it’d be the C-PSTD. I have a lot of built up, unresolved trauma that is just constantly interfering with my life.

    I’ve spent far too many hours of my life in therapy, but I did manage to avoid neurolypics and stimulants, but got caught up with benzos (Xanax).

    I honestly don’t know what I’m like when I’m not on medication, but I don’t think I’d function well off of Paxil because the withdrawal would be too severe. My brain has come to expect 40mg this drug each and every day.

    I don’t know if the drugs have been the worst part. I think worse is the stigma that there is fundamentally something *wrong* with me and that I will *never* be like a “normal” person. I have a black mark on my very existance.

    And because I’m the “crazy” one, I’ve never been allowed to grow up. My parents give me some autonomy, but they’ve been told over and over again that I’m too sick to have a normal life. Which means I’m treated as a perpetual adolescent. I have have some autonomy over my life, but I wasn’t taught the skills of adulthood because I’ve been held back by these “mental disorders.”

    It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m really bad at being an adult because I haven’t had the chance to get better at it. But my being bad at being an adult is taken as evidence that I *cannot* be a responsible adult and that my disorders are too severe for me to be independent.

    So that’s where I’m at right now.

    • 30watt,
      what is a functioning adult? Is it the shrink who hands drugs to kids? The kids who are still developing until in their 20’s? Would it not have been okay for a kid to be fearful and support, redirect, supply environments that include small steps of successes? Humans basically just get lucky. The unlucky fall prey to all kinds of crap. The ultimate crap is for kids to fall prey to psychiatry.

      Not for a minute to I buy that there were no other solutions. AND to boot, the drugs and labels were not a solution.

      The way it should work is to take a fearful or sad child and place them in programs. THat is, IF you’re lucky. And that is, long before any psych intervention. But even then, most often any programs are not geared towards many different types of children. Any program should come with lots of opportunity for those small successes that build confidence and trust.
      So of course, a TON of good would come out of it but my suspicion is that they don’t want a happier society.

      And I think that your assessment of what is going on and has gone on in your life is proof that you are adult. You might feel like an adolescent simply because they took over. You think an adult should not be stressed over an 8 hour per day job. I think memory holds people back, memory of all the times adults tripped us up.
      Psychiatry is the ultimate trip. Psychiatry truly boxes people into a corner.

  6. I can certainly relate to your questions! My son was one of the children who “grew up into adults resigned to being “sick,” drugged, and dependent.” Diagnosed with ADD when he was about 8, it turned out that he had been the victimof sexual abuse which was probably ongoing at that time. No one knew until he was about 18. No one suspected PTSD despite everything I said. Tragically, my son died just before his 29th birthday. Believe me, I have PLENTY of outrage. Read my book “Broken: How the Broken Mental Health System Leads to Broken Lives and Broken Hearts” to learn more about my son’s story. https://www.amazon.com/Broken-broken-mental-health-system-ebook/dp/B07YW8Y7KY/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=linda+comac&qid=1605536321&sr=8-1

  7. Jeffrey, thank you for writing this heart-wrenching post. No one deserves such dehumanizing ‘treatment.’ Good for you for fighting back; we need a lot more of that!

    I’ve sent this article to the students in my psychology class “The Social Dimension of Therapy” as evidence of the poor long-term outcomes of kids put on psych drugs. More people need to know about this, especially those in the “helping professions.”

    Thank you!

    • Thanks Susan. I’m glad that the younger people are exposed to this reality.

      Psychiatry has it’s own campaign going to promote acceptance. They call it “stigma”.
      And they teach young kids and university students to accept and tolerate “mental illness”,
      It’s a great seller to the young generation who is not taught to think critically
      about science or the concept that odd or different behavior is “mental illness”.

      So I’m glad to see someone trying to teach more than.

  8. Thanks for this article. Very powerfully written – I was especially impressed by the paragraph about the woman who had been raped by her father, but preferred the option of being numbed by drugs to trying to work through the experience. In a way that is a metaphor for the state of our whole society – we would rather numb out the painful or disturbing bits, rather that let each part have a voice and figure out how to fit it all together, and how to heal.

  9. I agree with you Jeffrey. I have witnessed many children suffering from the same horrible drugging effects. It is hard to believe our clinicians are going along with this crime against children. Many real life tragic outcomes outcomes of children and teens who were treated with mood altering drugs are described in my book Making Healthy Children Sick.

    Children have no voices and unfortunately there are few adults willing to speak up on behalf of them. As we speak psychiatry and their associates are engaged in an aggressive campaign to drug more children and are using the covid epidemic as an excuse to label and drug more of them. Unbelievably, they claim their treatments are helpful.

    I hope one day your pain will be recognised.

    https://www.thestar.com/politics/2020/11/12/clinicians-worry-pandemic-is-worsening-youth-mental-health.html

  10. I am extremely emotional reading this blog as I too am dealing with severe psychiatric abuse that started at age 10 in 1988 when my parents decided that handing me over to psychiatrist and psychologist ( take note therapist is NOT in there anywhere ) and then allowing them to start horrific testing & then came the adolescent prozac study where I was given 10mg prozac daily then moved to 20mg daily, I had grueling side effects of sadness and anger that cycled so rapidly I just wanted to hide and sleep so I didn’t have to feel the pain of it all! At age 10 I was diagnosed with bipolar and borderline personality disorder with more chance of becoming homicidal than suicidal, I’ll never forget that diagnosis because I was in the room when the Dr was telling my mom and as soon as we reached the door of the office I asked out of curiosity what homicidal was thinking maybe something was good about me only to be told it meant I would have a good chance of becoming insane and killing people, who in the hell tells a 10yr old this & one on a serious mind altering drug at that!! And just when most would think it can’t be much worse than that for a child who yes had a mental issue but had they sat a therapist down with me instead of prozac followed up at age 11 with ECT & EEG and several inpatient hospital abandonments they would have known I was raised sad, told and shown at every chance how worthless and unloved I was and I ruined my sister and parents life just by being born, in middle school my sister which was only 14 months older than me told on me for tricking everyone with taking the prozac.I was spitting it back in my cup and dumping the pill with the remaining water. I began serious behavior problems almost always involving violence and my middle school and parents came up with me not being allowed to eat lunch with the other students I had a desk in the recreational room closet next to the lunch room until I agreed on taking the prozac in the nurses office at school every morning. These people who were in charge completely for my life which affects me to this day at age 42 were legally able to abuse, neglect & harm me taking me away from myself the only person I ever had and once no longer responsible for me being a minor they threw me away to suffer alone like I’m the reason I’m damaged! I think the least we all deserve is answers or responsibility for the abuse to be taken so at the least we can heal before we die the rest of the way, how can you let parents and Dr.s apply all that unnecessary psychiatric abuse to me because they are worried about this child, and then they dumped me off at a mental hospital with no clothes, visit or even phone call for over a month with zero care if I was alive starting at age 12 accountably and awareness need to be made I have so much more to my horrible past to tell & most importantly my beautiful future in order to stop even one more child from the memories I can’t believe I’m so thankful to even have considering the damages from the psychiatric abuse.

  11. Jeffrey’s blog turns out to be very timely. Please see Peter Simons’ science review today entitled “Increasing Numbers of Children Prescribed Multiple Psychiatric Medications”: https://staging-madinamerica.kinsta.cloud/2020/11/increasing-numbers-children-prescribed-multiple-psychiatric-medications/

    Most disturbingly, not only are kids frequently being prescribed multiple drugs (usually for ADHD) but also antipsychotic use is quite common…even though very few of these kids are even diagnosed with psychotic illness.

    In my opinion, this is indeed a crime against humanity…a crime in plain sight.

    • They are often prescribed “antipsychotics” because they become aggressive from taking stimulants, which is one of the well-known side effects of taking them. These kids get diagnosed with “bipolar disorder” because of their negative adverse reactions to the stimulants, (or sometimes they are prescribed without any further diagnosis) so instead of taking them off the stimulants (which INCREASE dopamine), they keep them on stimulants and give them “antipsychotics” (which DECREASE dopamine!) I mean, if you want to decrease their dopamine levels, why not start by NOT INCREASING THEM?

      There is nothing more logically stupid in the entire field of psychiatry (which is replete with logical stupidities from top to bottom). I saw it dozens, perhaps hundreds of times advocating for kids in foster care. It is appalling that this continues, and speaks to the moral depravity of the institution of psychiatry.

  12. I wonder as we speak, how many kids are gazed upon by parents, teachers, psychologists and finally the drug pushers.
    It is exactly like the preying that perverts or drug dealers do.
    And right now, this minute, another kid is getting a label and the start of lifelong hardships. And a shrink is going home to his respectable family, to take them to a fancy restaurant or a vacay.

    And a child is growing up and asking, why was everyone talking but not doing anything? Why did they not protect me?
    Do we need an army?

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