Your Child in the Balance: An Insider's Guide for Parents to the Psychiatric Medicine Dilemma

Overview

In Your Child in the Balance, child psychiatrist, Kevin Kalikow examines the highly topical and thorny question of whether and when to prescribe psychiatric medication to children. As parents, are we too ready to run to our pediatrician for Ritalin when our child shows the first sign of inattention at school? Or do we instead shy away from our doctor's recommendation to consider an anti-depressant for a chronically sad and withdrawn teenager? Among the ever-growing outcry that psychiatric medicines are ...
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Overview

In Your Child in the Balance, child psychiatrist, Kevin Kalikow examines the highly topical and thorny question of whether and when to prescribe psychiatric medication to children. As parents, are we too ready to run to our pediatrician for Ritalin when our child shows the first sign of inattention at school? Or do we instead shy away from our doctor's recommendation to consider an anti-depressant for a chronically sad and withdrawn teenager? Among the ever-growing outcry that psychiatric medicines are over-prescribed to children and adolescents today, how is a parent to know whether medication is the right treatment for their troubled child?

Dr. Kalikow tackles these questions with the sensitivity and insight of years of experience helping families through the thicket of research and opinion to find the right answer for their child. Through many colorful vignettes, he explores our efforts to protect our children from the inevitable hurts and disappointments of childhood, and the role that medication can play in that attempt. On the other side, Kalikow shows us our determination to have our children succeed or fail on their own, the way we had to do, even to the point of refusing the medication that might help them overcome a serious and potentially chronic disability.

Dr. Kalikow guides readers through the maze of possible treatment decisions—the many different families of psychiatric medication, alternative treatments including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and perhaps the most difficult decision of no treatment at all. He closes the book by examining one family's difficult journey to the decision to medicate their acutely anxious daughter.

Your Child in theBalance: An Insider's Guide to the Psychiatric Medicine Dilemma is an important and timely book that will hit home to every parent who has seen their child in pain and asked themselves, "I wonder if medication might help."

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
What kind of information do parents want when deciding whether to give their child psychiatric medicine? Presumably, they are looking for timely, accessible advice from experts, which is just what these books provide (Kalikow and Roberts are both experienced child psychiatrists). In addition, they want information that is specific to their situation. Someone struggling with a hyperactive or aggressive child probably doesn't have the patience or the energy to read about the symptoms and treatments of depression. Roberts's book is better on this count, as it is arranged into chapters devoted to particular disorders and medications. Much of the same material is covered in Kalikow's guide, but it is scattered throughout the narrative. Indeed, Kalikow states that his goal is to illuminate the thought processes of a doctor as he makes choices about medication, not to list the uses and side effects of drugs. Yet it's nice to have something interesting to read, and Kalikow's book is definitely the livelier of the two, containing numerous anecdotes and a more in-depth look at the parents of one patient, "Rosie," as they struggle to decide how to help their anxious daughter. Neither book is a crucial purchase, though even the smallest libraries should have a few more specialized titles-at the minimum, one on childhood depression, one on anxiety disorders, and one on ADHD. For larger public libraries needing more material, these current titles are good supplementary works, with the Roberts book more likely to be checked out regularly.-Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593153595
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Introduction: The "Can Do" Age of Psychiatry 1
Chapter 1 The Challenge of Change 7
Chapter 2 The Elusive Criteria for Changing Your Body 15
Chapter 3 Bring on the Brain 23
Chapter 4 Psychiatry Welcomes the Brain 29
Chapter 5 A Duty to Treat 43
Chapter 6 The Challenge of Children 49
Chapter 7 The Evolving Diagnoses of Children 59
Chapter 8 The Burden of Proof 69
Chapter 9 The Benefits of Medicine 75
Chapter 10 Let's Be Practical 97
Chapter 11 The Risks of Medicine 111
Chapter 12 Subtle Psychological Side Effects 121
Chapter 13 Concealed Consequences 131
Chapter 14 Medicine's Competition 139
Chapter 15 Oh, to Be a Parent! 155
Chapter 16 The Pressures on the Prescriber 161
Chapter 17 Too Many Prescriptions? 173
Chapter 18 Rosie 193
Chapter 19 The Time Is Now 237
Appendices
Are You Wise If You Try an SSRI? 247
Recommended Reading 251
Acknowledgments 253
Notes 255
Bibliography 261
Index 269
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