Children, Psychiatric Drugs, and Natural Research
To begin, this article will investigate the astonishingly large number of children who are taking psychiatric drugs, then we will discuss some of the negative side effects of these medications, and we will end with reviewing various studies which argue for natural substances for ADHD rather than promoting ADHD medication.
When you think of children, you do not usually think of prescription medication. However, for a substantial number of children in the United States, medicine seems to be becoming more and more a part of their life. In 2016, a study examined how many children in the United States were taking psychiatric drugs in 2013 and found that over a million children under the age of six are taking such mediation in the United States. Even the age distribution of children under six who are ingesting such medication is troubling; it was reported 274,804 of the children taking these medications were less than a year old, and toddlers between two- and three-years-old totaled 370,778.
It even gets more concerning. Data from IQVia, a company that provides information for the healthcare industry, gave statistics for 2017, and for children between the ages of six and twelve, it was reported 3,259,955 of them are taking some psychiatric medication . Overall, the total number of children between the ages of zero and seventeen taking psychiatric drugs in 2017 was 7,213,599 .
Now, psychiatric medication includes several categories such as ADHD, antidepressant, antipsychotic, and anti-anxiety medication, and along with all medication, these medications also have adverse side effects. Some would even debate the side effects for psychiatric medicines are worse than the common side effects you would expect from medication in general.
General side effects for these medications include heart attacks, psychosis, suicidal ideation, diabetes, stroke, mania, and sudden death. On top of all that, numerous recent school shootings in the previous years were perpetrated by young people on such drugs. The website PsychDrugShooters.com researches and documents these shootings for further research on the negative consequences of psychiatric medication and its extreme, adverse side effects.
As if the side effects are not harmful enough, doctors and parents risk damaging the child in other ways. For example, psychiatric medication could cause irreversible development damage to the child’s brain, and the child may become over-reliant on these medications and be forced to take them for life.
At this young age, it is natural for children to feel some stress or anxiety because they are beginning to develop socially in kindergarten and elementary school. They are learning social skills and the skills needed to be able to relate to other people and become successful. However, when a child goes home and tells their parent they are upset because the other kids have made fun at them, which is a natural process, and then the parent immediately goes to the doctor, who is probably getting a kickback for prescribing these medications, and demands a pill for their kid, the child does not know the extent of the consequences of these medications.
Instead, generally the child should learn to develop coping strategies to deal with these various social situations at a young age, so they do not have to take these medications.
Now, there are plenty of natural, safer alternatives you may discuss with your doctor that children could take for these types of situations to help them develop these skills rather than not develop these skills at all and live life through a medicated daze.
Concerning depression, numerous studies have linked antidepressant medication, including SSRIs, to suicide, and antidepressants do not actually fix anything, but instead, they mask the problem . However, magnesium has continuously shown promising support for people with depression. A randomized trial of 129 individuals showed within two weeks, magnesium was effective for mild-to-moderate depression, worked quickly, and is well tolerated without the need for close monitoring for toxicity .
Concerning ADHD, Dr. Brogan practices functional medicine, and she gave several recommendations for parents to help their children naturally. These recommendations include limiting children’s access to sugar, gluten, GMOs, and food dyes. To read her full article, see reference .
Now, I will review several studies which research natural substances and how they relate to ADHD. For the entire list, go to reference .
A combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as magnesium and zinc consumption on attentional, behavioral, and emotional problems of children and adolescents .
Artificial food coloring is associated with hyperactivity symptoms in children .
The findings of this small pilot study suggest supplementation with high-dose EPA/DHA concentrates may improve behavior in children with ADHD .
Mercury exposure from thimerosal is significantly associated with the ACSDs of ASD, TD, and ADD/ADHD .
Omega-3/Omega-6 fatty acids improve symptoms of ADHD in children and adolescents .
Zinc supplementation is safe and effective in treating patients with ADHD .
Aspartame and L-glutamic acid work synergistically with food coloring agents to induce neurotoxicity .
For liability purposes, I cannot recommend any specific products to children under the age of 18, and I recommend you work with your doctor and look for natural solutions to these issues before trying psychiatric medication.
Based on the studies provided above, our Children’s Cod Liver Oil and Zinc Glycinate could be useful, but first, speak with your doctor.
If your doctor is unwilling to talk about natural alternatives, you may want to consider searching for another physician who is willing to work for you, but the bottom line is you have to be willing to invest in your children’s health by ensuring they have a healthy diet which is conducive for a healthy state of mind.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at 800.726.1834