Everyone has a mental health disorder?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Everyone has a mental health disorder?
9
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 9:54pm

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38430273/ns/health

LONDON — An updated edition of a mental health bible for doctors may include diagnoses for "disorders" such as toddler tantrums and binge eating, experts say, and could mean that soon no-one will be classed as normal.

Leading mental health experts gave a briefing on Tuesday to warn that a new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is being revised now for publication in 2013, **could devalue the seriousness of mental illness** and label almost everyone as having some kind of disorder.

The scientists gave examples from the previous revision to the DSM, which was called DSM 4 and included broader diagnoses and categories for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and childhood bipolar disorders.

This, they said, had "contributed to three false epidemics" of these conditions, particularly in the United States.

"During the last decade, how many doctors were harangued by worried parents into giving drugs like Ritalin to children who didn't really need it?," their statement asked.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 10:06pm
This is where I was leading when I commented in a previous thread that some mood disorders are grossly over-diagnosed. We see it here in our community all of the time. And IMO, such over-diagnosis trivializes the issues that people who REALLY have the disorder must face every day. Yes, some people/kids really struggle because of the effects of whatever has gone on in their lives or with their brain chemistry, but if we're too eager to diagnose, it takes resources away from those who really need it. In our area, it's a minimum 6 month wait to see a psychiatrist unless one has symptoms severe enough to warrent an involuntary admission to a mental health treatment facility. How many of those appointment times are actually being taken up by people who's symptoms are really on the "normal" end of the spectrum?
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-1998
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 7:47am

I didn't see your other post, but I need to comment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 8:20am

Maybe you were right in getting him on meds, if not, you can always stop them, or after he's 18, he can.

I also have the lazy teenager with no executive functioning skills. Turns out in his case though that he was self medicating with pot, food (didn't gain a lb btw) and whatnot. Almost put him on meds based on two doctor's diagnosis of his situation after talking with him at length. Meanwhile before doing that, I took him to an ADD specialist who had him evaluated and tested. He determined that he did not have attention issues. He recommended counseling. Took him. Did not work. Finally after watching him excel that year in school but then watch him flounder senior year (which for those of you who worry that they'll never get into college, he did) I got a really good Drug and alcohol counselor and have sent him to him and it's the best money I've spent in a while.

Turns out in his case, or at least what we can determine thus far, because remember, he's still a work in progress. He had all kinds of life stuff to work out, family stuff, friend stuff, school stuff,etc. I tried everything to fix his situation and in the end found out he had to fix it himself. Things are much much better.
The best advice I got was let him fall and be ready with a consequence, keep the house rules in place and then go live your life. Hard to do as a mother who wanted everything to go smoothly, but very very good advice.

The advice I gave myself is this. After much hand wringing and tons of worrying. He might one day prove to have some mental condition and he might not. He might one day blow up and have a super big drug/alcohol problem and yet him might not. I've stopped taking his pulse on a daily basis, if you know what I mean, and wait for him to come to me more with his stuff and it's been so much healthier for all of us.

Conmamma, your son may not be into school right now. And I've seen from other posts that Sabrtooth recommends limiting his tech use and whatnot, I would agree in that it may be adding to his lack of motivation. Also if I can recommend something. Your plan for letting him do his thing in school this year? Excellent. I would suggest that you make sure he has study hours at home, let him decide what works for him and insist that he at least make it look like he's studying and then back off. Let him fall and rise all by himself. So he might get into the college of his choice or he might get into a second or third choice, or he might have to do community college stuff for awhile. But you and he will have a better relationship as a result and that is worth so much more, because after all, you can't force him to study and make good grades. He has to come around to that on his own. Remember the old days conmama, when parents didn't care so much about where their kid went to college and some kids didn't even see the campus till the first day of school? We all survived and managed to eek out a living.

And one more thing Conmama. What you might also experience is the school teachers and other mother's asking you how it's going and if you're anything like me you want to cringe because it's not going so well. And this was big for me. But tell them you aren't in control of his schoolwork anymore, but that you hope he's doing okay. Those with the really smart kids will look at you with pity (don't worry about them, they'll never understand) and most of the teachers will respect you for this approach, and you might touch them on the arm and thank them for every bit of help they might be giving your son, and tell them it's hard to teach kids like your son, but that you have faith he'll come around one day.

My little "lack of executive functioning kid" is headed off in three weeks. He's super excited and I bite my tongue every time I think of that little some something I should tell him in order for him to "make it" freshmen year. He'll just have to figure it out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-1998
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 8:43am

Thank you FullMom and all the other's who responded to my other post.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 11:32am

There was a case in our area where a little girl died because she was basically overdosed on psych meds by her parents. I think she was about 5 & it was very controversial that a psych had diagnosed a child of that age w/ bipolar disorder. It turned out that every member of the family had some kind of MI and all the kids were highly medicated, mostly because the father could not deal w/ normal childhood behavior such as being noisy or not going to sleep and keeping him up at night. So far the mother was convicted (I think of manslaughter) and the father hasn't stood trial yet. But having lived w/ someone (an adult) w/ bipolar, I think it would be extremely difficult to diagnose that in a child so young.

I can't believe it takes 6 mos. to get a psych appt. Imagine if you weren't suicidal but still depressed and you had to suffer that long w/o treatment. Then even after the meds are prescribed, it takes a month of so for them to start working. That's pretty bad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 12:49pm

Isn't it wonderful to have this board to vent to? so all our kids are different. DS #2 was an overachiever and I'll confess, it was so fun looking at schools, seeing the awards, and watching him get all excited. As proud as I was of his accomplishments I thought it was great that as a family we don't go overboard/make a big deal out of that type of thing. Don't get me wrong, we congratulate when deserved but we're just not "take out an ad in the paper" type of people. So when DS#3 started having troubles I poo-pooed those that said he might be suffering from DS#1 high standards. Well I forgot to factor in the school's take on him. Not all his teachers, but over the years there were those that really pointed out how "different" he was from DS#1. Add to that, every time he got a detention (yes he wracked up a few) both the school and I found ourselves in unchartered waters. After a while I got better at shrugging my shoulders if anyone said stuff and for the record, DS#2 tried to use "we can't all be as great as DS#1" but I'd remind him that DS#1 worked his booty off and it didn't all come naturally type of thing. Meanwhile, in spite of how mad I'd sometimes be at DS#2, I decided to find moments to remind DS#2 to just be himself and not worry about living up to anyone's standards (not even his parents)except his own. By the same token I had to let him see that all his mistakes were his to own as well.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that DS#1 was in fact the very one that got DS#2 into pot. How about that?! I made it a point to deal with each of them together and not alone and pointed out to DS#2 that all those times I thought it was just he who was smoking, well low and behold, I now find out that DS#1 was going behind my back blah blah blah blah...believe me they got an earful from square old mom!!!!

Back to the gloaters. One thing that has helped me immensely from this board is reading the struggles that as parents we all have with our kids. And it's done two things. It's made me much more sensitive to those parents going through a difficult time with difficult situations. And also, it's made me appreciate my children for who they are much much more, good and difficult. Also, DS#2 struggles made me a much better mom, seriously.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 12:51pm
I meant to start by saying DS#1 was an overachiever, sorry for the confusion!
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 8:13pm

I've often said it doesn't just "run" in families, it GALLOPS! In our family, maternal Gma AND Gpa obviously depressed, Gpa committed suicide. My sister's son is ADD, but so is her DH. On PATERNAL side, well...husband's mom had obvious issues--hypochondria, thought people were spying on her, thought strangers on the bus were trying to seduce her, etc. Husbands brother was slow-cycling BiPolar; nephew #1(probably-because BIL said that's NOT my son, and closed the book on treatment, etc): Asperger's, NVLD; nephew #2: severe OCD, BiPolar; GREATnephew #1:ADD, LD, Executive Dysfunction; GREATnephew #2: Aspergers, PDD-NOS, ADD, OCD; GREATniece: ODD; MY husband: ADD, ODD; DD#1:ADD, OCD, ED, Depression; DD#2:ADD, ODD, LD. And lets not forget his sister who we won't even bother listing HER problems, and then there's her meth head son--self medicating ADDer if there ever was one. Dropped out of HS to go to Calif & be a "star", couldn't hold a job, yada, yada...

BTW, it's only my kids and the greats who ever got meds or counseling. Everyone else just floundered along, or had enough intelligence to carry them till they fell into jobs that were appropriate for their condition.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Wed, 08-04-2010 - 5:44am

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I know the feeling well! Oldest DS was not an academic or extracurricular star by a long shot, youngest DS excelled in sports but not so much in the classroom... and DD seemed to have it all figured out. They've all done fairly well for themselves in post high school life. I look at some of the kids who were the "all stars" when they were in high school... while a lot of them have done well post-high school, there are some who seem destined to forever dwell on their "glory days" because it would seem that they peaked in high school. Honestly, there comes a time when those 4 years no longer matter, and nobody really cares anymore who was the star of the football team. I guess I'd much rather have my kids reach their peak in life when they get out into the real world, rather than during those 4 years of high school.

Your DS will eventually figure it out - most do. Might not be exactly the life you'd planned for him, but our kids have to make their own way in life, not the way we'd like them to make.