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Thread: Mental Illness, Overdiagnosis and Overmedicating

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    Default Mental Illness, Overdiagnosis and Overmedicating

    After reading a thread here on Asperger's, I was prompted to think about how much overdiagnosis and/or misdiagnosis along with overmedicating actually occurs in those with some type of mental health issue these days.

    In the past few years alone, I have noticed a massive increase in the number of people being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD or Bipolar Disorder, particularly in children.

    Why do you think this may be? Do you think overmedication is a growing problem? Are people putting too much stock into psychiatric diagnoses? Are there more effective ways in dealing with mental health issues than taking pills and resigning oneself to a diagnosis that may or may not be accurate?

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    Senior Member Array Ivy's Avatar
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    What medications do people with autism take?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    What medications do people with autism take?
    The question wasn't meant to be about medications relating to Autism specifically, but rather to address mental health issues in general.

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    In some cases medication can be the best treatment for a mental health issue. But in other cases it simply covers up the underlying problem. From a government standpoint it is simply easier to dope up the general populace than to actually try to solve their problems. For example I have ADD and at times it can be nearly impossible for me to focus without a stimulant of some kind. I also suffer from depression at times too though, and even if an antidepressant were to make me feel better, it would not do anything about the circumstances that had made me depressed to begin with.

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    Senior Member Array Ivy's Avatar
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    It's relevant, though. Not every new diagnosis comes with a prescription. In your OP it sounds like you think the large uptick in diagnoses is a negative thing, and an increase in pill popping seems to be one of the things that contributes to that negativity IYO. There's no pill for autism, though, and while kids with ADHD might get a prescription, they also might not. There are behavioral interventions and school services that can help. Many times a diagnosis is necessary for a child to receive special services in school, which can make the difference between learning and languishing, or between being happy and being miserable. For that matter, so could medication for a person with ADHD, especially if it's part of a comprehensive plan of attack.

    I'm also not of the opinion that autism and ADHD are horrible things a person needs to "resign" themselves to. It's true that they're disabilities and special services are appropriate, but they can also come with gifts. People with ADHD are often dynamic, energetic thinkers. People with autism are wired differently, often with remarkable "specialist" brains.

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    Minuet in C++ Array Resonance's Avatar
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    I think mental health problems are actually underdiagnosed, or at least frequently misdiagnosed; this isn't any different from physical health problems really. The difference is that people try to hide their MH problems more.

    I don't know about medication. I used to be against it, but now I'm not so sure. I think maybe the problem is that psychs will identify a problem that's treatable with medication, and that's all they use, because when it works it's amazing... but not enough attention is paid to the possibility that maybe medication isn't the best solution for this particular patient, or maybe the initial diagnosis was mistaken, or maybe the issue has changed since then, or maybe the medication is causing permanent changes to the patient...
    The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.

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    Ivy, assigning negative traits to any mental illness was not my intention. I just want to hear peoples candid and objective views on this.

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    Senior Member Array Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelda View Post
    Ivy, assigning negative traits to any mental illness was not my intention. I just want to hear peoples candid and objective views on this.
    I'm giving you my views, is that okay with you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I'm giving you my views, is that okay with you?
    Why wouldn't it be?

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    Senior Member Array Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blairvoyant View Post
    I think mental health problems are actually underdiagnosed, or at least frequently misdiagnosed; this isn't any different from physical health problems really. The difference is that people try to hide their MH problems more.

    I don't know about medication. I used to be against it, but now I'm not so sure. I think maybe the problem is that psychs will identify a probledm that's treatable with medication, and that's all they use, because when it works it's amazing... but not enough attention is paid to the possibility that maybe medication isn't the best solution for this particular patient, or maybe the initial diagnosis was mistaken, or maybe the issue has changed since then, or maybe the medication is causing permanent changes to the patient...
    Totally agree. IMO there's nothing wrong with medicating when it's called for. I think the problem is more of lazy treatment. It's easy to throw pills at something. It's less easy to think critically about the needs of the individual in front of you, and whether/where medication fits into that landscape.

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