We're Not Trying to Drug Our Mentally Ill Kids Into Submission (Video)

June 29, 2011 Angela McClanahan

My son, "Bob," has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD. In my post titled "Insurance Companies Are NOT Psychiatrists--Why Are They Making Decisions?," I discussed how my insurance company has decided not to pay for refills of Bob's psychiatric medications - even though his psychiatrist thinks they are necessary for his mental wellness.

Your Child with Mental Illness is Being Over-medicated

One reader agrees with the insurance company. Why? Concernedmom says he's "over-medicated".

"How does a child so young in the prime of his development take four different medications? How is it legal? Sounds over-medicated to me. The medication causes so many problems, health and otherwise. What psychiatrist allows this? It is unethical any way you slice it. How would you possibly know who Bob is with all those meds in him!? If that’s what it takes to keep him in school, you may want to consider taking him out, or switching schools. Insurance company is right this time, I’d say. Too much is too much–I don’t care what the diagnosis."

Here's my response. What are your thoughts?

APA Reference
McClanahan, A. (2011, June 29). We're Not Trying to Drug Our Mentally Ill Kids Into Submission (Video), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Author: Angela McClanahan

September, 5 2017 at 11:01 pm

If the doctor prescribed the meds often it may getvrejected by the insurance company is it is a tier 4 drug which must newer psychiatric meds. Most new SNRIs, ADHD meds Anti psychotic s etc what needs to be done is your psychiatrist has to send a " pre Authorization or prior authorization to your insurance company saying that this Med is required for appropriate psychopharmacology . He may have to include past treatments that have failed to justify the need for the quantity or newer Med. Often the insurances want you to try the cheaper Psych meds first see you fail on then and then they will approve . Problem is the insurance does not keep the record year to year but the doc has treatment history. Also savings cards for newer drugs always check the drug website they may have a co pay card allowing you to get a 12 refills for a copay of only 20 dollars. I know vyvanse has one, forfivo ( which is just Wellbutrin , adderall xr has one , ability has one,, rexulti, Trintellix, quillivantvxr suspension and chewy ( Ritalin xl) latudia concerta rispiridal injection ,

July, 1 2011 at 7:39 am

I just wrote a long paragraph and it disappeared ( I forgot to include my email address.) Here's the jist. My sister's granchild, age 10, is on multiple psychotropics, although she has never showed signs of mental illness. The child's mother is mentally abusive to this child , but not the other 2. We think the mother has munchhausen's by proxy. I'm sure this is a rare occurence T.G.

June, 30 2011 at 10:43 am

It has to up to the individual situation. Bp children is still undiscoverd territory. They still have to go through the med rat race that the rest of us adults have had to run. Being diagnosed so young has advantages that as children we didn't have: HELP we had to suffer through those difficult years not knowing what was wrong with us. So who are we to judge Bob's parents who are doing the very best for their child.

Nancy Reed
June, 30 2011 at 9:12 am

I'm sorry. A DOCTOR has the education and experience to treat the individual patient; an insurance company does not. The insurance company needs to defer to the expert, which is the medical professional. Insurance companies need to butt out of deciding on any medication issues!

June, 29 2011 at 8:33 am

My son has the same DX ADHD/BP. Thankfully he is able to get his RX with military insurance. We have run the whole line of meds since he was 5 years old and I have heard it all!! You are a bad parent, he has food allergies, he is just willfull, you name it and I've heard it!!
We had to put my son into a mental hospital at age 9 and took him off all meds and slowly re-introduced him to the meds. What did we find out you ask?? HE NEEDS THEM ALL!! Those 9 months of him being in a horrible hospital is something I don't ever want him to repeat. He is now 15 years old, in honors classes in high school and is slowing trying to put together a "normal" social life.
Thank GOD for meds!! Some people and insurance companies just don't understand how important they are for a somewhat "normal" life.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Angela McClanahan
June, 29 2011 at 8:45 am

@Anna--you just answered my question I've been batting around for months now--"should we take him off all the meds and get a baseline read and start over?" My better judgment has always said "NO", but you always have that niggling "what if" feeling when they've been on them for so long and started so young. Now I'm not wondering anymore. If we can tell a difference (not for the better) when he stops taking them--that should be answer enough. And I'm extremely glad your son is doing well. I hope for his sake and your family's he continues to do so!

June, 29 2011 at 7:43 am

I wonder if they know what it's like to have bp and adhd? I do because I have both. My step-son has adhd as well. How many special needs children do they have? We've tried supplements. Sorry, doesn't work.

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