Psychiatry, Children and Young Adults

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The mental health industry has especially targeted young people for unfair marketing campaigns. Youth deserve the best society can offer for mental and emotional well being. Unfortunately, too often, youth are coerced to take multiple powerful psychiatric drugs without adequate information, alternatives and advocacy.

News Items

Aftermath of a school shooting in Chardon, Ohio: Trauma and Mutual Support

(Published: Jul 21, 2012 02:25 PM)
After a school shooting, there is a window of time when people search for answers, and provide each other with close mutual support. Let’s not wait for a future tragedy to ask these questions now, and work together in community to prevent these atrocities.

Youth and Young Adults: What Can Be Done to Prevent School Shootings?

(Published: Jul 21, 2012 02:21 PM)
In the USA, the topic of school shootings, especially by college and high school students, has periodically been center stage, involving unbearable and overwhelming heart ache for trauma for so many people. What questions can we ask to prevent these tragedies in the future?

Drugs Used for Psychotics Go to Youths in Foster Care

(Published: Dec 01, 2011 01:00 PM)
The NY Times reports on a study in journal Pediatrics about massive drugging of young people in USA foster care homes, especially with so-called “antipsychotic” drugs also known as neuroleptics.

MF Alert: Canadian 9-year-old forcibly given psychiatric drugs, over family’s wishes

(Published: Jul 14, 2011 01:45 PM)
Canadian authorities are allegedly giving powerful psychiatric drugs to a nine-year-old girl diagnosed autistic, over the united and expressed wishes of the family, according to her father. MindFreedom issued this alert about how you can help.

Child’s Ordeal Shows Risks of Psychosis Drugs for Young

(Published: Sep 03, 2010 07:16 PM)
The New York Times covered the way even very young children – even 18 months old – are being put on the super-powerful family of psychiatric drugs known as the neuroleptics or antipsychotics.

Bipolar diagnosis jumps in young children: study

(Published: Jan 15, 2010 12:41 PM)
The Reuters news service covers a new scientific study that shows that the number of children in the USA two to five years old who are labeled “bipolar” who put on the powerful neuroleptic or “antipsychotic” psychiatric drugs has doubled in the past decade.

Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics

(Published: Dec 12, 2009 12:16 PM)
The New York Times exposes that children are far more likely to be given the super-powerful “neuroleptic” psychiatric drugs, than middle class children. Neuroleptics are popularly known as “antipsychotics.” While MindFreedom is pro-choice about taking psychiatric drugs, there is a cover-up in the popular press that it is now established in medical literature that long-term high-dosage neuroleptics is associated with significant shrinkage of the frontal lobes, the area of the brain that is thought of to make us “human,” and which was targeted in the famous lobotomy. [31 Dec. 2009 update: See NY Times corretion at bottom that number of children on neuroleptics is even far higher than in article.]

‘Mad’ and proud of it

(Published: Nov 19, 2009 08:11 PM)
One of the largest newspapers in Canada ran this article about a Mad Student Society, where college students with psychiatric labels organize together for mutual support and social change.

USA Legslation Approved to Stop Abuse of Teens in Residential Treatment Programs

(Published: Feb 24, 2009 04:00 AM)
The USA Government Accountability Office has found thousands of allegations of child abuse and neglect at residential programs for teens since the early 1990s. Tragically, in a number of cases, this abuse and neglect led to the death of a child. US House of Representatives approved legislation, and here is their news release.

Use of Antipsychotics in Children Is Criticized

(Published: Nov 19, 2008 12:31 PM)
This article in The New York Times details new efforts to regulate the prescribing of antipsychotic drugs (also known as “neuroleptics”) to children.

Some Texas foster kids’ doctors have ties to drug firms

(Published: Aug 19, 2008 07:14 PM)
A mainstream Texas newspaper examines the massive, profitable and illegal psychiatric drugging of children in Texas foster care.

“Are Our Leading Pediatricians Drug Industry Shills?”

(Published: Jul 14, 2008 12:30 PM)
In this opinion piece, Lawrence Diller explores the implications of Joseph Biederman’s undeclared $1.6 million in drug company consultation fees.

Bill would challenge psychiatric abuse of youth in residential treatment

(Published: May 15, 2008 02:45 PM)
Bazelon Center has issued an alert about a bill in the USA congress to do something about human rights abuses rampant in residential programs for teens diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities. Bazelon Center is a Sponsor Group in MindFreedom International.

Congressional hearing held on psychiatric drugging of USA foster care kids

(Published: May 15, 2008 01:27 PM)
The US Congress held a public hearing about the way youth in foster care are often given large amounts of powerful psychiatric drugs, without adequate oversight, accountability, information, alternatives and advocacy. Vera Sharav of Alliance for Human Research Protection issued this report.

USA legislator McDermott holds hearings on foster care psychiatric drugging.

(Published: May 08, 2008 05:18 PM)
Hearings are being held in US Congress on 8 May 2008 about the abuse of foster care youth by psychiatric drugging.

USA Today’s piece on psychiatric drugs and foster care

(Published: May 08, 2008 04:55 PM)
USA Today did a series about psychiatric drugging of youth, including this on the foster care controvers.

Psychiatric drugging of foster care youth

(Published: May 08, 2008 04:49 PM)
The human rights abuse of foster care children involving psychiatric drugs presents an especially serious issue. Of course, parental consent is usually an important factor for most children. But for foster care youth, ‘we the people’ act as the parents, and ‘we the people’ pay for the abuse.

Info on abuse by psychiatry in foster care

(Published: May 08, 2008 04:49 PM)
Articles, news items, etc. related to misuse of mental health system within a foster care environment for youth.

How Teenage Rebellion Has Become a “Mental Illness”

(Published: Jan 28, 2008 10:52 PM)
Psychologist, author and MindFreedom member Bruce E. Levine has an article on Alternet exposing the way rebellion by young people is being diagnosed as a psychiatric “disease” to be drugged.

PBS Exposes Psychiatric Drugging of USA Children

(Published: Jan 06, 2008 07:04 PM)
Public television’s “Frontline” is airing a show Tuesday, 8 January 2008, on the psychiatric drugging of USA children, particularly with the super-powerful “antipsychotic” or neuroleptic drugs.

Mental screening for young to begin

(Published: Dec 27, 2007 06:54 PM)
Here’s a front page story in the Boston Globe about Massachusetts youth being targeted for psychiatric screening, which can mean lots more youth put on psychiatric drugs without advocacy, alternatives, information or rights.

Hannity’s America with Doug Kennedy on Antidepressants

(Published: Dec 27, 2007 06:23 PM)
This is a video from Sunday night, 16 December 2007 on Fox News, of the television show “Hannity’s America” with Doug Kennedy on the subject of the alleged role of antidepressant psychiatric drugs in incidents of violence. [This video is not by MFI; this is on YouTube and provided as a free public service here.]

Oregonian newspaper exposes massive psychiatric drugging of foster care kids.

(Published: Nov 30, 2007 03:10 PM)
The largest daily newspaper in Oregon published a three-part investigation of the the massive psychiatric drugging of youth in foster care in Oregon. Below is the text from the series, at bottom are links to the original articles.

Katie Couric investigates death of Rebecca Riley

(Published: Oct 01, 2007 09:56 PM)
On the CBS television show “60 Minutes” on 30 September 2007, Katie Couric looks into the death of four-year-old Rebecca Riley who was given multiple psychiatric drugs after being diagnosed “bipolar.” The parents were charged with murder.

Children’s Antipsychotic Drug Use Scrutinised

(Published: Sep 17, 2007 05:49 AM)
In a ‘first of its kind’ nationwide study of 420 children in New Zealand, examining children’s treatment with “atypical antipsychotic” drugs, 90 per cent of the prescriptions were for Risperidone, which was added to the list of government-subsidised medicines in 1998. In 30 per cent of the children, adverse drug reactions were identified, one-third were determined to be linked to antipsychotics by the researchers. The University of Otago’s Intensive Medicines Monitoring Programme (IMMP) study investigated the safety and use of anti-psychotic drugs in all under-16-year-olds in New Zealand between April and July, 2003. “Weight gain, tooth decay and sleepiness were the most common adverse events we found,” according to research leader Dr. Mira Harrison-Woolrych, who directs the IMMP.

More Children Being Treated for Bipolar Disorder

(Published: Sep 04, 2007 05:18 PM)
The NY Times investigated the number of USA young people labeled with a “bipolar” psychiatric disorder, and found the number increased forty-fold from 1994 to 2003.

Mother Jones Exposes “School of Shock”

(Published: Aug 26, 2007 09:52 PM)
MindFreedom salutes Mother Jones magazine for publishing a very important investigation of abuse of youth in today’s mental health system. Journalist Jennifer Gonnerman has extensively examined the infamous Rotenberg Center that uses electrical pain to try to change the behavior of troubled youth.

Young Canadian children are being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs

(Published: Jun 23, 2007 10:04 AM)
Neuroleptic psychiatric drugs (sometimes called “antipsychotics”) are increasingly being given to Canadian youth.

Newspaper spotlights psychiatric survivor activist Ben Hansen

(Published: May 14, 2007 08:19 PM)
The newspaper Northern Express features Ben Hansen of MindFreedom Michigan and his challenge to the massive psychiatric drugging of Michigan preschoolers in this article, “Are kids being overdosed?”

Major Media Pound Psychiatric Drugging of USA Kids

(Published: May 10, 2007 01:43 PM)
In May 2007 both The New York Times and USA Today have run major investigations of the rapidly increasing prescriptions of powerful psychiatric drugs, such as the “neuroleptics,” to USA children. MindFreedom asks, “Then why is the State of New York still recommending neuroleptics for three-year-old children?”

Psychiatrists, Children and Drug Industry’s Role

(Published: May 10, 2007 01:12 PM)
NY Times examines relationship between increased prescriptions to USA children for powerful psychiatric drugs, such as neuroleptics, and the industry practice of paying prescribers for consulting, speaking engagements, etc.

Al Galves on Virginia Tech Tragedy

(Published: May 06, 2007 12:40 PM)
A psychologist who identifies as an individual who has personally experienced mental health care reflects on the lessons we can draw from the Virginia Tech tragedy. Al Galves, PhD is a board member of MindFreedom International, though this is an individual statement.

Adult antipsychotics can worsen troubles

(Published: May 04, 2007 01:40 PM)
USA Today investigates how neuroleptic psychiatric drugs (also called “antipsychotics”) that are usually given to adults, can have special hazards when given to children, as they are in increasing numbers.

New antipsychotic drugs carry risks for children

(Published: May 04, 2007 01:34 PM)
USA Today investigates hazards related to increased prescriptions of neuroleptics — also known as antipsychotics — given to children in the USA.

For foster kids, oversight of prescriptions is scarce

(Published: May 04, 2007 01:30 PM)
USA Today exposes the massive psychiatric drugging of USA children in foster care.

USA Today Neuroleptic Series

(Published: May 04, 2007 01:28 PM)
USA Today examines dangers in the rapidly increasing prescription rate of neuroleptics in USA children.

USA Today investigates neuroleptic psychiatric drug harm to children

(Published: May 04, 2007 01:21 PM)
A report in USA Today looks at the disability and death linked to the rapidly increasing rate of prescriptions of the super-powerful neuroleptic or “anti-psychotic” psychiatric drugs to US children.

MindFreedom Virginia Files Freedom of Information Act Request

(Published: May 03, 2007 03:30 PM)
The press reports that the Virginia Medical Examiner’s office has announced they will refuse to release results of Cho’s toxicology and autopsy reports. On 2 May MindFreedom Virginia filed a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia to require the disclosure of this information. MindFreedom Virginia has also filed an identical request under the US Federal Freedom of Information Act.

VIRGINIA TECH MFI Info Center: MindFreedom files Freedom of Information Act Request about Cho.

(Published: May 02, 2007 07:35 PM)
MindFreedom Virginia has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about Cho. MF-Virginia filed this FOIA because of press reports that the Virginia Medical Examiner has said he will not release toxicology or autopsy reports about Cho. Such reports could shed light on whether or not Cho was on a psychiatric drug at the time of the shooting.

Media, mental health, and Virginia Tech tragedy

(Published: May 01, 2007 06:35 PM)
Selected media chronology related to news and analysis about the interaction of the mental health system with Seung-Hui Cho.

MindFreedom Issues Statement Calling for “Full Disclosure” about Cho

(Published: May 01, 2007 05:57 PM)
Today is supposed to be the beginning of “mental health month.” When it comes to the catastrophe at Virginia Tech, let’s not have May become “cover-up month.”

Stop “60 Minutes” Bias on Virginia Tech Tragedy

(Published: May 01, 2007 11:04 AM)
The CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” has often run stories from the point of view of the mental health industry without adequately covering the other side of the story. They’re doing it again about the issue of access to guns by people who have been labeled “mentally defective.”

A Hundred Billion Chances

(Published: Apr 30, 2007 02:58 PM)
Just how many chances did we have to avoid Cho’s day of terror? A youth psychiatric survivor speaks out on the issue.

Oaks quotes: NPR’s Talk of the Nation

(Published: Apr 28, 2007 01:26 PM)
Here are edited quotes from the appearance of David Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation.” The subject: Calls for more forced psychiatric drugging emerging from the Virginia Tech tragedy. MFI board member Judi Chamberlin is also quoted, as a caller.

Dr. Paramjit Joshi

(Published: Apr 28, 2007 01:24 PM)
Dr. Paramjit Joshi, chief of psychiatry at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, was a guest on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” on 24 April 2007, along with David Oaks and Rae Belle Gambs. (photo by Washington Post)

National Coalition of People with Psychiatric Histories Responds to Virginia Tech Tragedy

(Published: Apr 25, 2007 11:51 AM)
A national coalition composed of groups run by mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors issues a statement to the media.

Psychiatric Drug Bingo

(Published: Apr 22, 2007 12:03 PM)
An anonymous college student writes about what it is like to experience a variety of recommendations to take psychiatric drugs.

Mental health consumer leader issues statement on Virginia Tech tragedy

(Published: Apr 21, 2007 03:39 PM)
Steve Miccio, director of a mental health consumer group called “Project to Empower and Organize the Psychiatrically Labeled (PEOPLe)” in New York State that is staffed by people diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities.

Virginia Tech Anguishes Over Missed Signals

(Published: Apr 21, 2007 03:09 PM)

Virginia Tech Tragedy

(Published: Apr 20, 2007 02:43 PM)
News, information and analysis about mental health issues emerging from the 2007 catastrophic murders at Virginia Tech.

Officials Knew Troubled State of Killer in ’05

(Published: Apr 19, 2007 06:22 PM)
The NY Times discloses that Cho Seung-Hui had been evaluated inside of a psychiatric facility.

Virginia Tech Massacre shooter may have been on psychiatric drugs

(Published: Apr 17, 2007 05:47 PM)
While all the information is not in, the Associated Press reports there are indications that Cho Seung-Hui may have been on prescribed antidepressant psychiatric drug.

Texas investigates psychiatric drugging of youth in foster care

(Published: Apr 04, 2007 03:49 PM)
Alliance for Human Research Protection reports about a Texas Foster Care Investigation issued in 2004 by Texas comptroller, Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Children as young as three are drugged with neuroleptics.

British Psychiatrist Slams TeenScreen

(Published: Mar 08, 2007 10:58 PM)
Here are excerpts from a video BBC Interview of Joanna Moncrieff, MD, of University College London (January 4, 2007). The idea behind TeenScreen, according to its backers, is to identify any teenager in the United States who might be suicidal or have symptoms of a psychiatric problem, so that the children might be referred to mental health services. With 460 active screening sites in 42 states, the program has encountered objections, with complaints from parents, school officials and some medical professionals regarding allegations including the risk of stigmatization, the potential for serious drug side effects, and corruption due to Big Pharma profiteering.

Mad Student Society

(Published: Feb 07, 2007 05:55 PM)
From their web site: “… an inter-university group organized for and run by students who have experienced the psychiatric system (known as psychiatric survivors and/or consumers). Mad Students Society works to create a community to empower, support and mobilize …” Mainly in Toronto, but interested in wider networking.

Brief Report: Use of Psychotropic Medications by Youths in Therapeutic Foster Care and Group Homes

(Published: Jan 08, 2007 01:03 PM)
Youth in foster and group homes are often given psychiatric drugs, including “polypharmacy” — a chemical cocktail of multiple psychiatric drugs — according to this study published by the American Psychiatric Association.

NY State pushes psychiatric drugs on kids

(Published: Dec 07, 2006 09:53 AM)
The State of New York Office of Mental Health has distributed a pamphlet that claims that prescribing Haldol to a three year old is okay. Haldol is one of the super-powerful psychiatric drugs known as a neuroleptic or “anti-psychotic.” This four-page pdf is rather large (2.3 megs), but offers proof that a government-funded agency would give an official public endorsement to this abuse. MindFreedom members have campaigned OMH to stop using this pamphlet. It looks like the PDF is suddenly not available via the OMH web site any more, but it is still on our web site here for download. The text is still on the OMH web site as of 19 June 2007 at (If you download the PDF, note that OMH intends this PDF to be copied back-to-back and folded for distribution, so the page order on your computer screen is not consecutive.)

The NY Times exposes multiple psychiatric drugging of kids.

(Published: Nov 23, 2006 03:25 PM)
On 23 November 2006 The New York Times ran a major article questioning the way young people in the USA are frequently prescribed a “chemical cocktail” of prescribed psychiatric drugs.

Proof is Scant on Psychiatric Drug Mix for Young

(Published: Nov 23, 2006 03:22 PM)
The New York Times reveals the frequent and controversial practice of prescribing multiple psychiatric drugs for young people in the USA, a practice sometimes known as “chemical cocktails” or “polypharmacy.”

NY Times on “chemical cocktails” for kids

(Published: Nov 23, 2006 03:16 PM)
The NY Times ran an article on 23 November 2006 about the way USA children are frequently put on a large combination of psychiatric drugs, which of course have never been tested.

A Rush to Medicate Young Minds

(Published: Nov 13, 2006 01:51 AM)
A psychiatrist and author questions the massive increase in psychiatric drugging of young people in this guest column in the influential Washington Post.