Thursday, April 10, 2008

BIPOLAR IN KIDS

Another resource has been added to the resource list at the bottom of this blog. It is the web site for the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Their site www.ffcmh.org reminds us that “May is Mental Health Month. The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health again declares the first full week in May, May 4 - 10 as National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Chapters and State Organizations across the nation are meeting weekly to share ideas and resources for how to make Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2008 the most successful week ever!”
Children’s mental health is on my mind because the other night I watched PBS’ Frontline program “THE MEDICATED CHILD”. You can go to their site and watch the entire show and there are other resources.
Their site is www.pbs.org
Most of the program is a discussion about childhood bipolar disease. Does it exist? If so how do you treat it? Are kids over medicated? What are doctors to do? What are parents to do? The only question really not asked that should have been is what are kids to do?
Christmas 1963 my parents and I returned from the mission field in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and I was enrolled in Berea Foundation School, Berea, Kentucky which was a boarding high school run by Berea College. One of my sisters was attending Berea College and the other was married to a minister of a church about 65 miles away. One day I stole a car (I was not old enough to have a driver’s license but had learned to drive in Africa) and ended up at my sister’s home who was married to the minister. Needless to say she was surprised. I spent a year going to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for both group and individual therapy before going back to the mission field with my parents in 1965. I did not know at the time what was wrong, but now I know I was in mania when I stole the car.
I tell this very personal story simply to say I may not be smart enough to tell you what medications (at that time I was not given any) children should be given or what age, but I believe from my own experiences that bipolar disorder can begin at a very early age. The episode at Berea was not my first and of course it was not my last.
My prayer is that someday we will care enough about children that we will take seriously the task of protecting them from abuse which I wrote about in my last blog and care enough about their mental health that we will invest the dollars needed to discover the truth and stop guessing and using them as guinea pigs.
You can reach me directly at edcooper@projectdreamagain.com
{Being on this resource list does not imply their endorsement of this BLOG.}
www.mentalhealthministries.net
www.pathways2promise.org
www.mentalhealthchaplain.org
www.annafoundation.org
www.ncmentalhope.org
www.faithnet.nami.org
www.ffcmh.org

No comments:

Post a Comment