July 11, 2010

Swapping Desk Chairs for Treadmills

I’m glad I haven’t figured out how to use the camera feature on this computer, because, boy, you wouldn’t want to see me. I still haven’t showered today. But I have a good reason. more >

April 9, 2010

Taking Issue with Judith Warner’s WE’VE GOT ISSUES

I was predisposed to like Judith Warner’s new book, We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication (New York: Riverhead Books, 2010). I read it and had a visceral, negative reaction. I couldn’t put my finger on what bugged me. Two weeks passed, and I still couldn’t sort out my thoughts. I sat down with the book again yesterday, and now I can explain.

Like the more than 60 families Warner interviewed in We’ve Got Issues, my family has children who have needed medication.  I, like so many of these parents, have struggled to come to terms with the implications of medicating kids for diagnoses that 30 years ago would have gone unseen, let alone untreated. In fact, they did go unseen and undiagnosed in my extended family, and the attendant wreckage and dysfunction have been profound. My mantra concerning medicating children for mental illness has evolved to this: it is far scarier to contemplate what things will be like if the meds don’t work than if they do. Hence my predisposition to read Warner’s book with a favorable eye.more >