Book Review: Straight Talk About Psychiatric Medicines for Kids

If your child is having symptoms of sadness or anxiety or possible ADHD or other psychiatric symptoms, you’ll wonder if your child would benefit from psychiatric medicine.

But, how do you know that the medicine might help and how do you know it’s safe.

The very best book that can help parents decide about psychiatric medicine for their child is the book “Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids”, third edition by Timothy Wilens, M.D., 2009.

There are two types of treatment for childhood mental disorders: medicines and psychotherapy. Different medical disorders benefit from different types of medicine and different types of psychotherapy.

Psychotherapies simply means talk therapy, but just as there are many different types of medicines there are many different types of talk therapy.

Often one type of mental health problem will respond better to treatment with medicines or with psychotherapy (talk therapy). In a number of mental health problems in children the most effective treatment is a combination of medicine and psychotherapy.

But how do you decide if your child would benefit from medicine, psychotherapy, both, or neither? The book will help you decide.

Problems in which medicines are often recommended include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mood disorders (for example, depression), and severe anxiety.

Treating childhood mental problems early can help prevent serious problems later in life. That’s because childhood mental problems can prevent the child from learning and developing normally.

Every day a child needs to learn new skills and techniques. A severe mental illness can prevent the child from learning  academic skills in school, from learning social skills
needed to make friends and get along with other children, and can cause significant damage
to the family’s relationships with each other.

The book dispels the old myths that children’s behavior and mental problems are due to bad parenting. Sometimes parenting styles do contribute to the child’s problem but often ineffective parenting styles are a result of the child’s mental problem not the cause. The book will help you understand that most of the time it’s no one’s fault, not the child and not the parents. Just like it’s no one’s fault but when your child gets an ear infection.

The book also addresses the most critical questions that parents have: The first, are the medicines safe and second. are they effective, do they work?

And most important, with this book, you will be in a position to evaluate your doctors recommendations. And you will be in a good position to determine if the medicine and or psychotherapy is helping your child.

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