Week 7/ Diagnosing Young Children

What effect might misdiagnosis’s have on children lives?

Without any test for mental health disorders, the gateway to a missed diagnosis is left to perception when the underlining problem isn’t found (CCHR, 2007).

When it comes to the effects of misdiagnoses, children with mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, manic depression, and schizophrenia disorders can have devastating consequences on their life.

When a child is miss diagnosed, he or she will probably be prescribed certain medications that may not solve or help the issues.

In addition to being wrongfully medicated, experts can also refer the child to therapies that he or she may not need, which can make matters worse.

Therefore, misdiagnoses can be like placing the wrong permanent labels on children that may bare devastating lifelong consequences.

Why should or should not we diagnose young children?

According to the American Psychology Association (n.d.), there are approximately 15 million children and adolescents in our nation currently diagnosed with a mental disorder.  Wow! That is a scary amount in my opinion.  Being diagnosed with a mental health disorder is a very sensitive matter because a child’s mental and physical health is at risk.  Not only is the child affected by many mental issues, so are the families.

Being properly diagnosed is important and should be done adequately and over a period. Especially before labeling a child with a mental disorder.  However, I do think that many mental disorders can be misconstrued with a little more than typical behaviors.

For instance, a 2-year-old can show more aggression than a “typical” toddler would and that raise concern for some parents.  Even though the child may just be acting out a little more.  Therefore, I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to should or should we not diagnose young children.

If the child is diagnosed with a mental disability, he or she deserves the best medical treatment to address the issue.  Just make sure to proceed with caution with any medications that have not yet been approved by the FDA.

What age is “too young” to diagnoses, or is there no age limit?

According to Briggs, (a Psychologist who works in a healthcare center based in the South Bronx) screaming babies as early as six months for any signs of mental issues is important.  Briggs agrees with many other experts that say waiting until Kindergarten is too late for diagnosing a child (Cardoza, 2016).  Which sounds too young in my opinion, although I’m not an expert.  Young children are still developing and trying to find themselves (in terms of behaviors), therefore, I do think many children are being diagnosed too young.  It seems to be an issue affecting their overall development.

What are the cons to giving diagnoses too young to children?

The cons to diagnosing too young are the classification that is put on the child.  Classifying a child with a mental disorder can make the child feel that he or she is broken, different, or not normal.  Which comes with its own set of problems.  To also allocating mental health drugs, that are meant for adults who suffer from mental health issues and not yet approved for a child’s consumption.  Which is scary and can also have negative consequences for children.  Children who have been diagnosed too young can isolate themselves and become depressed, worsening their condition.

What are the pros and cons of giving psychiatric medication with young children?

It is believed that mental illness medications are manufactured for adult patients and not yet approved by the FDA for a child’s consumption (Couric, 2007).  On the contrast, it seems that these medications can have devastating side effects, negatively impacting the child’s health.  Which can lead to other series of mental and health problems.  Misdiagnoses can also deter the patient from receiving the proper treatment for the behaviors and problems they are displaying.  In conclusion, receiving psychiatric medication can have devastating effects on children’s mental and health deuteration, or in some cases death.  Like we learned in the case of Rebecca Riley.

On a positive note, these medications also seem to be helping some patients that suffer from mental disorders.  These psychiatric medications can improve the children’s quality of life by treating the underlined problem(s) by improving their behavior.

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