A Project of the Empathic Therapy Center is an online library and newspaper project of the 501c3 nonprofit Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education & Living, founded by Peter R. Breggin, MD and Ginger Breggin, working toward replacing the biological theories, diagnoses and treatments of "modern" psychiatry with better therapeutic and educational approaches

Peter R. Breggin, MD Websites

Children & Psychiatry

Children are exposed now to a wide range of psychiatric diagnoses and psychiatric drugs.  This practice has become an epidemic since the late 1980s when children were identified as another market for psychiatric drugs.


ADHD Issues for Children


"Popping Pills: No Solution for Bad Schools" By Allen Frances, MD, October 25, 2012, Psychiatric Times

"What used to be a $70 million per year market in stimulant drugs has rapidly ballooned to $7 billion per year under the pressure of aggressive and misleading drug company marketing to doctors, parents, teachers, and patients."


Read Dr. Breggin's response here about the latest rush to diagnose and drug children as young as 4 years old with ADHD.


"A Misdiagnosis Anywhere" by Peter R Breggin MD New York Times October 13, 2011 


A Delicate Brain: Ethical and Practical Considerations for the Use of Medications in Very Young Children By Stacy S. Drury, MD, PhD and Mary Margaret Gleason, MD, Psychiatric Times, February 28, 2012 " Despite this significant evidence for the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic interventions since the 1990s, studies have documented increasing rates of psychopharmacological prescriptions for children
younger than 6 years, which has stirred impassioned responses...."


Parents Forced by Authorities to Give Psychiatric Drugs to Their Children

Injustices continue for Maryanne Godboldo and her child in Detroit, July 2012-- State and County pursue prosecution despite early Court decisions in favor of Maryanne Godboldo's decision to protect her child from dangerous antipsychotic drugs prescribed by a 'drug research facility.'  Court justices to decide in August 2012 after hearing arguments in July.

See the ABC News Foster Children & Psychiatric Drug Series below, also.


Despite Stephen Colbert’s ‘Meducation’ endorsement – research shows that ADHD ‘smart drugs’ dumb down Aussie children

Click on the above to view Stephen Colbert’s hilarious and disturbing plan for American school children

On October 10 2012 American comedian Stephen Colbert coined the term “meducation” to describe the growing practice of drugging with ADHD amphetamines, American children with mediocre school grades, who do not have a diagnosis of ADHD.

The catalyst for the mock right wing political commentator’s endorsement of ADHD drugs as smart pills was a front page article in the New York Times in which peadiatrician Dr Michael Anderson advocated their widespreade use to compensate for America’s third rate public education system. Doctor Anderson said “we’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.” Unlike Colbert, Dr Anderson is not a comedian and tragically for the children of Ganton Georgia he gets to prescribe amphetamines to them.

In his comedic monologue Colbert argues the child drugging program should be extended beyond amphetamines. “Folks, I believe this is a great fiscally responsible answer, but we can do more.  I mean, we might be cutting arts programs, but one tab of acid, and your kid will be seeing colors you can’t find in a Crayola box.” Colbert’s mock rant concludes with a serious warning; “Now, of course, eventually it may turn out that drugging poor students creates more problems than it solves.  In which case, we’ll have to stop trying to change our children, and think about changing ourselves.”

Despite Dr Anderson’s claims and Colbert’s mock endorsement ADHD, amphetamines are anything but ‘smart drugs’. Unique long term (8 year) Australian research shows that children diagnosed ADHD and ‘ever medicated’ with amphetamines were a staggering 950% more likely to be rated by their teacher as “performing below age-level” than children diagnosed with ADHD and ‘never medicated’. (see One year on from the Raine Study ADHD Medication Review – Will the analysis of this unique long term data source continue and if so can we trust those doing the analysis?)

The message is pretty clear – if you want to dumb down - drug up!

Martin Whitely MLA


Bipolar Disorder Diagnoses and Children

Child mental disorders: New diagnosis or another dilemma? by Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times October 10, 2011

Los Angeles Times -- Psychiatrists sharpened their interest in child mood problems several years ago in response to criticism over the number of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder — a debilitating condition in which periods of depression alternate with euphoria or elevated moods. It is considered incurable, although symptoms may be treated with drugs that carry serious side effects.

The idea that bipolar illness can begin in childhood caught hold in the last decade. The number of outpatient visits for children diagnosed with bipolar disorder mushroomed from fewer than 200,000 a year in 1995 to 800,000 in 2003, according to a 2007 study in Archives of General Psychiatry.

The study reinforced the notion that childhood bipolar disorder had become a fad diagnosis.
Read the complete story here.


More Children Being Treated for Bipolar Disorder, By Benedict Carey, September 3, 2007

The number of American children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder increased 40-fold from 1994 to 2003, researchers are to report on Tuesday, in the most comprehensive study to look at the controversial diagnosis. And experts say the numbers have almost certainly risen further in the years since.  Most experts believe the jump reflects the fact that doctors are more aggressively applying the diagnosis to children, not that the number of new cases has gone up. But the magnitude of the increase is surprising to many experts, who say it is likely to intensify a debate over the validity of the diagnosis that has shaken the field of child psychiatry in recent years. Read more here.


National Trends in the Outpatient Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in Youth, Carmen Mareno, MD et al Archives of General Psychiatry, September 2007.


Drugs Used for Foster Children: 20/20, ABC News and The New York Times expose abusive practices.

"Foster children are being prescribed cocktails of powerful antipsychosis drugs just as frequently as some of the most mentally disabled youngsters"


Drugs Used for Psychotics Go to Youths in Foster Care By BENEDICT CAREY, New York Times November 21, 2011

Antipsychotic Treatment Among Youth in Foster Care, Susan dosReis, et al, Pediatrics November 21, 2011


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ABC News 20/20 Part I of Series on Foster Kids Prescribed Psychotropic Drugs--Hard-hitting Investigation!  12/02/2011


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ABC News 20/20 Part II: Foster Kids and Meds: Finding Solutions  12/02/2011

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Confronting Doctors Part 3: Sharyn Alfonsi confronts physicians about risky prescriptions. 12/02/2011


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Foster Children: Reason to Hope, Part 4: At Maryhurst treatment center, children are provided therapy. 12/02/2011


Child Mental Disorders--Fad Diagnosis?



"A Misdiagnosis Anywhere" by Peter R Breggin MD New York Times October 13, 2011


The Scapegoating of American Children, Peter R. Breggin, MD, The Wall Street Journal, pg A-30 November 7, 1989


"Psychiatric adverse drug reactions reported during a 10-year period in the Swedish pediatric population" by Maria Bygdell et al, Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety January 2012
Conclusions: Psychiatric ADRs in the pediatric population have been reported for a wide range of reactions and drugs and display age and sex differences including a higher number of suicidal reactions in boys.An association was seen between serious reactions and off-label drug use.


"Canadian children drugged in record numbers; Atypical antipsychotics lead to complications" The Vancouver Sun, November 14, 2011.  "So many Canadian children are taking the drugs known as atypical antipsychotics that doctors are being asked to watch for major complications - including dramatic weight gain, tremors, and abnormal face and jaw movements.  Once reserved for schizophrenia and mania in adults, one antipsychotic alone, risperidone, was recommended by Canadian-offIce-based doctors for children 17 and younger a total of 340,670 times in 2010 - a near-doubling since 2006"