FDA Stamp of Approval: Prozac for Kids

by | Mar 26, 2003

The FDA has okayed Prozac for kids 8-years-old and up. While some physicians have prescribed to kids for years, this puts the stamp of approval on a practice that is still highly controversial due to a lack of studies. The drug’s maker, Eli Lilly, has agreed to do more research in this area. This gives […]

The FDA has okayed Prozac for kids 8-years-old and up. While some physicians have prescribed to kids for years, this puts the stamp of approval on a practice that is still highly controversial due to a lack of studies. The drug’s maker, Eli Lilly, has agreed to do more research in this area.

This gives whole new meaning to the concept of “government-business partnership,” doesn’t it?

In light of this rather appalling (but not surprising) news, I recommend the following for parents before rushing to put your children on Prozac–and before rushing to assume that “because the FDA thinks it’s OK, it must be OK:”

Make sure your child can think. In order to make sure your child can think, only let him watch television selectively. Not only will the content of what he puts into his mind improve (assuming you and he select wisely), but it will also teach him that he should consciously decide what he views rather than just “default” to what happens to be served up to him by broadcasters. Have discussions with your child, in age-appropriate ways, about what makes sense to watch, not to watch, and why. The final decision will be yours. This is not dictatorial, so long as a reasoning process usually precedes it. When your child grows up and has his own TV, then he can decide on his own what he wishes to put into his mind. With your rational guidance now, those adult decisions down the road will likely be better ones.

Make sure your child reads. Again, screen what your child reads and examine (together) pro’s and con’s of reading different books. If you’re not sure you approve of a book he wants to read, then let him read it–but insist on having a discussion about it afterwards, as to why he liked/disliked it.

Encourage your child to express emotions at family meetings or other private times–when in the car, right before bed, and so forth. Use these opportunities to be supportive but also to show him how to apply reason, objectivity and logic to what he feels and not merely feel things blindly.

Help him find solutions. Help him answer the questions: What makes sense to feel in this situation? What makes sense to do? This applies to both boys and girls, by the way. During the 1990’s some idiotic nonsense was being spread via the Mars/Venus crowd that women, by nature, only want to vent feelings and men, by nature, only want to find solutions to problems. Both venting and solutions are objectively important for both boys and girls. Solutions are ultimately more important, because solutions (not merely talking about feelings) are what make the world go around. This should be communicated to kids from the earliest age, less in the form of lectures than in the form of consistent practice and effective communication.

You notice something here? Everything I recommend implies a responsibility on the part of parents to spend time with their kids–not just tossing a ball around, but serious time in the development of the child’s mind and psyche.

Don’t like it? Tough. Kids need these things whether you knew it or not when you had them.

What I recommend won’t work nearly as well with an older child enmeshed in bad habits as it will with a young child starting fresh. That’s too bad, but it’s not the failure of the techniques which is responsible for this. Instill as many good habits and ways of thinking as you can and just ignore the ferocious reaction you receive at first from a child who has developed bad mental and intellectual habits. You’re not only fighting old, bad habits; you’re fighting a whole culture (none the least of which, an FDA) piling misinformation on us every day. Not to mention a public school system which largely encourages intellectual sloppiness (or worse).

With an even 10 percent increase on the part of parents doing the actions I recommend, the FDA wouldn’t have to spend our tax money telling parents it’s OK to dope your kids with Prozac so as to avoid what most often are the real issues in child mental health. Parents out there: rise to the challenge. Don’t leave your children and everyone’s future at the mercy of the FDA/Eli Lilly government-business partnership. You deserve better than that.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

Have a comment?

Post your response in our Capitalism Community on X.

Related articles

Are the Democrats betraying Israel?

Are the Democrats betraying Israel?

Both Biden and his predecessor, President Barack Obama, promised that they had Israel’s back, but it now appears that they are painting a target on its back at a time of its greatest vulnerability.

Memorial Day: What We Owe Our Soldiers

Memorial Day: What We Owe Our Soldiers

To send soldiers into war without a clear self-defense purpose, and without providing them every possible protection, is a betrayal of their valor and a violation of their rights.

No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.

Pin It on Pinterest