The Decision to Medicate

‘Straight Talk About Psychiatric Medications For Kids’

Making sense of psychiatric medications.

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by Timothy E. Wilens, M.D.
Guilford Press, $17.95
Purchase Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids

When a child is diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, parents naturally have many questions. Straight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for Kids, by Timothy E. Wilens, M.D., a leading child psychiatrist, does an excellent job of answering these questions. It demystifies the complex process by which doctors diagnose and treat ADHD and other common psychiatric and behavioral disorders of childhood, including anxiety, depression, and autism. Wilens, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, devotes an entire chapter to ADHD, and another whole chapter to the drugs used to treat it.

This revised edition of Wilens’s book brings parents up-to-date on advances in treatment, including the new long-acting medications. Writing in a question-and-answer format, Wilens explains when to seek help, how to pick a mental health professional, how to work with school authorities to provide the best care, and how to answer a child’s questions about his condition. Medical terms are well-defined, and tables show which medications are commonly used to treat the various disorders.

Wilens addresses the tough questions about potential dangers of psychiatric drugs, as well as concerns about their overuse. He explains how parents can determine whether a particular drug is working and how to monitor its side effects. A special section on hospitalization of mentally ill children is particularly reassuring.

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