There were two interesting editorials in the September 2015 issue of JAMA Psychiatry, a journal that used to be called the Archives of General Psychiatry and which is published by the American Medical Association. On the surface, the articles seem to address completely unrelated subjects, but on closer inspection, they both involve a common theme.
These drugs are effective for aggressive behavior - but not because they are specific for that problem, but because they are sedating and at times mind-numbing - as a side effect. Heroin would probably work just as well! After longer term use, however, the sedation side effect diminishes, so the drugs don't seem to work as well any more, which is when second and even third drugs are added.
Even less surprising, "a subthreshold or threshold mental disorder at some time from late childhood through adolescence predicts lower levels of adaptive functioning." So poorly functioning children become poorly functioning adults. I wonder why?
While there is some truth to the possibilities, which are not mutually exclusive by any means, it is simply amazing to me how the editorial author studiously avoids any clear-cut mention of ongoing family dysfunction as the culprit.
Before I quote what they listed as the three reasons, what is the connection I am implying to the issue of antipsychotic use in kids? It is this: instead of recommending family therapy, the doctors are just drugging the kids who act out in response to these problems.
Anyway, here are the reasons as they described: