Counselor Warns Parents: 'Most Psychiatric Medications Have Never Been Tested in Children'

(Photo by Irina Murza on Unsplash)

Some medications prescribed to children with mental illness aren't even tested on children, says licensed mental health counselor Matthew Stanford. It's crucial that parents are informed about all of the nuances surrounding their child's unique situation so they aren't blindly following doctors' orders.

"Most psychiatric medications—the vast majority, probably 90% or more—have never been tested in children," Stanford says. "That doesn't mean they're not prescribed in children. They are, but they're prescribed off-label, which means that the physician is using their own judgment. They haven't necessarily been FDA-approved for that use in a person of that age.

"To begin with, the diagnosis of children is very difficult because some illnesses manifested in children look very similar to what it looks like in an adult. Other illnesses, when they manifest in children, they look completely different. ... So we have to be careful because you have to understand that children are not just little adults; their bodies work differently."

So, how can parents ensure they get the right treatment for their child? It's important to go to a child and adolescent psychiatrist or psychologist, rather than just any psychiatrist who mainly works with adults, Stanford says on the Charisma News podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. Further, it's vital that the parent asks questions, such as "What will you do if we don't see an effect?"

"If you don't see a change within a reasonable period of time, which would probably be more like two to three months ... then something has to change, you have to change medications," Stanford says. "You always want to take the lowest amount of medication that you can. [Also,] when a person receives therapy, talking therapy, in addition to medication, they will take less medication. So if you ever want to have a chance of getting off medication, you absolutely have to be involved in some kind of psychotherapy. ... Get your child into therapy, in addition to medication."

For more professional advice on how to get children the help they need for mental illness, click here for the entire episode.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective