I was once asked how I could believe children were over diagnosed while having a correct childhood diagnostic. I don’t think it’s as much of an oxymoron as people think.
There are a lot of things children can be diagnosed with, but some are more common than others. Bipolar is pretty rare in a child and it’s what I got diagnosed with. I had clear symptoms, and here’s the kicker they weren’t just symptoms inconvenient to our societies adults. I say that because when faced with heavy numbered diagnoses you see that a lot of it is triggered by inconvenient. It’s why so many young boys are labeled with ADHD, then a shocking number of them stop needing treatment as they get older. Is it because they outgrew it or is it because little boys have problems sitting through hours of school with ever shortening physical play? We’re the ones that are shortening outside times and pushing non-active electives instead of more physical ones (like shop which is hardly found anymore).
I think we really need to look at children’s mental health in different circumstances. Would they be mentally “ill” if they were placed in a different environment? If the answer is no or even maybe not then you might want to take a deeper look at whether you should be medicating this child. You might need to explore if you can change their environment or counteract it (like with heavy sports after school).
I also firmly believe whether or not your child needs treatment or not you should be searching for a doctor that wants them on as little medication as possible. I’m bipolar, and it showed up in every environment and situation, it was effecting me as much and more than the adults in my life. I still have a doctor who wants me stabilized on as few medications as possible. If you need them, you need them. I am very pro medication, but I’m also highly suspicious of people who try to out medicate bad coping mechanisms. Kids are often over medicated because medication makes them “calm” but kids are supposed to be wild to a certain degree, trying to get it of that is a form of cruelty in my opinion.
You can believe some children suffer with these disorders and need treatment while believing that we are over medicating our youth. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.