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Topic : 09/28 Overmedicating America: The Cruise Controversy

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Created on : Friday, September 23, 2005, 04:45:47 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

When Tom Cruise gave his opinion about the drugging of America, he created a firestorm of controversy. Are we an overmedicated nation? Dave and Jill feel as if their 7-year-old son is holding them hostage in their own home. He's on three medications, but his uncontrollable fits of rage are destroying their marriage. Is this a real medical issue or a parenting problem? Then, two women with powerful personal stories debate the "Cruise controversy." They both think their opinion is right, but what does Dr. Phil think? Plus, an outraged father confronts his ex-wife and demands that she stop medicating their 9-year-old son. Talk about the show here.


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September 27, 2005, 6:20 pm CDT

overmedicating there is some trth

I don't necessarily agree with Tom Cruise, but I do think that as Americans we are so over medicated!!  I do think a lot of the answer is in what we eat and exercise.  I am also a firm believer in alternative medication.  The  dr. has me on 3 anti depressants a day and wanted to add another one.  I said no and came off the medication and went the natural route.  I am soo much better due to this!!
September 27, 2005, 6:43 pm CDT


Quote From: djarrard

I don't necessarily agree with Tom Cruise, but I do think that as Americans we are so over medicated!!  I do think a lot of the answer is in what we eat and exercise.  I am also a firm believer in alternative medication.  The  dr. has me on 3 anti depressants a day and wanted to add another one.  I said no and came off the medication and went the natural route.  I am soo much better due to this!!

What do you take now that you do not take anti-d's? 

Just wondering. I am back on my celexa and would like to hear more about what you use. I also think exercise and diet are keys to being healthy mentally and physically. Exercise releases endorphines which is a natural chemical in our bodies. I think it aids in anti-depression. This is not anything I have researched just my own opinion, I may be wrong. I don't really know. But would like to hear what natural remedies you use for depression 

September 27, 2005, 9:28 pm CDT

09/28 Overmedicating America: The Cruise Controversy

Quote From: tammyo1973

Excuse me when you say kids fight thats normal??  Is it normal for a 14 year old TEENAGER to choke a 3 YEAR OLD toddler?? 

I do not think so. 


My daughter is not just your average "hormonal teen" so before you go telling me that I should not have her on meds you should live my life. 

Is it normal for teenagers to cut themselves 40 times? Is it normal for 12-14 year old sto attempt suicide? Is it normal for a 14 year old to see a little boy and a little girl calling her name? Is it normal for a 14 year old to feel "someone" tapping her on the back while she is trying to sleep?

I know ALL the risks to medications and my daughter is now NOT attempting suicide. 

She was attempting suicide and self mutilating BEFORE she was put on meds. 

Believe me when I tell you meds was my last resort. Not everyone needs them but not everyone can function without them. 


Medication is not the answer. Course its not normal. But you know if you train up a child right you do not have these problems. What do most children watch and play now a days? How much time do parents spend with their kids? And has anyone ever heard of PRAYER?? Guess what, IT WORKS!! 

September 28, 2005, 12:55 am CDT

Medication can help and hurt

I have very mixed feelings on this, but I do think Tom Cruise is full of crap.  He says he knows psychiatry, he doesn't know anything.  At one point in my life I was so depressed that I couldn't do anything, not even leave my own house.  I couldn't work to support myself, getting out of bed just seemed impossible most days, both pysically and mentally.  At the time I never sought help and feel like I am lucky to have come out of it, unfortunately it took about 6 years.  After my daughter was born I loved her so much.  I never wanted to hurt her, but I was just so extremely sad, it was the worst way to feel, I was so sad I would feel physically ill.  I never sought help because of the stigma attached, and attitudes like those that Tom Cruise is putting out don't help to get rid of that stigma.  I am a military spouse, and after a move far away from my family, I once again became depressed.  I couldn't just snap out of it, I was angry and sad all the time.  This time I got help, my Dr. gave me Prozac, but I was so scared of side effects I never took it.  When my Dr. found out he said that Celexa has less side effects.  I started taking that and it helped tremedously.  It allowed me to function again.  I went from sitting around at home all day to becoming an active member of our community.  Eventually I was able to gradually wean off of the Celexa, but if I ever needed to again, I wouldn't hesitate to take it. 


On the opposite side of the coin, I do feel as if children are being over-medicated.  Parents are so quick to just allow their kids to be put on Ritalin or Adderall.  My friend's son was diagnosed ADHD.  The medication made a big difference in him, but at the same time it was heartbreaking to see the side effects.  There were days he couldn't eat because of nauseousness, some days he would be so sluggish, and one time he fell asleep at my house and just couldn't wake up, he wasn't in any danger, he was just so exhausted.  But on days that he didn't take the medicine, nobody could stand to be around him.  One time I had him in my car on a day he was without medication.  He kept taking off his seat belt, kicking the seat of the car, yelling, throwing things.  I had to pull over off the side of the road.  We ended up getting hit by a careless driver, luckily nobody was hurt.  After the police arrived this little boy just started getting on their car and eventually took off running and wouldn't come back.  So I know the medicine worked for him, I just wish there was a way that he could have the medicine he needs without the side-effects.  And even though the medicine does work for him, I feel as if tons of kids who don't really have ADHD are on the meds.   


Oh, and by the way, one of the first tests you should have if you are feeling depressed is a Thyroid test.  Underactive thyroid can cause depression-like symptoms.  I guess Tom Cruise would say taking thyroid medication is bad too though. 

September 28, 2005, 6:08 am CDT

common misconception with bipolar children

Quote From: stocksun

Medication is not the answer. Course its not normal. But you know if you train up a child right you do not have these problems. What do most children watch and play now a days? How much time do parents spend with their kids? And has anyone ever heard of PRAYER?? Guess what, IT WORKS!! 

THis is a common misconception. 

Usually people who are on the outside looking inside have no idea what a child with bipolar goes through. You have to fully understand this disorder to understand that it HAS nothing to do with how I am raising my children. 

I have 2 children... one with bipolar and one without. They are raised with the same techniques. They are both disiplined for misbehaviors and rewarded for good behaviors. Both do not spend a whole lot of time in front of the tv.. actually my bipolar child watches tv maybe an hour a day and that is when she is in bed trying to fall asleep because she is afraid of the liitle boy and little girl she sees at night.  

I am Methodist and both my children are methodist. We do pray. Prayer will not cure a mental illness. 

Medication is not the ONLY answer. She has to take medications in combonation with CBT therapy weekly.  

Please do not tell me that you know the answer to my daughters mental illness is for me to "train her right" and pray. 

Walk in my shoes for a minute and maybe you will understand this is REAL! 

September 28, 2005, 6:12 am CDT

Sounds kind of like Mine

This little boy sounds like of like y 9yo.... We have never agreed with the medications that the doctors wanted to put him on.  we have since found a really good doctor.  Who had us remove Reddye 40 from his diet and lactose and there is a definate difference in my 9 yo.. the only medication he is on now is an alergy medicine.
September 28, 2005, 6:30 am CDT

Parenting vs Drugs

I have to admit I was a big fan of Tom Cruise-not now.  He was very rude. intrusive and ignorant on the comments he made.  Yes, I think in some cases-people are too lazy to stand up and be parents.They use drugs to help calm their children and make them easier to manage.  However, for the majority, drugs are necessary for many children.  Neither one of my children are taking any prescription drugs.  However, I have had experience with Ritalin.  I am here to stand up for those parents who are really struggling and being "great" parents, yet their children are uncontrollable.  It is very frustrating for these parents.  I challenge everyone who agrees with Tom Cruise to come up with a drug free solution and put it to the test-not the parents- but you. I will change my opinion on medicating our children, if it can be proven over and over again. These children need help to be able to function in day to day life.   

I think we as a society, we should support these parents and their children.   

September 28, 2005, 6:33 am CDT

Agree with Dr. Phil

Maybe this has already been said, but it won't hurt to say again...   My (unprofessional) thought is...   too many people are being medicated these days.  I find it hard to believe that EVERYONE on medication has been properly DX.  I do believe there are REAL issues that need medicines, so I'm not saying "don't take medicines ever".  I have seen stronger discipline with rules and guidelines work for what a school would have deemed ADHD.  A school can't DX!   I have seen a strong autistic child NOT on medicine and have good and bad days.  It is a lot of work for the parents and child as a team to choose NOT to medicate.  I believe with a doctor (you trust), all the right tests, doing some of your OWN homework to see the pros and cons and not coming into the office with a plan of your own...   the best decision will come about.

Now, when Dr. Phil said there were definitive tests that could be done to determine ADD/ADHD, I didn't know that.  I just wonder how many children on medicine have had these tests done...  my guess is they are very expensive and they may be working with symptoms instead of Diagnostic tests.  I would be curious to see the statistics of children with ADD/ADHD.  Another curiousity is how much pressure are parents under with other parents, schools, and family and does that influence these numbers?   I bet some schools are swamped with medicines!

I don't know anything about depression or mental issues and I would think that with all that is out there about medicines that anyone on them would be doing their homework and getting 2nd opinions to be sure the choice is the best for you.

In regards to Tom Cruise...  *rolls eyes*...  after hearing Brooke Shields and many others, not Hollywood related, talk about Baby Blues and the severity...  between the mom and dr. these issues need to be out there and discussed so they are dealt with before it comes to the unthinkable extreme.  If medicine will stop that from happening...  then take medicine!  Tom has no idea the impact of pregnancy on a body to include mentally and physically...  there's a lot of chemical changes happening all at once... he should concentrate on his relationships and maybe ONE of them will work!  Who is he trying to convince that he is in absolute LOVE...  us or himself?
September 28, 2005, 6:59 am CDT

we are overmedicated

I think that we turn to medication to soon when it comes to children. When they are overly hyper we put them on meds before we even try to get them in something to keep them active and out of the home for a couple hours a day. There's so many other options than to put kids on meds right away. 

For older people I think that the doctors over prescribe them medicine, because they could be taking 6-7 or more pills a day and no wonder why they are not active and they only seat at home or in a nursing home room, because they don't feel well because of all the drugs in them. 

I was on 7 different medicine and some of the meds I wasn't quit sure what they were for, and I felt like crap throwing up and having headaches, so I stopped taking all of them and I felt 100 percent better.  The meds are to help you get better, they only make you worse when your on so many.  Some of the prescriptions are for the same thing. They just want your money for buying the prescriptions they give you, and than for you to come back because your still not feeling well. I think their should be a limit of how much a doctor could prescribe you.  

I don't know maybe I am wrong on my opinion, but who knows who is right because everyone sees things in their on way. 

September 28, 2005, 7:02 am CDT

Just my story...

I am not an expert in pharmacology or psychiatry. Neither is Tom Cruise. I will admit I got angry when I heard him bashing Brooke Shields for taking medication due to her post-partum depression since he had no idea how it can turn your life upside down. To accuse of her of somehow being "weak" was really incredibly tasteless.



 I suffer from chronic depression, which was diagnosed in my mid 20s. I'd suffered from it all of my life, never knowing what to do about it. I did go through some therapy that helped some but the clouds never truly did lift. When I hit 25, I found myself crying in traffic for no reason. I felt drained of energy, wondering why I was so miserable. For those of you who have been down this road, you know exactly what I am talking about. No amount of exercise or vitamins helped. Believe me, I tried. 



For me, Prozac saved my life. For the first time in a long time, I felt as if I could handle life without crying all the time. It was like being set free. I stayed on it for three years before, with my doctor's consent, weaning myself off of it over a period of weeks. I went back into therapy. Then my depression returned three years later with a vengeance. I went back on Prozac for another two years, then weaned myself off of it again in 2003. I've been doing pretty well since then, with occasional bouts that don't stay for long.


My point is that while medication is definitely not for everyone, and I do believe many children are on meds they do not need, there are times in our lives when medication is the difference between one's ability to function and wanting to die. For those who have not been down this road, they have no right to stand in judgment and accuse others of being weak when they cannot evem begin to comprehend what it can do to you. A person should not be made to feel ashamed for seeking help.

















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