Are children with Bipolar the victims of a huge profit-making scheme? Is it possible that the uptick in childhood bipolar diagnosis is related to the huge profits experienced by drug companies and psychiatrists promoting these drugs? There are prominent child psychiatrists who openly admit they have no way of knowing the long-term effects of powerful antipsychotic drugs on children. An entire cottage industry has sprung up around this dubious diagnosis based on a brain scan. Where can concerned parents turn for alternative treatment for children with bipolar disorder?

Researchers who heavily recommend psychiatric drugs receive enormous amounts of money from big pharmaceutical companies. Since most drugs are tested solely on adults, there are still very few studies on childhood medication of any kind. In 1997 President Clinton offered lucrative patent extensions as an incentive for Pharmaceutical companies to study children. When doing pediatric studies, the companies get six additional months of exclusivity on their drugs. This adds up to a huge additional profit for the drug companies.  With the newfound popularity of diagnosing children with bipolar disease, one can imagine the pharmaceutical companies anticipating windfall gains.

Ironically, very few of those studies showed antidepressants to be any more effective than placebos are in children. And many children had serious reactions to the drugs being tested on them.

But do psychiatrists and Pharmaceutical companies actually test their powerful antipsychotic drugs on helpless children? In 2005 Massachusetts General Hospital’s 8-week trial used 4 and 6 year old children to test Quetiapine, a powerful antipsychotic. Per their own admission, it was an exploratory study to determine if youngsters whom they had diagnosed with bipolar disease would tolerate this drugging.

Some of the life threatening side effects of this drug (just imagine their possibility in a tiny child) are seizures; neuroleptic malignant syndrome (may present with muscular cramps, fever, unstable blood pressure, delirium and coma); tachycardia (heart beating too fast or too slow); repetitive, involuntary muscular movements; anxiety; back pain; fever; ear pain, as well as many other side effects.

And what about the reliability of brain scans to determine if a child is truly bipolar?  Contrary to claims made by psychiatry and some of its top researchers, these scans prove nothing of the kind. No definitive differences have been found between “normal” brains and those with a supposed mental illness, including bipolar.

Psychiatrist Patric Darby does not agree with his peers’ recommendation of drugging manic-depressives. He goes so far as to call it “dreadful.” According to Dr. Darby, we may be losing a lot of great minds when we do this. To back this up, he points to the exceptional intellectuals throughout history who fit the bipolar mold.

What does he recommend as an alternative? A sugar free diet for starters. Dr. Darby states it can take up to 2 years for the average family to make this adjustment. But if your child’s happiness and sanity are at stake, getting rid of the store-bought goodies may be a small price to pay.

Even some psychiatric journals have been reporting on the effectiveness of EFAs (essential fatty acids) on depressed and bipolar patients. EFAs can be found in cold water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut and trout. EFAs are also in dark leafy greens, flaxseed and flaxseed oil.

Are there other nutritional ways to handle mental problems? Some studies have proven that B12 injections actually reverse mania. Even good old Vitamin C improves the condition of manic depression patients, according to Dr. Darby.

The dependency on psychiatric evaluation of our children’s behavior may finally be swinging the opposite direction. Parents may be able to find hope for their children with bipolar disorder without putting them on dangerous and often deadly psychiatric medication. If you believe you have a child with bipolar, trust your own judgment and do your own research. After all, this is your child, and some effects of the recommended drugs can be irreversible.