Oh ... Really?

NAMI Blasts CBS for Television Malpractice

More CBS naughtiness ... although I don't believe that this issue will get quite the bloggage that Rathergate generated. Afterall, it's just "crazy kids" and their irresponsible parents, right? Heh ...

All sarcasm aside, this issue is a major obstacle to ensuring that children receive complete and adequate mental health care. The knee-jerk reaction of the medical community, when a kid's behavior is outside the "norm" is to automatically blame the parents. We overindulge them at the same time we don't give them enough attention ... we are too demanding of them while we don't discipline them correctly. As if a good butt whipping and a trip to go fishing will cure bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia!

I have been on the receiving end of this kind of "medical advice" - my son just needed a good father-figure ... I can't argue with that, considering how his own father failed him, but having a strong male role model doesn't cure bipolar. He needed a stronger hand in discipline ... right, like a severe beating with a garden hose, like his father gave him? That's a big part of how he got to be so sick in the first damn place. Arrrggghhh! This kind of shit did nothing but piss me off, make me question my ability to take care of my son and did NOTHING to really help him! Friggin' idiots!

And now CBS, via "Dr" Phil, is disseminating the same bullshit:


NAMI BLASTS CBS FOR
TELEVISION MALPRACTICE

"Dr. Phil Primetime Special" Insensitive, Irresponsible;
May Put Children’s Lives At Risk

Arlington, VA—NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) today charged CBS Television with gross irresponsibility and potential endangerment of the lives of children with mental illness as a result of its September 22 broadcast of the Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Family First.

"Not only did the show represent a breach of professional ethics, but also, in the opinion of many, malpractice," declared NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick, in a letter to CBS Chairman & CEO Leslie Moonves, co-signed by Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, MD, a child psychiatrist who chairs the Child & Adolescent Policy Subcommittee of NAMI’s national board.

In the September 22 program, parents essentially were blamed for "what may very well be the severe mental illness of their child." Dr. Phil’s conduct "is serious enough to warrant investigation by a relevant board of licensure. To the degree that he seemed to offer a definitive diagnosis, including a pharmacological assessment, without careful evaluation or referral, he may also be subject to legal sanctions for practicing medicine without a license," the letter noted.

"The show was especially troubling because the child’s behavior may have suggested symptoms of bipolar disorder, requiring treatment vastly different from a father being admonished to spend more time with his son to ‘go fishing.’

"Blaming the family undermines all recent understanding of the biological basis of brain disorders and is not only insensitive, but also hinders a family or individual from seeking comprehensive treatment…Indeed the impact may have put children’s lives now at risk. The show’s approach was completely contrary to the recommendations of the U.S. Surgeon General, and more recently, President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health…in addressing the needs of children with severe mental illnesses—including very real risks of suicide."

NAMI also responded to a Newsweek (October 4) article in which a CBS spokesperson was cited as saying the network was "unaware" of negative reaction to the show, and that Moonves had complained that interest groups protest before even seeing supposedly offensive programming, using the Internet to "magnify and trumpet" concerns. In this case, NAMI said, the mental health community "carefully considered the content of the show before registering any complaint, and the party that has grossly ‘magnified’ irresponsible behavior is CBS, through the power it projects over the airwaves."


And yes, I am blogging in my pajamas! tongue laugh


UPDATE 10/05/04:
This story is getting some press, still not much bloggage though ...
MedicalNewsService.com Families Together: The Dangers of Dr. Phil
FindLaw.com ´Dr. Phil Special´ Called Irresponsible
WashingtonPost.com On Dr. Phil, a Dose of Bad Medicine? (Use BugMeNot to register)


Posted by LissaKay on 10/01/04 at 01:06 AM in Bipolarville
• (1) Comments Pop UpPermalink
You're right -- this one's going to stay well under the radar. After working in the MH field for a few years, it became obvious to me that most MH issues and concerns were either brushed aside or swept under the carpet (as far as media are concerned). Either people don't want to read about it or publishers/producers don't want to report on it. Who knows.

Good luck with your son. Bipolar disorder is a tough one to work through.

Posted by Mike on 10/02 at 12:45 PM
 
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