Take Two for October 22, 2013

'Back To Normal' and the misdiagnosis of mental illness in children

Back To Normal

Beacon Press

Cover of the book "Back To Normal."

It's every parent's nightmare to hear that his or her child has a mental illness. 

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, over the past decade there has been a 41 percent increase in rates of ADHD diagnoses, a 40-fold spike in bipolar disorder diagnoses and diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder have increased by nearly 80 percent. 

But is a diagnosis from a doctor really mean a life-long sentence of drugs and therapy for a child? Or can normal childhood behavior be mistaken for a mental disorder?

In his new book, "Back To Normal," Clinical psychologist Dr. Enrico Gnaulati outlines the reasons why he thinks U.S. children are being overdiagnosed for mental illnesses like ADHD, bipolar disorder and autism.

In addition, he guides parents, teachers and other professionals in ways to distinguish between true psychiatric disorders in need of acute treatment and normal childhood reactions to stress and the growing demands of adolescence.

Dr. Gnaulati joins the show to talk about his new book and his research into mental health in children. 

Excerpt from "Back To Normal"

 


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