Anyone reading Kelly Preston's post on the alleged danger of prescribing anti-depressants to children needs to know one very salient fact: Preston is a Scientologist, and Scientology, as we all know by now, doesn't accept the validity of either psychiatry or prescription drugs. In any instance.
Ms. Preston, are there any circumstances under which you could support the prescription of anti-depressants for either children or adults?
But you don't actually need to know Preston's fundamental bias to see the holes in her reasoning.
It would be helpful, for example, to see a copy of her and Kirstie Alley's letter to the FDA regarding anti-depressants, signed by 20 "doctors," including "researchers" and "nutritionists." (Nutritionists?) Without a link to the letter, we can't know what it actually says or who these signatories really are. What are their credentials? (Could they be fellow Scientologists?)
Preston argues that anti-depressants are turning kids into "walking time bombs." That's an irresponsible and alarmist statement. She claims that 8 of the last 13 school-shooters were taking prescription drugs. Even if that's true, it hardly proves cause and effect. It could show only that the drugs didn't work.
Preston quotes her doctors saying, "We can no longer sit back and let the clock tick, waiting for more deaths, suicides or people driven to violent acts by psychotropic drugs."
It's unclear what "deaths" she's talking about, but it's worth pointing out that the FDA advisory she's referring to is based on studies of 4500 kids taking anti-depressant drugs—none of whom committed suicide.
And yet, Preston says, "a 'troop of drugged-out zombies' is frighteningly real." If she really means "troop" and not "troupe," she's talking about something out of The Manchurian Candidate. Look out, President Bush.
One could go on, pointing out that Partnership for a Drug-Free America studies are notoriously biased, and DEA classifications for drugs are notoriously politicized.
Preston's right on one point: The issue of prescribing drugs to children is a serious one, and it's good that the FDA is studying potential risks. But I'm not sure that any practitioner of Scientology—which rejects science and holds that space aliens populated Earth—has anything of value to contribute to the debate. Those interested in finding more objective information should turn to this page.
Preston's hysterical treatise might be amusing if it didn't have a real downside; she could scare parents of troubled kids away from getting help for their children.
"The worst outcome from this complex situation would be failure to treat children with serious depression," Dr. Steven Hyman, former head of the National Institute of Mental Health, told the Dallas Morning News.
And that really could lead to kids committing suicide.