Teen Screen- Rant

Received Saturday, April 12, 2008- Rant
I am a Marin parent who is very concerned about an article that appeared in the IJ. It is likely that you do not know the truth about teen screen.

Teen Screen

A scheme concocted by the pharmaceutical industry to screen the entire nation's public school population for mental illness and treat them with controversial drugs $$.

The connections to the drug industry - A high False positive rate.

The drug industry's long history of dirty tricks.



Anonymous said...

This is a forum for nanny sightings.

Sarah and Mitch said...

You are totally in the wrong place posting this.

t.r. said...

She, a mother is ranting against something she feels strongly about. I thought rants and perspective posts were more of a filler when there were no sightings anyways. Geez, if you arent interested dont read it. Write your own rant.

Anonymous said...

ok so here is my rant. I am ranting against the people who give their kids perscriptions just to keep them still. They dont want to have to have a normal and active child or a child that asks them to many questions so they get some fake diagnosis so they can give em pills. Then the parent doesnt have to be a parent and then they can hire a bench nanny because the nanny doesnt need to do anything. The kid will sit on the bench or just sit on a swing not even swinging. Turning kids in to robots because you are so despert for control you cant stand a kid that questions you. Kids are supposed to question you, What do you think a normal kid or a normal teen does? Now they are medicating all the normal signs of being a kid. Kid's energy is now "hyper". I wish I were hyper. Normal teens who have hormonal mood swings of up and downs are now bipolar. A bunch of bullshit. Shame on you for being the parent that buys into the hype.

Found it interesting & shocking said...

Sara and Mitch and anonymous,
I remember a post about Madelien McCann being on here. How is THIS not relevant? Do you not have children?

This is CRIMINAL and involves CHILDREN. I say it is relevant.

"TeenScreen offers movie rental and fast food coupons (such as $5.00 Blockbuster and McDonalds coupons) as incentives for the kids to participate in the screening program."

"TeenScreen erroneously diagnoses mental disorders UPWARDS of 84 percent of the time"

"The sole purpose of diagnosing the children is to get the children on psychiatric medication, especially troubling since Teen Screen is wholly financed and was created by the big Pharmaceutical companies."

Do you want your child going to school with some child who was misdiagnosed and put on mind altering drugs?

Do you want to let this go on?

They diagnoses incorrectly UPWARDS of 84 percent of the time, do you realize that is WORSE odds than flipping a coin?

Robert Synnott said...

While I have no idea what level of oversight there is in this scheme, and while I agree that ADHD is, if it exists at all, massively over-diagnosed, bipolar disorder and clinical depression are real, serious problems, and correct, prompt treatment does save lives. As long as this programme is supervised properly by independent third parties, it sounds quite worthwhile.

Sarah and Mitch said...

Without regard to what is and is not important to me, this is a blog to post sightings about nannies. When you click on the link to email JD, it says "Nanny sightings may be..."

Think or say what you will, and I'm glad to know you pay attention and feel strongly about some issues. Put them in the appropriate place, where more people can be informed.

Anonymous said...

sara and mitch,
why do you feel so strongly? are you bipolar? adhd?

this clearly isn't a nanny sighting. it says rant. and doesnt look like there was any other material to post yesterday, so get over yourself.

or do you work for a pharm company?

s said...

Everyone involved with Teen Screen is PAID by a combination of different pharmaceutical companies.

Consider yourself informed, now move on.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster who said sarah and mitch need to chill.
perhaps sarah and mitch should get it on, and relieve the stress. ;)

Anonymous said...

My nephew is a diagnosed bi-polar kid. He is 12.
You don't know what you are talking about, sorry. After years of misdiagnosis and the police coming to their house because he was flipping out, they finally diagnosed him.
Every case is different. Unless you are their parent and have gone through it, you should keep your ignorant comments to yourself.

P D said...

wonderful, your child was accurately diagnosed. i work with children in the foster care system. I wont say where but we have pharm companies supporting many of our placement homes. I wonder why. Yes, if you have a disease, you should get it diagnosed and get it treated. The trouble with these children in the foster care system is that there parents are not present or they do not cooperate to provide an accurate family history and they never admit to what they put the child through. Think about it, when you put a child through a lot of stressors, you don't cause your child to have bipolar, you cause your child to act out. So many of these children are getting diagnosed bipolar because they are responding as any normal person would to a really horrendous situation. Abusive parents, fighting parents, divorce, abandonment, acloholism, drug abuse, sexual abuse, mom is a prsotitute, etc. What is especially troubling is that so many of the pills have a sedative effect so whether you have bipolar or not, you are calmed down. Which is why schools and foster care systems are okay with the misdiagnosis of mental illness. Let everyone be misdiagnosed, because it sure is better to manage a classroom of zombies than it is to manage a classroom of thinking, feeling children or teenagers.

Watch out world, THIS IS YOUR FUTURE.

It was never that robots were going to take us over, it was that WE WERE GOING TO BECOME THE ROBOTS.

No emotions.
And the big pharm companies make billions taking away our emotions. Joy, happiness, sadness, elation, and yes upset, anger, hurt, rejection.

just anonymous said...

I actually think it's a good idea, in essence. Too many teens deal with depression in silence and confusion, not really understanding what they were going through until years later as an adult who is wise enough to reflect on their feelings in an awkward phase of life. I think great awareness and understanding on teen depression is needed, and this is a starting point for identification purposes. Hopefully as time goes by they will acquire better methods for doing such.

marypoppin'pills said...

Any information regarding children and medication and illnesses is very important ....
So, I say "right on" for posting this. I feel very strongly about our Educator's, especially, because they have in recent years been stepping up and diagnosing our kids for us.

Give me a break.

Just because my kid has a little more energy than the others (which I encourage, because he doesn't sit in front of a T.V. everyday) and because he'd rather stand and do his work, than sit? They want to tell me he is ADHD?

My son is extremely bright and well-behaved, and after his Teacher INSISTED I get him tested, I actually had to bring back proof from the Dr. that he wasn't ADHD! Needless to say, I pulled him out of that school (because they had already labled him) and placed him into another where he is flourishing and the Teachers and students all adore him. And guess what? His new Teacher lets him stand at his desk to do his work, if he wants.

Parents - stand behind your children. If they need help, get it for them. If they don't - stand up for them!

marypoppin'pills said...

And to pd/12:14

Excellent post! Thank you!

aliana said...

Robert, well said, u are my hero!!!

aliana said...

Robert, well said, u are my hero!!!

aliana said...

Robert, well said, u are my hero!!!

ty (rarely posting, always lurking) said...

do you have children?
I thought you didn't.

Anonymous said...

Should we start posting nanny sightings on pediatric medical forums?

Anonymous said...

No dummy, you shouldn't.

But consider this, I work 12 hour days 5 days a week. I start my day and wake the children up for school. Mom and Dad are on a train to the city. My day ends when the children have been fed, bathed and are usually watching TV in different rooms of the house. Mom and Dad come in, call out hello. They sit down to their dinner. They don't know anything about their child's homework, what happened in the child's day that day. I leave notes for birthday parties presents, money requests for field trips, I use "SIGN HERE" post its to make sure all parental slips get signed. And the next day when I come in, the pile is not even touched. I may have to ask again the next day. On rare occasions, I call the mother and tell her I really needed her to sign such and such a form -she tells me to just sign her name.

So as a nanny I had a very hard time when I child that behaved wonderfully for me and had a great personality and spirit and loved the outdoors was given not one but two medications for ADHD that the child clearly did not need. Only the parents would not know this because they are never with their child. But guess who has to feed this poor child this dose of medication that is turning him in to a fat lump on a log with no personality? Me. And don't you know I feel culpable.

I have a friend in the same boat in Manhattan, but her charge was diagnosed as bipolar at age 9. At age 9- most reputable doctors - doctors that are not in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies- don't believe that you can diagnoses Bipolar that early.

So I am sorry you think this has nothing to do with being a nanny. But who are you? I hate that I have to see this child I have worked with and known for 4 years turn into a lifeless blob. I wish I had the power that the parents have because I would pull him off of everything and change his school.

If you care about children, you would care about children getting wrongfully diagnosed. If you work with children and you don't care about them, what good are you anyway?

I don't know who the angry person is who thinks this does not belong on this blog.

Anonymous said...


What were your charges doing when you sat down to write that long rant?
Watching TV in different rooms in the house?

cali mom said...

3:23, maybe it was her day off. Ya think???

BTW, what were YOUR charges or children doing while you were writing snarky comments to a perfect stranger who obviously cares more about children than you do?

Anonymous said...

No Darling,
The children that I watch are only allowed to watch television on weekends and after 7PM. (Interesting since my day ends at 7).

The family I work with is on Spring Break. This time, they went with his sister and they are staying in one home. His sister expressed concern about having a nanny around, so voila, I get a magical week off. Paid.

Upstate Mom said...

I am a therapist in children's mental health, and have been a practitioner for more than 17 years. My clinic participates in Teen Screen. It is a "screening" therefore, no diagnoses are made. If there is a "positive" screen, they are referred for a complete intake....many do not respond, others have intakes and do not meet any criteria, and still others were unidentified children with a diagnosis. MANY diagnosed children are NOT medicated. Someone with adjust disorder because they relocated, just needs verbal therapy. More than half of my caseload has not had a medication evaluation....just verbal/family therapy. We do not get paid extra to screen through teen screen. If you check the official teen screen website, there is a clear statement that there is NO money from drug companies.
Children are screened for scoliosis, vision problems, etc. Why shouldn't they be screened for mental illness. Unidentified children suicide, hurt others, run away, etc. Wouldn't you want the marginal kids to be indentified and helped? I know this isn't the site, but inaccurate information does not help anyone.

If you don't want your kid screened, don't send back the consent form. It's as simple as that. But why would you want to stop it for someone else who may not have the close, warm relationship you all must share with your children??

Anonymous said...

the answer to your question is...ignorance. Plain and simple, sad and pathetic ignorance, such as we see from most of the judgemental misinformed moms on this site.
Great post: thank you!

Anonymous said...

Where I live we don't have Teen Screen- but rest assure, if I thought my teen was having any kind of issuse I would have him screened through our Dr's, just like with hearing and eye tests- that's why I pay for insurance. I don't want your screen- stick to teaching my kid thanks.

And before you say something about people without insurance- if you're poor enough it's free or low cost (under $50 a mo) and if you work it comes with the job.

If you're ignorant- I doubt they would do anything with the refferal?


Anonymous said...

Some people are self-employed and do not have insurance through their job and therefore make too much to qualify for free insurance.
You sound elitist. And even the parents who have insurance, state assisted or otherwise, may not have the eduacation and awareness to lead them in the right direction. These programs help them.

Anonymous said...

I am self employed and have insurance. Like I said....


mom said...

When my son started at our public high school all freshmen were requiresd to take a class that deals with teenage issues. As part of this class they were all given a test which was to indicate whether they might potentially be suicidal or having any other emotional issues. (I wonder if it is the test being talked about here?) No consent was sent son just happened to mention it to me.

I thought it was a good idea. While I was pretty sure my son was well adjusted, I couldn't help thinking of all of those parents I have heard about who swear they thought their kids were well adhusted...until those kids "inexplicably" took their own lives. Anything that can at least give parents a heads up that there MIGHT be an issue with their teen is probably a good idea.

That said, I am very reluctant to medicate kids unless somebody can prove to me that there is a very good reason. (I do believe a lot of perfectly normal boys being normal boys are misdiagnosed with ADHD and unnecessarily medicated.) Had there been an issue with my son's teat at school would have probably taken my child to see several different doctors for opinions before consenting to any mood altering medication. But I alo realize that there ARE some teens who are in the midst of crises who NEED to be identified and helped. Better safe than sorry.

The teen years are just such a confusing time for kids...and their parents. I can see why there is so much confusion and disagreement over this issue. It's not always easy to tell where the teenage hormonal mood swing ends and the mental health issue begins.

Anonymous said...

If you're self employed you have to buy your own insurance. Duh. It's part of the expense of owning your own business.
It's expensive, but skimping on that will probably result in financial disaster somewhere down the road.

Anonymous said...

I live in NY and under the Healthy NY Blue Cross plan I pay $25 a month to insure myself and my child. I am self employed and make 39,000 a year.

cali mom said...

To the genius at 10:42, what about those of us who are SAH parents and whose spouses employers do NOT offer group plans and we make too much to qualify for $25/mo insurance and have limited options due to preexisting conditions? We don't exist, right?

Are you the same person who keeps insisting that "bad parenting" "causes" autism? Why can't your nifty health plan diagnose and treat YOUR ignorance?

Anonymous said...

As someone who struggled with depression as a teenager silently, simply because i did not know how to approach my parents or if i was even sure i had it i dont think that the 'test' is a good idea, but i do think that they should educate students more on topics like this and tell them that it is alright to get help and that they should not be embarrassed.

i got the apple! said...

So sorry, if this is something someone lese mentioned, I'm super short on time and only had time to read about half of the posts, but I really wanted to give my input as well, so bare with me! :)

I agree, this post does belong here. This site is regarding children and their safety, thus OP's post relates.

I'm all for keeping our children "safe", and watching for suicidal signs (depression etc) but I'm also way against companies who use children in order to gain financial success, and thus, over diagnose, lie, and even harm our children (with unneeded treatments and meds) in order to make a quick buck. Sadly enough, there are plenty of
pharmaceutical companies and the people (nurses/ Dr.'s etc who work for them) who purposely stir the pot causing yet another supposed epidemic. Our society in general is way over medicated. Part of life is sadness, and we can't medicate true emotions away in order to get back to happiness...emotions and feelings are there for a reason, but a lot of people have learned if they pay a few bucks they can "numb" away normal feelings. This is not to say that people with REAL depression, or manic/ bipolar depression/disorder shouldn't receive help, it's just to say that often times (especially with children) in our society Dr's are way over treating "normal" problems that could be treated otherwise through medication. A lot of teens have depression due to REAL issues such as bullying (not chemical inbalances in their brains) how about treating real issues when they are present? Anti-bullying campaigns/rules/regulations go a long way in school systmes. It's time we start looking at the real cuases of issues, and then we might truly start saving some lives.

Anonymous said...

Let me add this. so many many "tweekers" meth users today were put on ridlin when they were young for ADHD. Many of these so called meds are the same thing as speed. I do not believe in medicating kids because they are "hyper". Some kids out grow it.
There is no reason for our children to be pumped full of meds because some teacher or school person thinks they have ADHD.
My oldest Grand daughter was "hyper" and they insisted I have her tested. I did and 3 doctors said she did NOT have ADHD. This one teacher simply would not accept what they said and had the nerve to give me a name of a doctor that knew a lot more than the doctors at Stanford University. I had had enough ,and pulled her from that school and to no surprise she did great in the new school. No complaints from any teachers about her . I have seen littel kids acting like they were half a sleep from these damn drugs and they sure are not going to pump that stuff into mine.
I have never heard of so many kids beiong Bi Polar in my life or having ADHD. It seems to be the answer to everything a kid does wrong. I wonder sometimes about the diagnosis for Autisim too. These are the "new" 3 for this century.

marypoppin'pills said...

I don't know why the sudden interest in my life, this makes 2 posts asking questions about it. But to 2:56, let's just say, "I do now". One boy.

And I will leave it at that.

ty (returning to lurk mode) said...

Hey Mary PP,
When I read the posts, I like to have a mental image in my mind whether someone was a mom or a nanny or a mom and a nanny. I thought you were a young nanny. You don't have to say more, that's just what I had surmised. I am sure I have a lot of the monikered wrong.

Anonymous said...


in that case I say ppl like you CHOOSE to be uninsured- idiot.

Anonymous said...

i think the comment someone made that they do not approve of companies "using children" for financial gain is interesting.
what about the record companies? the toy companies?
ever bought your child a hannah montana t-shirt? taken them to a movie?
it all relates back to using children for financial gain.
it is the american way.
damn, you bored moms need to get the hell over yourselves! you are just so silly.

Anonymous said...

CaliMom has insurance. We've talked about this before.

I do too, but because we are in the same boat as her, my family pays over $1000.00 a month for coverage. There was a time we paid $1300.00 a month and had a $5000.00 deductible--PER PERSON. We have better, less expensive, coverage now, but even then it was worth it to have the insurance, because it keeps you from having to live on the edge--crossing your fingers that nobody gets seriously sick or hurt, which could force just about anybody into financial ruin.

LindaLou said...

11:24 you are very fortunate that you qualify for $25 a month insurance. i hope you realize that you are using something that's being highly subsidized with everyone's tax money. i'm a SAHM and we are a family of 5. my husband works full time in a professional job and we pay almost $800 a month for health insurance through his employer. i can totally understand that many people simply cannot afford health insurance. you're lucky that the tax payers are paying for yours, huh? oh, and you're welcome. use the savings to buy a heart.

Anonymous said...

how is YOUR tax dollars paying ANY more than mine? I have sub. insur but I ALSO pay taxes- matter a fact- being that I have to pay my own in full and not matched my any employer Id say I'm paying MORE! Bite me. YOUR tax $ isn't worth any more than mine. In addition between my volunteer work, non profit I run and work I do involving the community Id say I contribute more to the world than MOST- of that I'm sure.

LindaLou said...

i can't tell the anonymous people apart. at any rate, :::whoosh:::.

Anonymous said...

I work full time for a large corporation. I pay about 80.00 a month for medical dental and life insurance and my employer pays the rest. No ones tax dollars are paying for my insurance. I have never heard of a large company not offering medical insurance. In my state if you have over 6 employees you have to have medical insurance. I find it hard to believe that with all the new federal laws about medical insurance that companies are getting away with out offering it to you. I know deductibles are expensive ,I am fortunate enough to be able to pick between 3 different providers. I chose Kaiser. We have a 10.00 co pay and that goes for in hopspitals stays too. Blue cross also has just about the same plan. My sister and her husband are retired and they have blue cross and they have a 500 deductible. Maybe people are just not shopping around for good insurance?

Anonymous said...

4:51. WHy are your children only allowed to watch TV at prime time?
This makes no sense as most shows after 7 are pretty mature for kids to be watching?
Kind of strange that your enployers sister does not want a nanny around to help with the kids?
Maybe she doesn;t want to hear snarky comments? LOO

cali mom said...

Dikforbrains at 11:43 and various other times, I am NOt unsinsured. I just pay through the nose and have only one option, since my parents DID choose to give me an organ transplant when I was 5, rather than let me die. And most people (not you, apparently, better get that recurring ignorance problem treated soon!), know how much health "insurance" companies LOVE people like me.

Sue Doe-Nim said...

Cali mom is rich AND insured.

Here's where she got her latest transplant.

cali mom said...

Um, I only WISH that I were. And it was actually my mother who gave me one of her two. (Guess which organ it was?)

fg said...

to be sure, MPP----it seems there are those that follow our lives via our comments!

Sue Doe-Nim said...

Was it an ovary?

tee hee

No really, kidney?

mpp said...

Yes, I kind of got the same impression, that there are some that like to follow certain posters.

In fact, I have quite a few that I'm really fond of, but I certainly don't keep track of their personal lives or try to use it against them.

Ciao, amico mio!

ty (for clarification) said...

Heavens to Betsy, MPP, who would do such a thing and why? That makes no sense to me, but maybe that is why I stay hidden so often. Myself, I am a SAHM with two grown children and one 10 year old.


Anonymous said...

There have unfortunately been some unscrupulous people on board that have nothing better to do than to pay attention to certain posters business, and then put up really nasty, hateful letters just to hurt them.

Thank goodness Jane is on top of it and they don't stay up very long.

Anonymous said...

Scandalous. Who would sign a permission slip to let these people talk to their children?

And that questoin about suicide asked in a school class, totally out of line.

Teachers are not trained in those fields. In some school districts, the teachers are SO bad, they can't spell. They don't speak English properly. I kid you not.
So the last person I would ever want talking to my child about mental health is a teacher!

Sprak said...

In spite of some people who come on here determined to attack certain posters, I feel we have a grand assortment of posters on this blog. If I pounce on someone's post, it's not meant to be personal against the poster unless it's some nasty anonymous idiot, and then, I simply cannot help myself. As to the regulars who post with a name, whether I agree with them or not, I think they care about children and that says a whole, whole lot. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I like cheese!!

Anonymous said...

Me, too!!

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