• ADHD books published by NorthEast Books & Publishing, by Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology
  • ADHD books published by NorthEast Books & Publishing, by Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology




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Drugging Our Children: How Profiteers Are Pushing Antipsychotics on Our Youngest, and What We Can Do to Stop It (Childhood in America), by Sharna Olfman (Editor), Brent Dean Robbins

Since 2001, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of antipsychotics to treat children for an ever-expanding list of symptoms. The prescription rate for toddlers, preschoolers, and middle-class children has doubled, while the prescribing rate for low-income children covered by Medicaid has quadrupled. In a majority of cases, these drugs are neither FDA-approved nor justified by research for the children's conditions.

This book examines the reasons behind the explosion of antipsychotic drug prescriptions for children, spotlighting the historical and cultural factors as well as the role of the pharmaceutical industry in this trend; and discusses the ethical and legal responsibilities and ramifications for non-MDs—psychologists in particular—who work with children treated with antipsychotics.

Contributors explain how the pharmaceutical industry has inserted itself into every step of medical education, rendering objectivity in the scientific understanding, use, and approvals of such drugs impossible. The text describes the relentless marketing behind the drug sales, even going as far as to provide coloring and picture books for children related to the drug at issue. Valuable information about legal recourse that families and therapists can take when their children or patients have been harmed by antipsychotic drugs and alternative approaches to working with children with emotional and behavioral challenges is also provided.


The Sexualization of Childhood
by Sharna Olfman


The book is somewhat shocking in its graphic detail, but it makes the point, and is worth referring to. Sexualization of Children book review


Page updated: November 27, 2012

Sharna Olfman, Ph.D. - Children's Mental Health Issues


Sharna Olfman, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Humanities at Point Park University, Pittsburgh and a clinical psychologist. She teaches child development and directs the annual Childhood and Society Symposium. Olfman has edited a number of excellent books on children, among them, Bipolar Children, No Child Left Different and The Sexualization of Childhood. Her work helps to bring attention to the special needs of children in the 21st century. Also, consideration is given to the overuse of medication to even young children.


All green links on this page are off-site links from sponsors and funds are used to support the non-profit activities of the AYCNP

The message beyond these two books, whether you agree 100% with the viewpoint expressed here or not, is that we need to move beyond the medical model of mental health. Quite conclusively we can conclude that mental health is not a simple chemical imbalance, it is not all genetics, rather there is a complex set of variables that can result in mental health disorders in children, many of them controllable.



Bipolar Children (2007)

Bipolar Children (2007). Why the rise in diagnosis of bipolar children in the past 10 years? What are the roots?
Bipolar Children book review

What is behind the exponential rise in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children over the past 10 years? Is medication the best form of treatment for children diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Is bipolar disorder a symptom of a breakdown in values of society, and is it a biological disease that should be medically treated? Is the medical model approach to bipolar disorder the most accurate explanation for the symptoms normally attributed to the disorder? Are there any repercussions from the extensive use of medication in the treatment of bipolar disorder in children? Is treatment with anticonvulsants and atypical antipsychotics advisable in preteen children?

Sharna Olfman has again edited a thought-provoking series of articles from well known psychiatrists, child psychiatrists, psychologists and child-care experts in her new book Bipolar Children. (2007) Thought provoking, well-documented details on the repercussions of over-reliance on medication for ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression. It also documents how over-reliance on antidepressants and stimulant medication can often times lead to the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Children is one of the best books that have been written on the subject and is highly recommended for educators and professionals in the mental health field.


No Child Left Different (2006)

No Child Left Different, one of several books edited by Sharna Olfman, clinical psychologist at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, documenting the overdiagnosis of mental disorders and the overprescribing of pharmaceuticals to children.

Exploring such subjects as child development and such disorders such as bipolar disorder and ADHD, the use of medications, the media's role, and other topics, No Child Left Different sheds light on the many interrelated aspects of children's mental health.

A monumental, anchoring work with two chapters written by Sharna Olfman, a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Humanities at Point Park University, Pittsburgh. She teaches child development and directs the annual Childhood and Society Symposium.

With the increasing diagnosis of such disorders as ADHD and bipolar disorder in children, has come a marked increase in the use of powerful psychotropic drugs being prescribed for preschoolers up until the teenage years. Are such diagnosis valid, or are there other explanations and reasons for children's psychological problems?

Sharna Olfman develops this theme, with two opening chapters and nine other qualified writers who elaborate on various aspects of children's mental health, medication, and other serious issues on the subject. Anyone in the field of mental health, special education or parents who are struggling with these issues with their own children, should read this book.

It points out not only the problems, but also gives ideas that can help to direct parents and children so as to avoid the pitfalls of the current mental health system, as well as to make practical adjustments in life in orders to overcome the severity of symptoms, or other adjustments. Such topics as the nature of children's mental health, the community, pornography's affect on mental health, a balanced look at the role of genetics, as well as a closer look at what is known as the medical model of mental health, and it’s shortcomings. Dangers of psychotropic drugs are discussed, as well as the effects of television, video games and movies, media violence, on mental health.

An article by Lawrence Diller, M.D., a behavioral-development pediatrician and family therapist, well known for his work in drugs for ADHD such as Ritalin, examines the issues involved on these subjects. Other articles are written by Michael Brody, a child and adult psychiatrist in private practice and professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland; Mary Burke, a child psychiatrist in private practice who teaches at the California Pacific Medical Center and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institution/University of California, San Francisco; Daniel Burston, Associate Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University Pittsburgh, Varda Burstyn, public policy consultant and cultural and political analyst; David Fenton a University professor and active environmentalist, Jane M. Healy, an educational psychologist with postdoctoral work in neuropsychology.


Pages Related to Sharna Olfman, Ph.D. - Children's Mental Health Issues


Bipolar Children Edited by Sharna Olfman, Ph.D.

No Child Left Different Edited by Sharna Olfman, Ph.D.

ADHD and Preschool, Kindergarten

ADHD Drugs and Statistics

Natural ADHD Cure - Art and ADHD

Bipolar Disorder Self Help

Children and Television - Responsibility of Parents



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