Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication, by Judith Warner (audio)

We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication
by Judith Warner
Read by Kirsten Potter

I have to give Judith Warner much credit for her courage to write this book, which is very different than the one she first envisioned. Originally, she intended to write about her theory that parents were willy-nilly medicating their kids in order to achieve some nirvana of perfection from their offspring.  Instead, she found that there are many families raising children with significant mental health issues ... which makes for a changed mindset - and a very different book - indeed.

This book is very well-researched, which is what one expects from a journalist and author of Warner's caliber.  As the book jacket states, she "uses exclusive research and interviews with dozens of doctors, researchers, family experts, and parents to cut through the received wisdom and hysteria to try to bring insight and compassion to the 'drugging kids' debate."  It does this very well. 

What We've Got Issues doesn't do is become the definite answer on whether or not one specific kid should or should not be on medication for anxiety disorders or ADD or whatever else.  And really, it SHOULDN'T be the definitive answer to what is a complex question - because it is ultimately an INDIVIDUAL question.

That's at the heart of Warner's book:  that for millions of individual children and their families, this is a complex issue within many other complex issues (the difficulty of obtaining a diagnosis, the unethical practices of practitioners being in bed with Big Pharma, the lack of services in some communities and the full-time job nature and financial toll that defines the quest to secure them ... just to name a few).

We've Got Issues was simultaneously comforting and sobering. Listening to the personal stories from parents was like having a support group in my car. From an audiobook production standpoint, it kept my attention throughout and Kirsten Potter's narration was absolutely perfect. She might just be my favorite audiobook narrator, now that I am paying more attention to such things. Her tone - and the emotion within it while telling the families' stories - was filled with just the right amount of compassion without sounding patronizing or accusatory, and I for one appreciated that. 

We do, indeed, have issues.  What Judith Warner's book does is to define them to show us that they are issues belonging to all of us ... whether or not we have a child "with issues." 

What Other Bloggers Thought:

Dawn from 5 Minutes for Books

copyright 2011, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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