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Child Psychologist, Dr. Ruth Peters On Placebo Pills

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:19 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Placebos, ADHD

Dr. Ruth Peters weighs in on the placebo pills.



IMAGE SOURCE:  ©Photo Courtesy, Dr. Ruth Peters


Dr. Ruth Peters is a Clearwater, Florida psychologist who specialized in treating children, adolescents, and families. Her areas of expertise are Attention Deficit Disorder, lifestyle issues, difficult children, and in motivating kids to reach their academic potential.

As a consultant, Dr. Peters is a regularly featured contributor to the Today Show, and has also been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as Good Morning America.

Dr. Peters writes a Parenting column for the Today Show web site.  Author of five books, Dr. Peters is often called upon to do radio interviews, speaking events, and consulting.

IB News asked Dr. Ruth Peters to weigh in on the placebo pill for kids idea.

JA:  You’ve heard the news about the placebo pill, what’s your take?

RP: “Placebos work!  There is a ton of literature saying that. On one hand it cures many ills and you don’t have to put medication in a child’s body. On the other hand a pill for everything is troublesome.

“Sometimes it makes sense.  If you tell a child this pill will make you less self-conscious at school, isn’t that better than a year on the couch and anti-anxiety medications? I get more upset with the medications we’re giving them."

JA: Isn’t it deceptive?

RP: “I am comfortable in very specific situations especially with little kids where they are not going to know it’s deceptive. How many parents have used monster spray to get monsters out of the closet? It always works and what harm is that?

“I wouldn’t give a 15-year old a sugar pill and tell them you’re on the pill.

“There is a time and a place and you need to figure out what’s appropriate, that’s the trick, know your kid and know yourself.

JA: Aren’t we convincing children to rely on medications?

RP: “There’s something like the opposite of a placebo.  I’ve had to use this on kids who can’t fall asleep. Give them Benadryl and tell them it’s a vitamin. Then convince them “you fell asleep on your own.”

“You’re saying to the kid “you can do it,” so what you end up with is what’s important sometimes.  There is a time and place."  #

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