Are Antidepressants Making Teens More Depressed?

Common Depression Drugs for Adolescents Are Ineffective

It is not uncommon for well-intentioned parents to turn to prescription medications in an attempt to relieve their child’s depression. However, what if parents knew these medications prescribed to depressed teens were not only ineffective but instead, made symptoms worse? Would these parents continue to roll the dice with their child’s mental health?

It’s time parents knew the truth about antidepressants.

13 of 14 Anti-Depressants Tested Failed to Relieve Depressive Symptoms In Children

Oxford University recently conducted a study that included 34 clinical trials that involved over 5,000 depressed adolescents from ages 9 -18. Each child took 1 of the 14 antidepressants for an approximate time of eight weeks.

Almost all of the depressants (13) failed to relieve depressed symptoms of the teens. The only drug that provided any relief was none other than Prozac – a highly controversial drug that has also been linked to severe disorders such as homicidal akathisia- Not exactly a hole in one for big Pharma.

Additional disturbing findings concluded that a popular antidepressant often prescribed to teens, Effexor, not only failed to relieve depressive symptoms in teens but actually caused suicidal ideation. 

Dr. Jon Jureidini, an Australian child psychiatrist, says that doctors who over-prescribe depression drugs are sending off “disturbing implications for clinical practice.” Dr. Jon argues that powerful anti-depressants should only be given those “if the discounted benefit outweighs the boosted harm.” He goes on to say that very rarely will a child’s discounted benefit outweigh the boosted harm. Dr. Jon also states that it is simply unjustifiable to prescribe younger children with anti-depressants.

Antidepressants Linked To Suicide 

While the research shined a bright light on the hidden dangers of anti-depressants, the link between depression drugs and increased risk of suicide is not exactly a revelation. In fact, in 2004, FDA issued a black-box warning on the packaging of depression drugs informing the user that in some cases, antidepressants have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation and behaviors in adolescents and young adults.

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Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can be devastating to adolescents, who are already going through one of the most emotionally turbulent life stages.

It’s understandable why well-meaning parents would turn to prescription medications in an attempt to give their child some relief, especially since such drugs are heavily promoted and often used as a first-line treatment by psychiatrists and other doctors.


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