"Federal regulators said for the first time yesterday that clinical trials of popular antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft show a greater
risk of suicide among children taking the drugs compared with those taking dummy pills."
"Increasingly, however, American doctors have come to rely on drugs. Officials said yesterday that 2.1 million prescriptions for antidepressants were
written for children in 2002."
"David Healy, a Welsh psychiatrist who has campaigned for more careful use of the medicines, estimated that about 500 American children have
committed suicide as a result of antidepressants. Irving Kirsch, another critic, said the vast majority of clinical trials had failed to show that the
drugs made patients any better than did dummy pills. Even when the medicines worked, he estimated that 87 percent of the benefit derived from the
patients' belief that they were effective, a phenomenon known as the placebo effect"
I have been concerned about the increasing use of drugs to treat depression in adolescents, for some time. Having worked in a retail pharmacy for 6
years, I witnessed more and more mental health doctors giving prescriptions for anti-depressants to children, instead of trying to help them find and
address the cause of their depression.
I hold the belief that if a person, especially a child, is depressed, a happy pill is not the best answer. If someone is depressed, it is because
there is something about themselves and their lives that they are unhappy about.
Taking Paxil or Prozac allows people to say, "I'm not really unhappy, it's a chemical imbalance." But when that's not the case, it's only a
matter of time until reality sets back in and slaps them in the face. Then what can they do? Change medications or increase their dosage? A Dr. can
only increase their dosage so much and there are a limited number of meds that can help them forget their problems. We need to stop relying on
prescription drugs, and start taking the time to find out why so many kids are so unhappy. Then maybe we can REALLY do something to help them,
instead of settling for a quick fix.
[Edited on 4-2-2004 by Zion Mainframe]