It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Some experts now believe that chronic depression can affect children as young as 3 years old. The groundbreaking study, published this month in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, found that an astonishing 40 percent of depressed 3- to 6-year-olds remained so over the course of two years, an eternity on a child’s clock.
The response to the study has been swift and largely hostile. “It’s ridiculous, the kinds of feedback we’re getting,” says lead author Joan Lubin, a professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “People immediately assume that we’re pushing some kind of preschooler Prozac thing.” Far from hawking snack-time sedatives, Lubin says her study’s actual aim is to help parents identify when and how to make behavioral adjustments within their family to best support a depressed child.
What’s happened, however, is that Lubin’s findings have shed light on a truly jaw-dropping statistic: Preschoolers comprise the fastest growing psychiatric-drug-using demographic in the United States. Indeed, as many as three in 1,000 children age 6 and under are taking some kind of mental-health medication. And it's not just Ritalin. Prozac and Zoloft are close behind—research now shows that their usage among preschoolers has more than doubled in recent years.
Even in adults, the effects of antidepressants are poorly understood, and virtually nothing is known about the way they work in children. Moreover, controlled clinical studies have never been performed on minors. As a result, no medication is actually FDA approved to treat depression for the pre-K set. (Or, for that matter, young children at all. Prozac, uniquely, can be prescribed to patients age 8 and up, but that’s it.)
Significant stressors that can affect young children include:
Early maternal separation, rejection, or ambivalence
Divorce or family conflict, including violence or threats of violence
Death or illness in the family
Too little time with primary caregivers
Threat of abandonment
Physical abuse, including physical punishment or the threat of it, and overly rough treatment from siblings
Lack of appropriate praise and encouragement
Inhibition to expressing feelings
Lack of clear or consistent boundaries
Ostracism, teasing, or bullying by family members or playmates
Lack of opportunities for contact with nature
Being required to sit still for long periods of time
"Parentalization"--having to parent her parent or younger siblings
Too much TV or inappropriate media
Not having needs met functionally for safety, emotional security, attention, or importance
Originally posted by kosmicjack
reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
I mostly agree.
However, I do think that you should change your percentages to reflect that a certain amount of childhood issues - depression, behavioral, etc - could be alleviated by actually taking responsibility for the physical care and nurturing of children.
Try to access the website of the Archives of General Psychiatry and you may have to abide an ad for the antidepressant Pristiq before you can enter. (JAMA and its Archives Journals “do not endorse the advertised product,” you’ll be assured.)
But look for a pharma affiliation for the author of the article “Preschool Depression,” Joan L. Luby, MD in the August issue and you’ll be told no “financial disclosure” was reported. Not that “Dr. Luby has received grant/research support from Janssen, has given occasional talks sponsored by AstraZeneca, and has served as a consultant for Shire Pharmaceutical,” as a 2006 article in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says.
Even though the pharmaceutical industry has got 27 million Americans on antidepressants thanks to direct to consumer advertising–ten percent of the population–it is looking for depression in preschoolers. And guess what? It’s finding it!
Originally posted by kosmicjack
reply to post by DrumsRfun
It's a pretty hot issue among the parenting set.
If you think kids should not be given mind-altering drugs like anti-depressants or Ritalin you are scolded for not being understanding or for judging.
If you do use or advocate the use of prescriptions to handle emotional or behavioral problems you are lazy.
I guess I just think that people have been raising kids for millions of years without drugs. So what in our modern culture would cause an increasing need for the use of them in managing children's behavior and emotions? Chances are good it's nothing the kids are doing but more likely society at large.
I would like to know who funded the study...
Originally posted by Aggie Man
This is just disgusting. A preschooler's brain is not even fully developed yet,
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that an extensive analysis of clinical trials showed that antidepressants may cause or worsen suicidal thinking or behavior in children and adolescents. The analysis showed that children taking antidepressants had about a 4 percent chance of developing suicidal thoughts or behavior, compared with only a 2 percent chance in children taking a sugar pill (placebo). None of the children in any of the studies actually took his or her own life. Still, the FDA considered the findings so disturbing that in October 2004 it issued a public health advisory and began requiring manufacturers to label antidepressants with strong warnings about the link to suicide in children.
Originally posted by dolphinfan
The lives of kids today are too scripted and have too much adult involvement. Kids need an opportunity to develop their imaginations and they need to do that absent adult involvement, beyond ensuring that they are doing it in a safe and productive manner. ... parents/adults having too much involvement with kids also degrades their ability to socialize and learn how to compromise. Adults telling them what to do degrades that important social development.
The decline in children's freedom is a serious social issue. It is responsible, I think, for the dramatic increases in childhood depression and suicide. People of all ages crave freedom, and they suffer when their freedom is taken away. As a society we have come to understand this principal as applied to adults, but we put our heads in the sand rather than face the evidence that children too crave freedom and need it in order to feel happy and to grow in healthy ways.
Throughout the whole history of humankind children have learned primarily from other children, in age-mixed play and exploration (as I have discussed in many previous posts). Throughout the whole history of humankind children have learned what they want to learn, not what is next on somebody’s list of what they should learn. But now we have this conception that learning is sequential and adult-directed..