Teenagers Should Be Strongly Guided When Using Antidepressants

Categories: Mental Health

As technology advances many children have access to the mass media, literally, at their fingertips. One of the main causes of depression in children and young adults is social media and nowadays websites allow for criticism to take place anonymously 24/7. Depression negatively impacts youths lives because it can affect their self esteem, ruin relationships with loved ones and even impede their learning process. There is a lot of pressure that is put on students from their parents and families to exceed in school and it can be tough to handle.

Trying to get accepted into a decent college and getting a good education is imperative today. There so much pressure being put on kids to look and act a certain way just to “fit in”, and when kids don’t “fit in” they feel embarrassed, “not good enough” and even lost. Some children are introverts that are very shy and have a hard time making friends. Between bullying, family, school, the mass media, all of these aspects of life can cause children and adolescents to be depressed.

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Some have disorders that prevent them from socializing with others like OCD or ADHD just to name a few. In a lot of cases children and young adults can’t handle it own their own and end up going to therapy while taking an antidepressant.

On the other hand, when children and young adults minds are still developing they’re susceptible to many feelings and emotions, it’s part of a natural process of growing and maturing.

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It’s definitely harder for some, but it’s most certainly not impossible. I think parents should monitor, at least a little bit, of what their child is participating in online or what they could be watching on T.V.. They don’t have to check their phone everyday, but every once in awhile, randomly, they should check their child’s phone and social media accounts make sure that bullying is not happening. If parents start doing this early on they will have a better relationship with the child as they grow older as an adolescent. With better communication children will open up and talk about what is bothering them. Its healthy to talk about your feelings and let what is on your mind out, it relieves stress and anxiety.

This issue is significant because many of the antidepressants that are being prescribed to children and young adults are actually ineffective and may cause serious and harmful effects. It seems that the risks of these antidepressants outweigh the benefits. There are many cases in which kids have even put others lives in danger, simply because of the fact that they could not think clearly under the influence of antidepressants. I have two people in my life whom I am very close with that take antidepressants. That is why this controversial debate is very interesting to not only me, but to millions of others around the world. Which leads me to the question, are antidepressants really safe and effective? There are most definitely good and bad effects in antidepressants. In the article “Stronger Warning Is Urged On Antidepressants for Teenagers” published in the New York Times in 2003 the author states that an “advisory panel urged the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) to issue stronger warnings to doctors now about the possible risks to children of a newer generation of antidepressants, rather than wait until the agency’s review of the drugs was completed.”(Goode 1)The author explains that doctors need to be aware of the negative effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors(SSRI’s)and that a lot of doctors needed to be pushed by the FDA to warn their patients more thoroughly about the side effects.

To conclude the article, the author explained that study was performed by the FDA and strong signals of “something” was found, but officials claim that finding exactly “what that “something” is is enormously complicated.” Overall, I thought the article was decent. It was a reliable source with good quotations and it really exemplified and made me question the harsh effects and problems that could possibly occur from taking antidepressants. Also, it made me realize that even though doctors are trained to help you the best that they can, they can also harm you, so always think and question when making medical decisions. It ends by introducing the topic of how the FDA agency conducted its own review of the safety and effectiveness of the antidepressants and how they found a signal of something, but they don’t know what that something is. This idea could have been expanded upon more quite easily and was not the best way to end the article.

Yet in contrast, the author did a great job with incorporating positive and negative examples of families who have teengers that are taking antidepressants and balancing the article. This source is very valuable for me because it shows how the drug industry is ruthless and so consumed with making money that they’ll try their best not to address the possible negative side effects with their clients. They assume that all of the patient’s experience with the drug will be positive, little do we know for every effective case, there’s one harmful to go with it. Half of the patients that are talked about are positively affected, the other half is negatively affected by antidepressants. The whole issue of antidepressants being good and bad is so ambiguous. The purpose of Volatile Chemistry: Children and Antidepressants: more than a decade after doctors began prescribing SSRI’s for young people, investigators are trying to interpret ambiguous data about their side effects and efficacy” was to inform us of all the good and effective cases around the U.S. as well as all of the ineffective and bad cases.

The author included references to psychiatrists from facilities and universities around the U.S. such as the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University and Yale. Overall, there was not a conclusive message in this article but, I am not bothered by it. I was not able to say whether antidepressants are helpful or harmful with this article simply because of that fact that it was balanced so well. But, it makes me wonder if suicide rates differ for children of different ages, where they live, and how they were brought up and raised. There must be some sort of interrelationship between those variables. In youngest suicide victims, Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD) is more common than depression. “Suicide prevention efforts may need to include a focus on behavior even before children appear suicidal”. (Infobase Learning p.1) The article “In Youngest Suicide Victims, ADD is More Common than Depression” published September 19 in 2016 said that that approach was very promising in reducing the rates of suicide in children.

The article explained a study that was held with people from 17 states in which children ages 5-11 had 87 suicides and adolescents ages 12-14 had 606 suicided. These studies were from 17 states from 2003 to 2012. Roughly 59 percent of the children with a mental health disorder had ADD compared with only 29 percent of the teenegrs. But it was reversed with the teenagers. 66 percent of the teengers were diagnosed with depression compared to only 33 percent of the children. The article concluded with saying that teaching children how to regulate their emotions and solve problems may be a prevention method and that “it’s beneficial to focus school prevention on improving family and adult communication around emotions and encouraging children to speak up about their feelings”(Infobase Learning p.2)

Overall, this article was perfect. It wasn’t too long and it focused on what was most important, the numerical values of the children and teenagers who did or did not have ADD or depression. It was straightforward and easy to understand. It also had a good time span from 2003 to 2012, it’s fairly recent. This article relates directly back to my itroduction when I said parents need to engage and communicate with their children while they’re still children. Encourage them to be strong and comfortable with themselves. A lot of the children in this article didn’t have depression, they had ADD and if you notice, most of the teenagers had depression, not ADD. If you catch your child having trouble when they’re young, help them, talk to them, and chances that they’ll need to be prescribed an antidepressant will shrink. Even if there are some cases in which antidepressants did work for someone, wouldn’t you like to at least try to overcome this obstacle and deal with it without medication and all of the harmful effects and risks that come with it? The article “Mood Drugs ‘Harmful’ for Children” published June 10, 2016 was chosen for my next source because it explains how the risks of antidepressants outweigh the potential benefits and why trying to overcome depression with talking and communicating is a very effective. The author says “antidepressants prescribed for children are ineffective and may cause serious harm, including suicide attempts,” (Aubusson p.1)

The article begins by stating how the risks of outweighed the benefits for children 13 out of 14 in a trail that was held with 5,260 patients. The author states that due to selective reporting the rate of serious harm linked to the drugs Prozac, Effexor, Paroxetine, Sertraline, Citalopram and many more may have been underestimated. The article’s studies were based mostly in Australia, but more statistics ere given about the increasing rates of prescription antidepressants and depressed children not only in Australia, but around the world. Aubusson gave statistics and numerical values to her work. It really helped with strengthening her context while also engaging the reader by showing us how severe of the growing rate depression really is. Aubusson gave herself credibility with referencing and including established schools, journals, professors, and psychiatrists such as University of Sydney, University of Adelaide Jon Jureidini, The Royal Australian College of Psychiatrists, Oxford University psychiatrist and Associate Professor Andrea Cipriani, and The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. As of this point I am leaning more towards the side that against the use of antidepressants for children and young adults. On the other hand, I would like to research and find more information about the positive effective cases of children and young adults taking antidepressants. Just to have some sort of insight I would like to hear just how well these drugs actually helped people.

Depression is associated with deficiencies in the brain chemicals of a person and can also be an inherited gene that predisposes that person to the illness that can be “triggered” by a life event. This article “Antidepressants Benefit Children” explains how depression can be involuntary and sometimes uncontrollable. Depression doesn’t always stem directly from school, social media, etc.. Sometimes it just happens. Depression affects 2.5% of children and over 8% of U.S. adolescents, 2.6 million youths ages 6 to 17 years old. The article talked about a mother whose daughter suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder(ADHD). She was prescribed an SSRI to relieve her anxiety because she was unable to control her thoughts or behaviors. The SSRI worked, but after four years she was diagnosed with clinical depression, so her doctor changed her medication to an SSRI that treats her depression as well as her OCD and ADHD. Her mother says that she is a happy, healthy, successful teenager and that there is no doubt in her mind that the SSRI medication saved her life. I found this article to be very informative.

All that I have ever heard about antidepressants was either negative or that there was no effect at all on the patient, but after reading this article I understand why people are advocates for the use of antidepressants. The author also gave statistics and quantitative values that represent the mental and behavioral disorders that affect children and adolescents. In conclusion, many children and adolescents are prescribed an antidepressant. There are many harmful side effects of these drugs that can lead to suicidal thoughts and violent behavior. Yet, there are many cases in which positive results have happened and someone’s life was “saved”. I’ve learned that there are far more people that are clinically depressed than what I had originally thought before starting this essay. After reading this, my opinion was shaped to be a little bit more confident in believing that antidepressants are safe and effective for some people. But overall, my opinion is that no child or young adult should be prescribed an antidepressant before they have finished developing. The chance for harm is far too great a risk.

Work Cited

  1. Goode, Erica. “Stronger Warning is Urged on Antidepressants for Teenagers.” New York Times 3 Feb. 2004: A12. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 12 Oct 2016.
  2. Couzin, Jennifer. “Volatile chemistry: children and antidepressants: more than a decade after doctors began prescribing SSRI’s to young people, investigators are trying to interpret ambiguous data about their side effects and efficiency.” Science, vol. 305, no. 5683, 2004.
  3. “In youngest suicide victims, ADD is more common than depression.” Reuters. Issues & Controversies. Infobase Learning, 19 Sept. 2016. Web. 7 Dec. 2016 Aubusson, Kate “Mood drugs ‘harmful’ for children.” Age (Melbourne, Australia), 10 June 2016
  4. Fassler, David. “Antidepressants Benefit Children.” Antidepressants, edited by Katherine Read Dunbar, Greenhaven Press, 2006.

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Teenagers Should Be Strongly Guided When Using Antidepressants. (2021, Oct 11). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/teenagers-should-be-strongly-guided-when-using-antidepressants-essay

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