Your family doctor may have prescribed your teen antidepressants if they are feeling low, but adolescent use of these prescription drugs can also lead to dependency. Help your child get into recovery if they become addicted to antidepressants — call us today.
What Is SSRI?There are several different classes of antidepressants, the most common of which are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRIs). These medications are believed to naturally increase the regular levels of serotonin — a chemical associated with happiness — in the brain of a user. A list of popular SSRI antidepressants include:
Teens and DepressionAntidepressant use increased by 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008, across all patients aged 12 and older. It’s possible that doctors have become more lenient with handing out prescriptions, but studies show that depression is indeed more common, and developing in much younger patients than in the past. “We’re getting clear evidence that the onset of depression is happening earlier and earlier,” says Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane. Based on calls to her charity, Wallace posits that the rate of depression in kids under 14 doubled between 2007 to 2010.
“In previous generations, people would be overwhelmed by depression in their 20s. Now the peak age for onset is 13-15.”
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Muscle weakness and spasms
- Decreased sex drive
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blurred vision
Antidepressants and SuicideDuring this surge in the 2000s, many experts spoke out about the effectiveness and consequences of antidepressant use. Some saw a link between these drugs and teen suicide, believing that if teens took antidepressants, they were more likely to hurt themselves — or even die from suicide. In 2003, the FDA warned that popular antidepressants could increase the risk of adolescent self-harm, suicidal thinking or suicide attempts. In 2004, they called for “black box” warnings on antidepressants — the strongest warning labels required by the FDA, associated with life-threatening risks. The warnings led to mixed results. In the years following these changes, antidepressant use among adolescents fell by 31% — but suicide attempts increased by a whopping 22%. It’s impossible to say that these two numbers are directly related. But in the wake of these findings, many proponents for antidepressants have come to their defense. Results vary from case to case, as with many mental health problems and their prescribed solutions. But used properly in the right situations, doctors believe antidepressants can help children who suffer from depressive disorders. “A reliable finding is that antidepressants work for chronic and recurrent mild depression, the condition called dysthymia,” writes Peter Kramer, author of the book Listening to Prozac. “More than half of patients on medicine get better, compared to less than a third taking a placebo. Similarly, even the analyses that doubt the usefulness of antidepressants find that they help with severe depression.”
Questions? We have answers. Our recovery advisors have more information on teen addiction and your child’s rehab options.
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- “Antidepressant Medications for Children and Adolescents: Information for Parents and Caregivers.” National Institute of Mental Health. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/child-and-adolescent-mental-health/antidepressant-medications-for-children-and-adolescents-information-for-parents-and-caregivers.shtml
- Pratt, Laura A., Debra J. Brody, and Quiping Gu. “Ante-Depressant Use in Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States 2005-2008.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC, Oct. 2011. Web. 10 Feb. 2016. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db76.htm
- Wehrwein, Peter. “Astounding Increase in Antidepressant Use by Americans.” Harvard Health Blog. Harvard University, 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/astounding-increase-in-antidepressant-use-by-americans-201110203624
- “Prozac Oral : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing.” WebMD. WebMD, LLC, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6997/prozac-oral/details#side-effects
- “What Are Antidepressants? Side Effects of Antidepressant Drugs.” Drug Free World: Substance & Alcohol Abuse, Education & Prevention. Foundation for a Drug-Free World, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2016. http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/antidepressants.html
- McKenzie, MS, and BH McFarland. “Trends in Antidepressant Overdoses.” PubMed. National Center for Biotechnology Information, May 2007. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17200994
- Stein, Rob. “Warnings Against Antidepressants For Teens May Have Backfired.” NPR.org. National Public Radio, 20 June 2014. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/06/18/323329892/warnings-against-antidepressants-for-teens-may-have-backfired
- Silberner, Joanne. “Kids and Antidepressants: More Good Than Harm?” NPR.org. National Public Radio, 17 Apr. 2007. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9627377
- Kelly, Maura. “Hey, Let’s Not Get Carried Away: Anti-Depressants Really Do Help People.”The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 4 June 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/06/hey-lets-not-get-carried-away-anti-depressants-really-do-help-people/257976/
- Rabin, Roni C. “A Glut of Antidepressants.” The New York Times – Well – Blog. The New York Times Company, 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/a-glut-of-antidepressants/
- Evans, EA, and MA Sullivan. “Abuse and Misuse of Antidepressants.” PubMed. National Center for Biotechnology Information, 14 Aug. 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25187753
- “Bupropion: MedlinePlus Drug Information.” National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health, 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2016. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a695033.html
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