A recent report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has indicated that children are being prescribed anti-depressants at an alarming rate. According to the report, antidepressant prescriptions for children have increased by over 54% in the past 7 years.
WHO director of mental health Dr Shekhar Saxena said in a recent statement that, “Anti-depressant use amongst young people is and has been a matter of concern because of two reasons. One, are more people being prescribed anti-depressants without sufficient reason? And second, can anti-depressants do any major harm?“
The study, ”Trends and patterns of antidepressant use in children and adolescents from five western countries, 2005-2012“, has been published in the European Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.
In most other countries the average of increase is around 50%, but in some places like Denmark, it is even higher, around 60%.
Dr Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said anti-depressants shouldn’t be used as the first option for families, but they are anyway.
”But with such long waits for patients to see a specialist or to get a psychological therapy referral, drug therapy is sometimes seen as the only option for GPs to best support patients, who may be in extreme distress, and their family. We have been recommending for some time that in future, as part of an enhanced four-year training programme, all GP trainees should receive specialist-led training in mental health and child health,” she said.
“These measures truly would help to ensure that our young patients with mental health conditions receive the most appropriate treatment, and the same level of care as those with physical health problems, wherever in the country they live,” she added.
According to another new study, doctors are dishing out anti-depressant drugs to pretty much anyone, and most of the patients don’t even meet the official criteria for clinical depression, which is likely a fabricated disorder to begin with.
The study, which can be found in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, says that 69% of people who were prescribed anti-depressants did not actually exhibit the signs that doctors are supposed to look for when treating clinical depression.
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