Antidepressants can be harmful for treating teen depression

treating teen depression

Antidepressants can be harmful for treating teen depression

Antidepressants Ineffective for Teen Depression

teen depression

Medical News Today recently released an article discussing a new study that has found antidepressants to be ineffective for teen depression, and potentially harmful. Major depression, or major depressive disorder, is believed to affect 2.8 percent of children aged 6-12 years and 5.6 percent of teens aged 12-18 years in the United States.

What is Teen Depression?

Teen depression is typically diagnosed if youth experience depressive symptoms for more than 2 weeks. Common symptoms of teen depression include mood swings, irritability, changes in eating habits, frequent sadness and crying, low self-esteem, and thoughts of death or suicide.

For youth experiencing teen depression, most guidelines recommend cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other psychological therapies as treatment options. According to the recent study, an increasing number of youth with teen depression are being prescribed antidepressants.

Increase in Antidepressants in Youth

A study published earlier this year found that between 2005 and 2012, teens between the ages of 0 through 19 in the U.S. that were taking antidepressants rose from 1.3 percent to 1.6 percent. Such an increase has occurred despite warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging against youth taking antidepressants—studies found increased suicide rise among young users of the drugs.

Researchers investigated whether the benefits of antidepressants use outweighed the risks for teen depression. To conduct the study, the team reviewed all unpublished and published trials up to May 2015 that assessed the treatment of teen depression among children and adolescents. The trials included the effects of 14 antidepressant medications, and were ranked for effectiveness based on four areas of criteria: efficacy, tolerability, acceptability, and associated serious harms.

Antidepressants Ineffective in Youth

In the 34 trails examined—including 5,260 participants of average age 9-18 years—the researchers only identified one antidepressant, fluoxetine, where the benefits outweighed the risks when it came to efficacy and tolerability.

These results show that the majority of antidepressants used for teen depressions are ineffective for children and youth with major depression, and many of them may be unsafe.

ViewPoint Center Can Help!

ViewPoint Center is a mental health hospital for teens, ages 12 to 17. At ViewPoint Center, we provide superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization–all in a personalized environment for your child.

For more information about how ViewPoint Center handles teen eating disorders, contact us today at 801-825-5222!


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