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Teen Suicide Trends On The Rise

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Wednesday, September 03, 2008 12:37 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA & Prescription Drugs, Suicide, Teenagers, Protecting Your Family, Emotional Problems, Antidepressants, SSRIs,

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IMAGE SOURCE: © iStockPhoto / teen in conflict / author: aldomurillo


After a 15-year decline, teen suicides in the United States are on the rise. The increase may be due to fewer teens being prescribed antidepressant medications, say researchers in a newly released study.

Depression is the leading cause of suicide, which is the third-biggest killer of children and young adults between 10 and 24-years old.

Researchers analyzed the most recent youth suicide trends and found that while rates had declined about 5 percent in 2005 after a large spike in 2004, they are still much higher than what was expected based on historical data, said Jeff Bridge, from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Suicide rates among teens had steadily declined for a decade until 2004, when rates climbed 18 percent among U.S. youths under 20-years-of-age, the largest increase in 15 years, said Bridge.

Several factors are likely contributing factors to the increase in youth suicide rates: undiagnosed and untreated depression, an increase in the suicide rates among U.S. troops returning home and the influence of Internet social networking sites.

Another plausible explanation for the surge in suicide rates could be that fewer antidepressant medications are being prescribed among children, following intense controversy the past few years that have made doctors reluctant to prescribe such medications.

The trend is especially worrisome for those young patients who may benefit from SSRI medications and aren’t getting them.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in October 2003, announced all SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressants should not be prescribed to children under the age of 18 because of the increased risk of suicide.

The following year, the FDA ordered antidepressant manufacturers to revise the labeling to include a “black box” warning, the government's strongest warning for a medication, to all antidepressants due to their link to suicidal behavior in children.

“We need to consider the possibility that this increase is an indicator of an emerging public health crisis,” said Bridge. Studies that highlight casual factors are important next steps.

The findings are published in the Journal of the American Association. #


1 Comment

Anonymous User
Posted by RosieCee
Wednesday, September 03, 2008 10:39 AM EST

The data from the CDC is useless since they don’t show who among the suicides was taking antidepressants and who wasn’t taking antidepressants.

We know from placebo controlled blind studies that youth were two to three times more likely to have suicidal behaviors on antidepressants during the clinical trials. Now, this is REAL science, not some pseudoscience published by the WSJ to try to fit suicides and antidepressants use together from incomplete date from the CDC.

On LINK there are over 2,500 cases of suicides, murders, murder-suicides where the perpetrator was on an antidepressants. So we can’t say that these 2,500 people found antidepressants calming, soothing and pleasant.

Since the Physicians Desk Reference lists mania, psychosis, paranoid reaction, abnormal thinking, hostility, etc. as adverse reactions from SSRI antidepressants, we should take a closer look at the 47 school shootings/incidents listed in LINK /index.php since the full media article is avaialbe for every case and tells which SSRI the perpetrator was taking.

Comments for this article are closed.

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