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Child & Teen Health

Anti-depressants for teens: A second look

January 22, 2016

About the Author

photo of Nandini Mani, MD

Nandini Mani, MD, Contributing Editor

Dr. Nandini Mani is a Hospitalist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Mani is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Her clinical interests include Hospital … See Full Bio
View all posts by Nandini Mani, MD


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Blaire Sharpe
February 15, 2016

Sadly, many studies have shown that 1 in 6 teens have considered suicide. It is a common, and very overlooked, experience for many teens. These thoughts are not caused by antidepressants.

The riskiest group for completed suicide are those teens with untreated depression. There should be a study of how many teens who have attempted or completed suicide were NOT on antidepressants. That might clarify the issue.

Also, when a teen’s doctors and parents decide an antidepressant is needed, the teen must be monitored closely – too often we forget that part.

Jesse Henderson
February 1, 2016

We are currently dealing with a teen with depression. This didn’t really answer allot of questions, but it was very insightful.

Lynda bass
January 26, 2016

i was an extremely depressed child. I did not have many friends. I had severe acne and no one did anything to help.
I am now on an antidepressant as an adult. In the 60’s and 70’s I do not think it was heard of to give a child an antidepressant. However, I sought out depressive type illegal drugs to escape reality. Depression is a chemical imbalance. The drugs used for it are not get high drugs just ones to help you stay sane and act and react normally. If a teenager is depressed and the parent remains uneducated about it she is blocking the child’s full potential to be what she/he could and wants to be. Uncontrolled depression will manifest itself through anger and most people are not trained to deal with the remark, “I want to kill myself.”

Judith Coulson
January 25, 2016

It is sad, that in no word is mentioned, that teenage depression is heavily related to a healthy diet and physical activities of the teenager as well as early positive coaching.

Depression does not just happen. It is thought and fostered by adults environment in care of the teenagers.

David Hughes
January 27, 2016

Agreed-physical activity and diet are important, but your comment borders, at least in my opinion, on the “all depression is nurture” side-which I believe feeds into the stigma of mental illness-if we’d all get our fresh air and organic produce, depression would go away. No, it wouldn’t.

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