Antidepressants For Teens: To Be Or Not To Be?

1658 words - 7 pages

Even though antidepressants serve as a temporary relief for teens with depression, they should not be considered an effective treatment to cure depression due to the side effects, risk of addiction, and increase thoughts of suicide. “Teen depression is a serious condition that affects emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Issues such as peer pressure, academic expectations, and changing bodies can bring a lot of ups and downs for teens” (Mayo Clinic). Depression does not discriminate; no matter what race, gender, or religion, depression can turn a person’s life upside down if they do not handle it correctly. “Depression usually starts between the ages of fifteen and thirty” (WebMD). Teen depression may be more common among members of a family with a history of depression. Melinda Smith, Suzanne Barston, and Jeanne Segal all state that “antidepressant medications may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in some teenager” (HelpGuide.org). Antidepressants may help a teen with depression, but the risks are greater, therefore they should not be used because of the great risk of suicide.
“Depression is defined as an illness when the feelings of sadness, hopelessness and despair persist and interfere with a person’s ability to function”(“Focus Adolescent Services”). The six types of depressions are major depression, chronic depression, postpartum depression, bipolar depression, seasonal depression, and psychotic depression. Major depression, which is one of the most severe types of depression, causes changes in mood that last for weeks or months. Chronic depression, also known as Dysthymia, is less severe than major depression, but usually goes on for a longer period. Postpartum depression, one of the most common among new mothers, occurs in the first few months after childbirth. Bipolar depression, also known as manic depression, involves episodes of extreme personalities called mania. Seasonal depression occurs only at a certain time of the year, usually winter, because the number of daylight hours is lower. Another form of depression is psychotic depression, which is when depression and hallucinations are experienced at the same time. They all have different symptoms and should be approached differently to receive the correct treatment.
The controversy over the use of antidepressants in the treatment of children has received a large amount of attention in the past years. Everyone has his or her own opinion of antidepressants and how they work, but no one takes time to research the claims of the treatments. Antidepressants are medications to treat depression in children, teens, and adults. The dosage given should vary on the level of depression and the age of the patient. The side effects also vary depending on the patient. One source states that, “teenagers on antidepressants should be monitored for any sign that the depression is getting worse” (HelpGuide.Org). Many teens are depressed from causes of neglect. Some may feel that their...

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