Friday, March 17, 2006

Instead of Pills, Lets Talk About Depression

In a new research study from Stanford University, they found that the number of doctor visits made by kids, ages 7-17, who were depressed, has more than doubled between 1995-2002. The first choice of therapy should be talk therapy. But unfortunately a number of children ended up getting pills instead. And the amount of prescriptions has also grown.
Researchers analyzed records of more than 1,000 doctors nationwide and found that referrals to psychotherapy for adolescents declined by 18 percent, while antidepressant prescriptions nearly tripled. The studies author believes that physicians are over medicating our youth with antidepressants and gives a little advice to parents. First, watch out for symptoms. If your child sleeps a lot, is suddenly getting poor school grades, or loses interest in such things as friends or hobbies for more than two weeks, you should talk to your doctor. Second, get the proper treatment. The first step for treatment should be talk therapy. In cases that are more severe, he/she might prescribe an antidepressant along with counseling. Finally, don’t forget to follow up. If you feel that the current treatment is not working, ask for something else. Some may need to try a different antidepressant. This would have to be under close supervision because now the only antidepressant that is currently approved for children is Prozac.

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