However, the results of clinical trials undertaken in 2016 showed that most antidepressants are ineffective. Out of 14 types of antidepressant only fluoxetine (Prozac) was deemed more effective than a placebo in helping young people suffering from major depression.
One such antidepressant, venlafaxine (Effexor) could potentially increase the risk of suicide. In this case, it seems that the dangers outweigh the benefits of prescribing antidepressants to children.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence advised that fluoxetine should be ‘cautiously considered’ for five to 11-year-olds.
The use of antidepressants by young people, in particular teens, is now so common that it’s become a normality to some, and this is resulting in more young people asking for antidepressants because that’s what their friends are taking.
In the light of these results, it looks as though antidepressants are not the most effective way to treat mental illness in young people.
What I think
I want to know why this is happening. Why has it become so easy to obtain these pills?
It might be that doctors are overprescribing, due to the underfunding of alternative methods of care for mental health, such as therapy. It could also be because mental health is still not regarded as important as physical health.
Either way, we need to find a solution, and we need to find it quick.
What do you think? Please comment below.
If you are experiencing mental health problems, information from the following website could be useful: