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Now Infants Are Being Diagnosed With Depression

It's hard to imagine that children the age of five and even younger are taking mind-altering medications on a daily basis, however research trends have shown that this is the largest growing age group that are taking antidepressants. Evidence of this increase was supported in the following statistics.

  • Children taking antidepressants went from 160 per 10,000 in 1998 to 240 per 10,000 in 2003.
  • The greatest growth could be seen among girls (a 68 percent increase) over boys (a 34 percent increase).
  • The adjusted trend of antidepressant use among children and adolescents showed an annual increase of 9.2 percent.
  • There was a 49 percent increase in overall antidepressant use in children between the years 1998 and 2002.

    The Federal Drug and Administration required stronger warning labels for Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Serzone and Remeron.

    One researcher claimed that it was possible to diagnosis depression at very young ages by looking for symptoms such as lack of interaction, reluctance to eat and weight loss. The researcher also stated that diagnosis of depression involved looking into several areas including the child's developmental history, family and medical history. Another expert referred to prescribing antidepressants to children as outrageous and giving them toxic substances rather than finding out their real needs was abusive.

    Now American children are officially candidates for antidepressants. It is a sad, but not unexpected, tragedy that our drug use is being extended to children. Americans had more than 3 billion prescriptions filled in 2000. On the average, that is one prescription for every man, woman and child in the United States every single month. Just imagine how many prescriptions are being filled now. Back in 2003, I posted an article on the antidepressants that needed to be looked upon with extra precaution as mentioned in the above article. The tragic aspect of this scenario is that a large portion of depressed children may be suffering due to a nutritional component. It really is no surprise that so many kids are depressed or have attention deficit disorder when you consider what most of them are being fed. Soda, juices, sugar-coated grain cereals, candies, cookies, doughnuts, chips, popcorn, ice cream, pizza and vegetables oils loaded with trans omega-6 fats along with a deficiency of omega-3 oils. The amazing thing is that so many can actually survive this nutritional assault.Certainly, emotional factors are also major contributors to depression and an optimum diet will not resolve depression in many children. However, that is in no way a carte blanche justification to use mind-altering drugs to treat the symptoms.Use of these drugs is especially concerning since recent studies prove that antidepressants don't work much better than sugar pills (placebos). If you are concerned about depression in your child, please review the recent guidelines I complied on how to treat depression.

    Insight May 3, 2004

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