Mental health officials are hearing a very familiar quote from children “I am depressed”, it raises eyebrows but this is a growing problem as a record numbers of children are now being diagnosed with clinical depression. The rise in depression in the young has surprised mental health workers in the United States as well as Europe, according to the University of San Diego State the numbers reveal a dramatic rise in the numbers of children stating “I am Depressed". Clinical depression which effects over 20 million adults is starting to claim many children as its new victims.
Today five to eight times as many high school and college students meet the criteria for diagnosis of major depression and/or an anxiety disorder as was true half a century or more ago but equally alarming are statistics showing pre teens(9-12) are experiencing a major increase in depression according to the Center for Mental Health
Depression has doubled in children and tripled in teens over the last 10 years in the United States, the numbers of children and teens with emotional related problems has increased, many school officials are not prepared for the rising numbers of clinically depressed children. Recent research published in Pediatrics Journal examined psycho-social issues in thousands of children ages 4 to 15 during pediatric visits for common health concerns, the study found significant increases in reports of emotional problems, including depression and anxiety. “I am Depressed” It is the cry of a new generation and the children are suffering.
The difficulty in using medications on children
In adults the solution to depression has been a turning to antidepressants, we are seeing the use of antidepressants in younger and younger people but the side effects in adults and teens are a major concern for those on these drugs. There are also concerns over how young to start people on antidepressants medications.
How young is too young for antidepressants? the side effects of medications can be tremendous on a young and growing brain, this is an ethical and medical problems that doctors must confront. There are over 30 million in the United States on antidepressants and the numbers are climbing each year. Many need antidepressants but more doctors are saying pills should not be the last step in the healing process. We have new generation stating “I am depressed” and some are not even 10 years old.
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