More Adolescent Depression


Anchor lead: Adolescent depression rates appear to be increasing, Elizabeth Tracey reports

FDA warnings about the danger of antidepressant medicines in adolescents may have made the problem worse, a recent study looking at suicides in this age group found. Karen Swartz, an adolescent depression expert at Johns Hopkins, cites another worrisome study.

Swartz: Another recent survey showed that 50% of 18-24 year olds hit the threshold for a depression screen, and 25% of them said  they thought about suicide in the last thirty days.  :11

Swartz says while the problem is acute, patience is needed in treatment.

Swartz: What often happens too is that someone will come into care, when their symptoms are bad, but the medicines frustratingly take a while to work, so it might be that their intensity of symptoms actually worsens, in the time that you’re waiting for the antidepressant to work, so someone might be okay, but then they get worse because their illness is getting worse, and the antidepressant hasn’t had a chance to work yet.  :23

Swartz notes close monitoring is key. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.