Antidepressant use and suicidal behavior
Reference: “Changes in antidepressant use by young people and suicidal behavior after FDA warnings and media coverage” BMJ 2014;348:g3596.
A research paper published 18 June 2014 in the British Medical Journal investigates “if the widely publicized warnings in 2003 from the US Food and Drug Administration about a possible increased risk of suicidality with antidepressant use in young people were associated with changes in antidepressant use, suicide attempts, and completed suicides among young people.”
The paper concludes that “Safety warnings about antidepressants and widespread media coverage decreased antidepressant use, and there were simultaneous increases in suicide attempts among young people.”
Some interesting statistics are cited: “In the United States in 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24. Nearly 8% of high school students reported attempting suicide in 2011 and 2.4% made an attempt that required medical attention. There has been considerable concern that suicidal behavior is a potential adverse outcome of prescription drug use, including antidepressant and anticonvulsant agents.”
Additionally, “In adolescents and young adults, initiation of antidepressant treatment may precipitate short term increases in suicidal ideation and behavior.”
Expanding on the conclusion, “After the FDA warnings, antidepressant use decreased substantially in all age groups and there were simultaneous, small increases in psychotropic drug poisonings, a validated measure of suicide attempts, among adolescents and young adults; these results were consistent across 11 geographically diverse US study sites.”
How might suicides be increasing while antidepressant use was decreasing?
We can think of two related facts.
1) Suicidal thoughts and attempts are a side effect of psychotropic drugs, particularly antidepressants. The side effects of psychotropic drugs being used don’t go away just because there are less prescriptions written.
2) There are a lot more psychotropic drugs with this side effect than just antidepressants, which are not accounted for in this study.
The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior or study problems as “diseases,” and then prescribe harmful and addictive, suicide-causing drugs to children. Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful.