A news article published in 2017 reported that, according to the latest data, a staggering 12.7 percent of all US citizens over the age of 12 were taking antidepressants. Thrive Global, who reported these figures, stated that:
For many, antidepressants have been a long-term course of medication: 68 percent of people in the most recent survey said they’d been taking them for two or more years, and 25 percent had been taking them for more than a decade.”
In reality, more children are being prescribed these drugs than the public are aware of. This fact was highlighted by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) in their film, Psychiatry: an Industry of Death. They stated that currently around 20 million school children are being prescribed stimulants and psychotropic drugs.
This information is extremely worrying, especially when you consider that professionals worldwide have been linking the use of antidepressants to suicide, suicidal thoughts, and attempted suicide, for many years.
Studies Prove that Antidepressants Can Lead Patients to Die by Suicide
In 2016, in her article titled 7 Facts About Depression That Will Blow You Away, holistic women’s health psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan, M.D., stated that:
Despite what you’ve been led to believe, antidepressants have repeatedly been shown in long-term scientific studies to worsen the course of mental illness — to say nothing of the risks of liver damage, bleeding, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and reduced cognitive function they entail. The dirtiest little secret of all is the fact that antidepressants are among the most difficult drugs to taper from, more so than alcohol and opiates. While you might call it “going through withdrawal,” we medical professionals have been instructed to call it “discontinuation syndrome,” which can be characterized by fiercely debilitating physical and psychological reactions. Moreover, antidepressants have a well-established history of causing violent side effects, including suicide and homicide. In fact, five of the top 10 most violence-inducing drugs have been found to be antidepressants.” (Emphasis added)
Worryingly, Brogan highlighted the fact that the majority of prescriptions being written for antidepressants were actually being written by general practitioners and not psychiatrists, as one would expect. She wrote that:
Seven percent of all visits to a primary care doctor end with an antidepressant and almost three-quarters of the prescriptions are written without a specific diagnosis. What’s more, when the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health did its own examination into the prevalence of mental disorders, it found that most people who take antidepressants never meet the medical criteria for a bona fide diagnosis of major depression, and many who are given antidepressants for things like OCD panic disorder, social phobia, and anxiety also don’t qualify as actually having these conditions.” (Emphasis added)
In fact, according to Brogan, many individuals suffering with a physical condition can also display symptoms similar to those suffered by those patients with psychiatric disorders. If this is correct, then young children may be diagnosed with mental illness when they are not mentally ill but physically sick.
She stated that:
Many different physical conditions create psychiatric symptoms but aren’t themselves “psychiatric.” Two prime examples: dysfunctioning thyroid and blood sugar chaos. We think (because our doctors think) that we need to “cure” the brain, but in reality we need to look at the whole body’s ecosystem: intestinal health, hormonal interactions, the immune system and autoimmune disorders, blood sugar balance, and toxicant exposure.” (Emphasis added)
Brogan concluded that:
Depression is a message and an opportunity
It’s a sign for us to stop and figure out what’s causing our imbalance rather than just masking, suppressing, or rerouting the symptoms. It’s a chance to choose a new story, to engage in radical transformation, to say yes to a different life experience.”
If she is correct, then her paper is extremely worrying, as, according to research, children as young as one-year-old are being prescribed antidepressants.
One-Year-Old Prescribed Antidepressants
In 2016, it was reported that the Scottish National Health Service (NHS) had been prescribing antidepressants to children for many years.
In a report written by Harry Cockburn, published by the Independent in 2016, Cockburn stated that between January and May, the Tayside and Dundee National Health Service (NHS), prescribed antidepressants to approximately 450 children under the age of 18.
Furthermore, he continued with the extremely worrying statement that:
In 2014, the trust prescribed antidepressants to a one-year-old boy, according to figures obtained by the Dundee Evening Telegraph.” (Emphasis added)
Cockburn also stated that:
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside told the Evening Telegraph the drugs could be used to treat a number of different conditions beyond their most common use as a treatment for clinical depression.”
This being said, should antidepressants be given to children under the age of 18 at all? Cockburn continued his article by revealing that:
In January this year, the largest ever review of clinical study reports compiled by drug companies found teenagers were twice as likely to commit suicide if they were taking antidepressants.”
Concerned by what we had discovered, we decided to ask leading child psychiatrist Dr. Sami Tamimi what he believed was happening to our children.
Dr. Timimi is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Director of Medical Education in the National Health Service in Lincolnshire, Training Programme Director for East Midlands Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and a Visiting Professor of Child Psychiatry and Mental Health Improvement at the University of Lincoln, UK.
In an exclusive interview, we asked Dr. Timimi whether or not he believed that young children should be prescribed antidepressants.
I believe that they should not. Doctors prescribe them because they can and we deal with difficult situations, but this leads to massive overprescribing and creation of long-term patients on medications that, according to the research, have little to no advantage over a sugar pill (placebo) but come with a range of side effects and withdrawal problems.”
Given his reply, we asked him whether or not there was a known link between antidepressants and suicide?
He told us that:
You are about twice as likely to experience suicidal impulses and behaviours if you are prescribed an ‘antidepressants’ compared to placebo in under 18s.”
We asked him if, over the years, he had noticed a rise in the number of children being labelled as mentally ill.
Yes, and it has accelerated in the last ten years or so (possibly in connection with post financial crash austerity putting greater pressures on families and schools and therefore young people).”
We asked him if he believed that too many children were being labelled as mentally ill.
I reject the notion that what they have is a mental illness/disorder, as most of what we call this is simply understandable reactions to life events and family circumstances. No one has demonstrated that any neurological or genetic abnormalities are connected with any of the so-called diagnoses we make. I think this is an unhelpful way of thinking about distress or behavioural difference, as it assumes something is wrong with the internal working of the child, and often, by accident, leads to creating more long-term patients. To make progress in how we help those who experience mental distress/behavioural difference as youngsters, we must first dispense with unscientific notions such as psychiatric diagnosis/disorders.”
Finally, we asked him what he believed were the alternatives to prescription drugs.
He replied that:
Everything else you can think of, from the variety of therapies (family, group, systemic, individual) to lifestyle (diet, exercise etc.), to focus on routines and social functioning, to everyday stuff like hobbies and spending more time with friends, etc.”
Given the fact that, according to Dr. Timimi and many others, there are many alternative therapies that professionals could be offering their patients before prescribing them antidepressants. We need to ask ourselves why so many young children are being prescribed these drugs in the first place, especially since research indicates that they can cause some children to have suicidal thoughts.
Latest Research Once Again Links Antidepressants to Suicide
In 2018, S.Stübner et al, conducted a study carefully analysing paperwork collected from 81 psychiatric hospitals during the period from 1993 – 2014. The team documented all single cases of suicidal ideations or behavior that had been judged as adverse drug reactions to antidepressant drugs.
They stated that:
Among 219,635 adult hospitalized patients taking antidepressant drugs under surveillance, 83 cases of suicidal adverse drug reactions occurred (0.04%): 44 cases of suicidal ideation, 34 attempted suicides, and 5 committed suicides were documented. Restlessness was present in 42 patients, ego-dystonic intrusive suicidal thoughts or urges in 39 patients, impulsiveness in 22 patients, and psychosis in 7 patients. Almost all adverse drug reactions occurred shortly after beginning antidepressant drug medication or increasing the dosage. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors caused a higher incidence of suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior as adverse drug reactions than noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants or tricyclic antidepressants, as did monotherapy consisting of one antidepressant drug, compared to combination treatments.”
Although their statistics could be seen by many to be somewhat limited, the team concluded that “their findings supported the view that antidepressant drugs can, in rare cases trigger suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour.”
The team stated that:
… Special clinical features (restlessness, ego-dystonic thoughts or urges, impulsiveness) may be considered as possible warning signs. A combination therapy might be preferable to antidepressant drug monotherapy when beginning treatment.”
We believe that these statistics are extremely worrying, especially when you consider the fact that children as young one are being prescribed antidepressants.
However, according to evidence that we have uncovered, these links appear to have been known for many years, because, according to a special report published in 2006 by medical expert Dr. Peter R. Breggin, the FDA now require the manufacturers of antidepressants to highlight the potential risk of increased suicidality in children on their labels. He stated that:
As of 2005, the FDA now require the drug manufacturers to place elaborate warnings on their labels concerning the potential of these drugs to cause stimulating effects, including agitation, anxiety, irritability, emotional lability, aggression, hostility, and mania. The labels must also include a warning about increased suicidality in children.”
Furthermore, in his report, which highlights the lengths that drug companies can go to conceal crucial evidence from the public, Breggin explained in detail how, after being asked to give evidence in a trial concerning the widely used antidepressant Paxil, he was “empowered by the court to examine hundreds of cartons of drug company files contained in GlaxoSmith Klines’s sealed record room.” He wrote:
These files included Food and Drug Administration (FDA) correspondence and all of the company’s worldwide clinical trials and adverse drug reports for Paxil.
On July 21, 2001, my report in the form of an affidavit was sent to the judicial arbitrator in the case. It addressed GSK’s practices in the development and marketing of Paxil, and in particular its alleged withholding or manipulation of information about the drug’s dangerousness. Based on GSK’s proprietary files that have to this day never been made public, my report examined many factors, including (a) how quickly after the first dose can Paxil cause severe adverse reactions; (b) the actual rates of akathisia; (c) the actual risk of overstimulation causing agitation, irritability, and manic-like symptoms; (d) the actual rates of suicidality in adults; and (e) promotional claims made for the drug.”
He stated that:
The case against GSK was eventually “resolved” to the satisfaction of GSK and the Lacuzong family. GSK denied and continues to deny all of the allegations of negligence in developing and marketing Paxil. My impression is that a substantial amount of money was involved in the resolution of the case, although the amount was not disclosed. GSK at that time refused to unseal its records or to allow me to make public my findings, regardless of their significance for the FDA, medical profession, and public health.” (Emphasis added)
He concluded his report by adding several sections of his full report, which he has stated, can be found on his website. He stated that the sections that he had added to this report focused largely on Paxil-induced suicidality in adults.
Having read this report and his evidence, plus the evidence that we have highlighted in this article, leads us to conclude that too many young children are being prescribed dangerous, mind-altering drugs before their problems have been fully investigated.
Written by Christina England, BA Hons for the GreenMedInfo ~ November 25, 2018
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