By: Arelly Gomez

Should antidepressant drugs be prescribed for children suffering from depression?

Antidepressants do help

In Melissa Healy’s article, she stated that antidepressant medications taken by roughly 7% of Americans have shown personality changes with patients with depression. Northwestern University psychologist Tony Z. Tang, the lead author of the study have stated that the medication would relieve depression by chemically altering brain processes that spawn negative thoughts rather than just alleviating symptoms associated with a depressed state. A trial that involved 240 adults with moderate to severe depression were being tested. Of those 240 adults, 120 were given the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine (Paxil) for 16 weeks. Another 60 received cognitive therapy but no medication for 16 weeks, and 60 others were given a placebo alone for eight weeks. All subjects who reported improvements in their depression in response to psychotherapy or medication were followed for a year.


In Lisa Mayoh article, she states that many teenagers have to use a handful of antidepressants every day just to fight anxiety or depression. “The decade-long trend of medicating young people for mental health issues continues to grow, with new figures showing 30,706 young people under 18 were prescribed antidepressants such as Prozac in the 12 months to June 2008. In the same year, 4000 children under 10 were also given mood-stabilising drugs, with 500 of them not even five years old.”

In Evelyn Theiss article she states “Today, more than 1 in 10 Americans take antidepressants, making them the most commonly prescribed category of drugs in the United States. Most of the growth in these prescriptions has occurred in the past 15 years; the number of prescriptions for antidepressants doubled from 1996 to 2005 and has been growing since. One of the most commonly prescribed SSRIs are Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil and Celexa." A psychologist named Eric Maisel states “Antidepressants aren't medication to treat an illness. They are simply chemicals that can have a powerful effect. If you are shy and drink three scotches to help you with that, you are using it for the chemical effect. I'm not saying SSRIs don't have powerful effects. And you may want those effects if you are suicidal or in a deep hole.”

Work Cited

Healy, Melissa. "Antidepressants Treat Symptoms at the Root." Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA) 2009 dec 08: A.1 DB - SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 5 Sept. 2014. <>.

Mayoh, Lisa. "Are We Over-Medicating Our Kids?" Sunday Herald-Sun (Melbourne) Australia 2010 jul 25: 2 DB - SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <>.

"Depression: Some Experts Think We Might Be Overdiagnosed, and Overmedicated." Evelyn Theiss, The Plain Dealer, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.