Child suicide rise tied to FDA warnings

New research from the CDC suggests that after 10 years of decline, suicides by adults and children under 20 have risen substantially over the past few years Researchers say the trend could be tied to a drop in antidepressant drug use. The increase in deaths coincides with an FDA decision to put warnings on prescriptions warning that antidepressants could cause suicidal behavior in children.

Some mental advocates, including psychologist David Shern of Mental Health America, said they found the newly lethal trend to be "a disturbing reversal of progress." He also noted that other studies have shown a decrease in suicides related to antidepressant use.

Shern's group gets funding from antidepressant makers (in addition to private donations and government agencies) so his words should be judged accordingly, but stats seem to be fairly straightforward. The suicide rate among Americans under age 20 climbed 18 percent from 2003 to 2004, mostly among older teens, according to the latest data from the CDC. Meanwhile, suicides among older teens fell in previous years.

To learn more about antidepressant data:
- read this Associated Press article

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