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September 21, 2004

Treating Kids with Depression

New FDA warnings about the use of anti-depressant medications for children leave parents, caregivers wondering about options.

The Boston Globe reports that parents and caregivers of depressed children, concerned by recent links of new anti-depressants to suicidal behavior, are in a quandary as they seek alternative therapies for their children. According to doctors, the best choice is to combine drugs with talk therapy. However, a scarcity of child psychiatrists and inadequate insurance coverage for mental illness prevent access to these services by most consumers and their families.

According to today's article, primary-care physicians see 75 percent of children with psychiatric disorders, but they are unprepared to provide adequate diagnoses and treatment for mental illness. Their reluctance to prescribe drugs or recommend alternative therapies will only serve to anger families of depressed children. Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI’s medical director, is quoted in the article: "What'll happen is the advocates and the family will say this is outrageous. You're telling me my kid can't get any treatment because you guys are afraid to prescribe it."

Read the full article from The Boston Globe (opens new browser window)

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