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When drugs make a child's depression worse

MagazineApril 2004 (Vol. 15 Issue 1)When drugs make a child's depression worse

I should like to make some observations about your recent articles on depression, and relate something of my own experience with these disorders

I should like to make some observations about your recent articles on depression, and relate something of my own experience with these disorders.

Three years ago, my grandson, then 13, suffered a severe form of depression, making him suicidal. He was referred to the local child and adolescent psychiatric service. The psychiatrist prescribed him an SSRI. He took these and became manic.

Had the psychiatrist known about childhood bipolar disorder, she would have known that some antidepressants flip bipolar patients from extreme depression to mania. It seems likely that some of the children who become more ill on these medications are undiagnosed bipolar sufferers. Anyone who knows of the suffering of these children could never be so cruel as to withhold medication.

My grandson was eventually seen by a paediatric neuropsychiatrist, who prescribed Depakote, which stabilised him very quickly. For children like him, screening, diagnosis and the appropriate medication can literally save lives. - Teresa Hobday, Wem, Shrewsbury


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