Record numbers of children prescribed anti-depressants

From today’s Daily Mail:

The number of school children prescribed anti-depressants and mind-altering drugs has more than quadrupled in the last decade, it has emerged.

New figures show GPs are prescribing pills in record numbers to combat stress, violent behaviour and even tiredness.

Under-16s were given drugs for mental health problems more than 631,000 times in the last year, compared to just 146,000 in the mid-Nineties.

The findings come despite the publication of research showing that children given anti-depressants run a higher risk of self-harm and are more likely to attempt suicide.

These figures, published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, show a huge year-on-year increase in medication prescribed by GPs for depression, behaviour control and severe mental disorders.

Among the drugs effectively banned are Seroxat, which was taken by an estimated 50,000 British youngsters before guidelines ruled it out in 2003.

It was given to children as young as six but critics said young patients became more likely to commit suicide, and parents told how their children had mood swings, nightmares and personality changes.

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