CDC: 1 in 25 Adolescents Take Drugs for Depression

By: Mike Stobbe, Associated Press
By: Mike Stobbe, Associated Press

Atlanta, GA (AP) - Roughly 1 in 25 adolescents in the United States are taking antidepressants, according to a new government study billed as the first to offer such statistics on that age group.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday reported the figure for kids ages 12 to 17. It's based on surveys and depression screenings of about 12,000 U.S. adolescents and adults during the years 2005 through 2008.

The study found about 1 in 10 adults take antidepressants. And perhaps more should: The researchers said only one third of people in the study with symptoms of depression were taking medication.

The finding suggests that "there's a lot of people who are seriously ill who aren't getting treated," said Laura Pratt, the CDC epidemiologist who led the research.

Curiously, rates of antidepressant use were about the same in different income groups, even though earlier research had shown higher rates of depression among the poor, Pratt noted.

The researchers don't know why that is, but other experts have noted that poor people may have less access to medical services and doctors who prescribe the drugs. Also, some people may think they can get over depression themselves or don't want to be labeled as depressed.

Women take antidepressants more than men, and whites use them more than blacks or Mexican-Americans, the study also found.

Also, more than 60 percent of Americans taking antidepressants have been taking a medication two years or longer, and 14 percent have been taking such a drug for 10 years or more.



CDC report:

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  • by Jeff on Oct 20, 2011 at 05:21 AM
    It's funny the picture is of a 325mg generic aspirin. "L429". LOL!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011 at 11:20 AM in reply to Jeff
      Depression in Adolescents is no laughing matter, it is a serious problem and your focus is on the picture of the pill? What difference does it make that it's a picture of a 325mg generic aspirin "L429"? Actually it's a good choice. It is a sedative which has the same calming and soothing affects as some anti-depressants. Tell us what is wrong with the picture & why you find it so amusing!
      • reply
        by Jeff on Oct 20, 2011 at 12:16 PM in reply to
        Aspirin counters the effects of anti-depressants. That's why it's funny.
  • by concerned in Madison on Oct 20, 2011 at 03:56 AM
    take away anything that plugs in or has batteries, and give them some bicycles
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011 at 06:19 AM in reply to concerned in Madison
      My sentiments exactly! These kids are tied to gadgets 24-7, they are afraid not to answer a cell phone, afraid of missing out on something! Some of these kids survive on 2 or 3 hours of sleep within a 24 hour period, the stress is killing them! Their stress levels are over the top! If their access to gadgets is removed, they will not be able to set up meetings with older men/women they meet online, most of bullying would go away, they would have healthier bodies (Exercise helps depression), no more pills!
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