Psychiatrists discover depression disorders in children and young adults using the same criteria used in diagnosing adults depression disorders, ICD-101 and DSM-5. The primary symptoms include mood changes represented by irritability and low spirits. Some lose their cheerfulness for weeks with anxiety, sadness, and emptiness being eminent. Others may lose touch with the reality around them and become hopeless and pessimistic towards life. Sleeplessness, low concentration, guilt, a feeling of worthlessness and helplessness, withdrawal, lack of interests in daily activities, and general feelings of slow down are the symptoms of depression. Mainly, depression is categorized according to the number of indicators present. The more severe the depression is, the higher the number of symptoms evident. Depression rate is higher in adults than it is in children and teenagers. If it goes untreated or managed, it may result in unsuccessful or successful suicide attempts, drug abuse, social misfits, impaired academic functioning and other psychiatric disorders. However, recent research presented to Food and Drugs Administration shows that the antidepressants given to young adults as treatment, in the end, contribute to triggering of suicidal tendencies in them. Given the consequences of not treating depression, antidepressants should not be restricted but instead be improved on, to get rid of the element in the drugs that bring suicidal motives.
When it comes to the choice of depression treatment, it is determined by the level of depression. As well, the risks factors associated with the type of depression, preference of the depressed patient, expectations regarding how the depressed patient should be monitored, how informed the patient and their family are about the risks and benefits of the treatment. Additionally, both the level of development of the patient and how closely the follow up should be administered are also considered (Clark, Jansen & Cloy, 2012). In the treatment of adolescent depression, pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy or combinations of both the two treatment methods are adapted (Clark, Jansen & Cloy, 2012). More so, psychotherapy alone cannot be entirely relied on in the treatment of depression in young adults. Therefore, pharmacotherapy not only complements it but also, plays a significant role in the treatment of depression in young adults. For instance, they are administered to increase the efficiency of psychotherapy. Pharmacotherapy involves the administering of antidepressant drugs. Before the use of drugs is recommended the severity and history of the depression is carefully scrutinized (Clark, Jansen, & Cloy, 2012). Furthermore, treatment commences with the inducement of the lowest dosage possible and titrated by observed side effects on the patient and their general response to the medication. The initial first-line of treatment is the first administered, if it proves ineffective, the patient is then introduced into first-line agents. As well, all antidepressants have a caution sign to warn the users of the suicidal risks involved. After the patient is prescribed the anti-depressants medication, close specialists through scheduled monthly visits and regular telephone calls follow up monitoring (Clark, Jansen, & Cloy, 2012). Close follow up, will help identify side effects like restlessness, nervousness, suicidal tendencies, and headaches. Previously, Tricyclic antidepressants were used in treatment until it was proven that they are ineffective. Fluoxetine, Sertraline, and Citalopram as first-line of treatments then replaced them. Research has demonstrated that Fluoxetine is the most effective of the three drugs (Clark, Jansen, & Cloy, 2012). As well, Escitalopram is recommended for the treatment of depressions in adolescents patients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics indicate that the level of suicide cases in 2007 among children from age 10 to 14 years of age was 0.9 per 100,000 (Clark, Jansen & Cloy, 2012). Most children used suffocation and poisoning to commit suicide. Ideally, suicidal cases in young adults were recorded at 6.9 per 100, 000. Most teenagers used firearms and poisoning to commit suicide with a few opting to cut their blood veins and bleed out (Clark, Jansen, & Cloy, 2012). Arguably, the use of antidepressants is not entirely responsible for all the reported suicidal cases. In fact, anti-depressants have immensely contributed to the improvement of depressed patients lives. After taking the pills, the patients were more capable of handling the intense and critical situations, which the prescribed patient would not have been able to without the use of the drugs. Subsequently, it improves the depression recovery of the depressed patient and their everyday lives. For example, the depressed patients were less nervous during challenging circumstances. As well, they felt less impulsive with less negative thoughts, and they were seemingly more stable. They also boost the mood of the patient and are more efficient given that they provide temporary relief faster (Valueris Psychiatric Services, 2015). Evidently, the anti-depressants cannot be eliminated. Hence, the best option is to identify any side effects and to manage it quickly. To establish whether a patient has suicidal thoughts, the use of questionnaires and clinical interviews has proven to be effective. According to research conducted by National Comorbidity Study, results revealed that suicide attempts by adolescent suicide ideators were about 33.9% (Lewandowsk et al. 2017). Through questionnaires and clinical interviews, it can be established how frequent the suicidal thoughts are experienced, whether there exists the previous history of suicide attempts by the patient, the possibility of a specific harmful plan and how accessible or available is the means to facilitate the plan to harm themselves.
Several factors like poor parental care during childhood that could have resulted in neglect or abuse, family conflicts, inherited familial mental problems, the onset of puberty and hormonal change especially in girls, adverse life events and stressors such as peer difficulties (Gledhill & Hodes, 2015). Regardless of the cause of depression, how severe or mild the recession appears to be, there are different approaches to treating it. Research has confirmed that antidepressants are the most effective when it comes to treatment of severe and chronic depression. For example, within 40 to 60 of 100 depressed patients noticed an improvement in their symptoms within a period of 6 to 8 weeks after being introduced to the drug (Informed Health Online, 2015). Not to mention, anti-depressants like SSRIs and TCAs, are taken by recovering patients to prevent relapses. Relapses prevention is particularly useful to patients with chronic depression, those that wish not to have a decline or a person that has suffered several relapses in the past (Informed Health Online, 2015). However, Pharmacotherapy is not as effective in the treatment of mild depression.
In summary, it is evident that doing away with anti-depressants that could otherwise be improved on by pharmacists, serves only to limit the treatment options for depressed patients. Moreover, other methods of treatments could be employed. For instance, psychiatric visits and group therapy could be helpful in detecting suicidal intentions. Anti-depressants may have some adverse effects on the patients, but it is by a significant extent part of the solution. Therefore, pharmacists should improve the anti-depressants drugs by conducting further research. Notably, with the increase in numbers of depressed patients, any suitable method to help the patients should be encouraged.
Clark, S.M., Jansen, L.K., & Cloy, J.A. (2012). Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent
Depression. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0901/p442.pdf
Gledhill, J. & Hodes, M. (2015). Management of depression in children and adolescents.Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry, vol. 19, Issue 2.Informed Health Online. (2017). Depression: How effective are anti-depressants? PubMedHealth. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0087089/
Lewandowsk, R. E et al. (2017). Evidence for the Management of Adolescent Depression.Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/132/4/e996.full.pdf
Valueris Psychiatric Services, 2015. The Advantages of Using Antidepressants. Retrieved from
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