While recent studies have shown that the number of children being prescribed antidepressants is on the rise, a new study conducted in the U.S. has revealed that children under six years of age who have used these drugs report no significant changes in symptoms, according to findings in a follow-up study conducted six years after being prescribed antidepressants.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that depression will become the most prevalent disease affecting the modern population by 2020, another report released by the Psychiatric Association of Turkey has revealed that depression and anxiety disorders are among the most common illnesses reported among people between the ages of 15 and 55 in Turkey.
According to data compiled by the International Marketing Services (IMS), the number of antidepressant medications prescribed in 2003 was 14,238, 000 while this number increased by 120 percent in 2008 to 31,302,000.
The fact that Turkey imports most of the drugs used in mental health is another thing that is worthy of paying attention to.
"Ongoing conflicts, violence, poverty, losses and problems in the workplace are considered important factors which trigger depression," psychiatrist Dr. Tanju Sürmeli said.
The use of attention deficit disorder (ADD) drugs used to treat hyperactivity in children over the age of six is also increasing.
According to Dr. Sürmeli, the American National Economic Bureau reports that despite having serious side-effects, amphetamine-type drugs have no significant impact on the medium and long-term prognosis among child patients.
Amphetamine-type drug use can, in rare cases, cause sudden death in children as well as cardiac dilation, stunted growth, poor appetite, weight loss, aggression and psychosis. With regard to antidepressant drugs, possible side effects include nausea, weight gain, sleepiness, insomnia, diarrhea and sexual dysfunction.
Antidepressant use also increases the risk of suicide among patients under 18 years of age.