Harry Hucknall, a ten-year-old boy, died after hanging himself with a belt from his bunk bed. His father blames the death on Ritalin and Prozac, two drugs that the boy had been prescribed by a psychiatrist to cure his boisterous behavior and low spirits.
At the time of his death, the child had more drugs in his body than the normal level for adults suffering from the same problems.
According to the Daily Mail:
"... 661,000 prescriptions are dished out annually in Britain to treat childhood ADHD -- double the figure of five years ago. These medicines are being given to very young children -- one aged just 15 months ... despite official guidelines from the manufacturer and the fact that the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) prohibits their use for those under six."
In the New York Times article linked below, internist Danielle Ofri also talks about the effects of depression. Her childhood friend Michael killed himself during his sophomore year of college. And just two weeks before writing the article, she called one of her patients to reschedule an appointment, and was told that the patient had been found dead in his apartment, most likely a suicide.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds. Each year, about a million people worldwide take their own lives.
"It's not just one million lives, but millions of families, friends and neighbors left with thorns in their hearts, black holes that may scab over but will never disappear."
New research suggests that people who take antidepressant drugs are actually more likely to suffer relapses of depression. In fact, used over the long term, antidepressants may "do more harm than good."
The data indicates that the longer the period of drug administration, the more likely the patient will relapse. And experts say that 15 years' worth of data from clinical trials of antidepressants, much of it unpublished, shows that antidepressants are hardly better than placebos.
According to The Daily Beast:
"Questions about how well antidepressants work in the treatment of depression have been in the mix for several years; large-scale studies, like the influential STAR*D trials, have turned up lackluster results, showing antidepressants to be little more effective than placebos in combating mild to moderate cases of depression."