Drugs to treat child depression and anxiety

The Telegraph – 25 June 2017

The number of distressed young people is on the rise. Statistics are showing that almost 14,000 out of 198,906 prescriptions for drugs treating depression and anxiety were given to children up to 12 years old.

Antidepressants to treat child anxiety disorder

A report from the Child Mind Institute in 2015 found that only 20% of young people with a diagnosable anxiety disorder get treatment.

Dr Olivia Fiertag, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Nightingale Hospital says:

“Each child is different, and often antidepressants are not the first-choice treatment for young children with depression or anxiety (with therapy often being the first choice) but in some circumstances yes, a doctor may recommend antidepressants and any prescribing should be done under the supervision of a child psychiatrist.”

She also points out:
“Most children with depression respond very well to treatment and make a good recovery.”

What are the treatment steps to treat a child with depression?
As Dr Olivia Fiertag explains, children and adolescents are constantly experiencing new challenges as they develop and transition through different life stages and at times this can be challenging not only for the young person but also for their parent/carer(s) and family. Dr Fiertag supports children within their specific family context; working collaboratively with the child and supporting parents/carer(s) in helping them navigate through the difficulties. She provides assessment and specific treatments (e.g. CBT, family based therapy or medication) for distress or illness relating to emotional health, to support young people so they can achieve their full personal, relational, academic and social potential.

Read the full article here.