4000 kids under 10 on mood drugs

Julie-Anne Davies | December 03, 2008

Article from:  The Australian

UNPUBLISHED figures show that nearly 4000 children under the age of 10 were prescribed anti-depressants last financial year, including 553 children under five and 48 babies.

The commonwealth Department of Health statistics give an alarming, although most likely conservative, age-by-age breakdown of the national use of anti-depressants.

Leading pediatricians and psychiatrists can offer no reason why infants would be given the drugs.

Depression expert Gordon Parker said the numbers were "beyond comprehension" and urged the federal Government to ask doctors responsible for supplying scripts for young children to justify their actions.

Professor Parker, the executive director of the Black Dog Institute, said: "At first pass it is beyond comprehension that more than 500 Australian children - aged one to five years - have received an anti-depressant drug.

"When the particular drugs are considered, the risk of significant side effects - let alone their efficacy - is of key concern. It strikes me that there would be wisdom in having the doctors justify such prescriptions to determine whether there are any justifiable reasons for such surprising data."

The figures are based on Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule data that covers only people who received a subsidised prescription. Most anti-depressants are sold privately.

Asked what circumstances might lead to a baby being treated with an anti-depressant drug, the spokesman for the pediatric division of the Royal Australian College of Physicians, John Wray said: "None that come to mind. The college would like to know who is prescribing these drugs to such young children and why."

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Jan McLucas said the Government would be "very concerned if anti-depressant medications were being inappropriately prescribed and dispensed, particularly to children".

The Therapeutic Goods Administration said in a statement last night that it was powerless to regulate the use of off-label medicines as it was not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for non-approved indications. But it said there might be medical practice and medico-legal implications associated with prescribing a medication outside its approved indications.

The Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee warns doctors against prescribing any of the SSRI anti-depressant drugs to children under 18 - aside from two that are approved for obsessive compulsive disorder in children aged over six years - and points out that the drug companies themselves advise against their use for any condition.

There are numerous examples in the Health Department figures that show doctors are ignoring the warnings.

The anti-depressant drug Venlafaxine, which is marketed here as Effexor by Wyeth Australia, carries a clear statement that reads: "Do not give Effexor XR to children or adolescents under 18 years of age. The safety and effectiveness of Effexor XR in this age group have not been established."

Despite this, 3347 children and teenagers were prescribed the drug last financial year. Eight of those were babies, 19 were aged two and three and another 15 were five years old. A spokeswoman for Wyeth said the drug was not indicated for use in children and adolescents below 18 years of age, and it had never recommended its use in this population. No anti-depressant is approved in Australia for the treatment of depression in children and adolescents.

Two SSRI anti-depressants have Therapeutic Goods Administration approval to treat children as young as six years for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; other, older-style anti-depressants can be prescribed by doctors to treat bed-wetting. But even allowing for these conditions, Royal Australian College of Psychiatrists spokesman Peter Jenkins said the figures were mysterious and worrying.

The Health Department figures were obtained by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Church of Scientology-backed lobby group opposed to anti-depressant therapy.

The most comprehensive research into SSRI anti-depressants and their use in children and adolescents in 2004 led to drug manufacturers around the world being forced to include a warning in their product information, stating the drugs could increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour in children. This followed the results of an extensive analysis of clinical trial data by the US Food and Drug Administration.

According to the Health Department figures, the most commonly prescribed anti-depressant for children and adolescents aged under 18 years is Prozac, with 7833 given the drug in the past year, including 863 children aged under 10.

The Australian revealed recently that the TGA was investigating the adverse effects of SSRIs, the most widely prescribed group of anti-depressants that includes the well-known brands Prozac and Zoloft.

Your Comments:

36 Comment(s)

cloudchaser1964 of Chicago IL 10:21am today

As one who has dealt with anti-depressants personally, and stopped taking them, I've also seen the devastating effects on my sister's life. Her consistent attempts to take her own life, finally led to her stopping the drugs. Every time she told her doctor about the thoughts, they just strengthened her current prescriptions, and usually added a new one to the mix. The biggest wake up call was when my sister's 14 year old daughter was placed on anti-depressants, due to her depression over their major relocation. Here is a child that was depressed over leaving a place that was a home town to her for most of her life, and moving across the country, and across the Pacific to a new place. And, mind you here is a child that has been caring for suicidal mother, and has been for three years. With all the stress, and pressure this sweet child faced never brought her to the brink. Sure she got down, and had some trouble staying focused on her responsibilities, but she never, ever became suicidal. Within 3 weeks of being on anti-depressants, she was hospitalized for attempting to kill herself. Doctors are the biggest drug dealers in America, and drug companies are their dealers. We have laws that for bid drug dealers from going within a 1000 yards of any school, but every time we take our child to a doctor, that doctor can give that child any drug they want. It doesn't matter that 90% of drugs on the market have not been through considerable human trails, that is until our doctors decide to use us as the ginny pigs. This drugging of our children to further increase the wealth of drug companies is wrong. 20 minutes did a special on this very problem, almost 2 years ago, where doctors were taking money from pharmacutical companies to push their limited tested drugs.

drug sceptic of melbourne 8:19am December 10, 2008

well sorry if i don't buy into all the medical hype about depression being sad to the point of isolation is a choice not an illness. Being unwilling to cope with death, job loss, financial problems, relationship & life problems etc is not an illness it needs care and compassion not drugs to "cure" anyway show me one illness a drug has cured - covering up symptoms is not a cure people wake up!!!

Alarmed of Perth 3:09pm December 09, 2008

I am alarmed that we are drugging children for anything but truly essential medical attention. I am alarmed that these drugs are not proven and are still being tested. I am alarmed that many posts here are clearly part of the problem. I am alarmed some would sidestep the main issue and seem incapable of confronting the real issue here: drugging children with powerful mind altering substances. I am alarmed that psychiatric drugs are probably the the thin end of the new time bomb wedge to replace tobacco and asbestos. Remember the science used to "prove" how safe tobacco was supposed to be? Even recommended by doctors!! Yes, I am alarmed....aren't you?

Richard of Sydney of Sydney 3:01pm December 09, 2008

To 'observer of the world' and Steve from Perth, you can't -shoot the message' so you shoot the messenenger, but guess what? say what you like we actually don't care what you think, the truth is being told about these dangerous drugs and the people who prescribe them. There are 57,000 Adverse Drug Reaction reports before the TGA and they are finally going to investigate. The TGA's dereliction of duty is palpable. The people who run the TGA should all be sacked. A message to Django of US, there are 4,000,000 children in the USA on psyche drugs for ADHD, I guess that is something you are not concerned about

observer of the world 3:05pm December 08, 2008

I agree with Steve from Perth. I treat all CCHR claims with a grain of salt. I agree that drugs are overprescrbed by doctors (not just antidepressants, many other medications too) but at the same time Scientology has openly claimed depression does not exist. While I agree these powerful medication is not appropriate for children that young, if the Church of Scientology wanted to stop its use in society in general (adult and children) they'd not only be saying depression exists - they'd be advocating for sufferers better treatment, promoting protective behaviours like Act, Belong Commit, not waging scare campagins.

Django of US 1:09pm December 06, 2008

The widespread use of drugs to control children is a legitimate concern and a matter that should be discussed passionately among reasonable individuals. The CCHR, as pointed out above, is a front group for the Scientology cult, an organization whose crimes against humanity are (if you'll pardon) legion. Their goal is to replace Psychiatry with their insane "tech" (and, ultimately, World Domination, and no I'm not exaggerating. Look it up). Question psychiatric pharmacology practices all you want, but NEVER give scientology any credence, for anything. They don't care about your kids, or you, or anything but scamming cash out of you. GET INFORMED! Google scientology.

charlie of uk 4:07am December 06, 2008

no one can comment on the use of anti-depressants unless they no the case historys of the patiants

Richard of Sydney of Sydney 10:39am December 05, 2008

A quick search on the internet shows that the person quoted in this article - Professor Gordon Parker - is a memeber of the Royal Australian & New College of Psychiatry and he should be commended for speaking the truth about what is basically medical child abuse. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Prof. Parker is a member of the Citizens Commision on Human Rights. A message to DA of Cairns, there is a lady in Melbourne who sued her psychiatrist for medical negligence because her daughter was given Zoloft and tried to commit suicide a few times because of the side effects of the Zoloft. The lady was not told of the harmful side effects by the psychiatrist. The next area to investigate shoudl be: "What are the diagnostic criteria used to determine if a child under 10 has depression?'"

Brendan (concerned) of Sydney 3:28am December 05, 2008

I think the point here regarding statistics is very simple! If even ONE baby is given anti depressant drugs there is something wrong - surely! - This report says 48 babies. Now if that is embellished, which is highly unlikely, as the "Australian" is usually smack on with its research. - then give or take , even or -48 babies being drugged with anti depressants, is over alarming!!!! To my mind that is ONE baby to many already and if that could be done to (even) - ONE baby, then the rest of the statistics are likely to be (unfortunately) fairly accurate. This does need further investigation and government investigation of some sort or another in my opinion.

Hugh of Canberra 1:14am December 05, 2008

I am a retired research scientist with an interest in molecular biology of the brain. My wife, many members of her family, and our children suffer from serious mental illness, so I speak from both personal experience and extensive academic knowledge of this area. Mental illnesses are very real, in both children and adults. They are due to genetic and environmental alterations in the brain. In many cases they can be successfully treated with specific medications that have been proven to work in extensive scientific trials. The "Citizens Commission on Human Rights", supported by many of the above correspondents, is nothing but a front for the Church of Scientology and takes the absurd position that there is no such thing as mental illness and that all psychiatrists are criminals. Just have a look on Wikipedia and elsewhere to verify this (and other aspects of the truly bizarre belief system of these people) This story was initiated by Scientologists, who have then piled in here to comment on the story. Sorry guys, but this is just manipulative. The real story regarding mental illness is that Science has developed treatments which can make an immense difference to the lives of sufferers and their families. Don't be misled by the crazy propaganda from this fringe religious group.

Andrew of Sydney 11:09am December 04, 2008

Doctors give dugs to people. When the people have side effects all doctors should fill in the forms stating the side effects (Not all doctors fill in these forms). These forms are sent to the TGA where they are put into the archives. CCHR got copies of these through Freedom of Information and paying the TGA. The text books for doctors are produced by drug companies. The TGA is funded by the drug companies. The drug companies have to make profits they don%u2019t want side effects promoted. The drug companies look after the share holder not the people. The psychiatrists invent the illness for the drug companies. The drug companies pay the psychiatrists. The psychiatrists have admitted in videos they don%u2019t know how to fix people. Psychiatrists can not see every one so they have lobby and passed laws allowing Doctors and teachers and health workers to label people with these illnesses. The people pay for the drugs to fix their invented illness. The only reason this known is because of the dedicated work of www.cchr.org Who else is helping the people? There are people running around behind fake names and masks trying to throw smoke in the air. These people are willing to throw the baby out with the bath water. Who is pulling their strings?

Mimika of Sydney 11:50pm December 03, 2008

Homeopathic remedies are just water! As a GP I have seen the benefits of SSRI drugs, in treating hitherto untreatable depression, and do not believe any doctor would give them to babies. I am not against some alternative therapies and practice hypnotherapy. Our practice is also currently setting up an adolescent psychological counselling centre. Scientologists rail against medical treatment especially psychiatry and use brain washing techniques to recruit and indoctrinate susceptible people into their warped belief system, so I wouldn't believe anything even remotely connected with them.

Gareth of UK 10:59pm December 03, 2008

It's unfortunate that most posters appear to have been influenced by the media in general towards the idea that these drugs are "unproven placebos", this is never, ever the case. Drugs are always, always tested repeatedly, and any and all side effects will be noted and the parents informed of possible problems. The simple fact is that these drugs are effective, and, for the main part, beneficial for the children. The "dangers" of psychotropic drugs are blown way out of proportion by the media that will pounce on any stories that will sell papers, and it is their fault only for preying on those who do not know about the science beforehand, and so cannot make an objective choice about whether prescription of these drugs is correct or not.

Abigail B of Melbourne 9:02pm December 03, 2008

To anon of everywhere - The reason people who cease these drugs go around shooting people is because of the withdrawal symptoms from these drugs. It's called drug induced akithsia. Research it; you might be surprised by the change in your uneducated views. There are adverse reactions from starting this medication, from continuing to take this medication and from withdrawing from this medication. These are the facts; if you would rather live your life in ignorance go ahead but for those who want to know the truth these facts need to be published. CCHR may be backed by Scientology but considering the terrible reputation they have already, due to the media and the group anonymous (why are they hiding by the way? they share the same name as you it appears - perhaps you have more to hide than scientology?), I doubt they would be altering statistics if anything they would be trying to publish the truth and educate people in order to get their reputation back. The statistics were obtained through the FOI by CCHR because it is the only organisation that has the resources (money - it actually costs tens of thousands to have access to this information) to do so as well as the goal of educating people. I'm clearly a scientologist? Not that it's any of your bussiness but I'm an atheist. How sad that your major argument about the credibility of this articles is based on religion. Please, educate yourself - for your own benefit.

sister727 of chicago 7:42pm December 03, 2008

I think scientology should start paying more attention to what it is doing to the children that are trapped inside their own confines and forced to do manual labor since they are actually just "adults in small bodies" as hubbard wrote. scientology should get their kids out of the Cadet Org and out of The Children's RPF and out of the "chain lockers". scientology should start letting the children of the Sea Org see their parents again. There is so much child abuse that goes on inside the cult of scientology as we speak and it has to stop. Free your own kids first scientology. How many kids have you killed over the years?? whatever happened to the poor babied that hubbard put into the chain locker on his ship? Don't worry scientology. Everyone gets theirs in the end. Your time is coming. And it's coming alot sooner than you think. Beware! Don't drink the kool-aide!

JD of Australia 7:38pm December 03, 2008

Many people are missing the point! These drugs are not approved for kids! The TGA said it is not "illegal" for doctors to prescribe them off label. But they implied in their statement that something should be done about that. By the way, when the health system gets overloaded by people suffering from adverse reactions and long term tissue damage from these drugs, who foots the bill?

Michael of Perth 5:12pm December 03, 2008

Does it not make you wonder how these children got to the doctors or psychiatrists to be diagnosed in the first place. Parents who would actually believe that thier children have some form of chemical imbalance need to ask how did this happen?.Is there a scientific test for this so called ailment like there is with a heart attack or diabeties?.If there is it needs to be administered, but i dont believe there is, it is an opinion only, which is not much good when we know these drugs have SERIOUS effects (dont call them side effects because they are the effects). Originally only Psychiatrist's could admister these medications now we have a local GP pushing them on to us, who is behind them pushing the medication to them to sell to the person who comes for help. There are too many questions which cannot be answered because the true facts are well hidden. Be aware and ask for you right to know all of the effects these drugs have on the human body because if you knew they could do more harm than good you might think twise about allowing your children let alone yourself to take them.

Anon of Everywhere 4:59pm December 03, 2008

The Key word here is Scientology. They are anti psychiatry. And I wouldn't put it pass them to make up numbers. clearly these posters are Scientologists Abigail of Victoria Jeremy of Brisbane (Very obvious by him starting off with "I am not a Scientologist!) Anne Taylor of Brisbane Folks, the meds are there for a reason. There are hundreds of cases of people going off their pills and going on shooting sprees because the voices tell them to. I agree that more research needs to be done, however, those numbers are highly suspect.

Balance 4:54pm December 03, 2008

Hi pheelion of ashk & Anne, Depression can be environmental, but it can also be physical. Everyday chemicals can impact mental state. Experienced barmaids know bar patrons inebriated on Rum are the most likely to be problematic. Mothers know their children become more highly strung after eating too many sugary treats. Gareth of UK, The use of such drugs will not improve whatever is causing the condition. Drugs serve only to depress and mask symptoms and when the drug is stopped, the symptoms return. If the drug has been taken for a long time, there will be withdrawal also to deal with, and withdrawal symptoms can sometimes resurface and reverberate long after the last trace of drug has left the body. This is reason enough for seeking alternative therapies and treatments. If the quoted figures are even half true, shame on all of us for failing our nation's children. One is one too many.

Frances of melbourne 4:32pm December 03, 2008

Erin from Brisbane, a reputable newspaper like the Australian does not print such stories based on the opinion of anybody or group. Their journalists require evidence which was obviously provided by way of Approved Government Reports. I know it alarming to hear these reports and figures and nobody really wants to believe it is possible, But it is possible! It is happening! and rather than pretending the information might not be accurate you should be rallying together with those who are trying to stop this Epidemic and dangerous practice. The TGA are currently conducting an investigation into the side affects of these drugs, be productive and write or call and find out why this is happening and what you can do about it to save these innocent children from further harm and injury which in some cases have caused death. There is 57,000 known Adverse Reaction Reports Related to these drugs I have the government reports to support these figures and if you wish to get copies contact the Therapeutic Goods Administration and apply under the Freedom of Information FOI we are entitled to these figures, stop blaming the source and start working on a solution.

Malerie of Sydney 3:55pm December 03, 2008

I think everyone has missed an important fact about this article. It is not just the doctors who prescribe this drug who are to blame. Upon hearing the doctors diagnosis and being handed the script the parents should have walked out and gotten a second opinion. Im sure it was just more convinient for the parents to blindly follow the doctors orders. I am a mother of three and we are planning more children. I am not a doctor and I have no medical training. There is no way I would ever give anti depressants to my children no matter what reasons the doctors give. The parents are being just as irresponsible as the doctors prescribing the drugs.

Erin of Brisbane 2:29pm December 03, 2008

A - The figures are unpublished, therefore does that mean they are not confirmed? B - Was the data that the CCHR compiled checked by an independent body/ a certified statistician? C - Does everyone commenting here know what sentences are?

Abigail of Victoria 2:26pm December 03, 2008

The research does not come from Scientology, the information wa obtained from the TGA through the Freedom of Information act by CCHR. The organisation paid large amounts of money to obtain this distubring information and I for one am grateful for their efforts to try and educate people on the abuse of these psycho-tropic drugs. The only reason scientology and CCHR has been slammed is because it is one of very few organisations, internationally, to provide the facts abouts psychiarty. There is no scientific evidence that these drugs work in children or adults, in most cases the results of scientific studies show that there is an increased risk of suicide whilst taking the drugs meanwhile the efficacy of the drugs has not been proven espcially not in children. As the article, TGA, ADRAC and the PI/CMI's (which are issues by the pharmaceutical companies that manufactor and distribute them) say "The efficacy and safety of these drugs has not been proven in people under the age of 18' and are likely to cause serious and life threatening adverse reactions. So we have to ask ourselves why would any medical practioner prescribe a drug to a person for whom the drug is contraindicated for? One word; money. This is a billion dollar industry people; educate yourselves, protect yourselves and your children.

Peter Gibbon of Brisbane 2:24pm December 03, 2008

I suspect these figures are actually erroneous. Having seen the complete and utter incompetence of public sector bureaucracies at work first hand, I'd say these figures probably represent coding errors and general sloppiness in data collection and management. I'd say someone needs to recheck the data before anyone gets too excited as most government bureaucraps are so stupid and incompetent they might as well be on sedatives. Idiots.

Jeremy of Brisbane. 1:42pm December 03, 2008

Although not a scientologist, giving drugs that essentially do no more than placebos is ridiculous. These drugs are in actual fact proven to do more harm than good. And what of scientologists presenting these facts? I may or may not agree with their beliefs but I for one think it%u2019s great they are educating society about the dangers of psychiatric drugs. Seems to me that psychiatrist is a fancy word for %u2018drug pusher%u2019 (pushing dangerous drugs onto society), %u2018rights denier%u2019 (locking people up for their %u201Cown good%u201D), or simply %u2018butcher%u2019 (psychosurgery %u2013 the friendly fun game where they destroy healthy brain tissue with an ice pick in the somewhat dubious hope this will %u2018help%u2019 the patient). If psychiatric treatments are so great why do they not volunteer for their %u2018treatments%u2019 themselves?

Lisa of The Junction 12:47pm December 03, 2008

Antidepressants do work on people who are severely depressed, but unfortunately Doctor's seem to hand them out like lollipops. There is not enough research done on SSRI's and other Antidepressants. Instead of prescribing Antidepressants to young children under the age of 18, Why don't the Doctors refer the children/parents onto a Clinical Psychologist or Family Councellor? Lets face it, bringing up Children is suppose to be a special time in your life, but it dosen't come naturally to everyone.

Nicola of Melbourne 12:40pm December 03, 2008

Response to Steve from Perth, how naieve are you, fortunately for the rest of us CCHR picked up the tab and paid to access these government reports from TGA via FOI and you to can get a copy as long as you are willing to pay. I am not a scientologist but I am grateful for there charity which extends to everyone unlike many other religious groups. Didn't you read the article 48 babies under 12mths are being medicated with a drug that is not approved or recommended and can cause terrible side affects and there is NO Independant Study that confirms any benefit from psychiatric drugs whether you want to know this or not that is the truth and is it a scientific fact that many of us are allergic to the agents in these drugs nearly 20% of the population, maybe we should stick to the scientific facts and not opinion especially when it comes to the health and safety of the public especially the live of small children including babies, I wonder what organisation or church Steve represents?

pheelion of ashk 12:33pm December 03, 2008

Steve, are you suggesting that it is ok for children to be on anti-depressents. I am not a scientologist (if I was going to worship a science fiction author I can think of more deserving ones). If children are suffering depression it is a direct result of the environment that has been provided for them by the adults around them. Rather than asking how we can cure children's depression maybe we should be asking why children from "good" homes are now suffering the sort of depression and anxiety that used to only occur in abused or neglected children.

Gareth of UK 11:29am December 03, 2008

The source of this information is extremely biased, independant verification of this data is required before people can take it as true. Additionally, the use of drugs classified as antidepressants is frequently not simply limited to psychiatric disorders. Other, hormone-dependant medical conditions are also treated with such drugs; in many of these cases they may have been administered for such purposes. Finally, the use of such drugs, if indeed they are being used to combat illnesses such as depression, will, much more often than not, greatly improve the quality of life for the sufferer. Homeopathic remedies are very poor at relieving severe symptoms, and in some cases are only effective as a placebo.

DA of Cairns 11:11am December 03, 2008

Whatever you do, do NOT give Zoloft to your child! A child psychiatrist prescribed it for my son for ADDE, but it caused extreme behaviour, intense anger and self-harm. Instead of helping him to settle at school, he was kicked out. Many thanks to the GP in Rockhampton who recognised the problem and guided us through a more stable course. A curse on the psychiatrist.

David Mudkips 11:07am December 03, 2008

"The Health Department figures were obtained by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Church of Scientology-backed lobby group opposed to anti-depressant therapy." The CCHR isn't just "opposed to anti-depressant therapy" -- their stated goal (as spoken by David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology) is THE GLOBAL OBLITERATION OF PSYCHIATRY. How on Earth did the Health Department get duped into parroting the CCHR's nonsense?

JD of Australia 10:47am December 03, 2008

No, it doesn't concern me that Scientologists or a Scientology backed group (or any other group) applied a citizen's God-given right of Freedom of Information from the government. More people and groups should do so, so that we are aware of things such as this. Please people, read the classic book, "Brave New World", by Huxley, published in 1932. You can see a summary here: http://www.bookrags.com/notes/bnw. Why do you even think there is freedom of the press? To INFORM THE PEOPLE. Us! Keep it up Scientologists. And other groups, go ahead and join them to open people's eyes. Change only occurs after being informed. No good change occurs with ignorance.

Steve of Adelaide 10:29am December 03, 2008

Children get their sense of well being from their parents. They also get their sense of security from loving parents providing guidance and stability, where the parents are calling the shots. This is how families are supposed to be. The breakdown of this, and the growing expectation on children to know what's best for themselves (instead of parents deciding what's best) is resulting in a generation of kids out of control. Do kids really want to take behavioural modifying drugs?? Kids want their parents to be parents.

Jen 9:44am December 03, 2008

This is absolutely ridiculous. Homeopathic remediies which have been proven over last few centuries are safe and so so efective in mood disturbance. Seeing a good homeopath would be a brilliant idea

steve of Perth 9:31am December 03, 2008

Does the fact that this research comes from a scientology backed lobby group give anyone else pause for concern? Scientologists oppose any form of psychiatric medication regardless of the proven benefits. How did the health dept arrive at these particular figures anyway? did they ask the 48 babies themselves?

Anne Taylor of Brisbane 9:17am December 03, 2008

I am surprised and saddened to learn that so many doctors are lazy enough to prescribe drugs for what are more than likely societal ills. More often than being a "chemical imbalance in the brain", as too many medicos assume, "depression" is the result of loneliness, boredom, or anxiety, which may be addressed in practical ways. In young children, I suspect it may often be the result, nowadays, of being deprived of sufficient parental bonding, because both parents work. Of course, this will only change if we change society so that this does not have to occur. Ironically, the situation seems to be being forced upon us by the present economic climate. There is usually less depression in times of crisis. Adults are too busy surviving to be depressed. Our children will adapt to having fewer material possessions and more parental attention.

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