Sharp increase in use of antidepressants among young girls

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The use of antidepressants among young girls has increased by 83 percent in ten years, according to new figures.

Last year 4,565 girls between 15 and 19 years had antidepressants prescribed by their doctors, according to Norwegian Prescription Database.

The newspaper VG writes that new figures from that database reveals that 2.9 percent of all 17 year old girls got  a prescription for antidepressants in 2015. The corresponding figure for boys was 1 percent.

There is an increase in all age groups but  the largest increase was among girls aged 15 to 19 years. Among young girls  the usage has increased by 83 percent in ten years, and the increase has been particularly strong in recent years.

– The numbers seems very high considering that the use of drugs should not be the first choice in the face of children and adolescents with depression.

Children and young people with mental health conditions often have normal reactions to abnormal situations. It is incredibly important to find reasons why the symptoms of depression occur and not just start by writing prescriptions for  medication,  Health Minister Bent Høi sayse.

According to a new research paper, 15 percent of Norwegian 13 to 17 year old girls who take antidepressants have received medication by their GP without the GP ever having been in contact with a specialist about that particular case.

– I think that these is very disturbing figures, and I expect that GPs familiarise themselves with the guidelines on this,  Høie says.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today