Children being prescribed anti depressents up 55%

The number of children prescribed anti-depressant drugs has increased by 55% in the space of five years.

Over 3,300 children under 15 got the medication in 2021, under three schemes run by the state.

That compares to just over 2,100 in 2016, according to freedom of information files.

Professor of psychiatry in Trinity College Dublin, Brendan Kelly, says counselling is a more common treatment than medication.

“Depression is common and if psychotherapy is not sufficiently helpful, then it is important to treat the young person to treat the child.

“One of the newer kinds of antidepressant plus psychotherapy can be used for moderate to severe depression in children aged over the age of 12.

“So, what we’re probably looking at there is, you know, quite severe depression that has not responded well enough to psychological therapy.”


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