SECOND OPINION | Teen Depression Myth or Medicine | BCBS

Blue Cross Blue Shield is a proud sponsor of “Second Opinion” Live Fearless. Teen depression is a serious medical
problem and appropriate treatment is critical.
Part of that treatment may include antidepressants but these medications carry a warning
of increased suicidal behavior in children and adolescents. So
anti-depressants are not safe for teenagers. Is that myth or medicine? Anti-depressants are not
safe for teenagers. That is a myth and I’m gonna tell you why. I’m Michael Scharf and the chief for the Division of Child
and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical
Center. Any statements such as anti-depressants are safe or any
presents are unsafe is an oversimplification and in fact it should be understood as a possible intervention for a given
person in a given situation weighing the
potential risks versus the potential benefits. And this
underscores the importance of doing a good evaluation and coming to a
correct diagnosis. When talking about the use of
anti-depressants for teenagers in the context of major depressive
disorder for serious persistent anxiety disorders that risk-benefit ratio almost always comes out on the side of the benefit
outweighing the potential risk. Rachel from
Verona, Wisconsin asks “Is medication the only option?” Once
you’ve done a good assessment you have a diagnosis
it’s also important to recognize that medication is one of multiple potential treatment
options. For many youth particularly younger
children but continued on through teenagers and even as adults psychotherapy is often the first option to treat depression before considering
medication. So medication in most general terms
should really be thought out as one of multiple potential treatment
options and its appropriateness for any individual depends on a good individual evaluation
and a consideration of the role of alternative treatment
modalities as well. And that’s medicine. Not sure if it’s
myth or medicine? Connect with us online. We
will get to work and get you a second opinion. Blue Cross Blue Shield is a proud sponsor of “Second Opinion” Live Fearless.

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  1. Teens and young adults have the lowest suicide rates of all age groups within the USA. The most rapidly rising suicide rates are in middle aged white males which surpassed the 85+ age group in 2006. Many in this category face tough economic times, often dual caregiver responsibilities, and potentially comorbid chronic diseases aside from their mental health.

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