Monday, August 24, 2009

Get These Kids Some Doctor Approved Drugs!

I find it somewhat disturbing that 10% of Americans are on antidepressants:
About 10% of Americans — or 27 million people — were taking antidepressants in 2005, the last year for which data were available at the time the study was written. That's about twice the number in 1996...

Certainly, it isn't that surprising given:
During the study, spending on direct-to-consumer antidepressant ads increased from $32 million to $122 million.

Still, this other study seems off-base:
Depression in children as young as 3 is real and not just a passing grumpy mood, according to provocative new research.

Provocative indeed. What the researchers did was find a bunch of kids diagnosed as depressed, followed them longitudinally for a couple years, and found that many were still depressed. How do we know this is diagnosable depression, though, and not simply standard variance in personality? For a diagnosis of depression, one of the very most important components is that the depressive symptoms "represent a change from previous functioning." If the kids were depressed all along, how can we conclude that there was any change from previous functioning? We all know people who are significantly happier than the rest of us. Sure, they annoy the hell out of us, but we recognize that as standard human variance. How come we can accept that some people have standard moods that fall above the norm, but not that some might fall below the norm? I'm not arguing that these people shouldn't be allowed to seek assistance if they want it, but should we be making inaccurate diagnoses for that purpose?

Posted at Reverse Sickology

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