MORE than 1,000,000 prescriptions for antidepressants had been allotted to youngsters final 12 months, stunning figures obtained by The Solar on Sunday reveal.
Docs allotted a file variety of tablets, together with Prozac, to younger folks between the ages of 13 and 19 – with a complete of 1.118 million doses prescribed.
The quantity jumped from 823,000 prescriptions issued 5 years in the past in 2016, with consultants blaming the surge on covid blockages and fears for the long run.
The NHS figures – revealed underneath freedom of knowledge legal guidelines – additionally present that the variety of prescriptions issued to teenagers accelerated final 12 months on the quickest price in 5 years.
In complete final 12 months, 1,118,000 prescriptions had been allotted to teenagers in 2021 – up from 1,036,000 in 2020. This implies a further 82,000 – or 1,577 every week – had been allotted.
NHS tips state that anti-depressants ought to solely be prescribed to these underneath 18 within the occasion of average or extreme despair when taken along with psychotherapy.
In some instances, it’s believed that the uncomfortable side effects of taking such medicine can set off suicidal ideas and self hurt.
A 2017 survey of schoolchildren by the NHS discovered that just about two per cent of ladies and one per cent of boys suffered from the Despairwith many others registered as affected by nervousness issues.
The identical survey revealed that the share of kids with a psychological well being drawback was a lot larger when one among their Dad and mom was additionally recorded as affected by psychological well being points.
And a current UNICEF A survey ranked the UK within the backside third of wealthy international locations in terms of assessing the standard of kids’s psychological well being.
Its report mentioned kids’s psychological well being issues had been solely going to worsen, saying: “The present disaster in kids’s psychological well being is more likely to intensify.
“The experiences of confinement and financial uncertainty can have an effect on the psychological well-being of many kids. Youngsters might really feel anxious, anxious and fearful in regards to the future.
Anastasia De Waal, director of kids’s charity I Can Be, mentioned: “These figures underscore the challenges younger folks face in terms of psychological well being, with evaluation presenting a grim image of the continuing results of the pandemic and financial uncertainties.
“Persevering with to boost consciousness about psychological well being and making certain that clear recommendation and sensible assist is definitely accessible to younger folks and oldsters is important.”
Chris Martin, chief govt of The Combine, a charity for under-25s, mentioned: “The continued rise in using antidepressants by younger folks is really regarding, with some as younger as 13 seeing themselves prescribe treatment to take care of their psychological well being.
“Whereas using treatment to deal with psychological well being points may be invaluable, its prevalence as the primary – or solely – course of remedy for younger folks is worrying.
“It is essential that younger persons are made conscious of the opposite avenues accessible and perceive that choices resembling counseling or bettering their sleep, weight loss plan and bodily health can all enhance their psychological well-being.”