Suicide is considered as the fifth major cause of death among children and adolescents, which eventually indicates the alarming concerns in order to determine the cause of suicide. Depression accounts for the major factor that contributes in the prevalence of the suicidal behavior among the individuals and SSRI depressants are considered effective in addressing the psychiatric conditions that occur due to the individual’s extent of depression (Gibbons et al., 2006). However, the scholars have challenged the effectiveness of the SSRI depressants among children due to the fact that individuals who take SSRI depressants tend to incorporate suicide attempts at the rate of 0.3 percent, whereas the individuals who do not take SSRI depressants and use tricylics tend to indulge in the suicide attempts at the rate of 0.4 percent, however, these results are not consistent over the large population (Gunnell & Ashby, 2004). Considering these statistics, it is evident that no significant effect of SSRI depressants prevail on the children whereas, SSRI depressants result in the development of the aggressive emotions, which can enhance the occurrence of suicides in the long-term. Therefore, the current study is aimed to address the following PICO question:
“In children with depression, how does SSRI depressants, compared with children not on SSRI depressants affects the level of suicide?”
The increasing rate of suicide among children has acquired the attention of the public health association and hence, the autopsy results of the children, incorporated by FDA, who have committed suicide has indicated the prevalence of the SSRI depressants. In this instance, the warning with respect to the usage of SSRI depressants and suicidal behavior was implied by the U.S and European public health regulars. The research was conducted in this respect by Gibbons et al. (2007), in which the suicide rate of children with respect to the SSRI prescription was examined and the results of the study indicated that decrease in the prescription of SSRI prescription increased the rate of suicide among children and adolescents in the United States.
The similar context of study was also addressed by (Gunnell & Ashby, 2004), in which the clinical data related to the prescription and suicide rate was acquired to be examined. The results indicated no evidence of positive relation between SSRI depressants and pediatric suicide, however, the analysis also indicated that the SSRI prescription can increase the suicidal behavior among children, which eventually indicates the ineffectiveness of SSRIs. The study incorporated the trial for 10 months due to which the long-term effects of the SSRI on the suicide rate and suicide behavior of children remained unknown.
The scholar researches indicate no evidence that can provide the positive relation between the SSRI depressants and suicide rate among children. However, considering the FDA findings, indicating the prevalence of SSRIs usage and suicide, the use of antidepressants among children is suggested to be minimized due to their ineffective result of the suicidal behavior and life threatening risk on the children. Moreover, the use of tricylics is found to be more effective with respect to SSRIs among children (Gunnel & Ashby, 2004).
Therefore, the scholars have suggested to focus on the alternate treatment in order to address the suicidal behavior among children, by means of exercise and psychotherapy. Moreover, the combination of psychotherapy and antidepressants is also suggested in order to achieve the desired behavioral outcome in children, however, such combination requires clinicians to monitor their effect on the children in an effective manner (The Guardian, 2016). Therefore, in response to the PICO question, it is evident that the SSRI depressants inversely effect the suicide rate and are not effective with respect to the no SSRI depressants or alternative depressants.
Gibbons, R. D., Hur, K., Bhaumik, D. K., & J John Mann, M. D. (2006). The relationship between antidepressant prescription rates and rate of early adolescent suicide. American Journal of Psychiatry.
Gibbons, R. D., Brown, C. H., Hur, K., Marcus, S. M., Bhaumik, D. K., Erkens, J. A., & J John Mann, M. D. (2007). Early evidence on the effects of regulators’ suicidality warnings on SSRI prescriptions and suicide in children and adolescents. American Journal of Psychiatry.
Gunnell, D., & Ashby, D. (2004). Antidepressants and suicide. Bmj, 329, 34-38.
The Guardian (2016). Common antidepressant 'could put children at greater risk of suicide'. The Guardian. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/28/common-antidepressant-could-put-children-at-greater-risk-of-suicide