Antidepressants: Identity Killers for Teens?

Katherine Sharpe: Young people forgetting how to feel 'like themselves'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2012 5:12 PM CDT
Antidepressants: Identity Killers for Teens?
Young adults on antidepressants may forget how to feel "like themselves," writes Katherine Sharpe.   (AP GRAPHIC)

Our growing interest in medicating children has created a scary subgroup of adolescents: those who "have known themselves longer on medication than off it," writes Katherine Sharpe in the Wall Street Journal. Sharpe, herself a former antidepressant user, says such prescriptions raise "tough questions ... for adolescents whose identity is still under construction." How, after all, can they find a way to feel "like themselves" without their uplifting drug?

Antidepressants also undermine young people by dulling their sexual desire and discouraging them from examining the cause-and-effect "roots of their feelings," writes Sharpe. She has no simple solution, but notes that dropping drugs and getting into talk therapy taught her "just how nonrandom my feelings were." At the very least, adolescents who take pills should "be encouraged to build an identity that is based on more than just an idea of being sick, and to talk about any issues that medication raises for them." Click for the full article. (Read more antidepressant stories.)

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