Suicide rates doubled for children of 5-14 years old over the past 20 years! Research by James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
For youth age 15-24 suicide has been the third leading cause of death for well over a generation. Last year 15 million prescriptions were written for (SSRI) antidepressants for children and teenagers. Suicide rates have now DOUBLED for children of 5-14 years old in the past generation…
Suicide is the third highest cause of death among teenagers age 15-24. Suicide rates have doubled for children of 5-14 years old in the past generation. Last year 15 million prescriptions were written for (SSRI) antidepressants for children and teenagers.
Recently the (FDA) acknowledged an increased suicide risk associate with children taking (SSRI) antidepressants. The mental health of our children is worse off today than it was 50 years ago. But for years the National Institute of Health (NIH) has been following a biomedical model that seeks a drug to solve every problem. It’s clearly been a massive failure.
Dr. James W. Prescott, past Health Scientist Administrator of the Development Behavioral Biology Program of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH) says “Clearly something is wrong in our culture when our children and teens are driven into suicide, despair, and [legal] drug addiction. The NIH and America are not asking the important question: “Where is all of this coming from and what can we do to prevent it?”
AMERICA’S LOST DREAM: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
V. Depression and Suicide in Children and Youth of America
Depression and suicide are of epidemic proportions in America. Suicide has been the third leading cause of death in the youth age group of 15-24 years for the past generation (1979-1997) and is the fifth and sixth leading cause of death in the 5-14 year age group for the years 1979 and 1997, respectively. Tables 2 & 3 show that the suicide rates have doubled in the 5-14 year age group from 1979-1997. Table 4 gives the number of suicidal and homicidal deaths for the years 1979, 1994 and 1998 for the age groups of 1-4 years; 5-14 years and 15-24 years. The total number of suicidal deaths in these age groups for the years 1979, 1994 and 1998 are 5,398; 5,274 and 4,321, respectively. This represents an average of 4,999 suicide deaths per year for these years.
Given the average of 5,000 suicidal deaths per year, the estimated total number of suicidal deaths in these age groups from 1979-2000 is 105,000 children and youth who have committed suicide over this past generation. More children and youth (ages 5-24 years) have committed suicide in the past ten years than the total number of American combat lives lost in the ten year Vietnam War (est. 55,000 v 47,355), yet little or no public attention has been given to this reality and what it represents.
There are an estimated 60,828 suicides in the 25-44 year age group for the five years from 1994-1998 (12,166×5=60,828), an estimated total of 121,656 American lives lost to suicide for ten years in this age group that is more than double all the American lives lost in the ten year Vietnam War.
Table 5 gives the suicide rates as a percent of the homicide rates for these specific age groups and for the years 1979, 1994 and 1998. For the 5-14 year old age group, suicide rates, as a percent of homicide rates, have systematically increased from 1979 to 1998, as follows: 1979:36%; 1994: 60 %; 1998:73 %.
Suicidal death, relative to homicidal death, has dramatically increased for our children and youth in the 5- 14 year age group from 1979-1998. The question that remains unanswered is why do our children and youth prefer suicidal death to living in America, presumably the healthiest, wealthiest, and greatest nation of the world? Clearly, these dramatic increases in suicide rates over a single generation cannot be attributed to any changes in the human gene pool.
These statistics indicate that America is an unsafe nation to rear its children and this conclusion is also supported by the epidemic of depression that afflicts our children and youth, as evidenced by their massive psychiatric medication (Zito, et.al, 2000). Some 1.5 million prescriptions of the anti-depressant class of drugs called the serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SRIs, e.g., Prozac) are given annually to children and youth and some 3 million prescriptions of Ritalin are prescribed annually. The problem of underestimating child/youth suicides in our society is as real as it is for child abuse homicides, previously cited (Herman-Giddens, et.al, 1999), where they found that child abuse homicides were underascertained by 62%. It is reasonable to project a similar or larger underestimation of suicidal deaths, given the higher societal and family shame and guilt that is associated with suicidal death, particularly of children and youth. Undoubtedly, many suicidal deaths are hidden in the accidental death statistics and are a greater problem than the current statistics indicate.
The pioneering study of Salk, et al (1985) found prenatal and perinatal stress factors in 81% of teen suicides that represented a 400% increased risk of suicide compared to the control subjects. The studies of the Jacobson group in Sweden also documented the role of perinatal trauma and obstetric medications on later adult behaviors of suicide, homicide and drug addictive behaviors, where increased risks for some of these behaviors was as high as 500% compared to control groups (Jacobson, et al, 1987,1988, 1990, 1998/ 2000). The study of Raine, et al (1994) found birth complications and maternal rejection predicting violent crime at 18 years of age, which adds additional evidence that prenatal/perinatal trauma contributes to adult behavioral disorders. The report of Levy (1945) that the trauma of circumcision can lead to homicidal and suicidal emotional states should not be neglected in the overall assessment of prenatal, perinatal and postnatal factors that contribute to child, teen and adult emotional-behavioral disorders.
VI. Psychiatric Medications of the Children and Youth of America.
Breggin (1994, 1995, 1998) has warned America about the effects of a Toxic Psychiatry upon the children and youth of America, which have gone unheeded. The psychiatric drugging of the children, youth and adults of America have become worse where there is little or no questions being asked by the psychiatric-political establishment as to why are all these psychiatric drugs are necessary. Breggin (2000) provides a framework for the prevention of the psychiatric drugging of the children and youth of America and a path to follow, if natural happiness is to become a reality, which is the true prevention of depression and violence.
Zito, et al (2000) have reviewed the prevalence of psychotropic medication use in children and youth; and in preschool-aged children from 1991-1995 from two state Medicaid programs and an HMO. They reported: The prevalence of psychotropic medication treatment for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders has significantly increased in the United States during the last few decades, particularly in the last 15 years. Specifically the 5 through 14-yearold age group has experienced a great increase in stimulant treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHS), and the 15 through 19 -year- old age group has had sizable increases in the use of antidepressant medications (pp.1-2)… The rate of psychotropic medication prescribed for preschoolers in the MWM program increased substantially from 1991-1995. The increase was greatest for clonidine (28.2-fold), stimulants (3.0-fold), and antidepressants (2.2-fold). By contrast, neuroleptic use did not increase substantially during this time (p.4)… Methylphenidate (Ritalin) use according to age group in children and adolescents in the MWM program was most prominent for those aged 5-14 years… The largest methylphenidate increase (311%) was among 15 through19- year olds, whereas the 2 through 4- year-olds, like the 5-through 14 -year-olds, had a smaller but still substantial increase (169% to 176%) (pp.4-5)…
Several prominent trends characterized the use of psychotropic medications in preschoolers during the early to mid 1990s. Overall, there were large increases for all study medications (except the neuroleptics) and considerable variation according to gender, age, geographic region, and health care system. These findings are remarkable in light of the limited knowledge base that underlies psychotropic medication use in very young children. Controlled clinical studies to evaluate the efficacy and safety of psychotropic medications for preschoolers are rare. Efficacy data are essentially lacking for clonidine and the SSRIs and methylphenidate’s adverse effects for preschool children are more pronounced than for older youths. Consequently, the vast majority of psychotropic medications prescribed for preschoolers are being used offlabel. (P.5).
Recall that this 5-14 year age group showed a doubling of suicide rates over the past twenty years (supra).
A previous article entitled SSRI & SSNRI Antidepressants Side-Effects, Neurological Damage provides information... Akathisia, Antidepressants ve Dystonia