A recent government report tells how antidepressants can actually increase the risk of suicidal behavior for people up to age 24. It plans new warning labels and says users of all ages should be closely monitored.
Still, mental health experts worry that additional warnings could curtail use of the drugs and ultimately do more harm than good.
Dr. John Mann, a Columbia University psychiatrist, suggested simply replacing the proposed expanded warnings with the recommendation that doctors more closely monitor their patients.
“We can do more good by providing more treatment for depressed children and adults,” Mann said.
I am older than 24, but I can personally attest to this dilemma. I was introduced to depakote — which is one of the two mainstays for treating bipolar disorder — while I was in the hospital and it made me acutely and persistently and determinedly suicidal. If I had been on “the outside” while using depakote, I can almost guarantee that I would be dead now.