Depression is an abounding mental health phenomenon for which there is a wide array of available treatment options. More than four and a half percent of the population or 400 million people are affected by the diagnosis of depression worldwide (Luo, Kataoka, Ostinelli, Capriani, & Furukawa, 2020). It has been suggested and heavily scrutinized that the use of antidepressant medications for the treatment of depression in the adolescent and young adult population can increase violent or suicidal behaviors (Bielefeldt, Danborg, & Gotzsche, 2016). This indicates the background question driving the purpose of this research. Which is to determine the validity of that statement in this population group.
It is primarily within the ages of those thirteen to twenty-five on antidepressants. That evidence shows an increase in harmful tendencies such as aggression and risk for suicide. Pharmacotherapy efficacy in the treatment of mental health disease especially major depressive disorder. Has been explored in great depth but this conjecture seems to fluctuate in and out of the research realm. Some experts believe that there is a consistently positive relationship between antidepressant medications. And risk for violent behaviors. One renowned expert in psychopharmacology estimated that approximately ninety percent of school shootings for more than a decade were linked to SSRI antidepressants (Citizens Commission on Human Rights International [CCHR], 2018).
In contrast to these findings, other experts feel there is not enough research data to support a direct relationship between the two phenomena and that antidepressant therapy can reduce violent or aggressive behavior (Langman, 2016). It should be every health care provider’s desire to provide the highest quality of care to their patients and not cause them harm. It is therefore imperative to analyze the potential safety risk surrounding this controversial area of treatment for depression within this age group to determine the highest quality of care measures by further questioning this treatment standard. Strategies for gaining a greater understanding of this issue will involve both a comprehensive literature review of current evidence-based research surrounding this clinical question and conducting a clinic-based survey campaign to measure and record these variables through clinical trial.
Bielefeldt, A., Danborg, P. B., & Gotzsche, P. C. (2016, October 11). Precursors to suicidality and violence on antidepressants: Systematic review of trials in adult health volunteers. JRSM, 109(10), 381-392. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0141076816666805
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International . (2018). Expert warns of antidepressants linked to violence. Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/expert-warns-of-antidepressants-linked-to-violence-300655424.html
Langman, P. (2016, February 2016). Psychiatric medications and school shootings. ResearchGate, 1-11. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308220517_Psychiatric_Medications_and_School_Shootings
Luo, Y., Kataoka, Y., Ostinelli, E. G., Capriani, A., & Furukawa , T. A. (2020, February 14). National prescription patterns of antidepressants in the treatment of adults with major depression in the US between 1996 and 2015: A population representative survey based analysis . Frontiers in Psychiatry , 11(35). http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00035