After Fatal School Shootings, Antidepressant Use Surges Among Survivors

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From the Los Angeles Times: “In the two years after a fatal school shooting, the rate at which antidepressants were prescribed to children and teens rose by 21% within a tight ring around the affected school.

The increase in antidepressants prescribed to kids grew more — nearly 25% — three years after a school shooting, suggesting that survivors’ depression lingers long after the incident has begun to fade from a community’s memory …

‘School shootings represent a tiny fraction of gun deaths in America,’ said Stanford University health economist Maya Rossin-Slater, the paper’s lead author. ‘But they are uniquely potentially traumatizing, and may have these much larger indirect costs — depression, delayed grief, kids not able to move on and be successful in their lives’ …

The uptick in antidepressant prescribing was least evident when a school shooting occurred in an area with many social workers and psychologists but few child psychiatrists — the principal prescribers of antidepressants …

Another key finding: School shootings appear more likely to upend the mental health of a community’s children than to disturb the emotional well-being of adults. While antidepressant prescriptions to young people rose near schools where a fatal shooting took place, there was no corresponding hike in antidepressant prescribing to adults.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I wish statements like this were not used..
    “kids not being able to move on and create successful lives…”
    How hopeless and victimizing.
    To begin with, kids are all different, some are just naturally more resilient, make easier transitions.
    When horrible things like this happen, a lot of talk therapy might not do much good. To ensure the child’s life is rich with positive reinforcements, keeping their minds busy with pleasant distractions, not focusing on the trauma but also not pretending it did not happen, that would be beneficial. Grief can be years long and war is an awful thing to go through. Kids shouldn’t have to go back to school full time, or that particular environment where it occurred.
    And kids need each other, to gather and process amongst themselves.

    There are literally hundreds of things to do or not do before it should be dabbled with by those who keep you “sick”.

    Now these kids become the “mentally ill”, so trump can tweet about how the criminal are “mentally ill”, which just adds to their pain. Not only were they witness to brutality, they risk further brutality by all of society, just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    And yes, when you lump “criminal” and “mental illness” into one sentence, you create open season.

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