At least half of U.S. children taking antidepressants aren't in therapy, suggests a large study, and that delays recovery while greatly increasing the number of kids on the medication who are suicidal.
"Therapy with antidepressants is the standard of care. But is it what's going on in the real world? No," says Sheila Marcus, child and adolescent psychiatry chief at the University of Michigan Medical School.
The report tracks insurance claims for antidepressants from a database of 6.8 million children and teens from 2002 to 2006. The analysis was done by Thomson Reuters, a research firm that helps companies evaluate health care.
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