Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Young Suicide Completers May View Psychotropic Use as 'Absolute Failure'. (Stress Importance of Taking Meds)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Young Suicide Completers May View Psychotropic Use as 'Absolute Failure'. (Stress Importance of Taking Meds)

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- A study of 49 Utah youths aged 13-21 who completed suicide between August 1996 and June 1999 reveals that their parents reported a high rate of psychiatric diagnoses.

However, according to medical examiners' toxicology reports of those deaths, no psychotropic medications were detected among blood samples, Michelle Moskos, Ph.D., reported in a poster session at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The finding, suggests that youths perceive taking psychotropic medications as "an absolute failure," said Dr. Moskos, an injury epidemiologist with the violence and injury prevention program at the Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City. "Clinicians need to emphasize how important it is for kids with psychiatric problems to take their medications," Dr. Moskos said in an interview.

"Help them work through the stigmas and help them understand the barriers to treatment. You need to dispel the myth that taking the medication is going to make them suicidal or that by prescribing medications you are increasing suicide risk in any shape or form."

Of 71 parents interviewed, 65% reported that their child had a psychiatric disorder. Of those, 37% reported a mood disorder, including bipolar disorder, 20% reported substance abuse disorder, and 10% reported schizophrenia. …

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