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Antidepressant Use Soars in Girls, Drops in Boys

antidepressant use among adolescents
Health awareness and access to care for all adolescents

Teenage Girls Prescribed
More Antidepressant  Use

A recent study published in Pediatrics highlights a concerning gender disparity in antidepressant use among adolescents. While the overall prescription rate rose significantly during the pandemic, teenage girls saw a much steeper increase compared to boys, whose rates declined.

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antidepressant use among adolescents
Health awareness and access to care for all adolescents

Experts Suspect Underdiagnosis in Boys

Lead author Dr. Kao-Ping Chua of the University of Michigan Medical School suggests the decrease in boys’ prescriptions might not reflect improved mental health. He points out the general decline in mental well-being during the pandemic and suspects many boys simply weren’t receiving the necessary healthcare. Factors like skipping routine checkups could have contributed to undetected and untreated depression in this demographic.

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The Gender Gap in Mental Health

The study underlines a pre-existing trend: though women are diagnosed with depression at a higher rate, suicide rates are significantly higher among men. This further emphasizes the importance of addressing mental health needs in teenage boys to potentially prevent future tragedies.

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Call to Action: Further Research and Addressing Disparity

This study underscores the need for further investigation into the reasons behind this gender gap. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of promoting mental health awareness and access to care for all adolescents, regardless of gender.

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Written by Dr. Evelyn Karen

Dr. Evelyn Karen is a highly regarded Internal Medicine Physician with over 20 years of experience in Manila. Dr. Karen is passionate about patient well-being and champions innovative practices, including integrative medicine, telemedicine, and community outreach.

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