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973741 tn?1342342773

SSRI increased risk of suicide question

The warning is for age 25 and younger for an increase in suicide ideation and actual attempts. I'm wondering if that is just when the medication is started or changed so up to 6 to 8 weeks during those phases or if there is always a risk?  
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Generally it's a start-up side effect, and it doesn't actually only affect the young, it just seems to affect them more often.  The things to look out for when you take any medication that affects brain neurotransmitters are personality changes, new problems you didn't have before, violent or aggressive thoughts, obsessive behavior such as gambling or shopping -- anything that changes you didn't have before you started the med.  I'm sure there are some who are affected later, though, as these meds are working on the brain, and the brain controls everything we do, so there will be changes and there will be side effects if the drug works.  It's always a cost/benefit you have to do -- is your problem so disabling you need medication in the first place or are there other ways to try to fix it first, such as therapy or lifestyle changes, and does the drug if you do take it working so well it's worth the side effects.  But if you do get suicidal ideation or violent urges, go directly to your psychiatrist and get off the drug safely -- it may require a taper off.  
1 Comments
Yes, I don't think any parent jumps to medication but it can get to the point in which you feel like it is essential for your child to keep going.  Depression/anxiety can be a real beast.  I have a direct line to the ER in case anything escalates.
Avatar universal
I've tried many different antidepressants in the past. None made me worse.

Depression causes suicide. Anyone starting an antidepressant is likely depressed and therefore at risk of suicide.

Finding the antidepressant that worked for me got me out of depression and out of suicide danger.
5 Comments
Well, SSRI's have a black box warning for those under age 24.  If you already think of suicide (needing to go on medication as it is because you are depressed), studies show an uptick in attempts and completion.  Putting a teenager on an SSRI is something that you do very carefully and have to watch them more closely.  At least this is what I'm told.  I was curious how long though.  It appears to be short term.  

I'm glad that you found the antidepressant that worked for you and suicide was not/is not a concern!  That's the ultimate goal!  How many different atidepressants did you have to try?
And just to say, very few depressed people attempt suicide.  Very few people on antidepressants attempt suicide.  It's something to be aware of, but it is not what most people do.  Lets not scare the heck out of all the depressed people out there and tell them it causes suicide.  Sometimes, but not usually.  
Not understanding your comment, paxiled.  The reality is that suicide is the second leading cause of death for this age group.  The percentage of those depressed that attempt or complete may not be the majority by any means but my question is related to depression and suicide.  Parents and patients need to be aware that when they start an antidepressant, specifically an SSRI, that they may get worse before they get better. If they had suicidal thoughts, they can get worse.  Seeing this first hand currently.   But del677 is absolutely correct that it is ultimately the depression that would lead to a suicide attempt.  It is not scaring all depressed people to say that this reality exists with this medical condition.  Denying that could be dangerous and asking questions of our kids such as if they have considered harming themselves, ending their life and if they know how they would do it could save their lives. And not just kids but all of our loved ones who show symptoms of depression.  I don't think anyone thinks being depressed which is a common condition means everyone who is depressed is suicidal but that is not what this thread is about.  
We often don't understand one another, Mom, so, par for the course.  I get very concerned for the people who might be looking at this.  When someone says something that is terrifying to look at, I try to moderate it.  I do this a lot, because it doesn't help anyone to think the fact they have a disorder means they will become suicidal.  You're also incorrect about medication causing suicidal thoughts because of the underlying depression.  Not true in any manner or form.  People who are anxious and not depressed have this happen.  People trying to quit smoking and take drugs that affect brain neurotransmitters have this happen.  It's the drug messing with brain neurotransmitters that does it.  So yes, depression does correlate to increased risk of suicide.  So does chronic pain and old age and chronic disease and extreme poverty and all sorts of other things.  But it doesn't mean it will happen, it means it's more likely to happen, and is not related to the fact that medications cause this where it did not previously exist.  
I, again, am asking a relevant question when starting an SSRI.  Particularly as a parent in this position with a teenager.
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