"The concerns about antidepressant use in children and adolescents has paradoxically resulted in a reduction in their use, and this has contributed to increased suicide rates."Note that the data do not actually show a decrease in SSRI prescription for teens during the timeframe when suicides increased, and that even if it did, such a relationship could have just been a coincidence.
But now, I believe that Nemeroff's statement does not even make for the least-supported (i.e., most fictional) statement of the week in psychiatry. The award instead goes to (extended drum roll, please...)
Jean Frazier of Harvard University. The New York Times quoted her as follows:
Dr. Jean Frazier, director of child psychopharmacology at Cambridge Health Alliance and an associate professor at Harvard, said that up to three-quarters of children who exhibit bipolar symptoms become suicidal, and that it is important to treat the problem as early as possible.
"We’re talking about a serious illness with high morbidity, and mortality," Dr. Frazier said, "and for some of these children the medications can be life-giving."
NICE! To my knowledge, there is little to no data to show that bipolar disorder is a valid diagnosis in young children, nor that early treatment is helpful, nor that treatment reduces risk of suicide for "bipolar" children, nor that 75 percent of "bipolar" children become suicidal. This is absolute nonsense, the type of statement that leads to unnecessary medication and leads people to falsely believe that bipolar disorder is a terrible epidemic among youth.
It gets even more detached from reality when we consider the case of Rebecca Riley, a four year old who was prescribed a very high dose of Clonidine, as well as being prescribed Seroquel and Depakote, and who died, reportedly due to the effects of her meds (clonidine seems to be the leading suspect).Hat tip: Furious Seasons, who has been absolutely on fire as of late.