Argument Outline

Argument Outline

Problem Statement:

Since the turn of the 21st century there has been a dramatic increase in the rates of depression and anxiety among adolescent girls. It has been widely accepted to treat these girls with antidepressant medications. However, very little is known about how these medications affect the developing brains of adolescents in the long term and that they effect the brain differently than in adults. Parents should use medication as a last resort for their child until further research is done to determine the safety of medication on teens.

Background information needed is understanding of depression and anxiety and the data on how much it has increased in recent years. There should be some understanding of the different types of antidepressants. Signs and symptoms should be included just as a sidebar or link.

Section One: Background and the rise of depression and anxiety

Reason for section one is just to explain the basics and to identify causes for the rise of anxiety and depression

  • Data from the National Institute of Mental Health with statistics
  • The amount of teens who are depressed and anxious who are not receiving treatment from the Child Mind Institute and a study published in Pediatrics
  • Hyperconnectivity and society today in general as causes from Time article “Why the Kids are not Alright”

Counterarguments: Could argue that kids have always been depressed and anxious and we are just learning about it now because of more studies being done now to understand it. Respond that studies have been done since the 40s to monitor mental health. Could also argue that connectivity helps people stay in touch and is good rather than bad. Respond by saying kids have no away time now for themselves.

Section Two: Early Intervention and treatment

Section two is to briefly explain signs and symptoms, the importance of early intervention and treatment

  • Link to National Institute of Mental Health for signs and symptoms
  • Importance of early intervention and potential long term effects of not treating teens and life lessons that they may miss. Child Mind Institute article on things learned in adolescence that are critical for success as adults
  • Treatment options that include medication. General information from several sources

Counterarguments: I don’t really have a counterargument for this section as it is just general information. Could argue that adolescents will learn the life lessons in other ways I suppose, but respond by saying that the very nature of the illnesses is withdrawal and without proper treatment and early intervention they won’t get these lessons

Section Three: Medications

Short section to explain the medications approved

  • Data from the Mayo Clinic
  • Side effects of the medications
  • FDA warning for increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions

Counterargument: Some people say there is no increase in suicidal thoughts and actions, however there is sufficient evidence that there is an increase especially during the first few weeks of treatment

Section Four: Risks of medication and why parents should do their research before putting their daughter on medication

  • Study done on Paxil and benefitting the pharmaceutical companies; article in Newsweek by Jessica Firger
  • Differences in the brain structure NIMH Anxious article
  • Studies being done to understand differences (Volkow and Koob study)
  • Brain is still developing and it is unknown how medications affect the long term health of adolescents

Counterarguments: The benefits of medication still outweigh the risks. In severe cases maybe, but to prevent causing more harm than good in the long term it should be used as a last resort until more is understood.

Section Five: Wrap up with other forms of treatment options

  • Cognitive and behavioral treatment option mayo clinic and NIMH sources
  • Increase of antidepressant use in the US and worldwide and who benefits CDC and National Center for Health Statistics
  • Other forms of treatment and long term care facilities

Counterarguments: Some people don’t respond to CBT and other forms of treatment. CBT is very successful and should be used as the first line of treatment

“Best Question”

Best Question

I feel the best question my research has prepared me to answer insightfully and persuasively is whether parents of a depressed and/or anxious teenage daughter should medicate their daughter despite the risks associated with antidepressants in teens. Initially my question was how parents and caregivers can help a teenage girl in their life cope with anxiety and depression, but as I was doing more research, I kept coming across articles and scholarly sources where they are beginning to research the effectiveness of medication in teens and I found it interesting that only one (maybe 2 depending on the source) antidepressants have been approved for use in adolescents and young adults. I feel for this reason, my best question is significant. If antidepressants aren’t especially effective in young people, why are they still being prescribed as much if not more than ever? What is the potential long term health effects of medicating your teenage daughter when it may not even be helping her?

In my research I have come across several sources that will help me address these concerns in my argument. The only drawback for posing this question is that there hasn’t been a lot of research in antidepressant use in adolescents and young adults and the long term effects on their brain and health in general. There has been some research comparing the brains of adolescents and adults showing that they react differently to different situations due to the fact that adolescent’s brains are still developing until approximately the age of 25. This is also going to be one of my arguments about why antidepressants shouldn’t be used because it is unclear exactly how the differences in brain structure will affect how the medications effectiveness. My research is mainly broken down into why so many teenage girls are affected by depression and anxiety now more than ever, physical differences between the brains of teens and adults, studies done confirming that antidepressants are not effective in adolescents and young adults, risks associated with antidepressant use in teens, questioning whether the rise of antidepressant prescriptions benefits the person or the pharmaceutical companies, and alternative treatments which have been proven to be more effective in teens and young adults.

Works Cited:

Volkow, Nora D., and George F. Koob. “This study could unlock the mysteries of teen brain development.” STAT. STAT, 04 Jan. 2017. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

Major Depression Among Adolescents. National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

“Anxious and Depressed Teens and Adults: Same Version of Mood Gene, Different Brain Reactions.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2 Dec. 2008. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Firger, Jessica. “Paxil Isn’t Safe for Teens.” Newsweek. N.p., 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Gold, Jenny. “Schools And Mental Health: When The Parent Has To Take Charge.” NPR. NPR, 16 Sept. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

“Depression On The Rise For Teenage Girls.” Depression On The Rise For Teenage Girls | On Point. N.p., 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Schrobsdorff, Susanna. “Teen Depression and Anxiety: Why the Kids Are Not Alright.” Time. Time, 27 Oct. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

—– “Teen Depression on the Rise Says New Pediatrics Study.” Time. Time, 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

“This might be why depression is rising among teen girls.” CNN. Cable News Network, 14 Nov. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Steingard, Ron J. MD. “Mood Disorders and Teenage Girls.” Child Mind Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Moreland, C Scott, Bonin, Liza. “Patient education: Depression treatment options for children and adolescents.” (Up to Date). Depression treatment options for children and adolescents. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

“Psychology vs. Psychiatry | What’s the Difference?” N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

“Antidepressant Medications for Children and Adolescents: Information for Parents and Caregivers.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

Mommy Wars Summary

  1. Mommy Wars or War on Moms?  is an article about whether or not there is a war between moms between the best ways of parenting and who’s doing it right or who’s doing it wrong.
  2.  The main claim is that the media portrays women as being catty and argumentative on the Internet whereas in fact it is an extremely valuable tool for parents seeking support in order to switch the focus on what should be the main conversation which is equal rights for women and better maternity care and leave.

Problem Statement 3.27.17

Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been a dramatic increase in the rates depression and anxiety in teens, especially among teenage girls. Depression and anxiety rates have also increased in teenage boys, but the group with the most dramatic increase is in white adolescent girls. While there is not a definitive reason for the sharp increase in girls, there are several thoughts on why. The rise of social media, and social bullying on social sites are thought to be among the main reasons. Despite this, it is believed that teenage girls need to be on medication to be treated effectively for depression and anxiety. There are a multitude of medications that are successful in treating depression and anxiety in adults and can be administered with minimal fear of serious side effects such as worsened depression and thoughts of suicide. However, the brains of adolescents are not fully developed until the age of 25, and medications that have one effect on an adult brain can have serious detrimental effects on the brain of an adolescent. There have been several studies done showing the difference in the release of chemicals in the brains of adolescents and adults from different depression and anti-anxiety medications. In a 2012 reanalysis of a study done in 2002 on the effectiveness of Paxil, it was found that Paxil is not safe for teens and that it caused a dramatic increase in worsened symptoms, increase in the liklihood of more severe mood disorders, and increase in the rates of suicide. The study was founded by GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of the drug and physicians wrote some 2 million prescriptions for Paxil that year. However, after the reanalysis of the study, the company was fined 3 billion dollars for fraudulently promoting the drug in 2012. Because of this medication should be a last resort to avoid seeing a rise in worsened mood disorders and suicide rates among young women. If the rates of anxiety and depression are rising in teen girls because of social influences, alternative methods should be used such as talk therapy and utilizing methods to deal with social bullying.

Firger, Jessica. “Paxil Isn’t Safe for Teens.” Newsweek. N.p., 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017

First Draft Problem Statement 3.24.17

  1. Status quo: Teen girls who are affected by depression and anxiety need to be on medication to be treated effectively.
  2. DM: However, it has been found that medications can have detrimental effects on people under the age of 25 because of differences in the brain.
  3. Consequences: If we continue to medicate teen girls without alternative treatments, then we could see a rise in more serious mood disorders and suicide.
  4. Resolution: Therapy and other treatments should be used instead of just treating teen girls with medication.