4
Nov

Youth Suicide with ADD, ADHD & Depression

suicide-2016-1104A recent study in Pediatrics (bit.ly/2fncnCe) revealed that young children (5 – 11 years old) who committed suicide were more likely to have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Teenagers (12 – 14 years old) who committed suicide were more likely to suffer from depression or dysthymia.   One third (1/3) of children who committed suicide had a mental illness.  In order to determine the cause of suicide of children 5 to 14 years old, the study reviewed data from the National Violent Death Reporting System from 2003 to 2012.
 
Young school aged children who committed suicide were more likely to have family or friend relationship problems.  In contrast, teenagers who committed suicide were more likely to have boyfriends or girlfriend relationship problems.  The study also revealed that there was a higher rate of suicides among black youth than young of other races.  In addition, 29% of young children and teenagers told someone about their intention to commit suicide before they attempted to do so. 
 
If you’re concerned about your child or the child of someone you know committing suicide, you should know the suicide warning signs.  Suicide warning signs include, but are not limited to increased seclusion and alone time, increased time spent in their room alone, decreased time spent with friends, decreased time spent in school activities, poor grades or a drop in grades, poor communication, discussion of a desire to commit suicide, increased temper, increased frustration.
 
An excellent resource is The National Suicide Prevention Line.  There are many tools available on their website, suicidepreventionlifeline.org.  In addition, their Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  Online Chat is also available.  If Chat is unavailable, then please call the Lifeline, as help is available 24/7.  It is anonymous and confidential.  They even have a Safe Space with a set of three (3) You Tube videos to help with relaxation (suicidepreventionlifeline.org/safe-space).
 
It is important to (1) know the warning signs for suicide among young children and teens, (2) be aware that ADD, ADHD and depression place these children at a higher suicide risk, and (3) know where to call for help.

 

8
Nov

ADHD Medication | No Increased Heart Problems

Today, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study that showed there is no increased risk of serious heart problems in children and young adults who take medication to treat ADHD.

This study was a large retrospective study which reviewed the medical records from four health plans of 1.2 million children and young adults from ages 2 to 24 years old.  This study evaluated the frequency of sudden cardiac death, heart attack and stroke in those treated with ADHD medication versus those not treated with ADHD medication.  Those with a history of heart problems were not included in this study. The FDA sponosored this study, as they wanted more information regarding the potential side effect of sudden death that had been previously reported with ADHD medication.  Funding for this study was obtained by two agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services.
It is reasuring that there is no increased risk of ADHD medications associated with sudden cardiac death, heart attck, and stroke.  However, parents should still make informed decisions regarding their child's medications and their health with their child's doctors. And as with any chronic medication, ADHD medicaions should be monitored by their doctor.

If you you would like to learn more about ADHD, starting with an answer to the common question, "What is ADHD?, please go to http://bit.ly/um63SP.

Back to Top