Antidepressant Prescriptions for Youth Surged During COVID Pandemic

A new study shows that the prescription of antidepressants for youth skyrocketed during the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic, rising by a staggering 65.3%.

As reported by Axios, the research from Pediatrics shows that the spike in such prescriptions may have been caused by a number of factors, including a shortage in mental health workers in schools and the shift towards remote forms of medical treatment such as “telehealth” and remote prescribing, which only contributed to a sense of isolation and depression brought on by the nationwide lockdowns.

The most heavily-affected demographic was teenage girls between the ages of 12 and 17, who saw their antidepressant prescription rates explode by 129.6% from March 2020 up to the current time, according to the study led by the University of Michigan. Women between the ages of 18 and 25 saw a much smaller, but still substantial increase of 56.5% during the same time period.

Notably, such prescriptions for male teenagers actually declined after March 2020, which could be due to the fact that men are less likely to receive the same levels of care as young women, rather than an improvement in the collective mental state of young men.

The researchers ultimately concluded that one possible solution to the crisis would be to expand insurance coverage for young adults and teenagers, who have the highest rates of uninsurance in the country among any age group. However, their data left them unable to determine if there was any significant difference in the prescription rates between those who had private insurance and those who had public insurance.


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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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