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Teen upsets

From anti-depressants to other drugs, youngsters are getting hooked to life in the dark lane, writes Isha Singh Sawhney.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 15:04 IST

Remember Winona Ryder in Girl Interrupted —- a ‘normal’ teenager going through anger, mood swings, smoking, drugs, casual sex? Cut to Delhi and there’s not much difference between reel and real life — more and more teenagers are succumbing to depression and anti-depressants.

Dependence About five per cent of world’s adolescents suffer from depression (two per cent of which are school going) for various reasons.

They turn to medical science for help, but soon enough, quite a few of them become dependant on anti-depressants. However, this dependence gives only temporary relief. Recalls Meenakshi Mehta (23), who used to be "depressed” during her school days: “I just got hooked to high doses of prescription drugs."

Clinical psychologist Samir Parikh, however, feels that not much can be done about those who take medicines longer and stronger than prescribed and adds, "There are new medicines which are not addictive." Drugs Scarier than dependence on anti-depressants is the dependence of these patients on ‘other’ drugs.

Himanshu Gupta (18), who went through depression due to weight problems started doing drugs even as he took treatment for depression. In such cases, even psychological therapy doesn’t work. Reveals Himanshu: “I went for sessions in a drugged state and didn’t benefit." What helps?

It’s all about taking stock of one’s life — Meenakshi recuperated with the help of friends and Himanshu turned to God. Says paediatrician Dr GR Sethi, “If children can’t cope with their lives, they shouldn’t be put on drugs.

It’s a heart-to-heart chat that helps.”And there’s nothing better than family and friends pitching in to let the suffering ones know that there’s a beautiful life out there.