A study from the Center for Disease Control indicates that more teenagers, especially girls, are committing suicide.
The suicide rate among children and teenagers increased by 8% in 2004, the largest increase in fifteen years. Between 1990 and 2003, there was actually a 28% decline in rates.
The percentage of young girls taking their own lives increased the most. Among girls ages 10 to 14 years, the rate increased from 0.54 per 100,000 to 0.95 per 100,000. Among girls ages 15 to 19 years, the rate jumped from 2.66 to 3.52 per 100,000. Among boys ages 15 to 19 years, the rate increased 11.61 to 12.65 per 100,000.
Many experts were predicting an increase in teenage suicides because of black box warnings on antidepressant drugs. The increased rate of suicide coincides with the Food and Drug Administration's requirement that antidepressant prescription labels carry a warning that using the drugs can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behaviors. Antidepressant prescriptions for patients under age 18 years fell by 10% in 2004.