Letters to the Editor
Distinction Pointed Out
Psychiatric News
Volume 44 Number 8 page 36-36

This letter is in response to the March 6 article "Large Study Reveals Insights on Suicide in Teens."

As the person most often expected to speak to the media on behalf of APA, I would like to stress the vital importance of sharply distinguishing self-injurious behaviors and suicidal thoughts and behaviors from suicide itself. This is a life-and-death distinction, rarely noted in the press, that serves to frighten the public and apparently even confuses the Food and Drug Administration. When depressed adolescents are not prescribed or are taken off of SSRIs because of the mistaken fear that the medication causes suicide, adolescents suffer needlessly, are impaired in academic and social development, and some, paradoxically and tragically, commit suicide.

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