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.