More under-aged on drugs to counter fears and depression

An increasing number of children and teenagers are on prescription drugs against fears, psychoses and anti-depressants, figures from the health mutual funds have revealed. There is more focus on psychological problems now, while some parents just can't afford a psychologist.
Alice S. / BSIP

The figures are quite spectacular. Each day, almost a million pills to counter fears and psychoses are being taken by youngsters between 12 and 17. This is double the number of 10 years ago.

Koen Lowet of the federation of psychologists explains that it's easier in Belgium to choose the option of the pills instead of seeking actual psychological help to address the root of the problem. This should be the reverse, he adds. Also, parents of youngsters in poor families can't afford a psychologist.

The hike can also be explained by the fact that psychological problems are more in the spotlights now. Child psychiatrist Eric Schoentjes adds that parents are expecting more and more from their children. "They have less time and understanding for their developments and possible problems. Parents are being encouraged to look at a solution, instead of accepting the fact that their child is different."