Monday, September 14, 2009
Medical Reports: Defeat Depression
Adults aren't the only ones who are down and depressed during these hard financial times. Childhood and teenage depression is on the rise too, but with parents losing their jobs and insurance, many kids can't get the help they need. Tonight 7's Richard Lemus shows us a free way to defeat depression.
WSVN -- Fifteen-year-old David Harvey worries about things many kids his age don't usually even think about.
David Harvey: "I just don't like the way it's going now, the economy."
Economy became part of his vocabulary after his mom lost her job in real estate.
David Harvey: "My life has changed a lot."
They're living on less money and his family can't afford all the fun things they used to do together.
David Harvey: "Go to Sea World, the theme parks and all that, because we don't have any money."
Jeri Jashnoff, Mom: "You can't buy the things he wants anymore."
David who has a history of bipolar disorder sunk into a deep depression.
Jeri Jashnoff: "He'll get depressed and then he gets mad."
Psychiatrists say teenage depression is on the rise and it's a reflection of what their parents are going through.
Dr. Scott Segal, Psychiatrist, Segal Institute for Clinical Research: "It's definitely making adults depressed, and therefore the children depressed, as well. However, they have less money to spend on treatments, and these days insurance companies have higher co-payments and it's very difficult for people to come in."
Even scarier, it's hard for patients or their families to pay for the medications they so desperately need.
Jeri Jashnoff: "The medications that they give these kids are very expensive, and sometimes the insurance companies don't want to pay for the drugs."
David's mom went in search of help and found the Segal Institute for Clinical Research in Fort Lauderdale. It conducts studies for depression and bipolar disorder. Kids and teenagers can join the studies and get psychiatric treatment from top doctors for free.
Dr. Scott Segal: "They get their visits and their evaluations and whatever is needed in the study for free, as well as medications. In fact, in research studies, the treatment is above the normal level of care."
Patients will often try out new drugs that aren't on the market yet and many times they can stay on that medication after the study is over.
Dr. Scott Segal: "In many studies, after the study is over, the pharmaceutical company will give them a compassionate care and allow them take the medications for a period of time."
David is on a new medication and sees a doctor weekly. He and his mom have high hopes for the future.
David Harvey: "A happy family life, so we can bond more."
And hopefully a job for mom.
Jeri Jashnoff: "I'm waiting for the market to open up again, I have faith."
Many times the patients in a study will also be reimbursed for their time and travel.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Segal Institute For Clinical Research
1065 NE 125th Street North Miami