Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Mental Health Center

Font Size

Dramatic Increase in Teen Suicide

CDC Reports Largest Spike in Teen Suicide Rate in 15 Years


As might be expected, this game has resulted in deaths. However, the CDC does not believe that a significant number of these deaths have been misclassified as suicides. It remains unclear whether the game is linked to the growing acceptability of hanging and asphyxiation as a suicide method.

The surge in teen suicide also coincides with a drop in antidepressant prescriptions for teens. This is due to concerns that the drugs may increase suicide risk for a subset of young people. Some psychiatrists feel this drop in prescribing is behind the surge in teen suicides, but Arias says this isn't the only issue involved.

"It is important to recognize that suicide is a multidimensional and complex problem. As much as we would like to attribute it to a single source, we cannot do that," she said. "So while antidepressant medication may have role in suicidal ideation, it not the only factor."

"It is possible that some subgroups of patients do become worse when given antidepressants, but the larger population benefits," Thomas Laughren, MD, head of the FDA's psychiatric products division, said at the news conference. "It is possible for two different things to be happening at the same time. We will continue to monitor suicide rates and antidepressant prescribing and take whatever regulatory steps are necessary."

The new teen suicide statistics appear in the Sept. 7 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Is Your Child or Teen Suicidal?

The increased risk of suicide in young girls presents problems for prevention efforts. In the past, when three out of four suicides were male, suicide prevention focused on boys and young men. Prevention efforts also focused on firearms, which had been the most common method of suicide.

The September issue of the Journal of Pediatrics carries an updated review of teen suicide by Benjamin N. Shain, MD, PhD, of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and colleagues from the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on adolescence.

"Unfortunately, no one can accurately predict suicide, so even experts can only determine who is at high risk," Shain and colleagues note.

Today on WebMD

Differences between feeling depressed or feeling blue.
lunar eclipse
Signs of mania and depression.
man screaming
Causes, symptoms, and therapies.
woman looking into fridge
When food controls you.
Woman standing in grass field barefoot, wind blowi
senior man eating a cake
woman reading medicine warnings
depressed young woman
man with arms on table
man cringing and covering ears

WebMD Special Sections