Children as Antidepressants: 17 Pros and 21 Cons

[Written around 2008.]

Despite being dramatically over-prescribed, children have long been the most popular antidepressant on the market.  As a natural-born skeptic, I have undertaken a thorough study of the pros and cons of their antidepressant qualities, as follows, though I will leave the final analysis to you:


1. Children are easy to procure, long-lasting, and you don’t need a prescription to get one

2. If you’re willing to raise them generically, they can be relatively inexpensive

3. They often work well in (sibling) combinations of two, three, four or more (though be careful of toxic interactions)

4. All your friends take them, why not you?

5. They help you fit into the herd, which is oh-so-soothing to imbalanced brain chemicals

6. The structure they require (playground, parties, mealtimes, the doctor, etc.) gives you a place to go during the long and boring day, which can be a marvelous distraction from the rotten and hopeless state of our world

7. For women:  Each child provides nine months of relief from the annoying menstrual cycle

8. They make a wonderful, safe receptacle for your long-pent-up anger – after all, depression IS anger turned inward

9. They stoke your narcissistic needs for absolute power – at least for their first ten or twelve years – which cures many of depression instantaneously (and which is certainly quicker than any therapy!)

10. Even the most psychologically primitive parent can easily train them to live solely to gratify your ego

11. They fan the flames of your fantasies of immortality

12. You can relive your childhood through them, and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it

13. What other antidepressant spontaneously evolves to produce more complex and modern antidepressants?

14. You only have to invest in them what YOU want; anyone who tells you otherwise is a stinking meddler

15. They provide you with a financial tax break

16. If you live in the Third World you can put them to work to pay off their debt to you!

17. If you don’t like their effect on you then you can always flush their lives down the toilet (or just make a new child!)


1. Children have not been studied adequately in Randomized Controlled Trials

2. Raising them in brand-name fashion is quite expensive

3. The lengthy commitment they require risks adding to pre-existing depressive symptoms (especially feelings of being trapped or stuck)

4. They rarely improve the quality of your marriage (though they generally do prolong moribund relationships)

5. They often lead to a decrease in sexual activity between partners

6. Although many people use them for off-label purposes, this is not advisable

7. They are not recommended for teenagers (or people with teenage attitudes)

8. Some of the greatest psychological theorists consider them to be inherently evil

9. They commonly cause years of insomnia, anxiety, headaches, and fatigue

10. …and sometimes mania, psychosis, suicidality, and even homicidality

11. They block internal, personal growth toward independent maturity (though some argue this belongs in the “pro” column)

12. Many people find them addictive

13. Abrupt tapering often causes a severe withdrawal syndrome (though sometimes, paradoxically, feelings of elation)

14. Many of the experts who recommend them have been proven to be unethical

15. Their rough edges are hard to swallow

16. They often both mirror (and enhance) your worst qualities

17. They ruin fine dining and quality vacations

18. They are a quick fix for the deeper problem

19. Be sure to procure them as near to their birth as possible, because the longer you wait the more stale and contaminated they become

20. They are contraindicated for those averse to Raffi and The Wiggles

21. Their poop stinks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *