Lina (haremstress) wrote in little_details,

Mentally ill teenager in the 80s

Setting: Washington State, 1985.

I have a few questions about how a psychiatrist would deal with a teenager at this time.

When I went to counseling last year, I had to fill out a questionnaire at the start of each visit where I indicated how often in the past two weeks I'd experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Would this kind of diagnostic tool be used by a psychiatrist in 1985? No idea how to even begin researching this!

Next, if my character (a teenage boy) were seeing a doc today, I imagine his diagnoses would be depression and Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Was Anxiety Disorder NOS a diagnosis in 1985? I've been trying to find a copy of the DSM-III, or even just its table of contents, and I keep coming up dry. As do searches on "dsm-iii anxiety disorder not otherwise specified." :) Help!

And finally... today we know there's a suicide risk for prescribing antidepressants to teenagers. Near as I can tell this received a lot of attention during the 2000s, but did anyone know about the risk before that? Basically, I'm wondering if my character would be prescribed antidepressants even after self-reporting suicidal thoughts. (He doesn't end up taking the meds, so its actual effects on him don't really matter, but I need to know if they'd be given in the first place.) I've tried googling phrases like "depression and suicide teenagers," "depressed teenagers 1980s," "treatment depressed teenagers 1985." If he weren't prescribed antidepressants, would another type of drug be likely?

Thank you in advance for any insight. This is just one little scene in my whole book and it's ridiculously hard to get accurate, lol.
Tags: 1980-1989, usa: washington, ~psychology & psychiatry (misc), ~psychology & psychiatry: depression

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