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Government warnings a decade ago about the risks associated with children and adolescents taking antidepressants appear to have backfired, causing an increase in suicide attempts and discouraging many depressed young people from seeking treatment, according to a study published Wednesday in the academic journal BMJ.

Researchers said their findings underscore how even well-intentioned public health warnings can produce unintended conseque­n­c­­es, particularly when they involve widespread media attention and sensitive topics such as depression and suicide.

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